The sounds you encounter on the golf course are a major part of the sport’s great appeal
There’s a fine piece of archive footage from an Open Championship in the early 1970s showcasing all that’s great about the sound of golf. The camera focuses on a green where Tom Weiskopf is putting – there’s no commentary, but one hears the wind rustling the gorse and the flag flapping gently on the pin held by a caddie. The putt is set in motion and the familiar call of a seagull drifts into earshot. The ball drops into the cup, triggering that satisfying percussion all golfers welcome and a ripple of polite applause. The camera pans and zooms further to the next tee where Tony Jacklin is driving off.
The breeze continues to purr as Jacklin swings. There’s a swoosh, a resonating thwack of wood on surlyn and the ball flies off. The camera follows it as it flies straight down into a gorse bush with an ominous thud. The inimitable Henry Longhurst then gives the only piece of commentary necessary during the segment, releasing a fatalistic “Ah.” Longhurst didn’t need to say anything more as the sounds told the full story.
Golf’s natural audio is one of its most enjoyable features, and if you can’t hear properly on and around the golf course, you’ll be missing out.
Modern golf clubs are designed to create a pleasurable noise at impact and to give feedback through sound on the type of strike achieved. Manufacturers work hard to perfect this audio element in research and development, recognising its importance for enjoyment and performance. A solid strike from a titanium driver delivers a hugely satisfying crack that not only gives great confidence, but also advises when a ball hits the centre of the club.
Similarly with irons, the gratifying clip of a well-struck iron shot leaves no doubt when it has been caught crisply. The tell-tale clunky sound from the toe, or dreaded high-pitched clank from the heel, although disconcerting, at least give guidance for improvement.
When putting, the click of ball on face is crucial for feel and the sound of the ball dropping is, probably, a golfer’s favourite noise. The great Sam Snead would keep his head down to ensure a solid stroke, until he heard that wonderful rattle of ball in cup.
How important those more distant sounds might be on the golf course. A ball headed for trouble might be found more easily if one hears it strike the trees in a certain spot. Or, a distant rustling of those trees might hint at a strong gust of wind approaching and cause you to hang fire for a second or two; perhaps it might save you a shot.
And then there’s the crucial shout of “Fore.” When you set foot on a golf course, you enter a space where a number of people are firing off projectiles at high speed in all directions, often with little control of trajectory. Crucial, then, is being able to alert people, and be alerted, when there’s danger. You would surely want to hear the warning shout if a small, solid orb is travelling inexorably in your direction at 75mph!
Golf is a highly sociable game but only if you’re able to communicate properly with playing partners. Out on the course, the wind or simply distance may cause you to miss the punchline of that joke, or that key piece of advice that could have saved your round. Back in the clubhouse, the bustle of chatter across the table is engaging, as long as you can pick out what each individual is saying.
The sounds of golf can add greatly to its pleasure, so make sure you are picking up as many of them as you can. bloom™ hearing specialists is a provider of hearing solutions, tailored to individual requirements. It will provide a comprehensive assessment, either in branch or at home, and also fit products from a wide range of discreet hearing aids.
If required, this can be done as soon as you’ve been tested. It offers a free two-week, no-obligation trial and then a 60-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can be absolutely satisfied with the hearing solution you’ve opted for. bloom™ will then offer full after-care, servicing and adjustments, plus a four-year warranty.
Make an appointment with bloom™ hearing specialists today, benefit from the two-week trial and start enjoying the sounds of golf again. Hear that putt go in, hear the call of skylarks, be part of the clubhouse banter and get the very most from your game.
For more information, go to bloomhearing.co.uk or telephone 0800 612 7994 to book an appointment, quoting ADGM01