FIRST WORD

Ge­off Wit­ton casts his eye over what is go­ing on this month.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENT - Ge­off Wit­ton / Pub­lisher

t was men­tioned to us a few days

Iago that we have de­vel­oped into New Zealand's, and maybe even Aus­trala­sia's most au­thor­i­ta­tive and rel­e­vant Golf Mag­a­zine. This was some­what sober­ing and gave us cause to re­flect. Our Na­tional and In­ter­na­tional team of pro­fes­sion­als that pub­lish in­side are amongst the best and we con­grat­u­late them.

We can re­call many years won­der­ing what would hap­pen when Ly­dia Ko ma­tured and grew into an adult. She grew up be­liev­ing that golf was fun and easy, she was en­cour­aged to be­lieve in that, her orig­i­nal coach Guy Wil­son, was al­most fa­natic in en­sur­ing that fun was in­grained in her at­ti­tude. We won­dered whether that would con­tinue as the grind of the Tour be­came a re­al­ity, the con­tin­u­ous pres­sure to per­form, the trav­el­ling and the peer pres­sure from all whom sur­round her.

Watch­ing her now and her de­meanour does not re­flect the fun. The spon­ta­neous spark is miss­ing and life ap­pears tough. Re­al­ity has maybe poked its nose in. The smile is miss­ing.

How­ever, all elite sports men and women, go through these phases. Ko will emerge and dom­i­nate again. If she wants to. She is too good. Go KO. Tiger Woods is in the same type of sit­u­a­tion. The Masters which is be­ing played out as we speak may re de­fine Golf at the very top. How­ever, he is sur­rounded by a top rate field and we for one would not put money on the re­sult. The win­ner will be the game of golf though, that is for sure.

Dom Sains­bury, CEO of the PGA of New Zealand, has writ­ten the Fi­nal Word for this month and he talks about Golf be­ing the Great­est Game of Them All. He is right of course, and even more demon­strated by the shenani­gans sur­round­ing the overall be­hav­iour of the Aus­tralian Cricket Team. They all play Golf so maybe they ought to trans­fer their at­ten­tion to our sport!!

Do­minic also talks about the sports in­jury costs to the tax­payer and Cricket and Golf did not en­ter the top 10 Ta­ble.

Cricket aside, and in all se­ri­ous­ness, though we looked fur­ther at the ACC cost of Sport and with Rugby Union cost­ing our coun­try a mas­sive $78 mil­lion dol­lars in 2016. Even Snow­board­ing cost over $6 mil­lion. So how much did Golf in­juries cost New Zealand in 2016?

A rel­a­tively tiny, $3 mil­lion. So, a per capita cost of ap­prox­i­mately $27 per club golfer and if you in­clude so­cial golfers it comes down to just $6 per player per an­num. Cheap in­deed. En­joy this mag­a­zine

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