I have been away enjoying summer delights with family, so the Blog has been in recess, like my game. The highlight for the club in January was The Sound 96.1 FM Summer Spectacular. The first event was played in 1982 and since then it has been the club’s centre piece event for 34 years.
Remember those heady days of 1982? Rob Muldoon announced a 12 month price and wage freeze. Dave Dobbyn was voted our most promising singer, with DD Smash. The first FM Radio station went air. We won 5 Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games. All Whites were in the Soccer World Cup finals in Barcelona.
With the help of Social Credit, National got through the Red tape to build the Clyde Dam project. A Punk Rocker, Neil Roberts tried to bomb the Whanganui Data Base. Terry Gale won the NZ Golf Open, Craig Sadler The Masters and Tom Watson won both the USA and The Open Championships.
Our first Spectacular raised $2000 for the club, that included bar takings. A young and promising chap Wayne Bowie won with help from B Ashby; celebrations rocked the club house.
Back then a jug cost $1.50 and half handle 45 cents. You paid $85 dollars for full membership, Ladies $70. Membership was booming with 22 new members signing up. On Closing day the course was jam packed with a field 170, the 19th jammed packed. Heady days.
So the tradition continues ( although the beer is dearer ) but the Spectacular is still the best club event in the province. Well done to Jos Smith and her crew of helpers plus our major sponsors: The Sound FM, Marlborough Travel. Marlborough TV Services, Peter Mark Floor Pride, PAKnSAVE, ITM and Bluebridge.
A couple of interlopers from the other side of the railway line, raced off down the road with their boot full of most of the prizes, including the ” claret jug ” This raiding party came under the names of Davis and Greenhill from the Marlborough Golf Club, and their two day total of 189 was earth shattering. On the Richter Scale a plus 10.
They were12 shots ahead of local heros Terry Grant and Marty Smith. They are good men. Terry learnt his skills of the sand dune courses of Scotland and he has even played and tamed the Old Course at St Andrews. While Marty hits it a country mile, most of the holes he is usually pulling out out 58 degree wedge for his second!
A combined 61 on the first day while individual scores of 65 and 63 on Sunday was the jaw dropping scores of the Davis and Greenhill. Grant and Smith’s scoreboard read 66 67 68. I think they got a chocolate fish each!!!
Thought you might be interested in listening to some sage advice from Lee Trevino. Rated as one of the greatest ball strikers in the history of the game, the TEXMex always seemed to have the ball on the end of a piece of string. His short game was magic and if you click on the link below or Google : Lee Trevino – wedge play tips ( wrist cock ) I think it may help you. Or just go to the link:
Hope you enjoyed that piece of advice.
Now I have got idea to attract more people to play the game, while it’s appreciated that most recreational pastimes are feeling the pinch, with playing numbers and $.
Google: YouTube Golf Brooks Par 7
In four weeks it will be March and then a month later The Masters.
So go out there enjoy your golf, time not waiting and support your club. Rarangi is a great place with great people, we are so fortunate to have this great all weather facility. Opening Day is Sunday 14th February, go out and enjoy the popular American Greensome Tournament, a fun way to start your golfing year.
May all your putts find gravity
I find it still quaint that clubs today still have their traditional Closing Day’s this month. Most need to be 12 month businesses to survive, having a Closing Day seems to be bad marketing.
It is a throw back to the 50’s when golf in New Zealand was a winter pursuit. Summer membership was cheaper simply because greens were the only part of the course that received water and the brick hard, cracked dry fairways were like playing on kitchen lineo. ( another thing of the past!! ) Also all our sporting pursuits were seasonal. Labour Day marked the point in the year when the cricket bat came out, the tennis racket was restrung the lawn mower began to dominate our weekend pursuits and the garden dug. The clubs put away until Easter. Now we play rugby in January, cricket in Dubai and golf 24/7.
October has been another Lydia month. What can you say about this 18 year old. When I first started to play golf at 18, we were not allowed in the club house, could only tee off between 800 and 900am and had to play with a member. Had to wear long hose, not have your shirt hanging out and let members always play through.
Now you web surfers might be interested in tis site I have come across, Pure Point golf. Google it and I am sure you will find it very informative, with lots of good advice tips and news about the game.
The site comes out of Arizona home of some of the best resort course in the world, where there are literally No Closing Days.
The piece I have selected is a little homily, but pop into their website it’s very good.
The golf course is your battle field
Your job is to minimize casualties (strokes).
The fewer you take the better.
And that comes down to knowing your strengths and weaknesses on the course.
Play to your strengths.
Let your opponents wonder how you’re doing it.
As an example, let’s say your fairway percentage off the tee box is less than 20% with your driver, less than 40% with your 3-wood but 75% with your 3 or 4-iron.
Even though you’ll be shorter than most of the people playing, you will more than likely be in the fairway. It’s better to be a little short than to be in the woods looking for a ball, underwater and with a penalty stroke.
It all comes back to playing smart golf.
Practice your driver on the range or for the casual play days.
When you’re playing for bragging rights or some doh-ray-mi (aka: smackers), then play smart.
I’d be a betting man that you’ll end up with a better score.
You see, when your buddies are getting frustrated seeing your score, they’re going to grip-it-and-rip it off the tee, take aggressive shots, and play into your hands.
Again, smart golf on your part.
To a better golf game,
Purepoint Golf Team
PS- How well do you hit out of the sand? If you want to start making bunker shots that are more consistent, closer to the hole, and that put you into position for a tap-in, then you’ve got to check out what we’ve got in store for you… http://purepointgolfacademy.com/ppga-thebunker
Good comments about last months putting tip from Brad Faxon
Here is another that will really help you…
MAY ALL YOUR PUTTS FIND GRAVITY.
Good Golfing after Closing Day, I’m driving the ball 30 meters further!!!!
FROM MASHIE NIBLICK
It has been a great month for Kiwi golfers Lydia Ko and Danny Lee. Lydia won her first LPGA Major finishing with a final round 63 at the Evian Championship in France, becoming the youngest player in history to win a Major on the LPGA Tour. This added to her World Ranking of Number One on February 20th, the youngest player in the history of the game ( men or women ) to achieve such a feat.
Danny also has had an eye-catching year. So much promise when he joined the professional ranks in 2009, as the youngest ever winner of the United States Amateur, Danny spared no effort in trying to break into the professional ranks. He found it frustrating to make the transition into the pro game even though he had the talent and desire. Consistency week after week eluded him. But 2015 has become his breakthrough year.
His first ever win on the PGA tour, a 2nd in the Tour Ending Coca Cola Championship behind Jordan Spieth, 8 top ten finishes, 12 top 25 spots and 9th in the Fedex Cup standings. Add a world ranking in the top 50 and approximately $5 million in prize money. Wow!
Both these players have dazzled with their approaches to the green this year and the laser like accuracy of these shots has given them both confidence to be bold putters.
Lydia’s 63 in the final round of the Evian melted the field behind her.
What makes a great putter? Who have been the best of the best. I thought I would do some research. On a very good website golf.swingbyswing.com – well worth a visit – Don Clements ranks his 10 best of all time. I feel he is spot on.
Here we go.
1. Jack Nicklaus 2. Brad Faxon 3. Nick Faldo 4 Ben Crenshaw 5. Tiger Woods 6. Loren Roberts 7. Seve Ballesteros 8. Bobby Locke 9. Billy Casper. 10. Bob Charles
Pretty good list and nice to see our Sir Bob gets recognition. Bob took his wrists out of the putting stroke. When he began his career most had a more wristy style. He was deadly, even the putts he missed looked as if they were going in. He used a centre shaft putter and was magnificent on the greens right through his playing days and onto the Senior Tour. No yips with Sir Bob. There may be a couple of names on this list you may not be too familiar with, as house hold names.
Loren Roberts, was dubbed Boss of the Moss by the media. Won 8 PGA tour events, a third in the Masters, second in the US Open , 5th in the PGA and 7th in the The Open. His best years were the 1990s and early 2000s. Once past 50, he became a star on the Senior Tour winning the British Senior Open Twice.
The other name on the list Brad Faxon, and his position at # 2, may be a big surprise to many. Voted the outstanding amateur in the United States in 1983, he won 8 times on the tour and played two Ryder Cups.
Not a long hitter of the ball, Brad could putt. A knee injury caused him bother and after a very good senior tour excursion, became a commentator for NBC. He has some very good tips about putting technique, which may help you.
Click on the link below and give your putting a new lease of life from one the world’s greatest putters.
That’s it for this month. May all your putts find gravity
From Mashie Niblick
Lydia Ko, winning her third Canadian Open title on August 24th in Vancouver, underlined again what a remarkable talent this 18 year Korean born, New Zealand raised golf star is, even judged by the toughest of criteria.
She won her first Canadian title as a 15-year-old amateur setting a record that is already acknowledged as one of the games greatest feats.
If she can remain injury free and motivated within the professional ranks, who knows what she may be able to achieve.
Lydia has set a very high bar for those that follow.
The women’s professional game at present is expanding at a remarkable rate, enjoying global television coverage and commercial attention unthought-of by the 13 women’s players who set up the LGPA tour in 1950.
There was not even a women’s teaching division in golf then. That took another nine years until America Hall of Fame golfer – Marilynn Smith of California set up the extra arm of the LGPA.
In 1965 she came to New Zealand spreading the word and encouraging women to take a more active role in the playing and coaching side of the golf.
Today the women’s professional game is truly worldwide. Even more so than the men’s, they have been discussing an elite world schedule for years.
The LGPA season runs from late January, with 31 tournaments for the leading players on the world rankings. They trip all over the world, as well the United States: South Korea, Malaysia, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Thailand, England and Scotland, Singapore, China, Mexico, Taiwan, and Japan – a very large golfing stage.
Next month the focus will be in Germany where the Solheim Cup will be staged at the St Leon-Rot Heidelberg Golf Club, from 10-13 September.
Like the Men’s Ryder Cup this is a team event between the United States and Europe. Twelve players from each side, compete in foursomes, four ball and singles.
Karsten Solheim, set up the event in 1990. Karsten was a leading golf club maker, who began the Ping Company.
This month the United States team will be lead by Stacy Lewis and Europe by Suzann Pettersan.
Since 1990 United States have won the Cup 8 times and Europe 5, although Europe have won the last two events.
Probably the most famous name in Solheim Cup history is Laura Davies of England, who has won more single matches and four ball matches than any other player in the 25 year history of the event..
After the Solheim Cup the Ladies Tour swings through Asia with 6 events in Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan. Each winner accumulates 500 points in the Race to the CME Globe Championship. The tour ends with that event in in Florida.
Up to the Canadian Open on the 28th August, Inbee Park with 3726 points leads Lydia Ko 3268 and Stacy Lewis 2604, with plenty of action packed golf to come.
Inbee has had a great year with 4 wins, Lydia has 3, while Stacy has been very consistent although yet to have a victory.
Brent Kelley of Aboutsports.com, already ranks Inbee 38th in his all time list of great women players. She has already won 7 Major Championships and was the youngest player to have won the United States Open.
At 27 the South Korean who won a scholarship to the University of Nevada, is the favourite to win the Globe Tour Championship although 18 year old Lydia Ko is treading on her heels.
Inbee has a very interesting swing. Upright and short, without a lot of rotation, but very accurate. She also is rated by many experts as the best putter in the world, in either the men’s or women’s games.
Click on the link below and look at the swing that has made Inbee women’s golf, hottest property.
Spring has arrived , hope it lightens your step on the fairways and may your putts all finds gravity.
From Mashie Niblick
David Leadbetter has produced his first instructional book in 10 years, with, Golf Digest Editor Ron Kospriske.
It’s a ground breaking book and an evolution of his swing theories.
David is claiming inside the dust jacket that this new approach to swinging the club will transform your game.
His CV is impressive, he has coached players who have gone on to win 19 major championships and gained recognition when he rebuilt Nick Faldo’s swing to become hottest golfer on the planet.
His new book The A Swing, the alternative approach to great golf. It’s a simple way to swing the club and only requires minimal practice. His theories have been tested from tour player to beginner.
The book is very well produced with clear text and excellent illustrations.
Mashie Niblick recommends that it’s with worth a look at and may well be the key to your golf improvement.
Through Amazon you can buy the hard cover or kindle version. I understand the DVD will be available soon.
To bring you up to speed on this new swing development click on the link below. David Leadbetter presents his A Swing in front of a group of PGA Professionals.
Now you have heard David, the next link is a review of A swing. Piers Ward and Andy Ploughman are two english pros that run a very informative golf website on golf trends and coaching, if you click on the link below
they explain their take on the A Swing
Good golfing. Hope David’s new swing theory will have your Slope Index going down and you will be collecting lots of Meat Vouchers.
May all your putts find gravity
See you in August
From Mashie Niblick
June always brings golf to its first summer peak.
The US Open showcases who of the top echelon of players is really on their game. Two months since the Masters the Chambers Bay site for the Open suggested that only the best would survive, after they were required to dual in a converted gravel pit, that looked like a slice of a Scottish links course, with the added difficulty of tackling a mountain bike track set up for the Olympics.
Fox Sport and the Golf Channel spent many preview minutes pondering whether Phil Mickelson would win his first US Open, if Tiger could pull out of his nose dive of bad form and would Rory after two missed cuts in Europe, prove that he is the greatest of the new breed.
As June closes most of these questions have been answered.
Jordan Spieth is golf’s hottest property. Rory has a few weeks to tune up for St Andrews and protect his # 1 spot, while Phil’s big achievement this month is that he is now # 36 in the Forbes rich list of celebrities and professional sports people, with an annual income of 51.5 million. Tiger clings on to 37th spot with 50 million. Not bad for someone who can’t find the fairway and has trouble chipping! Problems I think I could cope with easily!!!
Ponder Spieth’s record this golfing year. World ranking # 2, FedEx Cup leader by several golf courses, at the end of the month he has won $7.8 million, with 3 victories, 3 seconds, 10 top 10s and 13 top 25s.
He is not even on the Forbes list yet!!! But Rory is.
Thankfully for those of us not fully conversant with “streaming “ or not wanting to pay more money on top of Sky’s monthly bill, we have been able to watch the USGA events as we have in the past.
A double whammy for back to back with the US Open we the have had US Senior Championship too.
There in the field was one of New Zealand’s golfing stars of 20 years ago, Grant Waite. What a performance he put up, finishing third with Germany’s icon Bernard Langer.
For the record the title was won by Jeff Maggert United States from last years champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland.
Maggett has always been a sweet swinger of a golf club and in his younger days made a couple of runs on the final day in the US Open. But inconsistent putting kept him from being in the top bracket. But now in the 50 plus bracket he has a new lease of life and his Open victory was the second Senior Major won this year, having picked up the Regions Tradition, a month ago.
Unfortunately Waite got little airtime from Fox’s golf producers, although he was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds under 70 in the championship.
Grant Waite qualified for the Senior Tour last November when he turned 50 and went through the demands of the tough qualifying school.
To gain a place in the Senior Open field he won one of three positions available in final qualifying on May 29th, with a birdie on the last hole.
Born and raised in Palmerston North , he attended University of Oklahoma on a golfing scholarship and turned pro in 1987. He won the NZ Open in 1992 and gained his only victory on the PGA United States tour with a win in the 1993 Kemper Open. He chased Tiger Woods all the way in the 2000 Canadian Open to finish second. Represented New Zealand in the Dunhill and World Cups between 1989 and 2000.
Grant has been a professional teacher in the United States over the last few years teaming up with Joseph Mayo. He has gained a very good reputation and acceptance within his craft.
You can follow him on Twitter @grantwaite.
Here’s something of interest.
John Coyne is an avid golf historian and author. His latest book, The Caddie who won the Masters is a fascinating read, worth hunting down, probably best via Amazon.
This latest piece has been posted by the blog: Armchair Golfer
Uncovering the Real Bobby Locke – by John Coyne
John Coyne unravels decades of fiction about Bobby Locke.
Copyright © John Coyne. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
THE SERIES OF SHORT PIECES entitled “Bad Boy Bobby Locke” that I published on this blog last year has drawn the attention of players who remember one of the greats of the game. It has also drawn the attention of Locke’s extended family, an aging relative who wants to, and rightly so, correct errors in the history of South Africa’s first famous golfer and set (finally!) Bobby Locke’s personal record straight.
This close family member has gone to original military service records of which I have received proper copies. Now we have, in a well-documented, yet to be published, article entitled, “Arthur D’Arcy (Bobby) Locke — Second World War Record,” covering the period 1939 to 1945. The report was written by Alfred Pratt, a relative who was raised in the Locke family household.
As Pratt writes in a brief introduction:
Arthur D’Arcy ‘Bobby’ Locke was born on 20th November 1917 at Germiston in the Transvaal, South Africa. His parents were Charles James Locke, profession Gents Outfitter (Retail), and his mother Olive Locke, (nee Harrison) lifelong mother and housewife. His father was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and his mother in Cape Town. Her family originated in England and Ireland and the first of them, arrived in Cape Town in 1822. Locke died in Johannesburg on 9th March 1987 after a short illness, spinal meningitis. He is generally acknowledged as one of the all-time ‘Greats of Golf’ and the finest putter of all up to and including his lifetime.
While all of these facts are not in question, Bobby Locke’s personal history became tangled up and distorted over the years because of a series of misquotes, fabrications and enhancements — by Locke himself and others. That inaccurate history sullies the real achievements by Locke on many golf courses around the world.
Alfred Pratt has cleared up the history, at least of Locke’s war record that had him flying hundreds of dangerous missions, quoting exaggerated and erratic flying hours claims, in the Middle East and Europe, living in Egypt, and emerging as a heroic fighter and bomber pilot in WWII for the South African Air Force.
As Pratt wrote me, “It became obvious some years ago that the ‘stories’ of Bobby Locke and his heroic war service did not match certain known facts. For example, family members knew that he was posted to Port Elizabeth after his marriage in 1943 and well into 1944 and that he could not possibly have been in Egypt at the time as he claimed in 1943. We all knew that he did not suffer from shell-shock or any post operational stress disorder.”
His taciturn behavior on the golf course was assumed in his calm, calculated methods of mental focus (one of his greatest strengths) and he never shifted his weight from left to right foot and back as “he was accustomed to in aiming his bomber and its load at hostile targets — sinking his putts by using old flying habit methods”! Furthermore, he could not have suffered anguish and guilt complex at the screams and moans of his dying victims bombed at Monte Cassino, an operation carried out, solely, by the U.S. Army Air Force at a time when he was still based in South Africa.
Researching Locke’s War Record
Pratt, in 1993, began to set the record straight, and researched with Colonel Graham du Toit, an acknowledged military researcher and expert on the South African Air Force, the Locke war record obtained from the Department of Defense, Pretoria, South Africa.
Pratt goes on to say, “The simple acid test was to obtain the facts from his SAAF service record and make direct comparisons with his own reports and the rumors generated amongst others.”
According to Pratt’s research, Locke’s final posting as a freshly qualified co-pilot on twin engine Wellington Bombers was to Italy three days after hostilities had ceased on 8th May 1945. Locke only spent a few weeks with Number 31 Squadron (a four engine, Liberator equipped squadron) before being posted home for demobilization. He further exaggerated his total length of his SAAF service period against the proven facts.
Locke purposely omitted any mention of the problems, the employment he had at Macauvlei Country Club and the circumstances of his dismissal, as well as ignoring the episode completely from his book. He covered the elapsed time in 1938 and from his return arrival from England in 1939 to late 1940 with a tissue of lies about his arrangements with Vereeniging Country Club and the dates covered, pretending that his arrangements went back further in time than they did.
Family members also knew that he was “slow” in joining up in the S.A. Forces when his fellow South Africans were volunteering in droves. Meanwhile, Locke was virtually unemployed with no tournaments or championships available to him except by going to America, which had been his plan while still employed at Macauvlei. He, belatedly, decided to sign up for the South African Air Force.
Locke’s nephew concludes in his article — which is perhaps the real reason he had gone to such lengths in his research on Bobby Locke — that while his uncle was qualified to fly a variety of airplanes, and spent much of his time instructing other pilots to do the same, and did serve just under five years in the S.A.A.F, “his work in training others to fly warplanes is not questioned nor is his teaching effort being challenged or denigrated in the slightest. But in any reasonable view, heaping unfounded praises and acclamations on any undeserving individual in these circumstances constitutes an insult to those who gave their lives, heroically or not, the wounded and active combat personnel, sung and unsung in defense of their countries.”
Historian Pratt’s research and family knowledge was used by Craig Urquhart in his 2014 book entitled, The Kings of Swing: Behind the Scenes with South Africa’s Golfing Greats.
While Bobby Locke’s war record has been correctly documented by the careful and detailed research done by Alfred Pratt and Colonel Graham du Toit, what remains in mystery is, perhaps to golfers and golf fans, a much more interesting question:
What happened to Locke’s famous, success-earning, hickory shafted putter?
It seems to have disappeared without a trace and been supplanted by a host of lookalikes and replicas all over the world. But did it?
Bobby Locke with his famous flatstick.
TO BE CONTINUED.
John Coyne is a bestselling author whose latest golf novel is The Caddie Who Won the Masters. Learn more at John Coyne Books.
From Mashie Niblick
Thankfully the 115th United States Open Golf Championship, June 18- 24 at Chambers Bay, Washington State will be aired on Sky.
It’s the first time the US Open has been played in the Pacific North West and Chambers Bay is sure to raise a few traditional eyebrows.
The course was opened in 2007 and designed by the Robert Trent Jones II Company and within a year the USGA had awarded the venue the 2010 US Amateur and 2015 US Open.
It is not one of your posh closed courses that have featured on other Open locations that can only be played by a few, Chambers Bay is Municipal facility open to everyone.
All the tee boxers are over 50 metres long!
So where is Chambers Bay? It’s in Puget Sound an hour drive south from Seattle; 30 minutes drive from Tacoma and an 8-minute drive from University Place a city of 30 thousand. Get your old school Atlas out and have a look.
Chambers Bay was an old gravel and sand quarry, now a 105-hectare golf course and a 365-hectare parkland, with walking tracks.
The Robert Trent Jones name is synonymous with golf course design. Like the old British Empire catch cry, it can be said with some accuracy that: ” …..the sun never sets on a Robert Trent Jones course. “
His son Robert Trent Jones II continues the legacy of his father, who died aged 93 in 2000.
At Chambers Bay they have designed something quite unique and exceptional. On Puget Sound with the backdrop of sea and land, a visitor could be mistaken they were not in Scotland, viewing the distinct style of a famous seaside links course.
The weather can be just as fickle too, at 47 degrees north the local climate in Puget Sound, can have all the variables found in the Home of Golf.
It is a strictly walking course only, no carts and this has allowed the designers to use the deep-rooted fescue grass from tee to green. Drought tolerant the grass is ideal for sustainable golf, with less demand for excessive watering.
Now add the bunkers, the rolling fairways with varying lies and the subtle contours of the greens and you have the challenge of Chambers Bay.
Some USA Open Tit Bits
In this modern age it is hard to believe that 9882 golfers entred for this years US Golf Open. Entries came from 50 States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 63 other countries. A true Major that is open to anyone with a handicap of 1.4 or less, professionals or amateurs.
Qualifying is over two levels, local over 18 holes and sectional over 36. Including two overseas sites, in England and Japan.
49 golfers are exempt, including the No 1 ranked amateur in the world and the current holder of the USA Amateur Championship. A further 60 exempt players will be added on May 25th and June 15th from the list of the top 60 players and ties, in the World Rankings.
Only two players have played in local qualifying and then sectional qualifying and gone on to win the USA Open Championship. Ken Venturi in 1963 and Orville Moody in 1969.
Golf Ball Test
Golf Digest has just completed a golf ball test. What do you want from your ball? Distance, wanting to smash it?
Be surprised, ball makers are going for feel off the clubface.
Softer balls are the rage 0 for pros and handicap golfers.
Go to :
May all your putts find gravity?
See you again in June
LATEST IN GOLF EQUIPMENT NEWS
Golf Digest March issue is full of the latest in golf club improvements with a ranking of the best of the best, plus an interesting article, Why a Driver Fitting Matters. Worth a perusal you golfing nuts.
Check it out on: http://www.golfdigest.com
Have a look at this
FROM MASHIE NIBLICK
April is a grand month for golf in Marlborough, the course recovering rapidly from its summer tan, the greens cored and running true, the Autumn growth making a walk at Rarangi lift your spirits and do wonders for your game too.
Rarangi is a Brilliant all weather course but it has special qualities in autumn. The weather is kindly, little wind and the cooler mornings turn in to splendid days. Long term the forecast is for clear skies, average 17 degrees with the wind light and variable.
Come and visit us now. Play some golf at Rarangi and enjoy Brilliant Marlborough.
If golf is at it’s best good in Marlborough during April, it certainly is a feature of Augusta, Georgia too.
The Masters is “ a tradition unlike any other “ so voiced CBS anchor man Bob Nantz back in 1986.
That phrase has become the property of the telecast not CBS and this year the Masters committee had it placed on a T-shirt and it sold out in a few days.
A little like the phrase Amen Corner, penned by noted sports writer Herbert Warren Wind in 1958, when describing the critical action on the final day when Arnold Palmer and Ken Venturi were battling it out over the pivotal holes , 11, 12 and 13. That phrase is now part of Masters lore.
Every year the Augusta Chronicle get 90 of the top USA and International writers and commentators to pick their winner. Interestingly 26 of the 90 chose Jordan Spieth, 12 thought Rory McIlroy would win the Green Jacket and 11 Jason Day.
The Golden Bear is right into the modern age. Here’s his tweet on Jordan Spieth’s great victory. A wonderful tribute from the world’s greatest golfer.
@jacknicklaus – Tweeted on 13th April 2015 00:23
“Congratulations to an exceptionally talented young man. That was an incredible performance. It was so apparent that he learned down the stretch last year, but you have to remember, he was only 20 at the time. Now he’s a grizzled veteran at 21 years old—just 21. Jordan is so beyond his years. I like everything about the young man. He’s polite. He’s humble. He handles himself so well, on and off the golf course. And he’s obviously a wonderful player and now a Masters champion. I think Jordan Spieth is a great person—just as I think Rory McIlroy is—to carry the mantle for the game of golf.”
“I am someone who likes the new generations. I always have. I think it energizes the game of golf. We had Arnold’s generation; then it came to my generation; then Tom Watson came along; and right on down the line to Tiger and Rory. And now we have Jordan Spieth. There are some older players who have been terrific for a long time, but actually this might be time for the young guys to take over.”
A Practice Round with a Difference.
Sandy Lyle, the Scot who won his Green Jacket in 1988 and still plays in the event as a Masters’ Champion, played a practice round at Augusta on Saturday before Masters week
with a set of hickory clubs made by Tad Moore.
Tad an American has been making hand crafted hickory clubs since 1963. Sandy played the full 18 holes off the championship tees, pared only 2 holes the 1st and 18th and did not break 80.
At the Champions dinner that night, Tiger Woods wanted to know how he could get a set.
If you want a set to, check out: www.tadmoore.com
Some Masters Tit Bits.
For winning the Masters Jordan Spieth won 1.8 million dollars, with 3 million more in related earnings.
Michelson and Rose second equal shared a purse of 1.6 million.
Jack Nicklaus who won 6 Masters earned a total of $ 269.000
for his efforts. While Ben Hogan, who won in 1951 and 1953, earned $7000.
A Media Conference Gem
Best quote from the post Masters media conference was Tiger talking about his tree root experience that hurt his wrist.
“ There was a little joint that popped back out and I was able to some how put it back in, which did not feel really good, bit at least it got back in and I could move my hand again,”
Really! Dr Who?
Walking the Course.
When Woods won and set the record shooting 18 under par, Augusta was 6332 metres, Spieth had to navigate a course that was 6798 metres long.
Will Augusta run out of room?
Rarangi’s Green Jacket
Rarangi Golf Club has a Green Jacket tradition just like the Masters.
The friday men play for the right to don it, when they are the best of the best on the day. It hangs on a coat hook near the bar and like Augusta, the jacket is never allowed to leave the club grounds as is the rule for all members at Augusta.
The special tradition Rarangi Golf Club has with the Green Jacket, is that anyone who has a double bogy on the day donates $1.00 to the prize fund.
I wonder if they have thought about doing that at Augusta?
May all your putts find gravity.
Welcome to the News and Blog section.
Here you will run across a number of links that will help
establish this section a one stop golfing shop for our members and visitors. It will be updated from time to time to keep the links interesting and current and will also include comments from Mashie Niblick, our Rarangi Special Correspondent and Blogger.
So pop in and visit anytime.
From Mashie Niblick – Our Rarangi Blogger.
Many of you golfing nuts will know doubt be relieved that the Masters will be seen live on Sky Sports. ( April 9-12 ) New Zealand dates April 10-13. www.masters.com .
The arrival into the global sporting market of internet moguls , other than the traditional satellite mega networks is going to make a huge change to our comfortable viewer habits.
Sky has done a great job in bringing top overseas sport to New Zealand but their monopoly on buying rights is being challenged. Last year they lost the Football Rights battle to Coliseum and this year that company has taken over the major percentage of international Golf.
Those comfortable mornings watching the golf from the United States in your favourite armchair, watching Sky on Channel 051, with a piece of toast and a cup of coffee, have gone.
Top sport is on the internet. You can get it on demand, but it will cost you more. Possibly you will need a Smart TV too! Find out on www.coliseumsportsmedia.com
No Kiwis in the field but 6 Australians.
Notables Jason Day and Adam Scott; the ubiquitous Geoff Ogilvy; solid performers on the PGA tour, Marc Leishman and John Senden; and Australia’s rising amateur star, Antonio Murdaca (good Aussie name).
Murdaca won his spot by taking the Asia/Pacific title last year at Royal Melbourne.
Bubba Watson is the defending champion, while Jason Spieth who must be one of the favorites this year, was runner up with Jonas Blixt of Sweden. Bet you did not remember his name!
Spieth is one of only 4 players since 1940 who have won twice on the PGA Tour before they have turned 22. The others: Woods 6, Garcia 3, Gamez 2 while Spieth won his titles before he has turned 22.
Robert Gamez may seem the odd one out in that group. From Las Vegas he was 22 when first played on the PGA tour in 1989 winning twice that year. In 1998 he suffered a motor accident, his golf suffered since.
Woods is down to play at Augusta in April. Hope his Glutes are OK.
Best Performance by a New Zealander at the Masters
1996 Frank Nobilo 4th
1963 Bob Charles 15th
What about Stevie Williams?
Some Masters Tit Bits
Autograph seeking is only allowed on the Washington Road side of the clubhouse, near where the golfers enter and exit the putting and short game practice area.
There are nearly 9000 free, yes FREE parking spaces available off Berckmans Road. (you all know where that is don’t you?)
While most Kiwi sports fans complain about the price and quality of food at major events, the Masters organisors are generous to the extreme with their fans. Check this out.
Sandwiches $1.50 and $3.00
Soda Drinks $1.50
Water and Iced Tea $1.50
But they are strict on other things.
Prohibited items on the course.
Cameras allowed only on practice days.
Flags and Banners
If you get caught buying of selling tickets you will be arrested. There is a restricted area 800 metres around the course where this activity is prohibited. You are even in trouble if you ask for free tickets.
The Green Jacket
Every member receives a Green Jacket when he is accepted as a member.
But only the current Champion is allowed to remove it from the course and then only for a year.
Masters winners are not members of the club.
Horton Smith’s jacket (he won the title twice in 1934 and 1936) was sold at auction in 2013 for $ 682.000.
Gary Player who won his first Masters in 1961 took his jacket home to South Africa and did not return it. It took some years of negotiation with the Committee before he was allowed to keep it and it is on display in Player’s personal museum.
Holes 11, 12, 13. The phrase was written in an article by Hubert Warren Wind for Sports Illustrated in 1958, reviewing Arnold Palmer’s victory. Stuck ever since.
Enjoy the Masters on Sky
Our Golfing World
The Latest Gizmo : The Orange Whip
The latest golfing training aid to have taken the sport by storm in the USA, is the Orange Whip.
Endorsed by some of the top teachers it has been a must have, for pros and top players and is ideal for every range of handicap player. It is not a cheap aid, set you back close to $230 with postage. Worth checking out on:
Latest in Shoes
Need a new pair of golf shoes? Check out the Nike TW’ 15 Flyweave. A Tiger Woods encouraged product. He wanted a state of the art shoe. It was developed from the one piece upper Nike basketball boot.
Slam dunk your putts. You will be a hit at Rarangi with a pair
Price $NZ 350.
Nike reports that the improved outsole is 3mm lower than previous models for greater ground contact. It revolves around Tiger’s hobbies of diving and spear fishing. The sole is like octopus beaks and the rubber in the heel like shark scales.
Comment from Tiger, too on this site.
i”ll be back soon with more Blog talk
May all your putts strike gravity on your first attempt.