Tom Doak is one of golf’s intriguing characters. In the early days of his career, he was best known for his Confidential Guide, a book which featured some blunt and controversial takes on golf courses around the world. For more than 20 years now he has created commercially successful and critically acclaimed courses in almost every corner of the globe, which has seen him become a celebrity in the sub-culture that is golf course architecture. Here, host Rod Morri asks him, “What is the thing about golf?”
Estimates say there are as many as 60 million golfers in the world and we all know at least some of them who are completely addicted. The question is why? Join us as we try to discover the answer to that burning question, interviewing golfers both famous – and not – on a monthly quest to solve the riddle of this maddening game.
To many in the golf world England’s Meghan MacLaren is recognisable only as ‘that equal pay girl.’ But is there more to the 25-year-old two-time NSW Open winner than pointing out the inequalities between professional golfers of opposite gender? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. MacLaren is intelligent and articulate, thoughtful and engaging and, most importantly, brutally honest. About everything. From the state of her own game to the state of the broader industry, Maclaren has plenty to offer in this wide ranging and fascinating discussion.
John Paramor has spent the best part of 45 years adjudicating on animal scrapes and penalty drops. But the European Tour’s chief referee is more than just the best known rules official in the world, he’s a passionate lover of the game and an admirer of its very best exponents. He’s had a front row seat at some of the great, and not so great, moments in modern golf – from Seve to Tiger and Rory, backstopping and the Patrick Reed affair, nothing is off limits in this conversation.
In the sub-culture that is golf course architecture, Bob Harrison needs no introduction. The long-time design partner of Greg Norman, Harrison was predominantly responsible for most of that company’s work for most of its life. But that doesn’t begin to tell the story of Bob Harrison. From a near partnership with Seve Ballesteros to eventually turning down the design of both courses at Barnbougle Dunes and on to building the widely acclaimed Ardfin course on the Scottish island of Jura, Harrison has a wonderfully entertaining story to tell.
In the brutal, dog eat dog world of modern professional golf David McKenzie has managed to achieve something very few do… to wit, make a living out of playing the game around the world for more than three decades. Needless to say, he’s learned a few things along the way and in this revealing chat, David offers some insights into the PGA Champions Tour as well as some of the highs and lows of being a long-time touring professional.
Liz Smylie is an unusual interview choice for a golf podcast. Of course, she is best known for her exploits on the tennis court – winning four Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles in the 1980s, as well as climbing to No.20 in the world ranking. What makes her story interesting is she doesn’t play golf at all, but is mum to one of Australia’s most promising golfing talents, Elvis Smylie. This interview could have gone horribly wrong, but as you will hear, it didn’t.
Luckily for the game of golf there are people like Sue Thompson – one of the army of unsung heroes upon whom the game relies around the world. Sue is the junior coordinator at Perth’s Mt Lawley Golf Club, but the title hardly conveys the impact she makes. We first heard of Sue through Australia’s most recent major winner, Hannah Green. Long before she holed that extraordinary putt on the 18th green at Hazeltine, Green told host Rod Morri: “if it wasn’t for Sue Thompson, I wouldn’t even play golf.” Morri immediately wanted to meet this woman. And so he did… now you can too.
Golf has more than its fair share of cheerleaders but Golf Australia columnist John Huggan is not one of them. And the game is better for it. Here, we get an insight into his passion for the game – born on the links of Scotland – which has taken him from outside the ropes as a young autograph-hunting fan, to a fine amateur player, award-winning writer and occasional caddie.
For more than 40 years Peter Senior has been plying his trade on the fairways of the world. His relentless competitive spirit and ability to get the job done when the pressure is a thing of folklore. But perhaps, most importantly, he’s renown for being one of the nicest people in the professional game.