04 Jul 2022

Opinion: 'A little wit and wisdom goes a long way in Golf' - Ivan Morris

Opinion: 'A little wit and wisdom goes a long way in Golf' - Ivan Morris

Ivan Morris - The voice of Limerick Golf

After all of the excitement of The Masters, a few moments of quiet reflection are called for especially when you consider that there is hardly enough time to catch one's breath and regroup before the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in New York is upon us on May 16-19.

I'll be surprised if Tiger can raise his game again so quickly. He is bound to be emotionally drained.

As you get older recovery time lengthens. Tiger is 43 and an old one at that but, of course, I have been proven wrong about Tiger before!

In modern golf, the ability to hit the same shot over and over again is more important than the ability to play different (types of) shots.

Top players must be bored to tears with the game they are asked to play for a living. It is not much fun to watch either (except for the last 9-holes of the Masters, of course)

Here are some words on wisdom on the great game.

“If you want to be a good tournament player, you've got to learn how to handle the heat. The only way to prepare for such situations is to play for your own dough” - Doug Ford

“Through its very slowness, golf can reach the most extraordinary heights of tension and drama” - Henry Longhurst

“Never had a lesson in my life” is a phrase uttered with smug satisfaction by a good many people.

The correct reply is, of course, “That's why you are no better than you are!” - Henry Longhurst

Match play, man against man, is the true essence of golf. Beside it, stroke play, as a famous champion Freddie Tait of earlier days contemptuously put it, is “no better than rifle shooting”

“I am sure there is no body of professional games players who so cheerfully know so little of the rules of their game as do professional golfers” - Henry Longhurst

“The shot that was intended as a 3-yard fade turns into 3-yards of draw and pulls up next to the hole. You know it was a miss, but the scorecard says you stiffed it”

Too many players beat themselves up over imperfections. The human body is not a robot. Golf is a game where the laws of physics and the laws of human variability collide” - David Ogrin

“More good golfers are good putters because of the practice they do than any pronounced (natural) superiority to begin with” - Francis Ouimet

“Ben Hogan told me that he always over-clubbed. If you over-club, you can be more accurate.

But you can't do it now and then, you have to do it all of the time. He wanted to guide the ball.

He played target golf before anybody called it that. He walked golf courses backwards to know where he didn't want to be.

He also practiced more than anyone. Hogan invented practice” – Dan Jenkins.

“It is not the love of doing something easy that has drawn men like a magnet to golf for hundreds of years. On the contrary, it is the maddening difficulty of it” – Robert Hunter

“There are so many things I love about golf. It's a meritocracy. Nothing is given; everything is earned. The values of the game are honour, integrity, respect and sportsmanship. Every stroke counts and every stroke is counted” - Jay Monahan, PGA Tour CEO

“Best tip for playing your wedge shots? Make a shorter back swing and accelerate to a longer follow through. Most people take too long a back swing and then slow down – decelerating into impact, which results in bad wedge shots. Always accelerate through impact” – Dave Pelz, Short Game Guru

The equipment manufacturers should sponsor more golf tournaments - especially on the secondary tours. It would be good for the game as a whole.

There is no ideal and satisfactory answer to a tie in golf, including the sharing of the title or deciding on count backs. While there is no right or wrong way to conduct a playoff if a tournament finishes in a tie, the 2-hole aggregate playoff format planned for this year's US Open, if it becomes necessary, seems very odd.

“A world class golf course is one that attracts a not negligible number of people from outside its immediate area (however you want to define that) to come and play it” – Adam Lawrence

“You are only a professional golfer when you are on the PGA Tour or the European Tour. You are only a professional golfer when you are making (good) money from the game” - Stephen Grant

If only 7-clubs were allowed instead of 14, half of the shots would be significantly between clubs. Golfers would have to focus on feel rather than mechanics.

Golf is at its best playing match play. You win, or you lose. Counting strokes gets in the way of the result. Too many statistics kill the fun.

“Accuracy signifies skill, and skill should be the master of brute force” - William Flynn

A golfer can do marvelous things with his feet. I believe in playing golf through the feet.

“Footwork is the voluntary action that initiates the motion of the golf swing” - George Knudson

“When putting, I used to stand more upright: now, I crouch over the ball more.

My swing path used to be an in-out-in curve, now it's more straight back and through. I used to have a line on my putter, now it's a dot.

If I started putting left-handed, it would have been a simpler process” -

Francesco Molinari

For more see #LLSport

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