Ian Poulter: Some History

•September 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Career to date:

Ian Poulter took his first golf shot when he was just 4 when his father, Terry gave him a cut down 3-wood to use.  His brother, Danny, is also a professional, as an assistant at Chadwell Springs, Ware, Hertfordshire.

Poulter turned professional at 19 and after joining the European tour via Qualifying School, Ian was Rookie of the Year  in 2000. His first title on the main tour was the Italian Open in 2000. He also won the same event in 2002 to go with titles at the Moroccan Open in 2001, The Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open and the Nordic Open in 2003. In 2004, Poulter achieved his fifth consecutive year with a win when he won the Volvo Masters Andalucia at Club de Golf Valderrama. This victory meant that Ian had won over 5 million Euros in his European Tour career.

His best result to date was achieved when Poulter took second place at the Open at Royal Birkdale, his best finish at a Major.

As for his best shot; well it has to be his hole in one at last years Masters which I hope you watched at the start of this blog.

Controversy

In January 2008, Poulter was quoted as saying in the March issue of the United Kingdom version of Golf World magazine “The trouble is I don’t rate anyone else,” He continued, “Don’t get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven’t played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger.”

Many commentators jumped on these quotes to cast Poulter in a bad light but he is a confident man looking to compete with the very best and openly admits to speaking his mind.

To go with the Golf World interview he also posed nude with only a golf bag to spare his modesty.

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Fashion

Poults has worn some very “interesting outfits” at times around various golfing circuits. Check out one such example.

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He has launched his own clothing line as well. Make up your own mind if you think he is onto a winner or not by clicking onto his fashion website. Personally, I’m not so sure and maybe he should stick to his day job.

What Next?

Ian is one of a number of very talented British golfers that are close to winning that first elusive major by a Brit in ten years. He was a huge success at the last Ryder Cup so hopefully it is just a matter of when for the young man from Hertfordshire.

One last thing….

Check out his website, www.ianpoulter.com. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry

Shoot Your Age

•September 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In golf, an “age shooter” is a golfer whose score matches or beats his age. For example, a golfer of age 70 who shoots a 70 or better. What are the records relating to age-shooters in golf? Here are a few.

The age-shooting records that follow take into account only those rounds played on courses of 6,000 yards or more in length.

Best Score

The overall record for youngest golfer to shoot his age belongs to Bob Hamilton, a golf pro who shot his age of 59 at Hamilton Golf Club in Evansville, Ind., in 1975.

Best Scores on the Pro Tour

The golfer who holds the age-shooting record on golf’s major professional tours is Walter Morgan, playing the Champions Tour. In 2002, at age 61, Morgan shot a 60 in the AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship.

On the PGA Tour, the record belongs to Sam Snead. Slammin’ Sam fired a 67 at the Quad Cities Open in 1979, when he was 67 years old. Then he set a new record a day later, shooting 66.

The Oldest

The oldest golfer to shoot his age was 103-year-old Arthur Thompson of Victoria, British Columbia. Thompson was playing the Uplands Golf Club in Victoria when he accomplished the feat in 1972.

Best Aggregate

How about the record for beating your age by the most strokes? OK, that’s Ed Ervasti, who in 2007, at age 93, posted a 72 at Sunningdale Golf & Country Club (Old Course) in London, Ontario.

On the pro tours, the most-strokes-below-age record is held by Joe Jimenez (who in 1991 set a record for youngest age shooter on pro tours – with a 63 at 65 on the Champions Tour – later bested by Walter Morgan). Jimenez shot a 62 during the 1995 Ameritech Senior Open on the then-Seniors Tour when he was the ripe old age of 69.

Most Consecutive

And finally, the record for most times shooting your age belongs to T. Edison Smith of Moorhead, Minn. Frank Bailey of Abilene, Texas, had long held this record, matching or beating his age 2,623 times, from age 71 until age 98. But in 2006, Smith passed Bailey and continues on with the record.

Meet me here….

•September 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hello people

In case you were unaware – I have set up a Twitter account. I’m still not quite sure how this works so you may have to bear with me whilst I get used to it. I promise that I will never Tweet about what flavour jam I am having on my toast of what kind of wax I like to put on the car – I’ll only write interesting stuff….. although whether you will find it interesting is your problem :o)

I have also set up a Facebook group but I am still working on this so please bear with me.

Anyway, click on the links above to find the accounts…


OTT on Facebook OTT on Twitter

Golf in the Olympics?

•August 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

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Recently the IOC granted Olympic status to both Rugby and Golf and it has started an argument with friends and family ever since. I am in the camp that says that there is a case for Amateur Golf to be in the Games but not professional golfers that earn millions of dollars already. What about tennis, football I hear you cry! They earn millions too and are in there. I believe that these sports should be thrown out as well.

The Pinnacle

It is not the money these athletes earn that as to why I am against its inclusion as you could make a case for other sports not to be included. The main reason is that an Olympic Gold medal should be the pinnacle of achievement in their sport. Using tennis as an example, I am certain that the top players love the experience of being there and competing but you can’t tell me that they would rather win an Olympic gold medal than Wimbledon. How disappointed was Murray, really when he got knocked out in the first round last year at Beijing? He seemed to cope fine when he had the US Open to enjoy in the limelight some two weeks later.

Another “black mark” is that an awarding of Olympic status is for the purpose of increasing the exposure and aid the development of the sport. Squash and Karate, sports that lost out to Golf and Rugby, don’t have the spotlight that golf already has.

Finally, Golf “Swifter, stronger, higher.” Golf, really?

Why Not in the Olympics?

In response to questions raised about the validity of golf, IOC President, Rogge said: “This is the young generation that will be at its peak in 2016. The same question was raised time and time again when tennis and ice hockey were introduced. “Ask [top tennis players] Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, ask the NHL players, ask the NBA basketball players. They all want to go to the games – they are absolutely not concerned about that.” The fact that he says they all want to go the games rather than it would be the pinnacle of their careers backs up the argument that yes they would love the experience, who wouldn’t, but it would not mean more to the golfers than winning The Masters or The Open!

Amateur Golf

There has been a good point made that Golf in the Olympics will help encourage the sport to be less elitist and make it more accessible to under privileged children not only in this country but in many other countries. This is a fair point and it steers me to why I think Amateur golf in the Olympics would be the better option.

Winning an Olympic medal would be the pinnacle of an Amateur’s career and the Amateur status alone is what the Olympics were founded upon. Even though amateurism is not as relevant as it was when Pierre de Coubertin brought the modern Olympics Games back to the fore let’s not forget it completely. Golf would still get worldwide exposure and the skills of the best amateurs in the world are nearly as strong as many of the professionals.

The Nearly Men of Asian Golf

•August 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So Y E Yang finally broke the jinx of no Asian born major winner in the history of the men’s game.

Three forgotten golfers came close but no cigar. Do you remember them?

Lu Liang-Huang (born 10 December 1936), or “Mr. Lu” as he came to be known to British golf fans, was a successful Taiwanese golfer who won several important tournaments on the Asian and European circuits between 1959 and 1979.

Lu was born in Taipei. He became the first winner of the Hong Kong Open in 1959, the tournament devised by former Australian Open champion Eric Cremin and featuring, among others, Bob Charles and Kel Nagle. He would become a regular winner on the Asian circuit (as it was known before the establishment of the formal Asian Tour in 1995), winning his own country’s national Open on two occasions. They also played on the Japan Golf Tour, winning eight times.

His finest year was 1971, when he finished runner-up to Lee Trevino in the The Open at Royal Birkdale, then the following week won the French Open at Biarritz. In 1972, he and countryman Hsieh Min-Nan teamed up to win the World Cup at Royal Melbourne, Taiwan’s sole victory in the event.

Isao Aoki

Aoki is one of Japan’s most successful golfers. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

Aoki was born in Abiko, Chiba, Japan. He was introduced to golf while caddying at the Abiko Golf Club as a schoolboy. He turned professional in 1964. He went on to win more than fifty events on the Japan Golf Tour between 1972 and 1990, trailing only Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki on the golfers with most Japan Golf Tour wins list. He won the Japan Golf Tour money list five times in six years: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981. He is eighth on the career money list (through 2008).

In 1983, Aoki won the Hawaiian Open on the U.S. based PGA Tour and the Panasonic European Open on the European Tour. He also won the prestigious World Match Play Championship in England in 1978, which was not a European Tour event at that time, and picked up a win on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Aoki played 165 times on the PGA Tour between 1974 and 1999, primarily from 1981 to 1990. His best finish in a major championship was a second place finish to Jack Nicklaus (by two strokes) in the 1980 U.S Open. That finish, combined with his recent record in Japan and around the globe, meant that Aoki would finish 1980 ranked third in the unofficial World Golf Rankings, a position he would hold at the end of 1981.

Tze-Chung

At the 1985 U.S Open he scored the first albatross/double-eagle in U.S. Open history and tied the record low scores for the championship at that time after 36 holes (134) and 54 holes (203), but he fell away in the final round and finished tied for second, one shot behind Andy North. His fourth round included a quadruple bogey eight that featured a chip shot that he hit twice in one swing. This became the most well remembered moment in his golf career, and he is sometimes referred to as “Two Chips” Chen.

He won the 1987 L.A Open on the PGA Tour.

So all great players but Yang will be remembered for a very long time because of what he did on Sunday and against who!

Golf Magazines: Time for a Change?

•August 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m sure you have read one of the many golfing magazines out there in circulation, in fact you may be a subscriber to one of them, but has the time for these magazines ended in the digital world?

Same old, same old

The magazines all cover current news, offer advice on which course to play, conduct interviews with the stars but all of this can be accessed on-line. Some people do not have access to the Internet or prefer to thumb through a magazine but is this enough to keep loyal readers coming back for more.

Do these publications simply continue with what they feel comfortable doing rather than challenge their readers with thought provoking articles about the state of the game? In my opinion they don’t and simply carry on doing what they did some ten or twenty years ago.

Need for Change?

Golf, like any sport, needs to attract the next generation of golfers and people interested in the game in order to remain a successful sport not just in this country but throughout the world. The people that run the game need to think about how to promote golf to youngsters, including girls. Golf can be played by anyone up to the age of eighty, which is an advantage it has over many other more “strenuous” games. It has to generate interest by engaging people in new and exciting ways through various media platforms.

I want to see publications, whether on-line or not, engage with their readers by asking them to think about what is happening in the World of Golf. For example, one blog I read recently challenged whether Tiger was a good role model for children because of his swearing on the golf course and the fact that he never signs autographs before the start of his round, not even for children. Whether you agree with it or not, it challenges the reader to think about the question more.

As long as people enjoying reading newspapers and magazines there will still be a place for the more traditional format but these publications must not rest on their laurels and continue producing the same old interviews and stories in the same old format.

Golf publications need to get with the times.

Sex Sells

•July 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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As my attention turned to Women’s golf with the start of the Solheim Cup,  I read an interesting article about whether using sex as a marketing tool in the women’s game is good for it or not? And it did get me thinking.

The W7

The Wilhelmina Seven or W7 was born last year when Wilhelmina Models, the global beauty factory that counts Rebecca Romijn, Fergie (no I haven’t heard of them either) and countless runway models as clients, decided to break into women’s golf. The inspiration came when Dieter Esch, then the Wilhelmina chairman had the idea after attending an LPGA event a few years ago.

She recruited seven up and coming players that were not tied in with other companies and chose them because of their looks. Esch said, “Beauty is used to sell everything. Why should golf be different?” To the point, but to be fair a pretty good one.

She hoped that the endorsements would flow in as exposure flooded the golfing media but in the current economic climate, none have been secured.

“Not Cricket”

Eyebrows, in the conservative world of golf were raised. Why do we have to take our clothes off to get noticed was apparently said by one senior member of the LPG tour? The player did not want to be uncloaked.

Parmid, one of the W7 summed up the feeling of her colleagues when she said,  “The only reason this is an issue is because golf is a such a conservative, traditional sport.” (quote in Sports Illustrated)

With problems holding down sponsors for the current LPG tournaments, wrangling at the top levels of management within the LPGA hen surely anything, within reason, that gets new fans in is a good thing? The LPGA must, like all sports, look at ways they can create more interest in their sport and if no harm is being done then I can’t see what the problem is.

Cricket, brought in 20/20 cricket, which many cricket traditionalists or should I say “bores,” said was sacrilege but it needed to done in order to compete against other sports such as football. Much needed revenue for a ground around the country was injected enabling many clubs to survive. This is even more prevalent during a recession.

Embrace Change

There are many elements in golf that can be discussed at another time but the game, the men’s game included, must look to attract new fans and to do that the leaders need to look at non conventional ways of doing this.

So whether it Daly’s colorful troussers or Natalie Gulbis looking great in a cover shoot for FHM then I’m all for it. But then again, I may be biased.