When Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam — all four major tournaments in a calendar year — it included the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, The U.S. Amateur, and the British Amateur. Today the first major of the year is Jones’ own tournament, The Masters. Hosted on the course he built, Augusta National, it has become an annual American sporting tradition that transcends golf. But The Masters wasn’t always iconic, it wasn’t even always called The Masters, and it almost failed a number of times. We caught up with golf historian and Bobby Jones biographer Sidney Matthew to find out how Augusta National and The Masters went from a bankrupt passion project to a seminal part of our sporting identity.

Why did Bobby Jones build Augusta National?

Because he was tired of playing in front of crowds. He wanted a sanctuary, and he always, from early in his career, had the ambition of building the world’s greatest inland golf course.

What would make the ideal golf course in his mind?

Well, it evolved over time. As he played around the world, he collected knowledge about all of the famous golf courses. He borrowed from these golf courses, the very best features. And of course he studied golf course architecture. He wrote about it. He discoursed on it. He talked to his pals who were golf course architects, and he believed that you never really mastered golf until you try to figure out what the architect had in mind when he built the golf course. That way you would be able to play the golf course correctly, the way it was intended by the architect.

What were the world class courses Jones borrowed from?

Late in his life, Jones said, If I were to be sentenced to play on one golf course for the rest of my life, it would be the Old Course at Saint Andrews. And the reason for that is the essence of golf is adventure, and the key to adventure is variety. A golf course that provides the most adventure and the most variety provides the most enjoyment because it presents a different challenge every time you play it. The ultimate golf course would never play the same way twice two days in a row because of weather, because of conditions, because of the playing partners. Because of the way that the course may be set up with flag positions, and just the seasons, and the way the grass grows. But with Saint Andrews, it provides the most variety of any golf course that Jones had ever seen.

Jones didn’t design Augusta National alone. Why did he take on a design partner?

He chose Alister MacKenzie because MacKenzie was a kindred spirit in this notion that the Old Course is the best golf course in the world. And MacKenzie understood it, the Royal and Ancient hired him in 1921 to do a line drawing and the first competent survey of the golf course that had been done. MacKenzie was in the Boer War early on and studied the art of camouflage. He could see that the Boers were digging trenches and building embankments to hide their guns. So you’d move your troops in thinking that you were out of range and they’d blow you to bits. So he copied some of those features of camouflage in some of his golf courses. He would put a bunker 30 yards from the green but trick you into believing it was the green side.

Sort of an optical illusion to play with the mind?

Yeah. You see that today, and of course you know. MacKenzie said when you play a golf course, you should envision yourself on the forecastle of a ship than on the heavy sea. And when you’re looking at the front of the ship, you see the waves crashing at you. You see the breakers, white caps. Those are bunkers. But when you look back behind the ship, you see the rolling sea and you see no white cap. It’s all green. And when you’re on a MacKenzie course, you can see that today.

What was MacKenzie’s more general design philosophy?

MacKenzie believed that many of the broad roads will lead to destruction, narrow is the way that leads to salvation. You should build a golf course with as much variety and as many options as possible. The USGA sets up an Open golf course that you’ve got to be a marching soldier right down the middle. You’ve got to hit your drive right straight down the middle, you’ve got to hit your shot straight on the green, and you’ve got one putt or two putt. If you stray to the right or stray to the left, it’s going to cost you a shot because you’re in rough up to your ankle and will break your wrist. What that does is make a very mechanical, unimaginative golfer, because straight, straight, straight, that’s all you do. MacKenzie spawned the strategic school of golf course architecture. The penal school of architecture was old-testament thinking — if you sin, you should be punished, and there is no forgiveness, there is no redemption. That’s the way it is. The strategic school of golf course architecture said wait a second. Let’s flatten some of these bunkers out, so with a heroic shot, you should be able to redeem yourself. But it’s got to be a heroic shot. So they at least give you a chance for forgiveness and it followed the reformation. It had a religious overtone to it. So a golf course provides the most enjoyment for the highest-skill player or the lowest duffer. And that’s the variety of the adventure. That’s beautiful.

You described Jones’ reason for building Augusta National, as he wanted a sanctuary away from the crowds. Then why create this tournament?

Everyone said that Bob Jones was insane for building a golf course during the Depression. Golf courses were folding, and Augusta folded twice. The fact is that he seized on the opportunity because of the piece of ground. Jones saw the piece of property and said, That’s it. We’re going to build my dream course on this piece of property. He said it looked like this land was lying there for years waiting for a golf course to be laid on it.

But (after building it) they folded a couple of times. So (the partners) decided, Let’s see if we can hold an invitation tournament and then invite all of Bob’s pals. Surely they’ll come. And Grantland Rice said, Well, I’ll help you out. All of the sports writers go down to the [Florida] Grapefruit League [for] baseball in the winter in Florida, and I’ll tell them to come back to Augusta and report on the tournament and maybe we can bring the gate up. They also told the British press, if you guys can make it to New York, we’ll put you on a train, put you up at the Bon Air Vanderbilt, and that’s how they got the British Press to come. Of course anybody who was anybody wanted to come play at Bob Jones’ first invitational tournament. Because Bob was a national and international hero. And so everybody showed up and the gate didn’t come in. So Alfred Severin Bourne had to reach into his pocket and come up with the $5,000 purse. Then in the second year, Gene Sarazen hits the shot heard round the world on 15 and makes, and all the sports writers go crazy, and so everyone wanted to go to the next tournament in ’36 to find out what in the world’s going on in Augusta. And that’s really what kicked it off. Jones initially thought it was somewhat immodest to call it the Masters, but in 1938, Jones said, I think that it has earned the right to be called the Masters, because it continues to assemble those who are entitled to call themselves the masters of the game.

In 1894 when the USGA was formed by the top half dozen golf clubs, amateur golf was on page one of the sports page. In Plato’s Republic the amateur athlete was the hero who was emulated by the populous. And that was true at the turn of the century. They did not have professional golf at that time. They had exhibitions. Walter Hagen was the first guy to make a living as a professional golfer in the late ‘20s.

And this is because it was viewed as being sort of undignified?

Well it was. Golfers were associated with caddies. They were not educated. They didn’t dress well. They were shagging the member’s wives. They were not allowed in the club houses. It was not looked upon as an honorable profession, and mainly because it was associated with gambling and drinking. One of the reasons Bob Jones retired in 1930 was he had more ambition than to be a professional golfer and he hated to travel. It was the horse-and-buggy era. They traveled by ship, they didn’t have private citation jets yet. It was horrible. And the biggest purses were a few thousand dollars, so, you might make a few hundred dollars. Jones had a profession. In 1928 he’s working as a lawyer for Coca-Cola, and all of the big companies wanted him as their lawyer so they could play golf with him.

So when the Masters first started, it was more of a social outing with Bob Jones to rub shoulders with Jones and all of his pals rather than a money-making thing. And it wasn’t until the later years that it became a major because of the publicity that it got, and because of the uniqueness of the golf course — a golf course unlike any other. And it continued to assemble those who were entitled to be called “the masters of the game.” Anybody who was anybody wanted to win Bob Jones’ tournament, the same way that [later] they wanted to win Arnold Palmer’s tournament. You always want to win the King’s tournament.

So I suppose we could say that the Depression sort of leveled the playing field in terms of the perspective people had on professional golfers. 

It did. Everybody had to be scrappy. Hagan was the paradigm. But Neilson, Snead, and Hogan, that triumvirate really kind of launched it. I mean, Snead goes over to Saint Andrews and he wins it in ’37, first time he ever saw it! Hogan goes over to Carnoustie in ’53, and he’s on his way, he’s won three, he’s on his way to win the grand slam, right? That he couldn’t make it back to play in the PGA was his problem. But he won Carnoustie the first time he ever saw it. So these guys became international superstars as professionals.

Later on The Masters becomes iconic — it transcends golf. It becomes an iconic sporting event. How did it become so popular?

Well, yes, the popularity became universal. People who did not play golf found that they enjoyed watching it on TV. Remember, golf was a rich man’s sport. In Great Britain, it’s a poor man’s sport. You know, it’s a common town, and everybody in town belongs to the golf course. And you don’t have to be rich to play it, the courses were public. Here they’re private, so only the rich guys could play it. But you didn’t have to play it, you could watch it, and it became extremely popular because it had this swash-buckling Errol Flynn–type character, Arnold Palmer, making these heroic displays of athleticism and looking fabulous.

But The Masters also became a singular tournament because Bob Jones and Cliff Roberts made it gentile. They made it fun for the spectators, and they raised the level of sportsmanship. In the ’60s when Jack Nicholas was overhauling Arnold, some spectators shouted out, “Miss it! Fat Jack.” Jones heard that, and he was terribly distressed. So he sat down, put pen to paper and he wrote out some suggestions for the spectators. They still hand it out today. It says, that, in the game of golf, etiquette and decorum are almost as important as the rules governing play. Most distressing are those rare occasions upon which a spectator will applaud or cheer misplays or misfortunes of a player. Although these occurrences are extremely rare, we must completely eliminate them if our patrons are going to deserve their reputation of being the most knowledgeable and considerate in the world. Now, that is a pretty high standard. But guess what? You don’t see anybody acting out. The patrons of the Masters are the most considerate and knowledgeable in the world.

Source: Men’s Journal

Pull yourself out of that rut and hole more putts
By Cameron McCormick
Was your performance in 2016 slightly less than satisfying? I know it’s not enough to hear it happens to everyone from time to time. You want to shake off the year of stubs, lip-outs and three-jacks before golf season rolls back around and you’re racking up missed putts again like a kid catching Pokémon. Well, if you really want to fix this flat-stick fiasco, you’re going to need a bit more than a 30-minute session rolling balls into those tiny golf cups. I recommend a full reboot. Here I’m going to give you four ways to pull yourself out of that putting rut. Sometimes only one of these will do the trick, but be prepared for the reality that you might need all four. Best get started. —With Ron Kaspriske
1.) BENCH YOUR PUTTER
If you’re the kind of golfer who talks to a putter, gives it a good spanking when it isn’t performing, and even threatens to back the pickup truck over it in the parking lot, it’s time for the “we need to take a break from each other” conversation. Bench your putt-er for something different. Use a blade? Switch to a mallet. Always preferred heel-shafted putters? Try a centershaft. Everything from club length to grip circumference is up for consideration. Go get fitted (View: Your Ultimate Guide To Finding A Better Game). The big switch works for two reasons. First, there are no bad memories with a new putter. It’s a new day. Second, assuming the old one isn’t now residing in a scrap-metal yard, you’ll make it just jealous enough that it will perform its best when you rekindle your relationship.
2.) REALLY BENCH YOUR PUTTER
“It’s not you, it’s me” won’t fly as a break-up excuse after the second Tinder date, but it’s probably true of your relationship with the putter. It showed up ready to bury every five-footer—but sometimes you didn’t. You need a refresher on mechanics. So I suggest you practice putting with your sand wedge. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. A good stroke is propelled by the shoulders and requires minimal hand or wrist action. To get the ball rolling with a wedge, you have to make that kind of stroke hitting the ball at its equator with the leading edge (above). This type of practice elicits precision and is good for the ol’ ego. You’re more apt to forgive yourself for a miss, which helps reduce those anxious feelings that turn you into a puddle of goo when the putts actually count.
3.) GRAB AND GO
You’ve held your putter the same way for so long the grip is starting to look like one of those training clubs that has grooved channels for your fingers. It’s time to switch it up, because what you’re doing, as they say here in Texas, is as pitiful as a three-legged dog. The easiest switch would be to flip hand positions so the higher one is lower. But I think you should take it a step further. Get crazy with it. Try the saw, the claw, the paintbrush, the non-anchored belly grip. Sometimes all you need is a dramatically different way of holding the club to reset your brain and start rolling the ball the way you used to.
4.) HIT SOME BOMBS
On the putting green you need to be more Picasso than Pythagoras. In other words, knowing the math behind a putt is important (speed, slope, etc.), but don’t let it squelch your right-brain artistry. You probably aren’t crunching numbers when you ball up a piece of paper and try tossing it into the garbage. You just use your feel. My suggestion? Go deep. Find the longest, craziest putts on a green and try to make them. Even putting from well off the green will help you get your feel back. You know you have to hit the ball hard, and you know it’s going to break, but when you try these long-distance putts, you become less concerned with the mechanics and tap back into the hand-eye coordination you thought you lost. Another benefit? It will free up your stroke. No more trying to steer them in. You’ll putt without fear of missing. Reboot complete.
Cameron McCormick is Jordan Spieth’s instructor and teaches at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas.
Source: Golf Digest

Join us Monday, Jan. 28, before 9:00 AM and get $10 OFF your 18-hole round of Golf!

ONLINE BOOKING SPECIAL ONLY!  Prices online have already been adjusted.

Golf tomorrow, Jan. 25, before 9:00 AM and get $10 OFF your 18-hole round of golf!

Or Join us Monday, Jan. 28, morning before 9:00 AM and get $10 OFF then too!

Or go nuts and join us Friday AND Monday! Why not live a little?? Prices online have already been adjusted.

ONLINE BOOKING SPECIAL ONLY!

As all golfers know, a game of golf is both mentally stimulating and physically challenging. Golf may not be considered a physically demanding sport, but one round will likely mean you are outside and moving around, walking at a pace of 6-7km, for several hours at a time and constantly using your brain for the many mental challenges you face. There are many stated health benefits of golf, from scientific and anecdotal sources, but just how good is the game for the body and mind?

Seven health benefits of golf

  1. Heart health – any form of physical exercise helps get the blood pumping to your heart. Walking, carrying your bag and swinging all increase your heart rate and blood flow. Your risk of a stroke and diabetes are reduced, and there can be positive effects on reducing blood pressure and harmful cholesterol, especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF) found that during an 18-hole round, a player will have an average heart rate of 100 beats per minute, over a two to five hour period
  2. Brain stimulation – regular daily walking strengthens the brain’s memory circuits. Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, says: ‘Whether it is going for a jog or walking the golf course, keeping physically active is a great way to keep your heart and your brain healthy. By keeping active you make sure your brain has a good, strong blood supply, which is essential to help it function better now and in future.”
  3. Weight loss – the golden number of steps per day needed for weight loss is 10,000. An 18-hole round easily exceeds this recommended number, especially when you walk and do not use a golf cart. The Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF) found that recent research projects (referring to those in Norway, Japan, Germany, the US and Sweden) revealed that a male golfer burns around 2,500 kCal during an 18-hole round, and female players burn approximately 1,500 kCal (read 9 Holes for Better Health – in Norwegian)
  4. Reduces stress – the pleasure of walking in fresh air, socialising, with an added mental challenge means golf releases endorphins, the natural mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain, which make you happy and relaxed
  5. Improved sleep – exercise and fresh air are a powerful combination for improved sleep. Walking the course will give you a good workout. Regular exercise helps you sleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for longer. Sleep helps your muscles rest and repair
  6. Low injury – golf is a low-impact activity in the sense that one walks on a soft, gently rolling surface. More mature players find this attractive as they can burn calories with a low risk of injury
  7. Live longer – a Swedish study by the Karolinska Institutet led by Professor Anders Ahlbom, found that golfers have a 40% lower death rate, which corresponds to a 5-year increase in life expectancy (read Golf: A game of life and death – reduced mortality in Swedish golf players)

“The health benefits of golf are far greater than most of us seem to believe, and may have a much greater and broader impact on our wellbeing than we may have realised. Considering how well a good golf facility can appeal to people of all age groups, golf is a wonderful way to encourage exercise,” says Edwin Roald, EIGCA Council member.

In addition to the scientific research above, the NY Times ran a story in July 2015 following two studies which found there are many health benefits of golf: “A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the progress, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health.” (read this blog post).

Golf carts are not a fundamental part of the game

The use of golf carts is widespread and it can be all too easy to jump in a cart rather than take a leisurely stroll. While golf carts are useful in terms of enabling the elderly and people with disabilities to enjoy golf as a form of recreation, their extensive use has likely contributed, as much as anything else, to golf‘s apparent elitist image. Whenever possible, golfers should say no to a cart and play golf on foot, as it was meant to be played, and reap the rewards of the health benefits of golf.

Source: European Institute of Golf Course Architects

Join us this weekend and squeeze in a few more rounds before the end  of the year!

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, it’s not Christmas just yet, but it’s close because…

Mainlands Golf Course is turning 47!

We’re Celebrating with Two Golf Scrambles and whole day of festivities on November 10th! Celebrate with us because we wouldn’t be here without you! You could win FREE Greens Fees for 1 Year — see below!

2 TOURNAMENTS TO CHOOSE FROM!

7:15am – TRADITIONAL TOURNAMENT: 4 person BETTER Ball Scramble
12:15pm – AFTERNOON CRAZY 18 HOLE: 4 person BETTER Ball Scramble

(5 Holes will have a mini-game)

COST is to be $55.00 (+tax) per person for per tournament. Must be paid by 11/9/18. In Honor of Veteran’s Day $5 from every entry fee will be donated to Local VFW

  • Donuts, Danish, and light food for breakfast. Lunch is provided to all. LIVE MUSIC! ! !
  • Goody Bags for all golfers, with giveaways, coupons, balls, tees, candy, raffle tickets and
    MORE.
  • Best Ball format, 4 person teams, prizes for top 3 teams, closest to pin, longest drive, AND…
  • FREE BEER! ! Enough SAID
  • Fun for All, Prizes for most!
  • Golf trivia challenge + Putting Contest from 11am – 12:30pm.
  • OPTIONAL BONUS RAFFLE for FREE GREENS FEES FOR ONE YEAR!
    $5.00 Per Ticket – 50% of the Proceeds will go to the Local VFW
  • Always one of the best days of the year. We look forward to celebrating our birthday with
    you.

To Sign Up, Call the Pro Shop at (727) 577-4847 or email mgolfcourse@tampabay.rr.com

THE FINAL ONE… REALLY. 

Sunday Two Person Scramble

Try to Beat the Mike/Tyson Team! 

Sundays at 4 PM |  $15 per person

Price includes:

  • $3 that goes back for prizes
  • Top three teams get gift certificates. 
  • The pot is split 50%, 30%, 20%  for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 

Come in to the pro shop or call to sign up – (727) 577-4847 

This final format:

  • September 30 – Better Ball Scramble

We will post the results on our blog and Facebook page on Monday!

Well what a weekend for Golf!!  Tiger is back on top in a rather dramatic fashion.  People are going nuts and rightfully so.  The guy is beyond a doubt impressive.

The Saturday Scramble roared along with over 9 groups.  The weather has been mostly dry and the grounds crew is finally catching up giving the course the good ‘hair cut’ it has needed.

We had enough groups this week to have two flights with 3 teams in each winning prizes.

Flight A

1st Place – Steve, Stuart, Kevin, & Jim -13

2nd Place – Kenzie, Paul, Bama, & Jess -11

3rd Place – Chuck, Peter, Robert, Bob, & Kim -8

Flight B

1st Place – Matt, Johnny, John, & Brian -8

2nd Place – Kevin, Stan, & Jamie -7

3rd Place – Tom, Duke, Marlo, Dave -6

Closest to the Pin was Dan on Team #6

All of the winners have Prize money deposited into their Club Credit accounts and Dan has golf balls behind the counter from the closest to the pin.

The second to last Sunday Scramble started off with and bang and ended with a rather large clap of thunder, followed by some rather large and quite cold drops of rain.  Every team finished at least 9 holes so we did not issue rain checks.  The pot was $48 and that money carries over to next week.  Our next and last scramble of the year will be at 4pm and we are playing the regular 2 person, better ball scramble.  This summer has had a great run with only two cancelled days and two rain outs all season.  Considering all of the weird rain we got I have to say that’s pretty good.

So congratulations to all who came out and played.  I look forward to this coming Sunday Scramble giving it one last hurrah before the days start getting really short.

 

 

 

Hello Mainlands Golfers!  This weeks post is twice as informative as usual because I quite frankly forgot to do last weeks scores post.

So with out further uh-dew let’s talk about some winners.

The 9.8.18 Scramble Winning Team was . . .

1st Place A Flight : Jim, Whit, Steve, Kevin, and Stuart -10

2nd Place A Flight : Stuart, Frank, Bob, Charlie and Rex -8

3rd Place A Flight : Peter, Chuck, and Mrs.  No last name Given,  -8

1st Place in B Flight : Stan, David, Jamie, Duke, and Kevin -5

Closest to the Pin was Reggie on #6 Team

Congratulations to all of the Winners.  All of you have monies deposited into your club credit accounts and the Closest to the pin has golf balls behind the counter with his name on them.

The Sunday Two Person Scramble was cancelled two hours before it started due to excessive wetness.  Then it rained another inch for half an hour.  Yeah it was wet.  Rob Neighbor and Vaughn Rodriguez showed up to play and were obviously a tad put out.  This Weeks Honorable Mention goes to Rob and Vaughn, they clinch the MGC Sunday Two-Person Attendance Award.

 

For the Week of 9.15.18 the Saturday Scramble went off in some of the most dry conditions we have seen in the past two months.  It felt like a rare treat to have no mud in the middle of the fairway.  As such the scores were a bit lower.

And the Winning team was . . .

1st Place A Flight : Chuck Pete, and Robert -12

2nd Place A Flight : Stu, Frank, Rex, Carl, Charlie -10

3rd Place A Flight : Chuck, Jim, Steve, AJ, and Fred -8

1st Place in B Flight was Stan, David, Jamie, Duke, Kevin -5

Closest to the Pin was Al on Team #3.

Congratulations to all of the Winners, the Whiners and the rest of the Players.  All of you (well the winners), have monies deposited into your club credit accounts and the Closest to the pin has golf balls behind the counter with his name on them.

The Sunday Scramble was completely, utterly, unequivocally, righteously, awesome.  It was my personal favorite format the 4 Club Scramble.  The course was dry but daunting with only being able to use 1/3rd of your arsenal.  That being said the scores were rather low.  Mike and I played with Rob Neighbor and Vaughn Rodriguez.  They whipped us by three strokes and Rob didn’t even bring a putter!  By the end of the round Rob got really good putting with his pitching wedge, while Vaughn just SMASHED his driver to dominate the course.  They were the winning team with a 64.  It is always nice to see good people at the top of the leader board.

1st Place Team : Rob Neighbor and Vaughn Rodriguez -3

2nd Place Team : Christina & Michael Brogan -2

3rd Place Team : Rob Harris and Leroy Williams Even Par

Closest to the Pin was Stuart Hoff on #17

1st Place got $16.50, 2nd Place $9.90, 3rd Place $6.60 was the prize money.  So Rob and Vaughn got paid to play golf.  That makes them professionals now and they are ineligible for amateur competition.  How is that for an Attendance Award?

Finally This weeks Dishonorable mention goes to those who shall not be named.  But if you have 5 clubs in your bag and we have told you at least twice that it is a 4 club scramble that means you are either cheating, disqualified, or at least should check into some hearing aids.

Two more weeks of the Sunday 2 Person Scramble.  Next weeks format is Stableford Scramble.  I am taking suggestions for the final week format.  Maybe a Skins game?  Maybe another 4 Club?  Maybe we could merge them both into a bris(k) round of golf?