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The Firm & Fast Golf Podcast

The Firm & Fast Golf Podcast

Author: Shane Derby

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We're on a golfing quest of sorts, looking to increase our golfing I.Q.'s in the process. Our aim is to speak to expert guests at the intersection of golf design and construction, green keeping and history… name but a few topics.
This podcast is not about us, it's about the guests, what they know and how that can influence the sustainable future of the game of golf that we all cherish.
Suspend what you know about the game of golf for a moment and join us on this journey, we promise great guests, different takes and a few laughs along the way.
Many thanks for considering us for a listen!
34 Episodes
Robin Bargmann joins us for the final time, as we explore how the game of golf in the Netherlands started on the private estates of the aristocratic and mercantile families of Holland. We take a look at some of these early pioneers, that brought the game to the dunescape and heathland of the lowlands. Over time the custodians of the first clubs, engaged notable names such as Harry Colt, Hugh Alison and John Morrison to revise, extend and design some of the countries best courses. In future episodes we will catch up with some of the modern day custodians to see how history and heritage is still harnessed to the benefit of members and guests at these golfing institutions. A number of pre-loved copies of Robin's book, The Serendipity of Early Golf, appear to be available from the link below for those that may be interested. The book of writings by John Sutherland, Golf Causerie, mentioned in the episode, can be purchased directly from the Royal Dornoch proshop - link here ( Featured music by Victor Lundberg, under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Robin Bargmann.
'I think you always have to go to the context, to understand something' R. Bargmann. Robin Bargmann joins us for the second instalment on the back story to dutch golf. Today we touch on some Dutch history including the Spanish Armada, the fall of Antwerp and subsequent rise of Amsterdam, the Dutch masters and the Burghers, the demise of the game of colf, not to forget the foundation of the Dutch Republic, Waterloo, the Dutch East India Company and much more. Thanks for tuning in, we hope you enjoy the journey! Links to a few of Robin's articles published in the British Golf Collectors Societies periodical Through the Green can be found below Golf in Holland ( Bobby Boreel ( More than a Textbook ( The Serendipity book is now out of print, however, used copies can often be found on Abebooks ( if you are interested in augmenting your golfing library. Featured music by Victor Lundberg, under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Robin Bargmann.
Robin Bargmann joins us on this episode to begin an exploration of early golf and the influence that the European lowlands had on the modern game of golf, founded in Scotland in the 15th century. Robin is widley recognised as one of the leading golf scholars in The Netherlands and has written a number of books including Serendipity of Early Golf which traces the many connections between Holland and Scotland. The breadth of his research as impressive as it is extensive, we trust that you enjoy what is the first of three instalments with Mr. Bargmann. The Serendipity book is now out of print, however, used copies can often be found on Abebooks ( if you are interested in augmenting your golfing library. Links to one of Robin's articles published in the British Golf Collectors Societies periodical Through the Green can be found below Golf in Holland ( Featured music by Victor Lundberg, under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Robin Bargmann.
In this second installment of our docupod series we take a look at the creation of the grounds for golf in the Netherlands. Stepping into a geological time machine with the help of Robert Hack we take a look at the geography, geology and underlying history of the low countries and how natural forces and the hand of man have conspired to create a dunescape, sandy interior and polderland that is utilised in its' myriad forms for the 250 Dutch golf courses. We also get a sneak peek of episode 3 in this series with a short cameo appearance from the Robin Bargmann the golf historian and author of the Serendipity of Early Golf. Robin's book follows on, in a contrapuntal direction, from Steven van Hengels book from the 1980's entitled Early Golf. Please see a youtube link below for some more information on a few of the topics covered in this episode A dry southern north sea - The Sandmotor - An interesting read in advance of the next episode - Featured music by Victor Lundberg, under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guests: Robert Hack and Robin Bargmann.
Inspired by a relatively recent golf trip to the Netherlands, this is episode #1 trying something slightly different. In this episode we take an introductory look at golf in Holland getting a feel for what you might expect in a golfing sense with assistance from some of our friends, namely Mike Clayton, Frank Pont, George Waters & Jasper Miners. We also take a sneak peak at what to expect to from the remainder of the docupod series.... please be mindful that most of it is as yet unrecorded (but I do know who I need to talk to).... I will get it published .... however, it may take some time (if putting this relatively short episode is anything to go by!). Thanks for tuning in, I hope you enjoy the different format! Featured music by Victor Lundberg, under license from Epedemic Sound. Special Guests: Frank Pont, George Waters, Jasper Miners, and Mike Clayton.
We are releasing a new format docupod series tomorrow which will take a deep dive into golf in the Netherlands. This snippet was too good to leave out so I have included here as sneak peak of my recent chat with Mike Clayton...sage advice as to why you should consider a golf trip to the Netherlands, Belgium & France. I hope you enjoy tomorrows release. Special Guest: Mike Clayton.
Jeff Mingay joins us from Nova Scotia for a varied discussion on the life and times of Arthur Vernon Macan (1882-1964). Macan was born in Ireland but is better known in his adopted homeland of Canada. An accomplished amateur golfer, AV was a qualified lawyer who became a prolific golf course architect throughout the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the USA. We explore Macan's back story, his influences and notable courses which include the original iteration of The California Club in San Francisco. Jeff also gives us a flavour of his restoration work on Macan courses, his design/build philosophy, some commentary on why the setup at LACC was right on the money and an assessment of the recent PGA Tour Commissioners repudiation of the Model Local Rule ball related proposal from the R&A/USGA. We hope you enjoy the show! Please find some links below of items mentioned in the show Concerning Golf (1903) by John J. Low ( Score Golf Article by Jeff Mingay on LACC ( Anatomy of a Golf Course by Tom Doak ( The Links by Robert Hunter ( Just Call me Mac - by Mike Riste ( History of Essex Golf & Country Club - by Jeff Mingay ( Classics of Golf Library ( Intro and outro music - _Shoreline Serenade by Dye O _- under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Jeff Mingay.
With the Open Championship quickly approaching Joe McDonnell, member of RLGC for over 30 years, joins us to explore the seemigly ever changing faces of Hoylake. Many thanks to Joe for his time and expertise.... this should whet your appetite in advance of the 151st staging of golfs' original and greatest major. Links mentioned in the episode Richard Latham's golf history books ( The Updated version of Scott MacPherson's Evolution of the Old Course ( Joe McDonnell's Time Machine Please click here ( to see some imagery from Joe's bucket list, time machine - Royal Birkdale, St. Andrews Old Course and Royal Liverpool Please check out a video of Brancaster ( at high tide and Elgar's_ Nimrod _as the sound track.... wonderful! Episode imagery credits - Joe McDonnell, Simon Haines, Royal Liverpool Golf Club & Kevin Murray Intro and outro music - _Shoreline Serenade by Dye O _- under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Joe McDonnell.
Richard Pennell makes a long overdue return to the pod, I am honoured that he decided to favour F&F as the medium to announce the imminent publication of his new book - Grass Routes - a collection of some of his @pitchmarks pieces ( Grass Routes Website ( Richard has launched a new website ( to launch his book, the first edition has a limited run and will undoubtedly be a collectors item in the years to come. Through the medium of words, Richard, has an unrivalled ability to tanatlise the senses in transporting you to first tees, final greens and matchplay battles throughout the golf courses of England, Wales, Scotland and beyond. This is an opus worth investing in. Competition In celebration of Grass Routes publication, Richard has kindly agreed to provide a lucky winner with a signed copy of his new book. All you have to do is to follow either of the links below to Twitter or Instagram, follow the F&F accounts and then successfully name the course where the hole in question is located. F&F Twitter Link ( F&F Instagram Link ( *Grant Books * ( Grant Books ( are publishing Grass Routes ( for Richard Pennell, Grant Books ( been publishing the finest golf books since 1971. Their portfolio includes architectural, historical and club-specific volumes, all produced to the highest standards. Click here ( for more details of their extensive range. The Smell of Rain Towards the end of this episode I completely lost the run of myself :) and challenged RP to write a piece for the F&F listeners on the smell of rain. Alas as the pod dropped the creative juices are still flowing so you will have to wait a little longer to see what he comes up with, as soon as he sends it to me, a link will be posted here to the F&F substack blog! Richard Pennell Esq Richard's First Blog Post via Cookie Jar Golf - Rank Outsiders ( Richard Pennell's @pitchmarks Substack Blog ( Alistair Cooke Letter from America - Alistair Cooke on BBC Sounds ( Harry Rountree Watercolour Prints A link to the sumptuous Harry Rountree Prints from Darwin's Golf Courses of the British Isles can be found here ( F&F Blog - Netherlands pieces #1 - Initial Observations on Dutch Golf ( #2 - The Links Valley - a Reversible 9 ( Further pieces are currently being developed (slowly :)) on Utrecht de Pan, Royal Hague, Kennemer, Noordwijk and Hilversum will be released over the coming weeks. If you so desire, you can subscribe to the Firm & Fast Occasional Newsletter at the bottom of all posts. Other content well worth exploring McKellar Journal ( The Golfers Journal ( Contours Golf ( - Will Watt formerly of Caddie Mag The Quadrilateral ( - Geoff Shackleford The Albatross ( Bill Fields The Duffers Literary Companion ( - Podcast with Stephen Proctor & Jim Hartsell Links for below to some favourite writers, a few of whom are also friends of the F&F pod John Low Concerning Golf ( Bernard Darwin The Golf Courses of the British Isles ( Playing the Like ( Alistair Cooke The Marvellous Mania ( Geoff Shackleford Golf Architecture for Normal People ( Mike Clayton Preferred Lies ( Golf from The Inside ( Stephen Proctor Monarch of the Green ( The Long Golden Afternoon ( Jim Hartsell When Revelation Comes (,of%20Sweetens%20Cove%20(2021).) Roger McStravick All of Rogers' books can be purchased from Fine Golf Books ( Many thanks for including us on your playlist - if you get a chance, please leave us a review on apple itunes, it would really be appreciated! Happy Golfing! Intro and outro music - _Shoreline Serenade by Dye O _- under license from Epidemic Sound Special Guest: Richard Pennell.
Firstly, please excuse the somewhat spotty audio - there were gremlins in the system which were beyond my control - must do better Mr. Zoom...grrrrr. Jasper Miners from Evalu18 is back by popular demand - to say that the Evalu18 story has picked up pace of late would be somewhat of an undersell. Jasper shares the recently announced news that Evalu18, in association with Renaissance Golf Design, have been appointed to prepare a masterplan to restore both courses at St Georges Hill Golf Club in Webridge, Surrey. We then take a magical mystery tour through Jaspers travels in Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand. We could have gone on for a few more hours - and actually did another 45 minutes or so when the record button was depressed. It's always great to catch up with him and this episode was no different, we hope you enjoy the blether! Please find a selection of links below that we mentioned in this episode: Geoff Shackleford's new book - Golf Architecture for Normal People ( McKellar Journal ( Olde Glen Bar ( - Glen Village, Co. Donegal Torbreck Winery (, Barossa Valley, South Australia Special Guest: Jasper Miners.
Ally McIntosh joins us on this episode to take a dive into the golf course design career of Eddie Hackett. A name synonymous with golf course design in Ireland from the mid 1960's until his death in 1996. Over the course of his career, Hackett would hold many roles within the golf space - apprentice, golf club maker, teacher and head professional - he even owned a tobacconist in the 1950's before he was reincarnated as a course designer through the auspices of an invitation from Bill Menton, the President of the Golfing Union of Ireland, to consider offering course design services to member clubs. For the final 35 years of his life, Eddie Hackett extended and revised well over 100 golf courses, many of which were on virginal linksland on the West Coast of Ireland. Over the course of the episode we will take a look at his approach to design and commonalities between projects. We also linger on some of Hackett's better known course, exploring how they started and how they are going now. Please find a link a number of videos below, introducing you, should you need an intro, to some of the courses that we discuss Connemara Golf Links ( Enniscrone Golf Club ( Waterville Golf Links ( Donegal Golf Club ( Carne Golf Links ( Many thanks for tuning in, we hope that you might consider adding some of Hackett's course to your bucket list - you definitely will not be disappointed! Special Guest: Ally McIntosh.
In November 2019 The Royal Dublin Golf Club appointed the design firm Clayton DeVries & Pont to undertake a bunker study in an effort to reconnect with their Harry Colt design heritage. Since the Colt revisions in 1920 Royal Dublin has been revised, lengthened, toughened and tinkered with by some of the great and good - including Eddie Hackett and Dr. Martin Hawtree. CDP initially developed a proposal for member consideration revisiting Colt's original design principles while focussing on positioning that contributes to the overall aesthetic. Once member approval had been granted, CDP, under the auspices of Frank Pont and his colleague Hendrik Hilgert, coordinated the renovation of a significant number of bunkers returning their style to one more in keeping with the clubs' design heritage. CDP also restored elements of Colt’s asymmetric design which had been lost over time. The Royal Dublin bunker project commenced in November 2022 and is now fully complete..... the members are very happy and cannot wait for the full reopening of the new bunkers and surrounds which is currently planned for May 2023... Over the course of this episode we initially take a look at Frank's circuitous route to golf course design, we take an in depth look at the renovation process at Royal Dublin and further possible areas for consideration. We also get an update on the renovation works at The Addington, we find out more about Frank's Links Valley project in The Netherlands and get an elevator pitch for a golf trip to Amsterdam or Utrecht. Additional Resources For your further enjoyment please find a link below (to my googledrive) the folder includes some additional pieces of content (historical aerials, course imagery, before/afters and how the specific CDP propsals developed over time) that will allow you to follow the conversation in some greater detail ..... should you so wish. Episode #23 - Royal Dublin Additional Content Link ( Many thanks for tuning in! Special Guest: Frank Pont.
Rod Morri is a multi award winning Australian golf journo, serial podcast presenter and head honcho at Sydney Podcast Studios. Over the course of the episode we take a look behind the scenes of his fascination with Golf Course Architecture and how that origin story that can be traced to a holiday to Ireland and the UK in the late 1990's. We highlight some of the individuals that Rod podcasts with.... characters such as Mike Clayton and Adrian Logue.....why Geoff Shackleford hasn't provided him with an advance copy of his new book Golf Architecture for Normal People (available for preorder via that big online book reseller), the genesis of the State of the Game Podcast and ongoing colaborations with that fantastic award winning curmudgeon John Huggan..... we also get to the bottom of why Mr. Morri no longer plays golf. Happy St Patricks Day and thanks for tuning in! Podcast recorded 3/3/23 prior to R&A and USGA press conference on Model Local Rule (MLR) regarding ball testing etc Keep an eye out for the next State of the Game podcast over the next few days ( with Rod Morri, Mike Clayton and Geoff Shackleford for indepth analysis and discussion on the MLR announcement. Special Guest: Rod Morri.
Graeme Beatt joins us today from Royal Portrush to chat about his career journey so far throughout Scotland, Australia and Ireland. We also take a sneak peak behind the job of works that went into preparing Royal Portrush to host the 148th Open Championshps, we also look forward to the scheduled 2025 return to the Causeway Coast. Many thanks for tuning in, we hope you enjoy our chat! MacKenzie & Ebert resources mentioned during the episode: Major redevelopment (2014 onwards) ( M&E 2022 annual report ( Special Guest: Graeme Beatt.
Neil Crafter is a golf course designer, historian and author who is based in Adelaide South Australia. Neil is a second generation golf course architect, following in the footsteps of his father Brian. Neil has long been influenced and interested by Alister MacKenzie's career and has been centrally involved in the documentation of the MacKenzie Chronology for the Alister MacKenzie Society. Today we take a look at Dr Mac's life as a golf course architect, his influences and collaborators, a number of his projects and his lasting legacy. We thank Neil for his time and trust that you will enjoy our conversation. The Alister MacKenzie Chronology ( Links to the referenced Tommy Naccarato's tweets (pictures illustrating MacKenzie's use of the theory of camouflague in golf course design): Neil's book recommendations Golf Architecture by Alister MacKenzie ( The Architectural Side of Golf by H.N. Wethered & T. Simpson ( Special Guest: Neil Crafter.
Andrew Thomson joins us for a chat about his dad Peter from the early days in Melbourne, to the influence of Von Nida. A playing career that encompassed 98 professional career wins around the world including 5 Open Championships - three of which were won in succession. Peter was also a dab hand at writing on golf, broadcasting and course desiging. We also take a look at a very special, final journey that Andrew made on Peter's behalf in July 2022. Many thanks to Andrew for his time, we hope you enjoy the episode. are the publisher of My Life in Golf which was referenced during the episode, the book includes a collection of some of Peter's most inciteful writing over the years. Link below to Peter Mitchell's biography of Peter Thomson: Link below to Stephen Proctor's book - The Long Golden Afternoon, which Andrew mentioned as a recommendation: You can also download Andrew's recent article on his 2022 UK trip for the Golf Society of Australia's Newsletter by following the link to my google drive folder for episode 19 below: Finally, I have a quick favour to ask - if you like what you hear on the podcast - you might consider recommending it to one of your friends or alternatively leaving a review through your preferred podcast app.... it really is appreciated! Many thanks for listening! Shane Special Guest: Andrew Thomson.
Professor Paul Rouse from University College Dublin joins us on this episode to trace the origin story of Irish golf. Commentators often erroneously pair the games' development in Ireland to that of Scotland - in this episode we explore how its' development in Ireland has more commonalities with the development trajectory in England than that exhibited in Bonnie Scotland. From Elias de Butts documented efforts in 1762 on common land in Bray, Co. Wicklow, to the Scottish/Military influence through the Curragh Camp in Kildare, the Royal Clubs of Belfast, Dublin, Down and Portrush and onwards to the real golf boom in the late 1890's and onwards into the next few decades. How the Great War, 1916 Rising and the Irish civil war changed Ireland and its' golf clubs forever, not to mention the more recent new club boom and the democratisation of golf that accompanied the rise and subsequent economic fall of the Celtic Tiger, Floridian resort golf 'Irish Style', the Ryder Cup and where the game goes from here. Many thanks for tuning in, we hope you enjoy the show! Special Guest: Professor Paul Rouse.
Matt Mollica is Co-host of the Australian Golf Passport Podcast and co-founder of the Rollback Alliance. In this episode we explore various topics including the aforementioned new podcast, some advice for inbound golf travellers to Australia, Sydney v Adelaide, the golfing rise of Tasmania, the distance debate/the evolution of technology and a brief L1V focussed soliloquoy which doesn't disappoint. Links to the Fried Egg episodes on the evolution of the golf ball can be found below: Links to the Australian Golf Passport Podcast and Rollback Alliance can be found below: Many thanks for tuning in! Special Guest: Matt Mollica.
Adrian Logue is a self confessed golf tragic who co-hosts the Good Good Golf Podcast with Rod Morri. Adrian has managed to facilitate a career in golf using computer programming and development as his professional vehicle, an unusual combination for sure, however, Adrian is not your usual software developer! In this episode we explore a little on the World Handicapping System thanks to a few questions from one of my fourball playing partners, Adrian's theory on 'eyes up golf', podcasting, golf writing, course ratings, golf paths, websites and logos and a cool trip to Barnbougle in May 2022 with the Golfers Alliance. Please find some links below to some of our favourite Good Good Golf Podcasts referenced in the episiode: GGGP #21 The World Atlas of Golf - GGGP #25 - Seve Ballesteros - GGGP #32 - Reviewing the Spirit of St Andrews - GGGP #38 Meg McLaren Many thanks for tuning in, we hope you enjoy the show! Special Guest: Adrian Logue.
In this episode we are joined by golf journalist and consultant Adam Lawrence. Despite attending the same school as Dr Alistair MacKenzie, Adam is currently writing a biograpahy on Harry Shapland Colt, the father of modern golf course architecture. We explore Colt's early golfing days at Cambridge and his early influences, R&A membership and the formation of the Oxford & Cambridge Golf Society. We then take a look at some of Colts' designs at Rye, Sunningdale, St. Andrews, Swinley Forest, St Georges Hill, Rosapenna, Royal Dublin, Royal County Down, County Sligo, Royal Portrush and Royal Liverpool. We also consider how Colt's style evolved through time and what sort of legacy has he left to the game. You can find additional information on both Golf Course Architecture Magazine and Oxford Golf Consulting below: Special Guest: Adam Lawrence.
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