Page 1

SPECIAL REPORT: WHERE YOUR AFFILIATION FEES GO

A GUIDE TO GOLF IN QUEENSTOWN

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NEW CLUBS FOR ALL STYLES OF PLAY

HOW TO OWN YOUR SWING ▶

LYDIA KO'S SECRET PRACTICE DRILL

TURN MISSED GREENS INTO PARS ▶

THE TIGER ISSUE WHY WOODS' RETURN WAS A SUCCESS

WHAT TO LEARN FROM HIS SWING

WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN PREVIEW


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N E W T I T L E I S T 9 1 7 D R I V E R S . M A X I M U M D I S T A N C E, F O R G I V E N E S S A N D P R E C I S E A D J U S T A B I L I T Y. E x p e r i e n ce 9 1 7 d r i ve r s fo r yo u r s e l f. Vi s i t t i t l e i s t .co m . a u /9 1 7 to l e a r n m o re .


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“The lunar walls flanking the third and fourth holes of Joondalup Resort’s Dune nine give that loop its unique selling proposition.”

THE GOLF LIFE 16 Landscapes The Grange Golf Club, South Australia

18 Aussies Making Headlines Sam Brazel’s life-changing win

32 Conduct Unbecoming? Tour pros reveal their most amateurish moves

36 What Really Happened How a 5-cent piece potentially cost Paul Gow millions

38 The 8-Second Rule Are you standing over the ball too long?

154 Final Word

Surviving ‘The Jack’ Celebrity Classic

28 Undercover Tour Pro The culture shock of moving to America

30 Andrew Daddo Technology is not for everybody

34 Annabel Rolley Why Adelaide is the perfect fit for women’s golf

40 NZ Digest Playing on the South Island? Don’t forget Wanaka

EQUIPMENT 22 What’s Hot

A timeline of Tiger’s injury setbacks

Eight new clubs for all styles of play

OPINION

97 What’s In My Bag

12 Editor’s Letter The equipment silly season is here

20 Tony Webeck Holding it together on tour 8

26 Steve Keipert

Bryson Dechambeau’s single-length sticks

112 Look Good, Play Better The latest women’s equipment and apparel from golf’s leading brands

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

22


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Contents 02/17

FEATURES 42 Course Review: The Vintage, NSW With a golf course as brash and powerful as the man who codesigned it, The Vintage is ripe in all seasons. By Steve Keipert

46 Special Report: Where Your Affiliation Fees Go Senior writer Rohan Clarke enquired about what happens to the millions of dollars in affiliation fees raised by the nation’s club golfers.

52 Travel: Western Australia With three distinct golf regions, a fleet of rising stars and an innovative tournament debuting this month, Western Australia is golf’s new must-go destination. By Steve Keipert

70 Cover Story: Hello (Again), World! Why Tiger’s comeback can be hailed a success – and what he needs to do to reignite his Major chase with Jack Nicklaus. By Jaime Diaz

76 A One-Man Club How a knockabout Aussie transformed 100 acres of farmland into his own private golf course. By Matthew Pitt

84 Your Guide To Golf In Queenstown Golf is just one item on Queenstown’s buffet of breathtaking adventures but here’s why it should be the No.1 choice for you. By Evin Priest

100 Course Review: Maroochy River Revisited Almost two years after its relocation from Horton Park Golf Club to a new home at Bli Bli, this Queensland layout is maturing into the course Graham Marsh hoped it could be. By Tony Webeck

104 Women’s Australian Open Preview Why Lydia Ko has a point to prove at this year’s national open at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. By Martin Blake

116 Club Membership Promotion The secret to driving membership numbers in Australia – and a selection of the clubs you can join today.

42

109 Lydia Ko

“Copy the feel of this release pattern when you play and your pitching will improve.”

PLAY YOUR BEST 74 Tiger’s New Swing What you can learn from Woods 2.0

109 Lydia Ko: Pure Pitching The world No.1’s secret practice drill can help you

110 Jenny Shin: Bunker Basics Here’s why I led the LPGA Tour in sand saves

124 Smylie Kaufman:

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Playing from a greenside collection area

133 Jack Nicklaus Club selection on the tee

134 Butch Harmon Turn missed greens into pars

135 David Leadbetter My grip trick to help start putts online

Own Your Swing

136 Nick O’Hern

Follow my four fundamentals for better scores

Mastering your pre-shot routine is key for consistency

128 Cameron

138 Jason Laws

McCormick: Wedge Play

Five quick drills to make you a better golfer in 2017

How to stiff your shots from 100m 10

132 Tom Watson


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Editor’s Letter

Editor-in-Chief @bradcliffo

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australiangolfdigest.com.au

Priority 1: Winning or wealth? T’S ironic we titled this edition of AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST “The Tiger Issue”. The man directly responsible for injecting more commercial dollars into the sport than any other player returned to the spotlight over Christmas to ignite one of the craziest player contract movements in living memory. Woods – forever synonymous with Nike golf – shocked the golf world when he announced he was switching to the Bridgestone golf ball after making a semisuccessful comeback at his Hero World Challenge event in December. But before we had time to digest the news, swoosh, more equipment bombshells were dropped. World No.1 Jason Day followed in the footsteps of his childhood hero by signing a lucrative apparel deal with Nike. While Day will continue to use TaylorMade clubs, his pay packet for wearing that famous tick will dwarf any prizemoney he wins in the foreseeable future. Then there was two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, who caught everyone off guard by adding a pink Volvik ball to his arsenal. While the colour wasn’t so much a shock, the choice of ball – having forged its reputation on the women’s tours – certainly was and is a major coup for a company staring at a David-and-Goliath battle in the golf ball market. No stranger to equipment headlines, Rory McIlroy was at it again, reportedly (at the time of print) deciding on a mixed bag for 2017 that will include Callaway woods and irons, Titleist ball and wedges and an Odyssey putter. It appears the world No.2 is content with being a free agent for now, allowing him the freedom to tinker with his bag. To put that in perspective, if McIlroy knocks Day off top spot this year he will become the first world No.1 without an equipment contract since Nick Price in 1995. Not to be outdone, women’s world No.1 Lydia Ko – after ditching her coach and caddie – made it a trifecta in as many months by cutting ties with Callaway and signing with emerging golf hardware company PXG. Oh Tiger, what have you done? Sixteen years after Woods signed a groundbreaking $100 million deal with Nike, the number of equipment companies has shrunk. Nike has stopped making clubs and balls. TaylorMade is for sale, and most say the new owners will be more costconscious. All that leaves some wondering

I

12

EDITORIAL editor-in-chief

if the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually on player endorsements might be contributing to the consolidation of the equipment industry, which still showers players with money to play their gear. One tour rep for an equipment company we spoke to recently said as much: “I’ve got absolutely no doubt that if money wasn’t a factor, 90 per cent of the tour would be using our gear.” In truth, it’s a claim a handful of companies could make, but sadly they may never know. The goal posts have moved. Prosperity now overrides performance. But if you’re as talented as Day, McIlroy and Ko, you can still have both. Yet McIlroy's case is an intriguing one. You sense he feels like he has enough money now and it's all about winning. Could this lead him to walk into Drummond Golf and buy the perfect club off the floor? Don't laugh.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

5 products that'll shake up 2017 1 Callaway Epic driver The company’s latest bomber is excelling in our Hot List testing with its “Jailbreak Technology”. 2 Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1x golf balls Always a much-anticipated launch, this year’s Pro V1 promises to raise the bar in performance yet again on the back of 188 worldwide victories in 2016. 3 Cobra One-Length irons Bryson DeChambeau has started a craze that’s sure to catch on Down Under. Intrigued by the concept, Australia’s Cobra-Puma category manager Jason Louey put them in play for 18 holes and shot 2-under. “The best I’ve played in years,” he says. 4 TaylorMade M metal family All-new multi-material construction saves weight, repositions the centre of gravity, and increases adjustability. This can only mean one thing – more distance. Just watch Jason Day and Dustin Johnson this year. 5 The Tiger Woods Range We’re crystal balling here but after initially having his name thrown up as a potential buyer of TaylorMade, and Nike leaving the hardware business, the time seems right for Tiger to release his own sticks. It’s also likely to be his most lucrative option moving forward.

senior writer writer-at-large us pga tour editor contributing columnists

Brad Clifton brad@cmma.com.au +61 2 8197 3704 Steve Keipert stevek@cmma.com.au +61 2 8197 3703 Rohan Clarke Tony Webeck Evin Priest Greg Norman Grant Dodd Andrew Daddo David West

Nick O'Hern Geoff Armstrong Annabel Rolley

contributing professionals

Jordan Spieth Tom Watson David Leadbetter Butch Harmon Sean Foley

Rickie Fowler Phil Mickelson Bubba Watson Jack Nicklaus Jason Laws

online manager online producer

Erin Rollestone Jodie Raitt

art director

EXECUTIVE TEAM managing director Nick Cutler nick@cmma.com.au +61 2 8197 3710 creative director Rob Loughridge finance manager Trish Motion ADVERTISING advertising manager Stephen Louis victoria, tasmania stephen@cmma.com.au south australia +61 420 532 160 advertising manager David Giannuzzi nsw/wa davidg@cmma.com.au +61 2 8197 3712 advertising manager Gary Ward queensland gary@cmma.com.au 0422 439 368 account Kate McNamara manager kate@cmma.com.au +61 2 8197 3706 classifieds Mark Turjman advertising mark@cmma.com.au +61 2 8188 3578 advertising manager Peter Curtin international & peter@cmma.com.au special projects 0409 337 736 printed by Bluestar WEB print post approved 100021408 issn 1324-7476 SUBSCRIPTIONS website www.magshop.com.au/golf phone 136 116 email magshop@magshop.com.au postage Free to reply, Reply Paid 5252 Sydney NSW 2001

Australian Golf Digest is published by CMMA Digital & Print Pty Ltd (ABN 481 622 024 59) 40 – 44 Red Lion Street Rozelle NSW 2039. Copyright 2016 – CMMA Digital & Print Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. Australian Golf Digest contains material reprinted with permission from Golf Digest (USA Edition) Copyright© 2012 The Golf Digest Companies. All rights reserved. Golf Digest is a registered trademark of The Golf Digest Companies, which is a subsidiary of Advance Publications, Inc. CMMA Digital & Print Pty Ltd is the exclusive English language licensee of The Golf Digest Companies in Australia and New Zealand. CMMA Digital & Print Pty Ltd collects your personal information to assist us in providing the goods or services you have requested, to process your competition entries, and to improve our products and services. We or any of our Australian related companies may be in touch by any means (including e-mail or SMS) at any time to let you know about goods, services, or promotions which may be of interest to you. We may also share your information with other persons or entities who assist us in providing our services, running competitions or with other companies who provide prizes for competitions or reader offers. We would like to share your information with these overseas-related companies so that they can contact you with special offers. If you would prefer us not to, please contact our privacy officer at australiangolfdigest@cmma.com.au or send to Privacy Officer 40-44 Red Lion Street Rozelle NSW 2039. You can gain access to your personal information by contacting our privacy officer.


Caption this!

How would you caption this photo of Tiger Woods congratulating Hideki Matsuyama on winning his Hero World Challenge tournament in The Bahamas? E-mail your entry to australiangolfdigest@cmma.com.au and we’ll publish the best answer in our next issue. Get thinking!

This issue’s caption winner will receive a KING wed and player towel, courtesy of Cobra Puma Golf.

Congratulations Darren Spicer for this funny take on Prince Harry trying his luck at golf on a recent whirlwind trip. Darren, your Cobra King wedge and towel are on their way!

“Eeek! Do o you think Nan wil will ll notice there's one less corgi?” 14

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

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Phone: (02) 9011 7580 E-mail: australiangolfdigest@cmma.com.au Web: australiangolfdigest.com.au Address: 40-44 Red Lion St, Rozelle NSW 2039

• LETTER OF THE MONTH

Better late than never

FINDING golf in retirement with a friend has been great and a terrific way to keep fit and healthy. The weekly aerobic workout I get while looking for my elusive golf ball took me by complete surprise at first but now I’m reaping the benefits. Reading AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST has really opened my eyes to the sport in today’s world. Gaining knowledge is improving my game and not taking golf too seriously certainly adds to the enjoyment of my rounds. I’ve learnt, as I get older, distance becomes harder. There’s now a real premium on accuracy to make those pars. My mate and I live on the Mid North Coast and are just spoilt with magnificent weather and great courses. We both play with old clubs and, one at a time, are upgrading our gear as we get better. I find it’s probably the best way to go without breaking the bank, plus we can research clubs through AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST and ‘try before we buy’. While we played golf many years ago, with the kids no longer at home these days it’s nice to be able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and see some beautiful wildlife and scenery. It’s particularly great the kangaroos don’t mind us playing through, even though I accidentally hit one recently. He stood up and gave me a dirty look before going back to what he was doing. The moral of the story is if you retired folk have the time to give golf a try – just do it! It’s a great game that will reward you in spades … or should I say clubs. Leigh Harvey, Coffs Harbour, NSW

THIS MONTH’S WINNER Congratulationss to Leigh, who wins a Cobra F6 Hybrid d, courtesy of Cobra Puma Golf.

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The Golf Life | Landscapes

16 australiangolfdigest.com.au

| february 2017


The Grange Keeps Growing ALK about momentum. If we were to rank Australia’s leading golf facilities on the variety they offered, Adelaide’s Grange Golf Club would figure heavily in the conversation. First, there’s the redesigned Greg Norman East course that has complemented the neighbouring West course with aplomb since its completion in 2012. Ranked 47th in Australia, the East course has received rave reviews from members and visitors and is tipped to throw down the challenge to its higher-ranked sister (No.44) in AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST’s next Top 100 Courses ranking. After this news was the installation of brand new locker room facilities and a state-of-the-

T

art gymnasium – the first 5-star gym of its kind for a private golf club in Australia. That little windfall for members was quickly backed up with the news the club would host the 2016 Women’s Australian Open – a test it passed with flying colours as the world’s best female players put on a show around the West course. And then the reward that should bode well for all forward-thinking clubs in the future: “Season 2015/16 was the most successful membership induction year on record at The Grange,” says the club’s marketing manager Elle Eckermann. “Over the past 12 months the club has welcomed 151 new members, an astounding 81 more than budget. This even exceeds last year’s previously set record of

142 inductions. This is a fantastic result and a testament to all that The Grange has to offer the golfing community.” Eckermann says a large majority of the success is undoubtedly attributable to the enormous exposure received from hosting the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. “It was the most successful Women’s Australian Open in history with record crowds at The Grange – something we’re extremely proud of.” THE GRANGE GOLF CLUB White Sands Drive, Grange SA 5022 Phone: (08) 8355 7100 Web: grangegolf.com.au

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 17


The Golf Life Aussies Making Headlines by Rohan Clarke

Newsmaker of the Month

Sam Brazel

IRDIED the 72nd hole at the UBS Hong Kong Open to win his maiden professional title. The 37-year-old from Lismore in northern New South Wales sank an eight-footer to close with a 68 and finish on 13-under par, one shot clear of Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello. With six players tied for the lead late on Sunday, Brazel produced four birdies over his final eight holes. His 3 at the last was just the second birdie of the day on the tricky 18th. Having never finished inside the top-10 in 16 European Tour appearances, Brazel collected $US333,330 from an event co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour. Victory lifted him from 480th to 147th on the Official World Golf Ranking and he now has a two-year exemption in Europe. He joins an illustrious group of Australians to win at Hong Kong Golf Club: Peter Thomson (1960, 1965, 1967), Kel Nagle (1961), Frank Phillips (1966, 1973), Greg Norman (1979, 1983) and Scott Hend (2014). “It’s been a long time coming,” said Brazel, who struggled through dark times after the sudden loss of his partner to bacterial meningitis in 2009. “I’ve been playing good but it’s been a bit of a struggle with the old irons. But I got set up with a new set of clubs and it’s all sort of turned around.”

B

HEAD JASON DAY: Ended 2016 as the world’s No.1ranked golfer, a feat Tiger Woods achieved on 12 occasions. Day also picked up the Greg Norman Medal for the second successive year as Australia’s best performing tour professional on the international stage. PETER THOMSON: Bestowed with Immortal status by the PGA of Australia at the Greg Norman Medal dinner. The 87-year-old is the inaugural honouree, having won five British Open championships and serving as chairman of the PGA for 32 years.

GETTY IMAGES: PAUL LAKATOS/ASIAN TOUR / CONTRIBUTOR

CURTIS LUCK: Named the Emerging Athlete of the Year at the AIS Sport Performance Awards. ANDREW DODT: Shot a bogey-free final round of 69 to finish second in the Australian PGA Championship, two strokes adrift of American Harold Varner III at RACV Royal Pines Resort. The following week Dodt tied for third at the UBS Hong Kong Open. MATTHEW GRIFFIN: Rewarded with a place in this year’s British Open at Royal Birkdale 18

after the 33-year-old clinched the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia’s Order of Merit with prizemoney of $239,445. SCOTT HEND: Crowned the 2016 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion. The 43-year-old is the first Australian to win the title, finishing with earnings of $US1,004,792. JAMIE ARNOLD AND STEVE ALLAN: Survived final stage qualifying for the Web. com Tour to guarantee starts in the first eight events of 2017. Sydney’s Arnold tied for 19th while former Australian Open champion Allan was equal 35th. STEVEN CONRAN: Fired three consecutive 71s to win the Australian Legends Tour Championship at Byron Bay. Peter Senior had led with seven holes to play but withdrew with the chronic hip injury that saw him retire from the Australian Open. DYLAN PERRY (NSW) AND ALIZZA HETHERINGTON (VIC): Won their respective men’s and women’s Victorian Amateur Championship at Woodlands Golf Club.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

OATES VIC OPEN: Received an increase in combined prizemoney to $1 million, shared evenly between the men’s and women’s fields when they return to Thirteenth Beach on the Bellarine Peninsula (February 9-12). ISPS HANDA WORLD SUPER 6 PERTH: Announced ISPS Handa as its title partner for the inaugural event at Lake Karrinyup (February 16-19). BRIAN THORBURN [below]: Departed from the PGA of Australia after serving six years as its chief executive officer.


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The Golf Life Opinion by Tony Webeck

Holding It Together On Tour

& #   3 2 & - 0  5 ' 2 &  & ' 1 # ! * # ! 2 ' !  ! - + 0  " # 1  ' ,  1 +  , '   *  1 2  1 . 0 ' , % Ż

Managing personalities on a golf trip is far tougher than all the planning REGRETTED it the instant it happened. It was day five of the Roaring 40s Golf Tour and after drinking a skinful of James Boag’s Draught at the Melbourne Cup and a couple more at the Atrium Bar at Crown Casino, our merry band of eight was trying to determine what culinary treat would serve us best. Truth be told, our group was down to seven, as one had already stormed off into the night and those remaining decided that burgers were the best option. Until we got to the burger bar, of course, where half the group decided they now wanted something different. Call it the stress of coordinating a tour consisting of extraordinary golf at Barnbougle Dunes, Cape Wickham, Ocean Dunes and a day at the ‘race that stops the nation’, but I cracked. I shouldn’t have, and given the week we were having and the company I was in, I knew it straight away. But that’s the thing about cracking anything; unless you are making an omelette it’s almost always something you wish you could have avoided. I’ve seen it on other tours and it’s more often than not the host who has a momentary lapse, cracks it at those who apparently are finding great mirth in their torment and utters the phrase, “That’s it, you can bloody well organise it yourselves next year.”

I

20

After my mini-outburst we relocated upstairs, everyone ordered burgers and the boys bought me an espresso martini and a Long Island iced tea as either a way of apologising or to in fact highlight the ridiculousness of my behaviour. When I set about planning the Roaring 40s Golf Tour in January 2016 as a way of commemorating turning the big 4-0, the criteria for selection was a love of golf and a temperament that would contribute to the lowest number of emotional outpourings as possible. The dynamic of a touring party is everything. In putting together a successful golf trip, and given the good folk at Air Adventure Golf Tours were doing the majority of the heavy lifting, my two basic roles were that of selection committee and treasurer. The money was managed to the point where we were all paid up with a little left over, but getting right the dynamic of eight very different personalities was my most critical assignment. We had two alpha males in

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

our group, one of whom also doubled as the perennially disorganised tourist, including arriving in Melbourne with golf clubs wrapped in a beach towel and gaffer tape and with the belief that he had, in fact, packed only one golf shoe. (He later found the other.) We had the competitive nondrinker, who with previous associations with only two of the group had no qualms watching the rest of us drink more than we should. He would head to bed nice and early, wake up toxin-free and then spend 45 minutes on the putting green as the rest of us wrestled with what poached eggs might do to our constitution before later taking our money. There was the tourist who is as deliberate with his twofooters as he is with the creases in his pants, and who will happily sit down and settle in for a mug of flat white as the rest of his group makes their way to the first tee. We had the interested observer who took great delight in dissecting the various

relationship dichotomies at play, the compulsory lowmaintenance tourist who is happy to be there – wherever ‘there’ is – and he of light relief who can entice a smirk at worst of any member of the group at almost any time of the trip. And we all got on swimmingly. Yes, there was some vigorous tossing of clubs, a couple of disputed rulings, some pointed sledging and a spilled glass of water at dinner that threatened to result in fisticuffs, but nothing that threatened to cause a long-lasting rift. Even my little outburst was short-lived. We ate, we drank, we ridiculed and by the time we walked off the dancefloor at Groove all was forgiven. All there is to do now is sit back and wait to see who is going to put their hand up for next year’s extravaganza … and whether I’ll be invited. So if you like the look of AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST’s tour of the ‘Big 5’ [see page 65], be the type of traveller everyone else wants to travel with, and please go easy on our Annabel.


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Play Your Best Equipment

You Have Options New clubs for all styles of play O YOU want your new clubs singleuse or multipurpose? For example, are you partial to a driver or fairway metal that’s big and forgiving or one that allows you to tweak an array of settings? Do you want irons designed to launch it high and far, or do you want a compact head that lets you control trajectory? Even in wedges, you can choose between larger heads with wider soles and limited lofts or models that offer multiple lofts, sole designs and bounce configurations. Knowing what you want from your wedges, irons and metals is the first step towards knowing what kinds of clubs should be in your bag. Here are eight you should try.

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!* # 4# *  ," rtx- 3 b l a d e ▶ A revamped hosel shifts weight towards the toe. That moves the sweet spot in line with the centre of gravity for better consistency across its 18 lofts and three sole grinds.

▶ There’s only one sole grind and fewer lofts (16) than the RTX-3 Blade, but it adds forgiveness with a larger size and a vibrationdamping insert in the back cavity.

22

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

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'2* # ' 12 9 1 7 Fair ways ▶ We all love customisation and the new Titleist 917 fairways provide more distance and forgiveness with the most precise customisation available to dedicated golfers of all skill levels. Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 models, like their 917 driver counterparts, are designed using new patented Active Recoil Channel 2.0 and SureFit CG technology to produce an uncompromising combination of distance, forgiveness awnd trajectory control with tour-preferred looks, sound and feel. er increased Titleist 917 fairways delive ball speed for more distance e with superior ng adjustability forgiveness, industry-leadin with optimised trajectory control, and tourinspired sound and feel through a range of features including Active Re ecoil Channel ƏƐ kŻiż SDE?D =?PERAHU ^ATTAO =J@ NA?KEHO =P EIL=?P PK H=QJ?D PDA >=HH KY K PDA B=?A distance. The with higher speed for more d gn, featuring a improved sole channel desig h a hollow core, unique elastomer insert with LNK@Q?AO CNA=PAN B=?A ^ATE>EHEPU BKN = IKNA ?KJOEOPAJP @A^A?PEKJ PD=P EJ?NA=OAO OLAA@ across the face. Titleist also uses a variable thickness face insert, tuned with ARC 2.0 PK @AHERAN CNA=PAN KYƄ?AJPNA >=HH OLAA@ BKN s the face. The more overall distance across high-speed, forged insert is thinner around PDA LANEIAPANż EJ?NA=OEJC ^ATE>EHEPU BKN IKNA @EOP=J?A KJ KYƄ?AJPNA DEPOŻ gn, with a low A precise, high-MOI desig elivers stability centre of gravity location, de JC KYƄ?AJPNA =J@ BKNCERAJAOO >U LNAOANREJ Aż IKNA K_AJż >=HH OLAA@ BKN IKNA @EOP=J?A ding Sure eFit while Titleist’s industry-lead weight system Hosel and new SureFit CG w @AHERAN PDA QHPEI=PA EJ LNA?EOEKJ [PPEJC BKN every player. Incredibly, for the club golffer, the 917’s IA PULA =@FQOP=>HA PA?DJKHKCEAO KYANN PDA O=I n the Title eist Tour of customisation available on =JŻ  EPHAEOPƄ=QPDKNEOA@ [PPPAN SEHH QPEHEOA G, couple ed SureFit Hosel and SureFit CG IEJA = SEPD EJPAN?D=JCA=>HA OD=_Oż PK @APANI player’s optimal setup so theyy are playying a rjp B=ENS=U PD=P EO [P LNA?EOAHHU PK PDAENN OSEJCŻ ANAJ?AO K SD=P =NA PDA I=EJ @EYA models? The T between the two available m ayability 917F2 model provides all-around pla with forgiveness and more distance in a I H=NCAN LNK[HA B=ENS=UŻ rjpk KYANO IKNA us 917F3 for a spin and higher launch versu higher trajectory. (Available in 13.5º, 15º, joŻnƢż jqƢ =J@ kjƢ HK_OŻƐ Meanwhile, the 917F3 model provides and more e versatility with shot control a A B=ENS=UUŻ rjpl @EOP=J?A EJ = ?KIL=?P LNK[HA k BKN = IK KNA KYANO HAOO OLEJ RANOQO rjpk boring trajectory. (Available in 13.5 and jnƢ HK_OŻƐ n Titleist 917 fairways are avvailable now golf shop ps with through Titleist-authorised g P) of $439 in a suggested retail price (SRP ealand. Australia and $499 in New Ze

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Play Your Best Equipment 7 *-0   "# M2 Irons â–ś As clubhead dimensions continue to get thinner across the face and topline, the challenge to design an iron with best-in-class sound and feel becomes IKNA=J@IKNA@Ed?QHPĹťQP=UHKN=@AAJCEJAANO D=RAQPEHEOA@PA?DJKHKCEAO[NOP@ARAHKLA@EJ K?GAPH=@AVENKJOĆ?LAA@K?GAPĆ?ĹźPDA=?AHKPO EJPNK@Q?A@EJPDAEENKJO=J@=JQHPN=Ć„HKS?AJPNAKB CN=REPUĆ?H=OPUA=NĆ›OkĆ?ĹźAYA?PERAHU?KI>EJEJCPDAI in one product to produce a remarkably long and forgiving iron while maintaining playability. The key to unlocking performance in the new kENKJOEO=?KI>EJ=PEKJKBHKS =J@I=TEIQI ĹťKNAT=ILHAĹźARAJSDEHA=@@EJC=?AHKPO Ć?SDE?DOHECDPHUN=EOA Ć?ĹźAJCEJAANOD=RA>AAJ=>HAPK HKSAN =J@EILNKRA?KJOEOPAJ?U>US=UKBOARAN=H OECJE[?=JP?D=JCAOĹźEJ?HQ@EJC=llLAN?AJPPDEJJAN KRAN=HHPKLHEJAĹźpLAN?AJPOD=HHKSAN>H=@ADAECDP=J@ =kiLAN?AJP@AALANLAA@K?GAPSEPDllLAN?AJP PDEJJANBNKJPS=HHBKNARAJIKNA^ATE>EHEPUĹť JCEJAANO=HOK@ARAHKLA@=JASPDEJJANĹźSE@ANOETĆ„ OE@A@^QPA@DKOAHPD=PO=RAOnCN=IOĆ??KIL=NA@PKl EJPDAKNECEJ=HkENKJĆ?Ĺź=HHKSEJCBKNPDANALKOEPEKJEJC of 2 grams of discretionary weight lower in the clubhead. The new hosel bend slot also allows for a liLAN?AJPEILNKRAIAJPEJ>AJ@EJCĹť The new M2 irons were designed employing =UHKN=@AĆ›OJASĆ™ AK?KQOPE?Ć›AJCEJAANEJC PA?DJEMQAOĹž=?KQOPE?OPQJA@PDNKQCDCAKIAPNUĆ… better feel through geometry, better sound through lĆ„@=ILEJC=J@=JKLPEIEOA@NE>OPNQ?PQNAPK create ideal frequencies for pleasing sound and feel. This is accomplished through the incorporation of HECDPSAECDP=J@?=N>KJ[>NAPKEJ?NA=OANECE@EPU and improve sound absorption of the badge. R=EH=>HA=PNAP=EHKJ =JQ=NUkpĹźkENKJOSEHH>A KYANA@EJmĆ„ENKJPDNKQCDĹťH=UANOSEHHD=RA=?DKE?A KBPDA qq>UOPAAHOD=_OĆ?ĹźĆ?KNPDAk CN=LDEPAOD=_OĆ?pnĆ„mnCƕşşşĆ?EJ=@@EPEKJPK JQIANKQO=@@EPEKJ=H?QOPKIOD=_KLPEKJOĹť

7 *- 0 " #  M 1 I ro n s â–ś Complementing the M2 irons are the all-new M1 irons, an entirely new line that completes

the company’s M family of product. The intention while designing the M1 irons was to bring as much of the speed, forgiveness and playability of the M2 but deliver it to the player who prefers a slightly more compact look along with additional control and workability. This was achieved by using many of the same technologies as M2 while adding a tungsten weighting system to allow for more freedom PK?NA=PAPDAOD=LAOJAA@A@SEPDKQPO=?NE[?EJCHKSƄ şKN ŝ As with any centre of gravity optimisation equation, discretionary mass is the currency which engineers necessitate. Through the EJ?KNLKN=PEKJKBQJCOPAJş=UHKN=@AS=O=>HAPKHK?=PAPDA HAOOPD=JjIIBNKI?AJPNAB=?A=HKJC PDA DAAHƄPKA =TEO =O SAHH =O @NKLPDARANPE?=HLKOEPEKJKBPDA EJPDAlPDNKQCDpƄENKJOŝDA?KIL=JUD=O=HOKNA@AOECJA@EPO^QPA@ DKOAHş SDE?D EO JKS = jqiƞ design that has successfully accomplished weight savings without compromising the look preferred by better players at address. J?KNLKN=PA@EJPK=UHKN=@AƛOjENKJO=NAPDA?KIL=JUƛOLNKLNEAP=NU=?AHKPOşSDE?D=NA@AOECJA@ PK EJ?NA=OA ^ATE>EHEPU =P PDA>KQJ@=NUKBPDA?HQ>B=?APKEILNKRA?KJOEOPAJ?UKB>=HHOLAA@KJKYƄ?AJPANEIL=?POŝDAU=HOK>K=OP IKNA NA[JA@ LAA@ K?GAP A?DJKHKCUş=OHKPEJPDAOKHAPD=PEOEJPAJ@A@PKEJ?NA=OAB=?A^ATE>EHEPU=J@LNKPA?P>=HHOLAA@KJEIL=?PO >AHKS B=?A ?AJPNA SDEHA increasing launch angle and ball speed EIEH=NPKPDAJASkENKJOşPDAjENKJO=HOKEILHAIAJP=UHKN=@AƛO AK?KQOPE?AJCEJAANEJCŞPDA ?KIL=JUƛO [J >=@CA EO = BA=PQNA PD=PSKNGOEJ?KJFQJ?PEKJSEPD=?AHKPOPK@=ILAJQJS=JPA@HKSƄBNAMQAJ?UşHKJC@QN=PEKJOKQJ@Oŝ DA OKQJ@ KB PDA j EO KLPEIEOA@ QOEJCPDEJUAPOPEYDA=@CAKIAPNU?KI>EJA@SEPDOPN=PACE?=HHULH=?A@NAEJBKN?AIAJPOEJPDAPKLHEJAŝ For more information, go to taylormadegolf.com.au

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australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2015 2017


“The ball is # 1. The most important item in the bag is the ball. ”

Switch to the B330-S and IHHO ZKDW LW·V OLNH WR JDLQ accuracy, distance and a decisive advantage. <RX FDQ·W EHDW WKH SDFN E\ SOD\LQJ WKH VDPH EDOO DV WKH SDFN

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The Golf Life Opinion by Steve Keipert

The array of offbeat and madcap outfits on display is the event’s hallmark. Back at ‘The Jack’

Jack Newton’s annual preChristmas gathering remains one of golf’s hottest tickets N A game of infinite unpredictabilities, there’s a certain comfort in the things you can count on. Each December falls an event in golf like no other. The Jack Newton Celebrity Classic – now officially know by its nickname, ‘The Jack’ – is the sport’s unofficial Christmas party. A gathering of a couple of hundred players spanning professionals, celebrities, sponsors, everyday amateurs plus friends and associates of the man who founded the event, in many ways The Jack represents everything great about this game. Yes, it can get a little wild. The 36-hole golf competition is semi-serious at best while the dress code is downright casual. The array of offbeat and madcap outfits on display is the event’s hallmark. In late December I made my eighth appearance at The Jack, spanning 15 years, three different venues and two states. The 2016 edition might have been the best one yet. Jack definitely has a loyal following for his year-end frivolities and seeing familiar faces – many of which remain unseen for the full 12 months between stagings – is an indicator of just how quickly a year can evaporate. Former AFL player and ‘Jack’ regular Richard Champion refers to it as a “family” and his description is apt. And the great news is any keen golfer can become part of it.

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Many elements you know will recur. In his openingnight address, Jack Newton will undoubtedly remind participants that the two-anda-half-day event is more like the lengthy Melbourne Cup than the fast-paced Golden Slipper. And an ailing Bob Hawke’s annual rendition of “Waltzing Matilda” simply has to be seen and heard to be believed. What began as a once off for the tournament patron is now a tradition that tingles the spine every time you witness it. Evolving later was the tradition of prize winners taking a post-presentation plunge into the swimming pool while fully clothed. Unhappy at the number of garments being discarded before entry one year at Cypress Lakes, former rugby league player Don McKinnon sparked a minor controversy when he began hurling shoes, keys and wallets in after them. At least one pair of $500 shoes took an unscheduled dip. In 38 years, The Jack has raised almost $7 million for the two charities that motivate the host: junior golf and diabetes research. That Matt Stieger, a past product of Jack Newton Junior Golf, captured the 2016 tournament is testament to the efforts of Newton and his loyal followers these past four decades.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

The charity component cannot be overstated. Jack’s daughter, Kristie, designed a new logo for the event that reinforces the intertwining elements of the tournament: charity, golf and people. Each year participants are touched by the heartfelt stories of diabetes sufferers whose tales serve as powerful reminders of that disease’s rising impact on society. Yet we’re simultaneously uplifted by the stories of the top juniors who participate in the event and provide a window to the future stars we’re likely to be seeing on the world stage in the years to come. Running concurrently with The Jack last December was the Ladies European Tour’s qualifying tournament in Morocco at which Celina Yuan became the first JNJG junior to ever successfully navigate a qualifying school on any circuit before the age of 18. Parallel with the serious side of The Jack is the not-so serious aspect. Without putting too fine a point on it, this is a golf event where the 15th club in the bag is a spare liver. Some participants revel in the nighttime functions a little too hard and pay the price the next day. Others are more resilient – at least to begin with. My favourite story in this department came a dozen years

or more ago when, after a dismal first round, veteran Queensland pro Ryan Haller declared to all at our table during the mid-tournament dinner that he intended to show up for his 6.30am tee-time straight from the bar. Upon seeing Haller the next afternoon, I asked whether he in fact made it to the tee on no sleep and a system running on ample alcohol. “I sure did,” he replied. “And what did you shoot?” was my next question. “Just a 66,” he said with a grin. These days The Jack makes its home at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley after previous stints at nearby Cypress Lakes and Twin Waters on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Taking the event to Newton’s backyard in the New South Wales Hunter Valley a decade ago was a great fit, while the less-demanding Crowne Plaza course suits the many oncea-year golfers who participate while remaining an adequate challenge for the pros. The offcourse facilities – function rooms, accommodation, pool, etc. – are tough to top as well. You too can get in on the action next December, as the support of everyday golfers is paramount to the event’s continued success. Visit www.celebrityclassic. jacknewtongroup.com for more details.


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Opinion

Mr X

Attention Aussies: If you can’t talk American football, you won’t make many friends on the US PGA Tour.

Undercover Tour Pro Culture shock WAS always set on moving to America. Before I decided that I wanted to play golf for a living, I grew up listening to my parents, teachers and other professional people talk about the bigger opportunities here. No disrespect to the European Tour – I think the new CEO, Keith Pelley, is a smart guy who’s already initiated a lot of measures that have made it better – but the US PGA Tour is always going to have the richer purses. There’s just more corporate money around. I don’t see that changing in my lifetime. Orlando was the first place I paid rent in the USA. It seemed like on every corner there was a Burger King, a Denny’s and a really solid golf course I’d never heard of. With

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all the amusement parks, I was familiar with the city’s reputation as a popular spot for families to go on holiday. But it took a bit of traveling before I realised just how unlike the rest of the country Orlando really is. The north-east is so beautiful in summer. California is amazing. The winters stink for golf, but some of the states with the Rocky Mountains are my favourite. We live in Arizona now. My job requires good weather and reliable airports, and I like that we can see the mountains from our terrace. Besides driving on the right-hand side of the road, the most difficult cultural adjustment was simply getting into conversations. I’m a native English speaker, so language wasn’t the problem. But if you

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

can’t talk football, you won’t make many friends on the US PGA Tour. The same goes for basketball, the college level more than pro. Baseball, not as much, which surprised me. “SportsCenter” is playing in our locker room at every tournament, and a lot of guys turn it on when they’re killing time in the hotel room, too. I’ve given up trying to get Americans interested in, let alone to understand, rugby and cricket. I love it when I get paired with an international player who can chat about this stuff, but to stay sane I’ve had to learn the sports here. I’ve even adopted favourite teams, mostly for random reasons. My favourite football team is from the city where I won a big event. I suppose I should root for the St Louis Cardinals, but this allegiance was established before we bought in Arizona. A lot of the pros from the southern states tell hunting and fishing stories to each other. Sometimes those will last four

or five holes. I didn’t grow up with guns, so it’s pretty hard for me to connect with that crew. And those guys aren’t exactly going to make much of an effort to include you. I’m not trying to make it sound like we’re all shallow people, but in more than a dozen years I’ve never talked to another pro about a book he’s read. Not once. With the presidential campaign last year you heard some political discussions, but more in the manner of it being a sport, as that seems to be the way news outlets cover elections here. It’s all about the matchup. When I first moved to America, I had it in the back of my mind I’d eventually move back to near where I grew up. I never imagined having much desire to stick around and play PGA Tour Champions events, which hasn’t changed. But the thing is, my kids are American. We’re rooted here. I can’t talk to them about cricket, either. – WITH MAX ADLER


The Golf Life Opinion by Andrew Daddo

Tech No!

Not all gifts result in Yuletide joy for the golfplaying recipient HERE is no truth that this is about my mother. None whatsoever. But it involves a lady of her vintage; a 70-something with a love of golf and a family who understands her time on the links is life’s true elixir. Let’s call her Dot. On course, Dot toiled, wrestling with her clubs, hoping as much as praying to get the ball moving in a forwardly direction more often than not. And as much as everyone liked to believe age would not weary her, the truth suggested otherwise. From a two-wheeled pull trolley to a three-wheeled pusher, the journey was getting harder. But Dot persevered, refusing to ride in a cart because her links was flat and the walk kept her strong. Like my mother, it’s not as if she would shun technology out of old-fashioned pigheadedness; it’s just she hadn’t actually considered using it on the golf course. There’s no Bushnell laser beamer for her. No Garmin watch for front, middle and back distances or pulse rates over putts. Dot’s a whizz with the yardage, as pretty much every shot’s a 5-wood anyway. She once saw Tiger use one out of the rough near the green, so now all Dot needed was to see Phil hit 5-wood from a bunker and she’d be a two-club kind of gal. There’s a tin of boiled, sugary lollies in her golf bag, you know? She’s that lady. She probably had pom-poms on the back of her socks in the ’70s, always carries her wet-weather gear and swears only when entirely necessary. Like when you only get 4/3 on a par 4, and not 4/4.

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Getting between her and the Tuesday comp would have been like getting between my grandmother and her tranny on race day. Dot loves golf, but it is getting a little harder. So those that love her gave Dot a special present. The idea was to keep her on the course for as long as possible. She was being upgraded from the threewheeled pusher to an electric buggy. One with a remote control, so she didn’t even have to hold it. Dot could just walk along with the remote in her hand and use the other one for gesturing while she talked; that’s her other great love. It was brilliant. So, on the Tuesday of her birthday, just as Dotty was emerging from the clubrooms, they had a semi-formal ceremony. She was presented with her golf clubs snuggled into this brand new fan-dangled electric buggy. So, while it looked like a pull or push trolley, it wasn’t really. And best of all, it could stay at the club and be charged and ready for her every single Tuesday. “You’ll never have to push

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

again,” they’d said. “You just walk along beside your clubs, Dot,” was the call. Dot was ecstatic. As much as she liked being known as someone prepared to do the hard yards, she wouldn’t mind a few easy ones as well. Besides, if the walk was a little easier, she might play better. Win a few balls, even. “You shouldn’t have,” she said. “But we did,” they said back, and someone stepped forward to show her how it worked. How all you had to do was push that ‘on’ button there, and that green ‘go’ button there and you were off. “But I can still push it if I want, can’t I? Because I do like to push my clubs. Everyone knows that.” “Of course you can, but why would you?” “Maybe just to start,” Dot said, “just while I get the hang of it.” “Stubborn,” they muttered. “Which is why we like her.” Dot faffed about for a bit, letting the crowd disperse, then pushed the buggy from the clubhouse and onto the footpath. She was starting on the 10th today, and that was across the road.

The buggy was actually quite heavy. It was considerably harder to push than her old Concourse. So, she looked at the controller, hit the power button, turned the dial up to 'fast' and got hold of the controller. Dot had managed to get herself to the lights to cross the road. The club borders a fairly busy street, but the road she had to cross was just a little one. No one ever bothered with the main road, it wasn’t in the club’s charter, but the rule was everyone had to cross the little road at the lights. Dot’s buggy was facing the main road, but she wanted to go left, across the minor. So she pointed the remote in the direction she wanted to go and pressed the big green button. The cart, with her clubs, took off. Straight. In the direction it was heading, not left where she was pointing. It went straight into the path of the 155 bus; the driver didn’t have time to stop. He drove straight over her new buggy and her old clubs. True. Every word. And I promise, Dot’s not my mum.


Michelle Wie LPGA Tour Pro

TRAIN SMART. IMPROVE FAST

GOLF

2


The Golf Life Rundown

Hot dog after nine? Yes. Plastic ball markers? No. Conduct Unbecoming? Tour players reveal their most amateurish moves E USE the same clubs they do, wear the same clothes and copy their attitudes (we see you, fingerwaggers). But what about the reverse? Are there any ways tour pros act like amateurs? Our unscientific survey of US PGA Tour players at the 2016 Travelers Championship:

W

Yes 33%

No 67%

Ͳ “I’ve never used one of those things,” Patrick Rodgers says dismissively. Adds Colt Knost: “I don’t think you even see them out here anymore.” The pros’ preferred method is a damp cloth, ideally employed by someone other than themselves. “I’ve used [the ball washer] on my golf cart,” says Martin Laird. “Sometimes, when I’m playing at home and my caddie isn’t there to do it for me, I will.” USE PLASTIC BALL MARKER FROM THE GOLF SHOP?

Typical was Jon Rahm, who used the same coin for nine years before recently switching to one from his alma mater, Arizona State. Jason Gore was among the few who have no problem playing with plastic. “I probably have one right now,” he says. “I was just in Nantucket last week and haven’t cleaned out my pockets.” BUY A SHIRT AT THE GOLF SHOP?

ball markers scored the fewest “yes” votes in our survey. 32

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

but Andrew Loupe OAAO>AJA[POKB training in trainers. “If I’m working on my balance, yes,” he says. “You don’t have as much grip on the ground, so if you’re working on your balance, it’ll force you to swing in control.” GET A HOT DOG AT THE TURN? Yes 69%

-31%

Ͳ Rahm, a Spaniard, Yes 42%

No 58%

Ͳ Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman will buy one if it’s a memorable course, >QPPDAUSKJƛP[J@ Chez Reavie among the shirt racks. His answer: “No, no, no.”

Yes 9% No 91%

Ͳ Course-provided

Ͳ Some might laugh,

WEAR SNEAKERS WHILE PLAYING? Yes 46%



No 54%

had one once – during a practice round at Oakmont during last year's US Open. Rodgers always has one at his home course. Martin Piller is more of a connoisseur, considering only top-notch dogs. “Depends on the course,” he says. “If they have good hot dogs, yes.”

j.d. cuban/getty images

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The Golf Life Opinion by Annabel Rolley

• Annabel Rolley is an Australian golf professional and host of Australian Golf Digest TV www.annabelrolley.com

Southern Exposure

Making a home in Adelaide is a boon for the Women’s Australian Open and a tournamentstarved state HE ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played at Royal Adelaide Golf Club from February 16-19. The Alister MacKenzie-inspired layout has a rustic feel with its distinct burnt countryside and charming railway line with trains rolling by sporadically throughout play. The course is fairly typical of an open linksstyle golf course, however it has plenty of bite and can pierce its teeth into even the finest of players. Royal Adelaide has hosted 16 Australian Amateur championships and nine Australian Opens, the most recent one in 1998 when Greg Chalmers hoisted the coveted Stonehaven Cup. I cannot think of a more suitable union than that of South Australia and the ALPG/ LPGA and their decision for Royal Adelaide to host the Women’s Australian Open. This is a shrewd move on behalf of tournament directors. Last year the tournament was held at another wonderful Adelaide course, The Grange Golf Club, but the underlying reason as to why the tournament created such a buzz within Adelaide was that South Australia is largely starved of sporting events and this meant the whole community was completely engulfed in the tournament. I suspect the

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same sort of ambience will be evident in cafés and restaurants during this month’s Women’s Australian Open. If you have ever wondered how tournament officials set up a women’s professional event compared to a men’s event, the major factors to consider are the length of the course and speed of the greens. Neither is all that different to a men’s tournament, however it’s the differing ball flight of male and female golfers that must be carefully taken into consideration. Females flight the ball much lower and the fairer sex is also unable to produce as much spin. This means Golf Australia, which runs the tournament, must think carefully about the distance each hole plays. The average length of courses for LPGA Tour events ranges from 5,550 to 5,850 metres (6,100 to 6,400 yards) and this is in an effort to demand the highest skill level from the players, including length off the tee, accuracy, finesse and strategy. The biggest factor for tournament officials to consider is the height of the ball flight and how the ball reacts

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

landing on the fairways and greens. In the case of a course like Royal Adelaide, the greens will be firm. The course will play vastly differently depending on distance gained off the tee, with some women hitting about 210 to 220m while the longer hitters drive more than 270m. However, on a firm course, employing clever strategy will be more valuable than hitting the ball huge distances. Tournament officials must find a balance between what clubs/lofts are going to be suitable to enter firm and fast greens and also consider the pin placements that are challenging yet playable according to the undulations of the green complexes. Another major component is the length of the rough. Women naturally are not as strong as men and therefore will have greater difficulty in advancing from the rough. Tournament officials need to be careful to set the course up so the rough is penal while keeping the fairways wide enough to allow some leeway. The men are able to get through the rough much easier due to their faster clubhead speeds.

Karen Lunn, a former LPGA Tour player and now the chief executive of Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) takes delight in seeing drivable par 4s included in tournaments, something she didn’t encounter while playing on the LPGA Tour in the United States. “Golf tournaments are about entertainment, and the drivable par 4s and par 5s that are reachable in two provide a much more exciting event come late Sunday afternoon,” Lunn said. “The set-up for a women’s event is hugely different to that of a men’s event.” Not only will Royal Adelaide Golf Club provide a wonderful course for players and spectators alike, but the general public will also get a glimpse into just how magnificent the entire South Australian region is. I am looking forward to seeing some great golf from the girls and taking in the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings. I am also pleased to hear South Australia has secured the 2018 Women’s Open at Kooyonga Golf Club as the South Australian dream continues for professional women’s golf.

GETTY IMAGES: MORNE DE KLERK / STRINGER

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THE TOSS THAT STILL HAUNTS

The Golf Life What Reall Happened

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36

I was throwing the coin on the ground. I wish I aimed at the ball because I probably would have missed – Paul Gow read some old notes given to him by coach Gary Edwin from their first lesson together seven years earlier. Now he was flushing it. Staged simultaneously with the British Open, the B.C. Open presented a wonderful opportunity to make an impression while the world’s best were at Royal Lytham & St Annes (where David Duval won his only Major). After opening with a 3-under 69, Gow came to the 11th hole on Friday afternoon at 7-under for the tournament. After missing the green with his approach, Gow hit a poor chip shot that finished six feet from the hole. He then allowed his emotions to boil over. As he went to mark his ball,

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Gow threw an Australian 5-cent coin on the ground in disgust ... and hit the ball dead centre. It moved an inch, requiring a onestroke penalty. After calling for a rules official, Gow returned the ball to its original position. He then missed the six-footer and tapped in for double-bogey. “I was throwing the coin on the ground,” recalls Gow. “I wish I aimed at the ball because I probably would have missed.” The incident did spark Gow into action and he proceeded to birdie five of his next seven holes to reach the halfway mark at 10-under and five shots off the lead. Gow shot 66-66 over the weekend to tie Sluman at 22-under-par. He had a chance to

win on the first playoff hole but left a 15-foot birdie putt hanging on the lip. On the second extra hole, Gow’s tee shot ricocheted backwards off a tree and across the fairway into a stream. He made 5 to hand Sluman the title and winner’s cheque for $US360,000. So did that temperamental coin toss cost Gow the tournament? “Yes it did, without a doubt. I was playing so well then,” says Gow who realises he let a massive opportunity slip through his fingers. Gow never did win on the US PGA Tour, but he still jointly holds the record for most birdies in a 72-hole tournament (32 at the B.C. Open).

GETTY IMAGES: STAN BADZ / CONTRIBUTOR

AUL Gow is glad golfers are no longer to be punished by one of the most controversial rules in golf: accidentally moving a ball on the putting green. And it’s not because the rule cost him victory on the US PGA Tour 16 years ago. From January 1, 2017, the R&A and USGA introduced a new local rule that eliminates the penalty when a ball or ballmarker is accidentally moved on the putting green by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. It comes in the aftermath of a farcical situation during Dustin Johnson's final round at last year’s US Open at Oakmont where he was assessed a onestroke penalty. “I’m happy it’s gone. It was a dumb rule,” says Gow. “There’s common sense that prevails and it’s not that Dustin meant to do it. I’m happy with that rule changing.” But it’s little consolation for the former touring pro who accidentally caused his ball to move during the second round of the B.C. Open in 2001. It proved a very costly mistake as Gow lost a playoff to America’s Jeff Sluman. He therefore missed out on a two-year exemption and $US144,000 – the difference between first and second place. So what really happened? After struggling during his first six months on the US PGA Tour, Gow arrived at En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, New York, with a sense of purpose. He had re-

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ARE YOU STANDING OVER THE BALL TOO LONG? BY BO B CA R N E Y

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t’s a simple question, and it seems like an important one: How long should it take to hit a golf shot? Rummage through most instruction books, and you’ll find a lot on the subject of timing, but little on time. That’s why a new book called Golf ’s 8 Second Secret: What separates golf ’s greatest champions, by PGA pro Mike Bender and accomplished amateur Michael Mercier, has provoked debate. The authors argue that a shot – from the time you set your lead foot, step over the ball and swing to the finish – should take eight seconds. This period occurs only after a golfer has carefully evaluated conditions, incorporated swing thoughts and narrowed his or her focus. In other words, there is no going back. Bender and Mercier studied dozens of the game’s greats through TV coverage, film footage, even old photographic sequences, and that’s the consistent duration it took them – from Bobby Jones to Mickey Wright to Phil Mickelson. Others, such as Lee Westwood, tend to take longer or vary the time, especially under pressure, and that invites problems. The authors add that before they even step in, a player’s pre-shot routine should take no more than 10 to 12 seconds, for a total of about 20. Do you get it done that fast? Judging from an informal study of amateurs at a public course, most weekenders aren’t even close. They are check-listers, reviewing the do’s and don’ts as they stand over the ball, sometimes for as long as 20 seconds. Double that time when you add their pre-shot routine.

DEBATING SHOT SELECTION WHILE OVER THE BALL INVITES POOR PERFORMANCE. Though Bender and Mercier believe we all could use an eight-second shot clock, some of the game’s most prominent coaches aren’t as convinced. They do agree, however, on three things: (1) You should swing without delay once over the ball; (2) That time ought to be consistent for every shot; (3) It’s personal. The coaches supported the book’s organisation of the shot process. They say sizing up a shot can take any amount of time. Tour pros, for instance, tend to spend more time deciding about escape shots or unpractised shots around the green. But once the decision is made, rehearsal and execution should take no more than 20 seconds and must be consistent. The idea is to progress from conscious calculation to instinctive motion as you 38

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

decide, picture, feel and finally act. Mixing the stages, such as still debating club selection while standing over the ball, invites poor performance. “If you take too long over the ball, your feet get landlocked,” says instructor Dean Reinmuth. “Then your whole lower body feels stuck. The upper body gets quicker. So your motion looks too quick, but really what happened is, you took too long.” Sport psychologist Gio Valiante agrees with the authors, to a point: “I’ve talked about 20 seconds from pre-shot to finish. But it’s a range. Some players are at 23, some at 17. You can’t make it a rigid thing. Everybody copies the best players in the world. But the best players don’t copy anyone.” Only one of the 25 or so Hall of Famers Bender and Mercier studied – Jack Nicklaus – varied from the eight-second rule. He did that, they say, because he spent less time on his preshot routine and noticeably longer over the ball, but still totalling 18 to 20 seconds. “Almost always under pressure there is a tendency to take more time,” says sport psychologist Bob Rotella. “But the real problem is when you start taking too much time between the last look at the target and the swing. I try to get guys going with their first instinct. That one is all about confidence and commitment. The second one can be filled with fear and doubt.” Rotella often asks clients to make a practice swing, inevitably fluid and relaxed, and then suggests they build a routine around that. Josh Zander, a GOLF DIGEST Teaching Professional who played in the 1992 US Open, cautions that no matter the time taken, you must feel ready to hit. “Sometimes I count to four as I approach the ball. Then I see an image of the shot, and my brain tells me we’re ready to go. I’d be surprised if it weren’t eight seconds or less. But the key is to go when your brain gives you the signal. Remember Sergio Garcia, the way he gripped and re-gripped the club? The thing I admired about that was that he wouldn’t go until he was ready.” Bender and Mercier say that’s why great players take only eight seconds. Any longer is bad for confidence and focus. It’s precisely why Garcia and Westwood haven’t won majors, they say. Sport psychologist Richard Coop studied the 20-second zone a decade ago. His take: More important than a consistent time is what happens during that time. “A lot of golfers have rituals but not routines,” he says. “In other words, you’ve gone through the ritual of motions, but not really been there, done the routine.” Coop’s advice on time: “Find what it is you’re doing over the ball that’s taking so long – and still not working – and eliminate it.”


Photograph by Hugh Kretschmer

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 39


The Golf Life NZ Digest by Denise Langdon

Don’t Forget Wanaka!

Not to be forgotten on the South Island is the resort town of Wanaka, which has a new course on its horizon UCH public and media attention is focused on New Zealand tourism hotspot Queenstown, but neighbouring Wanaka and the wider Otago region are also humming. Wanaka MP Jacqui Dean recently commented on how increased visitor numbers were boosting business development and economic growth. Wanaka Golf Club is doing its bit for the region’s prosperity, committing to hosting the 2017 New Zealand Mixed Foursomes. The club hosted the national golf tournament the past two years. The dates for 2017 are set for October 21-22 with online entry forms now available. The event’s revised programme includes happy hours, breakfast and lunch and a prize-giving ceremony. It is also worth keeping a watchful eye on the development of another Wanaka golf course, known as Parkins Bay. It is the dream of Bob and Pam McRae, who own Glendhu Station on the south-western shores of Lake Wanaka, to have a world-renowned golf resort sympathetic to its awe-inspiring lake and mountain surrounds. The McRaes live and work on their high-country sheep station, along with their son John, the third generation to do so. John Darby of Darby Partners has made the family’s plan to secure a business

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venture that addresses farm succession possible. The course and entire project enables the generation an ongoing income for their three children and the generations to follow. It also restricts large-scale housing developments on the lakefront they so cherish. Both passionate golfers, Bob and Pam asked golf great Sir Bob Charles to look over the land in 2005, seeking his opinion on its potential as a golf course. After further research, the family formed a partnership with John Darby, who designed Queenstown’s Jack’s Point and The Hills. Avid supporters of Wanaka Golf Club, Bob and Pam competed as a pair in both the 2015 and 2016 New Zealand Mixed Foursomes. The McRae whanau, or extended family, also have a long association with the sport. Bob’s brother Jim married a local, Liz Purvis, whose mother Molly was an outstanding golfer in her day. Liz has recorded more than 130 representative outings for Otago, 100 at the elite interprovincial level. Pam’s grandfather, John Lethbridge, was made a life member in recognition of his services to the Wanaka club. Their connections with the land run deep. Bob’s

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

parents were pastoral famers in Canterbury and Pam’s Lethbridge family farmed in the Cardrona Valley and Tarras. In working the land, the McRaes have hosted many home stays and weddings on their stunning piece of waterfront. Now at the start of 2017, the course is still waiting to be completed… well, started actually. Final resource consent was made public in August 2012 and since then land has been cleared and lines and fairways plotted ahead of scheduled construction work set for later this year, but not much more at the time of writing. Local newspapers have reported on the delays, with no fewer than 86 articles published in the past 11 years. Resource consent processes and opposition to the development have hindered progress, but the McRaes have not lost heart. The development partnerships and land ownership have changed since the initial agreement in 2005. Darby, who was involved in the recently opened Tara Iti course north of Auckland, now owns the main area of land that will be the golf course. The McRaes have retained the lakefront land designated for the clubhouse

and main reception area, luxury lodge and lake jetty. I have had the pleasure of a tour of the site, and the land and views are outstanding. When Parkins Bay opens for business it will complement the worldrenowned Queenstown courses of Millbrook, The Hills and Jack’s Point, and will be a major boost to the Wanaka economy. The hint is in the figures Dean highlighted recently, when she said: “Statistics NZ’s Commercial Accommodation Monitor tells us there were a record 794,840 bed nights in Wanaka in the year ending July, 13.7 per cent up on 2015. But Lake Wanaka Tourism’s James Helmore tells me that Spark’s new mobile phone data-tracking venture, Qrious, suggests at least 1.2 million visitors have come into the area.” Don’t forget Wanaka. The town already has a great members course and I predict when Parkins Bay opens, the golf dynamics of the Otago region will change for the better – with Wanaka firmly on visiting golfers’ minds. Denise Langdon is the director of PaR nz Golfing Holidays, based in Auckland.


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COURSE

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FULL 42

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HEN news began filtering down the Hunter Valley in the late 1990s that Greg Norman was building a golf course within the Pokolbin vineyards, those of us who called the valley home at the time rejoiced. Long regarded as a popular wine-producing region and tourist hotspot in close proximity to New South Wales’ two largest cities, the Lower Hunter largely lacked other pursuits to draw people away from the ‘big smoke’. And in January 2003 when Norman was on hand to play alongside Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh, rugby league immortal and Cessnock product Andrew Johns plus one lucky member who hit the jackpot to be drawn in the inaugural foursome, it marked the beginning of what has now been 14 years of golf richness among the vines. The mostly clay-based soil is not as ideal for golf as sandier terrain, while Norman’s co-designer Bob Harrison lamented the way the rough initially struggled to flourish. But just like the bold shiraz Pokolbin is known for, The Vintage would mature and now boasts a full flavour. There have been a few design tweaks in the ensuing years, as the course today remains as appealing as ever. A thorough bunker refurbishment program completed by course superintendent Steve Harris and his team during the second half of 2016 has rejuvenated the troublesome traps. Many bunkers received subtle adjustments such as raising the lip heights in places by just enough to enhance their 44

The hardest thing is to project to members and golfers that you’ve got different seasons and you’ve got to manage those extremes – Steve Harris visual influence and aesthetic value, to borrow a term from the architecture boffins. Another recent addition is a spare hole, a par 3 nestled beside the seventh tee. The club took the opportunity to experiment with grass types for the new green, monitoring which strain performs best should they ever replace all the existing Providence SR 1019 putting surfaces. Both are likewise varieties of bentgrass, with the front half of the two-tiered green a mix of A1 and A4 and the back portion all Pure Distinction, which Harris says took longer to establish but copes with stress far better. It is the surface of choice at Royal Canberra. Tee-to-green, the playing surfaces remain pristine. Worth noting is the subtle – and not so subtle – variation in climate in the Lower Hunter Valley compared to Sydney and even Newcastle, which is just 60 kilometres away. There’s no afternoon sea breeze to quell a hot summer’s day just as the cold of winter has a stronger bite. Golfers would do well to better understand that – and adjust their games and expectations with the time of year. “It’s such a harsh climate up here,” Harris says. “It’s a little like [western Sydney] but 10 to 15 percent on top of that because of the

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

extremity of hot summers and winds. The hardest thing is to project to members and golfers that you’ve got different seasons and you’ve got to manage those extremes.” Your correspondent usually finds himself at The Vintage a couple of times a year. The summer heat can serve up some oppressive weather, while the winter days are surprisingly comfortable on the non-frosty mornings (perhaps thanks to knowing the lure of a nice red beside a roaring fireplace is the 19th-hole reward). The coming months of late summer and autumn, however, might be the pick. The fact this time of year parallels harvest period is a happy coincidence, but the golf course is also at its ripest. Harris likes another time of year. “September’s nice,” says the only man to ever hold The Vintage’s course superintendent role. “It’s still got that little bit of crispness about the mornings and the days are just glorious.”

Mixed dozen

One oddity to the layout is that it might be the sixth or seventh hole before you


unsheathe the driver. A short and midlength par 4 open proceedings, while the ‘big stick’ risks running out of fairway at the par-4 third and fourth holes, then the fifth is a par 3. The entire front nine is largely an exercise in patience as genuine birdie chances are rare (there’s just one par 5 on the outward half and only three in total) so caution is advised. The second hole narrows between stands of pines towards a green that’s as slender as the path required to reach it. Two holes later, those present on the opening day recall Norman taking a crack at driving the green at the 336-metre fourth with a lusty blow. Mortal golfers need to leave their tee shots precisely on the sidesloping fairway of the dogleg left to avoid the trees on the corner blocking the approach to the raised, angled putting surface. Bimbadgen Estate vineyard flanks the iconic par-5 seventh. The broad fairway rises and falls before inclining again to reach a split-level green, with the entire 507m journey taking place with the vines only a few steps offline to the left. If you hug that side with your tee shot like I did during my most recent round at The Vintage, you might fire your second shot over the heads of a family of kangaroos munching away nonchalantly. The tilt in the front portion of the green lets imaginative players use the camber to their advantage – or their peril – with approach shots. An equally memorable hole is the photogenic par-3 eighth where the presence of a large lake beside the green is impossible to ignore, no matter how laser-like your focus might be. A sneaky-difficult uphill par 4 at nine closes the front side before the par5 10th flows alongside the luxurious Chateau Elan villas. The Vintage’s 10th features one of the more demanding lay-up options for a three-shotter. Many par 5s unreachable in two blows provide a fairly stress-free play for the second shot, but at the 10th there’s

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a pond to the left and a narrowing strip of land upon which to chew off some distance. More adventurous golfers can attempt to find the raised area above and right of the water, yet doing so is almost as difficult a path as taking a rip at the green itself. The course then eases up slightly with little to complicate the par-4 11th and ample dry land away from the water fronting the green of the par-3 12th. Short par 4s at 13 and 15 sandwich a double-dogleg par 5 in a three-pronged set of birdie chances. The finish ramps up the challenge via stern par 4s at the 16th and 18th plus one of the prettiest holes at The Vintage: the downhill, 182m 17th. Viewed from the high tee with the 18th hole and clubhouse in the distance beyond, the last of the short holes is magnificently framed by the flanking treelines, the target itself and the trouble surrounding it. The hazard short and left of

the par 3 used to be a deep, unkempt chasm of lost balls and ugliness, but in 2010 the crater was cleaned up and filled to become a picturesque pond that contrasts neatly against the bunkers circling the back half of the putting surface. Closing the round is an uphill dogleg right that begins from a chute of tees and ends with another bunker-ringed green in front of the stately yet welcoming clubhouse. The good news is this particular vintage has plenty more bottles left in its cellar as the course’s rich flavour continues to age with gusto. THE DETAILS The Vintage Golf Resort & Spa Where: Vintage Drive, Pokolbin NSW 2320 Phone: (02) 4998 2601 Web: www.thevintage.com.au

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february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 45


46

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


WHERE DO YOUR AFFILIATION FEES END UP? iter enquire hhe millions ll off dollars in affiliation fees raised from the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s club golfers. By Rohan Clarke

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 47


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T WASNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T quite bill shock. But it was surprising to see one item on the subscription renewal notice from my local Sydney golf club. â&#x20AC;˘ Bronze membership . . . $396.13 â&#x20AC;˘ AďŹ&#x192;liation Fee . . . $47.50 â&#x20AC;˘ Bar Credit . . . $100 â&#x20AC;˘ Golf Link Fee . . . $3.05 â&#x20AC;˘ Insurance . . . $30.32 Total . . . $577

Wait a minute. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m being billed $47.50 for an AďŹ&#x192;liation Fee? $47.50? It got me wondering. Assuming every club member in Australia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some 400,000 registered golfers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pays $47.50, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be Einstein to ďŹ gure out that comes to $19 million. Talk about rivers of gold. And the aďŹ&#x192;liation fee seems to be getting larger and larger each year: $36.30 â&#x20AC;Ś $37.40 â&#x20AC;Ś $39.60 â&#x20AC;Ś $41.80 â&#x20AC;Ś $43.40 â&#x20AC;Ś $45.45 â&#x20AC;Ś $47.50. So where does it go? Well, $17 of my aďŹ&#x192;liation fee goes to Golf Australia as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;capitationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fee (based on the number of playing members at a golf club). The sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national governing body received $5.72 million from club members last ďŹ nancial year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 43 per cent of Golf Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total revenue ($13.31 million). The remaining $30.50 of my aďŹ&#x192;liation fee is paid to Golf NSW, which governs the sport across my home state for men and women. It took $3.10 million from 146,174 members at 375 clubs last year. 48

Elsewhere, Golf Victoria collected $3.82 million from 109,822 golfers. Golf Queensland picked up $2.36 million from 66,496 golfers [see accompanying table]. State associations collect these aďŹ&#x192;liation fees (including the capitation fees for Golf Australia) by sending out a tax invoice to each club in their respective state. Not everyone pays the same amount. Juniors pay half the adult fee, while members of multiple clubs are slugged with an aďŹ&#x192;liation fee for every club where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a member. So what of my initial estimate of $19 million? AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST reviewed each stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent annual report that was available. We added the state aďŹ&#x192;liation fees ($11.28 million) with the Golf Australia capitation fees ($5.72 million) to calculate a grand total of $17 million. SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLARS. Club golfers shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily be concerned by the magnitude of the money generated in aďŹ&#x192;liation fees. They should, however, be interested in how the money is spent administering the game.

JUSTIFYING COSTS

Golf Australia carries out all the functions that come with being the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s custodian. It fulďŹ ls a role the R&A plays in Britain and that of the USGA in America. It manages rules and handicapping. It stages national championships for men and women from

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

juniors through to seniors. The ďŹ&#x201A;agship is, of course, the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Australian Open. It also invests in elite athlete development. And, increasingly, Golf Australia sees its duty as game development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We say our No.1 reason for being is to try and grow the game and to get more people playing golf â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and people playing more golf,â&#x20AC;? says Golf Australia chief executive oďŹ&#x192;cer Stephen Pitt. Golf Australia recorded a surplus of $211,522 in 2015/16. Its total revenue for the 2016 ďŹ nancial year grew by 10 per cent from $12.05 million to $13.31 million. Apart from $5.72 million in capitation fees, government grants make up $1.85 million. GOLF Link fee revenue raises another $1.06 million. (This money is collected and then paid out to a third party to provide the handicap service, including software, help desk, website, etc.) The Australian Sports Foundation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a philanthropic body â&#x20AC;&#x201C; donates just less than $1 million. And commercial sponsorship of the Australian Open generates $1.77 million. Golf Australia employs the equivalent of 26 full-time staďŹ&#x20AC; in its Melbourne oďŹ&#x192;ce: CEO & administration (3), high performance (2), championships (3), rules & handicapping (2), commercial & sponsorships (2), digital & communications (3), Australian Opens (2), ďŹ nance (2), game development (7). It may surprise you to learn that game development has become a priority. When


The subtle difference of excellence... The Vintage Golf Resort and Spa Vintage Drive Pokolbin NSW 2320 Golf 02 4998 2610 | Hotel 02 4998 2500 | Spa 02 4998 2504 | Restaurant 02 4998 2613 www.thevintage.com.au

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Pitt joined Golf Australia in 2008 the organisation had just one person designated to this area. Game development now receives more than $3 million per annum (including salaries and attached costs of staff). The shift is a reflection of the need to address the participation rate. Golf club membership reached a peak of 500,144 in 1998 when Greg Norman last held the No.1 world ranking. That figure steadily declined over 15 years at an annual rate of about 1.5 per cent. The good news is that club membership rose last year for the first time since 2000. Golf Australia believes that credit for this is due to Jason Day and Adam Scott for their outstanding play at the professional level, which it believes has driven participation. It also claims it’s the result of two game development initiatives, MyGolf and Swing Fit. MyGolf targets children aged from 5-13, while Swing Fit is a program for women consisting of six weekly sessions, with each lasting 75 minutes. It may not be run on the smell of an oily rag, but Golf Australia is relatively frugal when it comes to administrative costs. That wasn’t the case 10 years ago after the merger of the men’s and women’s amateur bodies when expenditure was extravagant. Today, $2.91 million from total income of $13.31 million is spent on staffing. By comparison with other national sporting organisations, Golf Australia has lower than average expenditure on administration as a proportion of total revenue. In another sign of good management, the use of government funding is well directed. The Australian Sports Commission funds Golf Australia's high-performance program for elite amateurs with an annual grant of about $1 million. As revealed in our December 50

feature, “Punching Above Its Weight”, this HP program is world class despite such a relatively modest level of funding. The usage of government grants, totalling $1.85 million, compares favourably with other national sporting organisations. Many sports rely on government for more than 40 per cent of their funding. For some organisations, two-thirds of their income comes directly from the Sports Commission. But are club golfers getting value for money? Golf Australia thinks it is well spent on their behalf. “The association fees are really quite cheap compared to a lot of other sports,” says Pitt. “And I do think, generally, the money is used well within golf. “There is a philosophy of trying to get as much as we can into programs. But I think it also raises the issue about, ‘How can we make sure we have as much efficiency in administration as possible and lack of duplication?’”

GOLF NSW ROLLING IN CASH

About two-thirds of your affiliation fees find their way to the state associations. All are in the black and Golf NSW – with 37 per cent of club golfers in Australia – is in a very healthy financial position with total equity of $10.3 million. Golf NSW is currently in the process of collecting $30.50 from every adult club member in the state. Last year’s takings of $3,100,287 in affiliation fees made up almost 40 per cent of its $7.8 million in total revenue. That includes a $1 million philanthropic donation from the Australian Sports Foundation, which is solely used administratively by Jack Newton Junior Golf.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Golf NSW’s expenses were $7.7 million (up from $6.8 million) last year. It employs 17 full-time staff and three contractors. Expenditure goes towards state events, club support, marketing and game promotion, high-performance, state teams and development squads. It also funds Jack Newton Junior Golf and spends money and time rolling out national initiatives such as MyGolf, Swing Fit and Golf Month. A large slice of activity involves event management. Golf NSW stages 35 statebased tournaments: NSW Open, Amateur, Mid Amateur, Sand Greens, Foursomes and Fourballs at men’s, women’s, boys, girls and senior level. This requires five full-time staff in the golf department. In addition, it runs metropolitan club pennant and women’s grade competitions. Golf NSW’s purpose, as outlined in its strategic plan, is to efficiently promote, market and advance the game of golf in NSW in collaboration with Golf Australia, state golf associations and other industry bodies, ensuring a viable future for the game. In that regard, Golf NSW sees its primary responsibility to clubs, also offering them operational support and agronomy reviews. “Our members are our golf clubs. Golf Australia’s members are the states,” says Golf NSW chief executive officer Stuart Fraser. “The states are operational and the deliverers of programs on the ground because their relationship is with the clubs. Clubs – generally when they’re looking for help – pick up the phone and talk to us because we’re in constant contact with them.” So how much duplication is there between the operations of state and national bodies? “It is widely accepted that across all industry stakeholders there are certain areas where consolidation could occur,” says Fraser. “In saying that, there are many aspects of a state’s operations that are – and should – differ to that of the national body when it comes to servicing our respective membership. “Essentially we are two very different organisations. We are the deliverers and Golf Australia sets national strategy, participation programs, directional policy and rules administration. “As you can see from the staff numbers here, we think we’re pretty lean when you consider we assist 375 clubs and 33 districts throughout the state.” Much of the criticism of state associations comes from their preoccupation with tournaments – from state championships down to veterans’ events and pennant competitions. “For all intents and purposes, the state associations do nothing more than manage events,” says one industry source. “Ninety per cent of the staff they’ve got working in the office are running events. That’s what they do. Most of these state associations have turned into glorified events management centres.” Such a comment raises the argument that


affiliation fees should be more aligned to a user-pays system. Why should Average Joe stump up close to $50 for somebody to play in a state veterans championship? It’s a growing concern from a club perspective, which is why the mooted ‘One Golf’ proposal from the Australian Sports Commission is gaining traction as the right step forward.

ONE GOLF ON THE TABLE

If you were designing Australian golf from scratch, you wouldn’t use this current federated model. The existing structure is well over 100 years old and was set up at a time when it was the right model. But the world has moved on and the challenge is to come up with a structure that can serve the sport well for the next 50 years. That’s the reasoning behind the One Golf proposal to bring the seven states (including the Northern Territory) and national body closer together. The proposal – similar to the changes adopted by Australian sailing – involves trying to wrap eight different companies into one operating body and centralise staff for better efficiencies. Says Golf Australia chairman John Hopkins in the latest annual report: “There remains a strong and concerted effort to see the governance of Australian Golf become more efficient and unified and I believe this is an important initiative that must be seen through to its conclusion. To this end, work continues on the One Golf project and we hope to see State Associations start to come across to One Golf in 2017.” Initial research indicates savings up to $3.5 million could be put into programs that are expected to lead to larger membership and participation numbers. Five of the seven states and territories have agreed in principal to pursue the One Golf model. While supportive, a vote of their member clubs will still be required so it is far from a done deal.

But two large states are yet to even commit at board level. NSW is in a transitional period at board level and is still to be convinced of the upside to the model, while Western Australia is not supportive. It’s more than a decade since Jack Newton, in a column for AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST, stressed the need for Australian golf to consolidate from the 26 bodies that were running the sport. Since that time we’ve witnessed the merger of the Australian Golf Union with Women’s Golf Australia as well as the amalgamation of the men’s and women’s state associations. We’ve also seen the PGA of Australia and PGA Tour of Australasia come together. But there is little doubt wastage still occurs. One Golf appears to be a solution for eliminating duplication and inefficiencies. But it will take more prodding of the recalcitrant states, NSW and WA, before they are convinced to come on board.

is used wisely. Furthermore, the amateur bodies and professional golf must work together for the greater good. Consider this for a moment: Golf Australia and the state associations invest heavily in high-performance programs. Yet once elite amateurs turn professional, there is a dearth of four-round playing opportunities with sizeable prizemoney to launch an international career. Apart from Golf Victoria, the state associations don’t take a holistic view of the professional game and are reluctant to provide larger purses for their state opens. So it’s all very well for Golf NSW to bemoan the fact the NSW Open was once a prestigious championship. Yet it only offered a meagre $110,000 in prizemoney in 2015. The purse only increased to $400,000 for last year’s tournament at Stonecutters Ridge as a direct result of the NSW Government’s desire to stage a sporting event in Greater Western Sydney.

Club golfers shouldn’t be concerned by the magnitude of the money generated in affiliation fees. They should, however, be interested in how the money is spent Then again, why should they? With total assets valued at $12.18 million, why would Golf NSW hand them over to a national body and its mandarins in Melbourne? And why would Golf WA trust the ‘wise men from the east’ to handle its affairs? There’s always tension between state and national bodies as to who is more capable. Golf Australia says give us a chance to execute. The states respond by saying ‘put some runs on the board and we’ll give you some money’. With the bounty raised from club affiliation fees, it’s imperative every cent

And that’s another point. Amateur golf in Australia is the recipient of millions of dollars in government largesse (both federally and at state level). It also benefits from the generosity of white knights such as John and Jill Kinghorn, and Dr Haruhisa Handa. A conclusion to be drawn is there’s a lot of fine people – salaried and voluntary – doing wonderful things for amateur golf. However, with combined total revenue of $35.8 million to administer the game, Golf Australia and the state associations don’t have a revenue problem.

Members

Total Revenue

P=PAdHE=PEKJ Fees

KHBQOPN=HE= Ɵ=LEP=PEKJƟAAO

P=YKOPO

Cash

Golf NSW

146,174

$7,759,652

$3,100,287

$2,141,789

$1,743,254

$7,310,497

KHBE?PKNE=

109,822

$7,262,118

$3,824,944

$1,542,871

$1,961,282

$1,330,192

Golf Queensland

66,496

$3,580,730

$2,366,847

$909,390

$1,045,048

$1,718,168

Golf SA

25,822

$1,134,116

$642,000

$394,000

$492,422

$1,168,900

Golf WA

33,439

$1,850,552

$810,686

$460,161

$723,827

$905,632

KHB=OI=JE=

10,756

$567,589

$496,335

$161,905

$166,125

$551,756

Golf NT

2,231

$370,951

$46,401

$32,241

$111,936

Not Recorded

Total

394,740

$22,525,708

$11,287,500

$5,642,357

$6,243,894

$12,985,145

KHBQOPN=HE=

397,063

$13,312,306

$5,726,046

$2,913,358

$2,858,837

Note: Golf Australia and the state associations have combined revenue of $35.8 million with total staff costs exceeding $9.1m february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 51


WEST COAST With three distinct golf regions, a fleet of rising stars and an innovative tournament

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australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


IS COOLER

debuting this month, Western Australia is golfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s must-go destination. By Steve Keipert

Gary Lisbon Photography

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 53


T

O SAY there’s something in the water in Western Australia is an understatement. Our largest, most resource-rich state is punching well above its golf weight when it comes to producing rising stars (think Curtis Luck and Min Woo Lee – to name just two), which is merely a continuation of a trend that began some decades ago. Hard work, astute coaching and an agreeable climate all help, but you have to think the calibre and volume of great golf courses is a prominent factor. Just like its talented players, WA has an over-abundance of excellent golf courses. From the resorts of northern Perth through the sequence of coastal gems near Mandurah to the Busselton and Dunsborough region further south lie dozens of top-class layouts and a handful of unheralded tracks. Each is as diverse and potent as the Fremantle Doctor breezes that cool a summer’s day in the golden west.

PERTH GLORY

Few places offer a week’s golf in such glorious settings. And WA’s premier golf courses cover a broad range of styles. There are resort layouts, parkland courses and even one of the best links in the country. The Vines Resort helped put the state on the golf map. Graham Marsh and Ross Watson’s 36-hole creation in the Swan Valley north-east of the city drew the international spotlight to Perth through the original Vines Classic (later the Heineken Classic), the Johnnie Walker Classic and Lexus Cup. The Lakes and Ellenbrook courses offer complementing layouts that utilise the 54

The Swan Valley is the sort of place where you could come for a few hours and wind up spending two or three days and think nothing of it stunning WA flora (and fauna) to great effect in a pair of layouts that make a great starting point for any assault on the state’s best courses. An easy half-hour drive from Perth Airport, The Vines was originally an outpost within the city limits but now suburbia is catching up, making the resort and country club a neat oasis. A concerted effort in recent years to trim back the surrounding vegetation to let the two courses ‘breathe’ a little has aided The Vines’ playability and visual appeal. They remain a challenging duo, just a little less brutal for novice golfers. Tee to green, both layouts are in truly commendable condition, with attention to detail evident throughout. The huge, undulating greens are the hallmark – some stretching 50 metres or longer in depth, which alters the strategy simply through the changing pin positions. The waterlogged stretch of holes to close the round on the Lakes course is familiar to golfers who have viewed tournament action through the years, although one of the most exemplary holes falls earlier, at the fifth. The dogleg-right par 4 calls for a right-turning tee shot on its way towards an ingenious, U-shaped green. Carved through the native bush and often dotted with kangaroos, it is a quintessentially West Australian golf hole. Over on the Ellenbrook

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

course, I challenge anyone to make a straightforward par at the ‘short’ 13th – a par 3 measuring a beefy 229m from the back markers. I confess to hitting a driver off the tee, although that blow to the ego was quelled by being able to write down a three on the card after a nifty sand save. Travelling through the Swan Valley before and after visiting The Vines, I lost count of the number of wineries, restaurants, olive farms, cheese factories and the like dotted across the region. So if the 36-hole smorgasbord at The Vines isn’t enough to sate you, there are plenty of gastronomic delights to quench the appetite. It’s the sort of place where you could come for a few hours and wind up spending two or three days and think nothing of it. Much like The Vines, Joondalup Resort began as an outpost within the northern parts of Perth in 1985 before gradually being closed in. During this era of Slope ratings for golf-course difficulty, Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s design carries notoriety as the toughest course in the state from the back markers – and a handful of new back tees highlight the degree of difficulty. Other than some tree removal, the sprinkling of new black markers is the only recent change to a 27-hole layout once tagged as ‘Moondalup’ thanks to


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its hilly terrain and unique surroundings. The moniker might have been intended as off-handed criticism, although I’ve always interpreted it as a compliment – or at very least a nod to the site’s origins. Playing the premier 18-hole combination of the Quarry and Dune nines takes golfers through an otherworldly setting. The three holes built around the old quarry on the nine of the same name are unlike anything else in Australian golf. The third, fourth and

fifth holes – a par 3, 5 and 4, respectively – require three separate shots to traverse the old quarry. And the mere thought of having to extricate one’s golf ball from the deep pit fronting the fourth green is enough to make golfers wake startled and in a sweat. The lunar walls flanking the third and fourth holes of the Dune nine give that loop its unique selling proposition, while the slightly younger Lake nine in reality is only a minor step down in design quality. One mistake travelling golfers coming to Joondalup often make is overlooking the venue’s option as a place to stay as well as play. All 70 rooms in the resort were recently renovated and with 27 holes to take on, more than one day is usually required to take in the lot. Logistically, it makes sense to attack the golf courses of the west from north to south, perhaps staying a night or two at Joondalup or The Vines (or both) before moving towards the CBD and then south to the Golf Coast courses and beyond. And if Joondalup is your choice for a base, in 2015 the suburb’s shopping centre expanded to become the largest in the state, giving nongolf-playing companions plenty to do in what is a vibrant community. Equally energetic is the bustling Wembley Golf Course, which is as complete a golf facility imaginable. Perth golfers know the well-established Old and Tuart courses at Wembley, which cater for 155,000 rounds annually, but its transformation into a multi-faceted and all-encompassing public golf complex over the past decade is less well-known. The Town of Cambridge, which represents only a 25,000-person sliver of

Perth’s population, has self-funded a $29 million expansion of operations to include a two-tier, 80-bay driving range with topclass teaching facilities along with a brand new mini-golf course, restaurant, function centre, enormous pro shop, children’s playground and more. Wembley’s set-up is a window to the future of golf. “It’s about building a community facility,” says Wembley general manager Matthew Day. And he’s right. My peek into this tenet came early on a Monday evening when you might expect patronage to be minimal. Not so. The range was humming with activity, the mini-golf course bracing for a league competition and the restaurant gearing up for a healthy evening trade. I chatted briefly with six female school teachers who had just tackled the mini-golf course, glowing as they walked away chuckling about their exploits. There’s even FootGolf several times a week. The ability to capture every demographic and golfers of all interest levels is Wembley’s strength. The mini-golf course is the latest addition, designed by noted Australian course architect Richard Chamberlain and opening for play last November. A far cry from the concrete barrier-lined putt-putt courses of old, the course is state-of-the-art with cannily crafted terrain, hardy manmade playing surfaces plus Bose radio speakers scattered across the course to give it an upbeat vibe. And there are lights to allow play as late as 9pm. Arguably the most innovate design aspect is the inclusion of three cups per hole, marked by red, blue

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february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 55


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and black ďŹ&#x201A;ags. The red ďŹ&#x201A;ags sit inside an oversized cup thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three times the size of a standard golf hole and are perfect for kids or novice putters. The blue and black ďŹ&#x201A;ags mark regular-sized holes with the blue oďŹ&#x20AC;ering a moderate challenge and the black a more diďŹ&#x192;cult set of hole locations. The equivalent south of the Swan River is Collier Park Golf Club, a 27-hole public course on naturally sandy soil. Comprising three nine-hole loops plus a 30-bay, grasstee driving range, the complex is a haven for golfers in the southern half of the city. Named Pines, Island and Lake, the three nines oďŹ&#x20AC;er subtle diďŹ&#x20AC;erences while remaining consistent in a design sense regardless of the conďŹ guration created for an 18-hole layout. One hole to catch golfersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attention comes into view before a ball is struck. Sitting beside the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winding entrance road is the ďŹ fth hole of the Lake nine, a 152m par 3 across a pond with a shorn bank fronting the green that will send any shots hovering near the front edge back towards the water. The club views the ďŹ fth as its homage to the famous 16th hole at Augusta National, and there is a slight resemblance. While largely ďŹ&#x201A;at, Collier Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sandy terrain helps it cope with high golfer traďŹ&#x192;c and remain in tip-top shape, also giving it a sandbelt-like look, feel and design â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a quality heightened by the surrounding ďŹ&#x201A;ora.

their great skills in delivering four courses ranked within AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGESTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top-100 Courses. Nearing its 20th anniversary, change is in the wind at Links Kennedy Bay. A complex combination of factors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that range from global warming to housing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will see at least four holes disappear from the current layout. At some stage during 2018, course designers will put their hands up to build a handful of new holes on adjoining land at Port Kennedy and possibly tweak existing holes to allow the revised routing to ďŹ&#x201A;ow. The area impacted is that closest to the coast, principally the ďŹ rst four holes on the back nine but potentially more. Yet itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an opportunity rather than an imposition for the popular links layout, and nothing will change in the immediate future as golfers can enjoy the course in its current

ALL-IN ON GOLF

They call it the Golf Coast, such is the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abundance across the strip of land around Mandurah, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. Several of the best architects in golf have utilised 56

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australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

guise for another year or longer. The Michael Coate, Roger Mackay, Ian Baker-Finch collaboration looks a treat during summer as the wispy rough dries out and highlights the links-like nature of the site. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also been a concerted eďŹ&#x20AC;ort by longtime course superintendent Bruce Coleman and his team to provide greater deďŹ nition as the fairway cut transitions to light rough then the longer stuďŹ&#x20AC; and eventually the real ball-swallowing scrub. Links Kennedy Bay is a slice of links terrain in an antipodean location. Pot bunkers dot the layout and the landform has an uncanny and infuriating knack of pushing bounding balls towards these circles of doom. And they are diďŹ&#x192;cult to escape. Having driven into a tiny pot bunker on the right side of the 18th fairway, I struggled to escape even with a lob wedge.


Stay and Play Joondalup Resort Perth’s finest golf resort & leisure destination PAR3 package

• Overnight stay • 9 holes with shared motorised cart • Full buffet breakfast in Bistro 38 • FREE small bucket of range balls

Book your new year breakaway stay for January or February and save

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USUAL PRICE

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PAR4

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• Overnight stay • 18 holes with shared motorised cart • Full Buffet breakfast in Bistro 38 • FREE small bucket of range balls

• Overnight stay • 18 holes with shared motorised cart • Full buffet breakfast in Bistro 38 • Dinner for two at Bistro 38* • FREE small bucket of range balls

package

USUAL PRICE

Per Person Twin Share

$205

package

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Country Club Boulevard, Perth WA

Phone (08) 9400 8888 www.joondalupresort.com.au Receive 20% off* the usual package price when you book online using promo code GOLF20. Rates are for Deluxe room, twin share. Dinner is 3 course set menu. Valid for stays to 28/02/2017. *Subject to Availabiity. Terms & Conditions Apply

Meadow Springs Golf & Country Club Golf as nature intended Measuring 6189 metres from the blue tees, Meadow Springs Golf Course promises a unique experience through open bush land, the layout dictated by the natural features of the land. Towering 200 year old Tuart trees line generous fairways and subtly rolling greens. Few holes run parallel enhancing the sensation of being alone in the wilderness.

Contact the Pro Shop on (08) 9581 6002 to book your tee time today! Meadow Springs Drive Mandura, Western Australia (08) 9581 6002 golf@msgcc.com.au www.msgcc.com.au


WHERE TO PLAY PERTH

Collier Park Golf Club Hayman Rd, Como WA 6152 (08) 9484 1666 www.collierparkgolf.com.au Green fees: $31 to $40

Joondalup Resort Country Club Blvd, Connolly WA 6027 (08) 9400 8888 www.joondalupresort.com.au Green fees: $85 to $110 The Vines Resort Verdelho Drive, The Vines WA 6069 (08) 9297 3000 www.vines.com.au Green fees: $64 to $84 Wembley Golf Course The Blvd, Wembley Downs WA 6019 (08) 9484 2500 www.wembleygolf.com.au Green fees: $24 to $38.50

MANDURAH

58

The Cut Golf Club Country Club Drive, Dawesville WA 6211 (08) 9582 4444 www.the-cut.com.au Green fees: $59 to $69 The Links Kennedy Bay Port Kennedy Drive, Port Kennedy WA 6172 (08) 9524 5991 www.kennedybay.com.au Green fees: $50 to $60

SOUTH-WEST Bunbury Golf Club Lucy Victoria Ave, Clifton Park WA 6233 (08) 9725 1231 www.bunburygolfclub.com.au Green fees: $47 Busselton Golf Club Chapman Hill Rd, Busselton WA 6280 (08) 9753 1050 www.busseltongolfclub.com.au Green fees: $25 to $45

Meadow Springs Country Club Meadow Springs Drive, Mandurah WA 6210 (08) 9581 6002 www.msgcc.com.au Green fees: $64 to $74

Capel Golf Club Bussell Hwy, Stratham WA 6237 (08) 9795 7033 www.capelgolfclub.org.au Green fees: $25 to $40

Secret Harbour Golf Links Secret Harbour Blvd, Secret Harbour WA 6173 (08) 9524 7133 www.secretsgolf.com.au Green fees: $52.50 to $57.50

Dunsborough Lakes Golf Club Clubhouse Drive, Dunsborough WA 6281 (08) 9756 8733 www.dunsboroughlakesgolfclub.com.au Green fees: $45

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

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Only after four swipes then a throw could I extricate my ball from this demonic pot, although my golf dignity remained buried within its sandy conďŹ nes. An ability to conquer strong breezes and a fervent imagination are essential to posting a good number at Kennedy Bay. There are ample opportunities to score, however most holes are about survival of the scorecard. Two of the best holes are short par 4s, the seventh and 12th. The former shares a green with the ďŹ fth and demands pinpoint distance control, while the latter oďŹ&#x20AC;ers more user-friendly slopes and swales but this voluptuous terrain obscures the green from view on the approach, making judgement diďŹ&#x192;cult. One of the two is generally driveable for big hitters regardless of the wind direction, but both are permanently intriguing. A short drive south is Secret Harbour Golf Links, an underrated Graham Marsh design oďŹ&#x20AC;ering contrasting nines. For golfers whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Secretsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; before but not for a while, the club switched the two nines a few years ago in a bid to improve the pace of play â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the move dropped playing times by eight minutes. The ďŹ&#x201A;ip also placed one of the best holes at the business end of the round, with the 173m par-3 17th now a white-knuckle moment late in the game. Featuring a broad green that pushes into a lake in peninsular fashion, the downhill tee shot needs to be on point to ďŹ nd the pointy right-side portion of the putting surface.


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starting from

$249 per night

Enjoy a round of golf on either of our two 18 hole golf courses and then relax in our newly refurbished stunning hotel rooms with complimentary wifi and movies on demand. Stay and play packages available from just $249 per night. Phone reservations on (080 9297 3000 or email reservations@vines.com.au

The Vines Resort & Country Club Verdelho Drive The Vines WA | 9297 3000 | www.vines.com.au


D N R A FE F AY O ST AY PL

Busselton

Golf Course

The Busselton Golf course is considered one of the best courses outside the Perth Metropolitan area. The Club strives hard to maintain the course to a very high standard. With lush grassed fairways and greens, and some tricky bunkers strategically located, the course presents an enjoyable challenge to all golfers.Motorised golf carts, clubs and buggies are available for hire. Wyndham Resort & Spa Dunsborough is a beach front resort located 25min from Busselton Golf Club, and is ideally located to the world-famous Margaret River Wine Region. There is alfresco dining at the onsite Toby’s Restaurant and Bar; floodlit tennis court; outdoor pool and spa; fully equipped gymnasium; barbecue area and complimentary parking. Stay & Play Offer: 2 nights’ accommodation in a King Hotel Room including full cooked breakfast for two people and 18 holes of golf (including cart) for $350! Book via email: Dunsborough.reservations@wyn.com or phone (08) 9756 9777. Please use booking reference, WynGolf2017. Offer valid to 1st December 2017 subject to availability.

www.busseltongolfclub.com.au

P (08) 9753 1050 E mail@busseltongolfclub.com.au

COME AND PLAY ON THE BEST GREENS IN THE SOUTH WEST

GREEN FEES $40 for 18 holes, $25 for 9 holes. Motorised carts available Reduced rates available for groups of 20 or more. 15 mins South of Bunbury on the Bussell Highway

capelgolfclub.org.au 9795 7033


WHERE TO STAY Joondalup Resort With 70 refurbished rooms [pictured] attached to the 27-hole course, Joondalup Resort is an ideal golfersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; haven in Perthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s north. The resort is also oďŹ&#x20AC;ering 20 percent oďŹ&#x20AC; its Par 3, Par 4 and Par 5 playand-stay packages. See website for more. www.joondalupresort.com.au Novotel Vines Resort With rooms and apartments plus an array

Elsewhere, the close to what is now the front nine is exceptional. Beginning with the 377m sixth hole, the ďŹ nal four holes provide a resounding crescendo to the outward half. A little like the 17th hole later in the round, the approach to the eighth needs to be exact to avoid the water short and right of the green, while pars are diďŹ&#x192;cult to prise from Secret Harbour at what is now the ninth, a 386m par 4 with trouble throughout and usually played into the wind. Overall, Secrets is a blend of linksstyle terrain with mostly expansive features and a guile all its own. Leaving it oďŹ&#x20AC; your toplay list is a mistake. Linked to Joondalup is the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed layout, Meadow Springs Golf & Country Club. There are Joondalup-like traits at RTJ Jnrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s southern design, although Meadow Springs is a more restrained expression of his architectural nous. Still, this is hardly a sedate layout. The architect loves to frame his holes in a variety of ways and the bunkering, use of water hazards and array of huge tuart trees perform the task expertly across the 18 holes. The opening nine, Meadow, is ďŹ&#x201A;atter but with narrower playing corridors and more water and more prevalent bunkering. The inward half, Tuart, uses the eponymous trees to deďŹ ne the path towards the green. While shortish by modern standards at 6,189m from the back tees, Meadow Springs

of attractive packages on oďŹ&#x20AC;er, Novotel Vines Resort brings not only the two golf courses within easy reach but also the stunning Swan Valley tourist attractions. www.vines.com.au/Accommodation Quest Apartments Bunbury Modern and neat, Quest Apartments Bunbury is a handy place from where to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;attackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the golf courses of the south-west. www.questapartments.com.au

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hidesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; some of its length in its four par 3s. Each is lengthy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and taxing. The fourth is the least demanding but does feature a large ramp at the front of the green that will reject any shot trying to run onto the green or anything not making the distance. The eighth is an all-water carry from 160m to an hourglass-shaped green with a hidden bowl-shaped area at the back of the putting surface. The 11th is similar, although the green is smaller and water fronts only the left half of the green. The 16th is the one hole at Meadow Springs to receive some redesign treatment in recent years. The

growth of the surrounding housing estate necessitated a road be built between the 16th green and 17th tee. Both areas had to be tweaked with the 16th green aďŹ&#x20AC;ected most. At ďŹ rst glance, the hole looks shorter but in fact remains 186m long, just as it was previously. The new backdrop must give the impression of the green appearing shorter in a clever optical illusion. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Meadow Springs and Trent Jones Jnrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work in a nutshell: many things that appear one way are actually not. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an infuriating but absorbing quality for a golf course to have and keeps golfers returning again and again. Among the newer additions to WA golf is The Cut Golf Course at Dawesville, south of Mandurah. Another past PGA Tour of Australasia venue, the 12-year-old layout is highlighted by an outstanding stretch of holes ďŹ&#x201A;anking the Indian Ocean. A section of the front nine meanders through a housing estate, but outside these holes is a series of mighty challenges amid spectacular landforms. Any discussion about The Cut needs to include the 400m 12th hole. If ever a golfer trying to manage a good score needs a straight blow from the tee, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at No.12. Played from an elevated tee and generally into the wind, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little more than 25m of safe passage between the scrubby dunes on either side of the rippled fairway below. Then, having navigated the ďŹ rst shot, the hole turns right and rises steeply towards a green perched atop a dune with more trouble to the right. A minimum of two excellent shots is needed to make a par, while birdies require a little divine intervention. While susceptible to the coastal winds and visually daunting at many points across the course, in anything less than a moderate breeze the James Wilcher design is a little easier than ďŹ rst glances indicate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; providing golfers play from the appropriate set of tees. Yes, on occasion there is simply no respite for anything less than an ideal shot, but elsewhere there is room to manoeuvre for golfers who are content to set aside their ego and play smart.

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SOUTHERN CHARM

If you like good, honest country golf tracks, numerous courses line the edge of Geographe Bay as the WA coastline wraps around the ocean on its journey south. Farthest down this route is Dunsborough Lakes Golf Club, a spacious windswept layout winding through a housing estate. Characterised by broad fairways and shapely bunkers, the home stretch of holes is where the place takes its name. The inward journey at Dunsborough features a run of five holes starting from the 11th without a par 4, which is a feature of very few golf courses. Things really ramp up from the 15th, a 463m par 5 with water in play on every shot en route to a two-tiered

green. Strong par 4s at the 16th and 18th are a slicer’s nightmare with water running the right-side edge on both, with the huge lake crossing in front of the final green in a thrilling conclusion to the round. It sounds daunting, although in reality there is football field of space left of the aqua. When you hear the name ‘Busselton’, golfers in the know automatically think of Stephen Leaney. The former US Open runner-up honed his game at Busselton Golf Club and it’s not surprising to picture how Leaney grooved his technique to focus on accuracy. What is surprising, perhaps, is that Leaney only once won the club championship at Busselton, in 1987. One might expect to see his name countless times on the honour boards but it appears   . # *  / 3  * ' $ ' # 1   1    & ' " " # , % # +  ' ,  2 & #  1 - 3 2 & Ư 5 # 1 2Ż

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just the single time. These days, the Leaney Cup, held every November, signifies his connection to the club. The design is completely different to Dunsborough Lakes. Where it is wide open and largely treeless, Busselton’s fairways weave between huge gum trees and pine forests. The alleys are narrow but not anorexic and the bunkering is clean, tidy and strategic. One unique aspect to Busselton’s bunkers is the rakes are stood upright in tubes, therefore adding another option to the eternal ‘in or out’ rake debate. The back nine holds the more interesting holes at Busselton, with the 11th one of the best. The 290m par 4 bends sharply right while the fairway at the corner slopes in the opposite direction. The long green is narrow with a bunker on either side. With sand, slopes and tall timber in play, No.11 captures the essence of the layout in less than 300m. In a similar vein is Capel Golf Club, which classifies as a true hidden gem. “We’d just like to get rid of the ‘hidden’ part,” says general manager Paul Campaner. He’s right, as Capel is somewhat hidden in plain sight. Situated 14 kilometres north of the town of Capel and an easy drive from either Bunbury or Busselton, the club is directly off the highway in a 110km/h zone. As such, people often miss it on their way past even though the fairways are just a short distance from the road. Capel is everything a country golf course should be: uncomplicated but interesting with plenty of variety and great conditioning. Campaner tells a story about a gathering of WA golf club general managers in which the GM of one top-notch Perth


KALGOORLIE Golf Course

PREMIER GOLF IN OUTBACK WA KALGOORLIE GOLF COURSE PACK YOUR CLUBS & PLAY A ROUND LIKE NO OTHER Ranked as the #18 Public Golf Course in Australia, the championship Kalgoorlie Golf Course offers a stunning 18 holes set amongst rich red dirt. Receive FREE cart hire when you mention “Australian Golf Digest.” Valid for one use only.

THE PERFECT PLACE TO TAKE A BREAK & ENJOY A MEAL Overlooking the breathtaking course, the Waterhole Bar & Bistro is the ideal venue for a pre-game coffee or to unwind over lunch or dinner with a refreshing drink and a delicious meal. Kalgoorlie Golf Course 93 Aslett Drive, Karlkula Phone (08) 9026 2626 Email admin@kalgoorliegolfcourse.com Web kalgoorliegolfcourse.com Facebook /KalgoorlieGolfCourse


Seve would have been right at home on Bunburyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sand-based, treelined layout, which features gently turning rather than overt doglegs

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club pointed to him and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the best greens of anyone.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diďŹ&#x192;cult to argue against. Despite a number of large gum trees lining the fairways, the putting surfaces see plenty of sunlight and are thriving. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a layout that holds its own when the pros come to town. While other proams in the region are won with 63s and 64s, shooting 67 is usually good enough around the 6,106m layout. The members also know a secret to reading the greens.

The theory goes that the greens on the front nine, or northern side of the course, all break towards the ocean. Conversely, the back nine greens on the southern side break towards the highway. However, Bunbury Golf Club remains the pick of the courses south of the Golf Coast. With more undulating land and artistic shapes to its greens and bunkering, the course at Clifton Park is a must-play layout. Because if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good enough for Seve, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good enough for anyone. Yes, the late,

QUEEN OF THE DESERT There are few more stark visuals in Australian golf than the strips of emerald green fairways contrasting against the rugged ochre desert scrub running beside them at Kalgoorlie Golf Course. Factor in the white sandy bunkers dotting the layout plus a little water and you have a true kaleidoscope of colours. Designed by Kalgoorlie-born Graham Marsh, the ambitious project opened for play in 2010 and oďŹ&#x20AC;ers plenty more substance than aesthetics alone. The layout is long â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a healthy 6,760 metres from the back markers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and is characterised by ďŹ&#x201A;owing green complexes and challenging terrain overall. The addition of Marshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hometown masterpiece seven years ago in many ways completed the picture for the West Australian golf scene. Already owning links, resort and parkland courses, a world-class desert layout reinforced the diverse landscapes of the west and the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imposing natural assets. Partly funded by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the place known in the mining industry for its enormous Super Pit now has another huge landmark. Kalgoorlie is no snack to get to (a six-and-a-half hour drive east of Perth or an hour ďŹ&#x201A;ight) but the unique course makes it worth the eďŹ&#x20AC;ort. Visit www.ckb.wa.gov.au/Kalgoorlie-Golf-Course.aspx for more information.

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great Severiano Ballesteros played Bunbury in a tournament in 1979 along with an armada of other big names of the day. The Spanish maestro would have been right at home on the sand-based, treelined layout, which features gently turning rather than overt doglegs. Some greens welcome running shots while others hide behind gaping front bunkers that dominate the eyeline on approach. Occasionally, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;dead groundâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; between the bunker and the target â&#x20AC;&#x201C; anything to trick the golfer. One oddity to Bunbury is that both nines begin with a par 3. The 163m ďŹ rst is straightforward enough, but the 124m 10th plays even shorter due to its dramatically elevated tee. As such, the naturally short hole plays as many as two clubs shorter courtesy of the descent. After the short openings, both nines unfold into compelling excursions through the established treelines and onto thought-provoking greens. Bunbury, which ranked inside Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top-100 Courses at the start of this decade, has the foundations to potentially join the biennial list again. Bunburyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s situation is emblematic of the state of the game right across WA as its brightest lights in golf continue to shine. Blessed with endless natural resources and an agreeable climate, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sense that golfers on the left-hand side of our great country know a little secret the rest of the land is slowly coming to appreciate: west is best. 2 â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1    5 # 2   , "  5 ' * "  $ ' , ' 1 &  2   3 , 1 - 0 - 3 % &    ) # 1 Ĺť


THE

BIG 5

TOUR

PLAY THE TOP 5 COURSES IN AUSTRALIA OVER 5 INCREDIBLE DAYS For the very first time, in conjunction with leading golf tour operator Exclusive Sports, you can play Australia’s Top 5 golf courses in 5 days as ranked by the country’s leading golf publication – Australian Golf Digest. Hosted by Australian Golf Digest TV personality Annabel Rolley, you will play each of the Top 5 courses from the 2016 Australian Golf Digest Top 100 Courses Ranking.

ROYAL MELBOURNE (WEST)

KINGSTON HEATH

NSW GOLF CLUB

BARNBOUGLE DUNES

ITINERARY Monday 20th March 2017 Tuesday 21st March 2017 Wednesday 22nd March 2017 Thursday 23rd March 2017 Friday 24th March 2017

Kingston Heath Royal Melbourne (West) Cape Wickham Barnbougle Dunes NSW Golf Club

ONLY 15 SPOTS AVAILABLE!

CAPE WICKHAM

(No.2) (No.1) (No.3) (No.5) (No.4)

What’s included in the tour: • All airfares and transfers from Melbourne to Sydney (Via Tasmania mainland and King Island) • All meals • All green fees • Hotel and accommodation, including the Pullman hotels (Sydney & Melbourne) and Lost Farm Lodge • Please note tour price is departing from Melbourne •

BOOK NOW AND RESERVE YOUR SEAT ON THIS WORLD-FIRST TOUR! Cost: From $5,995 Contact Exclusive Sports on 02 9555 5195 or go to www.exclusivesports.com.au/big5

Hosted by Annabel Rolley AUSTRALIAN


Promotion

Tourism Western Australia

GOLF IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA & #   3 2  ' 1  0  , ) # "   - Ĺť Â&#x192; Â  ' ,   3 1 2 0  * '  , - * $   ' % # 1 2 Ç&#x201A; 1  - .  Â&#x20AC;     - 3 0 1 # 1   , " ' 1    + 3 1 2 ĆŻ . * 7  - ,  7- 3 0  , # 6 2  4 ' 1 ' 2  2 - #12#0, 3120*' Ĺť

WINES OF WES WESTERN AUSTRALIA

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT orld-class courses, superb weather and breathtaking scenery make Western Australia a premier golf destination â&#x20AC;&#x201C; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ďŹ nd plenty of golf courses oďŹ&#x20AC;ering top quality facilities as well as rugged, beautiful and vibrant natural settings. Courses like the Joondalup Resort, Links Kennedy Bay and Lake Karrinyup Country Club have established themselves as some

W

of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best golf courses, well known for their design and challenging layout featuring variation in setting and style. Perth and surrounding regions also oďŹ&#x20AC;er an extensive choice of public golf courses as professionals and enthusiasts are able to access champion courses for a nominal fee, making WA the ideal destination for a weekend game or golf trip. You might even share the green with a kangaroo or two!

APO | STRO | PHE

$15.99 Posessive Red Blend, Frankland River Our ďŹ eld trials with new varieties have lead us to these blends, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Possessive Reds Blend: Shiraz's earthiness tempers Grenache's muskiness which softens Mataro's Steeliness.

HOUSE OF CARDS

$40.00 â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Royalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; King of Spades Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River Much like royal bloodlines, the wines in the Royal Series are single vineyard and single varietal. This wine is rich and delicious with aromas of cedar, leather and mushroom.

JUXTAPOSE

$28.00 Pinot Noir, Great Southern Juxtapose is a series of wines that celebrates the unique partnership between Plantagenetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s winemaker and viticulturist to craft superb expressions of the Great Southern region. Soft and elegant in structure.

HONEYBOMB

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$18.00 Chardonnay, Margaret River From the house of Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lair, Honeybomb is a well structured wine oďŹ&#x20AC;ering both elegance and generosity of ďŹ&#x201A;avour. Stone fruits mingled with toasted nuts provide a complex array of ďŹ&#x201A;avours over a core citrus backbone.


Top six things to do in and around Perth Perth is Australia’s only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. It’s also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches.

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1. EXPLORE KINGS PARK & BOTANIC GARDEN

One of the largest inner city parks in the world – at 400 hectares it is larger than New York’s Central Park – Kings Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. A short walk or free bus ride from the city centre, check out the impressive views of the Swan River and city skyline, pack a picnic or learn more about the park on an Indigenous walking tour .

2. DISCOVER THE PORT CITY OF FREMANTLE

The best-preserved example of a 19th century port streetscape in the world, Fremantle is a little bit bohemian and hipster. Learn about the town’s maritime and convict history on a walking tour, browse the shops, galleries and weekend markets, or dine at one of the many cafés, bars, restaurants or microbreweries.

3. RELAX ON

With its 63 secluded white sandy beaches and 20 bays, it’s easy to see why the people of Perth proudly declare Rottnest Island (or “Rotto”) their very own island paradise. Located just a short ferry ride from Perth, Fremantle or Hillarys, Rottnest Island has shot to international fame in recent years largely in part to its native inhabitant: the quokka. & # 4 ' # 5 - 4 # 0  2 & # 0 dž 1  #  ! & ', $0#+,2*#

4. EXPERIENCE FOOD AND WINE IN THE SWAN VALLEY

The Swan Valley is WA’s oldest wine region, and is an easy 30-minute drive from Perth city. Here you can meet the maker at some of the small family wineries or sample some of the wines from vineyards that sell their wines internationally. There’s also fresh produce, microbreweries and galleries galore on the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail.

5. VISIT ELIZABETH QUAY

While you’re here don’t forget to check out Elizabeth Quay where you can enjoy the city’s active lifestyle, abundant sunshine, amazing views and alfresco dining. There are so many ways to get to and from the quay. Catch a train to Elizabeth Quay station or a bus to Elizabeth Quay bus port, ride Perth’s free CAT bus, or get a taxi to and from Barrack Street Jetty – right beside the iconic Bell Tower.

6. SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS

From the shores of the spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Rockingham Wild Encounters runs swimming with dolphins tours, sea kayak tours of Penguin Island and boat cruises to get up close and personal with the local dolphins, sea lions and little penguins.

Want to explore more of Western Australia? Make time to explore the rest of the beautiful state; here are some amazing attractions for your next visit. From the 350-million-yearold Bungle Bungle Range in the Kimberley region to the Ningaloo Reef – one of the few

places on Earth you can swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. Some experiences are just a couple of hours drive from Perth. Head south and you can find yourself in one of Australia’s

premium wine regions, the Margaret River Wine Region. Or head north along the coast to visit Nambung National Park, home to the Pinnacles – eerie limestone spires that have formed over millions of years.

Start planning your return trip at westernaustralia.com february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 67


HELLO AGAIN, WORLD! Why Tiger’s return can be called a success – and what he needs to do to reignite his Major chase with Jack. By Jaime Diaz

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FTER 466 days, Tiger Woods returned to competition at the Hero World Challenge. What did we learn? Well, it’s hard to say definitively. On one hand, Woods was under as much scrutiny as he has ever been in his over-scrutinised life. With a game recently described as “vulnerable”, he handled the challenge without melting down. On the other, the Hero was the very recipe of home cooking. Unofficial event, 18-man field, no cut, cake golf course, sparse galleries in a languid tropical setting, Woods as the tournament host surrounded by supplicants and staff. Albany Golf Club is far from the cold demands of a 72-hole US PGA Tour event at, let’s say, Torrey Pines or Riviera, two places where Woods could open 2017 as he embarks on what he hopes will be a full playing schedule. And much farther still from a merciless Major. Bottom line, Woods finished 15th. His scores of 73-65-70-76 represented a decidedly mixed bag. The good news was that he led the field in birdies with 24 (through 43 holes he had 17), looking good after reuniting with the Scotty Cameron putter with which he won 13 Majors. The bad news: Woods had eight bogeys and six doubles. Many of them were mostly due to a short game that, though not the horror show of early 2015, is still iffy. The unevenness could have been expected. His good was surprisingly good. But as Woods himself would say, what matters most

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is “how bad is your bad”. If it stays that bad, it’s improbable that Woods will be able to add to his career totals of 79 official US PGA Tour victories let alone his 14 Majors. At the same time, after watching Woods play with aggression and verve, it’s indisputable that he remains physically capable. Yes, he’s now turned 41, and his three back surgeries since March 2015 to many seem a prelude to the end, but Woods looked like anything but a gimpy geezer in the Bahamas. His misses were not wild, while his many good drives were plenty long and many good irons very crisp. Most of all, there was a palpable and overdue ease to his game. Woods looked leaner, which seemed to aid in more swinging of the clubhead and less straining of the body. Along with his speed, he had rhythm, flow and balance. Technically, his stance was narrower, posture taller, hip turn bigger and his once rigid left leg softer through impact. There seemed to be less thinking over the ball, and more of a subconscious freedom. After so much grinding and grimacing in recent years, it was a welcome change. Woods said he has been trying to implement some old swing “feels” from his vaunted teenage years. Which if he was watching, had to hearten 95-year-old John Anselmo, Tiger’s teacher between ages 10 and 16. Along with the rejuvenation, Woods seemed unusually, even unjustifiably, confident, given the way he had abruptly

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

withdrawn from the Safeway Open in October only three days after committing at the last minute to the event. At the time, most observers couldn’t resist using the term “stage fright”. But in his pre-tournament press conference in the Bahamas, Woods talked about having “all the shots”. And yes, that he was in it to win it. It was an extension of the bravado Woods exhibited in his answer last month to Charlie Rose, who’d asked if he had accepted not reaching Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Majors. “I’ve accepted I’m going to get more,” Woods said. Such words raised expectations, but Woods – his old aura having diminished – doesn’t seem as concerned with failure as he used to be. All week, he looked to be genuinely enjoying himself, smiling widely as he interacted with playing partners and caddies, gracious and light in post-round interviews. Of course there was intensity, but the tranquil kind comes from a favourite task. After all that’s happened to him over the past six years, he seems to realise that he really has nothing to prove, and as such, nothing to lose. After picking a birdie putt out of the hole, he gathered himself with a deep breath, quietly intoxicated with the opportunity to still be doing what he has always loved. It seems that the enforced break – at 15 months the longest of his career – was different than others. Woods didn’t rush back to return and didn’t pound his body with obsessive working out. He doesn’t talk much about reflection, but it appears


some healing, physically and mentally, took place. There was a hint of as much when, in announcing his withdrawal from Safeway, Woods admitted “my game is vulnerable”. After so much denial and posing, it seemed liberating. The encouragement Woods has received from his peers has undoubtedly helped. As an assistant captain at the Ryder Cup, Woods was presented by the team a t-shirt emblazoned “Make Tiger Great Again”. For a once dominant and remote champion who’s suffered a fall from grace, such a show of respect and acceptance is meaningful. Woods’ comebacks always get outsized reactions, but perhaps they contain some wisdom. He is one of those rare humans whose special talent is immediately apparent to average people. Especially after his 65 on the Friday, it seemed that the 898th-ranked player had leaped back to the top of the game. Even Hank Haney, always the coldest-eyed realist when it comes to Woods, was effusive. “I think Tiger wins more tournaments and at least one more Major just based on this

performance,” he said on the Sunday. And from the perspective of an eyewitness to true historical greatness, Haney added, “I just don’t think these top guys are so good that Tiger can’t play with them.” The X Factor in all this? Woods’ short game. It used to be his great eraser of mistakes. Now it’s the source of his biggest ones. The problem simply must be resolved – completely – if Woods is to have a chance at challenging Nicklaus. He chunked two chips at Albany, but both were from difficult lies. His pre-tournament statement that “I love chipping” was encouraging, recalling his days with Anselmo, who noted that his young prodigy liked spending time around the practice green at Meadowlark Golf Club in Huntington Beach, California, learning little wedge shots more than pounding full shots on the range. Fortunes in golf can flip very quickly. Sometimes, something seemingly long lost clicks in. And sometimes when it’s gone, it’s gone. At the Hero, Woods at the very least kept the first option in play.

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Play Your Best

Copying Tiger

SAME OLD TIGER, DIFFERENT STRIPES

What is Tiger Woods doing with his swing now, and should you copy it? By Matthew Rudy VERYBODY wanted to see if Tiger Woods would look different in his first tournament back after a 15-month injury timeout. He did. And he didn't. Woods looked smaller, smoother and more free with his swing, and his action was definitely different than it was the last time we saw him. But he still looked like the same guy – and played a very similar game, making lots of birdies and lots of mistakes. No player in the field made more than Woods’ 24 birdies, and nobody made more double-bogeys. The “smoothness” has come from better combining the twisting and pulling actions in his downswing, says GOLF DIGEST Best Young Teacher Michael Jacobs, who is based at Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville, New York. “He looks more ‘relaxed’ because he doesn’t have the same dominant pulling action deep into the downswing he used to have,” says Jacobs. “Before, he had to make extreme movements with his body to twist the club out towards the ball. You can really see the difference in his iron swing now, and I think it’s still a work in progress with the driver.” Woods recovered some speed with his driver, but struggled to dial in his control. Gone was the big block to the right that plagued him over the past few years, but he overdrew several shots during his opening round. “Tiger’s stance is narrower than it was before he was injured,” says Jacobs. “That’s going to be something interesting to watch, to see

E

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if that changes or becomes a permanent part of his driver technique.” As far as Woods’ short game was concerned, he had a couple of hiccups – a chunked chip and a bladed bunker shot – but nothing catastrophic like he had shown previously. And his good shots were as terrific as they’ve always been – including a handful of delicate chips and pitches to tap-in range. Tour short-game guru and GOLF DIGEST 50 Best Teacher Kevin Weeks says Woods does look like he’s made a subtle adjustment to his style – one that every bogey golfer should copy. “Tiger historically tended to be very steep and narrow with his short game shots,” says Weeks, who is based at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Illinois. “He came into the ball at a steep angle, and exposed the leading edge quite a bit. If you have amazing hands, you can get away with it, but you’re flirting with disaster.” In the Bahamas, Woods used a wider, shallower swing, which lets the bounce on the bottom of the club come in contact with the grass. That’s a strategy almost every player should use. “On one of those 20 or 30-yard pitches, you don’t want to let that club stand straight up in the air,” says Weeks. “Get your right shoulder turned back, which gets the butt of the club pointing at the ball or outside it. From there, let the club swing instead of pulling the handle at the target. I like to see the butt of the club pointed at the belt buckle at address, and get back to that same spot at impact. Don’t deloft the club going through.”


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BEARII COUNTRY CLUB : POPULATION 1

Imagine stepping out your front door and onto acres of perfect lawns with tees, greens, fairways, bunkers, manicured gardens and a lake with a water fountain. All you need is 100-plus acres, a couple of mowers and 10 years of hard work. Kenny Miller thought heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d give it a crack. By Matthew Pitt 76

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HE mighty Murray River is home to a glorious collection of golf courses well known to travelling golfers. But somewhere between Rich River and Tocumwal, just past the tiny Victorian town of Bearii with its population of 136, there is a golf course like no other. At the end of a gravel road on the edge of the Barmah Forest is a remote property with a stunning emerald oasis of santa ana couch grass. Meandering through towering Red Gums are manicured fairways, perfectly level teeing grounds, landscaped garden beds and green complexes with challenging bunkering. A tree-lined driveway winds through the golf course to what looks like a great white clubhouse in the centre of the property. Welcome to the exclusive Bearii Country Club with its membership of one. There is a fella riding a mower with a casual, hardworking cragginess about him. Wearing thongs, running shorts, a well-worn polo, an old golf hat and ear muffs, there’s a happygo-lucky nature about him. One corner of his mouth turns up in a half-smile as though constantly ready to crack a joke. 78

When our kids got into motorbikes and boats we looked for some land near the river. A golf course was neverin the plans; it was a lifestyle property – Kenny Miller Meet Kenny Miller – a laidback tradie who has “done alright” with his business. He’s made a hobby of building his own golf course at his holiday house. He drives the three hours from Melbourne most weekends to relax and mow some grass. But when he bought the 130-acre property in 2005, he had no idea what it would become. “When we first arrived, it was a just bush paddock with two houses transported from Melbourne, dumped here and joined together,” recalls Miller. “When our kids got into motorbikes and boats we looked for some land near the river. A golf course was never in the plans; it was a lifestyle property for our family.” Miller grew up on an orchard in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne; his mother an avid gardener. Family holidays to Mt

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Beauty introduced Miller to a sand-scrape golf course that caught his imagination. Living on the orchards perked his interest in horticulture, and the course at Mt Beauty a desire to be a greenskeeper. “I remember saving up forty bucks for my first set of clubs from a second-hand dealer in Mt Beauty. From the age of 12, every holiday I spent traipsing up and down those fairways. I was never very good and I’m still not too flash now, but I’ve have always loved being out on a golf course.” Aged 14, Miller completed work experience at Warrandyte Golf Course in Melbourne and decided he wanted to be a curator. His parents insisted that if he wasn’t at school he’d need a job. Miller left school after Year 8 determined to work on a golf course, but none of


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the clubs he approached were putting on apprentice greenkeepers. Then, his big break in the horticultural industry came at a nursery before being asked to help out a friend with a shop-ďŹ tting job. Another shop ďŹ t went well, so Miller decided to make a career change. He bought a black ute, painted â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Australian Professional ShopďŹ ttersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; on the doors, and business took oďŹ&#x20AC;. For years his childhood dream of being a golf course curator was dormant, but not forgotten. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have always enjoyed being on a golf course,â&#x20AC;? says Miller. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like the grass [laughs]. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a builder, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a nice home. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a mechanic, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a nice car. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m into horticulture, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m really fanatical about grass. All my homes have had nice lawns, like lots of men. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an outdoors version of a man cave.â&#x20AC;?

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When the Millers ďŹ rst arrived at the property there were a couple of basic greens â&#x20AC;&#x201C; circles of sand with ďŹ&#x201A;ags in them. So he decided to add a chipping area and approached a local greenkeeper for some advice on building a putting surface. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Back then, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know anything about the diďŹ&#x20AC;erent grades of sand to use so the original green was just a pile of dirt that we shaped with some sand on it,â&#x20AC;? Miller recalls. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to wait to sow it, so we got some bentgrass turf shipped up from Tasmania that we laid straight away. I borrowed an old mower and I really enjoyed maintaining it so I thought, Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d better build another one! â&#x20AC;&#x153;After building the second green, we did the third one pretty quickly. With spare land, we continued building holes in a loop around the property ďŹ nishing back at the original green out the front. The scale of the holes seemed to grow as we went and the last tees oďŹ&#x20AC; over a massive lake with a fountain in the middle.â&#x20AC;? Today, a 40-acre circuit of ďŹ ve holes circumnavigates the house; each framed by magniďŹ cent gum trees. The playing surfaces are superb with a carpet of santa ana couch covering the entire area. Millerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nursery skills are on display with the course featuring beautiful garden beds and decorative trees. Level teeing grounds are purpose-built and elevated. The greens and bunker complexes are also beautifully designed for a great test of golf. The house itself has six bedrooms, a large

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dining room, cinema, tennis court, large outdoor entertaining areas and swimming pool. But it is the golf course that dominates Millerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention. His ambition is to create playing surfaces to rival Augusta National. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has been a massive project; grass takes a lot of maintenance,â&#x20AC;? says Miller. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People ask us who designed it, but it was just me, doing a bit at a time. I think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only missed 12 weekends in 10 years of coming up here. I normally sit and think about what we can do next and over time I began to visualise what was possible. What matters most to me is it feels ďŹ tting for the area and that our family and friends have a lot of fun here.â&#x20AC;? Though the property is out of the way, it is starting to attract attention. Miller is a friend of retired AFL star Glenn Archer, who founded Kode Entertainment Group (formerly Ultimate Sports Tours). Recently Archer asked Miller could he bring some clients to the property for a meeting, so two helicopters ďŹ&#x201A;ew a group up from Melbourne. The day opened Millerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes to the possibilities of the property. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That was a real eye-opener for us,â&#x20AC;? says Miller. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had wondered whether we could rent it out as a corporate retreat destination. It costs a bit to maintain, so we ďŹ gure the property could do some work to cover its costs. Glenn believes we could do more, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just an idea at this stage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We come here a lot and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great just to have for our family, kids and friends to enjoy.â&#x20AC;?


Just a 20 minute drive from Queenstownâ&#x20AC;¦ Arrowtown Golf Course is a must play. Open all year round. Visitors welcome! Ph: +64 3 442 1719 | W: www.arrowtowngolf.co.nz E: info@arrowtowngolf.co.nz

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Win Your Way to Paradise in 2017 The Qantas Golf Club Challenge Series returns for 2017 and is your chance to play on some of Australia’s best and most exclusive courses. Take out top honours in any of our 14 one day qualifying events and you’ll enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to the final at the iconic Hamilton Island Golf Club^

2017 Challenge Events FEB

02 MAR

The Lakes Golf Club (NSW)

JUL

17 APR

Royal Fremantle Golf Club (WA)

20 AUG

Glenelg Golf Club (SA)

01 AUG

Indooroopilly Golf NSW Golf Club Club (QLD) (NSW)

03 APR

28 MAY

Woodlands Golf Club (VIC)

11 AUG

Noosa Springs Golf Club (QLD)

15 JUN

Commonwealth Golf Club (VIC)

28 SEP

DEC

Lakelands Golf Club (QLD)

21 OCT

Royal Queensland Bonnie Doon Golf Golf Club (QLD) Club (NSW)

23 JUN

Concord Golf Club (NSW)

09 OCT

Huntingdale Golf Club (VIC)

29

19

Federal Golf Club (ACT)

05-08

Series Final Hamilton Island Golf Club

Book your place at qantasgolfclub.com/2017-challenge or call 1300 733 465’ The 2017 Qantas Golf Club Challenge Qualifying Events are subject to the tournament rules and regulations, of each event. To be eligible to qualify for the 2017 Qantas Golf Club Challenge Final both players in a team must have a Golf Australia handicap. Check individual qualifying event terms and conditions. To take part in a Qantas Golf Club event, participants must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member and 18 years of age or older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The prize includes entry to the 2017 Qantas Golf Club Challenge Final to be held at Hamilton Island Golf Club, return Economy flights within Australia, 3 nights’ accommodation on Hamilton Island, 2 rounds of golf at Hamilton Island Golf Club, green fees, daily breakfast and lunch, dinner on the first night and last night, polo shirt and cap and airport transfers. To be eligible for the team prize of 200,000 Qantas Points (100,000 Qantas Points per team member) both team members must have a valid Golf Australia handicap and be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member. You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions.


QANTAS Golf Club

Promotion

Start 2017 with these fantastic East Coast getaways thanks to Qantas Golf Club visiting Sydney golfers the rare opportunity to experience the sort of tight lies the city’s more common kikuyu grass can’t replicate. A fearsome test in the sometimes blustery winds that blow across the course, it’s no surprise Magenta Shores comes in at 23 on the Australian Golf Digest top 100 rankings. The attached Pullman Magenta Shores Resort is part of the Accor Hotels group and brings everything you’d expect to a stay and play experience. Luxury accommodations, spa facilities, swimming pool and ready access to nearby beaches are just some of what you can enjoy when not testing your game on the course.

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BARNBOUGLE DUNES, TASMANIA The internationally acclaimed Barnbougle Dunes in Bridport, Tasmania, is genuine bucket list material. Home to 38 of the finest holes of golf to be found anywhere on the planet, the two courses – the original Dunes layout and the more recent addition, Lost Farm – typify everything that golf should be. The wide fairways and accessible greens both reward and encourage the ground game while at the same time complementing perfectly the relaxed atmosphere to be found away from the fairways. Lost Farm’s Sports Bar is the perfect place to spend most of your time away from the course with freshly made pizzas, an array of quality beers on tap and all the golf ambience you can handle. Those looking for something a little quieter can opt to stay in the cabins at the original Dunes course and dine at the more reserved restaurant to be found there. Two very different experiences, both equally good. PEPPERS MOONAH LINKS RESORT, VICTORIA In keeping with the theme of dramatic landscapes, Victoria’s stunning Mornington Peninsula is next on the list with a stay at the Peppers Moonah Links Resort. In 2012 only three facilities in the nation finished ahead of Peppers Moonah Links Resort on the Luxury Travel Gold List for Best Australian Golf Resort, testament to the quality of every part of the experience here. Moonah Links’ Open course was purpose built to test the best professionals and is

recognised as one of the nation’s toughest tests. While most find the challenge of this Peter Thomson brute more than they can handle, it is a must play for every golfer, as it appeals to that oddly sadistic streak that all of us who play this game share. It’s likely you’ll have admitted defeat by the time you face the par-5 18th littered with its 11 fairway traps and lone greenside bunker but you will at least be able to say you survived. Moonah’s Legends course, on the other hand, could hardly be more fun to play. Traversing a variety of landscapes as it winds its way around the property, the Legends is a favourite with resort guests and visitors to the area alike. This is fun golf on ideal land where both aerial and ground strategies come into play and the golfer is asked to both think and execute to play near to handicap. Moonah Links Legends is rated the 29th best course in the country by Australian Golf Digest while it’s tougher sibling comes in at 36. Tackle both during a stay at one of the country’s best resorts and you’ll know you’ve had a great golf getaway. MAGENTA SHORES RESORT, NSW Magenta Shores Golf Resort, at the northern end of the state’s Central Coast, is a revelation. NSW is not known for its links style courses but at Magenta, Ross Watson has crafted a superb seaside layout. Occupying a sliver of land between Tuggerah Lake on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, this relative newcomer to the NSW golf landscape has rightly attracted plenty of accolades. Rolling, sandy land ideal for playing golf gives

HAMILTON ISLAND GOLF CLUB, QUEENSLAND Our final destination might be the most interesting as we head way north, to the Whitsundays in Queensland, and the venue for the final of the 2017 Qantas Challenge Series Final at Hamilton Island Golf Club. Occupying an entire island to itself, the Peter Thomson design has received rave reviews since its opening in 2009 and quickly become one of the nation’s ‘Must Play’ destinations. A challenging test of golf at the best of times, the course can really bare its teeth in a strong wind and at 31 on Australian Golf Digest’s Top 100 list, will hold the interest of any level of player. Accessible only by boat, the course is actually located on Dent Island but bears the name of its owners, the nearby Hamilton Island Resort. One of Australia’s most popular holiday spots, Hamilton Island is now the complete destination for anyone with an interest in golf. Most come away from their first round at this spectacular layout eagerly anticipating their next visit and with some of the spectacular holes on offer it’s no surprise why. The one shot holes will stand out in the minds of most who play here with the 14th, the most photographed hole on the course, a real standout. Don’t let the sweeping vistas of the Whitsunday Waterways distract from the task at hand on a hole that demands your full attention. Those lucky enough to qualify for the final of the 2017 Qantas Golf Challenge are in for a rare treat while those who don’t should plan a trip here, and soon, regardless.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THE ABOVE VISIT QANTASGOLFCLUB.COM OR CALL 1300 742 973 Disclaimer: Golf holiday packages are offered by Golfer Escapes Pty Ltd. ABN 36 093 86 756 and are subject to the Golfer Escapes terms and conditions, available at qantasgolfclub.com/holiday-packages-terms.


In a spectacular year-round holiday haven, golf is but one option on Queenstown’s buffet of breathtaking New Zealand tourism. By Evin Priest

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Gary Lisbon Photography

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 85


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T IS remarkable that golf could be overshadowed in Queenstown, but it is. Call it the Stuart MacGill of South Island tourism â&#x20AC;&#x201C; world-class in its own right, but unfortunately not the ďŹ rst star picked. MacGillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s archrival happened to be cricketâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest leg spinner, Shane Warne. And Queenstown golf faces similarly stiďŹ&#x20AC; competition via a smorgasbord of recreation from the peaks of The Remarkables to the bottom of Lake Wakatipu. Though thrill seekers would consider it a two-horse race between the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Queenstownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vibrant colours make it one of the most photogenic destinations in the world, courtesyof the alpine regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s snow-capped mountains and vast lakes acclaimed ski slopes and adrenaline rushes like bungee jumping or jet boating, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely breathtaking scenery for nature lovers, Arrowtown for the history buďŹ&#x20AC;s and a host of delectable restaurants for the foodies.

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Oh, and Queenstown happens to be at the epicentre of New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous Central Otago region â&#x20AC;&#x201C; voted in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top-ďŹ ve new-world wine producers. Golfers whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen pictures of Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Point, The Hills and Millbrook may ďŹ nd it ludicrous that some of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best layouts (those standing at the foot of snowcapped mountains and bordering vast lakes) wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be the centrepiece of this treasured Kiwi destination. But Queenstownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tourism industry is unlike any other in the world. And who is the beneďŹ ciary? You, the travelling golfer.

FORMIDABLE FAIRWAYS

As a wise man once told this writer, it is the colours of Queenstown that make its golf so captivating. The signature palette of this alpine region is a combination of glowing white from the snow-capped Remarkables mountain range set against beautiful shades of brown from Queenstownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique soil and rocks. Contrasted with the green of six manicured golf courses within 25 minutes, Queenstownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spectrum makes 86

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


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TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT Although it’s inland, Cromwell Golf Club’s terrain still offers a coastal links feel. Cromwell [below] was crafted out of marram grass and sand dunes with hard, fast-running fairways and dramatically undulating greens keeping the excitement levels high. While New Zealand holds a reputation for unpredictable weather, Cromwell’s inland climate sees it available

88

year-round for golf with little disruption. And with visitor green fees ranging from $50 to $75 (seasonal), you’d be silly not to play Cromwell while travelling through the South Island. Need more convincing? On the banks of the Kawarau River, the Cromwell basin is a part of the Central Otago wine region – boasting 11 wineries nearby for grape lovers.

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for a truly special experience – regardless of the layout you’re playing. The marquee courses here are the ones spruiked to the world, and rightfully so. Jack’s Point, The Hills and Millbrook were this year ranked in New Zealand’s top 10 by this magazine. Jack’s Point, 10 minutes from Queenstown airport, achieved the No.2 ranking on the back of its location; wedged between the eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu and 2,300 vertical metres of The Remarkables. Put simply, every inch of this John Darby design is utterly spectacular. The 6,388-metre masterpiece will have you weaving through native tussock grasslands and dramatic, rocky outcrops while playing down steep bluffs and swathes of native bush – all the while taking in continuous lakeside scenery. Our tip: take five minutes on the tee at the signature par-3 seventh to soak up its otherworldly views. Jack’s Point is also constructing The Village – a vibrant residential community built around Lake Tewa. The Village will comprise of a mix of luxury boathouses, affordable apartments, restaurants, cafés, retail stores and small innovate businesses with the aim of creating “an exciting work and lifestyle mix”. Darby’s other Queenstown design, New Zealand Open co-host The Hills, combines severe changes in elevation, world-class conditioning and the mountain motif for an unforgettable round at the Kiwi No.6.


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HOW TO GET THERE Remarkable Golf Tours (RGT) is your go-to company for incredible golf trips to Queenstown, with a groundbased tour agent providing you local information first hand and somebody on the other end of the phone you can trust to organise the best of what Queenstown has to offer, whether spectacular golf courses, delectable restaurants and wineries or breathtaking sightseeing. RGT was established in Queenstown in 2007 to provide a range of golf services for visitors to New Zealand and have arranged tours for thousands of golfers from all corners of the globe. RGT has expanded its vehicle fleet to cater to a range of group sizes from couples to large touring parties, and the service remains focused on the finer details of planning that ensure a seamless golf trip. However large or small your group is, take the opportunity to contact Remarkable Golf Tours to see what they can offer you. For more information, visit remarkablegolftours.co.nz

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Queenstown’s marquee courses are deservingly spruiked to the world – Jack’s Point, The Hills and Millbrookwere ranked in New Zealand’s top 10 by this magazine .

Millbrook Resort, which next month will be the primary host of the New Zealand Open, is Queenstown’s only 27-hole venue, with construction beginning soon on a fourth nine to complement its residential/resort development. The Remarkables and Arrow nines were designed by legendary Kiwi golfer Sir Bob Charles, and renovated by former tour pro Greg Turner in 2010 to include the addition of his Coronet nine. While Charles’ 18 holes are more forgiving for the average golfer, Turner’s Coronet loop will have you hitting dramatic tee shots and thrilling approaches

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

to a series of boldly-contoured greens. Millbrook’s point of difference is a sleepy village atmosphere enhanced by paved pathways linking historic cabins that separately house the clubhouse, pro shop and café/restaurant. Walking through Millbrook Resort is a charming nod to Arrowtown’s goldmining history, and throughout the course you’ll also see rustic tributes to the property’s original purpose as a 450-acre wheat farm. Notably the driving range, which is housed in a restored original high-country woolshed. You couldn’t call the remaining courses


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in Queenstown ‘hidden gems’ or ‘unsung heroes’ because these fantastic layouts are no secret to the golf world. Arrowtown Golf Club [below] is one of the most popular courses in New Zealand and counts renowned course architect Tom Doak as one of its biggest fans. “Arrowtown – it’s so short some people won’t give it credit but it’s unique and on my list of favourite places in New Zealand,” Doak said. Ranked Kiwi No.13, the ruggedly handsome Arrowtown starts with a tight front nine meandering through canyons and schist rock, while the back nine is more open but features water on seven holes. The best time of year to play Arrowtown is undoubtedly March or April, when the autumn foliage is simply breathtaking. Set on its own peninsula at Kelvin Heights and surrounded by gorgeous Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Golf Club is one of the most picturesque golf course settings in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Pristine pine trees line the fairways of this parkland-style

layout, while rock features and panoramic vistas of the lake and mountains are enjoyed throughout the round. With its par-72 (74 for women) course measuring 6,103 metres, Queenstown Golf Club is among the most enjoyable rounds you’ll play in New Zealand.

WHERE TO STAY – THE REES

Shortly after this scribe stayed at The Rees Hotel Queenstown, it was crowned ‘Best New Zealand Ski Hotel’ at the World Ski Awards in Austria. It came as no surprise that The Rees was selected from a shortlist of seven properties across New Zealand as its accommodation, service (and wine list) are absolutely

THE GIBBSTON VALLEY It would be difficult to top Central Otago as the world’s most picturesque wine region. The globe’s southernmost wine producer has six sub-regions that take in spectacular lakes, mountain ranges, gorges and valleys. Closest to Queenstown is the Gibbston Valley, set among rugged mountains and the rocky Kawarau River gorge. More than 70 per cent of the grapes grown here are pinot noir; with chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc making up the remainder. In addition to the Gibbston Valley winery, there is also Mt Edward, Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Brennan, Chard Farm, Coal Pit, Mt Rosa, Peregrine and Waitiri Creek that are must visits. Brennan Wines was this writer’s pick – the boutique winery’s outstanding service and philosophy (producing limited quantities of exceptional wine that truly represent the region) were hard to beat. Allow a full day to tour the Gibbston’s variety of cellar doors.

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 91


world class. The Rees blends chic, 5-star accommodation with the comforts of home and the service/facilities typical of an elite international hotel. The Rees’ location on the lakefront and its terraced construction has guests enjoying jaw-dropping views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remakables from the privacy of large private balconies. It is also the ideal golf and ski accommodation option for families, couples and groups; generously sized hotel rooms as well as one, two and three-bedroom apartments are a perfect end to a day spent at one of Queenstown’s fantastic courses. Plus, no hotel or restaurant in Queenstown could come close to The Rees’ acclaimed wine selection – The Rees was awarded the 2016 Award of Excellence by US Wine Spectator for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, The

Rees’ flagship restaurant, True South Dining Room, was given two stars in the World of Fine Wine’s 2016 World’s Best Wine Lists.

WONDERFUL WANAKA

Wanaka Golf Club [below] was among the best $70 rounds of golf this writer has come across. This tastefully designed 18-hole course has some of the most interesting tee and approach shots you’ll encounter at a public-access course. Set on undulating land perched high above Wanaka’s town centre, there are inspiring vistas of the mountain range and Lake Wanaka from every hole on the front nine. Due to Wanaka’s popularity surge in recent years, the club has had to increase its fleet of motorised carts and is improving the facilities to cater to large golf groups.

FOODIE HEAVEN Queenstown’s restaurant scene offers everything from local and ethnic cuisine to award-winning chefs across 150 cafés and restaurants. For fine dining, be sure to book in at Rata – the creation of internationally recognised, Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett – or Eichardt’s Bar if you want luxury cuisine in the form of mouth-watering tapas. For a fix of epic meat, visit Botswana Butchery and ask for the little black book of special cuts. Queenstown is also famous for faster food options such as curry, Chinese and pizza, but the world-famous Fergburger is essential while you’re here. Its iconic and affordable burgers have queues lining out the door. But don’t worry, one of the most delicious burgers you’ll ever consume is made at lightening speed.

OUR TIP: if you’re not hitting the slopes, Wanaka is perhaps just a day trip or overnighter for most travellers, given it is more than an hour’s drive from Queenstown. Wanaka is no longer a secret with the popular Cardrona, Treble Cone and Snow Farm snowfields close by, but unless you’re skiing you can probably play a morning round at Wanaka and spend the rest of the afternoon/ night checking out the town and lake. 92

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


Scenic18-hole golf course

SUITABLE FOR GOLFERS OF ALL ABILITIES. AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED. The Wanaka Golf Club is set amongst mature trees with magnificent views of Lake Wanaka and New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southern Alps. Enjoy our full range of services, including practice range, equipment hire, fully stocked proshop, cafe and bar.

A P E W

Ballantyne Road, Wanaka +64 3 443 7888 pro@wanakagolf.co.nz www.wanakagolf.co.nz


Top Shot This par 3 is on New Zealand’s South Island, elevation 4,500 feet ITH?KQNOAOHEGA=LA E@J=LLANO=J@ =QNEHEYOż>KPD=IKJCPDA SKNH@ƛOPKLniżCKHBEJASA=H=J@=HNA=@UD=O=NALQP=PEKJBKN=SAƄ EJOLENEJCO?AJANUŻQPPDEOL=NlEJQAAJOPKSJP=GAOEPPK=JKPDAN HARAHŻ JKSJ=ORANPDAKL KHBżEPBA=PQNAOBKQNPAA>KTAOƏBNKIjni PKkqnIAPNAOƐ=J@?KII=J@EJCREASOKRANQAAJOPKSJ=J@=GA=G=PELQ BNKI=J=HPEPQ@AKBIKNAPD=JmżniiBAAPƏjżlpiIƐŻDAKJHUS=UPKCAPPDANAEO >UDAHE?KLPANżSDE?D=??KQJPOBKNEPOOPAALLNE?AƏ=>KQPȑmpiLANLH=UANƐŻKIA omiCKHBANOD=RALH=UA@PDADKHAOEJ?AEPKLAJA@żA=?DCAPPEJC[RAODKPO=PPDA CNAAJŻDANAD=RA>AAJ=BAS>EN@EAOż>QPI=NGAPEJCI=J=CAND=JJKJ=HGAN @KAOJƛPGJKSDKSI=JUŻKOPLH=UANO@KJƛP[HHKQPPDAENO?KNA?=N@OżDA ATLH=EJOŻƚKK>QOUHKKGEJC=PPDAREASŻƜ                        ư .#2#0 $',!&

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To reach the tee here, a golf cart wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cut it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need a helicopter.

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Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in My Bag

Play Your Best

Tip of the cap If you see me practising without my signature Hogan-esque cap, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because I wear it only for tournament rounds. But I always carry this headcover.

DRIVER

age 23 lives Clovis, California, and Dallas, Texas story 2015 US Amateur and NCAA champion. Earned 2016-â&#x20AC;&#x2122;17 US PGA Tour card with Web.com Tour win in September. tinkerer at heart At 17, I discovered single-length clubs. My coach, Mike Schy, and I grinded down a bunch of shaft ďŹ&#x201A;exes and clubs to build my ďŹ rst set. Then David Edel built my set for my amateur career. With Cobraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m proud of our new one-length irons. new putting stroke? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m thinking about switching to the sidesaddle method in 2017. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always trying to gain an advantage, so I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rule anything out. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;with stephen hennessey

club

metres*

driver

270

3-wood

247

3-utility

219

4-iron

197

5-iron

183

6-iron

171

7-iron

159

8-iron

147

9-iron

135

pw

123

gw

110

sw

96

lw

78

*carry distance

Gophers, ya great git Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always had an easy time memorising things. At 6, I knew mental math. One of my talents is reciting â&#x20AC;&#x153;Caddyshackâ&#x20AC;? lines. Kind of like any golfer.

specs Cobra King LTD Pro, 7.8° (Project X Hzrdus H=?G qn OD=_Ĺź PELLA@ j EJ?DĹź Ć&#x201E;^ATĹź mmĹťn EJ?DAOĆ? This is the lowest-lofted driver Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever played. It has helped reduce my spin rate while maintaining an ideal launch angle.

Inspiration I mark my Bridgestone B330-S with a cross and Bible verse for motivation. It also helps my aim.

IRONS specs Utility iron: Cobra King 3, 39.5 inches. 4-iron through pitching wedge: Cobra King Forged One Length (all 37.5 inches, NKFA?P   oĹťi OD=_OĹź JumboMax XL grips)

Science guy My yardage book marks my achievements and has my initials. It also holds my vector-putting scale, which helps me putt according to the grade of topography.

Cobra brought these one-length clubs to market in the fall. I spent two weeks with the R&D team to oďŹ&#x20AC;er my insight on these irons Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m using.

WEDGES specs Cobra King Versatile Grind (50°, 55° and 60°,  EĆ&#x201E;AR  OD=_OĹź 37.5 inches)

FAIRWAY WOOD specs K>N= EJC  lĆ&#x2022;mĹź jkĆ&#x17E; Ć?NKFA?P 

VN@QO H=?G qn OD=_Ĺź Ć&#x201E;^ATĹź mm EJ?DAOĆ? I always had a diďŹ&#x192;cult time ďŹ nding a consistent 3-wood. The versatility with this club has really beneďŹ ted my game.

PUTTER specs Edel The Brick, 34.5 inches, 2° loft 335 grams Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve used this prototype since 2014. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve said I might change to sidesaddle, but I love the look of this.

i i Given my love of physics, the Cobra tour reps stamped a sequence of symbols that spell out: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do workâ&#x20AC;? on my 60-degree.

Each wedge has a special stamp on it to make it fun (FittyďŹ ve and Fitty). The 60-degree [right] has a unique look, too. The swingweights and lengths are the same as my irons.

My artistry Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten into stippling drawing, which is done with many dots making ďŹ gures. This is hanging in my room at home. february 2017 | 97

equipment: j.d. cuban â&#x20AC;˘ dechambeau: david cannon/getty images â&#x20AC;˘ hogan painting: courtesy of dechambeau â&#x20AC;˘ caddyshack: orion pictures/getty images

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU


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COURSE

REVIEW

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GROWING

GAINS

Almost two years after its relocation from Horton Park Golf Club to a new home at Bli Bli, Maroochy River Golf Club is maturing into the course its designer Graham Marsh hoped it could be. By Tony Webeck

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 101


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HEN AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST ďŹ rst asked Graham Marsh about his latest creation on Queenslandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sunshine Coast, the proliďŹ c architect described it as â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the worst looking sites weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever worked on in our life. All you could see was caneďŹ eld and nothing. Absolutely featureless site, absolutely nothing to show for it.â&#x20AC;? With a membership partly displeased about having to be displaced from their former home at Horton Park Golf Club, Marsh and his design team needed to deliver a course that, while a polar opposite to its predecessor, would be quickly embraced by a sceptical membership. What he delivered at Maroochy River Golf Club was a wide-open playing ďŹ eld reminiscent of Scotland but in a tropical setting; and a further 12 months on the course is maturing into a modern masterpiece. Twelve months ago Marsh stated that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;golf course will be driven by the subtlety of the landscaping and the general development as it starts to growâ&#x20AC;?. When we spoke to him again in December at the Australian PGA Championship, he spoke glowingly of the job course superintendent Pat Pauli and his staďŹ&#x20AC; have done in the establishment of the turf. For reigning club champion Luke Parker â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who spent a year on a golf scholarship at the University of South Carolina Aiken â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the management of the turf conditions has been key in bringing out the courseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true characteristics. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was speaking to one of the greenkeepers recently and they thought they hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done enough but I think what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done in 12 months has been unbelievable,â&#x20AC;? Parker told AUSTRALIAN GOLF DIGEST. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was extreme links, I would say, but now that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put 102

When it first opened it was so dry and the ball would run out so much that the course didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really play how it was designed to be played. Now that the fairways have developed and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot more growth, the course plays how it should play â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Luke Parker a lot of eďŹ&#x20AC;ort into developing the course the fairways have developed really well and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot softer and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less run. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just so much more lush now. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awesome. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When it ďŹ rst opened it was so dry and the ball would run out so much that the course didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really play how it was designed to be played. Now that the fairways have developed and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot more growth, the course plays how it should play and it can only get better from here.â&#x20AC;? Like most course superintendents, Pauli isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t so much focused on what has been accomplished the past 18 months but what can be achieved in the next 12. Part of the furniture at Maroochy River since the days at Horton Park stretching back to 1982, Pauli is giving plenty of attention to the soil proďŹ le in the green sites as well as continued improvements to the presentation of the fairways. Yet he says it is the landscaping and growth of the plants and trees within the course that has seen the greatest transformation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For a course that everybody said had no trees on it, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing what has gone on there,â&#x20AC;? Pauli said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a full-time gardener who has put a lot of eďŹ&#x20AC;ort into that and after we put the right plants in itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

quite astonishing actually to see how theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve reacted to it.â&#x20AC;? With little topsoil placed onto the top of fairways during the construction phase, Pauli and his team of eight greenkeepers have been pouring nutrients into the fairways, including some good old-fashioned composted cow manure from feedlots in the Darling Downs. The result is not only a more even coverage of quality turf but also some extra grass under the ball that has been welcomed by the membership. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We needed more grass,â&#x20AC;? Pauli conceded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Members were ďŹ nding it diďŹ&#x192;cult enough with the wind and the way the greens were perched up into the air. There were some struggles chipping oďŹ&#x20AC; those tight lies and getting the ball into the air, so I was reading that loud and clear. Some of the high handicappers like to have a little bit more grass under their ball and to their credit the board has thrown some money at it and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re starting to gain ground on it in that regard.â&#x20AC;?

A PLAYERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COURSE

There are few more popular boasts in the world of club golf than members telling


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anyone who will listen that theirs is a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;playerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s courseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The inference, of course, is that you must be a golfer in the true sense of the word and have (largely) complete control of your golf ball in order to score well. The guise of Maroochy Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expanse that is free of anything growing much beyond waist height is that it is there for the taking, and with six par 4s of less than 350 metres from the blue tees that it can be easily overpowered. But even with fairways with more give than they possessed this time last year, this is a course that can be equally wrestled and also ďŹ nessed with similarly eďŹ&#x20AC;ective results. Or disastrous consequences. Maroochy River has attracted and developed a host of low handicappers who guided their A grade pennant team to an undefeated season in 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; right up until the ďŹ nal against Caloundra played at Tin Can Bay Golf Club. It was a devastating ďŹ nish to an otherwise unblemished season, but doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sway Parker from his belief that good golfers are drawn to Maroochy River and their games improve the more they play there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I played in the Black Swan, which is a Monday comp that anyone can play in, and it was blowing an absolute gale,â&#x20AC;? recalled Parker, who has a best round of 6-under 66 at Maroochy River. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had 3-over but I felt like I

had 100, it was that hard. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re grinding every single shot thinking, This is never going to end. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was one hole, the 130m par-3 4th, where I ďŹ&#x201A;at out hit a 7-iron 110m, the wind was that strong. It was insane. That green seems big but because of the wind your dispersion narrows so much and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually really hard to hit that green. Left is absolutely dead, long is dead, shortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dead and it really is like a par 3 youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ďŹ nd in Scotland. You really have to control your distance so perfectly and that northerly wind can be pretty ďŹ erce. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good for us as a pennant team because we play at one of the hardest courses you can play at. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really good practice for us.â&#x20AC;? For Pauli, the unique style of the course design and ďŹ&#x201A;ourishing ďŹ&#x201A;ora has put the club in position to capitalise on the creation of a course unlike any other in one of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular golf destinations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not everybody likes that style of design, but I think Graham Marsh has done a good job and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly something that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see much around south-east Queensland,â&#x20AC;? Pauli said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We should stick with it because once it gets a bit more mature people will come here and say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Geez, that was all right. That was a bit diďŹ&#x20AC;erent.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x153; Maroochy River general manager Charlie McGill grew up playing golf just 30 minutes

from St Andrews in bonny Scotland where he perfected the â&#x20AC;&#x153;low stingerâ&#x20AC;?. He says his new home gives him a sense of the old world that is playable for all golfers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While I understand the frustration the wind causes to the players, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all part of the challenge,â&#x20AC;? McGill said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At 6,400m from the black tees it can be a monster if the wind blows, but contrary to popular belief, the wind does not blow all the time and we do have ďŹ ve sets of tee boxes to give players an option to play the course they think will make for an enjoyable game. Our members may come in for a beer afterwards a bit wind-swept, but deep down I believe most of them enjoy the challenge the course and the elements throw at them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pat and his crew have to be congratulated on what they have done in such a short space of time. It will only get batter and it is my belief that in four or ďŹ ve yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; time this course will be second to none on the Sunshine Coast.â&#x20AC;? THE DETAILS Maroochy River Golf Club Where: David Low Way, Bli Bli, Queensland 4558 Phone: (07) 5373 1000 Web: www.maroochyrivergolfclub.com.au

& #  # 6 . - 1 # "  * 7- 3 2  ' 1 1 3 1 ! # . 2 ' * #  2 -  5 ' , " 1  5 & ' . . ' , %  * - , %  2 & #   3 , 1 & ' , #   -  1 2Ĺť

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 103


PREVIEW

WHEN STARS COLLIDE

One is trying to escape the clutches of anonymity in the mainstream media. The other is out to silence the press after a public split with her coach and caddie. As Martin Blake reports, the Minjee Lee–Lydia Ko showdown is just one of many headline acts at this year’s Women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide. 104

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


S

HE can’t call it a slump; that would be ridiculous. So let’s run with the Ko Go-Slow, and leave tongue implanted in cheek. Lydia Ko’s greatness is so complete that she appeared to consider the last half of 2016, a winless stretch of – wait for it, five whole months – as a personal disaster. So here is what happened: Ko, who had won four times in America by July but none in the back half of 2016, pitchforked her Australian caddie, Jason Hamilton, out of the camp with three events of the season remaining. Then, the bombshell. In early December, the New Zealand phenomenon sacked her coach of the past three years, David Leadbetter. None of which can happen, in the Ko world, without drawing a headline. Hence on the eve of another ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, where she will go in as world No.1 and favourite at Royal Adelaide from February 16, Ko’s future is just a little uncertain. Once, you could bank on a steady, reliable Ko, knocking them down the centre and capitalising on that smooth putting stroke. She was second behind Japanese star Haru Nomura at The Grange in Adelaide last year and won the tournament at Royal Melbourne the year before, so she plainly loves playing across the ditch in this country. But with regard to 2017, the jury is out. What is clear is that Ko will confront strong competition at Royal Adelaide, which is hosting the women’s Open for the first time as the tournament goes to the South Australian capital for the second of a contacted three-year run. Australia’s top-ranked player, Perth’s Minjee Lee, will be there as well as fellowOlympian Su Oh, the Melburnian who had a breakout year in America, and veteran Karrie Webb. In addition, the Open tends to draw the strongest field of all the Australian tournaments in terms of world rankings because it is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour in America with our own ALPG; last year a cluster of the top-10 in the world came to Adelaide, and in 2017, the early entrants included the likes of Ko and Cristie Kerr of the United States, while Golf Australia is hopeful that last season’s sensation Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand will appear. Ko is not yet 20 but there are issues for her, as Leadbetter suggested. He pointed the finger at her parents, father Gil Hong Ko and mother Bon Sook Hyon, who travel with her. “At this point, their sole occupation is taking care of Lydia’s every need,” Leadbetter said. “They tell her when to go to bed, what to eat, what to wear, when to practise and what 106

We want to keep building the momentum. The Open is becoming a significant part of that first southern hemisphere swing for the LPGA – Trevor Herden

 -7 *   " # *  ' " #  5 ' * *  & - 1 2  2 & #   - + # , ’ 1  3120*', .#, $-0 2&# $'012 2'+#Ż

to practise. And they expect her to win every tournament. They are good people, who love their daughter and want the very best for her, and Lydia has never been to college and is still young. But they are naive about golf. And at some point, they’ve got to let the bird fly from the nest. I would often think, It’s not easy coaching three people.” Time will tell if Leadbetter’s scepticism is on the mark. But the facts are that under the tutelage of the previous team, she won four times in the first half of the 2016 season, including a Major, and finished with the

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

silver medal at the Olympic Games, an event that she set herself for. She finished outside the top-40 in two Majors, the Evian Championship and the Women’s British Open, tantamount to a failure for the New Zealander, and was promptly overtaken in player of the year honours by Jutanugarn of Thailand, who went on to pip Ko for the $US1 million bonus for the LPGA’s season-long points race. Hamilton’s departure just before the Tour Championship came after he had looped for Ko since 2014, winning 10 times.


The Aussie, who has switched to Ha Na Jang’s bag already, had spent what by Ko’s standards is an age on her side; she switched caddies seven times prior to settling on him for a time. As for Leadbetter, he was the coach she turned to in 2013 soon after turning professional, dumping her lifetime mentor and coach in New Zealand, Guy Wilson. Ko won two Majors and 12 tournaments in her time with Leadbetter, the man who has previously worked with the likes of Nick Faldo and Greg Norman at his Florida academy. The fallout is considerable. Leadbetter

made no secret of the fact he was in conflict with Ko’s parents. “My parting words to Lydia were, ‘Take control of your life. Take control of your golf game. Make more of your own decisions,’” Leadbetter said. “And she said, ‘I’m actually working on that.’ Which was good to hear.” There is no such drama for Minjee Lee, the 20-year-old Australian who will lead the hopes of her home country in Adelaide. Royal Fremantle’s Lee would love to win her national Open to earn some overdue plaudits in this country; despite winning

three times already on the world’s biggest and best women’s tour, she remains largely anonymous. “She’s working in the shadow of Karrie Webb, and Lydia Ko,” said GA’s tournaments director, Trevor Herden. “But she looks like she can be a top-10 player for a long, long time.” Lee, who won a tournament in her rookie year, 2015, backed it up by winning the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April and then the Blue Bay LPGA event in China in October to establish herself as one of the best players in the world. Sadly, since she plies her trade

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 107


 4 ' "   #  " # 2 2 # 0 Ĺź   1 - ,   + ' *2 - ,   , "  7 " '   - Ĺť   $  2 & #  2 0 ' -  ' ,  #  +  - Ĺź  - , *7  2 & #  . * 7 # 0  0 # +  ' , 1 Ĺť

My parting words to Lydia were, 'Take control of your life. Take control of yourgolf game. Make more of your own decisionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; David Leadbetter away from home for most of the year, the media has not picked up on it, but all that might change if she can win in Adelaide. She was 20th at The Grange last year, and tied for seventh at Royal Melbourne in 2015, but her big miss was in 2014 at Victoria Golf Club, where as an amateur she was tied for the lead through three rounds only to card a calamitous ďŹ nal-round 78, leaving the way clear for Webb to win. Lee failed under the spotlight back then but she was only 17 at the time; she will present as a much more rounded player in Adelaide this year. The 2016 Open was a remarkable success in the ďŹ rst of a three-year Golf Australia commitment to hold the premier womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event in Adelaideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sandbelt. The organisers planned for a total attendance of 15,000 and actually doubled that ďŹ gure, with GAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief executive Stephen Pitt calling it â&#x20AC;&#x153;clearly one of the best weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever hadâ&#x20AC;?. Adelaide, starved of major golf action since the 1998 menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Australian Open, 108

embraced the game again, putting a smile on the faces of the people at Events South Australia, the state governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tourism arm, who gerzumped Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to extract the tournament from Melbourne. The Open will go to Kooyonga next year and appears likely to remain in SA for some time. As for Royal Adelaide, it has had a minor makeover with changes to the 17th green. The old girl has not hosted a national Open since â&#x20AC;&#x2122;98 when Greg Chalmers won, but it remains one of this countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ nest tracks, with the deft hand of Alister MacKenzie, the famous Scottish architect, upon her. Adelaide, the city, has shown that it wants the Open; loves the Open. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a powerful symbiotic relationship. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to keep building the momentum,â&#x20AC;? Herden said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Open is becoming a signiďŹ cant part of that ďŹ rst southern hemisphere swing for the LPGA. Last year was huge and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hope this can be even better.â&#x20AC;?

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

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Lydia's Lessons

Play Your Best

“Don’t be afraid to follow through on short shots.” Pure Pitching Practise this release pattern for consistency BY LYDIA KO

F YOU want to become better at pitching, my first piece of advice is to put your ball in lots of scenarios when you practise. Why hit 50 from the same spot when you get only one swing for each shot on the course? Next, understand how your wedge is supposed to move through the grass. It’s supposed to glide, not dig. To

I

get it to do that, feel like you’re letting the clubhead strike the ball a split second before the hands move over the top of its position [small photo]. That means keep your grip pressure light, and resist the urge to prevent the clubhead from releasing in fear of hitting it too far. Keep the club moving. A great way to practise this action is to pitch with your right

hand only. It’s hard to stop the momentum of the clubhead with only one hand. It will naturally glide along the turf and then extend just left of your target to complete the swing. Copy the feel of this release pattern when you play and your pitching will improve. Lydia Ko is No.1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings

DISTANCE CONTROL Don’t change the length of your swing to control distance. Just change grip length. For shorter shots, grip down.

Photographs by Dom Furore

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HERE’S HOW I LED THE LPGA TOUR IN SAND SAVES 7  ( # , , 7  1 & ' ,

110

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Ͳ If you’re like a lot of the amateurs I’ve seen, you take too much sand on greenside bunker shots. People say you need to hit the sand first, but most golfers overdo it – and end up leaving the ball in the bunker. I hit these shots differently. My philosophy is that you don’t need to chunk it out with a lot of sand. You can control the shot better if you take less sand. You’ve probably done this by accident and hit a great shot that popped out with spin and checked up by the hole. The big chunk tends to roll out too much, so it’s hard to control. To try my technique, there are a few things you need to do in your setup. Take a wider stance than usual, and dig in your feet a bit for stability, with your weight about 50/50. To find that balanced body position, close your eyes and shift your weight a little left and right until you feel neutral. Play the ball just forward of centre in your stance, and


– WITH KEELY LEVINS

ba i

open the clubface by rotating it to the right. Then drop your hands back a touch, away from the target. When you move your hands back, the open face, which was pointed to the right, is square to the target again. Go ahead and make a big arm swing, but maintain the angles in your wrists that you set at address. Make sure you turn your lower body, too. Your goal is to hold the clubface open during the backswing, so keep those wrist angles intact. Coming down, don’t think about hitting two inches behind it – that’s too much sand and too unpredictable. Instead, focus on letting the bounce on the bottom of the club slide through the sand. You want the clubhead to bottom out directly under the ball, not behind it. Finally, keep the swing going through the sand. A lot of people forget to follow through, and they just dump the ball in front of them. Swing to a nice, full finish. When you do it right, it doesn’t feel like the sand is grabbing your clubhead. It feels crisp and clean. Give it a try.

+ FILA shirt skort FOOTJOY shoes

jenny shin, 23, got up and down from th he sand 67 per cent of the time in 2016. Last May, she won the Voluntteers of America Texas Shootout, her first LPGA Tour victorry.

Photographs by J.D. Cuban

february 2017 |

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WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EQUIPMENT

GEAR UP, GIRLS Spoil yourself with this colourful range of equipment that performs as well as it looks Srixon Z 355 fairway wood Srixon Z 355 driver Designed for massive distance, the Srixon Z 355 driver features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight (211 grams) with an ultra-high balance point Miyazaki Jinsoku OD=_ PK DAHL EJ?NA=OA >=HH OLAA@ SDEHA LNKIKPEJC = IKNA consistent, stable swing for players seeking maximum distance and forgiveness. SRP: $399. Visit www.srixon.com.au for more.

Srixonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Z 355 fairway wood also features Action Mass technology, which combines a higher head weight with an QHPN=Æ&#x201E;DECD>=H=J?ALKEJPEU=V=GE EJOKGQOD=_EJA=?DKB PDABKQN@EYANAJPHK_OÅ»DADECDANIKIAJPKBEJANPE=DA=@ @AOECJEO@AOECJA@SEPD=OD=HHKSANLNK[HAPKLNKIKPAA=OEAN launch. SRP: $259. Visit www.srixon.com.au for more.

Srixon Z 355 irons Developed with the sole objective of consistency, Srixon Z 355 irons are are engineered to help promote a more consistent, stable swing on every club. The class-leading Tour V.T. Sole, which has been one of the most buzzed about technologies inside the ropes, has been enhanced for the Z 355 and delivers more consistent turf interaction. SRP: $135 (graphite), $119 (steel). Visit www.srixon.com.au

Srixon Z 355 hybrid

Soft Feel Lady (Passion Pink) JEPO[_DCAJAN=PEKJżPDAJASNETKJK_AAH Lady golf ball features the same performance >AJA[PO=OPDAK_AAHSEPD=OHECDPHUDECDAN H=QJ?DŻ AP=OK_ANBAAHKJ=HHBQHHODKPO SEPDKQPO=?NE[?EJCPDAEJ?NA@E>HA@EOP=J?A=J@ =??QN=?UBNKIPAAPKCNAAJŻOK_ANżPDEJJAN cover provides more greenside spin and OK_ANBAAHKJ=HHLEP?DAOż?DELO=J@ putts, while an energetic gradient growth core promotes seamless energy transfer to maximise distance and optimise ball performance on every shot. Visit www.srixon.com.au 112

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

The new Srixon Z 355 hybrids integ i =OOPA?DJKHKCUEJLH=U=>HA DA=@ L [H O @AOECJA@PK[P=SE@AR=NEAPU KB LH=U @ optimise shot versatility. A higher he weight with an ultra-high balance p EU=V=GE EJOKGQOD=_DAHLEJ?NA=OA > speed and promote a more consist stable swing for players seeking ma distance and forgiveness. SRP: $199 9. Visit www.srixon.com.au


WOMEN’S EQUIPMENT

TaylorMade Kalea Range TaylorMade introduces Kalea – a full set of clubs designed to @AHERANIA=JEJCBQHLANBKNI=J?APKBAI=HALH=UANOŻ PƛO PDA [N SKIAJƛOAT?HQOERAKYANEJCBNKIPDA?KIL=JUEJ IKNA PD=J a decade and utilises product features that are relevant and >AJA[?E=HPKI=JUBAI=HALH=UANOż=J@@KAOOKSEPD ?KILAHHE =AOPDAPE?=HHU>A=QPEBQH@AOECJO=J@?KHKQN[JEODAOŻ =HA= BA=PQNAOKLPEIEOA@HK_OżHKSƕ>=?G?AJPNAKBCN=REPU HK?=PEKJO OHKPPA?DJKHKCUEJPDAOKHAO=J@ =HA=HEIA?DOD=_O SEPD smaller tip diameters that help increase launch angle at impa =HA=ƛOQJEMQA>HAJ@KBBA=PQNAOSKNGEJQJEOKJPK I=TEIEOA LANBKNI=J?ABKNOHKSANOSEJCOLAA@OżCAJAN=PA IKNA ?KJOEO distance gaps throughout the set and produce noticeably hi >=HH^ECDPOŻ =HA=EO=R=EH=>HAEJjl?HQ>OŽ@NERANżlżn=J@pƄSKK@Oż m =J@nAO?QAOżo=J@pPN=JOEPEKJENKJOżq=J@rENKJOż LEP?DEJ SA@CAżO=J@SA@CA=J@LQPPANŻ =HA=?=NP>=C EO =HOK =R=EH OAL=N=PAHUŻ =HA=SEHH>AOKH@EJ=jiƄLEA?AOAPƏż lż mż nż pżqEPKƐżAECDPƄLEA?AOAPƏmżnżożpżqEPK Ɛ =J@ OETƄ LEA?AOAPƏożpżqEPKƐŻ TaylorMade has also announced the release of =HA= CKHB >=HHOż = PSKƄLEA?A >=HH SEPD = OK_ ?KRAN =J@ HKS ?KILNAOOEKJż AJCEJAANA@ PK LANBKNI mo

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ruary 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 113


WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S APPAREL

Look Good, Play Better The latest in womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apparel from golfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading brands

FJ Space Dye Mid Layer Exclusive ProDry fabrication provides superior moisture control that quickly wicks away moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable. Available from March. SRP: $139.95. Visit www.footjoy.com.au for more details.

FJ Performance Fleece Hoodie DEOLANBKNI=J?AB=>NE?KYANOS=NI?KIBKNP=J@=HHKSO?KILHAPA range of motion during the golf swing. Also features an arm pocket to conveniently hold your smartphone, allowing you to listen to tunes KJKNKYPDA?KQNOAŻR=EH=>HABNKI=N?DŻSRP: $149.95. Visit www.footjoy.com.au for more details.

FJ Half-Zip Mid Layer Performance mid-layers are versa ill LEA?AOKBSKIAJÆ&#x203A;OCKHB=PPENAżKYAN contemporary styling with UV sun protection and easy care fabric. Available from March. SRP: $129.9 . Visit www.footjoy.com.au for mo details.

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W WOMEN â&#x20AC;&#x2122;S APPAREL

Asics Matchplay Classic Whether chipping in for birdie on the eighth or relaxing with friends at the 19th hole, the Matchplay Classic is the perfect shoe for those who take a more casual approach to their golf game. A fully functional golf shoe, the Matchplay Classic uses a spikeless rubber outsole that provides exceptional traction during the swing phase, combined with a classic upper design using a full-length synthetic leather upper. Waterproof coated upper keeps feet dry in wet conditions. The perfect golf shoe BKN>KPDKJ=J@KYPDA?KQNOAĹť Visit www.asics.com for more details.

Puma Ignite Spikeless Golf Shoes An innovative, sporty mesh upper combines with premium leather for a super modern silhouette designed to step up your B=ODEKJC=IAKJ=J@KYPDA?KQNOAĹť=GAUKQNODKAC=IAPK= new level. The full-length Ignite Foam midsole is guaranteed to provide an extremely comfortable ride. Awesome style is guaranteed to provide extreme amount of compliments. And by the way, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterproof, too. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK if your mind is blown. Visit www.puma.com/golf for more details.

Puma Pounce Golf Skirt The Pounce Golf Skirt is engineered for the athletic female. Step up your style game in this sporty skirt, enhanced with dryCELL Technology and moisture wicking fabrics to keep you cool when the competition heats up. This 18-inch option provides more coverage without compromising fashion. Visit www.puma.com/golf for more details.

Sporte Leisure Ka ats Ladies Polo

Puma Roadmap Polo Stay the course in the Road Map Polo, designed with dryCELL Technology to draw sweat away from your skin during golf. Added UPF 40 provides the ultimate sun protection rating. This easy-wearing top is sure to turn your style from subtle to stunner. Visit www.puma.com/golf for more details.

If you want to look sophisticate on and KYPDA?KQNOAPDAJASLKNPA  AEOQNA Katz Ladies Polo is a must-havve this OQIIANĆ&#x20AC;KN=HAEOQNA[PĹźPDEO O OLKNPU polo is moisture-wicking and features polyester interlock, Dri-Sporte e and anti-bacterial properties. Keep p cool this summer in the Katz Polo. Available A colours: Spearmint, Blueberryy and Bubblegum. RRP: $75. For stockists phone Sporte Leisure on (02) 9693 5777 or www.sl.com.au february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 115


MEMBERSHIP PROMOTION

... AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT They say variety is the spice of life. But could it also be the key to driving golf club memberships skywards in Australia?

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MEMBERSHIP PROMOTION

I

T’S TIME to reverse the trend. According to the most recent golf club participation report actioned by Golf Australia, there were 397,063 registered club members across Australia. Nearly 400,000 club members seems a solid number but consider this: membership numbers peaked in Australia in 1998 at approximately 500,000 golfers. Since this time, a steady decline of 21 per cent has materialised, equating to a 1.3 percent drop per year. But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, signs of growth are well and truly alive. The same report revealed 31 per cent of new members in 2015 were younger than 35, suggesting long-term sustainability for a reinvigorated membership model is there if clubs are smart enough in what they’re offering. “Recognising the changing demands of today’s golfers by providing variable membership options is the key to a successful club,” says Portsea Golf Club’s general manager Mark Bartrop. The average age of club members across the country is just over 55 years. It’s a figure that must continue to be reduced, says Bartrop, whose club recently launched a flexible “Lifestyle” membership aimed at 31 to 45-year-olds who are typically time poor and budget constrained. It consists of playing credits which can be used at times to suit the players, and can be topped up at any time. “It is already a popular addition to Portsea’s competitively priced range of membership offers comprising generous rates for players up to 30, as well as the more traditional weekday, six and seven-day memberships,” says Bartrop. “Member benefits include discounts on all purchases within the club and accommodation, as well as a range of popular entertainment such as music on the deck in summer, and tribute bands and Sunday roasts in winter. “The syllabus provides members with a

stimulating and varied range of competitions.” The average club size in Australia is 239 members, with metropolitan clubs – in most cases – having more than three times the number of members compared to regional clubs. Approximately two thirds of clubs in Australia have fewer than 200 members, with 83 per cent having fewer than 500. They’re figures Golf Australia hopes will be improved through innovative membership options made available by clubs. Barry Linke, general manager of The Grange Golf Club, says introducing a range of facilities outside of golf helped his club sign up 151 new members last year – a club record for an induction period. “We stand out from other golf clubs because we now have two championship golf courses, extensive practice facilities,

five-star locker rooms and gymnasium, an excellent members lounge offering a quality range of food and beverage as well as a multi-disciplinary physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage and acupuncture clinic,” Linke says. “That’s variety and it is bringing new people to the club.” For Moonah Links’ golf operations manager Bronwyn Richards, just talk of upgrading club facilities is enough to get members in the mood to play more golf. “With plans to develop our facilities and membership program, the feel around the club is there has never been a more exciting time to call Moonah Links home. Knowing your annual fees are being put to good use to directly benefit you is the key to a happy and sustainable club membership and it’s what we will continue to do,” Richards says.

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Moonah Links Golf Club LOCATED just 1 hour & 15 minutes from

Moonah Classic.

Melbourne on the spectacular Mornington

Complimenting the course facilities are a

Peninsula and arguably one of the foremost

driving range and practice facilities designed

Golf Resorts in Victoria, Moonah Links

to Australian Institute of Sport specifications

welcomes all new members to take advantage

and one of the finest elite training facilities

of its outstanding courses and club facilities.

in world golf – The Moonah Links Golf

As a member, you can invite your guests to

Academy. The Club boasts many features and leaves

play on a course designed specifically for the Australian Open. Since opening in late 2003

a lasting impression on all who experience its

Moonah Links Resort has achieved global

outstanding service.

Membership Options: Bronze Medallion- From $151.25 per month Silver Medallion- From $244.25 per month Gold Medallion – Please call to enquire Corporate Medallion- Please call to enquire Address: 55 Peter Thomson Drive, Fingal, Victoria

major internationally telecast tournaments:

program gives all Medallion holders

Contact: Kate McLean: Medallion Administrator E-mail: kmclean@moonahlinks.com.au Ph: 5988 2034

- the 2003 & 2005 Australian Open Golf

affordable playing rights at Victoria’s premier

Championships and the 2008, 2009 & 2010

golf resort.

Website: www.moonahlinks.com.au

Joining the Moonah Links medallion

recognition and acclaim having hosted five

118

THE DETAILS

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


THE DETAILS

The Grange Golf Club revamped in 2006 with both courses featured

Membership Options: Category 2 (6 Day) Category 2A (6 Day Contemporary) Category 3 (5 Day) Category 3A (5 Day Contemporary) Cadet Junior Intermediate Corporate

global spotlight with a record US$1.3 million

in the top 100 courses in Australia. New

purse on offer and a television audience in more

members are also drawn to The Grange for the

Address: White Sands Drive, Grange, SA

than 160 countries. Golf Australia hailed the

immaculate practice and training facilities, the

2016 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at

brand new five star Gym and brand new men’s

The Grange as one of the best ever.

and ladies locker room which are a fantastic

THE GRANGE Golf Club is one of South Australia’s

undertook a $3 million redevelopment of the Eastt

premier sporting venues with two internationally

Course which features 18 unique holes offering a

rated 18 hole golf courses. The Grange recently

m world class golfing experience. Greg and his team

hosted the 2016 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian

have produced a fantastic and challenging golf

Open from February 18-21 with more than 31,000

course that players will enjoy for years to come.

people attending the four days of the tournament, up to 15,000 more than were expected. The tournament has put The Grange in the

In 2012, Greg Norman Golf Course Design

In addition to the brand new East Course, Grange also offers the West Course which was

addition to the Clubhouse.

Contact: info@grangegolf.com.au Josh Fitzpatrick – Membership Manager 08 8355 7100 Website: www.grangegolf.com.au

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 119


THE DETAILS

Curlewis Golf Club Hip, Green Fun as Curlewis keeps rolling

Australia. Since July 2015, more than 200

out the good times.

members have joined up! The Curlewis difference shines through

Seriously social, great golf and just plain fabulous. These words pretty much

on a number of levels. First up is the course

encapsulate the Curlewis Golf Club

itself. To play Curlewis is to fall in love with

experience as golfers, foodies and fun

one of Australia’s most spectacular courses

people of all ages flock to play, learn, relax,

– think large contoured greens, naturally

enjoy or dine at the much loved ‘emerald’ of

undulating fairways and well bunkered,

The Bellarine.

links style layout watered year round. In December 2016, Curlewis Golf Club

Located just one hour from Melbourne

120

Membership Options: Curlewis is contemporary, progressive and fun, that is why we offer IMMEDIATE MEMBERSHIP APPROVAL. Benefits of membership are: • Entry in the all club weekly competition • Insurance against injury to yourself and other golfers • Right of passage to play during the peak periods • 10% discount up to the value of $50 at Leura Park Estate, Jack Rabbit Vineyard and Flying Brick Cider House. • Golf Australia official handicap • Discount on golf lessons with our PGA Teaching Professional • Discount guest green fee rates • Discount rates on cart hire • Free social golf • Online tee times booking and view your house account balance • Member house account for use in the Golf Shop, Lounge and new driving range facility (due to be completed in 2017)

and 15 minutes from Geelong, an

was crowned the inaugural winner of the

Address: 1345 Portarlington Road, Curlewis

invigorated Curlewis continues to power

Australian Golf Digest “Club Excellence

Contact: hello@curlewisgolf.com.au; 5251 1111

ahead as the fastest growing golf club in

Award”.

Website: www.curlewisgolf.com.au

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


THE DETAILS

Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort OAKS CYPRESS LAKES is a picturesque 6,487 metre

equipped with award-winning Visage GPS

par 72 18-hole championship golf course designed

system to further enhance the playing

by Steve Smyers and ranked among the top resort

experience.

courses in Australia. Each tee and green offers

Oaks Cypress Lakes is now open for

incredible panoramic views of the Hunter Valley’s

membership. All memberships (except for

famous vineyards and the surrounding Brokeback

junior) enjoy the use of a motorised golf

mountain range.

cart as part of their membership package

After being purchased by Thai hotel group Minor

and receive exclusive discounts and access

International in 2013, the resort has undergone an

throughout the resort. Members/visitor

extensive refurbishment program to restore not

competitions take place every Wednesday

only the golf course but the entire resort back to its

and Saturday, with a Sunday Social 9 hole

former glory and the course has never looked better!

competition taking part as a shotgun start

2.5 million dollars has been invested into the

at 14:30 with everyone welcome! Our major

refurbishments to date including a new golf shed,

championships take place throughout the

greens restoration, bunker rejuvenation and the

year and include, The Vintage Cup, Club

purchase of state-of-the-art Club Car golf carts

Championships and the Invitational Cup.

Memberships: Premium unlimited Membership - $2,799 5 Day Membership - $1,999 Membership includes golf carts Colt, Junior, Country Club & International Memberships also available. Address: 15 Thompson Rd, Pokolbin Hunter Valley NSW Contact: golfcypresslakes@theoaksgroup.com.au; (02) 4993 1555 Website: www.cypresslakes.com.au How to get there: Just a short drive from Sydney, Cypress Lakes Resort is in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country. Take the Lovedale Exit off the Hunter Expressway. Drive to the end of Lovedale Road and turn right onto Wine Country Drive. Take first Left onto Broke Road. Turn Left on McDonalds Road, then 2nd Right onto Thompsons Road and we are the first driveway on the left.

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 121


THE DETAILS

Portsea Golf Club PORTSEA recently launched a flexible

accommodation, as well as a range of

“Lifestyle” membership aimed at 31 – 45

popular entertainment such as music on

year olds who are typically time poor and

the deck in summer, and tribute bands

budget constrained. It consists of playing

and Sunday roasts in winter. The syllabus

credits which can be used at times to suit

provides members with a stimulating and

the players, and can be topped up at any

varied range of competitions.

time. It is already a popular addition to

and practice facilities extended. Based

membership offers comprising generous

on member surveys, a Course Master

rates for players up to 30, as well as the

plan has been developed to ensure that

more traditional weekday, 6 and 7 day

all improvements are in keeping with

memberships.

the ambience of the course which is

Member benefits include discounts on all purchases within the Club and

122

In 2017, a “halfway house” will be built,

Portsea’s competitively priced range of

set amongst sand dunes and coastal vegetation.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Membership Options: 7 Day, 6 Day, Weekday and Lifestyle Membership. Lifestyle Membership for ages 31-45. The perfect solution for the busiest lifestyles. $935 for annual membership, which includes $600 of playing credits. Key Benefits include: • Club Membership and Club Competitions • 7 Day Golf Course Access • No limit to top up credits • Online Time Sheet Access • Access to Club facilities and Social Events • Members Discounts • Maintained GolfLink Handicap Address: 46 London Bridge Road Portsea VIC 3944 Contact: Membership Services Rebecca Pancic, 03 5981 6151 office@portseagolf.com.au Website: www.portseagolf.com.au


5 MEMBERSHIPS, 1 LIFESTYLE. GOLF ACCESS MEMBERSHIP NOW AVAILABLE

WITH 5 LEVELS OF MEMBERSHIP, SANCTUARY COVE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB HAS A MEMBERSHIP TO SUIT EVERY LIFESTYLE. Equity Membership – Full Membership including unlimited golf on The Pines and The Palms golf courses along with access to The Country Club fitness centre, the exclusive Golf Clubhouse, and world class practice facilities.

Corporate Access Membership – A strictly limited number of Memberships are now offered to those businesses seeking the very best in corporate entertaining for themselves and their guests.

Golf Access Membership – Restricted Membership for junior golfers aged 32 and below, including limited access to The Pines and The Palms golf courses along with access to The Country Club fitness centre.

Country Club Membership – A Membership providing access to over 45 aerobic classes per week, the latest gymnasium equipment, four air-conditioned training rooms including a cardio room, weight training room, secluded yoga studio and group fitness room, five flood lit tennis courts, a 25-metre heated pool with BBQ gazebo, private spas and saunas, specialised treatment rooms, our first-class Kidz Club, a coffee shop, and our highly trained professional staff.

Social Access Membership – Restricted Membership including unlimited access to the exclusive Golf Clubhouse for social activities and Members and Members’ guests only social events.

Contact our Sales Team for further information on 07 5699 9000 Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club Gleneagles Drive, Sanctuary Cove, QLD www.sanctuarycovegolf.com.au Conditions apply for each Membership category.


OWN YOUR Just a guess, but there are probably three or four things you need to work on with your golf swing to improve. Am I right? Then jot them down. I don’t care if you use an index card, like I do, or dictate them to your smartphone. Just make a list of swing keys, and when you practise, stick to them. For example, maybe you swing off your back foot and need to transfer your weight better. Or maybe you cut your swing off short, and should let your chest keep turning. Whatever issues you have, don’t let them always get the best of you because you’re not paying attention to how to fix them. Working with my swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, I’ve identified four fundamentals that I constantly try to improve. Keeping the index card handy allows me to stay on point. See if my notes can help you be a better ball-striker, too. – w i t h ro n k a s p r i s k e

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february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 125


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don’t sway Making a full turn and really loading up the right side as you take the club back is a huge power generator. Do that and you can really hit the ball hard. However, be careful you don’t let your body sway a lot in that direction. That will make it much harder to get back to the ball and produce solid contact. One thing I do to prevent that sway is to make a backswing where my pivot feels centred over the top of the ball [below]. Tony will even hold an alignment stick next to the right side of my head as a reminder. If I bump it, I’m swaying too much.

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keep it together Whenever my swing gets a little funky, I go back and check to see that my right arm isn’t drifting too far away from my body when I make a backswing. A little separation is fine, but a real loss of connection means it’s going to be a challenge to re-sync my arm swing with my body pivot on the way down, so my timing isn’t off. I want everything turning back together, so I’ll often work on keeping my shirt sleeve tucked into my armpit as I make a backswing. Here I’m demonstrating what I mean by bunching my shirt into the armpit as I make a onehanded backswing [above]. This helps remind me to keep the movement of my arms and body in sync. 126

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


+ POLO GOLF shirt RLX GOLF pants POLO RALPH LAUREN belt FOOTJOY shoes

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completely unwind When you rotate your upper body towards the target in the downswing, don’t stop after you strike the ball. Keep going. Feel like your chest covers the ball at impact and rotates all the way until your right shoulder is pointing at the target – or at least as far as you can unwind. A drill I do to train this movement is to set up with an alignment rod between my feet. This represents my ball position. I then make practice swings, focusing on getting my upper body fully unwound so it moves ahead of the alignment rod [below]. I keep turning until my right shoulder is ahead of my left foot [photo on page 125]. This full rotation makes sures the clubface is square at impact and I power through the ball. Finish strong and you’ll own your swing.

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use the ground A good downswing has to start from the ground up for leverage and proper sequencing. Getting things to move in the correct order is a challenge for a lot of people I play with in pro-ams, but I sometimes struggle with it, too. When things are a little off, I go back to my step drill [above]. It helps train the fundamental of shifting your weight into the front foot before swinging down. I make practice swings where I lift my left foot off the ground, step with it towards my target, planting it again, and then swinging the club down and through. After a few reps, I start to regain that proper feet-first sequencing. smylie kaufman won the 2015 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the US Tour, shooting a final-round 61. He ranked 26th in birdie average (3.80) last season. Photographs by J.D. Cuban


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Photographs by J.D. Cuban


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7  !  + # 0 - ,  + c ! - 0 + ' ! )  IF YOU TRY TO REGULATE the distance you hit your wedge shots by changing the length of the swing, you’re not as accurate as you could be. ▶ Golf instruction is partly to blame. You might have been told to handle different distances by pretending your arms are like the hands on an imaginary clock face, and that you can dial in a specific shot by swinging back or through to a number on the clock. A backswing to 9 o’clock might result in a 30-metre shot, for example, but a backswing to 10 o’clock will send it 40 metres. That’s a logical idea, but it’s flawed. Why? Two swings can be the same length, but if the clubhead speed at impact isn’t the same, the ball will go different distances. Conversely, swings of different lengths but the same speed will produce roughly the same distance. It’s not magic. It’s physics. ▶ With that in mind, I’m going to teach you how to hit wedges pin high from various distances by changing your swing speed – that’s how Jordan Spieth and I do it when we work together. To keep it simple, these shots will fly about the same height. You can experiment later with trajectory. For now, practise these stock shots, and you’re on your way to becoming a wicked wedge player. — WITH RON KASPRISKE february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 129


one backswing ▶ Distance control on less-than-full wedges begins with making the same backswing no matter how far you have to go. A consistent end point lets you focus on downswing speed to regulate yardage. Start in a narrow stance with most of the pressure on your lead foot, the ball just back of centre. Hinge the club up – that adds loft to the shot – and keep turning until your left arm is parallel to the ground [below]. That’s as far as it should go. Now you’re ready for any downswing.

close to the green ▶ The shortest wedge shots require commitment. By that I mean, you have to resist the urge to stop the swing right after impact. Keep the club moving, and its design will prevent the ball from going too far. As you start down from that halfway-back position, maintain your weight on your front foot and turn your body. You don’t have to swing with a lot of effort, but finish with your chest facing the target and the club’s shaft pointing at it [above]. That’s commitment.


longer range

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▶ For medium and long-range wedge shots, swing the club and rotate your body towards the target at a faster pace. You can see here [below and right] that the follow-through is longer for shots in the 40-to-60-metre range. That’s a result of added speed. Note how I rotate my entire body towards the target – legs, too. I think of it like gears on a bicycle. Start with three gears (swing speeds), and see how far the ball goes with each. You’ll develop your own yardage system.

Melbourne-born cameron m c cormick is a GOLF DIGEST Teaching Professional and the PGA Teacher of the Year. He coaches Jordan Spieth and is based at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Texas.

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Play Your Best Shortcuts by Tom Watson

“Keep your head steady, and commit to the swing.”

URING the past 15 or 20 years, golf courses around the world have copied the old British links by implementing collection areas. Miss a green, and instead of ending up in deep rough, your ball is sitting on a super-tight lie below the putting surface. Over in the UK, the simple play from these spots is to putt up the slope. But that’s not always an option elsewhere around the globe. Sometimes the type of grass on the slope is too slow and grabby, or there’s a sprinkler head or another obstacle that prevents a rolling shot. These are the times when you have to fly your ball onto the surface. But using a sand or lob wedge for a short shot from a tight lie can unnerve even the best of players. There are two keys to remember. The first is to keep your head still. Grab one of your most lofted wedges, open the face, and when you swing, make sure you concentrate on hitting the back of the ball. The second key is acceleration [right]. You can’t slow down or stop your swing in fear of hitting the ball too far. This is an all-or-nothing shot. If you keep your head steady and commit to the swing, you should leave yourself a decent chance to get up and down.

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ELEMENTARY WATSON If the pin is pretty close to where your ball is in the collection area, try hitting a lowertrajectory chip. It’s safer than lofting it high. The idea is to get the ball to bounce into the slope, pop up and trickle onto the green. Hitting into the slope takes all the momentum off the ball and makes it possible to stop it near the hole. I use a 5, 6 or 7-iron and the same swing thought I do for the high shot: Head still, focus on solid contact. Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Playing Editor.

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Fly It High When you have to play up from a collection area

Photograph by J.D. Cuban


Game Plan by Jack Nicklaus

Driver? Maybe Your choice should depend on the day

BET there’s a hole at your home course, probably a short par 4, where you’re not entirely settled on what club to use off the tee. There’s no clear choice, but perhaps you’ve come to decide that a certain play – hitting driver or 3-wood or maybe a 5-iron – is going to yield your best scores over time.

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No more second-guessing, you say to yourself. You’ve got a game plan, and you’re sticking to it. Although I commend the golfer who strives to be tactically consistent, there’s such a thing as being too rigid. A welldesigned hole changes every day with weather conditions, pin placement and firmness of the

Play Your Best

turf. The 15th hole on the Links Course at Bear Lakes Country Club in Florida [illustrated], a drivable par 4 with two other options, is an example of a hole that asks you to make a decision. The golfer who’s willing to be flexible on club choice stands to gain over those set in their ways. – WITH M A X ADLER

PERFECT FOR THIS PIN A tee shot that finds this spot can reap nice rewards. The approach shot doesn’t have to carry any bunkers. Plus, you’re playing up the entire length of the green, which means more options. When the hole is cut on the front-right portion, you can fire at it without much stress. However, with a pin on the left side, you’d face basically the same shot you would if you were coming in from the right side of the fairway. In that case, taking on two fairway bunkers to gain a slightly shorter approach might not be worth the risk from the tee.

augusta national/getty images

notes from mr jones

WHEN HOLE HIGH ISN’T GREAT

THE STRESS-FREE START Here’s the least-demanding spot to place a drive. Playing short to this wide section of fairway defers difficulty to the second shot. Hit it here, and you’ll obviously face a longer approach that must challenge the largest bunker on the hole. But here’s something not so obvious: from this angle, the green is wide yet very shallow, so distance control has to be sharper. Why go here? If you’re into the wind or the greens are soft, distance control is easier – that’s a vote for this shot. Or maybe you aren’t driving it great and want to play safe.

Illustration by Chris O’Riley

This hole is 298 yards from the middle tees, so driving the green is possible for some players. The biggest determinant should be if hitting the driver long and straight is a strength of your game. Another encouraging factor might be a stiff helping breeze. But be careful: as a designer, whenever I offer an opportunity, I usually exact a penalty if you don’t pull off the shot. Tug this tee shot to the left, and a grass hollow leaves an awkward pitch to a green that runs away from you. If the greens are firm and fast, that shot just got a lot tougher.

One of the most famous drivable par 4s is Oakmont’s 17th, where I nearly made a big mess in the fourth round of the 1962 US Open. I sank a downhill five-footer for par, which I hit so hard it nearly flew into the cup. Bob Jones was watching, and after I won he sent me a note: “I almost came out of my chair when you hit that putt.” Mr Jones followed my career closely, and we had many such communications.

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Play Your Best

Golferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wish List by Butch Harmon

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What skill would you love to have around the green? Ͳ =GEJC PDA >=HH ?DA?G QL Ͳ ELLEJC EP KY PECDP HEAO Ͳ EPPEJC EP DECD =J@ OK_ Ͳ  >=OE? >QJGAN ODKP SOURCE: GOLF DIGEST READERS

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Pitch Perfect Turn missed greens into pars ITTLE pitch shots, like the one above, drive golfers nuts. First oďŹ&#x20AC;, they use too much loft. The more loft you have, the bigger swing you need. And more swing means more things can go wrong. So unless you have no green to work with, keep your lob wedge in the bag. Second issue: most golfers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trust the loft they have, so they try to add more at impact. They ďŹ&#x201A;ick their wrists, dip

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down, rock onto the back foot ... I think you see where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going here. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s give you a simple plan for hitting the basic pitch. Take a narrow stance, with the ball about middle, and favour your front foot (1). Lean the shaft a touch towards the target, and keep your grip pressure light. Swing straight back, and let your wrists hinge with the momentum (2). Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t add hinge, and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the club sweep

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

BUTCHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BASICS

inside â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both lead to fat shots. Swing down and through the grass. A good trigger to start the downswing is to softly shift your knees forward. The clubhead should stay low after impact (3). Keep turning so you face the target. Your arms should be soft and your weight on your front foot (4). Now go make the putt. Butch Harmon is based at Rio Secco Golf Club in Nevada.

A good test of whether you made the right amount of swing for the shot is how you ďŹ nish. If your follow-through is very short, you probably swung back too far and had to dump some power. If your ďŹ nish is much longer than your backswing, you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take it back far enough so you had to accelerate wildly through impact. You want your follow-through to be smooth and unforced, and your ďŹ nish slightly longer than your backswing. Photographs by J.D. Cuban


Step by Step by David Leadbetter

Play Your Best

Putt With Confidence Try my grip trick to get the ball rolling on line ETTING into a good setup is crucial to developing a consistent putting stroke. Without knowing anything about your putting, I know you’ll make a lot more putts if you start from a technically sound setup. The best part is, you can get off to a great start by making just a few adjustments, no matter what your current setup looks like. Follow these few steps.

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David Leadbetter operates 25 golf academies worldwide.

1. EYE IT UP

2. SWITCH HANDS

3. GRIP AGAIN

4. THINK SMOOTH

Ͳ At address, set your eyes directly over the ball or slightly to the inside. You can check your eye position when you practise by dropping a ball from the bridge of your nose and seeing where it lands. You don’t want your eyes to be outside the ball.

Ͳ Getting your shoulders level and forearms square to the target line will help you rock your shoulders – and prevent a handsy stroke. You can level your shoulders by soling the putterhead at address, then taking a lefthand-low grip.

Ͳ You don’t have to actually putt left-hand-low, although many top pros do, like Jordan Spieth. You can just use the grip to get level. To return to your normal grip, simply swap your hand positions, being sure to keep your shoulders in place.

Ͳ Finally, switch your focus to the stroke. Sense that there is no tension in your arms and your grip pressure is light. Now think smooth before sending the ball along your intended line. If you read it right, your new setup will help you roll it in.

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 135

illustrations: todd detwiler • jos. a bank: shirt, $115 • house of fleming: belt

“Go left-hand-low to get square, then regrip normally.”


Play Your Best Think Like a Pro by Nick Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hern

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Your pre-shot routine is a key component to consistency HE media nicknamed me â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mr Consistencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; throughout my playing days because I had a lot of top10 ďŹ nishes and always seemed to be there or thereabouts at the end of tournaments. Now, I was never a player that overpowered golf courses by smashing the ball 300-plus yards and hitting high, towering long irons. Instead, I thought my way around, managing what I had by playing to my strengths and avoiding my weaknesses. I tried to avoid result-oriented thoughts on the golf course, instead focusing on the processes required to achieve the results. For me it started with the most important process of all, the Pre-Shot Routine (PSR). Most golfers have heard of a PSR but what exactly is it? Simply put, a PSR is the process before hitting a shot that puts you in the best possible state mentally and physically to execute a quality golf shot. Having a reliable and repetitive PSR is essential. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no one PSR thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideal; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like the golf swing. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no one particular way to swing a golf club because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all unique individuals with our own tendencies and traits. I loved the PSR of the late, great Severiano Ballesteros, and was fortunate enough to play with him a couple of times during the latter stages of his career. By that point he was struggling with his full swing, hitting the ball all over the course, but get him within 100 yards of the green and he was a magician. Seve would have 136

these animated discussions with his caddie about the shot at hand, then walk into the ball like a predator stalking his prey. It was almost like a theatrical performance. I have two phases to my PSR: decide and execute. The decide phase is the thinking part where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m gathering all the relevant information before pulling the club out of the bag. For instance, how far have I got, whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the wind coming from, is it uphill/ downhill, and so on. Once I take in all this information, I decide on what shot I want to hit, such as a high fade or a low draw. For most golfers something reasonably straight is usually suďŹ&#x192;cient enough. The key here is to take in all the information, and make a committed decision

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

on the shot you want to hit. Moving into the execute phase, I pull the club from my bag, stand behind the ball and, as Jack Nicklaus used to say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;go to the moviesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, visualising the ďŹ&#x201A;ight of the ball, where it lands and rolls to. Then, I take a practice swing feeling the motion to replicate that shot. I always have a swing thought, which typically revolves around rhythm and tempo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; nothing too technical. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for the practice area. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always only one thought because through vast experience, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve realised I can only ever think of one thing at a time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unlike my wife! After my practice swing, I walk into the ball fully committed to the shot at hand, take a couple of looks at the target followed by a long waggle and let it go. What you do over

the ball is up to you, but keeping it simple is the best option, so no outside thoughts have a chance to come in to your mind. In summary, the decide phase is the thinking or logical part of the PSR; the execute phase is the reacting part. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I like to break up my PSR into two phases. I think about the shot at hand (decide), and then react (execute). If I do this every time I walk up to my ball on the golf course, then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m OK with whatever result occurs because I gave it everything I had, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all I can do. When you have a process in place to focus on, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think about the result, because you only focus on what you have to do in that exact moment. Which is: trust your process.

GETTY IMAGES: MATT KING / STRINGER

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Play Your Best Local Lessons by Jason Laws

• Jason Laws is the NSW PGA Teaching Professional of the Year

Five Drills To Make You A Better Golfer In 2017 Why your best golf is closer at hand than you might realise 1. Downhill lies: Most of the world’s best coaches highly recommend practising from a downhill lie. Why? Because it helps you cover the ball with your chest at impact, which benefits the person that hangs back on their back foot. It will also help create a stronger ball flight and shot shape. 2. Slow it down: I can’t sing highly enough the praises of making three-quarter swings at 50 per cent speed. This will allow you to form a consistent tempo and 138

timing, and the results on the course will provide fantastic feedback. 3. Impact bag: This is my favourite drill – or equipment aid – for improving contact. Put the bag one foot in front of you and take a half swing into it. What you are trying to achieve is having the clubface, a flat left wrist and left arm (for right-handers) all in line at impact. The clubface should naturally rotate into the impact bag.

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

4. Rope it in: Buy a piece of rope equal to twice the length of your 5-iron. Swing this back and forward and it will create a sequence for both sides of your swing. 5. Keep it equal: I often see on the course, or in a lesson, the majority of golfers tend to have a nice, controlled backswing but try to hit the cover off the ball on the downswing. Having a consistent pace coming back and going through is key to reproducing centreface contact. I use the Tour Tempo app to help students make their own rhythm. Tour Tempo will help you groove a desired 3-1 ratio and allow you to swing the club at your natural speed. If you have any questions, e-mail me at jason@jasonlawsgolf.com


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$495 per person Palmer Resort, Twin Waters, Noosa Springs, Club Pelican & more **Based on 4 people. Conditions apply** From 2 people to larger groups, please contact Tracey for a package to suit your needs

1770 David Low Way, Coolum Beach QLD 4573 relax@coolumcaprice.com.au | 07 5446 2177 www.coolumcaprice.com.au

Bribie Island THE ULTIMATE GOLFING DESTINATION Play both Queensland’s renowned Bribie Island Sand-Belt courses with our Exclusive Play and Stay Packages. Packages from $98.00pp per night for 4 night’s stay. To view all packages and options, please visit fairwaysretreat.com.au or call 07 3400 2100 for enquiries and bookings.

Bribie Island, QLD, 4507 | www.fairwaysretreat.com.au | www.phgcc.com.au | www.bribiegolf.com.au

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Hunter Valley Play and Stay Directory

The Vintage Golf Resort & Spa

Golf to the Max

CHATEAU ELÁN

THE GOLF PRO WILL BUY YOU DINNER!

Chateau Elán offers a selection of luxurious Spa Suites, King Rooms and 1-2 bedroom Villas on The Vintage Golf Course, an 18-hole Greg Norman designed course which has been ranked among the best in Australia (2016 Australian Golf Digest Ranking #43). One night in a King or Twin Room, 18 holes of golf for two players, unlimited use of driving range and use of shared golf buggy. Accommodation available Sun – Thurs, golf available Mon – Fri.

Golf To The Max have been coordinating the best value Hunter Valley Golf Play and Stay Packages for over 20 years. Golf Professional Kieran McMahon is now offering all 2017 social golf group bookings a FREE welcome dinner to kick off the trip. Stay at the Cumberland Comfort Motel (with ensuites) in the heart of Wine Country and enjoy all the facilities of the famous Pedens Pub right next door. Play your choice of The Vintage, Cypress Lakes, Crown Plaza and Cessnock golf courses and your group will also enjoy the Best Pub Food, Best Cold Beers, Best Punting area and Best Live Music in the Hunter Valley.

From $180pp per night based on 2 guests. Vintage Drive, Pokolbin NSW 2320 golf@thevintage.com.au | 02 4998 2610

Contact Kieran to secure the best deal for your Social Group in 2017.

www.thevintage.com.au

Mobile 0408 633 377 | kieran@golftothemax.com.au www.golftothemax.com.au

The Woods

Wine Country Motor Inn

The Woods is two exquisite accommodation houses nestled in the Hunter Valley vineyard region offering style, seclusion and luxury. The Chapel House and The Folly House each have four queen size bedrooms with ensuites, sleeping up to four couples in each house, some with spa, a dreamy fountain courtyard and BBQ. Each house has ducted air-conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge with an open fire, wide screen LCD TV, Bose docking station and Foxtel, as well as a dining table for up to eight. 10% discount for midweek bookings, minimum 2 nights.

The Wine Country Motor Inn is located in the heart of Cessnock, the gateway to The Hunter Valley. With fifty modern rooms, free Wi-Fi and free parking it is conveniently located in the centre of town, right next door to the Cessnock Leagues Club and is just five minutes’ drive to some of the best Golf Courses in Australia and all that the Hunter Valley has to offer. Wine Country Motor Inn offers the convenient one night stay or can offer multiple nights and caters for all groups offering some fantastic affordable golf packages to suit all.

107 Halls Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320

5 Darwin St | PO Box 377 | Cessnock NSW 2325

Two night Stay and play packages from $365pp

info@thewoods.com.au | 0412 627 316

wcmi@cessnockleagues.com.au | 4993 2999

www.thewoods.com.au

www.winecountrymotorinn.com.au

february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 143


GOLFER'S

LOCKER ROOM TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL MARK TURJMAN 02 8188 3578

VICTORIA

VICTORIA

Golfers Resort Yarrawonga

GLENN MC CULLY Golf Schools

Luxury self contained accommodation 2-7 Day Golf Packages Summer and Winter specials

3 and 5 Day Schools Group, Private & Beginner Formats from $525 pp. twin share

www.golfersresort.com.au

www.golfersresort.com.au

info@golfersresort.com.au 03 5744 1994

info@golfersresort.com.au 03 5744 1994

US MASTERS TOUR 1-6 DAY PACKAGES STARTING

FROM AUD$1050

APRIL 2017

Guaranteed tickets into Augusta National Fully escorted by an experienced Australian host. Accommodation staying less than 1 mile from the course Transfers to and from Augusta National and Augusta Airport ATFS have been running US Masters tours for 20 years! US Masters souvenir gifts

AUSTRALIAN TOURS FOR SPORT Te l : 1 8 0 0 8 0 6 8 7 9 144

w w w. a t f s . c o m . a u

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

4.5 star rated property only a short walk to quirky cafes, beaches & unique shopping. Just a short drive to Bellarines great golf courses (e.g. Barwon Heads and Thirteenth Beach - 5 min, The Sands, Curlewis andPt Lonsdale - 15 min) + wineries, farm gates, etc.. Studio, 1, 2 3 & 4 bedroom FSC accommodation. From budget to luxury. Groups, couples, families 3 Geelong Road, Barwon Heads P 03 5254 1066 or M 0417 543336

www.SeahavenVillage.com.au


TO ADVERTISE IN THE LOCKER ROOM PLEASE CALL MARK TURJMAN 02 8188 3578

Put some spring in your game! FEATURES: • PLATINUM ALL WHEEL SUSPENSION SYSTEM • LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPACT • HI TORQUE MOTOR • CRUISE & DISTANCE CONTROL • UMBRELLA HOLDER • DELUXE BOXED SEAT • SAND BUCKET RING • LITHIUM BATTERY • DELIVERY TO YOUR DOOR

Australian designed for Australian Golfers

SPECIAL

$995.00 FREE DELIVERY*

1300 667 224

• PEACE OF MIND GOLFING • LITHIUM POWER 2 YR WARRANTY • 3 YR FRAME WARRANTY • NATIONAL TECHNICAL SUPPORT SYSTEM • PLUG + PLAY SERVICING • 15 YEARS IN AUSTRALIA *Free delivery to Metro area, please call to discuss freight to other areas

www.kingcaddy.com.au february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 145


TO ADVERTISE IN THE LOCKER ROOM PLEASE CALL MARK TURJMAN 02 8188 3578

Create Your Own Dream Holiday Online! GOLD COAST ƒ SUNSHINE COAST ƒ QUEENSTOWN, N.Z.

N O I T A C O L W E N N, N.Z QUEENSTOW

INSTANT ONLINE QUOTES 24/7 HOT DEALS DISCOUNTED GREEN FEES

Golf Tours

Visit us today at:

www.abovepargolf.com.au Call Michael now on 1300 798 552 or +617 5522 9055 Email: enquiries@abovepargolf.com.au

EST 1997

AILABILITY TO ALL THE TOP URSES ON THE GOLD COAST et us complete your golf package including air-conditioned coach transfers, accommodation and Call Keith now for a no obligation free quote

www.goldcoastgolftours.net.au MOB: 0412 115 704 EMAIL: GCGT@NOREX.COM.AU 146

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


The most overall game changing product in the marketâ&#x20AC;? Inside Golf Magazine

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MASTER YOUR MENTAL GAME Improve focus and concentration | Boost confidence Remove stress and frustration from your game

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Go to www.progolfiq.com/digest194 or call Pete Nicholson (07) 5657 0902

GET THE COMPLETE SUITE OF PROGRAMS FOR JUST

$194 RRP$495

Personalised Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast Golf Tours THE HARDEST THING YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IS WALK OFF THE PLANE

www.golfoz.com.au Tel: (07) 5575 8500 february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 147


TO ADVERTISE IN THE LOCKER ROOM PLEASE CALL MARK TURJMAN 02 8188 3578

AVGA

START PLANNING NOW FOR 2017 TOURS! ESC ER 50 ORTED GOLF HOLIDAYS FOR MEN & LADY GOLFERS OV BROCHURES NOW AVAILABLE ON WEBSITE:

www.avga.com.au

2017 TOURS QUEENSTOWN TOUR ONE 11 to 18 February 2017 QUEENSTOWN TOUR TWO 18 to 25 February 2017 Great golf in Queenstown playing Millbrook, The Hills, Queenstown and Jacks Point courses. Choice of hotel type rooms or studios with kitchenette and laundry. Land only share twin from $2,825 per golfer * VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY

QUEENSTOWN

HUA HIN, Thailand 12 – 22 March 2017 10 nights and 7 rounds of golf in this beautiful seaside location Combine with Vietnam Tour Land only share twin from $3,077 per golfer

DANANG, Vietnam 22 March – 29 March Amazing golf courses in this popular destination. 7 nights accommodation and 5 rounds of golf Land only share twin from $2,629 per golfer

RACV ROYAL PINES

KUNMING, CHINA 30th March – 08 April Kunming is an amazing destination with great golf courses 2 rounds in Kunming before travelling to Spring City for 4 rounds (previously No 1 & 2 courses in China) Land only share twin $3,359 per golfer

DANANG GOLF CLUB

AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL SENIORS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP – RACV ROYAL PINES, GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND

07 – 13 MAY 2017 Mark these dates in your diary for our Championships held over 5 days of golf at RACV Royal Pines Resort - Full accommodation packages or golf & functions only. Land only share twin from $ 1,540 per golfer Golf & functions only from $ 980 per golfer

Other 2017 tours – See website for brochures JUNE JULY/AUG OCT NOV NOV

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND SCOTTSDALE + LAS VEGAS, USA SOUTH AUSTRALIA AVGA CHRISTMAS DAY

SHOULD YOU REQUIRE FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT: AVGA GOLF, PO BOX 4078, ILLAWONG, NSW 2234 PHONE: 02 9541-4178 WEBSITE: WWW.AVGA.COM.AU EMAIL: JAN@AVGA.COM.AU ALL TOURS MANAGED AND OPERATED BY AVGA GOLF 148

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


LUXURY ESCORTED GOLF CRUISE

UK & IRELAND 30 JULY TO 13 AUGUST 2017 For full itinerary refer www.trendsettertravel.com.au/GC2 • 14 nights, play 10 leading golf courses including 4 world top 100 courses • 12 nights on the luxury 1,250 passenger Oceania Marina sailing from Southampton on 1 August 2017 • A US$600/cabin on-board credit and 2 nights pre tour at a golf resort, including golf, welcome dinner and transfer to cruise ship

From

A$9,890 pe r person

OTHER LUXURY ESCORTED GOLF CRUISES SILVERSEA Monaco to Southampton May 2017 – 14 nights – 10 games www.trendsettertravel.com.au/GC1

CRYSTAL Lisbon to Lisbon October 2017 - 12 nights - 7 games www.trendsettertravel.com.au/GC3

SEABOURN Auckland to Sydney January 2018 - 18 nights - 9 games www.trendsettertravel.com.au/GC4

OCEANIA Around Ireland June 2018 - 13 nights - 11 games www.trendsettertravel.com.au/GC5

TRENDSETTER TRAVEL – The Golf Cruise Experts adrienne@trendsettertravel.com.au ph: (02) 9428 5900 | www.trendsettertravel.com.au february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 149


TO ADVERTISE IN THE LOCKER ROOM PLEASE CALL MARK TURJMAN 02 8188 3578

Club Golf Book Is Back!

The simple 48 page guide to understanding the many types of golf competitions played at club level and show a standardised method of scoring for each event. Get your copy now, discounts for club purchases

www.clubgolfbook.com clubgolfbook clubgolfbook@gmail.com | PO Box 768 Woolgoolga NSW 2456 | 0427458597

f

To Advertise in the

Locker Room please call or email

Mark Turjman +61 2 8188 3578 mark@cmma.com.au 150

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017


Full Individual Membership is available from just $3570 pa plus add a partner or friend as a Dual Member for a total of $5790 pa. (A joining fee may apply for Individual and Dual).

Specialising in Golf Course Real Estate

Advertise your property on

www.golfinghomes.com.au Ph 0439 846 314 You give up things when you buy a

Goldfish Bar & Kitchen, Hunter Valley Cocktails, Wine, Beer, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week Live music on the terrace Saturday nights from 9:30pm to late (Summer only) Goldfish Hunter Valley is many things: it’s an award-winning small bar, an acclaimed dining destination and a welcoming social hub. Our beverage list boasts a great selection of original recipe cocktails, craft beers and an extensive local and international wine list. Our dining style is unconventional in as much as the food is served to the table progressively and designed for sharing. Allow the kitchen to take control of your dining experience by selecting multiple dishes for the table to graze on.

Situated at Roche Estate – Corner of Broke and McDonald Roads, Pokolbin, NSW 2320 www.thegoldfish.com.au | infohv@thegoldfish.com.au | 02 4998 7688

Follow us on facebook and Instagram #goldfishbarandkitchen

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www.kahmagolf.com february 2017 | australiangolfdigest.com.au 151


Television Fox Sports TV Guide

JANUARY 19 Asian Tour: Singapore Open – Round 1, 12.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Abu Dhabi Championship – Round 1, 7.00 pm LIVE JANUARY 20 USPGA: Career Builder Challenge – Round 1, 7.00 am LIVE PGA Champions: Mitsubishi Championship – Round 1, 11.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Farmers Insurance Open – Round 1, 7.00 am LIVE

EPGA: Dubai Desert Classic – Final Round, 7.30 pm LIVE

USPGA: Genesis Open – Round 2, 9.00 am LIVE

EPGA: Qatar Masters – Round 2, 5.30 pm LIVE

FEBRUARY 6

FEBRUARY 19

USPGA: Phoenix Open – Final Round, 5.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Genesis Open – Round 3, 5.00 am LIVE

JANUARY 28 USLPGA: Bahamas Classic – Round 2, 3.30 am LIVE USPGA: Farmers Insurance Open – Round 2, 7.00 am LIVE EPGA: Qatar Masters – Round 3, 8.30 pm LIVE JANUARY 29

Asian Tour: Singapore Open – Round 2, 12.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Abu Dhabi Championship – Round 2, 7.00 pm LIVE

USLPGA: Coates Championship – Final Round, 7.00 am LIVE

Champions: Chubb Classic – Round 2, 7.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 7

FEBRUARY 20

The Golf Show, 7.30 pm

USPGA: Genesis Open – Final Round, 5.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 9 EPGA: Maybank Malaysia – Round 1, 2.00 pm LIVE

Champions: Chubb Classic – Final Round, 7.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Farmers Insurance Open – Round 3, 5.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 10

USLPGA: Bahamas Classic – Round 3, 7.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Pebble Beach Pro Am – Round 1, 7.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 23

FEBRUARY 21 The Golf Show, 7.30 pm

JANUARY 21 USPGA: Career Builder Challenge – Round 2, 7.00 am LIVE

EPGA: Qatar Masters – Final Round, 8.00 pm LIVE

EPGA: Maybank Malaysia – Round 2, 2.00 pm LIVE

LPGA: Honda Thailand – Round 1, 5.00 pm LIVE

JANUARY 30

FEBRUARY 11

EPGA: Joburg Open – Round 1, 7.30 pm LIVE

PGA Champions: Mitsubishi Championship – Round 2, 11.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Farmers Insurance Open – Final Round, 5.00 am LIVE

Champions: Allianz Championship – Round 1, 3.00 am LIVE

Asian Tour: Singapore Open – Round 3, 3.00 pm LIVE

USLPGA: Bahamas Classic – Final Round, 7.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Pebble Beach Pro Am – Round 2, 7.00 am LIVE

JANUARY 31

EPGA: Maybank Malaysia – Round 3, 2.00 pm LIVE

EPGA: Abu Dhabi Championship – Round 3, 7.30 pm LIVE

The Golf Show, 7.30 pm JANUARY 22

FEBRUARY 12

FEBRUARY 24 USPGA: Honda Classic – Round 1, 6.00 am LIVE LPGA: Honda Thailand – Round 2, 5.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Joburg Open – Round 2, 7.30 pm LIVE

FEBRUARY 2 USPGA: Career Builder Challenge – Round 3, 7.00 am LIVE PGA Champions: Mitsubishi Championship – Final Round, 11.00 am LIVE Asian Tour: Singapore Open – Final Round, 3.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Abu Dhabi Championship – Final Round, 7.30 pm LIVE JANUARY 23 USPGA: Career Builder Challenge – Final Round, 7.00 am LIVE JANUARY 24 The Golf Show, 7.30 pm JANUARY 26

FEBRUARY 3 USLPGA: Coates Championship – Round 1, 6.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Pebble Beach Pro Am – Round 3, 5.00 am LIVE Champions: Allianz Championship – Round 2, 10.00 am EPGA: Maybank Malaysia – Final Round, 1.30 pm LIVE

USPGA: Phoenix Open – Round 1, 7.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 13

EPGA: Dubai Desert Classic – Round 2, 6.30 pm LIVE

USPGA: Pebble Beach Pro Am – Final Round, 5.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 4

Champions: Allianz Championship – Final Round, 10.00 am

FEBRUARY 25 USPGA: Honda Classic – Round 2, 6.00 am LIVE LPGA: Honda Thailand – Round 3, 5.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Joburg Open – Round 3, 10.30 pm LIVE FEBRUARY 26

USLPGA: Coates Championship – Round 2, 3.00 am LIVE

FEBRUARY 14 USPGA: Phoenix Open – Round 2, 7.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Honda Classic – Round 3, 5.00 am LIVE LPGA: Honda Thailand – Final Round, 5.00 pm LIVE EPGA: Joburg Open – Final Round, 10.30 pm LIVE

The Golf Show, 7.30 pm FEBRUARY 27

EPGA: Dubai Desert Classic – Round 3, 8.00 pm LIVE

EPGA: Qatar Masters – Round 1, 5.30 pm LIVE

FEBRUARY 5

JANUARY 27

USPGA: Phoenix Open – Round 3, 5.00 am LIVE

USLPGA: Bahamas Classic – Round 1, 3.30 am LIVE 152

EPGA: Dubai Desert Classic – Round 1, 3.00 pm LIVE

FEBRUARY 17 USPGA: Genesis Open – Round 1, 9.00 am LIVE

USPGA: Honda Classic – Final Round, 5.00 am LIVE FEBRUARY 28

USLPGA: Coates Championship – Round 3, 12.00 pm DELAY

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

FEBRUARY 18 The Golf Show, 7.30 pm Champions: Chubb Classic – Round 1, 4.00 am LIVE


World Class Events For Amateur Golfers The SGA International

Thailand

Mar 12 - 18

The SGA Tasman Classic

King Island

May 5 - 7

The SGA Championships

Gold Coast

Aug 13 - 18

The SGA Sandbelt Classic

Melbourne

Oct 1 - 6

www.socialgolfaustralia.com.au


The Final Word Healthy Tiger 05.11 12.94 Ͳ Has surgery to remove scar tissue and two benign tumours from his left knee. 06.95 Ͳ Withdraws from the US Open at Shinnecock Hills after injuring his left wrist playing a shot out of the rough. 12.02 Ͳ Has surgery to drain ďŹ&#x201A;uid around his left ACL and to remove benign cysts. 10.06 Ͳ Expresses doubts about whether he would be able to play because of an injured left shoulder blade but wins the WGCAmerican Express Championship. Summer 07 Ͳ Says he ruptured the ACL in his left knee while running on a golf course but wins ďŹ ve of his last six events of the year, including the PGA Championship.

06.08 Ͳ Wins the US Open with two stress fractures in his left tibia and ligament damage in his left knee. Has surgery after the US Open to repair the ACL and cartilage in his left knee. 2008-â&#x20AC;&#x2122;09 Ͳ At the 2010 Masters, reveals that he played through a torn right Achilles tendon in 2008 that was re-injured in 2009. 11.09 Ͳ Hospitalised overnight with a sore neck and a cut lip that required ďŹ ve stitches after driving his SUV over a ďŹ re hydrant and into a tree. 05.10 Ͳ WDs from the Players Championship, citing neck pain that was later termed an inďŹ&#x201A;amed facet joint.

06.11 Ͳ Misses the US Open, citing his left knee and Achilles.

04.11 Ͳ Reveals a sprain of his left MCL and strained left Achilles after a shot from under the Eisenhower Tree at the Masters.

08.14 Ͳ WDs at Firestone, citing back spasms after a shot from an awkward lie. 02.15 Ͳ WDs at Torrey Pines, citing back pain and fog delays that kept him from getting his â&#x20AC;&#x153;glutesâ&#x20AC;? activated.

03.12 Ͳ WDs at Doral, citing pain in his left Achilles. 06.13 Ͳ Announces he will miss the AT&T National, citing left-elbow pain suďŹ&#x20AC;ered at the Players and aggravated at the US Open. 08.13 Ͳ Drops to the ground at The Barclays, citing back pain he attributes to sleeping on a too-soft hotel bed.

09.15 Ͳ Undergoes a second microdiscectomy procedure to remove a small disc fragment that was pinching a nerve. 10.15 Ͳ Announces he has undergone a follow-up procedure to relieve back discomfort. 12.15 Ͳ Says there is no timetable for a return, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing to look forward to.â&#x20AC;?

03.14 Ͳ WDs from the Honda Classic, citing lowerback spasms.

12.10 Ͳ Gets cortisone shot in his right ankle for lingering soreness in his Achilles.

04.08 Ͳ After a runner-up ďŹ nish in the Masters, has surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee.

Ͳ WDs from the Players Championship, citing his Achilles, the lingering knee injury and pain in his left calf.

04.14 Ͳ Announces that a microdiscectomy procedure for a pinched nerve in his back will force him to miss the Masters.

02.16 Ͳ Manager Mark Steinberg says speculation that Woods suďŹ&#x20AC;ered a serious setback is â&#x20AC;&#x153;completely falseâ&#x20AC;?. 07.16 Ͳ Steinberg says Woods would continue to rehab and assess when he would start play in the 2016-â&#x20AC;&#x2122;17 season.

  Ć&#x203A;      Ć Tiger Woods told Australian Golf Digestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jaime Diaz in 2005 that he has had a bad left knee since childhood. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because of the stuďŹ&#x20AC; I did as a kid,â&#x20AC;? Woods said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wiping out on skateboards, crashing on dirt bikes, jumping oďŹ&#x20AC; things. I banged it up pretty bad.â&#x20AC;? After Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; surgery to repair his ACL and cartilage after his 14th professional Major title, the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, we surveyed 21 US PGA Tour players to predict his future: 81 per cent said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eventually heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be the same old Tigerâ&#x20AC;?; 14 per cent said he would be â&#x20AC;&#x153;better than everâ&#x20AC;?; 5 per cent said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;His best is probably behind him.â&#x20AC;? Woodsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; key injuries are detailed here. 154

australiangolfdigest.com.au | february 2017

Illustration by Bryan Christie


Mix business with pleasure at Indooroopilly Golf Club The perfect setting for your next Corporate Golf Day

• 36 holes of golf set in a parkland location bordering the Brisbane River • Flexible and tailored corporate day packages • Poinciana Bar and functions areas • Ten minute drive from the Brisbane CBD with ample onsite parking

To view our corporate golf packages visit: www.indooroopillygolf.com.au or call 3721 2121


© 2017 ACUSHNET COMPANY. EXPLORE FOOTJOY.COM.AU

WOMEN’S GOLF LIFESTYLE APPAREL ARRIVING MARCH 2017

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