Martin Vousden on Ladies

Aug 25 2017

Thought for the Day
People are more what they hide than what they show

The wimmin are doing good
At least a decade or so ago writers like me would often advise: If you really want to learn from Tour pros how to improve your game, don’t go to a men’s event but watch the women instead. The logic was twofold. First, the best men in the world play at a stratified level that we handicap hackers could never hope to replicate. It would be like visiting an exhibition by Manet or Degas and then trying to paint a masterpiece of our own. The most important thing to study at a men’s event, we argued, was the rhythm and timing of a smooth swinger like Ernie Els or Colin Montgomerie. As for the rest – forget it Buster, only in your dreams.

The women, in contrast, demonstrated pretty much the same clubhead speed as a reasonable male handicap golfer. They concentrated far more on hitting the ball straight because, unlike their counterparts on the US or European Tours, they didn’t have the strength to slash the ball out of a thick buried lie and still get it on or near the green. And then came putting. I once pondered as to why the best women in the world still could not match their male counterparts on the greens because there was no physiological reason why they should not; it was always a bit of a mystery.

usa solheim team

Watching the Solheim Cup, however, was further proof of just how much the women’s pro game has improved over the last decade or so. Golfers from both sides of the pond were hitting it both straight and long, recovering from any manner of hopeless positions and getting it close from just about anywhere on the course. And when it came to putting, the Americans at least, were as good as anyone – seemingly able to hole it from any part of the green almost at will. And that’s where this Solheim Cup (more…)

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Wayne “Radar” Riley profile

Aug 14 2017

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Gary Player: Technology is destroying golf

Aug 14 2017

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Martin Vousden at the 2017 Open

Jul 24 2017

Thought for the Day
It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company

Back from the dead
I was about to make a comparison between Jordan Spieth’s astonishing turnaround during the last nine holes of the Open Championship and Lazarus famously rising from the dead – but of course, every journalist in the country is probably doing exactly the same thing. The problem for we scribes is that Lazarus is the only well-known historical example of someone coming back from the deceased to which we can compare – Jon Snow’s unlikely revivication in last season’s Game of Thrones doesn’t really cut it.

jordan speith

But a resurrection it certainly was, almost without parallel in modern golf and it underlines what Paul McGinley said about Spieth being the fiercest competitor in modern golf. The difference between him and Tiger Woods is that Jordan manages to keep that competitive fire burning red-hot in his belly while never forgetting the (more…)

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Martin Vousden on The US Open and Balls

Jun 26 2017

Thought for the Day
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours a day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein

Six of one…
This year’s US Open has divided opinion like few others before – and this for what is often the most controversial major of the year for a plethora of reasons. It was played over a young course with no major pedigree but the standout fact is that champion Brooks Koepka equaled the lowest winning score to par (set by Rory McIlroy) at minus 16. Never before has anyone other than the champion finished in double digits under par but six others managed it at Erin Hills. And there was also the matter of Justin Thomas equalling the best ever US Open round of 63. And all this on a course of 7,700 yards with diabolically penalising rough.

Erin_Hills_Photo

If history repeats itself, which it has a tendency to do, the USGA will have a hissy fit of the vapours and next year’s venue, Shinnecock Hills, will be set up in such a way that 10-over par will win. So let us hope that before then the committee responsible for preparing the course stops to consider a few relevant facts. First, the scoring was better than (more…)

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Martin Vousden’s Column

May 30 2017

Thought for the Day
You cannot change what you refuse to confront

New broom sweeps clean
Keith Pelley took over as chief executive of the European Tour almost two years ago and had given the organisation exactly the shake-up it needed. But any successful chief exec, in addition to business acumen and flair, needs a healthy dose of good fortune. The last of these was delivered by Swedish golfer Alex Noren who stormed through the final round of the BMW Championship at Wentworth with a last day 62, a new course record, to win by two strokes. If Keith Pelley sits at his headquarters on Monday with a big smile on his face (and I’m prepared to bet that he will be in his office despite it being a bank holiday), he has earned the right to be just a tad self-congratulatory.

Keith Pelley

He looked at the BMW Championship, which the Tour regards as its flagship event, on a par with the Players Championship at Sawgrass, and wondered why it was not attracting the best players in the world, particularly home-grown stars like Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose. He was told that the Wentworth venue was not up to standard (more…)

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