TRANSCRIPT | Geoff Ogilvy, 101st NZ Open, pre-tournament press conference


It surprises me every time we live over in Australia and travel a long way to go on holidays and this place is 2 and a half hours away in a plane and we don’t come here all the time. It is a miraculous place and I had a great time here last year. I […]

It surprises me every time we live over in Australia and travel a long way to go on holidays and this place is 2 and a half hours away in a plane and we don’t come here all the time. It is a miraculous place and I had a great time here last year.

I loved it and if I had any chance to come back I was gone to do it so here I am.

I t has been a change since I moved back to Australia after 20 years in America. Doing the school run a lot more, not getting on a plane every Sunday night has been nice. Getting used to that and settling the family down in Australia has been cool.

I got busy in the last half of the year with the Presidents Cup. The media used me a lot and the Tour wanted me to do a lot of PR stuff as I lived in the city where the tournament was to be played. That turned out to be an incredible tournament and we had a good week. Ernie was a great captain and Tiger was obviously a great captain on the other side. We got beaten by too much talent in the end but golf wads the big winner. Melbourne put on a great tournament; Royal Melbourne showed itself as good as it is and everyone wants to come back – and the Presidents Cup is great and I can’t wait till next time.

I am going to play a bit more. I am certainly not done. I’d like to think I can have my cake and eat it – be a good dad at home and still play a few tournaments around the world. The US Open is back at Winged Foot this year and I try to play a little patch around that and see if I can get through and have to qualify for that.

The northern summer there are a lot of good choices and see if I can pick out a little schedule and see if I can play well. If I don’t, I don’t.

The game is changing and getting a bit younger and more powerful but while you lose a little in length, you gain it in experience so golf looks after to you a bit. In other sports the manager says you are done, go do something else. But golf doesn’t do that. There’s plenty of time, I am not in a hurry to do anything.

I am loving living back in Australia again., I would love to get back and play a few good ones, but if I don’t, I don’t.

It would be brilliant to go back to Winged Foot. Unfortunately we never got back there in Tour so I didn’t get back there as much as I liked to. It is an incredible place. Obviously good memories. A major is a major, it is New York and a lot of good reasons to be there and enjoy the week.

I had a couple of good rounds at the Vic Open and got blown off the course like a lot of people did which was a little more than I was ready for.

It felt good yesterday and no reason why I can’t have a good week.

It is the same for everyone who is in their 40s breaks are almost good to fresh the brain. I haven’t looked after my body as well. I would play better if I was playing tournaments every week but that doesn’t mean you can’t play well when you are not.

The idea is that golf’s footprint doesn’t need to get bigger. It doesn’t make sense to have a golf course on 400 acres when you can have a perfectly good one on 300 acres. Tees are out of bounds at St Andrews, Augusta is buying land all over the place to lengthen holes that are outside the original properties. It doesn’t make sense. The bigger hitters should be the biggest hitters. They always were. Nicklaus hit is 300 yards in the 60s.

There are multiple guys who fly it 330 yards now and that wasn’t reality 20 years ago and 20 years before that it was shorter again. In 50 years time if you follow the distance curve, golf holes will need to be 800 yards long. That does not make a lot of sense.

I am sure it will be slow and take time. I think Rory said recently it is time to split the rules – pro rules and everyone else’s rules.

The equipment is easier to use and created more enjoyment for some level of golf but for pros balls going 350 yards doesn’t make sense because you need so much more land. If you can’t play tournaments at these great courses that too does not make a lot of sense.

{Professional golf is in a great spot. There are 15 guys who could be number one at the end of the year. It has never been like that. There is a lot of depth at the top.

They have to tread carefully but if you look to the future and golfers are hitting it 400 yards it does not make much sense.

Almost every sport does it (different rules for professionals) but golf does not which is great for the manufacturers and the club golfers who gets to play the same game as Tiger Woods and compare.

Sports like tennis, squash, baseball do it and it does not seem to ruin those sports. That might be a direction they go. It seems that there is a tipping point with the speed – if you get over a certain clubhead speed then the distance explodes.

It does not make sense for golfers to hit it 400 yards so whatever way we can fit golf as we know it into Augusta and the Old Course and Royal Melbourne then all the better.

The courses are quite different. The Hills is quite dramatic – more elevation change and quite friendly with the greens. Milbrook is more traditional and normal.

They are different enough that you know you are playing a different course but you are in the same atmosphere and similar grasses. I enjoy playing both. They have different personalities. They are great fun to play. If you play well at one there’s no reason you can’t play well at the other.

They are different skills now. It has become more of a power game, how do I create a lot of speed and maximize that. Everyone drives the ball amazingly now. The art is hitting it a long way, hitting it to the right spots, inside 100 yards is more important than it has ever been – the skills are different not more or less. It has evolved in to a slightly different style although you still have to be amazingly good at it.


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