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Aussie Masters: Scott's Win, Kingston's Bunkers And Ill-Fitting Jackets

I can't imagine Kingston Heath looking better than it did during the Talisker Australian Masters.** Dare I nominate it as the best looking and best playing course we saw in tournament golf this year?

The golden natives grasses weren't as lush as they were last year, the greens were slick but remained playable (even with some decent winds), and the bunkers appeared to play and look like genuine hazards. With all of this, along with splashes of sand in the roughs and galleries allowed to fold in behind the leaders, the entire spectacle was quite good.  And for those asking about the bunkers, here's a club video telling more about them and how they ask golfers to rake them.

Also, what does it say about the quality of the course when the two best players in the field and two of the best this year--winner Adam Scott and runner-up Ian Poulter, separated themselves so decisively from the rest? I believe it's the ultimate compliment to both design and setup that elite players are rewarded.

As for the yellow blazer? A fine tradition no doubt and a lovely shade of Melbourne mustard at that, but seeing Scott put on that ill-fitting jacket makes you realize just how great it is that the Masters winner always seems to have a perfect fitting green jacket.

Thanks again to Golf Channel for bringing the coverage from Down Under. There's nothing quite comparable to seeing a world class Australian design in warming spring weather while we have so many reminders here of winter looming. But it also makes me wish we had more big time golfers in the Australian tournaments.

**Ok, I wouldn't be heartbroken if a Tea Tree fungus caused the opening up of a bunch more vistas and elimination of some of the lost ball situations.

****PS anyone who went, why do we see so few run up shots there? Not firm enough or do the players just not play them even on a course like Kington Heath?

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Reader Comments (21)

Adam Scott's swing is golf porn
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin
He needed that big jacket for stuffing all the cash he won!
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Agree that Kingston Heath is a quality venue, beautifully manicured and great to the eye. Pity about the event though. Take away the head to head duel of Scott & Poulter and you have a non event. Many players of note failed to perform and let's face the facts the weather was fine and the winds were no more than 10 to 20 kms zephre's . The winning score was spot on but the gaps to third and fourth really emphasis's the state of Australasian golf at present. Poor performances across the board, all within the players backyard, is very disappointing for our local scene. In Melbourne we have the best courses and potentially the best crowds and we deserve top quality fields not the rubbish as supplied this week at the Australian Masters.

It was certainly a shallow field. How do they find a date in the golfing calendar? Hard to compete against the bigger dollars in Hong Kong (and Race to Dubai ranking - see Marcus Fraser, Richard Green). And the leading South Africans were at home for their PGA or Open (can't remember which). $180K 1st place money wasn't going to drag anyone in that wasn't getting a big appearance fee.

Day, Badds, Ogilvy only want to play 1, maybe 2, events at home each summer. Wish I had the answer. But the days of big events filling the Aussie summer look long gone.

11.18.2012 | Unregistered Commentercold topped
@CT. If you could get IMG (Asian Tour) and World Sports Group (Aus Tour) together, yeah fat chance I know, then you may have a chance.
Hong Kong, Aussie and South Africa all in the same week. Stupid and a testimony to egos out of control.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Can we please stop with the fallacious argument that the best courses reveal the best golfers. It's been proven time and again to be wrong.

Agree the two best golfers in the field showed how much better than the rest they were.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBelowPar
"Hong Kong, Aussie and South Africa all in the same week "

Add 1 more - the big Dunlop Phoenix in Japan that Luke Donald won. When you factor in that American's get scared of leaving their own shores and the talent pool is thin.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUnderTheChin
There is far too much professional golf. One day, the gravy train bubble will burst.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
!@Ivan. A good example would be the Singapore Open. 6 million just played for last week.
Next year? No sponsor, no date and no venue.... yet - despite what World Sports Group will have you believe.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
We can bitch all we like about the state of things but I watched 36 holes of golf that was pure pleasure. Great course and a player who is one of the best four or five ever to watch swing the club. For me at least it doesn't get any better.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
Hi Geoff
I went yesterday and followed McDowell and O'Malley (who is still a great ball-striker) then sat by 18 and watched play comes in. One thing that was apparent was on that even on holes that were playing into the wind the ball was not sticking on the greens. On 18 (downwind) many players were landing on the front third and allowing the ball to release up to the back pin.

Maybe ball technology has removed this option from player's heads? McDowell tried this option on 13 but it was poorly executed.
Thanks for the observations. It makes me wonder even more why guys can't land the ball short of a green and run it up. From television, it appeared the approaches were firm enough. I just wonder if it's such a foreign idea to modern golfers that they can't fathom doing it!
11.18.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
"Thanks again to Golf Channel..." Sure hope they hire you, Geoff. For all of your vitriol it's transparent that you long to work for them. Mr. Anti-establishment is kind of a hypocrite...
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNowadays

I bitch about aspects of American life all the time. Doesn't mean I don't love my country.
And, like Geoff, I find many elements of the Golf Channel wanting, but that doesn't mean I don't like the channel. Just want it to be better.
No hypocrisy in either.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLA Man
@ la maN-
annd so it goes (sorry for the typos... I am havig a bad finger contol issue night, and I am tire of correcting shit and it still comes OUTR misspelled.....

so anyway we sweem to have these alleged ''readers'' who cannot understand shads of a''gray'', and can only undersand black and ''white'' if Geofff diswslikes xxx, he must dislike xx as well, since it is from the samw source....

Thank God, LA MAn, there aqre souls like ou who GET IT. who see, who understand, gotdammit, WHO FRIGGING THINK!!!

When swchools wstarted ''teaching'' ''how to make oney'' instead of ''how to thinkj'' our education system really screw3d the pooch,

Oh how happy I am that here at Shackola Place, we have SO MANY thinking souls, SO MANY of us who can disagree, but who understaqnd opposing view, SI MANY who really ''get it'' when it comes to other POV, and SO MANY who disagree aqbut ''blue'', but agree about ''red'', and can share a fun comment about ''red'' with one of us whome we just cannot stand when it comes to ''blue''.

I'm sorry fr the poor typing, butmy fingers have a mind of ther own tonite, and I know those of you who are reguqar around here will cut me some slack, and know2 that y heart is in the right place, even if my fingers are not conncred to my brain.

I may e back.

peace to you all, and thank you for your kindness. (I edited the last sentence for spelling- I feel like I owed it to tose of ou who suffered thru the earlier part)) shit-

no mas.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
The thank you had to do with the Golf Channel not airing the Australia events just a couple of years ago, in 2010. And also, airing them despite very few big names in the field while presumably paying a rights fee. They could have easily not shown it, which is why a thank you is in order. Thanks though for your vitriol.
11.18.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
I apologize for my sorry rant/typing exhibition earlier...I am doing better now- my hands seem to have become part of my body again.

Geoff, I appreciate you extending me the space to offer some opinion, and to all of you , I hope I contribute to your reading ''pleasure''-if that is the correct word- but more than that, I hope I contribute to your thoughts, to your ideas.

Again, I wish you all a great week.

(this was edited- I hope it is easier to read)
11.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
There were a number of players who did try bouncing shots in front of the greens, especially on downwind holes. It was common to see the ball die without much of a release.

Sandbelt terrain is firm, but it is not springy like on GB&I links courses. As a result, there is less predictability with playing a run-up shot in the Sandbelt.

You might need to let livestock graze and poo on the Sandbelt courses and then you might have springy turf in a few decades.
11.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer

Re: landing the ball short of greens

1. The couch grass isn't great for that. I think a lot of courses wil be keeping an eye on how royal melbourne goes with the fescure aprons. At the moment they play great, very predictable bounces.

2. Graeme Grant cut little valleys in front of half the greens
11.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy
Watching the Australian telecasts is always a pleasure and this week was no exception. I thought there were some great performances from some of the home-town boys and of course the golf course looked great and seemed fun to play. Anyone know why Greg Chalmers didn't play?
11.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Or Jason Day, John Sendon and Aaron Baddeley?
11.19.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18

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