The NCG Podcast
NCG Top 100s: Alwoodley and Augusta National

NCG Top 100s: Alwoodley and Augusta National

April 4, 2022

It's surely the cathedral of courses. That church of azaleas at Augusta National has the eyes of the world focused on it this week as The Masters once again gets our seasons under way.

It was designed, of course, by Dr Alister MacKenzie, whose incredible body of work also includes those paradise must-play venues of Cypress Point, Pasatiempo and Royal Melbourne.

But do you know his first course was much closer to home for us in the UK - in West Yorkshire no less.

The original can be found in Leeds, at Alwoodley - a fabulous heathland that's a fixture of both NCG Top 100s England and GB&I lists.

So what sets this layout apart and can we find any echoes of Alwoodley in MacKenzie's masterpiece in Georgia?

To discuss this wonderful course, and to explore those Augusta links, Dan Murphy and Steve Carroll chatted with Alwoodley course manager Matthew Brighton and consulting architect Clyde Johnson in the first episode of our new series of the NCG Top 100s Podcast.

From the Clubhouse: Golf’s failure to break down barriers with gender-neutral tees is a ’hideous mistake’

From the Clubhouse: Golf’s failure to break down barriers with gender-neutral tees is a ’hideous mistake’

March 9, 2022

Do we play too many competitions at our clubs? Is fair use really fair and did we miss a trick by not freeing golf from gender-based tees when the World Handicap System arrived?

We’ve got Phil Grice, founder of Golf Transition Management, back on the From the Clubhouse podcast and – as always – the industry expert and former Royal Norwich director is shooting straight from the hip.

We also covered points memberships and how golf is shaping up as we come out of the pandemic in a lively 40-minute chat.

From the Clubhouse: Does golf need to get with the digital times?

From the Clubhouse: Does golf need to get with the digital times?

March 1, 2022

Online bookings or roll ups? Paper or electronic scorecards? Wherever you turn in golf it seems the conversation soon moves on to technology.

How far should clubs go to adopt it? Do you dip the toe, or dive headlong into a clubhouse of shot-by-scot scoring and digital leaderboards?

However, you might feel about it, tech is changing the world around us, and golf will have to move with it.

But can it sit with tradition and how can clubs manage the inevitable change? My guest this week to discuss this and more is Craig Higgs, international managing director for Golf Genius Software.

If you’ve ever played an event on NCGs Top 100s tour, or if you’ve enjoyed a round stateside, you’ll be familiar with the huge company’s tournament management solutions.

They’ve got Rory McIlroy as an investor, and they also provide the scoring for England Golf’s competitions.

So, who better to assess technology in golf – a sport where the digital revolution has been accelerated massively by the Covid pandemic – and look at how to handle it? Let’s get stuck in…

From the Clubhouse: Snooker legend Shaun Murphy on his love for golf

From the Clubhouse: Snooker legend Shaun Murphy on his love for golf

February 16, 2022

There are only 11 snooker players who’ve won the career triple crown of World Championship, UK Championship, and Masters successes.

We're prepared to bet, though, there’s only one who has combined that with a 147 break (of which he’s had six), a 9-darter, and a hole-in-one.

Our guest this week is that person. Not only is Shaun Murphy one of the biggest stars of the green baize, he’s a talented golfer to boot – boasting a scratch handicap and a game good enough to get him into Open Championship qualifying.

He’s also a committed philanthropist – his charitable endeavours having raised huge sums over the course of his career for a number of good causes.

On the From the Clubhouse podcast we talk about his love of holing putts, his favourite courses, and whether he’s planning another crack at Claret Jug qualification as we get ready for the 150th Open at the Home of Golf.

All the Gear: How TaylorMade changed the golf forever with their revolutionary Stealth range

All the Gear: How TaylorMade changed the golf forever with their revolutionary Stealth range

February 9, 2022

Welcome to the Carbonwood age.

If you have just a passing interest in golf, you'll have heard this phrase once or twice since TaylorMade launched their range of Stealth drivers and fairway woods. 

But that isn't the only area in which the California brand are making huge strides, as the Stealth irons look to revolutionise the game-improvement category.

NCG's gear expert Hannah Holden was keen to know more, so she asked Tomo Bystedt and Matt Bovee – senior engineers on the Stealth drivers and irons respectively – to join her for this fascinating episode of the All the Gear podcast.

Strap in, it's about to get technical...

From the Clubhouse: It’s club golf’s poisoned chalice – so what should you be doing to help?

From the Clubhouse: It’s club golf’s poisoned chalice – so what should you be doing to help?

February 2, 2022

What does a golf club committee actually do?

We know they’re usually volunteers and we know they make both the day-to-day and the big decisions on behalf of most of us at our clubs.

But what really goes on underneath the bonnet? What do committees and boards do well and what happens when they go bad?

If you’ve ever wanted to know anything about those elected to serve you – in the case of a private members’ club – or those helping an owner, or corporate body – in the case of a proprietary club – and didn’t know where to turn, perhaps we can help you over the course of the next 45 minutes or so.

With us to get into chat about everything from captains to sub-committees is Jerry Kilby, a renowned golf industry governance expert and the founder of Kanda Golf, who have been offering management support to clubs for more than four decades.

 

All the Gear: How Sounder are looking to change the way we think about golf

All the Gear: How Sounder are looking to change the way we think about golf

January 20, 2022

What do you get when the founder of Urban Golf - the UK's first and best indoor golf venue - and the founder of award-winning fashion label Folk team up to form a new golf brand?

Sounder Golf is the brainchild of James Day and Cathal McAteer, who have created a range that is stylish and functional both on and off the golf course.

But this edition of the All the Gear podcast with guest host Alex Perry isn't just about clothing. The team at Sounder have a vision of a game that is more accessible, inclusive, and fun - and they have plenty of exciting plans in the pipeline.

Alex sat down with James and Cathal to hear all about how they came to acquire the Sounder brand, what's next, and much much more... 

England Golf on World Handicap System - You can’t stop cheats (but you can help)

England Golf on World Handicap System - You can’t stop cheats (but you can help)

January 12, 2022

Just popping the three letters into a social media channel is enough to bring up a column of chat that it would take you hours to digest.

More than a year after its launch, the World Handicap System continues to be debated and digested by golfers all over the UK.

But sift through that collection and one theme emerges again and again. Integrity, or more precisely, the fear that WHS can be manipulated.

So what’s really going on under the bonnet? Is there truth to the claims or is it all just another internet conspiracy theory.

And what are governing bodies doing to ensure we’re all playing by the same rules and that those determined to be nefarious are caught out.

Our guest this week on the From the Clubhouse podcast is Gemma Hunter, England Golf’s head of handicapping and course ratings, as we went into a deep dive about all things WHS security…

NCG Top 100s: How we put together our list of the best courses in England

NCG Top 100s: How we put together our list of the best courses in England

December 16, 2021

After tens of thousands of shots, countless miles spent traversing every inch of the country, and a commitment to visiting nearly 170 courses, it is ready. NCG Top 100s has released a definitive list of the best courses in England.

You can view the list in its entirety at nationalclubgolfer.com/ncgtop100s, pick up a copy of our beautifully designed magazine in your clubhouse or, alternatively, download it right here.

With the list now available, NCG Top 100s editor Dan Murphy sat down with Steve Carroll to discuss how it was put together, to answer some of the questions that have arisen on social media, and reveal some of our favourite moments from the year-long process.

From the Clubhouse: What is The Lost Art of the Short Game? Here‘s how you can find it

From the Clubhouse: What is The Lost Art of the Short Game? Here‘s how you can find it

December 1, 2021

The first two books were hailed for changing the games of golfers all over the world. Now the successful teaching duo of Gary Nicol and Karl Morris are back – and they’ve have roped in some pretty big names to help them.

The Lost Art of the Short Game is the final part of the best-selling Lost Art of Golf series and, this time, Gary and Karl aim to free you from the shackles you have self-imposed on your short games.

Using the successful formula of getting you to look within, rather than going heavy on technique, the trio of titles now form a complete overview of the game, and an essential part of every golfer’s library.

Wedges guru Bob Vokey, renowned golf architect Mike Clayton, and former Ryder Cup player-turned commentator Andrew Coltart are among the special guests lending their own wisdom across the pages.

So to find out more about the book, and how it can help your game, Gary and Karl are my guests this week on the From the Clubhouse podcast…

You can get hold of The Lost Art of the Short Game, along with the previous two books in the Lost Art Series, by visiting the Lost Art of Golf website.

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