Thirteen can be a lucky number!
On this holiday, thirteen years ago, I came home from work and changed my clothes. It was a sunny day, that is not a rarity in South Florida, but it was fairly mild temperature wise so golf was the decision on how to spend the afternoon.
I decided to walk, which is rare in South Florida golf. Most people ride motorized carts. Delray Beach Muni allows walking and also boasts nine holes designed by the great Donald Ross. So it was off to play golf. Little did I know how that decision was to change my life.
Stepping up to the counter, I announced my intention on how I wanted to play. After taking my money, the counterman turns to a woman in the pro shop and says that I might be kind enough to play with her. After our introduction and a few putts on the practice green we were off.
Lucky for me, the stigma of tees was not an issue to me. I had rectified that playing from any tee was the same golf course only using different clubs. I asked the young woman from Sweden if she would like me to play from the forward tees with her. I just thought it more conducive to have a social round.
I quickly enjoyed playing with Eva. She was a player, as her efforts were signified by the sound of her club hitting the golf ball. I also learned my first words of Swedish as an errant shot was met with a flurry of words that I was sure didn’t mean, “Nice shot, Eva!”
By the turn, I was captured and spent the back nine trying out various scenarios that would extend our time together. Alas, at the end of the round, the clubhouse lounge was closed so I couldn’t invite her to the 19th hole.
But I did carry her bag (just a small pencil travel kit) to her car and tripped all over myself getting another date with her. As the poets would say, I was smitten.
Well, since that fateful day, I followed Eva to Stockholm almost a year later to the day. We have been a twosome ever since. I can safely say that I have played more rounds of golf with Eva than any other person on earth. We have played above the Arctic Circle and in Europe, Morocco and the USA.
Eva has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I am a better person for knowing her and, much to my detriment, I don’t let her know it enough.
But I’m here to tell you all, especially her, that Memorial Day 2004 is memorable to me. It was kismet that brought us together. It was my lucky day.
One For The Ages
Just a few miles away from Royal Troon, on October 17, 1860, eight professionals assembled at Prestwick for a tournament to determine who would be the Champion golfer. The competitors played three rounds on the then 12-hole links, with Willie Park Sr beating Old Tom Morris by two shots. A year later, Prestwick announced that the tournament “shall be open to all the world.”
With all the world watching, with all the pre-tournament noise, the 146th British Open came down to two men. The rest of the field played this Open like a weekend gathering of golfers that you and I would enjoy.
Just a few miles from Prestwick, where the Open’s time began, two golfers played four rounds of golf for the Ages. One golfer stood on the 18th fairway of Royal Troon, six under par for his day, and was two strokes behind his fellow competitor.
The golf course, the weather and Phil Mickelson threw everything they had at the winner from Sweden, Henrik Stenson. He didn’t just overcame those deterrents, he dominated them, playing better and better each day. On Sunday’s final round, normally a knee knocking, nerve rattling day for anyone in contention, Henrik Stenson fired 1o birdies at the Royal Troon links.
In 2002, Henrik Stenson ranked 336th in the golf world. As late as 2011, Stenson was ranked #211. Watching Stenson play was not a matter of if he would melt down but when. That same year, Stenson had not qualified to play in the PGA Championship, so he opted to play for his club championship at Sweden’s Barseback Golf Club. He lost, finishing second to Henrik Hilford Brander.
2011 is just five years ago, but it is light years away from the man who raised the claret jug this day. How good was Henrik? Let the man who battled him for four days explain. Tell us Phil:
“I thought we played pretty good golf. I hit a lot of good shots and Henrik made 10 birdies. He and I have been friends for quite some time and I really like and respect him. I’m really happy for him, as much as I’m disappointed with the outcome. He’s a class act and he played phenomenal. He hit the ball so solid yesterday and today especially. What a great champion. He just played some incredible golf. I threw as much at him as I could and he didn’t make any mistakes. Just incredible play. What a great champion he is.”
Not only has the weight of not winning a major been lifted off of Stenson’s back but that weight is off the country of Sweden, as well. Sweden delivered major winners in woman’s golf but, until today, never a man.
In one round of golf, Swedish golf is now, itself, a major.
Christian Lundin – Turning Dreams Into Golf Courses
Players designing golf courses started from the game’s earliest years. I mean, who else would have taken land only fit for sheep and turn it into a golf course? Only people who loved the game, like Christian Lundin, golf course designer.
When Bobby Jones gave his thoughts to Allistir MacKenzie could be the beginning of the player/course designer relationship. Later, Jack, Arnie and Gary started their own golf design companies, riding on the name recognition of their playing accomplishments. All of those icons hired designers to execute their ideas.
It’s now commonplace for professional players to translate their playing experiences into golf courses. While the trophies gather dust on the shelves, to design a golf facility that people will enjoy for decades is very appealing. Faldo, Seve, Sorenstam and Woods all have designs in place around the world.
The latest player to enter this enterprise is the Swedish professional , Henrik Stenson. Following in the footsteps of fellow Swede and Ryder Cup player, Pierre Fulke, Stenson wants to design golf courses highlighting his experiences as a player into vision. Stenson wants to incorporate risk and reward into his golf courses, something he likes as a player. Not surprisingly, Henrik wants a simple design, yet each hole to have its own character. It must be enjoyable for all levels of golfers. While the better golfer can challenge the risk to get his reward, the higher handicap player has a safer route to the hole that would only drop a shot to par.
Does the professional golfer put down his clubs and take up a protractor? He could if he has some degrees in architectural design. So, he finds a designer who is a kindred spirit, someone who believes in the same vision for golf courses as he does. In Henrik’s case, he turned to the Swedish designer, Christian Lundin, of the firm reGolf.
Growing up in the Swedish area known as Småland, Christian Lundin was devoted to soccer, as are most boys in Sweden. He loved to play all sports but soccer was his favorite and he became pretty good, despite his dislike of practice. A serious injury forced him to hang up his soccer boots. His doctor suggested he take up golf, saying it was a game Christian could play for the rest of his life.
Christian took to golf but his dislike of practice remained. However, he began to take interest in other aspects of golf. Scoring became less important as Christian began to understand the strategy and how landscaping of the golf courses helped form that strategy. The deeper he delved into this side of golf the more he became interested.
Christian speaks his English with an Irish lilt reflecting the years of study in Ireland for golf course design. Christian has over twelve years experience in the golf business, working as a greenskeeper prior to finding his calling as a designer. Christian studied the great links of Ireland while with Jeff Howes Golf Design. Christian returned to his native Sweden, to help evolve the face of Scandinavian golf. Lundin is an Associate Member of the European Institute of
Golf Course Architects.
Like any artist, Christian has his influences. Masters like MacKenzie, Ross and H.S. Colt. Lundin is particularly influenced by Tom Simpson, who was an eccentric character, almost certainly a little crazy. Simpson was one of the breed of gentleman amateur architects as opposed to a golf professional turned designer. He was a fervent believer that golf should be an intellectual battle and not a physical one.
Christian was impressed early by a particular quote by Simpson. Simpson said that in designing a course, “The green is the star and the fairway is the comet’s tail.” Christian recalled, “That struck a chord with me and I find myself designing golf holes from the green back to the tee.”
Some of Christian’s favorite courses are, to no surprise, the links courses of Ireland. Some of those courses are County Louth near Dublin, Ballybunion near Kerry and Carne, located in a wild dune area on the tip of the Mullet Peninsula in County Mayo.
The question is, how did Christian meet Henrik Stenson? It seems that Christian went to the PGA Show in Orlando. I’ll let Christian take it from here: “I went with a friend who was a good friend of Stenson. My friend called Henrik to say hello and Henrik invited the both of us over to his house. The conversation wandered all over the subject of golf, but when we talked about golf courses we liked and their designs, Henrik and I were pretty much in sync. As we left, he said let’s get together again.”
Linden didn’t here from Stenson for the rest of the golf season. One day the phone rang and Henrik was on the other end saying that he would like to see Christian. “We met again and agreed we should do something together.”
Christian had put in a bid to rebuild some bunkers at Österåkers GK, outside of Stockholm. Then, the club changed course and decided for a complete redeisgn. Another designer nearly received the contract when Henrik and Christian asked if they might bid? After a meeting with Österåkers principles, the duo were awarded the contract.
From now until 2021, when the final phase will be complete at Österåkers, Henrik Stenson Design will be working on the modernization of already one of Stockholm’s premier golf clubs. While Henrik Stenson himself will be deeply involved with the project, it will be Christian Lundin that will turn Henrik Stenson’s ideas into a golf course.
Maybe I should reserve a tee time, you think?
Wishes Can Come True
It was at the 2010 Scandinavian Masters, at Bro Hof Golf Club, just outside of Stockholm. It was held the week after the British Open hoping that some stars would spend two weeks in North Europe and play the Swedish event. Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Champion, did play that year. He already made the commitment.
It was late in the afternoon on Tuesday of the championship week. The course was getting quiet and the fairways had cleared of fans watching the players practicing. The players were returning to their accommodations to rest up for Wednesday’s long day of the Pro/Am.
I was cutting over fairways to get back to the clubhouse when a lone player and his caddy came walking down the first fairway. Most players play with friends during practice rounds but David Lingmerth and a buddy carrying his bag, were by themselves.
I met David a few weeks before when he was competing for Sweden in the European Team Championship. Sweden had made it to the finals, but ran out of gas on the final day and came in second to the team from England.
Lingmerth didn’t have his best weekend, finishing at four over. Watching him on that final day, I saw a young man determined to finish the best that he could. With his jaw set and a physique built for hockey (which he played), if he had been wearing a helmet, he would have pulled the chin strap tighter and stepped it up a notch.
Last week, I was talking about David with a colleague. The colleague offered that David was the most “Americanized” of the Swedish professional golfers. Coming from the small Swedish town of Tranås, David was probably introduced to the USA by his uncle, Goran Lingmerth.
Goran was the place kicker for the Northern Arizona University football team. He still holds the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for single-game field goals (8) and points scored in a game (24). Goran was placed into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Goran Lingmerth got to know members of the Solheim Family, who owned PING. It resulted in a job offer and a life in golf to this day.
Because of his career in the golf industry, Lingmerth had the opportunity to instill the game of golf in his young nephew, David. They would play golf during summer trips to Sweden and, as Goran was the PING rep to the LPGA, hit balls at Florida country clubs with LPGA golfers on trips to the states.
“You could tell he had it going mentally at an early age,” said Lingmerth of his 10-year old nephew. “He was mentally tough and had a beautiful swing.”
David’s game developed over the years. He played for the Swedish National Team and played in the President’s Cup. When it came time to seek out opportunities in college, Goran helped David get a scholarship at the University of West Florida, where he was an All-American and won a tournament as a freshman. His breakout season led to a transfer to Arkansas, a runner-up NCAA finish, and, three years later, a chance at a pro career.
David played on the Nationwide Tour in 2011 and just missed his PGA TOUR card by one stroke at the Nationwide Championship. In 2012, he made progress by winning his first event and earning a PGA Tour card by his position on the money list.
David, in his second career start on the PGA Tour, finished as a joint runner-up at the Humana Challenge after losing in a three-man playoff. Shooting a 10-under-par round of 62 in the final round to get into the playoff, he was eliminated at the first extra hole after finding the water with his second shot. At the 2013 Players Championship, David led in the third round, finishing T2, two strokes behind Tiger Woods. A sign of Lingmerth’s mental toughness was at the 2015 Memorial Tournament. Again, David was in a playoff to win Jack Nicklaus’ prestigious event. David beat Justin Rose in the third playoff hole to earn his first PGA Tour win.
On that fairway in 2010, David and I said a few friendly words to one another and I wished him luck in the Scandinavian Open and he walked away to continue his practice round. I watched them stride off alone thinking, maybe, my good luck wish really was for David in his attempt to be a professional golfer. I knew it would be hard for the rookie. No tour friends, no sponsors and a formidable road ahead. We all know that many have tried but few have succeeded.
This weekend, in winning the 2015 Memorial, it seems my good luck wish for David is coming true.
More on Mr. Linde
Today I received a very nice e-mail from another noted Swedish golf course designer, Peter Nordwall.
A Nordic golf course architect, Peter Nordwall is best known for his Swedish courses Bro-Balsta and Svartinge which both have their fans and elements to admire.
Bro-Balsta is the club where Annika Sorenstam learned to play golf and its main course is a surprisingly attractive layout that occupies rolling countryside thick with pine and birch. Most of the putting targets are very large and built with tiers, shelves or swales – the moguls on the 9th are crazy!
This is a popular club, however, as the facilities are excellent and the turf conditions generally quite good. The 12th hole, modeled on the 16th at Augusta National, is also an attraction for those in Sweden who haven’t seen the original.
With a layout kept in great condition, Svartinge Golf Club is a very private club with only a few hundred members. These fortunate golfers enjoy games on pristine playing surfaces and also get to test their skills against one of the regions most attractive designs. Svartinge is a good golf course, and the club resembles The Grand in Australia for the setting and nature of the establishment.
We asked Peter to give us some of his thoughts on Sune Linde.
“I found Sune Linde to be an extremely friendly, soft-spoken, low profile man, who had a smile on his face almost all the time.”
Asked if he had any stories from their encounters, Peter said, “Sadly enough, no. We got together for a chat all too seldom, although I made it a habit during my years as president of the FSGA to spend some time on the phone with Sune just before or after the organization’s two annual meetings.”
Was he an influence for you? “Not really. Although he was 15 years older than me, we happened to start our course architect career almost at the same time and I had then already formed my design philosophy,” he said.
Your thoughts of his designs…any example holes or courses? Peter’s answer was, “I would say that one of Sune’s typical design trade marks was his “bottle-neck bunkering” for the tee shot on par 4 and 5 holes – i.e. one bunker left at 200 m + one right at 230 m (or vice versa).”
Do you have a favorite course of Sune Linde? “Several of his around 50 courses, especially Frösåker and Kallfors,” replied Peter
Sune Linde – 1924 – 2015
One of Sweden’s leading course architects, Sune Linde, died of complications following surgery last week. Mr. Linde was 90 years old.
Sune Linde was one of Sweden’s great course architects, designing fifty Swedish golf courses. His designs are some of Sweden’s best golf courses, Frösåkers GK, Forsgårdens GK, Arlandastad Golf Club and his home club, Nyköping GK. He designed over 50 of Sweden’s golf courses and, today, thousands of Swedish golfers enjoy playing on his visions.
In the early 50s, Sune Linde met architect Nils Skold and he designed his first golf course, Ärila, with Skold. The Ärila club changed its name to Nyköping GK. Nyköping was Linde’s home course, where the Club hosts an annual event named the Sune Linde Cup.
” Sune was a great Nykoping figure and one of Sweden’s major architects. He will be missed at the club. He was very active right until a few years ago because of problems with his eyes,” said Nyköping Club Manager, Gary Cosford.
Sune Linde’s architectural signature is following the natural terrain and using low-key, subtle brush strokes on Nature’s palette. His golf courses seem undisturbed, looking as a natural extension of their environment. I wrote in the Swedish Golf Experience that the courses in Sweden “…look like the wind, snow and ice designed the golf courses over eons and the designer would put the green into the only location he could.”
In 1978, Sune Linde received the Swedish Golf Federation Silver Award given to a “… person who performed or are still performing work for Swedish golf in their district and or club facility. ”
Swedish Golf Online contacted some of Sweden’s leading golf architects to get their thoughts on Sune Linde, the man and his designs.
Tommy Nordstrom designed the “new” course (built in 1989) at Båstad and one of my favorites, the feral Degeberga-Widtsköfle GK. He was a colleague of Sune. “We have been members in the FSGA (Society of Swedish Golf Course Architects) since 1988. From 1985 to 1995, when many courses were built in Sweden, we had a lot of meetings and made many study trips to the fine courses in Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and France. We have the same favorite courses in Scotland, Muirfield and the Old Course.”
As to Sune the man, Tommy remembered, “I found Sune a very nice man, a gentleman who always took part in discussions about golf course architecture. It was very interesting to talk with Sune. He belonged to the classic designers, as most of the Swedish designers are, where nature is important. He believed the golf course should be created in a way that it looked like it had been there forever.”
Tommy continued, “I remember that I was very impressed by his first design, Ärila, in Nyköping, We played it during a meeting there in 1985. It was very natural and is an interesting course to play. He also did a very fine job with Söderslätts Golf Course. From a totally flat and dull farmland he created a very fine course, well adapted to the farmland landscape, a good job. He made many fine courses, I think his own favorite was Kallfors GK that I also like very much. Another course, which I think many tour golfers like, is Frösåker. He designed one course, Kungsbacka, where they have played European Tour event.”
Pierre Fulke played fifteen years on the European professional tours and was a member of the winning European Ryder Cup team in 2002. Since his retirement he has been busy designing golf courses. Three of Sweden’s best golf courses, Ombergs (his first), Grönhögens and Visby have all been shaped by Pierre.
Pierre met with Sune only a few times, but when he did he found the man, “…funny, witty, just a fun guy to be around. I really enjoyed him as a person.” To illustrate what he meant, Pierre told a story of he and Sune driving around on one of Sune’s golf courses in a golf cart. They came to one hole where the green is perched on a hill, all but hidden from the fairway.
Pierre tells the story. ” We began the climb up the hill in the golf cart and as we go up, the hill gets steeper. It get to such a state that now I’m wondering if the cart is going to reach the top. Finally, we reach the top and I’m looking at a tiny green. I say to myself this is a really poorly designed hole. I couldn’t believe that Sune had done this. So, I ask him, “Sune, what is with this hole. What were you thinking?”
With a twinkle in his eye, Sure says to me, “Pierre, I always want to have one hole on a course that people will talk about-even if it’s a bad hole.”
We will have more recollections from fellow architects in the next edition.
Feast Your Eyes On This…
In 1995, I began a collaboration with Peter Cordén, when we worked on our book, “The Swedish Golf Experience.” In 1997, we published our work and you may be able to find an odd copy on an on-line book seller, maybe not. The picture on SGO’s home page is by Peter. He took it at almost midnight at Bjorkliden GK 250 kilometers above the Arctic Circle.
Amazingly, after working together for two years, we still remain close friends and trade off services between ourselves and dream about The Swedish Golf Experience 2.0. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the yeoman’s work that my girl, Eva Waitzfelder, did keeping the train on the tracks and the two of us from drifting away.
On May 6, I had the pleasure of being a part of Peter’s latest book release. In the main room of the UniPeg Golf store in downtown Stockholm, a good gathering of friends and family gathered to celebrate with a few drinks and good cheer.
The book is called, “Golfilicious,” a collection of great memories from some of Sweden’s top golf professionals as well as anecdotes from other Swedish celebrity golfers. Included are recipes from Sweden’s brightest golf restaurateurs and chefs. While turning the pages, your eyes can rest on photos from some of Sweden’s fantastic golf courses.
Peter’s partner in Golfilicious is Jenny Olsson, an independent freelance journalist writing everything from editorials and personal portraits to press releases and shorter news items. Jenny is experienced from the daily press, monthly magazines, customer magazines and the web.
As I said I have worked with Peter for many years and, IMHO, he has a wonderful eye for the nuance of golf courses he brings to his photos. He belongs in the elite of, certainly, Swedish golf photographers. He is constantly on the move between jobs in Sweden and the world. He gathers his work under the tent he calls “Golf is Art.” I think, turning the pages in “Golfilicious,” you will get the same impact that I get. As I tell people, Peter could make a runway at Arlanda look like a pristine fairway.
Available only in Swedish, the book is called “Golfilicious” and you can get a copy here. Don’t worry about the language, like they say, one picture is worth a thousand words.
There’s a New Beer in Town-Beer Drinkers Rejoice
Is there such a thing as coincidence? I’m not sure about that. You’ll have to judge that for yourself. Yesterday, Patrik Waxan, on his Facebook page, commented about a new product about “GolfBeer.” I didn’t think much about it because, come on, ANY beer goes great with golf.
But then, Golf Channel.com had a story about three pro golfers getting together to brew a new beer called, yup, GolfBeer. The three pros involved are Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell and Freddie Jacobson from Sweden.
The beer has three distinctive textures and taste, reflecting the individual pro’s preference. All have a lower alcohol content, ideal for consumption during a round on a hot day without disrupting your game.
Let’s put a pint in our fists and raise our glasses to the success of GolfBeer.
Thanks to the Golf Channel, we can have Freddie Jac tell us himself.
Recollections of Ryder
On his way to the 2014 Ryder Cup, Sweden’s Pierre Fulke remembers the 2002 Ryder Cup.
Pierre Fulke was a member of the 2002 European Ryder Cup team. That year he and two other Swedes, Niclas Fasth and Jesper Parnevik, helped to win the Cup for Europe, 15½ to 12½.
Pierre won three times on the European Tour. In 1999, he won the Lancome Trophy. His most successful season was 2000, when he won the Scottish PGA Championship and the Volvo Masters. That year he was #12 on the Order of Merit.
I was lucky to get a hold of the busy Mr. Fulke just before his leaving for Gleneagles. Talking to Pierre is a real pleasure and I’m happy to share his memories with you.
I asked Pierre how was he contacted about making the European team? He said, in actuality, he knew a year before the matches. Readers will remember that the Twin Towers attack on 9/11 was just two weeks before that year’s Ryder Cup. They postponed the 2001 event and it was re-scheduled for 2002.
There is one special memory that Pierre keeps from the 2002 Ryder Cup. “Sam Torrance was my Captain for that Cup. One day I received a letter from Sam. It was a handwritten note from him welcoming me to the team. I was so moved by Sam’s gesture that I framed the note and it hangs on my wall. I usually don’t have thoughts of the Cup but I do look at that note at least once a week.”
The 2002 European Team had a great cast of characters: Thomas Bjørn (On the 2014 team)
Sergio Garcia (On the 2014 team)
Padrig Harrington (2014 Vice Captain)
Paul McGinley (the 2014 European Captain)
Phillip Price and Lee Westwood (On the 2014 team).
Add three Swedes named Niclas Fasth, Pierre Fulke and Jesper Parnevik. I wondered what the locker room and team meetings were like?
“Well, both Sam and Mark James (VC) were from the old school of players and were as coaches, as well. Sam worked on our hearts and emotions. Sam didn’t talk tactics with us. He said we need to go out there and play the best we ever played.”
Pierre teamed with Phillip Price of Wales. What was he like as a playing partner? “Phil was…not unsure…but a shy guy. We didn’t play the first day but would be the first off for Saturday’s Foursomes. We were going against Mickelson and David Toms. The night before I said to Phil we should form a plan for the game, you know, like who should tee off first on hole #1? Price speaks up and says, ‘Pierre, there will be no way that I will tee off first tomorrow.’ That’s why it was me first off in that match.
Pierre paused a bit, then said, “During the match, Phil was asking my opinion on almost all his shots. I said to him, ‘Phil, look, I trust you. You don’t have to ask me about shots all the time.’ But it was obvious that it helped him, so I just gave my thoughts when he asked.”
“We lost that match, 2 and 1. Phillip Price was nothing if not a fierce competitor. I think the way he went out on Sunday and beat Mickelson (3 and 2 in singles) gives you a good indicator of how tough he was.”
The story of Price and the first tee led me to ask Pierre about how he felt walking to the first tee of his first match in a Ryder Cup?
“Sam Torrance did something that was thoughtful as well as smart. He would walk us to the first tee. He helped to keep our heads focused on the match. That walk was the best and at the same time scariest walks I have ever taken on a golf course. The intensity of the emotional energy is almost tangible. You’re so nervous, it’s a wonder you can get it off the tee. Luckily for me, I hit it straight down the middle. I made a tough putt on 18 on Sunday to get a half against Davis Love. They were the first and last best shots of my life.”
Was there someone you would have liked to partner with that weekend? “I would have liked to play with Colin Montgomery. He’s one of the best Ryder Cup players ever, of course. During the season, he would always come up to me and ask how things were going and if I needed anything. He was making sure I knew that we were on the same team. That’s not a well known side of Colin. He sometimes gives the wrong perception to the fans.”
The 2002 Ryder Cup was the first after the Battle of Brookline. It was at Brookline that Justin Leonard sank that remarkable putt. It caused a spontaneous celebration of the American players.
Unfortunately, José María Olazábel still had a chance to halve the hole. He missed the putt after a long delay. It tainted the final win by the American team with cries of unsportsmanlike play. I asked Pierre if there was any extra tension between the teams because of that celebration?
“I don’t remember any hard feelings, but I wasn’t at Brookline. It’s possible that the players who were there had some resentment, but it was not noticeable. It was a different feeling then because the Europeans played the European Tour and the Americans played the PGA tour. We didn’t see each other too much. Now, many Europeans live in the States and they play on the American tour. Now every one knows each other and the rivalry is not as definitive as it once was.”
Asked if he had any thoughts on the outcome of this Ryder Cup, Pierre had no hesitation in answering. “I have no idea,” he said. “What I do know is that there will be fantastic golf no matter what team wins. It will be close on Sunday after almost three days of outstanding matches. The cliché is true. In match play, anything can happen.”
So, Pierre, what are you up to now? “In 2007 I retired from competitive golf. I was proud of my career, but I just felt that I wasn’t treating golf the same. I hung up my clubs and haven’t touched them since.”
“I started doing the TV commentating. It was daunting at first, but now I do about 12 to 15 matches a year. I’ll be doing this year’s Ryder Cup. I would like to pursue the TV work more in the future.”
Pierre also has a golf course design company. His philosophy is to develop courses that are playable and interesting. He looks to design courses that have no Fulke signature. He looks to adapt his courses to the terrain. “When you walk off my courses, you should have no idea who designed the golf course.” After chatting on the concepts of Donald Ross and Allister MacKenzie, I said thanks and goodbye to Pierre.
Like I said earlier, Pierre is quite the storyteller. For a guy who says he “…rarely thinks about the experience,” he sure remembered a lot.
Pierre Fulke will be bringing you commentary live from Gleneagles for the entire 2014 Ryder Cup on the Golf Channel. Check local listing for times and channel.
Professional….Thy Name is Peter
Peter Cordens talent as photographer and graphic designer, and his perspective on life give his work a distinctive
and singular signature. This unique perspective and his love for the game of golf led Peter to conceiving “Golf is Art”.
A continuing series of work, “Golf is Art” takes the world of golf and transforms it into photographic essays that uncovers
the artistic nature of the sport. Peter’s graphic design has served the commercial needs of his many clients magazines,
Golf Digest and many more magazines feature Peter’s photography work on a regular basis. In addition, his photographic
prints adorn the walls of businesses and golf clubhouses throughout Sweden. Highly acclaimed hand painted renderings
of his images hang on the walls of some of the most prestigious public buildings and private homes.
In 2007, a collection of Sweden’s most scenic golf courses called “The Swedish Golf Experience” was published.
The book, with text in English by Gene Oberto, highlights the natural beauty of the Swedish countryside as only Peter can.
Peter Corden lives in Stockholm with his wife and twin daughters.