Ogilvy's figuratively old head, perhaps made wiser by growing up next to Royal Melbourne, startled me the first time I asked him a question. "Golf was better before," he said in October 2005. "There was more art. It doesn't create a really rounded golfer." At a time when the shortcomings of the emerging twentysomethings were still well below the radar, Ogilvy captured the issue in three quick sentences.
"The complicated thing is making it simple, if that makes any sense," he said, offering as good a definition of a first-class mind as any. Indeed, in quotes over the last year including an upcoming interview with John Huggan in Golf Digest, Ogilvy produces one pearl after another.
Of Woods: "I mean, Tiger is the angriest player on tour. He's also the best at controlling it."
Of Sergio Garcia: "When he starts making putts again -- which he is going to do -- he's going to win 10 times in a year. He is the best ball-striker in the world, probably. … But he is so analytical about his putting and not about anything else. … He's like Seve, only in reverse."
On golf architecture: "I like there to be a relationship between the quality of your drive and ease of your second shot."
Today nearly everyone plays a coarse and vulgar pitch which punches a hole in the green. With the exception of the Old Course at St. Andrews and few similar courses, there is rarely any necessity to play any other kind of shot. Golfers are losing the joy of playing the variety of approach shots that were so necessary in the old days. ALISTER MACKENZIE