In this day and age we seem to be more time poor than ever, yet we have so much choice with how to spend our leisure time.  As golfers we need to all be doing our bit to promote our game to ensure other people can experience all the benefits of our truly great game.

  1. The Game for life – From the moment I could walk, I was swinging a club and hitting balls around the back yard of my grandparent’s place.  We constantly see  people of all ages playing golf from the cradle to the grave.
  2. The Game that replicates Life – Highs and Lows, ups and downs, both golf and life have them all, and no matter how bad things seem, we push on and prepare for the next shot.  One shot or one moment makes our day, if you prepare properly and control your emotions you can achieve your goal in golf or life.
  3. The Game for all – Played by over 32 million people in over 190 countries, golf is an international language.  Golf is booming in emerging markets and a great game to socially connect with people who share a common interest.
  4. The Game that the government loves – Golfers live longer and are happier people.   Golf related ACC injury claims are one of the lowest – not even featuring in the top ten sports on ACC 2016 claims list. It is low impact on your body and a great way to stay fit and active.
  • 1: Rugby Union – $78,242,505
  • 2: Football - $38,295,109
  • 3: Fitness training/gym – $30,552,020
  • 4: Netball - $27,639,333
  • 5 Rugby league – $19,871,754
  • 6: Basketball - $18,896,045
  • 7: Mountain biking – $14 853,034
  • 8: Skiing – $16,461,223
  • 9: Jogging – $8,326,841
  • 10: Snowboarding – $6,533,251
  1. The Game of equality -  Golf is one of the fairest games and the multi facets of the game mean anyone can be great at certain aspects of the game, putting, chipping, pitching are all areas that require finesse and feel, with good technique and practice almost anyone can be competent in these areas.
  2. The Game of integrity – No referee, just a rule book and penalties that each golfer administers themselves.  Golf is a game that promotes honesty and respect amongst competitors, with players helping each other when a ball needs to be looked for, silence when a player is taking a shot and hand shakes at the end of the round.
  3. The Game for the family – More and more courses are now children and family friendly, the orchard 9 at the new Wainui Golf Course in Auckland is a great way a family can play golf together with each hole being about 100 meters in length. The family that plays together stays together.

Golf is one of the few unique sports where a Professional and an everyday weekend warrior can play together on the same course with no holding back, not only can you play the same course, you get 4 hours to discuss what makes the professional tick, almost every PGA tour event has a partnership Pro-am. This does not happen in many other sports as you simply get hurt or left behind, imagine playing full contact rugby with the All Blacks or racing a section of the tour de France with Chris Froom.

All sports are good but only golf is truly great!

By Dominic Sainsbury – General Manager PGA of New Zealand

I first met Peter Thomson many years ago when he was visiting New Zealand to attend the NZ Open.  At that time, we were reasonably new to the Magazine and the golf industry and were still getting to grips with some of the Industry Leaders. I had no real idea who Peter was when first introduced but was immediately struck by his presence and genuine warmth.  First impressions were very strong.

Some years later we were at the Australian PGA, at what was then the Hyatt at Coolum, and we were invited to the pre-event dinner.  We were chatting to Peter Senior were reintroduced to Peter.  Even though he – not unexpectedly – didn’t remember who we were, he very quickly caught on that we were from New Zealand and ran this Magazine.  He was elegant and very strong in character.  Every so often you meet someone and think “this person is special”- Peter Thomson was certainly one of those.

We have been watching the announcements over the last 3 years about his general health decline and it was of no surprise to be told of his death.  However, it was one of sadness and Golf is a lesser sport without him.

Peter Thornton has penned a superb obituary on Thommo so read inside for the full story.

Over the last couple of years, we have been reading a lot of newspaper articles on the use of land by golf courses from around the country and have been struck by the sheer simplicity and shallowness of reporting in many of them.  Except for the Chamberlain Park argument most of the journalists have failed to properly research the issues and write accordingly. In our opinion that is!

So, it was very refreshing to receive a well-constructed, balanced and knowledgeable piece on the place of golf clubs in our society and put some balance into the old argument surrounding the proper use of land.  Carl Fenton from New Zealand Golf Inc. has obviously put a great deal of thought into the writing of this and has done his research!!

Nice to read some balance into this emotive argument.

The US Open is done for another year, and again it leaves carnage in its wake.  Personally – Shinnecock Hills worked for me as one can get a bit tired of the +20 type winning scores with the repetitiveness that springs from that. Course conditions of course vary with the weather but by and large the conditions are the same for the entire field.  Some handled it better than others!