With hockey season done we turn our attention to the links, and a bi-weekly column from Chilliwack Golf and Country Club lead instructor Jennifer Greggain. Greggain has played professionally for over 10 years and has tons of insight to offer.
There are several stories, controversies and new products to keep an eye on in the golf world in 2013. Here are a few that top my charts:
Last season, the US Golf Association and R&A announced the imminent rule change to ban the anchoring of a putter to the body while taking a stroke. This changes the game for players like Adam Scott and Ernie Els who carry ‘long’ or ‘belly’ putters in their bags.
The rule won’t take effect until 2016, but with big names claiming big stakes on both sides of the debate, this will surely be a heated issue this season. One of our customers commented, ‘If they are banning these putters, then they must work. And if they work, I want one before they’re gone.’
Fair enough, and he bought one that day.
In 2012, TaylorMade launched the new RocketBallz line, with a bold guarantee of extra yardage. And with the most adjustable driver on the market, the R11S, how could TaylorMade top itself?
Piece of cake.
TaylorMade looks to break records again this season with the launch of the new RocketBallz Stage II, RocketBladez line ups, and the new R1 driver. The claim for 2013 is an average distance increase of 27 yards (17 from the 2012 improvements plus another 10).
Are you kidding me?
Why didn’t I keep that a secret?
Lydia Ko is an up-and-comer topping my chart as the biggest thing to hit the golf world since Tiger Woods.
At age 15, Ko broke the record of youngest player ever to win an LPGA tour event, capturing the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open at the Vancouver Club in August.
While still maintaining her amateur status, she has claimed victory at three professional events since 2012.
She nearly claimed a fourth at the 2013 ISPA Handa Women’s Australian Open in February, where she fired an astounding first round -10, 63.
The Korean-born girl now calls New Zealand home.
The big question now is when will she turn pro? When she does, she will then join the likes of Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson, who started their LPGA careers before their 16th birthdays.
The bigger question to be answered from my perspective is, how many records will Ko shatter before she learns how to drive a car?
Tiger vs. Rory. I love a good ol’ fashioned rivalry, just like everyone else. The Official World Golf Ranking kicked off the 2013 season with Rory McIlory at the top, and Tiger Woods biting at his heels at number two.
By claiming victory last week at the 2013 Bay Hill Invitational, while Rory stumbled in the starting blocks, Tiger has now regained the number one position.
Fueling even more controversy, Nike signed McIlroy to a hefty contract this year that has been speculated to exceed that of Woods.
Many analysts are calling McIlroy the new face of Nike as he joins the ranks of one of the highest paid athletes in sports.
Who will eventually surge ahead on the World Rankings? Who knows, but hats off to Nike for signing the top two players in the world, and for making commercials that still make me laugh.
Contact Greggain at 604-798-9805 or send emails to Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com