Golf in Godzone December 22 2011

I have just read Stan Southerlands blog, about the state of New Zealand golf. He was commenting about Philip Leishman, New Zealands leading media man on golfing matters, who wrote in his blog, July 12, 2010. “I was a bit surprised at the criticism directed at NZ Golf recently from former National coach Mal Tongue. Mal, nice guy as he is has a particular issue with NZ Golf and its administration. It was well known that he had acrimonious break up with NZ Golf and their management back in 2004 when he staged a mass walkout with other coaches on a day described by some as the blackest day for amateur golf in this country.” It concerns the bust up Mal Tounge had with NZ Golf and its administration. Mal had coached Michael Campbell in his amateur days and was unhappy at the way things were being run. Mal writes in the Pacific Golfer,  “Helping the mind climb the mountain” he goes on to say, “The (NZ) game is not in robust good health and it is reflected in the fact Danny Lee is our only player ranked inside the world’s top 200  and no other Kiwi features in the top 450. For that to change there has to be a massive mind shift.” Philip Leishman replies, Seems like along time ago and I’ll have to take Mal’s word for it. “For us to go forward as a golfing nation and have players featuring among the top 100 in the world – remember, we once had five with that status…” Five! And now we’ve got two and they are both amateur ladies; Lydia Ko at number one and Cecilia Cho at number three. The reason that the two ladies are where they are in the golf rankings is in their mindset, and that mindset is not Kiwi, it is the work ethic of their Asian parents that has been instilled in them. Maybe Mal was right in 2004, that something at the top had to change for New Zealand golf to move forward. I have seen a lot of talent here, but somewhere along the line it does not seem to flourish. It is the same with Governments, the players change but the old administration does not, so nothing really changes.