Aussie golf fans are in for a treat at this year’s Australian Open, with a huge number of PGA tour pros committing to the event.
Former winners Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden and Greg Chalmers have all committed to their national Open to join the likes of world No. 2 Jordan Spieth, Australia’s US Masters champion Adam Scott, Englishman Lee Westwood and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke in the field for the November championship.
American Spieth, the hottest player in the world for most of 2015, is defending the title he won at The Australian Golf Club with a magnificent, closing 63 last year.
Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Craig Parry, Peter Senior, Peter Fowler, Peter Lonard will all be teeing it up this year as well as Presidents Cup players Steven Bowditch and Marc Leishman, along with US Tour regular Matt Jones, giving the Open one of the deepest fields in many years.
The 2015 Australian Open, the 100th staging of the national championship, will be played at The Australian Golf Club from November 26-29.
The Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
JASON DAY WINS DON AWARD
Golf star Jason Day has won The Don award for the most inspiring Australian sporting performance of the past 12 months.
Day overcame a battle with vertigo, even collapsing in the second round of the US Open before finishing in the top 10, and produced one of the greatest seasons in Australian golf history.
He won five times on the US PGA Tour, including a maiden major title in the US PGA Championship at a record 20-under-par and claimed the world number one ranking.
Awesome achievement Jason!
The 11th Presidents Cup begins today in South Korea, as the US team attempts to extend its winning streak to six.
The Americans have dominated this event since its inception in 1994, winning eight of 10 contests and tying the International team in 2003. The only time the Internationals defeated the US was a 20½ to 11½ thrashing in 1998.
This year’s edition features the top two players in the world: Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. They are playing on opposite squads, which could lead to a mouth-watering singles matchup between the two stars.
The two sides for 2015 are:
Jordan Spieth — Spieth is playing in his second Presidents Cup, after going 2-2 in 2013, he enters as golf’s best player and the favourite in every match he plays.
Bubba Watson — Watson, like Spieth, is playing in just his second Presidents Cup, after going 3-2 in 2011.
Jimmy Walker — The world’s 16th-ranked golfer is making his Presidents Cup debut at 36.
Zach Johnson — This year’s British Open champion is 7-6 in three previous Presidents Cup appearances.
Dustin Johnson — He went 1-3-1 in his lone Presidents Cup appearance in 2011. The Power Hitter could demolish someone in Match Play but his accuracy will be the key.
Patrick Reed — Reed, 25, is making his Presidents Cup debut. He won the Tournament of Champions in January but has failed to display much consistency throughout the season.
Rickie Fowler — Fowler is also making his Presidents Cup debut. He has impressed with three come-from-behind wins this year to climb into the top five in the world rankings.
Matt Kuchar — Kuchar is making his third Presidents Cup appearance and is 4-5-1 record. He has had five top 10s in his last nine starts.
Chris Kirk — Kirk is making his Presidents Cup debut.
Bill Haas — The captain’s son is 3-5-2 in his two previous Presidents Cup appearances. He made the team as a captain’s pick.
Phil Mickelson — Mickelson will be the only player to compete in all 11 Presidents Cup competitions when he tees it up Thursday.
J.B. Holmes — Holmes will make his Presidents Cup debut in relief of Furyk.
Jason Day — Day enters his third Presidents Cup among the world’s hottest golfers. He owns a pedestrian 4-4-2 record in the competition, but the world’s second-ranked player has won four of his last seven starts. The week off should have helped rejuvenate him, and the Internationals will need him to dominate if they have any chance of pulling off an upset.
Louis Oosthuizen — The 32-year-old South African has a 1-3-1 record and this is his second Presidents Cup appearance.
Adam Scott — Scott, 35, is coming off one of his most disappointing seasons to date. The Internationals need him to perform like the 2011-14 version of himself. Scott’s 12-15-3 in six Presidents Cup appearances.
Hideki Matsuyama — Matsuyama is making his second Presidents Cup appearance. He went 1-3-1 as a 21-year-old in 2013, but has since become one of the most consistent players on tour.
Branden Grace — Grace went 0-4-0 in his first Presidents Cup appearance, but he’s a more seasoned player this time around.
Marc Leishman — The 29-year-old Aussie is making his second Presidents Cup appearance after going 2-2-0 in 2013.
Anirban Lahiri — Lahiri is the first Indian-born player to compete in the Presidents Cup. The 28-year-old has seven worldwide wins.
Charl Schwartzel — Schwartzel enters his third Presidents Cup appearance with a 5-4-1 record.
Thongchai Jaidee — Jaidee, 45, is the oldest International to make his debut in the Presidents Cup.
Danny Lee — Lee, 25, will make his Presidents Cup debut after finally enjoying breakout season. The former no1 amateur in the world will be a hard match up.
Steven Bowditch — Captains Pick. This is Bowditch’s first Presidents Cup.
Sangmoon Bae — Captains Pick. This is Bae’s first Presidents Cup.
Hello all golf fans!
I am the new manager of the golf department at Sportsmart.
I’ve been involved in golf for the past 15 years, having started my golfing life at age 12 as a member of Long Island Golf Club in Frankston. I quickly became obsessed with the game and, getting better, spent all my free time playing and practicing. This eventually got me a plus figure handicap that I have kept for the past 10 years (and hopefully continue to keep!)
I have worked in many aspects of golf from a Club/Member environment to Greenkeeping and, more recently, at Drummond Golf, which allowed me to specialise in Club fitting and Club repairs as well as gain comprehensive product knowledge.
I am excited to be part of the team at Sportsmart Moorabbin, and am available from Tuesday to Saturday to offer advice on all your golfing requirements.
Golf Manager, Josh Cassap
by Golf Manager, Mic Walsh
Are you thinking about getting into golf? Or wanting to upgrade your equipment? Package deals are a very good way of getting a complete set for a great price. There are many options in package sets, and here is a few tips on getting what you need to suit your game.
The starter set is usually the cheapest deal. It’s great for people who are getting into golf for the first time. So, you’ve been to the range and hit some balls with your friends and are looking to get out on the course. This set is for you. Price wise, about $300-$500 will give you a full set of clubs, putter and bag. The difference in this set compared to the more expensive sets is that the driver will most likely no be titanium. It would be a ‘Ti Matrix’ driver which is only partly titanium, and does not have the power of a full titanium driver. You will get less distance and less forgiveness from this type of driver. The other steel shafts will be of a lesser quality too. This does not mean they will not perform; it just means that they are less consistent than finer quality steel shafts. But, if you just want to go out for a hit from time to time, this package will suit you fine.
When you want to take your game to the next level, you may want to invest in an intermediate set. The individual components of these clubs are of a higher quality. It will usually include a full titanium driver, and with better quality steel and graphite shafts, this type of set gives an intermediate golfer the ability to play to a higher level of consistency. The gapping in distance between the clubs will remain the same and the quality of the graphite shafts in the driver and fairway woods will keep the ball longer and straighter when hit well. This is the set for the person who plays regularly but still does not want to spend a fortune. Price wise $500-$700.
Lastly, there is the premium quality set. This is for seasoned golfers looking for the best quality and best performance. These sets are usually made by the biggest companies in golf. The advantage in buying these sets is that these companies invest millions in R&D every year. They make their equipment to a high standard from a high grade material, so this sort of package will last longer and play better for all types of golfer. Better clubs have the ability to make better golfers. They tend to be more forgiving so they make your bad shots better. The graphite shafts in the woods will resist twisting more and keep the club head straighter through impact, producing straighter shots and less time in the trees. This is not a guarantee, but it will lessen the effect of slicing and hooking just by design. These sets look visually better and usually have a better quality putter and bag. Price point is starting at $800 and going up to over $1000. The big advantage in this sort of set is that, if you were to buy these quality clubs individually, you would be looking at spending up to $2000 or more in a lot of cases, so the saving can be substantial.
Whatever set you are looking for, we can help you choose and take you through the options in store. We can let you hit the options too in our fitting net.
To help you choose, here are 3 packages:
- Shark Attack XP package, $349 – Perfect for starters
- Wilson Deep Red package, $599 – The next level set
- Callaway Warbird package, $999 – Premium quality package
Meet our Golf Department Staff
Here at Sportsmart Golf we have a passionate team dedicated to assist you with all your golfing needs and help you select the clubs that will take your game to the next level. Below is our experienced Golf Department team member profiles.
Mark is the ‘senior’ member of the Sportsmart Golf Department team who is local & began playing golf as a 13 year old at Cheltenham and Sandringham golf courses. His passion for golf still remains strong & is still keen on pursuing that perfect shot or the holy grail of golf that is the “hole in one”. Mark has been a member of both Keysborough & Rossdale Golf Clubs and these days is a regular guest at Southern, Spring Valley, Kew & Patterson River golf courses. Mark works Mondays and Thursdays afternoons.
Tom began playing golf in his mid to late teens as a way of both relaxing and enjoying the competitive side of sport. Throughout his years playing, Tom has tried to fit in as much golf as possible, but with work and university taking much of his time, he manages to get to the driving range 1-2 times a week and play more out on the course during the holiday times. Tom is a keen overseas traveller and although he thought golf was a way of balancing out his other various sporting activities, he has realised that it has become his favourite sport to play. Tom works the cricket department on Fridays and golf on Sunday.
Ben is a member of the Yarra Yarra golf club and plays off a handicap of 12. He loves being a member at one of Victoria’s great sand belt courses and considers Victorian golf courses some of the best in the world. He is passionate about playing and watching the game, especially his favourite golfer Phil Mickelson. Being a lefty himself, you can understand why. He is a hard worker that also spends time in the cricket department as well. He has been working at Sportsmart for nearly 3 years. Ben works the Friday afternoon shift as well as some weekend shifts.
I am the manager of the Golf Department and have been in golf for about 30 years. From starting out cleaning clubs at Kew GC, I have developed a passion bordering on obsession for the game of golf and especially the equipment side. I have worked at Kingston Heath, Spring Valley, Drummond Golf, Golfworld and most recently Golf Clearance Outlet. I have been fitting golf equipment for the past 15 years and although I’m not a professional golfer, I have a very thorough understanding of the golf swing and am adept to great advice on the swing and the equipment you may need to improve your game. I have conducted many demo days in the past and am happy just to talk to golfers about what they may need. My golfing product knowledge spans across all brands and I try to recommend the best product for your game, not just the ones we want to sell. I am available for fittings or just a chat Tuesday through to Saturday.
Now that you know a little bit more about us, feel free to come in and see what we have to offer your game. We have a special this week on the Nike Slingshot Package, for those looking to get into golf or to update your old equipment, this package will give you the latest in terms of forgiveness as well as being a premium quality set that will last the distance.
Golf Manager, Mic Walsh
2015 sees The Open return to St Andrews for the 28th time.
Since 1995, The Open has been hosted at the home of golf every 5 years and is always one to remember. This year will see the new breed of golfers take the stage. All eyes will be on the new young guns of golf to lead the way. Jordan Speith, who has been in hot form winning the Masters, the US Open and the John Deere Classic just this week, and Rickie Fowler who, after his victory at the Players Championship, has just won the Scottish Open. World number 1 Rory McIlroy has withdrawn due to an ankle injury.
Although the new breed of golfer will be the favourites, this tournament is anybody’s to win. The Golf Champion Trophy, or Claret Jug as it is more widely known, has some of the most prestigious names in golf engraved on it. The last 10 winners are all household names: Rory, Phil and Ernie being the last 3. The winner will go down in golfing history with others such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who has been given a special exemption to compete in the Open championship. He has said it will be his last time, but if he wins, he’ll be back for sure.
There has been 4 Australians who have won The Open. Peter Thomson, an amazing 5 times, Kel Nagle, Greg Norman twice and Ian Baker Finch. There are 13 Australians competing in The Open this year, including Jason Day, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch. Unlike all the other US Majors, The Open will be on in prime time in Australian homes. Be watching all the action starting 16th July on Fox Sports to see who comes out on top.
St Andrews is as much of a test of the elements as it is the golf course. With winter well and truly upon us in Melbourne, come in and check out our wet weather apparel to help you get through the rain and cold. Our range includes brands such as Callaway, Proquip, Taylormade, Cross and Niblick.
We have a special this week at Moorabbin on the Niblick Metro Rainsuit (jacket & pants) for $129 and the Nike Lunar Control OC shoe for $110. It’s a 2 year waterproof warranty shoe and comes with a British Open shoe bag for FREE as an added extra.
During Sportsmart’s winter catalogue, the golf department at Moorabbin ran this competition:
Purchase any Smart Card special in store during our winter catalogue period and you’ll be in the draw to WIN one of three boxes of Nike Mojo golf balls, valued at $34.99 each.
The three winners were drawn on Monday…
Congratulations to Smart Card members John Dyson, Yoshimi Saikachi and Ashley Cullen!
by Golf Manager, Mic Walsh
Golf equipment is being made to exact measurements, and balances better and better all the time. The putter is no different. The new styles of putters are more balanced than ever. Counter balancing in the handle has added a new dimension, and larger grips are very helpful for people that have trouble over short putts. They cut down wrist movement and keep the blade of the putter online longer through the stroke.
So, what kind of putter do you need? There are 3 different variations of putter head.
The first style is the blade putter. The blade is a heavy toe weighted style with limited alignment. This means it is suitable for the better putter. The heavier toe is to prevent the blade from closing too much at impact and pulling putts.
The second style is the mallet. Mallet putters are like a blade in the way they are weighted, but are broader and have a little more alignment to them. This tends to help the person who putts well, but misses a few more short putts than they should.
The last style is the alignment putter. Alignment putters are the most advanced putter style in terms of their ability to be balanced. They are large in the head, long in the alignment lines and usually weighted to correct imbalances in putting strokes. This is the style of putter you should look at buying if your putting is not as good as it should be.
The style to suit you might not be the style you want to use, but that’s okay. There really is no right and wrong with putters. They are as individual as the people who swing them. The whole idea is to find one you love and that gives you the confidence to sink putts. After all, putting makes up about 40% of most golfers’ total score. It pays to get it right.
For more advice on putters and putting, we have a practice putting green in store, so you try before you buy and get expert advice to help get the right putter into your bag.
Don’t forget to enter the US Open staff bag give away. You could win an awesome Bridgestone staff bag just by following our Sportsmart Golf Instagram account. Search Sportsmart_Golf on Instagram for all the details.
Golf Manager, Mic Walsh
Different golf balls are made very different ways to do very different things.
The basic golf ball on the market is a two piece distance ball. This is basically a hard centre and a hard cover. The idea behind the distance ball is to create as little spin as possible and cover as much distance as possible. This golf ball, being harder, jumps off the clubface very quickly so has less time on the grooves to impart spin. The result is a straighter longer flight that has trouble stopping around the greens. Best suited to the 25+ handicap.
The next type of golf ball is the low compression ball. These golf balls are designed to go further for a slower swing. The ball will compress more and actually spring off the clubface more. It therefore creates more speed off the clubface and flies longer. Best suited to slow swing speeds.
Then we have our intermediate golf ball. These are a combination of the distance ball and the tour ball. There is usually a hard core to the ball that creates higher ball speed off the clubface, but at the same time the manufacturers create a softer cover so it spends a little more time on the clubface generating spin. Best suited to the 14-24 handicap.
Last but not least there is the tour ball. The tour ball has the most technology put into it as it is usually used by the professionals on tour. They try to create the softest cover on the outside of the ball. This makes the ball spend more time on the clubface and travel up the club on contact to generate as much spin as possible. It will create more spin, but not always good spin. More backspin is what people are after, but if it is not hit correctly; more side spin will also be made, sending your golf ball off into the trees. Best suited to the scratch-13 handicap.
If you are after a recommendation on a good golf ball that suits just about every golfer, the new Callaway Chrome Soft is a great place to start. It offers something to just about every type of golfer. Great low spin off the tee, low compression for extra distance, and a tour soft cover for incredible spin and control around the greens.
Normally $49.99 at most retail outlets, we are selling this amazing golf ball at $44 a dozen, $42 for Smart Card members.
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for your chance to win the limited edition Bridgestone US Open Staff Bag. More details can be found on all Sportsmart Golf’s social media pages.
Mic Walsh, Golf Manager
Chambers Bay Golf Links is the venue for the 2015 US Open. This course was specifically designed for the tournament. Like all Open courses, the aim is to keep scoring as close to par as possible. The 2007-opened Chambers Bay will be no different.
As the name suggests, this is a links golf course. It sits along the shores of Puget Sound in University Place, Washington, and will test the best in golf with windy conditions, as well as a course of nearly 7,600 yards (6,900 metres).
The field is open to any professional or amateur golfer with a handicap of 1.4 or less. There is no age limit (players as young as 14 have competed before). There is a two stage qualifying process. The first stage is played over 18 holes and the second over 36. Along with the many players who will be exempt, the field will reach 156 players in all. So, if you have a handicap under 1.4 and can win over 2 days and 54 holes of golf, you can compete in the US Open field.
The US Open is the second of the Majors for the year, and the final day of play is always set for Fathers’ Day. With the best players in the world competing, it will be difficult for the Australians to win. After all, only 2 Aussies have ever won this tournament, David Graham at Merion in 1981 and Geoff Ogilvy at Winged Foot in 2006. Jason Day will be eyeing the prize as he has been runner-up twice before (2011 & 2013).
COMPETITION: WIN THIS LIMITED EDITION US OPEN STAFF BAG!
To celebrate the US Open, we will be giving away a limited edition US Open Staff Bag (valued at $450) to one of our lucky Instagram, Facebook or Twitter followers.
It’s easy to enter. Simply follow Sportsmart Golf on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for your automatic entry. Using #igolfsmart, comment, tag a friend, retweet or share to get extra entries. A winner will be randomly chosen on 22nd June 2015. Winner must be able to pick up their prize from our Moorabbin store.
Good luck, and happy golfing!