In the Dirt, by
Tim "The Golf-Meister" Flaherty
July 18 -2012
Itís British Open Week!!!
I remember my visit to play golf at the Royal Lytham and St Annes Club in 1999. I was invited up by a member to the private area that had a shrine to Bobby Jones who won there as an amateur in 1926. He told me his grandfather handed the trophy to Bobby Jones. I certainly was in awe walking the place and seeing bunkers with ladders. I got in one bunker and could only pitch out backwards with my 60 degree lob wedge. I have no clue how Bobby Jones shot in the 60ís there with wooden shafts he had to sand when it rained. Running the ball on the ground is NOT the same game we have over here in the United States. It requires imagination and planning to score well around those greens. Time and time again we see American golfers struggling to adapt to the ground game over there. Itís not about bombing it off of the tee; itís about controlling your ball properly to stay out of the heather. The heather rough can get real nasty when wet, which it is this week. Iíd sure like to see Bubba Watson learn how to play over there. The british isles could use some ďBubba GolfĒ. He has the imagination to develop a game plan but might lack the discipline to hit iron off of some of the teeís. You must find the fairways over there or you are sunk.
The quality of championís that Royal Lytham & St Annes produces is historic.
Seve Ballesteros(1988), Tom Lehman (1996) and David Duval (2001) were all No. 1 on the official World Ranking when they won The Open at Lytham and the Lancashire course has also created champions of the quality of Bobby Locke (1952), Peter Thomson (1958), Bob Charles (1963) Tony Jacklin (1969) and Gary Player all of whom, except Charles, won more than one Major title during their great careers.
Jack Nicklaus tied second to Ballesteros in 1979, third in both 1963 and 1974 and tied 6th behind Jacklin in 1969.
Lytham has created true champions and it is a trend that was started back in 1926 when the great American amateur, Bobby Jones, won Lytham’s first Open against a great field that included Walter Hagen, Tommy Armour, Joe Kirkwood, Abe Mitchell, JH Taylor, Ted Ray and defending champion Jim Barnes. Only MacDonald Smith and Gene Sarazen among the better golfers that were not playing that year, when the first prize on offer was £75 and over the three days of the Championship (in those days the last to rounds were played on one day) the organizers sold 10,923 tickets priced at two shillings and sixpence each.
It is necessary to pause for a second to reflect on that round if, for no other reason, than it confirmed the extraordinary talent of a man who in the space of eight years starting in 1923 was to win three Open Championships (1926, ’27 and ’30), four US Opens (1923, ’26, ’29 and ’30), five US Amateurs (1924, ’25, ’27, ’28 and ’30) and one Amateur Championship (1930). His greatest achievement was to complete the Grand Slam after which he retired from golf at the young age of 28.
nce at Lytham, Jones found himself as the center of attention of the media.
When he was making his way back to the course after his short
breakbetween rounds on the final day, Jones realized he had misplaced his player’s credential and, in the end, he had to line up with the general public and pay the admission price as a fan after a security guard refused to believe he was a player. It was probably the only time in history that a Major champion had to pay his way in at the gate!
See at right the picture I took in the private area of the club in 1999 which captures Jones at his best in an oil portrait. Bobby Jones was atrue genius with a golf club and inspired other greats like Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.
I hope you enjoy this year’s British Open with a little more history, mystery and majesty! Bobby Jones is revered over the Pond. The people knew he didn’t play for money but for the pure love of the game. The true worth of any life well lived is the legacy left behind. Bobby Jones left a huge footprint which includes the development of Augusta National and the Master’s Tournament. Still to this day the ghost of Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan haunts the Open Tournament over the Pond. The people in the British Isle’s know america has a love for Golf almost as deep as their own. Our calling back to the old sod continues every July that the Open is played. Greatness in a man and a tournament is everlasting.
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April 23 2010
It was tax time again last week...
I started my Golf Season by Teeing it up at my CPAís golf course (Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville, Minnesota). We fought off a 4 club wind. But my putter was un-effected. I had 5 one puttís on the front side. I finished the round with 29 putts. The putts make up for a lot of missed shots. I still managed a 9 foot approach from 139 yard, a 2 foot approach from 80 yards and another decent approach iron. The first round of Golf is humbling as your brain remembers your capability at the top of last yearsí season. This week I worked hard on my swing motion in the DreamSwing and my 3 foot club recommended by Tom Bertrand author of The Secret of Hoganís Swing. Last year I conducted an internet television interview with Tom that was preceded by an historic 3 part radio podcast.
May 1st I am flying out to San Diego to work personally with Tom Bertrand. Tom conducts one day One on Oneís with Tom. I have studied his original two video discís of his Legendary Golf Swing System. I have carefully studied with care his book The Secret of Hoganís Swing. But his videos give life and motion to his book. I helped put together a 7 page e-book that is FREE to all golfers registering at our site at PlayOnGolf.com. Tomís information was handed down from his mentor John Schlee who was instructed inside of the grill room of Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas by Ben Hogan. When John won the Hawauian Open on the PGA Tour Ben Hogan sent him a cable saying That A Boy. If it was not for a final round 63 by Johnny Miller in 1974 John Schlee would have easily won something like 2/3ís of all other U.S. Opens played to that point with the score he posted.
My point it is: Tom Bertrand Knows. Tom knowís not only what Hoganís Secret was, but what many of his other Secrets were that compiled Hoganís legendary victories. Today, ten days before my trip to see Tom, I saw my Mental Coach Cindy Locher, clinically certified sports hypnotherapist, to program my subconscious with the ability to learn better from Tom when I see him. She also eliminated first tee jitters that I occasionally have by programming my sub-conscious mind to be relaxed and ready to perform. Hogan talked about Relaxed Activation and Moe Norman (a ball striker on par with Hogan) talked about playing golf from an attitude of Alert In-difference. These are all concepts I am leveraging to produce sub par rounds at my home course. I have a playing plan to score 3-4 under at my Home Course during Menís Club Tournaments. Ultimately, I plan on having an even par or better round at Hazeltine National (Site of last years PGA Championship) as I advance from local to sectional qualifying for the US Open being conducted at Peeble Beach Golf Links in California. Golf is about having a game plan and then going and doing it at will.
Yes, that is what the 2010 year of Golf means to me, The Year of Hogan sixty years from the comeback after his life threatening head on bus crash. Please feel free to listen to my 3 part radio interview podcast here.
" The Introduction to Legendary Golf", by Tom Bertrand
Old Dirt-12/29 - A Great Year for Spell-binding Golf
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