State Of The Game Podcast 28: Judy Rankin

Judy Rankin is a 26-time winner on the LPGA Tour, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame as a player, and if there was ever a golf broadcasting wing, she'd be inducted again for her eloquence, class and succinct appraisals that set the standard for on-course reporting.

Judy kindly spent more than hour with the State of the Game podcast to talk about her career, the LPGA Tour, golf broadcasting and of course, the state of the game.

You can listen via MP3 here. Or to past shows the same where via this page. And the iTunes option for all past shows, or this week's episode to listen/subscribe.

State Of The Game Podcast 25: Geoff Ogilvy & Muirfield

Last time we had Matthew Goggin fresh off a solid showing at Merion in the U.S. Open, this time we managed to get Geoff Ogilvy to chat from Scotland during his pre-Open Championship leisure golf. Topics covered include Muirfield, the state of Geoff's game and of course, the state of the game.

We kept him too long but the discussion was great until the cell phone Gods said enough! Hope you enjoy either via iTunes or hitting play on the the player below...

Geoff Ogilvy On Adam: "He's so balanced he's never sweated the small stuff."

Jaime Diaz talked to Geoff Ogilvy about his friend's Masters win.

You may recall it was Scott who returned from the airport to Winged Foot when Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open.

That road led to a monumental Sunday in Augusta, and if Ogilvy's projections are right, more majors. But probably none will be as meaningful as last Sunday's.

"This is a big day for Greg [Norman], especially," said Ogilvy. "It's very appropriate that of all the Australians, it was Adam who did it, because he is the closest of all of us to Greg. 

Right now, I know Greg is 100 percent joyous."

Michael Thompson, 2013 Honda Highlights & Ogilvy's Chip-In

Between the tough conditions, Jack Nicklaus' visit to the booth, Johnny Miller's newest stance on anchoring, Geoff Ogilvy's desperate comeback, some fantastic coverage from the NBC technical side and thankfully not marred by totally-out-of-control fans on the 17th hole, the 2013 Honda Classic finale made for great viewing.
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Ogilvy On R&A Motives For Changing Old Course: Embarrassing, Disgusting, Sneaky

Thanks to Darius Oliver for alerting us to Paul Prendergast's lengthy interview with Geoff Ogilvy touching on a number of hot button issues but I couldn't help but focus on his remarks about the R&A's changes to the Old Course at St. Andrews.

He joins fellow Aussie Peter Thomson in denouncing not only the idea of changing the course to produce higher scores, but also the secretive and deceptive process by which the changes were conceived and executed.

It’s disappointing in that the whole point of it is to make us shoot a slightly higher score every five years [at The Open], and it’s embarrassing – disgusting – that they’re doing it for that reason. I mean .. it’s hard to have the words to describe the arrogance of doing something like that, it’s incredible.

And...

The reason the sport is what it is, is because of St Andrews. It didn’t evolve to the point where it’s at because of people doing what they’re doing right now. It evolved, it didn’t get designed. It came because of nature, all the balls finishing in one place so there were lots of divots and that spot became a bunker. It’s the first place that anyone should ever study when they think about golf course architecture.

This was nice too...there goes Geoff's Royal and Ancient Golf Club membership chances. Join the women of the world.

I think the thing that really affected most people that got emotional about it was the way they went about it. Making a sneaky little announcement the same weekend everyone was talking about the long putter ban. The bulldozers were out the next day. Surely the Old Course deserves a round table of the smartest people in golf with the best intentions and to discuss it for two years before you do anything?

And this is such a key point about the 11th green, and speaks to the absurdity of trying to force uniform green speeds on a course, especially the Old.

They've done plenty of bunker work for maintenance reasons over time but changing contours that have evolved and adding to the 11th green to provide extra pin placements are pretty fundamental changes ...

It’s been fine for 400 years, in the form it’s in it’s been fine for a hundred years. It’s fine!

I mean, if they get crazy wind and you can’t put a pin up the back left on 11 then, oh well. Or, you just have that green running two feet slower than the others. We're the best golfers in the world, surely we can work out that the green is slower. We’re not that precious.

Ogilvy Getting Into Politics, PGA Tour Style

Doug Ferguson's weekly AP notes include items on Bill Clinton getting the best political advice he's ever gotten from Tom Watson, a note on the retirement of Augusta National's Jim Armstrong and this insider item on Geoff Ogilvy's nomination to be a chairman of the Players Advisory Council. If elected he'd be elevated to the Policy Board.

The election would be historic because no international player has ever been on the policy board, even though one-third of the players are not U.S.-born.

“It would be interesting to be on the board. This is an interesting time for the tour,” Ogilvy said. “I’m not inclined that way, but I am interest in the operations of the tour.”

The former U.S. Open champion, who also has three World Golf Championships to his credit, is not about to campaign for votes.

He’s not even sure what players want in a chairman and future board member.

“I would have said at least 50 percent of the players don’t mind who the board members are and really don’t care about the operating of events. As long as they get $6 million to play for 30 times a year, they’re happy _ and they like the way the courses are set up. That’s pretty much the interest of half the tour. They don’t go much further than that. They vote for their friends, I would think. That’s how politics work in general, isn’t it?”

"They fly across oceans. It's grand, which is what describes the shot."

The hate mail has been rolling in over the use of double eagle to describe Louis Oosthuizen's 2012 Masters final round 2 at No. 2. As a maker of a 2 on a par-5 (like how I slipped that in, Johnny Miller style?), I can say that I've never once called it an albatross, and the historical record would seem to suggest double eagle has been part of the golf lexicon longer than albatross.

But as Doug Ferguson points out in this weekly AP notes column, double eagle really doesn't make sense since technically it's four-under par.

It's known as an "albatross" everywhere but in the United States, no doubt because of Sarazen, yet Sarazen once referred to his shot as a "dodo," and so the mystery continues.

"I didn't know what a double eagle was until I came to the U.S.," Geoff Ogilvy once said. "Maybe they couldn't think of a word for something better than an eagle, so they called it double eagle. But it's not really a double eagle, it's an eagle-and-a-half."

Scoring terminology went to the birds long ago.

According to the "Historical Dictionary of Golfing Terms," the word "birdie" came from the American slang of something special. The story goes that three men were playing the par-4 second hole at The Country Club in Atlantic City, N.J., when Ab Smith's second shot stopped inches from the hole and he called it a "bird of a shot." That led to a shot one under par being called a birdie. That was in 1903.

Thus began the use of birds in scoring, such as an eagle, and so "albatross" makes sense.

"It's a good bird, isn't it?" Ogilvy said. "They fly across oceans. It's grand, which is what describes the shot."

Contrary To Reports, Ogilvy/Allenby "Stoush" Is Still A "Stoush" Until Otherwise Noted

Jim Tucker's inside sources said "repair work" was done following the Robert Allenby-Geoff Ogilvy kerfuffle threatening to make the Australian Masters wildy entertaining should we get the former teammates paired together. Of course, that would require Allenby to shave about six shots off of his handicap of late to occur, but miracles do happen.
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Allenby-Ogilvy Reunion At Victoria Will Be Purely Accidental

Martin Blake on the possibility of Presidents Cup mates Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy finding themselves paired together at this week's JBWere Masters at the must-see Victoria GC.

According to the man who creates the groupings, the Australasian PGA Tour's tournaments director Andrew Langford-Jones, it is the last thing golf wants. ''They'll be on opposite sides of the draw, most likely, not together,'' said Langford-Jones yesterday. ''The focus should be on the golf, not on personality clashes.''

Allenby and Ogilvy, teammates in Greg Norman's International team in the Presidents Cup last month, had a public argument in a restaurant area on the last night of the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum. Ogilvy is furious Allenby was quoted as blaming him for some of his bad results at the Presidents Cup, where he was the only player of 24 in the field who did not score a point. It has been reported he demanded an apology from Allenby, who had suggested they settle the matter outside.

No Don Kings: Managers Downplay Ogilvy-Allenby Stoush

Mark Hayes offers this from Robert Allenby's ten-percenter in rounding up Sunday's post-Presidents Cup confrontation prompted by Allenby's inability to take personal responsibility for his play:

His manager, Tony Bouffler, was confident there would be no lasting ramifications.

"All I know is that they have been good mates and I'm sure will continue to be so in the future," he said.

Martin Blake talks to Geoff Ogilvy's man:

''Look, it wasn't TV Ringside or anything,'' said Paul Galli, Ogilvy's manager. ''I wasn't there, but from what I've been told, it's a storm in a teacup. There were a few words spoken. They will be fine. I've got no doubt they can come together at the [Australian] Masters in a few weeks, have a beer and move on.''

Blake also notes the harsh reaction of former touring pro Paul Gow on his podcast with Luke Elvy, where they also talk about Greg Chalmers' dilemma in pursuing the Australian Masters along with other notes from the Australian PGA week.

But former US PGA Tour professional Paul Gow said it was time Allenby bit his lip in pressure situations.

"I think he acts like a five-year-old when he plays golf," Gow said in his weekly Playing Around podcast with Channel 10 commentator Luke Elvy.

"He has to understand he plays golf for a living. He was in a team environment and to throw out those comments was really immature.

"It's probably time for Robert to grow up, let his clubs do the talking because he's a really, really good player. With this attitude, he will probably never win a major."

Allenby Challenges Ogilvy To Take It Outside, And That's Not A Backswing Reference

Brent Read reports on Robert Allenby's continued meltdown over his horrible Presidents Cup play, with Geoff Ogilvy's Sunday tweet perhaps fueling an "ugly spat" Sunday night following Australian PGA play.

Allenby and Ogilvy exchanged words at the Hyatt Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast where the pair were playing in the Australian PGA with the former believed to have challenged his long-time friend to take the matter outside.

The incident took place in the village square at the Hyatt, where players, caddies, family members and the public were celebrating Greg Chalmers's victory earlier that day. At least one glass was broken before Allenby, who lost the play-off at the PGA that day to Chalmers, walked away, prompting Bronx cheers from a section of those in attendance.

Ah that must have really soothed his ego.

Ogilvy responded with a tweet that read: "Warms the heart to see Robert playing so well this week." Ogilvy later told media the tweet was genuine, although Allenby is believed to have taken offence at what he felt was a piece of sarcasm. It is understood he questioned Ogilvy over the tweet and his Victorian counterpart responded by asking why Allenby refused to take responsibility for his play.

The conversation degenerated to the point where a glass was broken and an offer was made to take the matter outside.

Allenby left the country but will be back for the Australian Masters at Victoria in a few weeks. Victoria, a splendid design, is Ogilvy's boyhood home course.