Shark Bitten! Musings On The 2008 British Open

SharkJeff Summitt’s Thoughts On The ’08 Open

With Tiger missing his first major since turning professional, you would have thought there would not have been much excitement in the 2008 Open. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead of doing much need chores around the house, I am sure many of you were glued to the couch like me in the air conditioning watching the adverse weather conditions we all come to love when watching the Open Championship. And like the picture to the right, we couldn’t believe it all happened again.

At first, I thought ABC was televising reruns of past Open’s after seeing names like Duval, Van De Velde, Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton and last year’s champion Padraig Harrington. Why do I actually think Ian Poulter raided my closest from the mid 80s? But the resounding “tink” of the drivers confirmed that this was indeed a live telecast. Of course the major story was the “Shark” Greg Norman, who was the Tiger before there was a Tiger. Golfers of my generation revered Greg Norman, after all he had the looks, charisma, that accent – oh yeah, he could play the game too!  I even caught my wife occasionally peeking at the TV when his name was mentioned.

Honestly I was hoping for the same script that occurred when the aging Nicklaus won the ’86 Masters, but like so many times before, the Shark was once again denied a Major victory after leading going into the final day.  So in some strange way, we were seeing a rerun, only the surrounding cast had changed.  But the difference here is at 53, most people had written Norman off. Years from now, golfers will forget that 2008 was a year Harrington repeated, rather the year the Shark almost won.

This week’s tech tip is about set make-up.  Selecting the proper 14 clubs to take out during the round is a good example of course management skills.  With the winds gusting in the 30+ mph range, the players benefitted from playing shots lower so the ball would be less affected by the wind.  For avid golfers who travel to different courses, they will actually have a rotation of more than 14 clubs they routinely practice with.  Instead of higher lofted fairway woods or hybrids, the golfer can select a lower lofted iron to get the same distance they are striving for, but with the more piercing trajectory.  So don’t limit yourself to 14 clubs when purchasing clubs and before you head for the first tee, put the best 14 clubs in the bag for the course conditions on that day.

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  1. Joe Easley says:

    I couldn’t help but pull for Norman. However, I grew up with Plamer , Nucklus, Trevino and Player. Had to root for the old man, Ha Ha.

  2. That’s one thing I love about the British Open, the weather. Watching golf via stateside in terms of the weather, is pretty routine, sunny, light breeze, great day to play golf. Over there, reminds me of watching the news casters reporting live from the latest hurricane! 🙂

    Check out todays blog post, I found a really good social golf site!

    Oh, how about Sandy Lyle withdrawing due to inclement weather? What a joke..


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