Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport
Do you remember that song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport”? As bizarre as it was – it’s probably the most famous song to come out of Australia.
Who’s the most famous golfer to come out of Australia? That’s pretty easy – Greg Norman. Who’s the best golfer to come out of Australia – Peter Thomson.
Yeah – Peter Thomson. (No p in Thomson). He won 5 British Opens … 3 in a row – 1954, ’55, and ’56.
His final British Open title came in 1965, and is considered his most important because he beat Palmer, Nicklaus, Player and Tony Lema – the defending champ.
Thomson won all over the world, but he didn’t do well in America. He was a low ball hitter who ran the ball onto the green. American courses were too lush for his style of play. His only victory over here was the Texas Open – not exactly lush in those days.
He had a very simple swing and relied on steely nerves, great course management, and excellent putting. This quote from him says it all “The most important facets of golf are careful planning, calm and clear thinking, and the ordinary logic of common sense”.
Does Thomson like the modern game of professional golf? Not so much. He doesn’t like “sluggers” and the emphasis on power instead of control. He especially doesn’t like modern super long, over lush, fast greens courses. Why doesn’t he like fast greens? He thinks it makes putting too easy and takes away from the emphasis on shot making. He says that when they played on slow greens, they never made anything over 10 feet and not much past 5 feet.
As you can see, Thomson’s a pretty opinionated guy. He’s had a newspaper column for 60 years … and people love him or hate him. But everyone respects him and admits that he’s a bright guy and a good man.
Will Adam Scott become the best Australian golfer? Wouldn’t surprise me – he’s ready to dominate. Will Australia come up with a more famous song than “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport”? I sure hope so.
GM and Head Golf Profesional