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Golf: The Masters And The MacKenzie Myth

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“The club was conceived by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Their vision was to establish a national membership for the club. They took a $70,000 option on a 365-acre property called Fruitland Nurseries in Augusta, Ga. Jones and Alistair Mackenzie of Scotland designed the course.”

Doug at Golf Dash Blog lists little known facts about Augusta National however he like so many, many before him erroneously describe Alistair Mackenzie as a Scotsman. The good Doc did such a good job marketing himself as a Scotsman it’s understandable the younger generation of golf commentators often get it wrong.

For the record “Mackenzie” (correct spelling MacKenzie) was born at the family home in Normanton, near Leeds in Yorkshire, England.

I’ll take Doug’s word for it that. “Avid golfer Dwight (Ike) Eisenhower is the only U.S. president to have been a club member.” And given that you’ve got to be invited to become a member, and since several presidents have been keen golfers. How come “Ike” is the only one? Further evidence of their exclusivity?

John Huggan quotes several “pros and legends” giving their verdict on golf’s greatest tournament and it comes as a surprise to read the most unlikely fact(s) that Peter Allis said, “I was invited to the Masters many times. But I hardly ever went. In those days, Augusta was hard to get to. Plus, they didn’t really want the likes of me there. Not really. The caddies certainly didn’t want me because they figured I wasn’t going to do any good. And waiting for me were people like [Arnold] Palmer, [Ben] Hogan and [Sam] Snead. They were great players and they didn’t want me either. I was overwhelmed by the place.”

Peter Thompson who’s never been one to shy away from potentially controversial statements said, “The Masters is great entertainment but I’m not sure it brings out the best golfers.”

And Graeme McDowell 2010 US Open champion reminds us of the very demanding greens, “The Masters is all about putting. Last year I was third in the ‘greens in regulation’ statistical category and missed the cut.”

Now here’s one for the rules buffs to remind their less knowledgeable members

Kiwi golfer Michael Hendry was disqualified from the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open and early newspaper reports suggested he’d been DQ’d because his local caddie removed the flag as his ball from a chip shoot went into the hole.

What was not explained was that the caddie removed the flag as the ball was heading for the hole. Golf's Rule 17-1 states: "If the flagstick is not attended, removed or held up before the player makes a stroke, it must not be attended, removed or held up during the stroke or while the player's ball is in motion if doing so might influence the movement of the ball."

Link to Doug at Golf Dash Blog and John Huggan

Quote of the Day

"I felt at home in India because there's a lot of pigs in the street." – John Daly, comparing playing in India to his Arkansas roots.” – As reported by the Golf Channel

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