Each week, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions. The only rule is: The question must be golf related.
In this edition, Dan Murphy, Alex Perry, Keel Timmins and Steve Carroll take to the tee…
Dan: My least favourite type of hole is the par 3 with an elevated tee, especially at exposed courses here in the UK. They are a lottery masquerading as ‘signature holes’. Yuck. What is you worst type of hole?
Alex: I love a par 3 with a raised tee box. How dare you sir. I fade the ball with the driver, so a par-4 dogleg right is generally my nemesis because unless I can cut the corner – which has its own risks – my approach will always be ridiculously long.
Keel: There’s this hole at my course that I simply cannot play. It’s a short downhill par-3, about 160 yards, but the green is probably no more than 20ft wide. There’s OB all down the right-hand side, and the green is protected by bunkers on both sides.
Miss the green by a yard, and you’re facing a treacherous bunker shot where you need to hit a high spinny flop to stop it on the green. Catch it slightly thin (which is my speciality), then you’re out of bounds.
I must have played that hole more than 200 times, and I still get sweaty palms whenever I’m on the tee. Being the 17th hole, it has the potential to ruin a round. I once walked off with an 11 after playing a bit of tennis with the bunkers.
Steve: Anything that has out of bounds on the left, as I have a tendency to hook the ball. As a lot of holes have this feature, I’m generally in quite a bit of trouble wherever I go…
Alex: The season is here! So I have an oldie but a goodie to ask you: Which golf course that you’ve never played before have you got your eye on for 2018?
Dan: I am determined to get myself to The Machrie, on the Isle of Islay in Scotland. This special links has been comprehensively re-designed by DJ Russell and I can’t wait to see it for myself.
Keel: It’s a boring answer but I think it has to be the Old Course at St Andrews.
Steve: There are so many, it would probably take me all year to play them but, if I can have just one, I’d opt for Shiskine. I’ve been trying for years, in vain, to play the Old Course and having seen pictures of those 12 holes on the Isle of Arran I think I’d be blown away at a layout that might be a bit easier to get on.
Keel: Is Jon Rahm on track to potentially being better than Sergio Garcia?
Steve: I’d be hugely surprised if Rahm doesn’t have a number of majors by the time he gets to Sergio’s age. He seemingly contends every week and appears to be tougher mentally than his compatriot. There are similar questions about his temperament but I feel he uses his anger to inspire him.
Alex: It’s a tough one because if you’d asked me in 1999 how many majors Sergio would have by the time he turned 30 I would have said four of five. I’m happy to stick my neck out in a similar manner for JR and say he will end his career with more majors than his compatriot.
Dan: Good question. The short answer is potentially yes because he is established as a genuine threat to win any tournament he plays in on the PGA Tour. It has taken Sergio (and just about anyone else bar Jordan Spieth) longer to get to that level in the post-Tiger era.
Steve: Three words from the PGA Tour, Live Under Par, caused a rather large fuss on social media and elsewhere this week. Given it was simply an advertising campaign, has golf become too packaged?
Alex: I think the campaign was excellent – bar the “live under par” bit which doesn’t quite work for me. I’m all for anything that gets golf out there to the masses in a positive light. Both the European and PGA Tours have spotted a massive opportunity with social media, and it looks like they’re going for it.
Dan: I think you answered your own questions when you said ‘large fuss on social media’. If the press used to be tomorrow’s fish-and-chip paper then I don’t know what that makes social media. I think we have all forgotten about it already and moved on to the next thing.
Keel: I did think it was a bit weird when I first saw it. Personally, I’m not that bothered about it but it certainly seems that they haven’t done their research, particularly when a fair chunk of their audience is in the UK.
Want to answer any of the questions asked in this edition of Fourball? Or want to challenge any of our team’s answers? Let us know in the comments below, or join in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.