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Golf Australia December 2019

Each month, Golf Australia showcases great Australian courses and golfing holidays, profiles players and conducts road tests of the latest equipment. Leading PGA professional share instruction tips to improve your game and keep your handicap tumbling.

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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
“do we really need red ladies’ tees? why can’t they just be red tees?”

On a visit to St Andrews a few years ago I was standing by the 1st tee and overheard a caddie ask his man what his handicap was. “15,” came the reply. The caddie advised that he should play from the forward markers (about 10 metres ahead of the back tees). The middle-aged American would have none of that. “I didn’t come all this way to play from there,” he snapped back. Playing in the group behind, I had the privilege of watching him get beaten up by the Old Course for the next four-and-a-half hours. Had he played from the forward tees I’ve no doubt his experience would have been more positive and, more importantly, fun. I really believe sometimes we forget golf was meant to be fun. To me, for anything other than…

6 min
curlewis golf club bellarine peninsula • victoria

Canadian author Louise Penny once wrote: “If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.” While I didn’t see it, it wouldn’t have surprised this writer to see this quote etched into a plaque hanging over the bar at Curlewis Golf Club. The Bellarine Peninsula club has been steadily evolving month on month, year on year since the members voted overwhelmingly to sell the course to local business owners David and Lyndsay Sharp for $3.7 million back in July, 2015. On the sale, the couple – who own local wineries including Leura Park Estate and Jack Rabbit Vineyard – committed to invest heavily in upgrading the layout. True to their word, Curlewis has undergone design changes and the level of conditioning is now first…

1 min
fact file

THE COURSE LOCATION: 1345 Portarlington Rd, Curlewis, Victoria, 3222. CONTACT: (03) 5251 1111. WEBSITE: www.curlewisgolf.com.au DESIGNER: Vern Morcom (1947), Kevin Hartley (1970s), Mike Clayton (2001 and ongoing). SLOPE RATINGS: Men: 130 (Blue tees), 128 (white), 111 (green). Women: 133 (Red) and 118 (green). PLAYING SURFACES: Bentgrass/Poa (greens), Santa Ana couch (tees), Common couch (fairways). GREEN FEES: $45 (midweek, 18 holes), $55 (weekends and public holidays), $50 (Sunday). COURSE SUPERINTENDENT: Rob Bradley. PGA PROFESSIONAL: Steve Brodie and Tom Jefferies. THE CLUB MEMBERSHIPS: Curlewis has six membership categories including seven- and six-day memberships (open to men and women), an 18- to 29-year-old seven-day membership as well as a student and two junior categories. OTHER FACILITIES: The club has developed a state-of-the-art driving range, which is located alongside the western boundary of the course. It includes golf simulators, 18 indoor/outdoor driving bays across two storeys…

4 min
“ ... the identity of the best player on the planet changes like the weather.”

Almost every day it seems, we hear about the latest candidate for one of golf’s least tangible but most-coveted titles. I’m talking “best player in the world.” Right now, many observers – learned and otherwise – seem to think one of two high-profile professionals are most deserving of our ultimate adulation: Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy, which isn’t exactly sticking out any necks. Those guys are ranked first and second in the world respectively. So the algorithms would seem to confirm all of those widely-held opinions. That’s way too easy though. A cursory glance at the game we all love reveals a deeper truth. Even the most basic understanding of logic tells us that, almost every day, the identity of the best player on the planet changes like the weather. Think about it. Most…

5 min
it’s high time we killed slow play

The recent BMW PGA Championship saw the dawn of a new era on the European Tour.The Tour’s flagship event was the first trial of a new pace-of-play initiative, designed to tackle the worsening problem of slow play that is angering fans and players alike, posing the greatest threat to golf’s wellbeing. Under the new system, referees will have access to precise times for each group, while displays on each tee will show players their position in relation to the group in front. The initiative was rolled out in full at the start of the new European Tour season in November, including reduced time allowances to play a shot when on the clock and increased fines for players who regularly take too long. “The time was right to take these additional steps,” said…

1 min
the solution?

Ban green books Many players take an age poring over detailed green-reading material. The USGA and R&A attempted to address the situation by limiting the size of the materials, a step that has made little difference. Ban them altogether. Bring back the skill of green reading. “If you can’t read a green, go sell tomatoes,” said Gary Player. Quite right. Allow lasers Bryson DeChambeau took three minutes to hit a 70-yard shot at The Northern Trust, largely because he paced out the entire distance. Caddies spend valuable time calculating distances using sprinkler heads, bunkers and trees. All of this time could be saved with the touch of a button, providing an instant yardage. Introduce shot clocks The European Tour’s Shot Clock Masters is hugely popular with fans and players alike, and scores have actually improved…