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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 311
IF YOU NEVER GO, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW T here’s nothing like live golf. Pro tracer is good for the television experience but it can’t compare to the raw sound of club striking ball or the thrill of seeing the trajectory, shape and result of shots in the flesh. To stand directly behind a player the calibre of Adam Scott or Marc Leishman and see first-hand what proper golf looks like is enough to inspire awe. Or even a new generation of players. Sadly, experiencing the extraordinary skills of professional golfers up close and personal is in danger of becoming a thing of the past in Australia. The proliferation of the game on TV combined with a lack of big-time tournaments means many golfers have never, or will never, see a world class player in the flesh. Yes, we can watch the game on television almost without interruption from Thursday evening to Monday morning most weeks but it really isn’t the same. However, for the next month or so golfers can and should grab with both hands the opportunity to see golf live as five significant tournaments unfold in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. On show will be some of the game’s most established players alongside some of its rising stars and the rare chance to see them is not to be missed. Beginning with the Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Club this week, the PGA Tour of Australasia will visit Sydney for the NSW and Australian Opens, Melbourne for the World Cup of Golf and finally the Gold Coast for the Australian PGA. Much will be made of the absence of the game’s biggest stars from the national championship and World Cup of Golf but that does a disservice to those who will be there. Matt Kuchar might not be Tiger Woods but you don’t fluke seven wins on the PGA Tour and any weekend golfer who takes the opportunity to go and see the American at either The Lakes or Metropolitan will quickly understand why. If you want to see – or more importantly hear – what genuinely world class ball striking sounds and looks like then follow Kyle Stanley for a few holes in Sydney or Melbourne. Or to be legitimately amazed by an almost unthinkable array of shots around the greens head to the practise chipping area at ‘Metro’ and watch Ireland’s Shane Lowry go through his warmup. Is raw power more your thing? Stand behind Ryan Fox at the driving range when he’s hitting the driver and you’ll quickly be disabused of the notion we weekend warriors play the same game as the pros. But it’s not just the better-known names that make a ticket to the golf money well spent. In fact, for the serious fan, it is quite the opposite. While high profile names like Leishman and Smith will attract large galleries, take advantage of the chance to get up close to stars of the future like Min Woo Lee, Travis Smyth and Jordan Zunic. You can even pick a random group off the draw, made up of three players you’ve never heard of, and I guarantee you’ll witness some golf that will amaze and impress. The next five weeks are the only chance fans will get to see top class golf on Australian shores in 2018 and they will be over before we know it. So don’t miss out. Make the effort to go, because there really is nothing like live golf. VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen.
GA Express 310
GA Express 312