LET­TER OF THE MONTH

Golf Australia - - 19TH HOLE - |

BIG­GER FASTER LONGER Just read with much in­ter­est the “Big­ger Faster Longer” ar­ti­cle in Oc­to­ber edi­tion. My per­sonal pref­er­ence is that I don’t be­grudge the pros and am­a­teurs alike hav­ing use of all tech­nol­ogy avail­able to them, there will come lim­its due to the ex­tremes of physics, even in dim­ple de­sign as in Bren­dan James’ ed­i­to­rial, un­less al­lowed to in­ject can­nons into club de­sign...

What is in­ter­est­ing in the game is that on a par-4 there is still three shots af­ter a drive, four on a par-5 & on a par-3, pros would very rarely, un­less in Scot­land per­haps, take driver from the tee.

There are of course other el­e­ments to bring balance to the longer ball, in my opin­ion mainly course man­age­ment. Look­ing at Le Golf Na­tional in the re­cent Ry­der Cup edi­tion, I’m sure the stats show that the Euro­peans hit the fair­way more than the US play­ers, lay­ing plat­form to their vic­tory. Rory the long­est on Tour, didn’t seem to play well with driver in hand. Once in the rough at that course, length off the tee was of lit­tle com­fort. Sim­i­larly the fast fair­way con­di­tions at Carnoustie, if the rough was harsher as seen in pre­vi­ous Opens, the guys hit­ting driver would have been in more trou­ble than they were.

The other as­pect is green de­sign and speed. On a par-72 I don’t have to re­mind you of course the 36 putts avail­able, as­sum­ing all greens are made in reg­u­la­tion, rep­re­sents 50 per­cent of shots. Driv­ers may make up less than 20 per­cent, as­sum­ing taken 14 times on a par-72 lay­out.

I have al­ways warmed to Jack Nick­laus’ con­cept of risk/re­ward de­sign, let the big hit­ters de­cide at the tee if they wish to hit long, but nar­row the tar­get zone and if they have no sub­se­quent con­trol to hit that tar­get, they lose ad­van­tage. I’ve also heard him men­tion “sec­ond shot golf” a lot. Po­si­tion on the green in or­der to make birdies and your round’s score. THE NEED FOR NINE Hav­ing a child is one of the most beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ences we will ever have, but be warned: it can play havoc with your hand­i­cap!

With this in mind, and af­ter sev­eral years of del­i­cate ne­go­ti­a­tions with my wife, I made a deal that al­lows me to sneak out for a few hours on a Satur­day af­ter­noon – just enough time to play 9 holes.

The prob­lem I have is that not so many golf clubs play 9-hole tour­na­ments. In­deed, around Mi­lan (where I live and where there are around 25 golf clubs) only 2-3 of them play

For cour­ses used for pro events, more should be con­sid­ered than just mov­ing back tees. I’m sure dig­ging a new bunker is less ex­pen­sive than pur­chas­ing new land. Nar­row the land­ing zones, grow the rough, speed up and re­design greens. Pros shouldn’t have their cake and eat it too.

If I was one of those rocket sci­en­tists I’d be work­ing on a ball that rolls straight, irons out the break at any speed, anti-grav­ity, hit it and it goes in! If we get to that it’d be real trou­ble... Josh Hamill Cromer, NSW 9-hole tour­na­ments!

Given that ev­ery­body is com­plain­ing about the time needed to play 18 holes, in­stead of try­ing to crack down on the pace of play, more golf clubs should start play­ing 9-hole tour­na­ments!

Two hours for the round, half an hour of prac­tice and half an hour’s drive gives you three hours. Per­fect, even if you’ve got a new­born child and parental du­ties to take care of! An­to­nio Cip­par­rone

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