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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 316
GOLF: FRUSTRATINGLY SIMPLE I f one was asked to sum up golf in four words it would be difficult to go past ‘Simple but not easy’. Honestly, what could be more straightforward than ‘get the ball in the hole’? It’s a concept so lacking in nuance even a small child could grasp it. And yet, as uncomplicated as it sounds, it is almost impossible to imagine a more infuriating test of patience and resolve than golf. As a recreational activity, golf is at least as absurd as any other pastime. There is nothing at stake beyond pride (professionals aside) yet almost every round is peppered with emotions ranging from rage to unbridled joy. Everything in golf conspires against the player including – or perhaps mostly – him or herself. We all kid ourselves that if we just hit it 20 yards further and played more approaches with a wedge than a 7-iron then the nirvana of single figures beckons. But the combination of poor technique, inflated ego and bad decision making that is the staple of the weekend warrior is what truly traps us in double digits. Multiple tournament winner Craig Parry once declared in an interview that if he were to caddy for the average 18-marker he could save them 10 shots per round. ‘Popeye’ knows the game as well as anyone and having played hundreds of pro-ams with the target market would not have made the statement lightly. Ironically, it is the inability for most to become even moderately proficient at the game that is actually one of its greatest appeals. Robert Hunter perhaps put it best in his 1926 book The Links when he wrote: “What is more engaging than to see how golf infuriates some big brute who can thrash anybody, ride bucking horses, shoot deer on the run and birds on the wing! What is so delectable as to see him in a nervous tremor as he stands on the tee, glaring fiercely at that still, white little ball!” The game comes easily to a rare few but for the rest of us the ‘nervous tremor’ is an immediately recognisable emotional state. The truth of golf in the 21st century is that it has never been easier to play. The equipment available to the budding golfer of 2018 is vastly superior to any time in history. Where once the driver was the most difficult club to hit because of its small head and tiny sweet spot it is now the easiest because the equation has been inverted. The quality of the modern golf ball – not only in terms of technology but also uniformity – is streets ahead of generations past. (Ben Hogan famously tested all of his golf balls by floating them in water and Epsom salts to weed out those that were less than perfect.) And yet, despite all the advances, there has been little improvement for most of us which can only mean one thing: as much as we hate to admit it, the culprit is most likely the tradesman and not the tools. As a concept golf is simple, yes. But as anyone who has played for any length of time can tell you, it is far from easy. And long may it be so for it is the challenge that actually makes the game endlessly interesting. 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 315
2018 50 Favourite Courses