QUICK ROUND

We have a round with Phil Tataurangi – Former Tour player and now Golf com­men­ta­tor.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENT -

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED PLAY­ING GOLF AND WHO GOT YOU STARTED?

My Dad I guess at the age of 7. On Satur­days I had the op­tion of go­ing with my Mum to watch my older sis­ter play ei­ther net­ball or hockey or go to golf at Wait­omo GC and caddy for Dad, no de­ci­sion re­ally!!

WHERE DID YOU START PLAY­ING GOLF?

Wait­omo GC. I was pretty lucky to have some el­derly lady mem­bers take me out in the af­ter­noons for 9 holes af­ter cad­dy­ing for Dad in the morn­ings.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU TURNED PRO­FES­SIONAL?

I turned pro on Sept 21st 1993.

HOW MANY HOLES IN ONE HAVE YOU HAD?

I've had 7 aces.

HOW OF­TEN DO YOU PLAY GOLF NOW?

Not of­ten enough!! I'm pretty busy with the num­ber of dif­fer­ent de­sign projects , com­men­tary com­mit­ments and other projects I'm in­volved in. I'm for­tu­nate to have a son that's play­ing a lot and is su­per keen so that gets me to the course quite of­ten. I also have dif­fer­ent cor­po­rate com­mit­ments, our tour busi­ness where I play with our clients and try to sched­ule a golf break with mates to top 100 ranked cour­ses at least once a year.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEM­O­RABLE MO­MENT IN GOLF?

I've got way too many great mem­o­ries to sin­gle just one out. I'm re­ally lucky to have ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of dif­fer­ent mo­ments in the game both in­side and out­side the ropes.

YOUR FAVOURITE GOLF COURSE IS?

The Old Course at St An­drews. The rich his­tory is a bit over­whelm­ing when you're there. To know that your walk­ing in the foot­steps of all the great play­ers who have ever played the game sends chills throug your bones. The fair­ways, greens bunkers, bumps, and hol­lows speak softly to you as you play echo­ing the virtues of past Open

Cham­pi­ons. The course's unique lay­out and rout­ing see the course be­gin and end in town­ship mak­ing it a the most con­ve­nient public neigh­bour­hood course in the world. The cere­bral de­sign fea­tures have largely been the blue­print for the game for well over 100 yrs and will con­tinue to shape it for 100 more. And then there is Old Tom Mor­ris's orig­i­nal pro shop right off the 18th green - stop me at any stage.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYER TO WATCH AND WHY?

My son (&daugh­ter when she plays). It takes me back to my youth learn­ing the game and re­mem­ber­ing that un­spoiled en­thu­si­asm and joy for pulling off that great shot or hol­ing a chip or putt when you least ex­pected to. I love it they en­joy to play the game.

AND YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE?

What a dumb ques­tion!!! Any­one who plays the game is worth watch­ing.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANY THREE PEO­PLE, ALIVE OR DEAD, TO PLAY IN A FOURBALL WITH, WHO WOULD THEY BE – ANY PAR­TIC­U­LAR REA­SON FOR YOUR CHOICES?

It's a five ball. My Papa, My Dad and my two kids Kahu & Talia. Talia may only be up for 9 holes but that's cool. The kids never got meet their grand­fa­ther and great grand­fa­ther as they passed away when I was a kid. It would be re­ally cool fam­ily fun like what I got to ex­pe­ri­ence as a kid the front nine and highly com­pet­i­tive with plenty of trash talk­ing on the back nine!!

AND THE THREE PEO­PLE YOU WOULD LEAST LIKE TO PLAY WITH AND WHY?

An­other dumb ques­tion.

WHAT IS THE FUN­NI­EST THING YOU HAVE SEEN OR EX­PE­RI­ENCED ON A GOLF COURSE.

Wow. There's way too many sto­ries not for print that have re­duced me to tears at dif­fer­ent stages in my ca­reer. One that sticks out is play­ing with Kevin Suther­land (who won the Charles Sch­wab Cup on the Cham­pi­ons Tour last yr) at Peb­ble Beach. He had John Wood (now with Matt Kuchar) cad­dy­ing for him at the time and along with good mate and cad­die Bren­don we were all good mates. It was the first hole of the AT&T Pro Am tour­na­ment and we started on the 10th hole.

Any­way, Kevin blocked his open­ing tee shot down onto Carmel Beach which is still just a lat­eral water haz­ard so if you can find your ball it is of­ten playable. The beach is some 10-15 me­tres below the fair­way and on this oc­ca­sion Kevin's ball was in sight so John & Kevin es­ti­mated a yardage and de­cided to hit it.

The only thing was a rogue wave was on its way and we had the ad­van­tage of see­ing it com­ing from up above. We were try­ing to fig­ure out whether we let him and Woody know it was com­ing or whether he'd get it off in time!!! A long story short... it's hard to shorten this up, but as Kevin took his backswing the wave smashed him and he never got back to im­pact!! The ball ended up get­ting sucked back fur­ther down the beach!! Once the water sub­sided he then had to change clubs got it back up onto the fair­way and as he couldn't now reach the green and ended mak­ing

Phil Tataurangi.

A view from be­side the green of the 'Strath Bunker' on the 174 yards par 3, 11th hole 'High In' which shares it's green with the par 4, 7th hole (be­hind) on the Old Course at St An­drews.

Kevinn Suther­land.

Phil Tataurangi 2013.

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