Posts Tagged ‘golf’

Video: Hole in One

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The British Open is celebrating 150 years in 2010, and each year has its share of highs and lows as champions from around the world vie for the Claret Jug. One unique situation occurred in 1981 on the 16th hole at Royal St. Georges in England, where there wasn’t just one spectacular shot. There were three holes in one.

Great Britain is home to many of the best golf courses in the world. But for most golf fans, St. Andrews is the best and the Old Course is the big finale of the British Open. As Tiger Woods has said, “’Winning at St. Andrews is the ultimate.” But for many of us, just playing a round there would be a once in a lifetime experience.

Known as Scotland’s finest golf course, St. Andrews is also one of the most difficult courses in the world and has remained relatively unchanged since the 1700s. The city itself is far older; it dates back to the 8th century, when the relics of the disciple St. Andrew were brought to the area by a monk named St. Regulus from Constantinople. Other notable sites in the area include the cathedral, consecrated in 1320, and the University of St. Andrews, founded in 1413, which is Prince William’s alma mater.

The Old Course, which dates back as early as the 15th century, originally had 22 holes, 11 out and 11 back. In 1764, the Society of St. Andrews Golfers, which later became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, decided that some holes were too short and combined them. The result of this decision is the standard 18-hole course played today.

Now you can go back in time and check out highlights from the 1978 British Open with narration by a much younger Sean Connery.

Explore St. Andrews for yourself at the The British Open.

What’s your best golf score? Share below.

Masters Golf Tournament – Interview with Dr. Gary Wiren

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Patrick Wagner is Senior Manager for U.S. and Canada tours, and has been with Smithsonian Journeys since 2000. Here, he sits down with Study Leader Dr. Gary Wiren, to learn more about the Masters Golf Tournament. Click here for more on Dr. Wiren, and here for more on Patrick.

Patrick Wagner: What sparked your interest in golf?

Dr. Wiren: What sparked my interest? A neighborhood pal my age and I began to caddie for our fathers at the little nine-hole course behind our homes. When we got far enough away from the clubhouse during the round, our dads would let us play a hole. Pretty soon we went to the course without our fathers and before you know it, we were beating them.

PW: If you were to describe a favorite “Masters moment” which one would it be for you?

Tiger Woods. Photo: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess

Tiger Woods. Photo: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess

GW: I have twoTiger’s chip in from the back of the green on 16 when the ball came to a stop to show the NIKE logo and then rolled into the hole, and the miraculous pitch that Larry Mize holed out on the 11th hole with a slick green tilted away from him during a playoff against a stunned Greg Norman. The ball might have rolled off the green completely if it hadn’t gone in.

PW: Tell us a bit about starting a golf school and teaching folks the game.

GW:I have started three golf schools, The Five Star Golf School at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club, The PGA Jr. National Academy, and Golf Discovery Schools for the PGA of America. It requires a lot of marketing, the selection of a good staff of teachers and aides, a facility that can comfortably accommodate a large group, proper teaching equipment, an attractive and functional program, and patience for the days when things just don’t happen as they should.

PW: Besides The Masters, is there a tournament that you find to be a “you have to be there once in your life” type of experience for the golf aficionado?

GW: I would choose The Ryder Cup, the most exciting golf event in the world. Head-to-head match play has more drama. Playing for your country has more emotion. And having to pair with a partner who depends upon you adds pressure to every shot. (more…)