Golf has been played at Carnoustie Golf Links since the early 16th century, and within that time it has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most challenging links courses. Carnoustie had previously hosted The Open on seven occasions, before committing to be the host venue of The 147th Open this year.
With a stellar field and many of golfs top players in contention on final round Sunday, one players consistency was the key to capturing the event. Francesco Molinari of Italy did not card a single bogey Saturday or Sunday at the Open. He finished with one of the greatest performances in Open history, recording a final-round 69 in difficult conditions to win the Claret Jug by two shots over Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele.
"I knew it was going to be tough," said Molinari. "I knew everyone was going to struggle a little bit and I could use it to my advantage."
The winds at Carnoustie had the leaderboard swirling all day around its eventual champion. Molinari entered the day three shots out of the lead following a 5-under 66. But his nine pars in a row on the front nine weren't getting much attention as birdies and bogeys and doubles happened all around him. At one point, six players were tied for the lead at 6 under. Molinari, though, continued with his steady round, hitting a safe tee shot down the right side of the 18th fairway and stuffed his wedge inside Tiger Woods to birdie the final hole and slam the door. Paired with Phil Mickelson in the final round of the 2013 Open at Muirfield, it was now his turn.
"To look at the names on that Claret Jug," said Molinari." It's the best golfers in history, and to be on there, it's incredible. From someone like me coming from Italy, not really a major golfing country, it's been an incredible journey."
Last year, the National Golf Foundation reported that the number of golfers in America was near 25 million. Yet, it had also been reported that an astonishing 70% have never been fitted for clubs. To me, those numbers don’t add up. Having clubs that suit your needs can help in numerous ways. Clubs that cater to you not only make a huge difference towards improving your golf game but can also aid with ability issues as well.
At first, most people can be a little intimidated by club fitting. After all, how many people can understand what this chart means?
To do a custom fitting you don’t really have to. You can simply leave that to the professionals. They will help explain where you are at and set you up with clubs that will help you get to where you want to be. In this day and age personal fitting is almost necessary in becoming a high caliber player. Club fitting technology is golf’s great new way for improvement.
One of America’s 100 Best Club fitting organizations, “Cool Clubs” founder Mark Timms has this to say about clubfitting, “The thought among average golfers is, ‘I really don't need to do that,’ But the reality is, the benefit for high-handicappers is more than for scratch players. I can probably drop a 20-handicapper five shots through a proper fitting."
In addition to golf club fitting being a critical step towards improvement, it can also help preventing pain. In an interview with one of the nation’s top 100 Best Clubfitters, Dana Upshaw, says one fitting took a client from playing nine holes a week in pain to 18 holes a day pain-free. His client had been using outdated clubs that were hurting his wrists. All it took was a simple switch to more forgiving irons with graphite shafts and better grips and it transformed his entire attitude about the game. "Fitting isn't always about hitting the ball longer, higher or with more spin, " Upshaw reveals, "sometimes you make someone's life more enjoyable by doing little things that make a big difference."
Still don’t think you’re due for a club fitting? Consider that there are 498 adjustable settings on the 12 drivers named to this year's Golf Digest Hot List. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a general understanding of what that means and to know how to adjust your clubs if needed? Every golfer’s body and swing are unique. Players’ height, arm length, hand size and swing speed all determine how golf clubs should be designed and fitted. With demo days now being held all over the country where you can try out the latest clubs and get your set custom built on the spot, it’s time to stop with the excuses.
What are you waiting for?
Kaneohe Bay View Golf Course, or simply referred to as, “Bay View”, is a pleasant, executive length course which offers somewhat demanding holes with impressive views. Most all the holes are well kept from tee boxes to fairways to greens, many of them with elevation changes that will challenge your club selection skills. It’s definitely a great place to go to work on that Phil Mickelson short game you’ve been dying to hone in on. The course overall has a very peaceful, serene feeling. Whether out on the course or just practicing on their multi-level practice range it gives you a nice, calming feeling…opposed to the typical standing-in-line-until-a-stall-opens type scenario that some other Oahu ranges can be subject to. The best thing is that golf at Bay View can be booked for just $45.00!
Another popular course on Oahu’s East Side is Olomana Golf Links. In my opinion this course is similar to Bay View just on a greater scale. It’s a regulation, 18 hole par 72 with a fascinating backdrop of the Ko’olau Mountains. Its challenges include a water hazard on almost every hole on the front 9, inside of which though are thousands of beautiful floating water lilies. My guess is so you’ll have something nice to look at while retrieving your water ball. So before booking for Olomana you may want to consider hitting up the practice range over at Bay View and prepare your iron game. Olomana also offers round-trip transportation to and from your Waikiki hotel, making it all the more convenient if you don’t have a rental car on island.
At this picturesque Championship Course the Pacific Ocean can be seen from every hole, and if you’re lucky enough to experience it on a clear day, you’re able to enjoy views of nearby islands Maui and Molokai. The coastline along this area of Oahu is probably one of the most favored and sought out by tourists that are visiting. This is possibly the most challenging of the three courses, with well placed bunkers and wind that is generally a factor late in the day. This course is always in excellent condition regardless of its busy play.
For more about golf on the East Side of Oahu. . .
Today I am pleased to announce the reopening of the much awaited Kona Country Club Ocean Course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Kona C.C. first began renovating its “makai” course in May of 2013, making improvements such as updated bunkers, repaved cart paths, leveled fairways, improved tee boxes and new landscaping all throughout the course. I had the privilege of touring the course last week and conditions were terrific. As if the gorgeous mountain views and holes bordering the Pacific Ocean weren’t already enough, the greens and fairways are currently in the best shape I’ve ever seen them.
Kona Country Club will also be welcoming a new General Manager, Lee Kagawa, who was formerly the General Manager of Makalei Golf Club. If you happen to see Lee be sure and give him a warm aloha!
For more information about Kona C.C. or rates please click below.
Hawaii welcomes back the NFL as they have their Annual All-Star Game this Sunday, the 31st, that will be held at the Aloha Stadium. The Pro Bowl has been played in Hawaii for more than three decades, and the two teams will be drafted and captained by two hall of famers, Jerry Rice (winning 2014 Pro Bowl captain) and Michael Irvin (winning 2015 Pro Bowl captain).
The Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell refers to Hawaii as his “Paradise in the Pacific”, so before the Pro Bowl why not sneak in a round and enjoy some of the beautiful courses our paradise has to offer?
If you are visiting the islands and looking to play some of Oahu’s finest courses at killer discounts then this is your week. We’re offering additional specials to our already remarkably low rates. Some of our best deals include: Rainforest Course Ko’olau Golf Club anytime for $99, or Twilight Special at Oahu’s highly popular Turtle Bay Fazio Golf Club and much more!
To learn more about our NFL Pro Bowl Specials this week: