The Thing About Golf Podcast
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.
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Episode #40 (14 Apr 2021): The Thing About Golf #40: David Greenhill (1:024:45 min, 44.1 MB)
Since its inception nine years ago the combined men's and women's Vic Open has been a roaring success on all fronts. Now an LPGA and European Tour event, it would have been all but impossible to predict just how big the tournament would get when it was first conceived by then acting Golf Victoria CEO David Greenhill. While quick to (rightfully) credit others with the eventual success of the event, none of it would have happened without Greenhill's vision. On Episode 40, Greenhill reflects on how an idea which came to him while walking the dog morphed into one of the most talked about tournament in the world.
Episode #39 (1 Apr 2021): The Thing About Golf #39: R&A chief Martin Slumbers (1:19:16 min, 55.7 MB)
In the world of golf administration there is no more important role than Chief Executive of the R&A. Former London-based businessman Martin Slumbers was appointed to that role in 2015 and has quietly set about evolving the culture at the organisation to something more in keeping with modern society. A lifetime golfer with an understanding of the game at the grass roots level, he has demonstrated a capacity for innovative thought in his six years in the job to date and, as he reveals to John Huggan in Episode 39, there is more to come.
Episode #38 (17 Mar 2021): The Thing About Golf #38: Matt Millar (1:09:29 min, 48.9 MB)
At the age of 46 Matt Millar is an anomaly in the modern professional game. Despite being one of the shortest hitters on the PGA Tour of Australasia he remains a competitive force in fields of much younger - and more powerful - players. A combination of great accuracy and an enviable short game explain much of his success but as Millar himself admits in this chat, the real key is mental.
Episode #37 (3 Mar 2021): The Thing About Golf #37: Nick Price (1:43:55 min, 73.1 MB)
Of all the players who have ascended to World No.1 since the rankings began in 1986, Zimbabwe's Nick Price is the one who attracts the least attention. Universally regarded as one of the best ball-strikers of his generation, Price's distinctive swing saw him hold the top position for 43 weeks. With three majors to his name and as a two time Presidents Cup Captain, there isn't much Price hasn't seen or done in the game. This is a captivating chat with John Huggan, which covers everything from modern equipment, winning majors and life in Zimbabwe in the 1960's and 70's.
Episode #36 (17 Feb 2021): The Thing About Golf #36: Mat Goggin (1:43:15 min, 72.6 MB)
There isn't much Mat Goggin hasn't done in the game of golf, from Australian Amateur champion to professional tournament winner. But what makes the Tasmanian such a compelling interview is that his interests are broader than just the game. An intelligent and articulate speaker who is widely read, Goggin often gives unexpected answers to seemingly simple questions and always keeps the listener - and interviewer - on their toes. Now in his mid-forties and heavily involved in the Seven Mile Beach development in Hobart, it would be easy to assume Goggin's playing days are over. But as you’ll hear from the wisdom dispensed in this interview, that would be a real shame both for Goggin and for fans of the game. One final note: whether before or after listening to this episode it is also recommended to read the blog post linked below. In it, Goggin explains some of his beginnings in the game and how the Seven Mile Beach project came to be. It is a wonderful accompaniment to our chat and also helps to answer that opening question: What's The Thing About Golf for Mat Goggin? https://7milegolf.wordpress.com/2021/02/14/10-years-and-counting/
Episode #35 (3 Feb 2021): The Thing About Golf #35: Dame Laura Davies (1:16:06 min, 53.5 MB)
For more than 30 years Laura Davies has been a breath of fresh air in the game. A combination of prodigious length and attacking play has delivered 85 professional victories but it is her down to earth nature and sense of humour which has endeared Davies to fellow players and fans alike. In this wide-ranging discussion with John Huggan, the World Golf Hall of Famer is typically forthright on all topics from pros using hybrids (hint: not a fan) to the importance of the Solheim Cup.
Episode #34 (20 Jan 2021): The Thing About Golf #34: Volunteer, Sue Thomson (1:30:05 min, 63.3 MB)
Luckily for the game of golf there are people like Sue Thomson - 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.
Episode #33 (16 Dec 2020): The Thing About Golf #33: Author, Tom Callahan (1:34:44 min, 66.6 MB)
Tom Callahan is one of the best all-round sports writers in the world. Golf has been lucky to have such a fine wordsmith, with a genuine love for the game, witness its biggest moments and tell the stories of champions. In a career spanning five decades, he's has had enough experiences to last a few life times from having Ben Hogan critique his swing, to Arnold Palmer making him drinks to trekking through a Vietnam jungle looking for the family of Tiger Phong, the soldier after whom Earl Woods nicknamed his son. In this episode to close out 2020 for The Thing About Golf podcast, host John Huggan chats with Callahan about his colourful career that has included working as a columnist for The Washington Post, long-form writing for Time magazine and authoring best-sellers like In Search Of Tiger and Arnie: The Life Of Arnold Palmer among others. And it shouldn't surprise that he apart from writing good stories, he tells good ones as well.
Episode #32 (2 Dec 2020): The Thing About Golf #32: Robert MacIntyre (1:20:46 min, 56.8 MB)
This episode of the The Thing About Golf has a distinct Scottish flavour as we welcome John Huggan in his debut episode as co-host where he chats with Scotland's most promising young professional in Robert MacIntyre. Huggan caught up with MacIntyre the week after he claimed his maiden European Tour title, the first of what many good judges believe will be multiple career victories. MacIntyre is not your run of the mill Touring Professional and in this fascinating conversation with Huggan reveals some insight into an upbringing surrounded by foster brothers and sisters, his passion for the little known Scottish pastime of Shinty and why he'll never win his club championship playing right handed.
Episode #31 (18 Nov 2020): The Thing About Golf #31: Wade Ormsby (1:38:36 min, 69.3 MB)
Twice a Hong Kong Open winner Ormsby is one of those golfers who has flown mostly under the radar of much of his career. It would be fair to say he was a bit of a late bloomer in terms of his golf but as you'll hear in this conversation he has no regrets about learning his craft on the job, so to speak. Hailing from Adelaide where his father, PETER, also a professional, owns one of the most successful off course retail golf shops in the country we caught up with Wade in his home town where he was into day eight of his 14 day quarantine after returning from the UK. From his multiple successful trips to Q School to a life-long friendship with Adam Scott to the business realities of playing golf for a living, Ormsby is open, honest and reflective in this interview which I hope you enjoy...
Episode #30 (4 Nov 2020): The Thing About Golf #30: Jane Lock (1:55:58 min, 81.5 MB)
The name Jane Lock will be familiar to anybody with an interest in the history of the game in Australia. After all, she won the Australian Women's Amateur three times and was a member of the first Aussie team to win what's now known as the Espirito Santo trophy, the world cup of amateur golf. But beyond that, most of us know almost nothing of Jane Lock. An LPGA Tour player from 1980 to 1986 her professional record never really reached the heights of her amateur achievements. But her contribution to the game in Australia should not be overlooked.
Episode #29 (20 Oct 2020): The Thing About Golf #29: James Nitties (1:38:52 min, 69.5 MB)
The first time he played golf he shot "about 140." Last year at the Vic Open, James Nitties joined an elite group in the record books when he reeled off nine birdies in a row. In between, the Novocastrian has been on quite the golfing journey and he's here to talk about it all on Episode 29 of The Thing About Golf.
Episode #28 (7 Oct 2020): The Thing About Golf #28: Brad Hughes (2:04:59 min, 87.9 MB)
Brad Hughes was always known as a level above when it came to ball-striking and on those weeks when his putting matched he was close to unbeatable. But as the game moved away from the heavy wooden clubs of his youth, Hughes' advantage became less and less. He began a search to understand the swing, a search which has ultimately seen him emerge in recent years as one of the game's most sought after coaches. Hughes is an interesting thinker and an engaging speaker and we hope you enjoy what is a comprehensive discussion about all things golf.
Episode #27 (23 Sep 2020): The Thing About Golf #27: Dean Herden (1:38:52 min, 69.3 MB)
Some people are born to be Generals while some are more naturally comfortable in the role of lieutenant; Dean Herden is the latter. After a playing career that didn't pan out as he had hoped, Herden took what would be an unthinkable step for many: he swapped sides and stated carrying the bag for others. 28 years and 51 victories later, it seems he made the right call. Herden covers plenty of ground in this wide-ranging chat with host Rod Morri, including revealing the secret to the success of Korea's women golfers and a heads up on three up and comers who might just be the 'next big thing'.
Episode #26 (9 Sep 2020): The Thing About Golf #26: Karen Lunn (1:40:43 min, 70.8 MB)
There's often an adversarial nature to the relationship between golfers and administrators which is why it's rare to find a successful player who makes the transition to the other side. One shining example is Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) CEO Karen Lunn - a 10-time Ladies European Tour winner, who now has the responsibility of steering the women's professional game in Australia into a very uncertain future. Never one to shy away from controversy, Lunn talks about modern equipment and its impact on the game to the lack of 'mongrel' in some of the game's younger players. After a lifetime in golf Lunn has collected plenty of nuggets of wisdom and she shares many of them during the course of this interview with host Rod Morri.
Episode #25 (26 Aug 2020): The Thing About Golf #25: Greg Chalmers (1:12:59 min, 51.3 MB)
It's almost impossible to find anybody in Australian golf with a bad word to say about veteran touring professional Greg Chalmers. And, after this lengthy and expansive chat with host Rod Morri, we hope you'll understand why.
Episode #24 (12 Aug 2020): The Thing About Golf #24: Dale Hayes (1:14:01 min, 52 MB)
He might not have the profile or resume of Ernie Els or Gary Player but Dale Hayes' contribution to golf in South Africa is not diminished because of that. Despite an extraordinarily promising playing career being cut short by the international response to Apartheid, Hayes has continued to be an integral figure in golf in his homeland. His voice will be instantly recognisable to many thanks to his TV commentary work but his story will be a revelation to a new generation of golfers.
Episode #23 (29 Jul 2020): The Thing About Golf #23: Marc Leishman (48:36 min, 34.2 MB)
It's a long way from Warrnambool to the dizzying heights of the PGA Tour and for Marc Leishman, the son of a bricklayer, the two worlds could barely be further apart. Perhaps it is this grounded upbringing that has seen Leishman maintain an everyman attitude to life and the game, right down to his obsession with mowing his own lawn. The five-time PGA Tour winner is an intriguing character, one who always looks calm on the outside regardless of the circumstances. But don't be fooled because as he reveals in this interview, there lurks beneath a fiery competitor. From wife Audrey's near death experience from Sepsis in 2015 to his close call at that year's Open Championship at the home of golf, Leishman maintains the perspective of a man who knows three putting is far from the top of the list of things that are important. In a wide-ranging chat Leishman reveals plenty about his journey so far as well as his plans for the future including why Leishman Lager is a big part of his retirement plans.
Episode #22 (15 Jul 2020): The Thing About Golf #22: Peter Fowler (1:55:43 min, 81.4 MB)
He's an Australian Open champion, a World Cup winner and a dominant force on the European Senior Tour but to talk to him you wouldn't know any of that because at his core, Peter Fowler is simply a good bloke who happens to be good at golf. Talent, as Mathew Goggin once famously said, is merely the entry fee in professional golf and after that it comes down to hard work, self-belief, dogged determination and - yes - a little bit of luck. In Fowler's case we can add one more characteristic to the list... it's a less common one in professional golf or indeed any elite pursuit but the enduring impression one gets from him is humility. As always on the Thing About Golf our chat is a lengthy and wide ranging one but there is much wisdom to be gained by listening to the man affectionately known as 'Chook'.
Episode #21 (1 Jul 2020): The Thing About Golf #21: Karrie Webb (1:49:39 min, 79.5 MB)
Karrie Webb is a self-confessed golf nerd but unlike the rest of us she also happens to be one of the best golfers in the history of the game. Yet, seven majors and a Hall of Fame career are in some way just the beginning for Karrie because as remarkable as it is to consider, in her own mind, the most important part of her golfing life is really just getting started. You'll hear how in this exclusive chat with host Rod Morri.
Episode #20 (17 Jun 2020): The Thing About Golf #20: Scott Hend (1:05:52 min, 29.9 MB)
Too much Trackman, not enough working the ball, Tiger to maybe get to 18 majors before the end of the year... Scott Hend has opinions and he's not afraid to share them! In a wide ranging chat, the popular Australian talks everything from golf in Asia versus America to continuing to travel the world to tee up at the age of 46. He's refreshing, he's honest, he's entertaining and he happens to still be one hell of a player so settle in and enjoy some time with Scott Hend.
Episode #19 (3 Jun 2020): The Thing About Golf #19: Bryden Macpherson (1:40:13 min, 48.1 MB)
Bryden Macpherson will be a name familiar to a few of you though it would be fair to say that even in golf circles he's far from a high profile figure. There's no doubting his talent. He's a very good player – clearly (you don't win the British Amateur and three times as a professional through luck) but he's more than that. He is also an intriguing thinker cut from a very different cloth to most golf pros of his generation. Here he talks with host Rod Morri about a wide range of golf and non-golf related topics and above all, The Thing About Golf.
Episode #18 (20 May 2020): The Thing About Golf #18: Tony Johnstone (1:29:35 min, 35.4 MB)
In his playing days, Tony Johnstone was as much renowned for his on course temper as he was his brilliant short game. Today, he's one of the most recognised voices in the commentary box. In this conversation with host Rod Morri, the gregarious Johnstone talks with some embarrassment about those antics, his second career in television and the multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2003 that saw him chosen for a drug trial which has seen him symptom free for nearly two decades. Johnstone is at his story telling best here as he reveals why he loves golf, bird-watching and why he reckons Greg Norman is a pussy.
Episode #17 (6 May 2020): The Thing About Golf #17: Mike Clayton (1:40:17 min, 53.2 MB)
The seeds of Mike Clayton’s love affair with golf began as a six-year-old tagging along beside his father during a round at Victoria’s Point Lonsdale course. Clayton remains passionate about the game, which has been his life for the past five decades. Almost everybody listening to this podcast will be aware of Clayton in some capacity be it as a player, commentator, long-time columnist for Golf Australia magazine, part-time caddie and course architect. It is our hope that no matter how well you think you know him, you’ll come away from thi conversation with Rod Morri feeling like you know him a little better.
Episode #16 (22 Apr 2020): The Thing About Golf #16: Christina Kim & Duncan French (1:10:46 min, 36.6 MB)
Even casual golf fans will be familiar with the name Christina Kim, the former Solheim Cup player and three-time LPGA Tour winner. She's one of the game's most popular players and you'll understand why by the end of this interview. But equally interesting is her less well-known but equally well-liked boyfriend and occasional caddie, Duncan French. The Kiwi-born French is a respected bagman in his own right, having helped guide Michelle Wie to her only major victory at the 2014 US Women's Open. They might be an odd couple, but here they talk about their shared passion for the game.
Episode #15 (8 Apr 2020): The Thing About Golf #15: Tom Doak (58:12 min, 31.4 MB)
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?"
Episode #14 (25 Mar 2020): The Thing About Golf #14: Meghan MacLaren (1:30:20 min, 45.1 MB)
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.
Episode #13 (10 Mar 2020): The Thing About Golf #13: John Paramor (1:24:53 min, 43.1 MB)
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.
Episode #12 (26 Feb 2020): The Thing About Golf #12: Bob Harrison (1:49:08 min, 55.1 MB)
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.
Episode #11 (12 Feb 2020): The Thing About Golf #11: David McKenzie (1:15:38 min, 38.6 MB)
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.
Episode #10 (29 Jan 2020): The Thing About Golf #10: Liz Smylie (49:12 min, 24.7 MB)
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.
Episode #9 (8 Jan 2020): The Thing About Golf #9: John Huggan (1:30:07 min, 47.5 MB)
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.
Episode #8 (3 Dec 2019): The Thing About Golf #8: Peter Senior (1:30:07 min, 47.5 MB)
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.
Episode #7 (13 Nov 2019): The Thing About Golf #7: Richard Forsyth (1:16:04 min, 62.3 MB)
The 2019 Presidents Cup will shine a spotlight on Dr Alister MacKenzie's Royal Melbourne masterpiece. Course Superintendent Richard Forsyth is charged with the day-to-day responsibility of maintaining this revered layout and here, he talks about all things golf, courses, the Cup and his 'office'.
Episode #6 (16 Oct 2019): The Thing About Golf #6: Peter Lonard (1:57:39 min, 60.1 MB)
A two-time Australian Open Champion with a terrific sense of humour and a knack for telling great stories. So it's no wonder Peter Lonard is one of Australia's favourite players, equally popular among his playing peers and fans alike.
Episode #5 (11 Sep 2019): The Thing About Golf #5: Tom Moore (1:02:33 min, 34.7 MB)
Tom Moore is one of only 12 current life members of the PGA of Australia, and he has witnessed just about every imaginable significant change the game has seen. It is this unique perspective that we chat about with Tom on a journey that eventually leads us to discover that for him, the thing about golf is its history and the less than ideal way we treat it.
Episode #4 (14 Aug 2019): The Thing About Golf #4: Paul Daley (1:13:38 min, 29.3 MB)
Any golfer with an interest in golf course architecture is no doubt familiar with the name Paul Daley. For the past two decades, Paul has been publishing books about the sub-culture that is golf course design and it's an endeavour that - as you'll hear - truly is a labour of love. But there's more to this conversation than course architecture.
Episode #3 (10 Jul 2019): The Thing About Golf #3: Richard Sattler (43:51 min, 32.3 MB)
Richard Sattler likes to call himself a farmer and that is a true and accurate description. But Sattler – the owner of the Barnbougle Dunes complex on Tasmania's north-east coast – is much more than that. Despite not being obsessed with the game or indeed the business, Sattler stands as one of golf's most important people of the past two decades.
Episode #2 (12 Jun 2019): The Thing About Golf #2: Bob & Kathie Shearer (1:41:41 min, 39.7 MB)
Bob and Kathie Shearer are Australian golf royalty. Bob, of course, was one of Australia's premiere international players during the 1970's and 80's. Kathie, on the other hand, didn't find golf it found her and for nearly three decades she has had to deal with the biggest names in the game, while managing tournament media centres around the world. Theirs is a love story... with a lot of golf thrown into the mix.
Episode #1 (15 May 2019): The Thing About Golf #1: Sue Wooster (58:33 min, 49.4 MB)
This is the remarkable story of one of the finest amateur players of recent times that you've likely never heard of, a player whose career trajectory goes against almost all accepted wisdom. She's a plus handicap golfer, prolific tournament winner, mother of four and grandmum to six. This is the Sue Wooster story.
Episode #0 (13 May 2019): Welcome to The Thing About Golf (6:33 min, 2.3 MB)
Welcome to this special preview edition of a brand new podcast launching this week, Golf Australia Magazine's The Thing About Golf. If you're a keen player or even a self-confessed golf nut you'll know there is plenty to love about this game. In this monthly series, we will chat with golfers both famous and not to find out just what it is that draws them to this great game.