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Geoff Ogilvy and the modern game


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John Huggan- GolfObserver.com
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"It was a whole new level of fun," he says, smiling at the memory. "You had to hit it well for the ball to go anywhere. The difference between a good hit and a bad one with a driver was about 40 yards. With a modern driver you can hit the ball anywhere on the face really. The difference is only about five yards. Only afterwards, when I had thought about it more, did I get depressed by all of that."


Indeed, the direction in which the modern game in general is headed has long been a concern for Ogilvy. Despite the flashy Puma gear he is contracted to wear on the course, underneath the logos beats the heart of an unabashed traditionalist. When he arrived at Augusta National earlier this year for his Masters debut, for example, he was appalled at what he found.

"I've read a few of Bobby Jones' books," he points out. "I don't think he'd be that flustered by the addition of length at Augusta. I think he'd have done the same, given the neglect of equipment by the USGA and the R&A. But there is no way he'd have grown rough. He'd have kept it 100 yards from trees to trees. And every blade of grass on the course would have been cut short.

"I mean, with the greens they have there, you don't need rough. They are always going to be firm. Which is what Jones wanted. His philosophy was, ?okay, you have 100 yards to hit into, you tell me where you want to go.' Move the pin ten feet and the other side of the fairway becomes the place to be. That's the aspect that has been lost. And if Augusta misses the point, what hope has golf got?"

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