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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 297
VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen. IN AMERICA’S DEFENCE ... T he easiest targets to hit are the biggest ones and in golf, they don’t come any larger than America. With the eyes of the golf world fixed – nay transfixed – by Carnoustie and the glory of the game in its rawest, purest form this past week, the American game and its fans came in for more than their fair share of bashing. This was brought into sharp focus on social media when an aerial photo of Carnoustie in all its browned-out glory was posted to Instagram and attracted a slew of remarkably narrow-minded comments. “How did the USGA loose (sic) the course already,” read my personal favourite “and it’s only Wednesday (Thursday in England)???”. That particular comment is delicious on multiple levels, but was just one of many genuinely ignorant reactions to the burned out look of the course. Sadly, while much of this uneducated nonsense was clearly written by Americans, the point missing is hardly restricted to the US of A. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest it is not any more prevalent in the land of the Stars and Stripes than elsewhere. Case in point: At a Masters breakfast some years ago at Riverside Oaks here in Sydney, I was seated at a large table next to a chap who was singing the praises of the Augusta National layout to his friend. Nothing wrong with that, I thought, when he suddenly declared loudly that the Masters was the best of the four majors and The Open the worst because – and I have never forgotten this quote – “They play the British Open on goat tracks that don’t even have any trees.” It took several minutes to digest what had been said and – after some reflection – I concluded that trying to set him straight was akin to trying to explain the round nature of the globe to a flat earther. I simply left it at that. For those who take an interest in golf courses and their importance to the game more broadly, the obsession with conditioning by the general golf public might be the most maddening aspect of the game. But it is not an exclusively American phenomenon. We in Australia also get it wrong more often than right and by far the majority of the golfers I encounter clearly and unashamedly value perfect playing surfaces over interesting course design every day of the week. Like any facet of life you care to consider the very best – and the very worst of golf – can be found in America. Sitting shamelessly alongside the likes of Pine Valley and the National Golf Links of America are atrocities like the 17th at TPC Sawgrass and bright green courses in the deserts of California and Arizona. Attributing ignorance to ‘American golf’ is both lazy and, ironically, ignorant. Especially when the rest of us are guilty of it as well.
GA Express 296
GA Express 298