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State Of The Game Podcast, Episode 8: Masters Wrap, Clayton In America

The original cast of State of the Game gets together to talk the Masters, Bubba and mudballs, followed by a review of Mike Clayton's American golf trip that included stops at some of the finest designs in the land.

As always you can listen below, or even better, listen/subscribe through iTunes or access the episode directly there.

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Reader Comments (14)

Who hocked that whopping loog at the 8 second mark?
04.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlka-Seltzer Plus
An oft used word in the podcast best describes it from my view, “massively entertaining”. Great points about width and strategy, openness, and absurdity of isolation (although the imagery was disturbing). Interesting prediction that the elite amateurs will embrace the ball the pros play if there is bifurcation much like they embraced the big ball. Finally understand why they focus so much on the ball because it seems the consensus is that it is not reasonable to expect any rollbacks in the drivers and other equipment, although I am massively enjoying my return to my Tony Penna persimmon driver. It has changed my whole game and enjoyment of the game all for the better. In fact my health has improved, my lawn is greener, I’m getting better gas mileage, it has just totally changed my life!

An interesting discussion if they get back to Clayton regarding his trip to the US would be the play around the greens. Judging from his comment he played from the back tees and many of the courses were massively long it would be an interesting angle to discuss the short game at the various courses and any distinctive features or differences. Talk is always about length and rough and narrow fairways, but I assume he didn’t hit a lot of greens, and given the average player probably hits very few greens this seems like an interesting topic. Even the average GIR on tour is only about 11 to 13 for most of them so it seems like a worthy topic, maybe a better way to focus players on improving their short games rather than always wanting the big massive drivers, and only practicing their big massive drives on the range; sounds like hitting a ball with a shovel.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blake Moran
That was a great listen. Thanks to all involved.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdbh

The point about the short game is well- made. I hit 5 greens at Pinehurst and 9 at Pine Valley for example - and didn't feel like I played that poorly.On the Melbourne sandbelt especially (of the Australian courses) there is so much more greenside bunker play that the courses we saw -- where there was more chipping - and pitching - to be done.
The short game at LACC was so much more difficult because of the hard and fast bent greens - a stark contract to the softer and slower poa of Riviera. That made for something completely different. Pine Valley's greens, whilst poa essentially were quick and firm to chip to but soft enough to make the pitching easier than LACC.
I am sure that if I continued to play off the tees that are not built for me my short game would get pretty sharp out of necessity and over-use.

And, I must remember to stop saying 'you know' which is a typically Australian problem. So annoying.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
This was an excellent session even with the demented John Huggan. Anyone who would paint an entire group of widely varying individuals as the membership of ANGC as miserable human beings is truly the kind of ignoramous to which Robert Hunter referred in The Links. What is remarkable is that Geoff, who knows better, did not utter a word against the simple-minded Huggan.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerman Keiser
Thanks Mike Clayton! Played Merion last November and was shocked by what they did to #2 and #11. Two wonderful holes that the USGA has now pretty much ruined. I fear for the course and can't believe the members let them get away with it.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterclashman
Here's something I just don't get: if you reel in the ball and it doesn't go as far, how can the pros handle these mangled super-courses like Augusta and Merion??
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCT
So what if players hit the ball far. Driving is only one part of the game. Doubtful that technology will crate a situation where players shoot a round of 36. The participants in this show want to roll back the ball but love the way bubba plays his game.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick

We love the way Bubba plays - and why would he play any differently if the ball went shorter? You can still hit all the shapes and the imaginative shots Snead did and so did Seve. Arguably he would be even more fun with a balata ball.
The problem with hitting the ball so far is that it completely and utterly distorts golf courses and turns formerly fine tests in to pitch and putt courses - not literally but they play no where near the original intent.

CT - Just abandon the back tees.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Clayton
Great interview, thanks Geoff and Rod Morri.

Just one thing: I'd be interested if the ANGC membership ("a bunch of horrible people", according to John Huggan), gets to hear John Huggan's comments about them. If it was my tournament, I certainly wouldn't want him on the property if that's how he feels about them and the "stupid rules they have". Maybe he'll find out if his assertions that "these are not nice people running this tournament" are true or not.
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan
Ach, there's a wee bit of over-excitably re- Huggy's comments. I'm sure they are partially tongue in cheek / made for impact, albeit valid against a % of the membership (mainly the "old guard"). There was a discussion point that all agreed on, that there is a younger generation of members at ANGC who will one day make the changes that every sane thinking human being would welcome. So implicit, therefore, that Huggan does not genuinely view all AGNC members as despicable.
04.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan McD
Interesting, I saw in Golf World that David Owen stands behind his long held belief that a male only club is perfectly legitimate, while acknowledging his special bond with ANGC through the writing of his book. His column is sane and he seems like a perfectly fine gentleman.

Thanks for your elaborations Mike; very interesting!
04.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blake Moran
Thank you for the insights on Merion M Clayton! Looking forward to seeing how the USGA will use whatever space they have to work with.
04.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
And no mention of visiting Ogilvy and hitting SDCC...

Despite the faux pas, good stuff all around and enjoyable to listen to. Really glad to hear time was made for Rustic.

But good gosh ... them Aussies are access bandits.
04.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPHK

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