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Golf Australia Express : May 2013
Golf offers alternatives, and cheap rounds are plentiful, even on public courses in the city. There is a difference between a cheap course and an expensive one––of course there is––but that can be said of most sports. In this light it is interesting to note the changing landscape of Japanese golf. In the 1980s and 90s, Japan was the fabled home to impossibly opulent and immaculate golf courses. People prayed at shrines dedicated to the game, and then prayed they would be able to afford the obligatory lunch that would follow. Fees were horrendously expensive and the golfers largely corporate. Since then, the bubble has well and truly burst, leaving hundreds of courses bankrupt or in serious financial strife. The solution? American investment firms have gobbled up the opportunity to buy bottomed- out clubs and rebrand them, aiming for a more sustainable middle class market. Perhaps the last bastion of overtly elitist golf has become the flag bearer of golf’s new and inclusive age. In the end, a golf course is an expensive asset to run. It requires constant maintenance, and with the price of water going up the costs are only heading in one direction. But it has more people playing it on a regular basis than most other sports in Australia and is way ahead of games like cricket, football and soccer. This means that the money pumped into public courses is money well spent. It also suggests that it is a game enjoyed by many, not simply the elite of old. Golf is a game where some make a great deal of money, some spend a great deal of money and most of us find a way to fit comfortably in the middle. It’s not about playing the best courses in the world––although that’s a great thing to do. It’s more about playing the best round you can and finding something to smile about when it’s all said and done. And if you can do that, then you know you’re part of the game, regardless of the make of your car or the castle your ancestors called home. OTG COVER According to Golf Australia, the city 'country club golfer' is on the decline, with 51 per cent of metropolitan-based golf members choosing to join a regional club instead. "if i were a rich man..." 3 MEN WHO MADE IT AGAINST THE ODDS LEE TREVINO Nickname: The Merry Mex Story: Hustled rich country club members as a caddie before making it on the PGA Tour. Career: 6 majors; $3,478,328 in prizemoney TOMMY GAINEY Nickname: Two Gloves Story: Went from wrapping insulation around hot water heaters to a PGA Tour winner. Career: Won 2012 McGladrey Classic; $4,702,734 in prizemoney ANGEL CABRERA Nickname: El Pato (The Duck) Story: Learned golf playing against other caddies for money. First set of clubs at 16. A pro at 20. Career: 2 majors; $11,089,077 (PGA Tour); €14,573,557 (European Tour)
April 2013-The Masters
June 2013-US OPEN