Miniature Golf

Miniature Golf

Mini golf or Miniature golf is a very-old sport and its history starts from 1867 in Scotland, when women were not allowed to play golf as it was considered inappropriate for women to have a backswing but these ladies were golf obsessives so, first they made a mini-golf course of grass then, for playing they used a putter because a putter doesn’t require a full backswing and they formed the first mini golf club in the world and named it Ladies Putting Club. Soon men also started playing mini-golf in their free time.
 
Mini Golf Coming to the USA:
Slowly the game was spreading in entire Europe but still, Americans were unaware of the sport then, in 1915 James Barber designed a golf course in North Carolina, it soon became an overnight success as people started learning about the game and a whole community was forming in North Carolina.

Great Depression and Mini Golf:


(Photo Credit: Golfer.com)

Now, as we know golf is rich men’s game so, playing golf in 1929 was near to impossible as people couldn't afford to play in golf clubs, still some people played golf near their home or their locality as they used old tires, cans, gutters, boxes as their target which was mini golf and one man made most of the trend as Garnet Carter started designing crazy golf courses named Tom Thumb Golf Course which featured windmills, light lamps as obstructions and his mini-golf courses were a hit as he started expanding his business by setting up mini golf courses around the US and here, he did a very important thing as he patented every course he made and by the end of 1929, Carter controlled 25% of the mini-golf business and 10 years later, 4 million people in America were playing the sport.
 
Opposing Mini Golf:
Mini Golf is a great recreational sport with a variety of forms originally made for fun but Don Clayton was against it and he wanted mini-golf to be a serious sport so, in 1953 Clayton started his own company named Putt-Putt golf and it was similar to mini-golf but without any gimmick obstruction like windmills, statues and Putt-Putt golf courses had bumps, borders for deflecting the ball and many more.
 
Downfall:
Today, the no. (4 million) has fallen a lot to just 5000 mini-golf courses in the USA.
[
COVER PHOTO CREDIT: 365 CINCINNATI]
 

Sources: New York Times, USA Today, Mini Golf Creations, Tacki-mac Grips, Mental Floss, Putt Putt Mermaid Beach, Days Of The Year, Holey Moley Golf Club.

By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to Us: dhruv@dktsports.com

January 09, 2021 in Golf

Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Pro-Am Golf Tournament

A Pro-Am or Professional-Amateur Golf tournament is an event where professionals and Amateurs compete together as a team for a common objective.
 
Pro-Am tournament usually takes place a day before the main tournament begins which is Wednesday and in a Pro-Am tournament, normal people get the opportunity to play with a professional golfer in a well-maintained golf course and normally it is a team event where three players are amateur and the fourth one is a pro and some events like A&T Pebble Beach Open Pro-Am have Pro-Am in pairs so, you and the pro that’s all but hang on don’t get excited as these type of tournaments are extremely expensive with a $28,000 fee. But not all Pro-Am’s require fees to play as large no. of clubs offer an invitation to play in their event and if you are too good in your area then, you might get an invitation to play a Pro-Am for a specific tournament example: BMW Championship.
 
There are two types of Pro-Am Golf tournaments:

1. Corporate Pro-Am:
In a Corporate Pro-Am, special tournaments are organized for top corporates and they get the opportunity to play golf with their colleagues and a pro or special packages for business people where the event organizer books Pro-Am rounds for their employees.
 
2. Destination Pro-Am:
This is a very a unique type of Pro-Am where the event is placed in a remote location like the Caribbean Islands and this type of event people not only get a chance to play golf but that too in a fantastic location by travelling after they get an invitation to play a Pro-Am in that event.
 
Pro-Am - A once in a lifetime experience:


A&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Photo Credit: Getty Images).

Now, for golf fanatics, Pro-Am is in their Bucket List because it’s not limited to playing golf but it has many other benefits like:
 
Party:
In Pro-Am events, golf is secondary and party are first and these parties are organized one day before the Pro-Am event and in it, all amateurs are called for the party and it consists of dance, music and draws – the main reason behind parties are draws because, from the draws, groups are announced so, you can know who are the other three players in your group for next day’s Pro-Am event.
 
Exclusivity:
People who are invited to play in Pro-Am get a chance to be VIP for one day as they get access to play inside the ropes on a world-class golf course and with one of the best players in the world.
 
Return Gifts:
There are many plus points of playing a Pro-Am, one of it is the gifts that you get for playing in big or small Pro-Am event and the gifts can be golf balls, special event t-shirts, belts, clubs and a few lucky invites gets full four-day tournament tickets for the main event which starts on Thursday, once the Pro-Am ends.
 
Free Dinner:
Not all but large amount organizers serve free dinner for amateurs after the Pro-Am ends.
 
Monday Pro-Am:
Now, a Pro-Am is celebrated on two separate days, the most common day is a Wednesday Pro-Am whose prices are medium and there is also a Monday Pro-Am which is very expensive to play and its parties too where you will see celebrities and top corporates participating.

[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES]
 

Sources: Golf Week, Golf News Net, Golf Link, Golf Advisor, Wisegeek, Golf Media Network and The A Position.

By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to Us: dhruv@dktsports.com

December 03, 2020 in Golf

The Bernhard Langer Story

The Bernhard Langer Story

Bernhard Langer was born in 27th August 1957 in Anhausen, Germany and was the youngest child of Erwin Langer and Bernhard was born after the end of World War 2 due to which Langer family faced many problems. Dad and Mom of Bernhard were working day and night to feed their three children during these tough times but still the money earned by both was not enough so, Bernhard’s elder brother who was given the same name of his father, Erwin and his sister Maria started to search for jobs and luckily both got jobs.
 
One day young Bernhard saw his big brother making good sum of money for carrying golf bags and Bernhard asked Erwin that, he also wants to join the club for the job of caddie but Erwin declined his request and said “you are very thin and fragile and cannot carry heavy golf bags” but Bernhard was stubborn and didn’t want to let go a chance of earning and kept on insisting Erwin for joining the club, at last Erwin agreed and before he went to the club, Bernhard was given all the essential rules and fundamentals of being a caddie and Bernhard’s first task was to caddie the club champion and soon, Bernhard become the first choice of all members and got a nickname of “Eagles Eyes” because Bernard always found golfer’s lost balls and all the members of the club were working class people so, the only time they can play golf was at evening and this helped majority of caddies (including Bernhard) to practice golf on the range and sometimes on the course.
 
Bernhard utilized this time very well by practicing golf regularly and in the 60s, there was no golf dedicated TV shows, very few golf magazines and no internet so, for little Bernhard it was difficult to understand the game but one day Bernhard found Jack Nicklaus's eight-frame swing sequence photo in the club and he grabbed the photo and started replicating the swing motion in his spare time and like this seven-years had passed and 15 year-old Bernhard got the opportunity to play in his first golf tournament in the annual caddies championship and finished second in that particular event and till the time Bernhard, was completely into golf and decided to become a golf professional and told his parents that he is interested in the sport and want to do something in that field and obviously they were against it and advised him to do other jobs and at that time golf was not a popular sport in Germany but somehow he convinced his parents and took them to the National Employment Center.



Young Bernhard (Photo Credit: Golf Digest).

Bernhard and his parents went inside the building, there was a receptionist and all three approached him and the receptionist asked Bernhard “So, young guy what you want to do with your life?” and Bernhard replied, “I want to become a golf professional,” and the receptionist went inside the room and returned after 2 minutes and said “we don’t have any job like that,” and a dejected Bernhard returned home with his parents and suddenly, Bernhard got a thought, that there is a golfer in his club who usually goes to Munich for taking personal coaching in Strasslach Club and Bernhard had the guts to talk directly to that golfer and ask him about the place where he goes to learn golf and he said to meet him tomorrow and in the next morning the golfer said him all the details with name of the chief coach of Strasslach Club and arranged a meeting with him and Bernhard took his parents to meet the coach (Heinz Fehring) and the interview went well and Heinz Fehring was able to convince Bernhard’s parents to sent him to Munich for a three year apprenticeship. So, at age 15, Bernhard took a new adventure in his career of going all alone in a new city and with new people and without his parents but Bernhard easily made Munich his new home because of his coach Fehring who was very friendly and gave him not only extra time to practice golf during his apprenticeship time but also gave him additional golf lessons and this method continued for three years and in his final year of his apprentenship Bernhard, participated in his first German National Championship and in his first attempt Bernhard won the national championship at age 17 and become the youngest winner of the event and Fehring had said (to Bernhard) that the president of German Golf Federation was going to come to watch the national championship and he saw Bernhard's performance and the president said to Bernhard, "Call me, if you are ever interested in competing in the European Tour" so, once the three year apprentenship ended, Bernhard called the president and the president said he will help him financially to play in European Tour, only in one condition if he gives 50% of winners share, Bernhard agreed and at that time Bernhard was the first German player to participate in European Tour. This was start of great chapter in Bernhard's life as he went on to win multiple tournaments in the European Tour.
 
First major championship win:


(Photo Credit: Augusta National).

The 1985 Masters was the 49th edition of golf’s most prestigious tournament and in the event, Langer defeated Seve Balleastores, Curtis Strange to win his first major golf championship and like all Masters Champion, Langer was also called in the Butlers Cabin for wearing the Green Jacket and giving the winning speech and after Langer wore the Masters Jacket, CBS Sports commentor Jim Nantz asked “did you know that two players were behind you” and Bernhard replied “Oh jesus I was not looking at the leaderboard” and that was the first time God's name was used in a sports event and in the next day, Langer’s home was flooded with positive letters from fans and out of which some where critical also and one of the negative fan mail said "who are you to mention God’s name on national television" and instead of getting sad, Langer took it as a medicine and improved his game.
 
Painful Ryder Cup loss:
Team USA hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in South Carolina and after first two days of multiple fourball and foursome matches, team USA and team Europe were tied at 8 points and both teams went to the final day with twelve singles on Sunday.
After end of first-five singles the score was tied at 10.5 with both teams winning two matches each and drawing the third match and in the next four matches it was one by one as team Europe won and then team USA won again in the next match so, the score after 9 matches was still tied at 12.5 points and the ninth match was won by team USA so, it was obvious that team Europe will make a comeback in 10th Singles match but here, an unfortunate thing happened as team Europe’s Mark James lost his singles match against team USA’s Lanny Wadkins and team USA were leading the Ryder Cup by one point with team USA at 13.5 and team Europe at 12.5. So, with only two matches remaining, Europe’s Bernhard Langer needed to win the second last game to keep team Europe in contention but team USA’s Hale Irwin was too good and forced Bernhard to draw the game and Bernhard needed to score a putt to stay in the match but Langer missed the putt and the match was draw and this increased team USA's score to 14 and the final match was also draw so, this means team USA won the Ryder Cup and retained the Ryder Cup after six long years.



Bernhard Langer after missing the putt
(Photo Credit: Kingdom Magazine).
 
Second Masters Championship win: 

Bernhard Langer wearing the Green Jacket
(Photo Credit: Pinterest).

After a disappointing Ryder Cup loss, Langer needed a comeback in the upcoming Masters in spring 1993 and in that year Langer, put himself in contention to win after leading the event in round three because in round one Bernhard was at T6 for scoring 68 and jumped to T2 in the following day for scoring 70 in round two and as we mentioned above, day three’s 69 helped Langer to become the sole leader at -9 and went to round four with a huge lead of four strokes over tied Chip Bake and Dan Forsman. In the final day of 1993 Masters, Langer scored 70 to win the tournament at -11 (277) and become a two time major champion.
 
Reborn: 
One day, Langer thought that, he had just became a two time major champion, won millions of dollars, and have cars, big houses and what not, but there was something he was missing as Langer didn’t feel the true happiness and that night, one of his golfing friend said him “hey Bernhard do you want to join us in evening for Bible reading" and Langer asked "what’s that?” and his friend replied that the priest of the church reads a part of the Bible which benefits us in someway and Langer agreed and along with his wife he joined for the occasion and soon turned out to be a great decision and from that moment Langer got a personal relationship with God and this brought a brand new perspective to his life.
 
2002 World Golf Hall of Fame member:
In 2002, Bernhard Langer became a World Golf Hall of Fame member at age 45 and became the first German athlete to officially enter in Golf Hall of Fame.
 
First time Ryder Cup Captain:
The year of 2004 was a memorable one for Bernhard Langer because Langer was chosen as team Europe’s non-playing captain and a first time for Langer. Team Europe were the defending champion following a 2002 Ryder Cup win at Warwickshire. For 2004 Ryder Cup, 13 players were selected for team Europe of which one was a non-playing captain (Bernhard Langer) and two players were captains pick and Langer selected Colin Montgomerie for his immense experience in big events like Ryder Cup and his second pick was a 26-year-old rookie Luke Donald.
Under guidance of Captain Bernhard Langer, team Europe went off a flying start by winning six games out of eight on day 1 and led the scoring by 5 with team Europe at 6.5 and team USA at 1.5 and extended the lead by five on day 2. On the final day of 2004 Ryder Cup, team Europe produced one of the greatest performances by winning 7 singles matches out of 12 on Sunday and winning the Ryder Cup by a huge gap of 9 points.



Team Europe with the Ryder Cup Trophy
(Photo Credit: Sky Sports).

Bernhard Langer’s pick went above fan’s expectation as Colin Montgomerie won three matches and in it he won all three categories of Singles, Fourballs, Foursome and his only draw came in Fourballs with Padrig Harrington and Montgomerie was the fifth highest point scorer for his team at 3 points.
And Langer’s second pick - Luke Donald finished his first Ryder Cup with 2.5 points and out-scored his teammates who were more experienced than Donald with the likes of Ian Poulter and Paul Casey who got one point each and Donald’s both win came with Sergio Garcia in team games of Fourballs, Foursome and Langer’s idea of keeping the team unchanged for Fourballs and Foursome helped team Europe to grab vital two points.


Best Masters finish in 3 years:

Bernhard Langer playing a bunker shot in 
2020 Masters (Photo Credit: Mercedes Benz).

In the most recent Masters Championship, Bernhard Langer made history by becoming the oldest player in Masters History to make a cut and progress to round three at age 63 and completed the 2020 Masters with an overall score of -3 and a T29 finish was Langer’s best finish in the Masters after 2016 Masters where he got a T24.
  
Inspiring the next generation:

Bernhard Langer's famous Anchor Grip
(Photo Credit: Daily Mirror).

Bernhard Langer’s career is one of the most fascinating story in the world of golf and has inspired millions of children all around the world to take golf as a career irrespective of their family background and many times people think that they want to learn something new or want to start a new career but have no experience in that field or knowledge of that niche but if you are persistent and have a curiosity then, you can still be successful in that area because Bernhard Langer had never heard the word golf, he knew football and some other sport but golf was new to him and to his family but his deep love for the game and dedication helped Langer to not only learn the sport but become a master in golf by winning more than 100 golf events worldwide.
[COVER PHOTO CREDIT: SPORTSNET] 

Sources:Bernhard Langer My Autobiography, Links players Magazine, Joy Magazine, Sports Spectrum, Dominion Charity Classics.
 

By Dhruv Trivedi

Connect to Us: dhruv@dktsports.com

November 24, 2020 in Golf

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