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Golf: Shall We See The Like Again?

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Walk into any pro shop around the world...Walk into the office of any golfing nut.
I wouldn't hesitate to argue that the image above- Ben Hogan's historic second shot to the 72nd hole of the 1950 US Open at Merion- would adorn the wall of fifty percent of those venues.”

Bradley Hughes’ recent blog asks the question, “In the wake of the great distance debate that is circling the golfing headlines. How would this shot- this photo- hold up in court IF Hogan in fact had a seven iron in his hand?”

Bradley cites another case, that of, “Jack Nicklaus' one iron into the 71st hole of the 1972 US Open at Pebble Beach?” To support his thought that, “Golf has an amazing history. A history we are losing and that is being tainted.
Is the way golf has formed itself now and is shaping up to be in the future destroying these historical moments such as Hogan's Merion and Nicklaus' Pebble Beach?

The reason we as golfers all look at the Merion photo with such admiration is in part because of the club in hand. A difficult long iron approach when the degree of difficulty was high and the tournament outcome was all on the line.”

And now thanks to Bradley I am forced to ask myself, having watched professional golf over very many years thanks to television. What iconic images will capture people’s imagination when they reflect on what they’ve seen in the 50 years since Hogan’s famous shot?
On the upside. Tom Watson's chip in at the 71st hole of the 1982 U.S. Open?
On the downside Dustin Johnson nearly making a hole-in-one at 382-yard par 4 at the Plantation Course at Kapalua during the Sentry Tournament of Champions?
For me the sad news is that DJ’s driving distance signalled the end of the professional game as we ‘oldies’ have enjoyed watching.

Given the obscene lengths now achievable, think Wilco Nienbar’s 439 yard drive. In 50 years time the kids will be asking their golfer grandfather, “What’s a 1 iron pop?”

Link to Bradley Hughes

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