The NCG Podcast
From the Clubhouse: Rising costs and higher prices – is golf’s pandemic boom at risk?

From the Clubhouse: Rising costs and higher prices – is golf’s pandemic boom at risk?

October 20, 2021

Golf’s been in a boom. Full tee sheets, and massive boosts in membership after coronavirus restrictions were eased, shocked the sport out of a decade-long slump – to the surprise of players and clubs alike.

But now we’re entering a different phase. With society essentially fully opened, along with all those competing leisure activities that were shut when golf had a free run in the summer of 2020, we’ll soon know whether the surge we saw is here to stay or just a fortunate blip created by circumstance.

As clubs prepare to go into a membership renewals period in January and April, what must they do to safeguard and capitalise on the opportunity they’ve been handed over the past 18 months?

We're joined on this week’s From the Clubhouse podcast by PlayMoreGolf’s chief executive Alastair Sinclair to consider what faces clubs and how the sport can keep the pandemic participation feast going…

The Slam: Tony Jacklin looks back at his Ryder Cup journey

The Slam: Tony Jacklin looks back at his Ryder Cup journey

October 13, 2021

Without him, the famous little trophy might be gathering dust in someone’s attic. It is not an exaggeration to say Tony Jacklin transformed the Ryder Cup.

As Europe’s talisman, he captained a rejuvenated continent to victories in 1985 and 1987, retained the trophy with a draw in 1989, and began to turn what had been a tired and jaded exhibition into one of the world’s biggest team competitions.

Those crowds at Whistling Straits a few weeks ago, the thunder clap that rocked Paris from titanic stands in 2018? Would any of that have been possible were it not for Jacklin and a collection of improbably talented golfers in the 1980s?

Now the architect of an age of European dominance in the biennial event has put down his experiences – and those of his wider career – in a new book: Tony Jacklin: My Ryder Cup Journey.

He’s our guest this week on The Slam podcast…

NCG Top 100s: Turnberry Golf Club

NCG Top 100s: Turnberry Golf Club

October 5, 2021

Turnberry's been the site of some of not only The Open's most memorable moments but golf's in general, whether it was the Duel in the Sun between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, or one of the finest 18 holes in major championship history when Greg Norman scorched round in a memorable Sunday 64.

Instantly recognisable with just a glimpse of its famous lighthouse and reborn thanks to a stunning transformation, its Ailsa course must be on every serious golfer’s bucket list.

Dan Murphy and Steve Carroll chatted with Director of Golf Ricky Hall and architect Martin Ebert about the legendary layout.

 

Dialled In: Ryder Cup special - featuring Graeme McDowell, Ian Woosman, and  NCG‘s betting expert

Dialled In: Ryder Cup special - featuring Graeme McDowell, Ian Woosman, and NCG‘s betting expert

September 22, 2021

It's finally here. After an additional 12 long months of waiting, it's Ryder Cup week.

In this speciail edition of the Dialled In podcast from NCG, Steve Carroll is joined by Alex Perry to discuss the big talking points of the tournament, while NCG's regular betting expert Barry Plummer is once again on hand to take us through his favourite tips for the tournament. 

We also hear from Ian Woosnam, a player who featured in nine Ryder Cups including one as a winning captain, and Graeme McDowell fills us in on his relationship with the rookies - particularly Victor Dubuisson - and why his dream to be captain one day comes with caution.

The Slam: Peter Dawson on his short but historic Ryder Cup career

The Slam: Peter Dawson on his short but historic Ryder Cup career

September 15, 2021

Quiz question: Who was the first left-hander to play in the Ryder Cup? Nope, it was Peter Dawson in 1977.

Indeed Peter is the only left-handed player to represent GB&I, or Europe as it is now, and over the next 40 minutes or so, Peter discusses his short but historic involvement in the biennial competition as one of many British and Irish players who saw their Ryder Cup careers extinguished by the addition of European stars.

Peter also explains how he fluked his way into a golf career before giving us a fascinating insight into being a tour pro in the 1970s – which many people consider the golden age of tour golf. And given the players we discuss, it's difficult to argue with that assessment. 

Make sure you stick around for the stories involving Tom Watson and Nick Faldo.

Enjoy.

From the Clubhouse: Should paper scorecards be a thing of the past? How technology is changing golf forever

From the Clubhouse: Should paper scorecards be a thing of the past? How technology is changing golf forever

September 2, 2021

Has your golf club gone back to using paper scorecards? Have you slotted right back into the routine, or do you pine for your phone and a digital signature?

For many of us, the coronavirus pandemic ushered a digital revolution at our clubs.

Whether it was booking tee times online, entering our scores through our phones, or watching hole-by-hole live leaderboards, the restrictions we endured to play the game opened up our eyes to technology and how it could influence the game.

In many ways, the sport was just catching up. In other areas of our lives, whether we are checking our bank balances or paying for products, tech has made things simpler and quicker.

Golf has been slow to get in on the act, but is it now down the rabbit hole? Will the opportunities presented by technology change it forever?

David Cederholm, Europe, Middle East and Africa sales director at Toptracer, thinks so. He’s Steve Carroll's guest on the From the Clubhouse podcast as we consider the future of technology at our clubs…

NCG Top 100s: Hallamshire Golf Club

NCG Top 100s: Hallamshire Golf Club

August 26, 2021

Found right in the heart of the steel city of Sheffield, but just a wedge shot from the Peak District, Hallamshire’s pedigree is not just defined by its long history – the Yorkshire course celebrates its 125th birthday next year.

It’s also produced some stellar players, most notably the multiple European Tour winner and Ryder Cup star Matt Fitzpatrick.

With plans to reinvigorate the course in the works, Dan Murphy and Steve Carroll chatted with general manager James Glover about this classic heathland layout.

From the Clubhouse: Paul Lawrie on changing golf’s ‘frustrating’ rules

From the Clubhouse: Paul Lawrie on changing golf’s ‘frustrating’ rules

August 20, 2021

He’s the major winner whose 4-iron for the ages brought him a Claret Jug, a key part of the European Ryder Cup team that pulled off the Miracle of Medinah, and a veteran of more than 600 tour appearances.

What you may not know is that Paul Lawrie is also a golf club owner. His Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, in Aberdeen, boasts a 27-bay driving range and a 9-hole course that’s recently held the Scottish Junior Par 3 Championship.

Heavily involved in the grassroots game through his Foundation, and his work with Scottish Golf, where he is a strong advocate of OpenPlay and a mentor to the nation’s elite men, Lawrie is well placed to look at the state of the game and what needs to be done to move it forward. Buckle up...

Dialled In: Wyndham Championship and Cazoo Classic previews

Dialled In: Wyndham Championship and Cazoo Classic previews

August 10, 2021

Golf form expert Barry Plummer joins NCG's Steve Carroll to discuss his selections for the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship and the Cazoo Classic on the European Tour.

Please remember to gamble responsibly.

All the Gear: Why having the right shafts in your clubs is more important than you think

All the Gear: Why having the right shafts in your clubs is more important than you think

August 5, 2021

Golf club shafts are about as uninteresting as it gets when it comes to tweaking our equipment. Most of the time, we don't really know what the experts are on about and we rely on them to make sure we're using the correct ones. 

Hannah Holden sat down with one of said experts, Paul Steels of KBS, to discuss - in layman's terms - why it's vital to have the right golf club shafts, the pros and cons of steel and graphite shafts, why labelling shafts as "men's" and "women's" is nonsense, and much, much more.

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