41st Pakistan Open Golf Championship

The Pakistan Open Golf Championship teed off on Thursday with  Muhammad Shabbir shooting a -3 69 to lead the first round by one shot. The Islamabad based golfer, representing the Pakistan Navy, played the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Country and Golf Club starting on the 10th tee. He actually had six birdies on his card and rued the missed opportunity to lead by more.

“I could have done better. But my hitting at times was not up to the mark. I could have played six under. Playing conditions and fairways and greens are in a perfect condition. My objective on day two is to produce a far better performance than on day one,”

Just one shot behind is veteran  Muhammad Munir and he has plenty of  experience to tilt the contest his way over the 72-hole event.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk

China’s Star 11-Year-Old Golfer Ada Li

Ada Li is China youngest golfing prodigy and judging by her work ethic and her fathers backing she is really serious. Her golf equipment cost more than $3,000, also her father has purchased a 30-year golf club membership, costing thousands of dollars for each year, and on top of all that , coaching lessons that run around $50 a session. Now that is a serious financial commitment, what could a  young Kiwi talent do with that kind of backing. Perhaps it answers Philip Leishmans  questions about the lack of success in golfing NZ.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-golf-photos-2011-12#ixzz1hwYf9wlJ

Obama

It has been reported that President Obama Monday set a new personal one-year golfing record while serving as president. After golfing at a Marine Corps base Monday, Obama has so far totaled 32 golf outings this year, topping the totals in each of the first two years of his presidency. I personally didn’t think that was much of an effort, as I generally play around 16/20 rounds a month myself. Even my beleauged and stressed out Realator friend Kevin Wachter from Remax in Denver gets out more than that. From this photo it appears he would rather be addressing the crowd instead of the ball while on the green.

http://mediagallery.usatoday.com

Today is My Birthday

Well today is my birthday, and yes I will be out on the links, looking to shoot that elusive personal best. I have to admit that it is sometime ago since I lowered my personal best but feel that I have improved this year. Most of this improvement has come from watching videos from Paul Wilson from Revolution Golf. http://www.revolutiongolf.com/

Another interesting thing I found out is about You Tube, one of the blogs I follow now has a link to You tube to show a collection of their vids, give a whirl.

http://www.thegolfblog.com/2011/12/the-golf-blog-is-now-on-youtube.html

Golf 2011 for New Zealand

Golf for New Zealand in 2011 win wise was pretty empty. Unfortunately there were no signs of a win on any of the major tours around the world, and it was left to two Korean-born New Zealanders to fly the flag and bring a little recognition to New Zealand.

Lydia Ko attracted most attention with her outstanding displays around the world in amateur and professional events.

The 14-year-old Kiwi schoolgirl, ranked No 1 amateur in the world, started the year finishing second at the New South Wales women’s open and then fourth at the New Zealand women’s Open. She the followed that with wins in the Australian and New Zealand strokeplay championships and the New Zealand matchplay championship. Over in the United States Lydia finished first equal in the qualifying rounds of the US women’s amateur championship but sadly was eliminated in the second matchplay rounds.

Overall a brilliant effort for one so young, she certainly has all the talent required  to succeed at the top level, and look forward to seeing how she performs in 2012.

On the mens side, Danny Lee, who turned pro two and a half years ago has begun to show some of  the potential that made him the No 1 amateur in the world in 2008. He has finished the year in the top 25 on the US PGA Nationwide Tour and has earned his playing card for the main Tour in 2012 and he also retained his playing card on the European Tour, well done Danny.

For myself, the great challenge from Captain Tim yesterday fizzled out as he quit after nine holes (and was already three down) citing a bad head.It transpires that after dinner he imbibed a little too much Navy rum and succumbed on the couch overnight. Real Navy rum is distilled in the British Virgin Islands and has to be shown some respect. If you are interested it name is Pussers, and well worth a shot or two, but not before golf.

Christmas hangover

I have to admit to feeling a little sluggish this morning, spent a lovely Christmas day with friends and needed no rocking when I finally fell into bed. But, I am up bright and breezy this morning and am heading out to the links to tee it up at 0840. My friend and great golfing adversary Capt Tim has challenged me to a round, winner takes all.

Talking of winners taking all I have read about a company call Debitsuccess, they will pay your annual green fee and let you pay it back in installments, sounds like that could end up costing us golfers even more, I could not find out what the interest rates are, so if you are thinking of participating in this, remember the saying, buyer beware.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas to everyone, I trust you will all enjoy the holiday season, are you going to tee it up this Christmas morning ?

Have just heard that Robert Garrigus is going to change from that short putter of his and change to a long putter, maybe even a broomstick.

“To all my boys on tour I look forward to seeing everyone in palm springs! am gettin a bit antsy might be Hawii, with the long putter;

Just the fact that Robert is even thinking about changing the 28 ½-inch putter since he was 19, is good news for White Dragon Golf. His statement that it is time to change will encourage others to start thinking along the same lines, and we are here to help everyone who wants something special that will help them get the ball in the hole.

Robert Garrigus

bleacherreport.com

Luke Donald

Luke Donald has collected another award after his historic season earned him the Golf Writers Trophy for 2011. Luke was very happy to receive the vote from the writers, stating that there were others in the game who were in his opinion just as deserving.

Luke Donald (Getty ImagesLuke Donald  (Getty Images)

“Any award you win gives you a great amount of pleasure and for the Golf Writers to consider me as their player of the year means a lot, it really does,” Donald said. “These are the people who really understand golf and appreciate all that I have achieved this year.

“All the people in the running for the AGW award – Rory, Darren, the Solheim Cup team and the Walker Cup team – would have been worthy winners and therefore it is very gratifying to get the vote ahead of all of them. That means an awful lot to me.”

“It is a great feeling being given any award but to now be able to add the Golf Writers Award to that of the PGA Tour Player of the Year and the European Tour Race to Dubai Golfer of the Year, is something really special and something I will cherish. I look forward to actually receiving the award from the AGW in person and displaying it proudly on my mantelpiece at home.”

Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy tied for second place, while the European Solheim Cup team, captained by Alison Nicholas, took fourth place in the annual poll of members of the Association of Golf Writers.

Rory McIlroy who pushed Luke all the way in the Race to Dubai as it went down to the final tournament, said:

“It has been an amazing year for me but as I said in Dubai, Luke deserves to be the Number One in our game this year. It is very satisfying to be mentioned alongside Luke, Darren and the Solheim team by the Golf Writers.”

For the ladies, Alison Nicholas, whose team produced an amazing comeback to pip the Americans at Killeen Castle for the Solheim Cup, said:

“I would like to congratulate the guys for their outstanding performances during 2011 and am delighted the European Solheim Cup team was judged alongside them. It proves the strength of men’s and women’s professional golf in Europe at present and highlights the young and fearless talent that is coming through. Our own next challenge will be to win the Solheim Cup for the first time in the USA in 2013.”

Golf in Godzone

I have just read Stan Southerlands blog, about the state of New Zealand golf. http://www.voxy.co.nz/blogs/stan-sutherland.

He was commenting about Philip Leishman, New Zealands leading media man on golfing matters, who wrote in his blog, July 12, 2010.

“I was a bit surprised at the criticism directed at NZ Golf recently from former National coach Mal Tongue. Mal, nice guy as he is has a particular issue with NZ Golf and its administration. It was well known that he had acrimonious break up with NZ Golf and their management back in 2004 when he staged a mass walkout with other coaches on a day described by some as the blackest day for amateur golf in this country.” http://www.thegolfclub.co.nz/blogs/phillip-leishman/in-my-opinion

It concerns the bust up Mal Tounge had with NZ Golf and its administration. Mal had coached Michael Campbell in his amateur days and was unhappy at the way things were being run. Mal writes in the Pacific Golfer, 

“Helping the mind climb the mountain” he goes on to say, “The (NZ) game is not in robust good health and it is reflected in the fact Danny Lee is our only player ranked inside the world’s top 200  and no other Kiwi features in the top 450. For that to change there has to be a massive mind shift.”

Philip Leishman replies,

Seems like along time ago and I’ll have to take Mal’s word for it. “For us to go forward as a golfing nation and have players featuring among the top 100 in the world – remember, we once had five with that status…”

Five! And now we’ve got two and they are both amateur ladies; Lydia Ko at number one and Cecilia Cho at number three.

The reason that the two ladies are where they are in the golf rankings is in their mindset, and that mindset is not Kiwi, it is the work ethic of their Asian parents that has been instilled in them. Maybe Mal was right in 2004, that something at the top had to change for New Zealand golf to move forward. I have seen a lot of talent here, but somewhere along the line it does not seem to flourish.

It is the same with Governments, the players change but the old administration does not, so nothing really changes.