Thought for the Day:
Remember that if you can’t be a good example then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning
Like no other
You will hear much talk over the next few days about how short the Merion golf course, venue for this week’s US Open, is but don’t be fooled. At just under 7,000 yards, a rarity in these days of bomb and gouge, its overall distance is modest, and it features many short holes, but it also has a few real beasts.
It has two par fours, for example, of more than 500 yards, and this includes the ferocious 18th, which is quite possibly the toughest closing hole in all of golf and which measures 521 yards. The par threes are pretty brutal, too, with three of them clocking in at 236, 246 and 256 yards. For most us that would be a driver and an iron but even for the best in the world we face the unusual prospect of seeing them with a wood in their hands at a one-shot hole.
You will also hear that accuracy will be at a premium and this is spot on, for three reasons. First, the fairways are going to be as narrow as 19 yards, and average only 23, which is tight even by the USGA’s unforgiving standards. Second, the gradation of rough we have seen in recent years, in which there is a first and second cut, has been (more…)
GoKart saves golfer’s life. Honest.
GoKarts to Okinawa
We’re just about to start supplying a distributor in Okinawa. OK it might not sound like the golfing hub of the universe but it is, in fact, a very important place.
The interesting thing about Okinawa, Japan, is that people who live there live longer (and FITTER) than anyone anywhere else on the planet. So…more time to play golf…and more time to enjoy their GoKarts. By all accounts the inhabitants are getting very excited, anticipating the first container to arrive. Things move a bit slower on Okinawa but it still doesn’t take them more than four hours to get round a golf course! (like it does us, every Sunday morning…)
Here’s to the pace of life staying slow, but GoKarts whizzing around the island keeping the inhabitants young. Perfect combo.
Why are Pirates called Pirates?
They just Aarrrrrrrrrrr.
Sorry. We’re in eye patch and cutlass mode having visited the rather wonderful Hoebridge Golf Centre in Woking, Surrey. As well as three golf courses it also has ‘Pirate Island’ an adventure golf area for kids (and slightly older kids, ahem) WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Just try getting round in level twos and you’ll soon be booking a putting lesson. That crocodile has a lot to answer for. Take a look here.
Sergiooooooops! Martin Vousden on the TPC.
Thought for the Day
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump
Crash and burn
We amateurs are well acquainted with the abject feeling of despair that comes from playing the last two holes in six over par – well, I certainly am. In fact, for many handicap golfers, finding increasingly imaginative ways of screwing up a good round is part of our DNA. It took me many years of gut-wrenching experience to learn how to stay, as the pros say, ‘in the moment’ and not let my brain race away with what might be achieved, and in the process make a complete pig’s ear of the last few holes.
You will, I am sure, be familiar with those intrusive thoughts along the lines of: ‘If I could manage no worse than a couple of bogies and a par over the last three, I’ll have a really good score.’ You will be equally familiar with the reality that as soon as these ideas pop into your head your swing goes to hell in a handcart and big numbers become the norm, even on holes you usually regard as among the easiest on the course. There is little consolation in the thought: ‘I was one-over par for the front nine,’ when it is immediately followed by: ‘But I made two double bogies and a triple in the last three.’
In my case salvation came many years ago after a particularly miserable conclusion to a round during which, for 15 holes I had played almost as well as I am capable, before imploding in a style that would make even John Daly envious. I will spare you the car-crash details but once I had the chance to calm down (it only took a few months) I was able, finally, to put a round of golf into some sort of perspective. I concluded that this is something I do for enjoyment but it does not define me or my career. In short, while I want to play well, I am now able to accept those (many) occasions when I don’t.
It is the same mentality that has helped me on the putting green, as a result of advice I received from a man far wiser than me. He pointed out that there are only two possibilities when you stand over a putt – you will hole it or miss it – and once you accept that the latter is possible but not disastrous, you hole considerably more.
I still hit far more bad shots than I should, and playing to my handicap is, more often than not, an unrealised ambition but I can usually take some comfort from a round, even if it’s only one good drive or a particularly tricky putt holed.
Sergio Garcia can have few such consolations because playing the last two holes in level par is an almost derisorily easy task for someone of his gifts. So to complete 17 and 18 in the Players’ Championship in six over, with three balls in the water, must be a mightily bitter pill to swallow. This will be especially true as the man who played those same holes in level par and lifted the trophy is Tiger Woods, with whom Sergio is unlikely to share a consolation glass of wine in the clubhouse. That these two men do not send each other Christmas cards is well-known, and they exchanged uncomplimentary views of each other again during the week. So for Sergio, the desire to win would have burned with even greater ferocity as it also represented a chance to stick it to The Man.
However bad your working days might be this week the chances are they will be better than Sergio’s on Sunday.
What do you think defines a real golfer? It is something I have been mulling over (again) while watching The Players’ but I’m sure you will have many suggestions of your own
1. Real Golfers do not tuck their golf glove into a rear trouser pocket while striding up the fairway
2. Real Golfers do not play pink, yellow or orange golf balls
3. Real golfers do not cry over their fourth putt
4. Real Golfers recognise that the game is about frustrated ambition, not consistent success
5. Real Golfers do not fling their golf clubs
6. Real Golfers judge their fellow players by the quality of their personality, and not their handicap
7. Real Golfers walk
8. Real Golfers use wooden (bio-degradable) tees, and not ones made from plastic
9. Real Golfers never resort to gamesmanship
10. Real Golfers don’t take a Mulligan
11. Real golfers do not scream: ‘Get in the hole’ or other inanities
Quote of the Week
Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within view of the law, but being a form of moral effort
Singalong with nannie…GoatKaraoke for a Friday
which might have prompted an impromptu karaoke at GoKart HQ this afternoon. Turns out we can all do very good goat impressions…with apologies to anyone we might have screamed down the phone to by mistake…