How to Make it to The Masters!

Start off as a Monday Qualifier, shoot 66 in the final round of the Valero Texas Open, and poof you are in The Masters. Canadian Corey Connors did this exact thing. He is only the 4th player in history to accomplish this feat, but its not the second time he will make a trip to Augusta National. I have said before that the Valero Texas Open is the most important tournament for all journeymen and yesterday I was proven correct.

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An Interesting Golf Photograph

Golf has a long and interesting history. I enjoy reading, writing, and viewing the historical aspects of this game/sport. It sparks my imagination and allows me feel what life might was like hundreds of years ago.

I enjoy the mental journey as I play a round of golf with Bobby Jones. Or join the crowd as Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old amateur and local hero, tie Harry Vardon and Ted Ray after 72 holes at the 1913 US Open. Or witness Gene Sarazen’s “Shot Heard Round The World”, during the final round of the 1935 Augusta National Invitational. These and many more historical events help spark my imagination and for that I am grateful. Continue reading

Why 14 Clubs?

Golf Club EvolutionIn 1938, the R&A introduce the rule limiting the number of golf clubs in a bag to 14. Prior, there was an unlimited number clubs any player could carry.  Amateur golfer Francis Ouimet won the 1913 US Open carrying just seven clubs.  Interestingly, 21 years later Lawson Little won the British Amateur using 31. Technology of the day drove the use of different clubs and the inconsistent nature of construction was a factor in the number of clubs used during any round.

As advances in technology, specifically the introduction of metal shafts, the need to carry many clubs seemed to disappear.  The evolution of golf clubs is very interesting and the fast evolution of modern technology continues to drive the golf industry.  Has the change in golf club construction actually contributed to the greatest changes in golf club performance over the years?  Or is it something else?

Depending on what you believe or read changes in club technology might just be a red herring.  Regardless, why 14 clubs?  Why not 13 or 15?

According to Canada.com, golf historians suggest the 14-club rule was made to benefit caddies, because it was common for golfers before 1939 to use 20-30 clubs of varying styles and uses. Caddies would routinely double-bag – carrying two bags at a time – and many did it twice a day to earn a living.  Well I would have hated to be a looper then.

Rule 4-4. Maximum of Fourteen Clubs.  The player must not start a stipulated round with more than fourteen clubs. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round, except that if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, he may add any number, provided his total number does not exceed fourteen.

So there you have it, the 14-club rule was introduced for caddies, not technology, not to make if fair for everyone, increase speed of play or even to help drive the golfing industry by reducing the number and types of clubs they have to manufacture.  It was all for the caddies.

I carry 14 clubs.  How many do you carry?

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!

Francis Ouimet – A Golfing Legend!

Image from:  http://www.usgamuseum.com/about_museum/news_events/news_article.aspx?newsid=318

Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery, his 10-year-old caddie, during the 1913 U.S. Open, when Ouimet defeated the Englishmen Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a historic playoff and became the first amateur to win the Open. (USGA Museum)

I recently read the golf news and came across an article stating the top 5 golfers of all time.  The Bleacher Report stated that these golfers have / are standing the test of time to make their list.  In case you are wondering Tiger is number 2 and Jack is number 1.  It is worth a read.

Additionally, this report gave a couple honorable mentions.  One in particular stood out. Francis Ouimet is a name I had heard before, but never really paid much attention too.  So, after a bit of research, I found him to be a trend setter!  He was the first real american golf star.  Ouimet was a 20-year-old amateur and local hero who tied Harry Vardon and Ted Ray after 72 holes at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, in the 1913 US Open.  This famous match was featured in the movie “The Greatest Game Ever Played“.   Ouimet went on to win this contest and later was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Francis Ouimet’s story is great for golf.  It demonstrates that anyone can succeed if they have the desire.  The game of golf can be played in your back yard like Francis Ouimet, in a field, or on a beach.  The game provides opportunities to meet people, see fantastic sites or be introspective at 6 am on a quiet peaceful course.  Golf is a great game and I am fortunate to be able to play.

I am a grateful golfer.  See you on the links!