The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2017
GOLF & LEISURE 95 A LEGEND RETURNS BELOW: John Lister today. Inset: Sir Bob Charles and Legends Tour nament shotgun starter Ian Satterthwaite. here between being an amateur and turning pro”. His fondest memory, though – and an event recalled with amazement by others to this day – was during the 1974 Garden City Classic. “The most famous shot I ever played was on the [double doglegged par-5] 16th hole,” he said. “ The hole was such that you had to hit through an alley of trees. My drive hugged the left side and clipped the trees – I was too pigheaded to hit an iron – and it dropped down into a bunker. “Ihadnoshotatall,soIhitashotdown17andcamedown in the rough. My first thought was, ‘I need a 3-wood to get over the trees, but it won’t stay on the green.’ I asked Bruce [Young, Lister’s caddie] how far it was and he said he didn’t have a clue – but it was a long way. I had a brainwave and took a 2-iron and fired it over the trees. “It was almost inhuman. It just cleared the trees and landed on the green. I parred the hole and kept a two-shot lead. I birdied 17 and 18 and won the tournament by three. It’s the best shot I’ve ever played in my life.” These days he plays for pleasure and relaxation at Gulf Harbour Country Club, north of Auckland. “ The secret to having fun at this game is not to have a scorecard in your back pocket,” he laughs. During the 12 years Lister played on the PGA Tour he had 15 top-10 finishes, played in four majors and in 1976 became the first international player to win the Ed McMahon-Jaycees Quad Cities Open, which became today’s John Deere Classic. He reckons he made a total of $250,000 in all that time and suggests with a wry grin that a player today could make about the same by placing fifth in a big PGA event (Rickie Barnes shared a three-way tie for fifth in last year’s John Deere Classic and took home US$175,200). Russley’s Cockram Motors-sponsored pro-am wasn’t quite in that league, but it was a fun day, with $11,000 up for grabs for the 57 pros in the field, team prizes for the amateurs and a $48,000 Hyundai Tucson awaiting a hole in one (unclaimed). Australian Perry Parker shot a 72 in windy conditions to win the pros’ stroke tournament and Concrete Solutions took out the teams prize. Sir Bob Charles won the Super Seniors section for over-65s with a 78 – shooting below his age once again. At the prizegiving, Sir Bob praised the Russley course, saying it was “to the level of any of the Open tournaments I have played in, where pitch and run had to be a big part of the game on hard greens”. The course was recently redesigned by Greg Turner after losing land taken for a new overbridge to Christchurch airport.
The Cut - Summer 2017
The Cut - Winter 2017