The biggest difference between Tour pros and amateurs is how far the pros hit. Despite the pros' prodigious length, their most compelling advantage compared with amateurs is their prowess in getting up and down from 30 yards. The pros manage to do so 46% of the time, while 10-handicap amateurs succeed only 11% and 30-handicappers less than 3%. "The short, partial-swing wedge is the high-handicap amateur's worst shot," Pelz said. Part of the problem is a poor feel for distance due to lack of practice. Even worse is hitting the ball fat or thin. Given the delicacy of the half swing, a fat hit might advance the ball only a few feet while a scull could shoot the ball 30 yards over the green. Even once they reach the green, amateurs could face their second-worst shot: long lag putting.
Monday, February 20, 2012
A recent article in The Republic about the early days of golf in
Gutta percha is a sort of natural rubber made from the coagulated sap of a certain trees that grows in
It was introduced to the West in 1843 by a man named William Mongomerie who showed Royal Society of Arts in London how the stuff could be heated and molded.
It was a big hit. Gutta percha was found to be an excellent insulator of electrical wires. The first submarine telegraph cables were wrapped in gutta percha insulation.
It was used in dental work, jewelry making, to form splints, to build furniture and to make pistol grips. Gutta percha canes and walking sticks were very popular in the 19th century.
In 1848 a gentleman with the elegant name of Rev. Dr. Robert Adams Paterson made the first golf balls from some gutta-percha packing material.
Before gutta percha came along golf balls were made by stuffing feathers tightly into a leather wrapping that was stitched closed.
They were called “featheries” and really weren't much good, especially when they got wet.
Various types of gutta percha balls pretty much ruled golf until the late 1898 when the rubber ball was popularized. It was made by wrapping rubber thread around a solid rubber core.
The modern ball came along in 1932 after the U.S. Golf Association standardized the weight and size of golf balls.
Reach Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8612.
Monday, February 20, 2012 at 04:33 PM
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Topics: REPUBLIC COLUMNISTS
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Recognized as one of the best championship courses in
A mere 20 miles to the west of
Golf National took three years to construct and in 1990 the Albatros stadium course opened for play. It was co-designed by Hubert Chesneau and von Hagge Design Associates (now known corporately as von Hagge, Smelek & Baril). The golf course was destined to become home to the French Open and also a centre for both national and international championships. It was also rumoured that a future Ryder Cup could be held here. The Open de France, which dates back to 1906, is mainland