Growing up in a golf-mad family, it was perhaps inevitable that Zendesk director of sales for Australia and New Zealand, Rod Moynihan, should catch the bug. He answers our Time Out Q&A.
How did you start playing golf?
I spent so much of my youth surrounded by golf – both parents and my extended family were always playing – that it sparked a real love for the sport. My grandfather bought the old clubhouse at the Caloundra Golf Course on the Sunshine Coast in 1975 and converted it into a weekend getaway for the extended family.
He also represented Australia as an amateur, so he was always taking us out in his golf cart as kids. We spent countless evenings on the fairways with our plastic clubs once the day’s play had ended. The family of one of my classmates owned a chain of golf shops, so for my 21st birthday he presented me with my first set of “new” golf clubs. I really caught the bug then, and have been hooked ever since.
Like many who work, travel and have a young family, finding the time to grace the fairways is more of a luxury these days; however, I get out one to two times a month. I always look forward to spring and summer in Melbourne, as you can play in the late afternoon and early evening due to daylight saving, so I usually see a couple more rounds than usual.
I’m a member of Melbourne’s Sandhurst Club.
Golf rule most often broken
Grounding a club in a hazard. I see it all the time!
What clubs do you use?
Callaway X Hot Pro irons, an Adams hybrid, TaylorMade M1 driver, 3 wood and putter, and Titleist wedges.
Favourite course and favourite hole
Royal Melbourne. My favourite hole is the second at St Andrew’s Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, one of the best in its category. Both courses have short, well-designed holes that provide lots of options and are the most fun to play.
Most inspiring golfer
It might seem an obvious choice, but Greg Norman inspires me the most. Apart from being a Queenslander, he took the game to a whole new level and dominated the golf world for so long.
If you could play anywhere, where would it be?
The Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in the United States, which has so much history. Also, growing up in Queensland, I was up at 5am to see whether Norman could win there. Sadly, he didn’t, although he was close so many times. Thankfully, another Queenslander, Adam Scott, won in 2013.
Memorable moments or embarrassing outbursts
When playing in the club championships qualifying tournament last year, I had two holes to play and was +4 heading to the 17th hole. I managed to lose five balls attempting to hit the same shot, only to realise the first one had entered a hazard. I could have taken a drop when the first ball entered the hazard and avoided the sequence that unravelled.
Focus on your short game and remember it’s a golf swing, not a golf hit. So, swing the club and let the ball get in the way.
Most like to have a round with
Jack Nicklaus, he’s one of the greatest golfers of all time and has won the most majors.
Worst thing about golf
One, playing in the rain. I am a definitely a fair-weather golfer; and two, having to play a shot from a divot in the fairway. How this is not ground under repair [GUR] is one of the most ridiculous rules in golf.
I love the friendly and competitive banter on the golf course, being outside in the fresh air and the challenge of always trying to improve.
Thoughts from the 19th hole
Speed of play. I think clubs really should penalise slow play. A monthly medal stroke event can now take more than five hours, which means less time at the 19th.
What would you change?
I think golf clubs needs to reinvent themselves, ideally retaining the rules and etiquette while creating enjoyable and fun experiences. This will attract younger members and players.
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