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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

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The Golf Thread


Garlogie_Granite

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Portlethen is lucky we have Westhill GC to stop it claiming the crown of worst golf course in the north east.  :hammer:

 

I think we can all agree that Westhill is a shite location for any sort of sporting activity....

 

Although Westhill has that great hole that you play at a 45degree angle along its narrow length. I actually, marginally, prefer Westhill to Portlethen by virtue of the fact that the A90 doesn't run right by it.

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Sedentary lifestyles was my principal point, computer games merely one example I gave.

 

You make a good point about green land. We got thrown off every available bit of grass in the city (playing football and golf) but in golf, all the municipal courses are underused and they could get on there. Season passes for kids are still affordable.

 

It's the will to get off their fat obese arses that's preventing them and I totally agree that shite lazy parenting is another contributory factor. We are now seeing the evidence of the slow decline of Scottish golf in the professional ranks just as we are seeing in football of course and both for the exact same reason.

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

Nope, you're missing the point.

 

Kids ape what they see. Wimbledon is on, suddenly you see kids out in the street with tennis rackets.

 

Golf used to have half a dozen ordinary tournaments, plus the 4 majors on BBC, and in the 80s the game boomed because of it, driven by the success of Lyle, Faldo, Woosie and the Ryder Cup teams.

 

The timeline of decline coincides nicely with tournaments going to Sky, it's been great for the pros, especially in America, but for participation it's been horrific.

 

 

I am possibly younger than you Garlogie, don't know.  But the four majors haven't been on BBC for as long as I can remember.

 

The earliest US Open I can recall for example I think was when Tom Kite won, back in 92 and that was on Sky, as was the US PGA at that time which was 26 years ago.

 

You may think the "Tiger effect" is rubbish but golf was booming here when he was at his peak around 2000 and by then most of the golf was on Sky bar the Masters, Open and PGA at Wentworth.  The downturn coincides more with Tiger's demise than with golf moving away from the BBC.

 

I don't dispute that lack of TV coverage on mainstream tele affects kids taking up the game but most kids nowadays have Sky in the house so its effect is not as great as some would make out.

 

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I am possibly younger than you Garlogie, don't know.  But the four majors haven't been on BBC for as long as I can remember.

 

The earliest US Open I can recall for example I think was when Tom Kite won, back in 92 and that was on Sky, as was the US PGA at that time which was 26 years ago.

 

You may think the "Tiger effect" is rubbish but golf was booming here when he was at his peak around 2000 and by then most of the golf was on Sky bar the Masters, Open and PGA at Wentworth.  The downturn coincides more with Tiger's demise than with golf moving away from the BBC.

 

I don't dispute that lack of TV coverage on mainstream tele affects kids taking up the game but most kids nowadays have Sky in the house so its effect is not as great as some would make out.

Sorry, no, golf was not booming around 2000. And you've made my point perfectly regarding majors, SKY came along, started hoovering up torunaments, participation went down. 

 

Golf was booming in the 80s, at a time when locally we built Newmacher, Portlethen & Peterculter, and Alford, Newburgh, Oldmeldrum, Kintore, Kemnay & Insch went to 18 holes, and clubs had waiting lists everywhere.

 

By 2000 the decline was well underway. I went to an SGU presentation about 5 years ago a large part of which was how were we to recover from the "lost generation" of golfers. The downward slide of active golfers since the mid-80s was clear, and in contrast to the boom in USA & rest of the world, which *was* Tiger driven.

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

That's interesting Garlogie, I never knew that the decline had started as far back as then.  Most of the golf clubs round about me still had waiting lists until fairly recently but have struggled more for members in the last 5 or 6 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1975, the school I had just moved to, Hazlehead Academy, with 1,000 pupils, located next door to a golf course, one of the best in the world, designed by probably THE best golf course architect in history, couldn't raise a 4 man team for the De Beers national school championship because only 3 of us played golf.

 

Golf exploded in the second half of the 70's and it was COLOUR television, that new innovation that helped to boost popularity. It was never a mainstream sport before then but the decline over the last 25/30 years has been steady and consistent, so much so that it will become a marginal sport again unless the governing bodies have the courage to look in the mirror and confront the truth.

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Taking a different direction, what will increase golf interest? Had this discussion with a bunch of friends over a few pints the other day, many of the friends being American. They compared this debate to tennis, where the USA has pretty much dropped off the world map in men’s tennis. They were talking about team tennis and golf, tiebreaker sets in tennis, par 3 tournaments, etc. I recall the golf World Cup being two players, but would having europena tournaments be more interesting, 3-5 man teams, Scotland playing England Ireland etc?? In the generation of zero attention span the games need to be livelier, more exciting, and shorter. Sadly instant gratification attracts this generation. Totally goes against the purists obviously.

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The column inches is newspapers are telling. Yeah yeah I know, no intelligent people read newspapers these days but I do see them every so often... like tonight in fact.

 

On my way back from day one of the Scottish Amateur at Blairgowrie, and it was looking magnificent by the way, I popped into a pub for one. The P & J had golf coverage, as it always majored on on Tuesdays but if you look at golf inches in the mainstream printed press these days, including the Sunday Times, golf has already been marginalised.

 

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In 1975, the school I had just moved to, Hazlehead Academy, with 1,000 pupils, located next door to a golf course, one of the best in the world, designed by probably THE best golf course architect in history, couldn't raise a 4 man team for the De Beers national school championship because only 3 of us played golf.

 

Golf exploded in the second half of the 70's and it was COLOUR television, that new innovation that helped to boost popularity. It was never a mainstream sport before then but the decline over the last 25/30 years has been steady and consistent, so much so that it will become a marginal sport again unless the governing bodies have the courage to look in the mirror and confront the truth.

Aye you're probably right, you're a fair bit older than me I think, but I seem to recall when I was little golf was viewed much like Bowls - "a game for aul' mannies" - it sure looks like it's going there again. Very sad.

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Was 56 last week, have been playing golf for over 50 years, first watched pro golf in 1968 (Lee Trevino) and have worked in golf for 12 years. So yes, been around the block a bit. It was always too elitist and exclusive before the boom years from the mid 70's, women and children being tolerated but not encouraged.

 

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Other reasons to factor in are golf just being in a cycle.Hillwalking(my pastime) 20/30 years ago had lots of teens/twenty somethings on the hills,10 years ago we were asking where the heck are they all? 

Back to crawling with the blighters these days.

Add in smaller families,and replacement incomers not being too Golf orientated

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Other reasons to factor in are golf just being in a cycle.Hillwalking(my pastime) 20/30 years ago had lots of teens/twenty somethings on the hills,10 years ago we were asking where the heck are they all? 

Back to crawling with the blighters these days.

Add in smaller families,and replacement incomers not being too Golf orientated

aye, it's currently cycling and running that seem to be the flavour of the day

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Rory McIlroy.

 

In my opinion, he is trying to hard.  He is trying to murder every tee shot 400 yds and his putting is, well, very average and hitting putts too hard. I think he needs to go to a centre shafted putter to sort out his wayward putts and go cak handed to get putter through on line.

 

Ballater 36er is a great day out. Havn't played there for a while though, how is it after the flood? Braemar 36er, if they still do it, is a fine day too.

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I agree that McIlroy is underperforming but I don't agree with you recommending centre-shafted nor cack-handed. There are personal preferences and NNF's (Non-Negotiable Fundamentals) in putting. Which weapon we use and grip-type is strictly personal preference.

 

On the latter, McIlroy tried it and it didn't work. The vast majority of best putters even this decade are not cack-handed.

 

His biggest issue this week has been surprisingly poor distance control with his bread-and-butter approaches, particularly his wedges, just shocking.

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His distance control has not been the best !!

 

I still think he is putting too hard, trying to take break out of putts, missing some and leaving 5-6ft + back. Best putters IMO were always die in putters. Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw spring to mind.

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So it sounds like you're saying his pace control is out on his putting too. I'm pretty certain the data would not support your impression that he's putting it long all the time. I remember a lot of low and short sides from him at Akron and at The Open, which is what we can expect from a putter low on confidence.

 

For me it's not so much that he's trying too hard. Rather, he's scared.

 

He's not won a major for a long time (relatively, for him, given his enormously powerful talent) and he's starting to question whether he'll ever win another. I'm sure that he will, and I'm sure that he's sure that he will but the doubt and the mental scarring is patent now, particularly visible in his interviews when he just bullshits, putting on a mask, softening his tones and adopting a facade of humility. The true winner is ruthless to the core. He's becoming afraid of himself.

 

And the one thing above all others that is worrying him and may eventually sink him and thwart his ambition is his horrible putting. He doesn't have a clue what he's doing on the greens and is stuck at an impasse having consulted "specialists" who have been unable to connect with him.

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I think he is hitting his putts too hard at times, so, yes, i suppose, his pace is out for certain putts.

 

Putting, IMO, is all about confidence, feel & repetition.

 

He is having to force his game, trying to kill it off the tee and racing putts.  He is an unbelievable talent, but,

 

perhaps, needs to have a rethink on his general approach ?

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Ballater 36er is a great day out. Havn't played there for a while though, how is it after the flood? Braemar 36er, if they still do it, is a fine day too.

Greens were great, course a little scruffy, and they recovered very well from the flooding, large squad of members had it back in shape in no time.

 

Braemar still do their 36er, just one day now though, sign of the times.

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Putting, IMO, is all about confidence, feel & repetition.

 

Tom Watson - probably my fav golfer in history - said that putting was 10% mechanics and 90% feel. That was in his book that was published before the invention of the first "golf psychologist", or should I say the first dedicated or labelled golf psychologist because great coaches and players have always recognised the influence of the mind.

 

I borrowed from that in that I say that putting is 10% technical and 90% mental. However, it is understanding the relationship between the mechanics and the mind that is key.

 

For example, when you say repetition, you may be referring to consistency of process with regard to the putting stroke itself (technical) or you may be referring to the need to think the same way (mental), or both.

 

Until we have actually invested hundreds and thousands of hours on the subject, let alone the tens of thousands to hours to become expert in it, we are just enthusiastic amateurs. Thousands of hours playing doesn't equate to hours studying, examining and teaching by the way.

 

One thing I'm convinced of, your "confidence, feel and repetition" is pretty close to the money and a whole lot closer to the truth than the places McIlroy has been searching in. I reckon that great putters (and great golfers) have big imaginations. Not everyone has the intellectual artistry and mental flexibility to understand the importance of the role of the mind in golf and therefore your words like confidence and feel, not being tangible and therefore not capable of being held in their hands, are unattainable for them.

 

A "streaky putter" is a poor putter. We have data to prove this. When Rory had his meltdown at Augusta, they showed him in the houses left of the 10th. They don't point out he missed THREE times from 7 feet and less before that and his 4 putt at 12 from 25 feet was a man who's putting confidence had been wrecked. Two months later, he won at Congressional (possibly his first major?) and he putted superb that week, his first (and only) 3 putt coming deep in Rd 4 when he was already as good as victor. When it was Rory v. Luke for OWGR no. 1 at the season-ender in Dubai, Rory putted superbly to blow him away, finishing the tournament with 4 or 5 straight birdies. McIlroy's streaks of good putting are now so infrequent, he's getting nowhere near winning majors.

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

I think Rory's biggest issue is that he has lost the hunger for winning and fallen into a comfort zone, a state of contentment with just being a contender.  It's a trait I see in a lot of our players who have tasted success and then lose that bite that first made them top players.  It has happened to McDowell as well since he won the US Open and had that great Ryder Cup year.

 

I don't know if it's particularly down to the unbelievable amount of money that these guys earn now but it plays its part.  Poulter is another one.  Heard him say the other week that he would not lose any sleep if he did not win a major because he had done some great things in his career.  Surely the major championship should be the be all and end all for a top player?

 

I get all the stats bit about the putting etc but wanting it more than the next guy is also a massive part of it.  Players like Faldo, Norman, even big Colin as discussed previously would never have settled for second place and the number of wins those players achieved demonstrates that.  At the moment Rory just seems to be happy being there.

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