The Golf Club: August 2, 2014
BOSTON (CBS) – Hardy met up with two old friends of the show and gets a course review from a town in the Merrimack Valley, but first was an in-depth rundown of a southern golf destination with a rich history.
Golf-fanatic and Hilton Head Island resident Bob Stevens was first up.
Stevens, whom Hardy introduced as, “The man who knows everything about Hilton Head,” did in fact know quite a bit about the tiny golf island.
The first notion they tackled is that as a destination, Hilton Head is just another Myrtle Beach, a claim which Stevens refuted. Their golf courses are similar and they’re both in South Carolina, but that’s about all the two places have in common.
Stevens said that Hilton Head is a completely different area of the state where there are no neon signs or street lights, there is a much different ambiance. It’s a place where people can see the stars. Hilton Head has 27 public courses, and 15 private, but you can actually play on the best one — Harbour Town.
Harbour Town Golf Links is the home of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage event, which according to Stevens, is the players’ second favorite stop on tour behind only Augusta. The public course is the first that Jack Nicklaus “cut his teeth on” while designing courses, and is the reason he was hired to create his famous TPC Sawgrass course.
Stevens pointed out that the perception of Harbour Town being too expensive couldn’t be more false. The greens fees are $250 during high season, a price that Hardy found very reasonable for a course of that caliber, and $150 for late afternoon or winter rounds.
“We consider it the Pebble Beach of the east, and $150 is half the price of Pebble Beach,” said Stevens.
Winter is a term that should be used loosely for Hilton Head, as the island is about as far south as you can get in the Carolinas.
Listen below for the full interview:
Hardy’s next guest was Mike Rogers, the head professional at Tewksbury Country Club.
Despite the “country club” moniker, Tewksbury is actually a public course — a “very” public course according to Rogers. TCC boasts itself as “one of the finest 9-hole courses in New England” according to its website, and in this microwave society sometimes a 9-hole course is like Baby Bear’s porridge: just right.
“I have golf courses that I play that I haven’t even seen the back nine on, literally, in years. I got time for maybe seven holes, so nine holes for me is great,” said Hardy to lead the discussion.
“In today’s time-crunched society, a 9-hole round fits into a lot of people’s schedules. There’s nothing wrong with an 18-hole round, but who has five or six hours on a Sunday morning to leave the house, and leave whatever you have at the house behind? For a lot of people nine holes is perfect,” said Rogers.
Some courses are known for their fast greens, manicured fairways, tough lies, water hazards — etc.
According to Rogers, Tewksbury is a very narrow course, so for people looking to work on their accuracy there’s no place better to play a round. Rogers also notes that the course’s flat surface is “easy to walk” and good for all ages — children all the way up and through senior citizens.
Listen below for the full discussion:
Next up was instructor Rob Churchill of LeBaron Hills Country Club in Lakeville.
Churchill wasn’t all that complimentary of Hardy’s golf game at first, which offended him.
“In every foursome there’s one guy who has the most fun. Might as well be me,” joked Hardy.
After the exchange of pleasantries, Churchill gave a valuable lesson and swing tip.
“My miss continues to be the pull. The pull hook. The snap hook. I’m running out of ideas to try and fix that thing, so can you give me a quick fix to hooking the ball?” asked Hardy.
“Get more of your body involved in the swing. If you just start snapping the ball you’re trying to knock the inside of the golf ball to the outside of the planet. You really can’t swing that hard at the golf ball. So for someone that’s snap hooking the ball all the time it’s usually a big arm, flat plane swing that’s too fast,” said Churchill.
Swinging too fast?
Hardy found that concept to be confusing.
“But club head speed equals distance!”
“But the whole body has to be a part of it. You can’t just make it a one man show and have your arms just doing the whole thing for you. It doesn’t work. It’s just not effective. You gotta slow down. You’ve gotta get your body involved with the swing,” said Churchill.
Listen below for the full lesson:
The final guest of the day was a friend of the show who appeared last season as well: Erin Henderson of Callaway.
Callaway’s got some great new equipment out this season, specifically the Big Bertha.
“The Big Bertha is back!” proclaimed Henderson to start the show.
Hardy compared the strategy of when Coca-Cola debuts its new packaging on their cans. Rather than just stick with the same old, same old, by unveiling a new line of Big Berthas every couple of years it really gets the golf community talking.
“We had to put it in the penalty box,” joked Henderson. “The fact of the matter is it was kind of getting regurgitated. There was another one, and another one — but were they really different? Our new CEO and current management team made the decision to set Big Bertha aside, and not only when we bring it back does it have to have the performance, it’s got to have the look, the packaging, the color scheme, the advertising and the tour usage.”
For anyone that has a Big Bertha in their golf bag and swears by its effectiveness, you know just how big a deal it is having the new model out.
“Big Bertha being back is a big deal not only to my company, but to the golf industry as a whole. It’s good to the retailers, the golf professionals and the consumers who love and appreciate the distance, ease of use and the forgiveness of Big Bertha.”
Listen below for the full interview:
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