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INDOOROOPILLY GOLF CLUB BRISBANE • QUEENSLAND

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INDOOROOPILLY GOLF CLUB WAS THE WORST HIT OF BRISBANE’S COURSES DURING THE DEVASTING FLOODS OF JANUARY 2011. THREE YEARS ON AND THE 36-HOLE COMPLEX IS IMPRESSING ONCE AGAIN. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: BRENDAN JAMES

I

MAIN: The bunkering and tight driving line make the par-4 6th on the Gold nine the second hardest hole on the West course. BELOW LEFT: The 382-metre par-4 9th of the Green nine is a tough closer. BELOW RIGHT: The green of the long par-4 4th on the Green nine presents a tough target to hit.

t is three years since the eyes of a nation were transfixed on our televisions as the people of Queensland endured yet another natural disaster. The floods of January 2011, which swept through Rockhampton as well as south-east Queensland, and into the Brisbane CBD, were another stark reminder of the power of Mother Nature and the devastation she can cause. At the height of the emergency, the swollen Brisbane River burst its banks creating floodwater levels not seen since the record 1974 floods that inundated the city. This time, though, the images of a city fighting to keep its head above water were beamed live into our homes or were splashed across the front pages of the newspaper. One of the unforgettable images for me during that time was an aerial photograph showing the floodwaters covering most of the surfboard fin-shaped land (known as Long Pocket) occupied by Indooroopilly Golf Club, which is bound on three sides by the Brisbane River as it flows east towards the city. Of the 36 holes on the 130-hectare property, 22 holes were completely swamped by the floodwater and the tonnes of sand, silt and mud that came with it. In the days after, as the waters receded the full extent of the devastation became apparent. Almost every tee and green was damaged to some degree. One fairway, which runs alongside the river, was buried under a metre of sand and sludge. More than 350 member volunteers joined course superintendent Charlie Giffard and his staff in the clean-up operation. Armed with shovels and pushing wheelbarrows, the massive working bee removed the layers of mud and silt off the affected greens, which were then washed and squeegeed clean. This helped save the greens from completely dying. It also went a long way to having all 36 holes opened for play within two months. Today, there is virtually no evidence of the 2011 flood to be seen at Indooroopilly, with the exception of a few flood level markers you might spot during the course of a round. Both courses have returned to the high standard of presentation that had been established before the flood and both layouts are destined to get even better.

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PROFILE

JASON DUFNER JOINED THE ELITE CLUB OF MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS LAST AUGUST. UNLIKE HIS CONTEMPORARIES, THE GAME’S MOST LAID-BACK CHARACTER ISN’T DESPERATE TO ADD ANOTHER BECAUSE,“THERE’S MORE TO LIFE THAN CHASING A GOLF BALL.” WORDS: JAMES HENDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK NEWCOMBE/VISIONSINGOLF.COM

take out the trash every week and I like to eat breakfast at the same place all the time.” A man comfortable leading a major championship down the home stretch, or equally at ease watching his beloved university athletic teams in absolute anonymity, Jason Dufner is not your “average golfer”. Yet conversely, in a game masked by an elitist exterior, he is just that. “I appreciate the attention I get from fans and hopefully they see a little bit of themselves in me,” says Dufner, a PGA Championship winner branded a “sponsors dream” by many in the industry. “I’m a pretty laid-back guy and I like to have fun. “Travelling and playing golf is definitely a blessing, but it can get monotonous. I think fans appreciate seeing a more human side of athletes and that’s what I am, a regular guy.” Dufner’s laid-back mannerisms and expressionless face, now synonymous on the US PGA Tour, have earned him fame from all corners of the world – usually showcased via the realms of social media. Almost a year to the day an emotionless Dufner sat slumped on the floor of the Salesmanship Youth and Family Centre in Dallas, Texas, and in doing so, an internet sensation was born. Slouching against a wall appearing disinterested, ‘Dufnering’ became the sporting pose of the masses throughout 2013, kickstarted by close friend and fellow PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley. Retweeting the message to his 250,000-plus followers, Bradley’s message simply read: “Haha I don’t know what to say. This is the best picture ever. #duffdaddy.” “Certainly the Dufnering thing brought me a lot of attention and people started to recognise me more,” admits Dufner, who’s cult-hero status was raised further after his maiden major championship win at Oak Hill Country Club five months later. Yet despite a rise in profile, coupled with a rare insight into his refreshing off-the-course character, Dufner’s calm exterior is often mistaken for a lack of caring, a slant he unsurprisingly doesn’t care about contesting. “Most people are far more concerned with my emotional states than I am,” says Dufner, a three-time PGA Tour winner since turning professional in 2000. “I know I come across very calm, but I get nervous and excited just like other people. I just don’t show it the same way. “I stay very true to myself and I know what kind of guy I am, so yes, I don’t let anything like that bother me.” Following Dufner’s rise up the rankings and success in major championships, it’s difficult to see anything other than a blossoming career for a man celebrating his 37th birthday this month. Yet since

his career-changing victory in New York last August, the American has been honest enough to reveal different ambitions for his future. “The plan is coming together really well,” Dufner said of his plans to retire from the game aged 40, only two days after picking up his US$1.4 million pay cheque. “I’ve got a five-year exemption now, so that would take me to 41. Maybe I’ll push it back one year.” Dufner’s golfing strategy differs from his peers, a strategy which acknowledges “there are other things to life than chasing a golf ball”. “Vijay Singh, he’s a golf junkie,” Dufner said. “Lee Trevino: golf junkie. Tom Kite: golf junkie. I’m not a golf junkie.” While his wife Amanda objects to any talk of retirement, the Auburn, Alabama-based Dufner insists no concrete plans are in place to negotiate his exit from a game he is excelling in. “A lot of people have asked me how long I will play golf,” says Dufner, who in his early career struggled to hold down a regular place on the PGA Tour. “There are certainly other things I want to do in life, but right now I don’t know the answer. “I know I can at least play in the PGA Championship every year!” Whether Dufner slips into semi-retirement in the years to come remains to be seen, but regardless of his commitment to the game, or his scheduling plans, his love for his adopted town will always motivate his decisions. While studying his economics degree from Auburn University, Dufner became a “walkon” on campus, an athlete who becomes part of a team without being actively recruited beforehand or awarded a scholarship. Such is Dufner’s talent in the game, he won three times during his college career, he picked up the Honourable Mention All-American award in 1997, an honour which helped ignite his love for both his school and the area. “I’m really passionate about Auburn,” says Dufner, who famously claimed the Wanamaker Trophy can hold 43 cans of beer. “I live and practise there and I’m still very involved with the school. “I love supporting their sports, keeping track of recruits, being around the teams.” With a 250,000-plus social-media following, which increased considerably as a result of his internet meme and major victory last year, Dufner’s Twitter page is crammed with all things Auburn Tigers, the university’s blanket name for its athletic team. Whether it be bashing officials, urging on the students or simply screaming like a fan, Dufner’s love for Auburn is genuine and visible,

A lot of people have asked me how long I will play golf. There are certainly other things I want to do in life.

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S ’ E R E H T , T A E GR N E H T S ’ E R E TH BY

F F O E G Y V L I OG

IS AS AMPION H C N E P YERS AS 6 US O THE 200 N OF GREAT PLA PES. FA E THE RO RS ID MUCH A S T U O LAYE F US THOSE O SENTS THE FIVE P T PRE MOS HERE HE VE EXCITED HIM THAT HA G HIS CAREER. DURIN

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diately, ll imme ou can te nition, fi e. By de s r u o nd c f o yers sta cial pla the spe y ntl are insta out and from the le b a h is r distingu have ou t we all the r e rest. Bu tion. Ov o excep I’ve n l, a m n a I io es and profess a s a iew s r favourit 5 yea -close v of my 1 ve an up a h dful n to course a h h ly on a y enoug n k o c t u lu b n r, bee playe nd and leading mid-rou topped of every s I m I to e a v a y ions h ow luck h , n a of occas M lf , “ to myse y golf?” thought saw guy pla is th g uys who hin s from g ie be watc us r la to k s ic r hea Jack N I love to ad and to e n S rd a m w a r an, S look fo Ben Hog s inside s. And I e k c a n e p ie r ir the y expe be play at ass on m going to ble to p a g me I’m o in c e that b h to it s r w a d e s. In y “I playe , s id k fth the rope d fi gran antasy’ tell my (with a ‘f r d u n able to a fo d e excite re are th so far – – guy.” He e v a h in) who thrown e most. d me th e u intrig

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

L A I C E SP Y


1

TIGER WOODS

Predictably, Tiger is top of my list. He was the first guy who made me step away from my pile of balls on the range just to watch him hit a few. That was especially true back about the turn of the century. He was incredible at that time, far and away the best in every category of the game. I watched him with a mixture of awe and interest. It was “look how good you can get at this game”. Right through the bag from driver to putter he was so technically sound. There was so much to learn from what he was doing. I loved Tiger’s long game. He hit the ball so long and high and straight and with such a distinctive sound at impact. He really knew what he was doing. His shots never curved much. And he has such an ability to create power. I recall playing with him and laying-up with a 3-iron on a par-5, and then watching him fly his shot onto the green from only a few yards ahead of me. It was amazing stuff. For a couple of years too, Tiger was the best driver of a ball I had ever seen. He was Greg Norman-like, which makes sense … you can’t win the US Open by 15 shots – as he did in 2000 at Pebble Beach – without being a truly great driver. Things have changed since then, of course. Now I look at Tiger with,“What’s he up to now?” in my mind. He’s endlessly fascinating in that respect. He always has something new he is working on or trying. Throw in the fact that he is easily the biggest personality in the game and he is never less than fun to watch.

Tiger was the best driver of a ball I had ever seen.

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20 FIX GOLF’S COMMON FAULTS IN MINUTES WITH ADRIAN FRYER’S SIMPLE TIPS. WORDS: KIT ALEXANDER PHOTOGRAPHY: BOB ATKINS

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ractice drills are simple but effective ways for any golfer to develop their technique – from

complete beginner to Tour pro. The methodical and repetitive nature of using them can help fix a fault, ingrain a new feeling or develop a new skill in minutes. And they can be carried out on the course, at the range or even at home in front of a mirror. We’ve compiled 19 of our favourite drills

BEST DRILLS EVER! STAY CONNECTED DRILL 1

A GLOVE UNDER YOUR ARMPIT CAN HELP YOU AVOID BECOMING ‘FLICKY’ AT IMPACT A common fault golfers have when pitching and chipping is thinking it’s just a hands and arms shot, which results in the arms separating from the body during the swing and the hands getting very ‘flicky’ at impact. If you keep the upper arms closer to the body it will stabilise the arms and your swing. The club will be moved by gentle body rotation and the wrists and hands stay quite passive, which makes it easier to control clubface rotation and return it square at impact.

that can be used to improve every area of your game: from swing fundamentals to short-game proficiency ... and everything in between. Each one can be undertaken with just a club or a simple piece of kit everyone has in their bag. Now is the perfect time to analyse your tendencies, pinpoint areas for improvement and use the drills over the next eight pages to help hone your technique, wherever you need to improve.

STAY CONNECTED

Keeping a glove tucked under your left armpit as you swing ensures your arms and body stay connected, so the body turn drives the swing and the hands and wrists can stay relatively passive.


INSTRUCTION

DRILL 2

WAVE BYE TO A FLYING ELBOW

ThanksTUCKED for yourINemail KEEP THE RIGHT ELBOW AT THE(ref TOP OF YOUR BACKSWING rotation, encourages the wrist to hinge #3645)

If you tend to cross the line at the top of the backswing, with the shaft pointing to the right of the target, it’s because you have a flying right elbow. This drill promotes a bit of forearm

TUCKED RIGHT ELBOW

correctly, keeps the elbow more in front of you and sets the club on plane, so you can create a better swing path and more accurate shots.

Your left palm should be facing straight behind you at the top of the backswing and your left arm should be slightly bent.This keeps your elbow tucked in so you can set the club on plane.

HAND BEHIND ELBOW

Address the ball with your left hand behind your right elbow and the palm facing straight away from your target. Maintain pressure between your left hand and right elbow as you make a slow backswing.

DRILL 3

ONE-PIECE TAKEAWAY

KEEP RIGHT HEEL UP

SYNCHRONISE THE ARMS AND BODY VERY QUICKLY A lot of players move the clubhead away from the ball too quickly, leading to independent hand movement within the first foot of the takeaway and the club rolling inside too early, opening the face. This loses the connection between the

Address the ball as normal, but with your right heel slightly off the ground. Keep your foot in this position as you swing to the top to develop resistance in the backswing and a neutral swing plane.

arms and body, preventing them from working together. The “hand behind the left wrist” drill promotes more of a one-piece takeaway, keeping the shaft on plane and synchronising the turn of the body and the arms takeaway.

LEAD WITH RIGHT HAND

TEXT & IMAGES: © BAUER CONSUMER MEDIA LIMITED

Place your right hand in front of your left and slowly start your takeaway with the big muscles doing the work. This keeps the takeaway on plane and retains the connection between arms and body.

DRILL 4

CREATE RESISTANCE

LIFT THE RIGHT HEEL AND GET ON PLANE AT THE TOP A lot of players over-turn their right hip too early in the backswing, which whips the club inside and means the swing plane gets too flat. This drill creates

torque and resistance in the body, limits the rotation of the hips a little and forces the club back and up on the correct plane.

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PRO SHOP

SPEEDY FAIRWAYS

TaylorMade’s new JetSpeed fairway woods each incorporate a radically redesigned ‘Speed Pocket’ that’s smaller and accounts for less weight, while remaining just as efficient at boosting the speed of the clubface. The improved Speed Pocket is filled with a polymer that keeps debris out, improving turf interaction while absorbing unwanted vibration without slowing down the clubface. The weight saved by the new Speed Pocket design is redistributed strategically within the clubhead to move the centre of gravity lower and further forward, a location that TaylorMade has proven promotes faster ball speeds and lower spin. The clubs also feature a low-profile head design that makes it easier to make contact with the clubface below the ball’s equator, making it simpler to launch the ball on a high, long-carrying flight and easier to get the ball in the air off the turf. Five fairway-wood lofts are available: 3-wood (15° loft), 3HL (17°), 5-wood (19°), 5HL (21°) and 7-wood (23°). SRP: $289. Contact: TaylorMade-adidas Golf for stockists on 1800 700 011 or visit www.taylormadegolf.com.au

NEVER LOSE YOUR BAG AGAIN

If you travel with your golf gear a lot, especially by plane, you may have experienced lost luggage at some stage. After all, more than 30 million bags go missing via transit every year worldwide, which means airlines are losing more than 3,000 bags every hour. LugLoc, launched in Australia recently, uses GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) cellular signals, a state-of-the-art technology, to locate within minutes misplaced baggage in any airport in the world. LugLoc is a small, thin device that is able to slip easily into any bag and will track its movements. In the event luggage is lost or misplaced, the location of the LugLoc device can easily be seen using the LugLoc app on a mobile phone (available for both iOS and Android phones.) This information can be used to help airlines find missing luggage. RRP: $49.95. LugLoc is available online or from David Jones. For more information, visit www.lugloc.com.au

GET A GRIP

Your grip is one of the most important aspects of a good golf swing. To help you achieve a perfect grip is the Golf-Grip – a small training aid that promotes a better grip. The Golf-Grip is a unique tool that can be used on any club in your bag. Designed in conjunction with several PGA professionals, consistent use of the Golf-Grip has been found to promote ‘muscle memory’ allowing the golfer, with practice and time, to achieve the perfect grip – without assistance. RRP: $22.99. Can be purchased online at www.golf-grip.com

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ONE HOT HYBRID

The new X2 Hot hybrid line is a game-changer for Callaway in 2014, making a quantum leap forward in hybrid performance. For the first time in a hybrid, Callaway engineers used the same ‘Hyperspeed Face Cup’ found in the X2 Hot fairway woods and driver. Using a 455 Carpenter Steel face allows the face to be thinner, lighter and more robust. The by-product of that is driver-like ball speed performance and better gains on off-centre hits, even low on the face. The X2 Hot hybrids also have a redesigned, Tour-inspired head shape with a deeper face that gives them a true hybrid look, which may even appeal to traditionalists who’ve never used hybrids before. The hybrid line includes 3, 4, 5 and 6 (standard) and 16°, 18°, 20° and 23° lofts (pro model). RRP: $259.99 per club. Contact: Callaway Golf on 1800 217 777 or visit www.callawaygolf.com


NEW TITLEIST BALLS

Titleist has launched 2014 NXT Tour and NXT Tour S balls with new innovative core, cover and aerodynamic technologies. The NXT Tour and softer-feeling NXT Tour S provide exceptional distance and commanding short-game scoring performance, exceeded only by Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Both new models have been improved with a re-engineered softer compression core and cover so golfers will experience even softer feel. Engineered for high performance, the NXT Tour ball utilises advanced multicomponent technology that delivers low driver and long-iron spin for exceptionally long distance and scoring performance. It features a new proprietary softer compression dual core and a softer, thin Fusablend cover. The result is a softer, truer feel on all shots while maintaining its exceptional distance and excellent short-game control. The NXT Tour S ball is designed for players seeking NXT Tour performance – outstanding distance, consistent flight and commanding short-game control – with an even softer compression feel. The NXT Tour S is even softer than the prior generation model as well as its 2014 NXT Tour counterpart. SRP: $47.95 per dozen. To find out which Titleist golf ball is the best ball for you, visit Titleist Golf Ball Fitting at http://www.titleist.com.au/golf-ball-fitting. Join Team Titleist at Titleist.com.au/TeamTitleist or call 1800 660 535

UP & COMING SHARKS

Greg Norman adds to his extensive promotion of junior golf with the latest junior club range by Shark. Concentrating on quality and value, they offer package sets for 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12 years in junior right hand and, through consultation with the industry, have also added 9-12 years junior left hand. The 9 to 12-year-olds set features a large driver, playable hybrid, 7-iron, wedge, and putter. All clubs are fitted with an ultra-lightweight graphite shaft to ensure maximum feel and distance. A matching stand bag and head covers mean your future Shark is ready to attack the course RRP: From $169. For more information visit www.sharkgolf.com.au or call Sporte Leisure on (02) 9693 5777.

POWER ON

When you are out on the course, chances are there isn’t going to be an electrical outlet anywhere nearby. What happens when your golfing tech gear or mobile phone is running low on juice? Sureshotgps has the answer with their new SS Solar Power Pack. Now you can recharge any of your Sureshotgps products and your mobile device all while you are on the go. This handy device is best kept in your golf bag for when you next encounter an emergency power situation on the course. A great feature of the Sureshotgps SS Solar Power Pack is its compatibility. The power pack will suit most other brands of golf GPS units as well as mobile phones, including iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and BlackBerry. RRP: $49.95. For stockists, visit www.sureshotgps.com or call 1300 644 523.

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CLUBS ROAD TEST

CALLAWAY X2 HOT IRONS WHAT OUR TESTER SAID:

NEIL WASTLE

There was a significant improvement in accuracy compared to my clubs. I hit the X2 Hots far straighter than any irons I’ve hit in a long time.

HANDICAP: 16

MODEL AND SHAFT PLAYED: Callaway X2 Hot

and accurately. My irons have stiff shafts so I

5-iron to pitching wedge, fitted with regular-flex

did notice a definite difference in returning to

steel shafts.

these regular-flex shafts, however it wasn’t a

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: These are nice looking

major issue.

clubs. They feel good in the hands while taking practice swings; the weight distribution feels

than usual but there was a significant

Exceptional sound and feel at high ball speeds come from a stabilising arch that reinforces the clubface.

right, as does the square look on the ground

improvement in accuracy compared to my

at address. I also like the uncomplicated

clubs. I hit these far straighter than any irons

design of the clubhead – it’s sophisticated

I’ve hit in a long time. They also performed

without being decorated excessively.

pretty well from the rough, the clubheads

VERDICT: I was impressed with the X2 Hot irons

moving through the longer grass easily and

from the first shot I hit with them. I normally

not causing distance to suffer much as a

hit my irons with a fairly pronounced but

result. Chip and pitch shots with the pitching

controlled slice and I found I kept hitting

wedge were easy to control and I found I

these irons too straight! Once I adjusted, I

grew in confidence using the wedge as the

began hitting the ball much more cleanly

round went on.

GOING DEEP A new Deep Central Undercut increases the rate the face flexes and rebounds, increasing ball speed.

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I can’t say I hit the X2 Hot irons any further

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED; STEVE KEIPERT X 2

ARCH OF TRIUMPH


W I N N E R’S C I RC L E

I didn’t necessarily understand the situation I was in as far as the score, but I did know I had an opportunity ... I was playing to win. FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN CHAMPION WINNING TOTAL: 9-under-par, 279. DEFEATED: A group of five players – including Aussies Jason Day and Marc Leishman – by a single stroke. South Korean K.J Choi, Canadian Graham DeLaet and local Pat Perez also finished one shot out of a play-off. DEFINING MOMENT: Stallings was standing in the middle of the 18th fairway on Torrey Pines’ famed South course, 203 metres from the front of the green, needing a birdie four to give himself a shot at outright victory. His caddie, Jon Yarbrough, said: “Let’s see what you’ve got.” Stallings nailed a 4-iron that narrowly cleared the water fronting the green and set up two putts from 40 feet for a birdie and a closing 68 to grab the win. WITH THIS VICTORY: Stallings claims an invite to the Masters – he is the first PGA Tour winner in 2014 who had not already been invited. He collected $1,098,000 for the win and surged to the edge of the top-10 in the FedEx Cup standings.

DRIVER

Titleist 913D2 8.5° loft, with Aldila Rogue 70TX shaft

3-WOOD

Titleist 913F.d 15° loft, with Aldila Rogue 70TX shaft

UTLIITY 2-IRON

Mizuno Fli-Hi with 18° loft, with Aldila RIP Tour 115X shaft

IRONS (4-PW)

Titleist 714 AP2 all with KBS Tour X shafts

WEDGES

Titleist Vokey Design SM5 (F Grind 50-12, F Grind 54-14, S Grind 58-07 degrees) fitted with KBS Tour X shafts

PUTTER

Scotty Cameron Newport 2.6

BALL

Titleist Pro V1x

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PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES X 2

EQUIPMENT CHOICE


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