'Some overdue words on golfing wisdom' - Ivan Morris

Ivan Morris

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Ivan Morris

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Ivan Morris Column – Championships to be aligned

Ivan Morris

TOO many male players are averse to using forward tees because they were originally named 'ladies tees', but it seems obvious that a great deal more enjoyment could be had if golfers forgot their 'ego' and used the teeing ground that suits their abilities.

Prior to his first big win, Cameron Champ's typical drive 'launched' at 7-degrees with about 2,700 rpm of backspin, creating a carrying distance of about 325 yards.

Changing to a new shaft in his PING G400 Max driver with a prototype Accra TZT 265 M5 shaft fitted, he immediately began launching at 9 degrees, achieving 15-yards more carry from a ball speed of 198-mph.

Fantastic result for Champ but what about the game of golf? Whoever races out in front one year is always reeled in pretty quickly and everyone starts doing the same a year later, because of technology.

It's why Rory McIlroy has lost his edge. Rory can no longer separate himself from the chasing pack because distance is so all-important in today's game. Soon, all of the top players will have a ball speed of 200+mph. Where will it all end? 21st century golf is a farce!

A noticeable increase in Scots and Welsh converting their top amateurs to pro golf better than the Irish lately (I really do wonder why) is noticeable in the composition of the final stage of ET Tour School this year. 33-England; 20-France; 11-Spain; 10-Scotland; 9-Sweden and Germany; 7-South Africa, Denmark; 6-USA; 5-Wales, Norway; 4-Chile, Australia; 3-Portugal, Korea, Canada, Italy; 2-Ireland, Switzerland, Holland, 1-Northern Ireland, Argentina, NZ, Belgium, Japan, Finland, Poland.

France continues to produce plenty of viable touring pros but nary a world beater in sight. It underscores that a good development & coaching system takes you only so far.

It's the individual qualities of the best players that separates them from the pack, regardless of their nationality, upbringing and whatever coaching regime they came through.

Professional golfers in denial about the negative ramifications regarding the distance the ball is travelling were confronted by a new issue that damages only them and is therefore more likely to make them think realistically - reduced fields.

Instead of the usual 156, only 132 players were permitted to tee it up in a recent PGA Tour event. In spite of the smaller field, an 'easy' golf course, low scoring and no weather delays, the first round was not completed due to lack of daylight.

Too many drive-able Par 4s and 'reachable' Par 5s caused a lot of waiting around and time-wasting, with play proceeding at a snail's pace. There are so many big events, big attendances, big sponsors, massive money for the pros, but what is needed is more courses for the average man. The pro is not that important.

It's the average golfer who comes to the course, to enjoy the game and have fun. Golf courses need flatter greens, wider fairways and not so many bunkers to help the amateurs to enjoy the game.

Amateur rounds are down because they are too expensive and too slow.

There must be no restrictions on the weekend golfer. Let them enjoy the round. There used to be the long putter, that was then banned. To hang with that, let them use it. We want amateurs to enjoy themselves.

‘We've done too many things to chase them away instead of getting them into the game’ - Gary Player.

‘Not once (ever) have I unleashed rage on myself or my equipment and had it work in my benefit’ - Karl Frederick.

Getting cross makes us stupid - especially on the golf course.

‘Golf is, in part, a game but only in part. It is also a religion, a fervour, a vice, a mirage, a frenzy, a fear, an abscess, a joy, a thrill, a pest, a disease, an uplift, a brooding melancholy, a dream of yesterday, a disappointing today, and a hope for tomorrow’ - Grantland Rice.

Only a small percentage of human beings are intuitively able to make the right moves with the parts of their body best designed to generate power with precision. The rest are forced to spend their lives trying to master a combination of faults and compensations for bad technique.

‘The worst thing that can happen to a golf beginner is to learn to hit good shots with bad technique. These patterns become ingrained with relative success and are used to protect ego from the fear of failure’ - Michael Wolseley.

‘If I can complete my swing and stay in balance, the chances of my hitting good shots increase significantly’ - Russell Knox Golfers who try to achieve consistency are wasting their time.

Humans are incapable of repeating a physical skill that never varies. The variability of golf is endless; different courses, different playing conditions, different weather, different situations, different thoughts and different emotions.

No two games of golf are ever the same. Golf is a 'random game' and coping with golf's 'endless variability' is why it is so difficult.

This is why having a routine and sticking to it is so important. It gives you a chance of coping with the variability.

Golfers can achieve their potential as human beings through the experience of playing golf; learning a difficult skill, controlling their thoughts and emotions and just by getting better. All golfers have tendencies, both good and bad, that show up when they play well, and when they don't. Being self-aware is critical to improvement.