Archive for the ‘Golf Articles’ Category

The Majors Part 4 – The PGA Championship…

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

The PGA ChampionshipIn the fourth in our series of articles on golf’s Major events, this time we turn our attention to the second oldest event in the golfing diary – The PGA Championship!

Every year we get excited about the upcoming golfing calendar with some enthusiasm. The ‘Grand Slam’ events in golf include:

– The US Masters (Augusta National) April

– The US Open (Various) June

– The OPEN (Various) July

– The PGA Championship (Various) August

This is then now complemented but The Olympics every four years (from 2016) with the host city supplying the venue.


The Majors – The PGA Championship…

The PGA Championship - The Wanamaker TrophyIn 1894, two golf events were held in the USA.

The national championships for amateur golfers, held at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island with another at St. Andrew’s Golf Club in New York.

In addition, and at the same time as the amateur event, St. Andrew’s conducted an Open championship for professional golfers.

Later in that year, this led to the formation of the United States Golf Association (USGA), which became the first formal golf organisation in the country. After the formation of the USGA, golf quickly became a popular sport across the country.

After the formation of the USGA, golf quickly became a popular sport across the country.

In February 1916 the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was established in New York City.

The organisation’s first president was Robert White, one of Wykagyl’s best-known golf professionals.

The first PGA Championship was held in October 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York.

The winner, Jim Barnes, received $500 and a diamond-studded gold medal donated by department store owner Rodman Wanamaker.

Originally played in MatchPlay Format but was changed to a Strokeplay event in 1958.

Moving to the present day, the 2016 winner, Jimmy Walker received $1.8 million and was presented with the now famous Wanamaker Trophy.

The benefit of winning The PGA Championship means you are automatically invited to play in the other three majors (Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, and The Open Championship) for the next five years.

They are also exempt from qualifying for The PGA Championship for life.

In addition, the winner receives membership on the PGA and European Tours for the following five seasons and invitations to The Players Championship (Played in May) for five years.

However, as the Pro golf calendar gets more and more congested, there is now talk of this event moving to May, with the Players Championship moving back to March to make way.

The idea here is that this leaves more room for the FedEx Cup and more space between this and The Ryder Cup at the end of Sept.


The Majors – Player Qualifications for The PGA Championship 2017…

There are different routes that players can take to qualify for The PGA Championship – Qualification routes as of 2010:

– All former PGA Champions

– Winners of the last five US Opens

– Winners of the last five US Masters

– Winners of the last five OPEN Championships

– The last Senior PGA Champion

– The low 15 scorers and ties in the previous PGA Championship

– The 20 low scorers in the last PGA Professional National Championship

– The 70 leaders in official money standings on the PGA Tour.

– Members of the most recent United States and European Ryder Cup Teams

– Winners of tournaments co-sponsored or approved by the PGA Tour since the previous PGA Championship


The Majors – The PGA Championship 2017…

Quail Hollow Golf ClubThe 58th PGA Championship will take place at Quail Hollow on the East Coast in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The course was originally designed by famed golf course architect George Cobb in 1961 to capture the beauty as well as the challenging terrain of the Piedmont region.

It is considered by some to be one of the finest courses in the southeastern United States.

In the intervening years, the course has undergone a series of improvements, including modifications to several holes by Arnold Palmer in 1986, and a redesign by Tom Fazio in 1997.

The signature hole at Quail Hollow is the par four, 14th is a dog-leg left that can be driven with a good tee shot.

It measures 346 yards from the championship tees.

A 15-acre lake frames the left side of the hole and the rough on that side slopes down to the water.

The narrow landing area measures about 27 yards across and is guarded with two bunkers on each side.

The two-tiered green is long and narrow with about 7,100 square feet of putting surface.

Two more bunkers guard the left front and middle of the green, and a collection area waits just off the right front of the green for short approach shots hit offline or almost perfect drives.

The area immediately left of the green slopes severely down to the lake, so shots hit left have a very good chance of ending up in the hazard.


The Majors – Players to Watch Out For…

This Major event tends to throw up some unexpected winners with only Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy being double winners in the last 20 years, so predicting who may be this year’s winner is no less difficult.

With 156 golfers in the mix, it’s its anybody’s guess.

The list of past champions includes; Davis Love III, Rich Beem, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and in yesteryear, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Snead, Hogan, Hagen, Nelson, Sarazen but interesting, not Palmer!

Some information on key players at the 2017 US Open is listed below….

Henrik Stenson - The PGA ChampionshipHenrik Stenson

He was the first Swedish major champion winning the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon with a record score of 264.

A two-time European Tour Golfer of the Year he has spent 250+ weeks ranked in the OWGR top ten.

In 2013, Stenson won the U.S. PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Stenson won the silver medal…. so he’s no pushover!

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is currently still standing at No.1 in the World Rankings, so cannot be dismissed.

OK, so not a great showing at the recent US OPEN, missing the cut but somethings tells us that Johnson is going anywhere anytime soon.

Hideki Matsuyama

He won the Asian Amateur Championship in 2010 and 2011.

He is a four-time PGA Tour winner and an eight-time Japan Golf Tour winner.

On 19 June 2017, Matsuyama became the world No. 2-ranked player on the Official World Golf Ranking after his runner-up finish at the 2017 U.S. Open.

The PGA Championship - Beef Johnston Andrew Johnston

This English golfer is still learning his craft. Hailing from North London has made many friends on tour in the last 12 months and whilst he only has one win on the European Tour, which came at the 2016 Open de España, this could be his kind of course.

Known affectionately as ‘Beef’ since his youth, he has carried the nickname into his professional career and is very popular with the US galleries.

But of course, any player could win the Wanamaker trophy!

 


The Majors – Betting at The PGA Championship

Having a flutter on Major golfing events is now commonplace for golf lovers and armchair sports fans.

Many Betting firms have developed their product offering, making it very simple and quick to lay a wager.

With websites, apps and multiple bets options now available, billions of £’s and $’s are spent each year on adding another dimension to the sport.

Of course, the odds on this event will swing massively between now and tee-off but here are some of the latest betting odds (26/7/17)…

  • Jordan Spieth: 8/1
  • Rory McIlroy: 7/1
  • Jason Day: 16/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 16/1
  • Sergio Garcia: 25/1

The PGA Championship

There are rank outsiders too and in the past, we have sometimes chosen outsiders using an Each-Way bet. This year, these include Danny Willet 80/1,  Matthew Fitzpatrick 100/1, Ross Fisher 150/1 and John Daly 500/1

So as 7th August approaches, keep an eye on the odds as they change. However, please bet responsibly.

We will definitely be enjoying this year’s event for the comfort of an armchair!


By Ian Mullins

For previous articles on golf’s four Majors, click on the links below:

 

Oldest Golf Club in Asia….

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Oldest Golf Club in Asia - royal-calcutta-golf-clubThere more than 40,000 golf clubs established across the world but which is the oldest Golf Club in Asia?

TSG member Scottish Bob is an amateur golf historian who also collects golf scorecards from around the world wanted to know.

In a series of articles about the oldest golf clubs around the world here’s what he found out…

Which is the Oldest Golf Club in Asia?

Golf Clubs were well established and being played in both Scotland and England in the 1700’s with golf clubs like St Andrews, Royal Blackheath, Royal Perth & Musselburgh just to mention a few.

However, golf was also being established by the British on different continents all over the British Empire.

Asia is the largest continent with 48 countries and covers about 9 percent of the Earth’s surface and also is the most populated.

I know that at least 45 of those countries have golf courses and just maybe it might be more.

Which is the Oldest Golf Club in Asia – The Answer?

 

Which is the Oldest Golf Club in Asia?

I believe that there are over 300 golf courses in India and a large amount are run by the Military.

The East India Company who were the British government’s administrative & military authority in the 17th& 18th centuries decided to set up an administrative centre in Calcutta, and many of the British gentlemen who were based there loved their golf.

After a short period of time, they decided to create their own golf course and named it the Calcutta Golf Club which was located close the Calcutta airport. In 1910 the course was relocated to its present location at Tollygunge.

The club was meant for the use, exclusively by the gentlemen.

However, ladies were very reluctantly admitted to the club in 1886. The committee voted 43 for and 13 against and on the condition, the ladies be allowed to use the course in the mornings only.

Following a visit by King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, the golf club was granted Royal Status and named The Royal Calcutta Golf Club, which is fondly known today, by the locals as “The Royal”.

The club is oldest Golf Club in India and the oldest Golf Club in Asia.

Til next time…

Scottish Bob

Scottish Bob - Bob Davies

 

 

 


N.B. To any golf historians reading this I apologise for any mistakes that I may have made, I have tried to ensure sure that my facts about the history were correct at the time of going to press.

 

New Golf Formats…

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

GolfSixies - New Golf FormatsOver the last few years there have been many initiatives introducing new golf formats to the game, but is all the razzmatazz necessary to get people playing golf?

We asked Emma Ballard, Head of Digital at Medi8 Limited, PR agency to American Golf and many other brands. She is also the UK Ambassador for Womens Golf Day.

New Golf Formats – Why are they here?

In recent times, there has been a real push to get more people, especially women & children, playing the game.

With the number of people playing regular golf over the last 10 years declining, governing bodies, golf organisations and professional tours have tried to come up with ways to reach out and get golf back on peoples’ agenda.

Back in 2006 when numbers were healthier, you’d find the majority of golfers out on a golf course playing 18, 9 holes or pitch & putt, the driving range and of course, the holiday requirement of a bit of adventure golf!

The use of indoor simulators was on the increase and if you lived near the outskirts of London you could make your range sessions much more fun by going to Top Golf.

Oh, and on a slight aside, social media was in its infancy.

Since then, as the numbers declined, golf has had a go at redefining itself by attempting to alter the format and make the game look more fun and appealing to a younger generation.

New Golf Formats – Where did it begin…

It started at club level with the introduction of PowerPlay Golf, 9 holes with 2 flags, and through other initiatives like SPRINT6GOLF, it culminated in the European Tour’s GolfSixes event this May.

They threw lots of new ideas into the tournament, golf got its version of a Hollywood makeover, creating a lot of buzz and excitement amongst spectators.

But what I wonder is whether this is necessary, is this the way forward for golf?

Looking at golf today,  your options to play are endless, there is everything that I have mentioned that was available back in 2006, but now most ranges are also equipped with some indoor golf facilities.

It’s no longer frowned upon to want to play a quick 9 holes, pop-up adventure golf in cities is commonplace and if you don’t fancy hitting a ball you can kick one at the hole in the form of FootGolf.

Considering social media again, it’s now an integral part of our lives, a fabulous tool to promote a golf facility with an ability to be able to target a much larger audience and with the likes of TheSocialGolfer.com you never have the problem of finding someone to play with!

Golf in itself hasn’t changed, like tennis or badminton, the process and mechanics of hitting a ball is just the same, it’s only the club you are using and the ball you are hitting which have altered over the years due to the vast investment into research and development.

Emma Ballard - New Golf Formats

New Golf Formats – My View…

So why with so many more playing options than 10 years ago and the basic method of swinging a golf club unchanged is there a need to focus so much on the format of the game?

I suggest we don’t mess with the format, the game works perfectly well as it is?

Surely we need to focus time and effort at a local level, low cost marketing the wonderful facilities that are available by making use of some, or all, of the low-cost social media channels on offer.

By driving people through the door, golf clubs/venues can use the pathways into golf that are already available to get more people back playing and gain new recruits along the way.

Essentially golf is fun and has a great social side to it too.

With the ability to make it part of family life, a sport that anyone can play and an ever ageing population – it’s time to ditch the razzmatazz and new golf formats and get back to simple ways when golf sold itself!