Haka challenge

13 11 2017

It’s cold, wet and very windy here in Beautiful B.C. and – not surprisingly – the golf course is closed for the day. I’ve toured the back yard and picked up two garbage cans worth of debris. I’ve spent an hour or so with Scottish Wife sorting out receipts dating back to the dawn of the century. And now I’m on my third cup of (very strong) coffee while I peruse the latest in the world of sport. No golf on TV today (it’s a Monday), no soccer either except Italy v Sweden (and I don’t have that channel), no cricket (the ritual slaughtering of the England team at the hands of the Aussies doesn’t start for a couple of weeks yet). But what’s this? The Rugby League World Cup and a pre-match tête-à-tête between Samoa and Tonga:

Goosebumps, eh?

Dave B.

P.S. I’m trying desperately hard to make a link, however tenuous, with golf and this is the best I can come up with: how about a golf haka at the next Ryder Cup with the teams led by, say, Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed? Now that would get the fans fired up…



The fastest hole in golf

3 11 2017

Last year, at Valderrama in Spain, a team of four French golfers set a world record by completing a 500 yard hole in just four strokes – and in less than 35 seconds!

A few days ago, at the Regnum Carya course in Turkey, the French attempted to defend their title against teams from England and South Africa. This is what happened:

(Just to put this feat into context: my usual foursome at Glacier Greens – and we’re not slow by any means – generally takes just over 3.5 hours to play 18 holes. These guys, at the rate they played this hole, would complete their round in er, just over 10 minutes! Just think of all the extra time that would give them in the bar afterwards!)

Cheers (hic).

Dave B.

Tails you lose…

1 12 2010

2010 has certainly been a bumper year for rules geeks such as myself. Back in April there was  Brian Davis calling a penalty upon himself in a hazard and thus losing any chance of a victory in his playoff with Jim Furyk for the Verizon Heritage tournament. Then, of course, there was the case of poor Dustin Johnson at the PGA Championship in August; his failure to realise that he was playing out of a bunker on the 18th hole at Whistling Straits led to a two shot penalty for grounding his club and thus missing a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson by a single stroke. Now, on the 2nd playoff hole of the European Tour’s flagship event – the season ending Dubai World Championship – we have Ian Poulter losing his chance of matching Robert Karlsson’s birdie putt by committing a rules infraction. His crime? Accidentally dropping his ball on the coin he was using as his marker, and thus causing the marker to move. The cost? A one stroke penalty – and just over 300,000 Euros (about $400,000 Cdn).

Obviously Poulter had no intention of moving his marker, which he immediately returned to its original spot, half an inch away. So is this just an arcane rule which should be got rid of as soon as possible? Some might think so, but Poulter himself (despite being an Arsenal fan) has total trust in the rules of golf  and believes that our observance of them is what makes it such a special game. He immediately called over a rules official, explained what had happened and accepted the ruling with no more than a rueful smile. Poulter was thus following in the footsteps of Roberto di Vicenzo who was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard at the Masters in 1968. Rather than blame his playing partner, who had marked him down for a 4 at the penultimate hole instead of a 3, seen by millions of TV viewers around the world, Roberto laid the blame squarely on his own shoulders: “What a stupid I am!” was the Argentinian’s now famous response. Possibly the best rules related quote, however, belongs to Bobby Jones. In the last round of the 1925 U.S. Open he called a penalty stroke upon himself when he felt he might have caused his ball to move in the rough. No one else had seen it but Jones was adamant that the penalty should stand, even though it meant that he would not win the tournament outright, but have to take part in a playoff, which he subsequently lost. Spectators and reporters alike praised Jones for his sportsmanship, but he would have none of it: “You might as well praise me for not robbing a bank” was his reply.

85 years later, Poulter was equally stoic: “It’s my lucky coin. It’s got my kids’ names on it and I’m going to keep using it,” he said afterwards. His friend and rival Rory McIlroy came up with the best line, however: ” Poults may have lost the Dubai World Championship,” he tweeted, ” but he’s definitely in with a chance at the world tiddlywinks championships…”

Season’s greetings to one and all. My Christmas gift to you is to promise not to even mention the rules of golf again…until 2011.*

All da best,

Dave B.

(*Oh, except to say that under Rule 20-1/15 there would have been no penalty if Poulter had been in the act of marking his ball when he moved his coin. Sorry. My 2011 New Year’s resolution will definitely involve trying to be less of a rules geek. Probably not going to happen).