The Golf Club: July 19, 2014
BOSTON (CBS) – On the latest edition of The Golf Club, Hardy gets a links course lesson from Rob Churchill, chats with a former caddy at St. Andrews and even gets a course review from the mayor of Brockton, but first up was Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe.
Whitmer appeared on the show to talk about the Massachusetts Amateur Championship at Kernwood Country Club in Salem.
Afterwards they got into a conversation about the British Open, currently underway at Royal Liverpool GC in Hoylake, England.
With a little help from mayor Bill Carpenter, Hardy gives a review of D.W. Field Golf Course in Brockton.
If you’ve played D.W. in the past but haven’t done so recently, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see all the upgrades on the course, playing conditions, amenities and the like.
“It’s in the best condition it has ever been,” Carpenter stressed to Hardy. “I’ve spoken with golfers who have played their for decades and have gotten a lot of slaps on the back. They say it’s in the best condition it’s ever been in.”
Carpenter has only been in office six months but made it a priority to fix D.W. shortly thereafter. Mayor terms in the city of Brockton are only two years, so he wanted to have his impact felt immediately.
“I had identified the golf course as one of our objectives in the first year. I looked at the numbers in the budget the last few years, and here we have this beautiful golf course with no mortgage that hasn’t been making money. It’s been breaking even in recent years. I thought to myself that this is crazy. We need to improve the management and take advantage of the asset.”
For Carpenter, he saw fixing D.W. as not only a money-making opportunity for the course, but for the city in general.
“It’s not just about golf, it’s about financials. If we generate the type of income out of the golf course that we should, I will put a lot of it back into the course and also help to fix up the ball fields and playgrounds across the city that desperately need help. This is a way that a municipal golf course can benefit everyone in the city. It’s also about reshaping the image of Brockton. When people think about the city of Brockton, beautiful golf courses is probably not the first thing they think of.”
Listen below for the full interview
Hardy met up with an old friend of the show to get a lesson on how to play links style courses and what makes them different from others.
Links courses are typically located at or near the coastline, which as you can imagine allows for wind to be a major factor. Golf pro Rob Churchill has some great tips on how to play a links-style course.
“You really don’t want to hit the ball up into the wind. The idea of a links style golf course is you have to keep your shots low. Low punches, a lot of low run-shots and that’s going to require — as far as swing mechanics go — putting the ball back a little bit in your stance, and also making sure there’s not a lot of hand action in your swing. Hands add height, which means more spin to the golf ball. More spin is not something you want on a links-style course.”
Links-style courses are also classified as having uneven fairways, so if you’re putting more spin on the ball you can end up in the rough pretty quickly.
Listen below for the full golf lesson:
The British Open is underway, so Hardy wanted to sit down with Oliver Horovitz, author of An American Caddy in St. Andrews.
Hardy is a nonfiction reader and a golf junkie, so this book was right up his alley.
Horovitz grew up in Gloucester and caddied Bass Rocks for years. His book takes you on a tale from the North Shore to St. Andrews in England to Harvard.
At St. Andrews while attending school, Horovitz played with guys with a 2-handicap or less. Besides the golf, at the time he went there the school had a 65 to 35 girl-to-guy ratio.
SEE ALSO: 7 Facts About The British Open
It gets better though.
“If you’re a student there it’s $175 for the entire year unlimited on the old course. I think that’s the best deal in golf,” Horovitz told Hardy.
When Ollie was finished with school he did not want to go back to the States (after reading what you just read, why would you?), so to stick around he started caddying at St. Andrews that summer. Let’s just say it was not what he expected.
“There’s a big hierarchy in the shack, which I didn’t know about when I got started. At the very top you’ve got your wrinkled old guys who’ve been there forever. They’re 70 but look 170. Below them you’ve got your 30-40 year old full time veteran caddies. Below them you’ve got your cocky university student who have done a couple years already, and then at the bottom you have your trainee caddy. I was starting as 18, a student, an American and a trainee — so I was the scum of the caddy yard.”
Listen below for the full interview!
MORE SPORTS FROM CBS BOSTON