Golfing Magazine recently sat down with Matt Adams, acclaimed author, television journalist, motivational speaker and general manager of Newport National Golf Club in Newport, Rhode Island to talk a little golf
Name: Matt Adams
Hometown: Bridgewater, CT.
GM: When did you start playing golf?
MA:I began playing in earnest around 13 or 14 years of age. My dad used to play at a course called Glastonbury Hills Country Club in Connecticut. I caddied a few time there and would hit balls. I remember my first set of woods were Sam Snead persimmons and they were gorgeous. I really got into it in high school (Shepaug Valley Regional in Washington, CT.) and we played a nine-hole course called the Washington Golf Club. The golf team would play there every day and I wound up being a member at the club when I got older.
GM: Tell me about your golf game.
MA:I have an eight handicap and Iíve been lower than that, but working and traveling so much you just canít hone your game. I play once a week at best and you have to play at least twice a week and hit balls another day to improve. But I do enjoy the occasions when I play. A friend of mine invited me to play Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Massachusetts and I canít wait to do that.
GM: What are your strengths as a player?
MA: I hit the ball straight and rarely get into trouble. I have a good short game and always did.
GM: What is your best round ever?
MA:A 72 at a club called Remington outside of Orlando, Florida. And I missed a putt on the final hole that would have made it a 71.
GM: Whatís your favorite Connecticut course?
MA: I love the Washington Golf Club and I recently played Oxford Greens (Oxford, CT.) and really liked it.
GM: Whatís your favorite course in New England?
MA:Newport National of course. I donít have to go overseas to play a true links course. It has that feel where the winds come into play and the surface plays physically hard, so you can run the ball a long way.
GM: Whatís your best golfing memory?
MA:I have to say when I got my dad in a foursome at a professional tournament pro-am with Brad Faxon, who is from Rhode Island. Dad had the appearance of Arnold Palmer and I can remember people outside the ropes asking why Arnie was playing with Brad Faxon. Later that night I introduced dad to Arnie and he was thrilled. Dad died a few years after that and it was nice that he was able to have the experience
GM: Who is your favorite golfer?
MA:Well, I have to qualify the answer. Bobby Jones is the gameís iconic figure. Walter Hagen was the gameís first touring professional. Ben Hogan is shrouded in mystique. Arnold Palmer was the gameís first true superstar. And Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time by virtue of his amateur and professional major wins. Until such time when he is surpassed, Jack will be the best.
GM: What is your favorite golf trip?
MA:I have been on several trips to Ireland with buddies and played some great courses over there. But the time I went over with my wife and kids and spent six hours with Alan Reardon, the secretary manager at Lahinch Golf Club, was so memorable. The course is one of the greatest links layouts in the world and there is so much atmosphere to immerse yourself in. Itís funny, I didnít hit a golf ball that day but it was a fabulous experience.