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Jock’s Pot Entries Open Entries are being taken for Mackie Quaich Golf Match (“Jock’s Pot”), which takes place on Friday, May 14 at Shek O Country Club. Organized by the St Andrews Society and named after former Chieftain Jock Mackie (who famously played in the 1959 Open Championship at Muirfield, becoming the only Hong Kong golfer so far to play in a major), entry is open to anyone with a valid HKGA handicap. Those interested in participating should contact the St Andrews Society at admin@ standrewshk.org.

Gamesmanship: TOP 10 MOMENTS

Mak Lok-lin reveals the times when professionals used more than just their golf game to try to overcome their opponents

Frost Provides Players with Winning Vintage

Charles McLaughlin (HKGA Pairs)

Golfing icon David Frost (pictured) is giving the WCGC Hong Kong (www.wcgc-hongkong.com) a taste of success by supplying the tournament with his exclusive range of wines. The South African great – winner of more than 20 titles worldwide – has combined his golf career with a hugely successful wine producing business in his homeland. Now his Hong Kong importer, WINE2U.com.hk, has been unveiled as the Official Wine Supplier of the WCGC Hong Kong. “We are very proud to present exclusively to the World Corporate Golf Challenge Hong Kong the range of David Frost wines, a natural connection between the game of golf, business and fine wines,” said Ruth Sellers, of WINE2U.com.hk. Frost grew up on his family’s wine farm near Stellenbosch and it was through earning pocket money picking grapes that he bought his first set of golf clubs. He went on to enjoy a stellar career, collecting 10 US PGA Tour titles and winning the 1994 Hong Kong Open. He and his brother Michel bought a 300-acre wine farm near Paarl in 1994 and began producing the David Frost Signature Series, with each vintage named after a famous golfer. The WCGC Hong Kong will be held on Friday, March 5 at Discovery Bay Golf Club. Twenty teams – comprising four players who each have a maximum handicap of 24 – will take part. The winning team will earn an allexpenses-paid trip to the WCGC World Final in South Africa from May 3-8 during which they will also be given a guided tour of Frost’s wine estate. HK Golfer is the Official Golf Magazine of the tournament. Companies wishing to register a team – note, only one member of the team needs to be a full-time employee – or requiring information about sponsorship opportunities should call Amy Broomhead on 3579 8110 or email amy@laxtonmarketing.com. 48

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Asian Amateur Golf Tour Greencard Golf, who have more than 30 years’ experience organizing golf tournaments around the world, have initiated the Asian Amateur Golf Tour, a series of ten events played throughout Southeast Asia at some of the region’s most popular holiday destination. Starting in Phuket in March and open to anyone with a handicap of 21 or less, each tournament on the AAGT is played in a 54-hole Stableford format, with the winners from each leg – which also includes stops in Ho Chi Minh City, Hua Hin and Siem Reap – earning an all expenses paid trip to the Grand Final in Bali. For entry and f urther i nf o r m at i o n v i s it w w w. greencardgolf.asia HKGOLFER.COM

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O

ne of t he best t hings a b o u t l a s t ye a r ’s P G A Championship, apart from A si a c el e b r a t i n g Ya n g Yong-eun as its first major winner, was the sight of Tiger Woods trying to intimidate his Korean opponent. Given Tiger’s record, it’s obvious the man has a tonne of game, and not just of the technical variety. During that enthralling final round, Woods repeatedly tried to “crowd” Yang on the tee, and walked off at least two greens with Yang still to putt. Woods has used intimidation tactics before, and as the record shows his opponents don’t usually survive. At worse, they collapse; at best, they ignore it. What Yang did differently was to react positively to it, seeing it for what it was: an indication of a lack of confidence on the part of the aggressor. From the earliest days, it’s been clear that golf is as much a mental game as a physical one. We’ve all seen the phenom who can rule the world on the driving range but can’t win a match to save himself on the course. It was ever thus. In the days before Old and Young Tom Morris rose to prominence, Allan Robertson, perhaps the first-ever professional golfer, was hailed as “The Greatest Player Who Ever Lived” and was said to have never lost a match. That said, he was also alleged to have deliberately avoided matches that he could potentially lose. He clearly learned much from his father David, another legend, regarding gamesmanship.

The Poet Laureate of Golf, George Carnegie, had this to say about him, c.1830: Davie, oldest of the cads, Who gives half-one to unsuspicious lads When he might give them two, or even more And win, perhaps, three matches out of four Is just as politic in his affairs As Talleyrand or Metternich in theirs. He has the state-man's elements, 'tis plain. Cheat, flatter, humbug - anything for gain; And, had he trod the world's wide field, methinks, As long as he has trod St Andrews Links, He might have been prime minister or priest, My Lord, or plain Sir Dai'id, at the least. So there it is: The first, and most magnificent, description of the gamesman – although I’m sure that David Roberston would never have actually cheated (unlike his notorious namesake who in Open Championship qualifying in 1985 was fined and banned for 20 years for repeatedly moving his marker closer to the hole), it’s clear he would certainly use flatter, humbug and squeeze mercilessly on the number of strokes he would give. My own reputation as a master of a unique style of Indian gamesmanship is well known in Auchtermuchtie, consisting primarily of the old Navaho trick where I roll over, then scream and beg. It’s good to see the ancient art is alive and well, and I began to think of the other great examples down the years…

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Seve Ballesteros

The swashbuckling Spaniard was rightly renowned for his ability to get up and down from just about anywhere, due to a boundless imagination and a magnificent short game. However, he was also notoriously described as the “King of Gamesmanship”, particularly during the Ryder Cup. On the tee, there are countless tales of Seve coughing, shuffling around, jingling change in his pockets and generally crowding his opponents. On the green, he was regularly seen standing beyond the flag as his opponents tried to line up putts. But in two of the most infamous incidents involving the five-time major winner, both against future US Ryder Cup captains, he was found to be in the right. In 1991, when partnered with Jose-Maria Olazabal, he correctly accused Paul Azinger and Chip Beck of changing to different compression balls on certain holes. The Americans claimed that each player was simply teeing off with his own ball in the alternate shot format and were furious the issue had been raised at all. To Seve’s obvious delight, Azinger kept up a running argument

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about the issue until the Spaniards fought back and closed the US out 2 and 1. Mission accomplished! Four years later, Seve called for the referee again when Tom Lehman tapped in his ball instead of marking it in their singles match. The crowd started booing but there was no question that Lehman, a Ryder rookie, was in the wrong and had played out of turn. It goes without saying that a true gamesman would never resort to the Seve tactics on the tee as they are just desperately unsubtle. The phrase that springs to mind is, “There's a fine line between getting the upper hand and getting a fist to the face!”

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Lloyd Mangrum

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Arnold Palmer

Mangrum has been mentioned in these pages before, when he effectively handed the 1950 US Open to Ben Hogan by mistakenly picking up his ball without marking it on the sixteenth hole of their playoff when only a shot behind. He is also a legend among golf gamesmen by having a delicate tee box manoever named after him, “The Mangrum”. Simply put, Lloyd would stand in his opponents’ peripheral vision, wearing white shoes, and cross his legs during the player’s downswing. Simple but potentially disastrous, as the below diagram illustrates.

Playing in his first Western Open in 1955, Palmer was deliberately wound up by Marty Furgol, at the time a pro for over 20 years and a member of that year’s Ryder Cup team. Having finished his round, Furgol went back out and stood on the eighteenth fairway between Palmer and the green. Arnie yelled to Doug Ford to ask him to move, which Ford did. Furgol moved a couple of feet. Palmer shouted again and Furgol moved another couple of feet. This continued with the intended effect and a hot-headed Palmer smashed his ball over the green and failed to get up and down. End of story? Not quite. Leaving the green and in full view of all watching, Palmer grabbed Furgol by the neck and said, “Mr Furgol, if you ever pull a stunt like that again I’ll take my fists and beat the hell out of you, and if I can’t do it with my fists, I’ll use a golf club.” As often happened in those days, tour officialdom looked the other way to let the players sort themselves out.

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4

Walter Hagen

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Ben Hogan

‘Sir’ Walter Hagen is the subject of so many apocryphal tales that it is no surprise to find he is credited with inventing many of the most basic gamesmanship techniques. The first is the dubious practice of giving match play opponents generous gimmies early in the round then making them putt everything late in the game. The idea is to starve them of practice, but dangerously assumes there is a ‘late in the game’ to worry about. A nother ‘Hagen’ classic is to let your opponent see you taking practice swings with the wrong club. An example occurred in the 1925 PGA against Al Waltrous. Tied coming down the last, a long par-five with water fronting the green, Waltrous looks over to see ‘The Haig’ practice swinging with a wood. Waltrous decides he has to go for it but splashes down some way short. Needless to say, Hagen then takes the iron layup he always intended and wins with a routine par. The Hagen story that rings most true is his reported antics when supposedly in trouble in the trees. He was known to wander around looking agitated and checking right-angle routes back to the fairway. He would then produce a “miracle” shot knocking it stone dead on the green, destroying his opponent’s morale. Afterwards he would smile and confess there was a gap wide enough to drive “two Mack trucks through.”

A s with Palmer, it ’s hard to imagine Ben Hogan as anything ot her t ha n t he a l l-conqueri ng steely-eyed legend he became. The “Wee Ice Mon”, as the locals in Carnoustie labelled him, was a man of infamously few words. But like Palmer, Hogan quickly let it be known he wasn’t to be messed with. In one of his first tournaments he was paired with a veteran, a legendary player. When the rookie upstart ignored the great man and surged several shots ahead, the veteran began stepping on Hogan’s putting line. Ignoring the provocation on the first two occasions, it was a different scenario when the great man tried his luck for the third time. Grabbing him by the collar, Hogan uttered the immortal line, “See this putter? If you stand on my line again it’s going right between your eyes.” While not condoning Hogan’s actions in their entirety, a strong message to the offending party is most certainly the way to deal with this situation.

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Jack Nicklaus

Just as it was a shock to see Tiger trying to wind up his opponents, it’s just as surprising to hear of legend Jack Nicklaus doing the same. In 1985 at the Greater Milwaukee Open, the Golden Bear was playing in the final pairing with journeyman pro Jim Thorpe. Coming down the eighteenth, Thorpe was leading by three strokes and within touching distance of his first tournament victory. As one of the few African-American players to have ever made it onto the PGA Tour, Thorpe, the ninth of 12 children, had overcome massive adversity to reach this moment. Struggling to find sponsorship, Thorpe hustled at country clubs across the land to fund his travels. More often than not however, he would then blow most of the money at the racetrack. He was also ‘blessed’ with a bizarre almost Heath Robinsonesque swing, a multi-moving parts disaster in which, according to one awestruck onlooker, “it appears he’s fighting a swarm of hornets in a phone booth.” As they walked off the tee, Nicklaus turned to a nervous Thorpe and shamelessly said, “How does it feel to be walking down the last fairway with a three-shot lead over the greatest player to play the game?” Jack picked the wrong man to squeeze and it was just what Jim needed to calm his nerves. Thorpe looked at the then 17-time major champ and said, “It feels like you can’t win.” Moments later he successfully won the first of his PGA Tour titles.

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Lee Worsham

Sam Snead became the victim of one of the highest profile mind-game moments of all time in 1947 at the first ever locally televised major. Having never won the US Open, it finally looked as if it was Sam’s year when he sank a 20 foot birdie putt on the final green to force a playoff against the unheralded Worsham. Snead was the reigning Open Champion and had won six tournaments the previous year. However, during an outstanding playoff Snead couldn’t shake his man, as Worsham (wearing a tee shirt!) chipped in twice from off the green. They finally came to the eighteenth tied, but both left their lag putts two and a half feet from the hole, with Lew having the easier uphill putt. As Snead stood over his putt, Worsham struck. He asked, “Hang on, are you sure you are away? He then called a referee to check. Mayhem then ensued as officials ran around and minutes ticked by before finally deciding that, yes, by a one inch margin, it was Snead to putt first. Predictably, sapped Sam missed right, and the wily Worsham sank his for his only major win.

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10

Bubba Watson

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8Lee Trevino

Loved by the galleries for his on-course jocularity, Trevino wasn’t so popular with his fellow pros, some of whom felt his almost nonstop jabbering was a deliberate form of gamesmanship. Although others claimed Trevino’s antics were a result of a Turettestype nervous affliction, there’s little doubt that the multiple major champion was capable of intentionally putting his opponents off. Greg Norman tells a story of playing against the “Merry Mex” in the 1986 US Open, when both had tricky downhill birdie putts on their first hole of the day. Trevino putted first and put the ball a foot past the hole, and turned to his caddie and said, “Wow, that is the fastest putt I’ve seen all year long.” Needless to say, Norman left his putt over five feet short and a smiling Lee left the green.

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Less subtle and still unbelievable even after so many years was the “Stretchy Serpent” incident. In 1971 he and Jack Nicklaus had tied after 4 rounds of the US Open and the following day went to the first tee to start the 18 hole playoff. Before a ball had been struck, Trevino pulled a rubber snake from his bag and threw it at Nicklaus. Jack laughed and it was reported as an incident that “broke the ice”. Many would say it also broke Nicklaus, and Trevino prevailed by three shots.

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Tom Watson

There is a danger to any form of gamesmanship and that is that instead of putting off your opponent, it actually puts him on instead. In other words, he is incensed at the trickery and performs better than usual. This is known as the “Backfire Syndrome”. A classic example occurred in the 1977 Masters, when Tom Watson was struggling in the final group behind Jack Nicklaus. At the par-five thirteenth, Nicklaus rolled in a birdie putt, then to Watson it seemed that he took the ball out of the cup and waved it at Watson as if to say “Take that!” Seeing it as gamesmanship, Watson reacted to the taunt with an inspired run of birdies to win the tournament by two shots. Afterwards a bewildered Nicklaus was confronted by Watson and, after being loudly berated, told him he was only waving to the crowd. True or not, it is an excellent example of the dangers in any form of one-upmanship.

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“Good ol’ boy” Bubba became “bad ol’ boy” in 2008 during the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Struggling to make the cut, Watson suddenly lost it with his playing partner, 1995 USPGA champion Steve Elkington, accusing him of walking during his backswing. Perhaps due to increased TV coverage, fewer recent examples exist of gamesmanship and although the Elk’s reputation is not spotlessly clean it appeared that the real cause was Bubba’s prodigious length off the tee and the fact that he is a lefty. Nevertheless, the watching viewers were treated to the sight of Bubba stepping back from his shot, and the sounds of him berating the vastly experienced Elk: “Are you gonna stop walkin' man? Damn! You did it all day yesterday.... Tell you what, veterans can kiss my a—!” The cameras delicately missed Bubba uttering a couple stronger profanities.

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Frost Provides Players with Winning Vintage Mak Lok-lin reveals the times when professionals used more than just their golf game to try to o...

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