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Golf Australia Express : July 2013 - THE OPEN
soft things. It was only when my ball landed on a green for the first time with a mid- iron that I could see the game had changed. Five and 6-irons cannot be stopped on fescue greens within two the club lengths as normal on most other greens in summer. Not in Britain. Even less so when striking a ball downwind. This is where the ‘honest bounce’ concept becomes vital to good golfers. With an Australian or American bounce in the same downwind situation, if you landed the ball short of a rock hard green you’d be left chipping the ball from the same spot. That is a ‘dishonest bounce’ and we’ve all felt that empty feeling after hitting a magnificent long iron that stops dead on a damp poa fringe. Listening to golfers or course architects describing a “links style course” makes me chuckle. There is no links ‘style’—it either is or isn’t a links course. Most of these “links style courses” we hear about are a million miles inland, anyway, failing to observe the fundamental prerequisites for a links course; coastal land and it must play like a links course. When watching the Big Boys play the Open this month watch closely at how precisely they use the ‘honest bounce’ at Muirfield. It’s poetry in motion. And next time you’re playing your favourite “links style course” (yeah, right) and the ball stops dead short of the green, head straight to the pro shop and demand your money back. OTG GOLF is a game that prides itself on honesty. And there’s no more honest golf than links golf. Unless you’ve played the ‘real deal’ when it comes to this ancient type of course, you have no idea what you’re missing. And with this month’s Open Championship being played at what many experts believe the greatest of all links courses—Muirfield—you’ll start to understand what I mean. Personally, I found it difficult not to fall in love with links courses over the many years I spent trying to qualify for the Open Championship. Each trip I travelled I learned more nuances of the British game and how to play shots with a minimal margin for error. My third trip over was a real eye- opener. Attempting to qualify at a course in Scotland, I remember asking the secretary of the club what grass they used on the greens. The answer: “Same as on the fairways, tees and rough.” That’s a key factor to playing British courses and is in stark contrast to Australia where you can have a combination of bent grass greens, poa anna fringes, couch fairways and lord knows what else on the tees and in the rough. I was fascinated. It explained the ‘honest bounce’ intrinsic to links golf. Because the greens, fringes, fairways and rough were all mown at different lengths, they had a slightly different colour, which gave the impression they were in fact different grasses. Bad assumption. I can remember standing on British greens for the first time feeling them with my feet thinking I would comfortably stop the ball on these THE GAME DOESN'T GET ANY MORE PURE THAN THE OPEN AT MUIRFIELD THIS MONTH, WRITES MARK ALLEN. THE REAL DEAL TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS DPS BA with Mark Allen MARCO'S MUSE OPINION the
June 2013-US OPEN
August 2013 - PGA Championship