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Interview: 5 times british open winner PETER THOMSON. SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY: ALLISON DYER URGES YOU TO SELF REFLECT ARCHITECTURE: what does the future hOLD for the CLUBHOUSE? TIPS: PATRICK BRADY gets you out of the bunker

Free - Issue 4 - July/Aug 2006

The Ryder Cup Buildup: Preview of the Palmer Course at The K Club, featuring photography by Evan Schiller & Phil Sheldon

® Ryder Cup Logo and Graphic Devices constituting the Logostyle are Registered Trademarks

gU\S_]U What is a magazine? It may seem a strange and trivial question given the ream of paper you are holding in your hands, but to a publisher their answer can result in content that delivers many different interpretations depending on the readers they hope to entertain. In recent times, popular consumer publications have become more and more news orientated, as a result blurring the boundary between newspapers and magazines. These ‘glossy newspapers’ are usually a combination of material gathered which caters for a general interest, but this style has also managed to find its way into specialist interest magazines. Everything has its place of course, and these publications are produced to satisfy an audience in need of up-to-the-minute information and gossip which has grown in popularity since the advent of television and the internet. GOLF! was created to revive the traditional definition of a magazine - a periodical publication containing articles and illustrations, typically covering a particular subject or area of interest (Oxford American Dictionaries). From the initial concept and creation the decision was made to focus less on news in favour of quality articles, interviews and photography. This does not mean that we are ignorant to what is happening around us, quite the contrary. By realising that there are other forms of media whose focus is to report, we felt a need to produce a publication for those seeking something more in depth.


The world of golf is a fascinating one, full of interesting characters who have opinions to express, stories to tell and experiences to share in both words and pictures. EAT GOLF! is their creative cuisine, designed to be served as an attractive and fulfilling dish with features that will enlighten your palette and satisfy your appetite. Our articles and interviews bring together people who are experts in their field, from professional golfers, coaches and manufacturers to psychologists, architects and designers. Maintaining traditional values, and presenting them in a modern way - we hope that you will continue to enjoy our own interpretation of a magazine. We would like to extend a very special thank you this issue to our contributors, who continue to inspire us with exceptionally high quality content. We also welcome Evan Schiller back for another series of breathtaking photographs, this time of the Palmer Course at The K Club, hosts to the 36th Ryder Cup matches which will be played in September. Dennis Shaw offers a fascinating recollection of previous Ryder Cup moments, and the involvement the PGAs of Europe had in helping it grow into the dramatic sporting spectacle it has become. Award winning photographer Phil Sheldon provides the perfect companion, and we proudly present a selection of images which capture great moments in a way only a camera and the most skilled of hands can. As always, send your thoughts on email to:


Cover image: John Cook & Chip Beck, The Ryder Cup ‘93 / The Belfry © Phil Sheldon. Issue 4 - July / August 2006 GOLF! is distributed in golf clubs, golf outlets and luxury hotels from Sotogrande to Málaga & Almería, Spain; & the most prestigious golf clubs and golf resort hotels in the South East of England.


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Whilst searching to bring you the best possible pictures that evoked all the history and greatness of The Ryder Cup, we came across multi-award-winning and widely respected photographer Phil Sheldon. Sadly Phil passed away last year, but his wonderful photography lives on through the recently released book Golfing Days. The book will also be released in paperback in September, available through all good book stores.














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S_^dbYRed_bc Currently Media consultant for the PGAs of Europe, having previously been UK sports writer for a number of national and provincial newspapers, including, for several years, Midland correspondent for The Times. A British Sports Journalist winner and also a Midlands Sports Writer of the Year. Author of two football books as a ghost-writer and formerly editor of Football Today.

DENNIS SHAW PGAs OF EUROPE Media Manager for the Ladies European Tour. Principal news and features writer for the Tour’s official website and responsible for the overall production of the Tour’s annual media guide. Also contributes to numerous publications as a photo journalist. Media point of contact for access to all players and officials.

BETHAN CUTLER LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR BSc MSc CPsychol, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Accredited Sport Psychologist and British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist. Allison works as the consultant sport psychologist to the PGA EuroPro Tour, the David Leadbetter Golf Academy (La Cala) and Positive Golf (Elviria)


The Professional Golf Association of Europe represents 35 member countries whose national PGAs collectively represent some 12,000 individual club professionals.

The Old Hall Dorchester Way, Macclesfield Cheshire SK10 2LQ. England Telephone: +44 (0)1625 611444 Fax: +44 (0)1625 610406 Email: Web: Allison Dyer Email: Web: UK Telephone: +44 (0)771 820 8942 Spain Tel.: +34 662 07 07 87

ALLISON DYER TOTAL SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY Patrick is a modern and forward thinking golf professional with an enthusiasm and passion for teaching the game as much as playing it. It is a pleasure to have Patrick on board for his thought provoking and visual ideas which assist us all in improving our own game. This issue Patrick focuses on bunker play, an aspect mastered by one of his golfing idols, Gary Player.

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THE K ISSUE Photos by Evan Schiller

It is the perfect setting for a Ryder Cup. Designed by an American and built in Europe, The Palmer Course at The K Club in County Kildaire, Ireland is ready to welcome the most anticipated event on the golfing calendar.

Hole 16. Inismor Par 5, 555 Yards, 507 Metres Ian Woosnam: There is a double dogleg, left to right and then right to left. They call it the “greatest Par 5 in Ireland.” I believe the back left tee will not be used so there is an opportunity to go for the green in two off the front tee. New trees down the right hand side, one at 280 yards and one at 300 yards, force the longer hitters to go down the left. The River Liffey runs in front of the green that has been extended so increasing the choice of pin positions. The green has also been redesigned. An exciting hole for The Ryder Cup as a lot of matches will be on the cusp of being won or lost coming to this hole. If you go for the green you’re taking a risk; if you lay up you still have a good chance of making four.

Image notes / quotes by Ryder Cup Captains Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman, reprinted with kind permission of The European Tour Yearbook – 18th Edition. The 19th Edition, which will be published in December, can be purchased at £20.00 including postage and packaging in Europe and £25.00 for worldwide postage. If you would like to order a copy please contact Victoria Harris on + 44 1344 840406 with credit card details. The European Tour Yearbook captures all the excitement and emotion of The European Tour and the international stage, with entertaining essays by leading golf correspondents lavishly illustrated by superb photography.


When the 36th Ryder Cup matches are complete, millions of golf fans from across the globe will know the secret of the Palmer Course. Opened in summer 1991 and designed by Arnold Palmer and Palmer Course Design, it was always the intention to build a course that would one day welcome the greatest golfers from the European and American Tours to do battle. Arnold Palmer had suggested during construction that it was entirely realistic

“Seriously, the combination of The Ryder Cup and this Arnold Palmer-designed course will create a very special atmosphere; the spectators are in for a fabulous festival of great golf.� Ian Woosnam


to stage The Ryder Cup at The K Club just two years after its inauguration, but it wasn’t until 1997 that The Ryder Cup Board awarded them with perhaps the greatest accolade a golf course can receive. Its implications for the future of the course as well as tourism in Ireland are massive. Dr. Smurfit and Paul Crowe, the Director of Golf at The K Club announced “You don’t understand just how big this is going to be for Ireland and Irish golf”.

Hole 7. Michael’s Favourite. Par 4, 430 Yards, 393 Meters Tom Lehman: This is a very tough hole indeed. It is into the wind normally and all the new trees on the left have grown up so there is no way to miss left. There is also no way to miss right either because of the creek so again you have to find the fairway. If you don’t, you are laying up or dropping. The green has water on two and a half sides which makes it a very tough golf hole. You have to hit a good drive, a good second, and the green is no piece of cake either with the slope in the middle. I would say that in a lot of the matches, if you make a par four, you have a good chance of walking off with the hole.


Hole 1. Bohereen Road. Par 4, 418 Yards, 382 Meters Tom Lehman: The first hole is a great tee shot, a great way to get The Ryder Cup underway. It requires you to do something with the ball. You could hit a three wood up the left side short of the bunker, or you could take a driver and take a more aggressive route, although you can’t hit it too far because the creek is waiting there for the longer hitters. The rough and the trees on the right mean that you are pretty much dead if you go in there. A decent drive gives you a shortish iron into the green and a good chance for an opening birdie.

“With the rough up, you need to put the ball in the fairway. The greens are somewhat unique; there is a lot of personality to them.” Tom Lehman


Dr. Michael Smurfit, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Jefferson Smurfit Corporation, has been a towering figure in Irish business for more than two decades. His father, Jefferson Smurfit began as a small Irish boxmaker in 1934. Now the Smurfit Kappa Group is amongst the largest manufacturers of containerboard, containers, cartons and paper bags. Expanding into the luxury golf resort market may seem an unusual side step, but with a vision to create a world class hotel and golf club, he purchased the estate at Straffan in 1998.

Set amid 550 acres of rolling parkland on the banks of the River Liffey, the former Straffan House is steeped in history. Modelled in 1832 on the chateau at Louveciennes, west of Paris, by Hugh Barton, grandson of legendary winemaker Thomas Barton, it was converted into the sumptuous hotel and country club which has since gained numerous accolades. Opulent fabrics, graceful public rooms, English hand made wall paper, French weave rugs,

Hole 12. The Domain Par 3, 182 Yards, 166 Meters Ian Woosnam: The water has been brought in closer and more in front of this new two tier green which slopes from right to left. There is also a new bunker back left of the green. If the pin is on the left any shot going long will end up in the back bunker. Anything left of the bunker will end up in the water. The green has also been extended on the back right hand side which gives another very good pin position on this top tier area.

Waterford chandeliers, Georgian fireplaces and over 600 paintings including the extraordinary art of Jack B Yeats, Ireland’s greatest painter, will certainly guarantee the players have a relaxing and inspiring stay. On to the golf then, and an exhilarating course which is gently contoured but a deceptively challenging test. Since construction Arnold Palmer, Ed Seay (President of Palmer Course Design) and Harrison Minchew (Senior Golf Course Architect) played the

Palmer Course offering feedback which resulted in the addition of bunkers, improved greens and a longer playing field. Palmer Course Design has had years of input on the course, with an extensive drainage system added to combat heavy damage suffered from the frequent Irish rains. Ryder Cup captains Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman have had much to say about the course and how they view the challenge ahead. Ian Woosnam cannot wait to get to The K Club after his day-to-day 029

“It is a very good golf course and I enjoy playing it very much. The challenge is there and the firmer it gets the harder it will become.� Tom Lehman

Hole 13. Laurel Heaven. Par 4, 428 Yards, 391 Meters Ian Woosnam: Dogleg right to left. You need to hit it 275 yards to get a clear view to the green. There is water right of the green with a bunker on the left. If you miss the green to the right the ball will run down off the shaved bank into the water. The green slopes to the right with a little basin area back right. The further your drive the easier the shot because you play more into the slope of the green. The easiest pin position is back right and the hardest is front right. 030


Hole 8. Mayfly Corner. Par 3,173 Yards, 158 Meters Tom Lehman: Again this hole all depends on the wind. If the wind turns and comes from the east and is in your face it can be a five iron or a four iron to the back, which is a very tough shot with the water to the right. If the wind blows the normal way and helps from the right then it is a short iron hole. The wind is also pushing you away from the water so that makes it an easier shot. You will see some birdies on the eighth hole.

“Subtle changes have been made to the course especially around the greens, where mown humps and hollows will allow for more creative chipping and putting as Arnold originally intended.” Ian Woosnam

involvement in Ryder Cup business: “This is just about as good as it gets for match play golf and it is going to be a brilliant setting for The Ryder Cup. Mind you, with the shots required for some of the possible pin positions, I’m pleased to be the Captain! Seriously, the combination of The Ryder Cup and this Arnold Palmer-designed course will create a very special atmosphere; the spectators are in for a fabulous festival of great golf. Subtle changes have been made to the course especially around the greens, where mown humps and hollows will allow for more creative chipping and putting as Arnold originally intended. The addition of trees in strategic areas has left nothing to chance in assuring that this will be a supreme test.” Tom Lehman, who Tiger believes is a “good choice” to captain the American team gives his views on the course: “My initial reaction is that it is a good driving course. With the rough up, you need to put



All images featured in this article © Evan Schiller /

Hole 17. Half Moon. Par 4, 424 Yards, 388 Meters Ian Woosnam: It has become a very demanding tee shot right to left since a new tee was put in 40 yards back. The wind sometimes plays off the left. If the wind blows from the right it’s an easier hole. If you bail out to the right hand side where there are three new trees you can face a very tricky second shot. The perfect place is to go down the left side of the fairway but it needs courage. The easier shot is to hit three wood or two iron off the tee but then that will leave a five iron into the green, and the longer the club the harder the shot. The more aggressive you get on this hole the easier it can be, although danger lurks. The green slopes severely from right to left towards the Liffey with a little mound just short of the green.

The K Club 034

the ball in the fairway. The greens are somewhat unique; there is a lot of personality to them. There are a lot of greens which are up higher and a lot of greens which go away from you and a lot of greens which slope to the right on the front and to the left on the back. It is a very good golf course and I enjoy playing it very much. The challenge is there and the firmer it gets the harder it will become.” With the infrastructure to accommodate such a large tournament, The K Club is sure to fulfil expectations when the two teams and around 45,000 spectators a day arrive in September. Whether you are a European or American supporter, on course or avidly following the action on television, the Palmer Course will be playing a crucial role as the drama unfolds in one of sports greatest events.

About the photographer Evan Schiller is a golf professional as well as a professional photographer. He has been invited to photograph hundreds of the finest golf courses around the world including Pebble Beach Golf Links, Augusta National Golf Club, The Old Course at St. Andrews and Ballybunion Golf Club. His work is regularly published in high profile national magazines, books and calendars, including the U.S. Open Magazine, The Masters Journal, The Ryder Cup Journal cover and The Jack Nicklaus Golf Calendar. Evan’s photography is also exclusively featured in the acclaimed book, Golf Courses of Hawaii. Recently, Evan became an officially licensed photographer for Pebble Beach Company and his photography is on display at the Images of Pebble Beach gallery. His unusual combination of experiences as a golf professional and photographer provides a perspective and eye, unique among golf photographers today. Evan has also competed in professional golf tournaments around the world and on the PGA Tour, including the U.S. Open. Email:

5th Hole, St. Andrews Links (Old Course)







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By Dennis Shaw, PGAs of Europe Photos by Phil Sheldon

A couple of gentlemen having a chat in a hotel room, before dinner, is not everyone’s idea of a meeting to change the face of world golf forever...

Far more fitting, as an iconic memory, is the unforgettable sight of that magnificent flying machine, Concorde, flying low like a gargantuan mechanical swallow above massed crowds at the Belfry celebrating 1985 victory by Tony Jacklin’s Europe. Contrasting though they may be, these two scenarios are linked, not only to each other but to the intoxicating transatlantic tour de force that The Ryder Cup has now become. And, more enticingly, to The K Club instalment that shortly will grip the golfing community by its nerve ends. 036

John Cook & Chip Beck The Ryder Cup ‘93 / The Belfry

When the ‘couple of gentlemen’ referred to in the opening sentence had their ‘chat’ The Ryder Cup was little more than a slightly boring, highly predictable biennial walk-over for the USA. Eight years later, when Concorde soared over the Belfry, the competition was ready to pursue the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup into supersonic orbit as the planet’s most popular sporting occasion.

“...The Ryder Cup was little more than a slightly boring, highly predictable biennial walk-over for the USA.“

The ‘two gentlemen’ were not of course just ordinary Joes. One was The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Derby, MC, President of the Professional Golfers’ Association and the other was Jack Nicklaus, randomly selected by various eminent bodies for awards ranging from ‘the golfer of the 20th Century’ to ‘the greatest sportsman of all time’.

Nicklaus was a playing member of Dow Finsterwald’s US Ryder Cup at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s in 1977 when Brian Huggett’s Great Britain & Ireland, (as the opposition was then), were soundly beaten. That’s how it was, more often than not. Just how the change from ‘country’ to ‘continent’ came about has been described in slightly varying ways. I’ll stick to the simple version I jotted down during an interview with the late Lord Derby, at Knowsley Hall, his ancestral home in Chesire. The PGA President explained how, at the end of a one-sided contest in 1977, Jack had asked to see him in his room before dinner. The living legend’s purpose, it transpired, was to suggest that, in future, ‘GB&I’ should become ‘Europe’ to make it a more even contest. 037

“Imagine England and Italy, or even England and Scotland, for heaven’s sake, being on the same side in most other activities!�


Ian Woosnam & Constantino Rocca The Ryder Cup ‘95 / Oakhill

So, this suggests that, somewhere along the line, another influence has been brought to bear on the escalation of The Ryder Cup from an American near-monopoly to the one sporting contest that, every two years, unites the rest of us into being true Europeans for a few heart-thumping days. Imagine England and Italy, or even England and Scotland, for heaven’s sake, being on the same side in most other activities! For a personal view of one significant reason of why I believe that there has been such a power swing I go back to another informal chat between two gentlemen. This, bizarrely, was during a break in a soft ball match in Stockholm during much the same period as the Lord Derby / Jack Nicklaus conversation. One was the late Christer Lindberg, who became the PGA of Europe’s first Chairman and first President. The other was Leif Ohlsson, currently a director of the PGAsE and, more crucially, Chairman of its Education Committee.

Lord Derby indicated that he had accepted, subject to board confirmation, with some alacrity. You bet he did. It introduced into ‘our’ team a young Spaniard named Severiano Ballesteros, for a start… More of him later. Neither of these two eminent gentlemen had the faintest notion,

at that moment, about what they were starting. How could they? Most of Europe wasn’t much into golf back then. Spain had a leading player or two. Sweden was starting to get keen. So was Germany. But France? Italy, Denmark? No way… King Soccer, only, ruled, OK?

The two were friends, members of the same golf club but neither of them of any real influence on a broader scale. Leif is passionately keen on sport. Two spiders running down a window pane would grasp his attention until the ‘race’ was won or lost. He is also a leading educationalist in Stockholm, a lecturer at the famous Bösön Institute, where all Sweden’s top sportsmen are prepared with such resounding success. 039

O’Meara, Stockton & Stewart, The US Team celebrates victory The Ryder Cup ‘91 / Kiawah Island

Sport is a culture and a science, as well as a relaxation there. Briefly Christer Lindberg asked Leif if he would start a junior section at the golf club. There couldn’t have been a better choice. Leif’s philosophy is that ‘Education is a ladder that never ends…’ and that only when the ‘best coaches teach the best performers’ is excellence achieved in sport. During the intervening years Leif climbed on board with the PGAsE, joined with other luminaries such as previous chairman Jean-Etienne Lafitte of France in a thoroughly international Education Committee. It currently comprises Leif Ohlsson (Sweden), Filipo Barbe (Italy), Jonathan Mannie (Austria), Kyle Philpotts (GB&I), Martin Westphal (Germany), Jim van Heuven van Staereling (Holland), Tony Bennett (Portugal), Nicky Lumb (GB&I). What has emerged from this is that country after country has been helped into the essential basics of setting up Teaching & Coaching programmes in order to liaise with the amateur Federations in educating teachers to teach the elite players in structured academies around Europe. Each national PGA’s aim is to achieve PGAsE’s Education Committee recognition while working closely with the amateur bodies. As a result, believe me, the teachers and coaches who are looking after the education of up-and-coming players of both genders around Europe are profoundly qualified and totally dedicated to what they do. 040

None of them would claim that the quality parade of players who now compete for a place in the European team is down to them. Let us simply note that since those historic few informal words at Lytham Europe has been represented by players from Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Wales.

“Those who arrive on the scene to bid for a future place are, without exception, a credit to their profession.�


“Scores of pairs of eyes, including those of two shell-shocked American golfers, swivelled down the fairway to see its possible source.�


Azinger / Beck v Seve / Olly, The Ryder Cup ‘91 / Kiawah Island. All images featured in this article ©

of conventional teaching. The most thrilling and uplifting few moments of golf I’ve ever seen was provided by first Woosie and then Seve in 1985 at the Belfry’s 13th hole, a par four of some 394 yards. Woosie and Paul Way were playing in the fourballs ahead of Seve and, if I remember correctly, Manuel Pinero. The Welshman’s drive found the rough, near the hedge on the left hand side. His wedge must have got caught up in the grass because his approach shot sailed sickeningly into the right hand bunker. Both Americans were on the green in two and Way wasn’t too well placed. It looked like a losing hole. Then the magic unfolded…. Woosie splashed his bunker shot straight into the hole for a birdie that prompted a huge shout of ‘y-e—e-s-s!’ ….just as another ball rolled onto the green towards the flag. It was just electrifying…. Scores of pairs of eyes, including those of two shell-shocked American golfers, swivelled down the fairway to see its possible source. There, as the opposition vainly attempted to match Woosie’s birdie, was Seve striding up the fairway, head thrust forward eaglelike in that ‘I’m-coming-to-get-you’ mode of his, a huge bird of prey. Those who arrive on the scene to bid for a future place are, without exception, a credit to their profession. Maybe the best coaches are teaching the best players on an education ladder that never ends…? Yet, as is so often the case, real genius transcends the boundaries

He had driven the green from the tee… and was on his way to claim his reward. The European Ryder Cup Challenge was about to take off…. just like Concorde, on the runway a few miles away at Birmingham International Airport, ready to provide world sport’s most memorable fly past. 043

Paula Creamer Image courtesy TaylorMade


Annika Sorenstam

watching the best... Following the Evian Masters, the world’s finest women golfers descend on the UK as three professional tournaments take place on British shores.

It all starts with the season’s final major championship: the Weetabix Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes from August 3 to 6, which carries a prize fund of £1.05 million.

By Bethan Cutler, Ladies European Tour Photos: © DPPI/ Evian Masters, F. Froger/D2x/Evian Masters

This is probably the third most prestigious tournament in women’s golf, after the US Women’s Open and The Solheim Cup, (the biennial women’s team event equivalent to the men’s Ryder Cup). Fans of women’s golf will be in for a real treat when the likes of Michelle Wie, Annika Sorenstam,

Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb and Laura Davies come to Lancashire in August and when, just two weeks later, they reassemble in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, for the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club from August 17-20. To demonstrate the immense talent which will be on display here, collectively, Sorenstam, Webb, Pak and Davies own a total 26 major championship titles and it could be one more by the time the Weetabix Women’s British Open is over. 045

“To demonstrate the immense talent which will be on display here, collectively, Sorenstam, Webb, Pak and Davies own a total 26 major championship titles...”

Lorena Ochoa

For those who can’t get enough of ladies’ professional golf, the formidable Chart Hills Golf Club will host its third Ladies English Open from October 6-8, at the heavily bunkered Nick Faldo golf course which lies deep in the beautiful Kent countryside. Officials at Chart Hills are determined that October’s event is bigger and better than ever and as

the tournament has grown steadily over the last two years, with record numbers flocking through the gates last year to witness Sweden’s Maria Hjorth claim her second English Open crown, they are expecting a crowds bonanza. At the Weetabix Women’s British Open, just over 75,000 spectators attended the last time it was staged at Lytham in 2003

and it is predicted that there could be as many as 100,000 spectators through the gate this year if there is fine weather. In recent years, ladies’ golf has become increasingly main stream and it is now a tremendously popular global sport. The Brits are lucky to have such high quality events right on their doorstep and to be able to enjoy a piece of the action. At Royal Lytham, one of the star attractions is sure to be the undisputed long time World no.1, Annika Sorenstam, who recently captured her third US Women’s Open crown. The most successful golfer of the modern era, with her win, Sorenstam boosted her lead in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings and she has now collected ten major championships. She will be looking to make that 11 when she plays in the UK in August. Meanwhile, the resurgent Karrie Webb, who claimed the season’s first major, the Kraft Nabisco

Becky Brewerton 046

Michelle Wie

“In recent years, ladies’ golf has become increasingly main stream and it is now a tremendously popular global sport.”

Championship, always plays well in the UK. She was a popular winner of the British Open in 1995, ‘97 and 2002 and the Australian former World no.1 would be a strong bet for another solid finish on Royal Lytham’s extremely difficult and heavily bunkered links course.

European no.1 Gwladys Nocera from France, a double winner on the Ladies European Tour this year and a former Solheim Cup player, will be making her presence felt, as will Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa, a two-time victor on this season’s LPGA Tour in America.

Royal Lytham puts a premium on course management and the recent McDonald’s LPGA Championship winner Se Ri Pak from Korea could be the one to master it. She finished second to Annika at the British Open last time it was staged at Royal Lytham in 2003.

The strong British challenge is headed by Karen Stupples, who won the Championship at Sunningdale in 2004, plus the evergreen Laura Davies, the champion in 1986. A British winner on home soil would be a fabulous result, but if not at Lytham, there will at least be two more chances in the Welsh and English Opens.

The defending champion, 25year-old Jeong Jang, also from Korea, has the low ball flight ideally suited to the typically windy conditions associated with links golf and would dearly love to repeat her success of last year at Royal Birkdale but the young Americans Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and 16 year-old sensation Michelle Wie will be in the field and doing their best to put an end to her hopes of glory. Sophie Sandolo 048

Two week’s after the Women’s British Open tournament officials will welcome the best of European golf back to Wales for another golfing extravaganza. This time the patriotic Welsh galleries will be supporting their own stars, the two Becky’s: Morgan and Brewerton; the Welsh number one and two respectively.

Carin Koch

At the exposed Machynys Golf Course on the Bristol Channel, which can be devilishly difficult in strong winds, they will be battling against Kirsty Taylor, the English woman who mastered the course last year. Taylor posted an 11-under-par 61 en route to her first tournament victory and will be hoping to repeat the feat again this summer.

Then follows the Ladies English Open where the formidable Swede Maria Hjorth will be looking to become the first player ever to win a Ladies European Tour event three times in succession. There are plenty of talented English players who could potentially claim their national crown but they will face a stern task in dethroning Hjorth, who has made the title her own over the last two years.

Paula Marti 050

“Metronomic swings, 290 yard drives and sub-par rounds will leave you totally inspired to get out on the golf course.”

The excitement and anticipation is already building towards three fantastic events and UK fans can look forward to three weeks of outstanding women’s professional golf in the coming months. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, head down to any of the superb venues for the tournament weeks and prepare to be impressed. Metronomic swings, 290 yard drives and sub-par rounds will leave you totally inspired to get out on the golf course. With a little luck – who knows - you may even improve your own game.

The McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, England provides a headquarters for the majority of the groups staff, which includes design studios, laboratories and testing and production facilities for Formula One and road cars, including the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Image courtesy




GOLF! takes a look at why, in an age

where we have the ability and materials to create some of the most advanced structures, we are still intent on building clubhouses which mimic traditional architectural styles. With so many new golf courses under construction throughout the world, is it not about time that more developers took the brave step forward and gave us a clubhouse that shows golf is a game for the future?


Benalmadena Golf Clubhouse, Benalmadena, Spain Designed by Global Golf, the first modern clubhouse to appear on the Costa del Sol houses a restaurant / bar with open-air terrace, changing facilities, the clubs offices and pro shop. Benalmadena Golf is a 9 hole, par 3 course and driving range, with the styling perhaps justified as a showcase for one of Spains leading developers, Grupo Suite. Contemporary details include outdoor seating designed by Philippe Starck.

Let’s be clear that EAT GOLF! does not condone the idea of knocking down existing buildings in favour of constructing new glass structures. We are simply aiming to bring to light some of the possible advantages a fresh approach to building a clubhouse from scratch could offer. With almost one hundred new golf courses being developed around the world each year, attempting to find and create an identity is of paramount importance in generating income by attracting new clients and members to join them. There are very few examples of modernist architecture styles being implemented in the design of clubhouses today. Many stately homes, which traditionally have large acreage devoted to gardens, make ideal sites to transform the land into a golf course and can immediately bring a sense of grandeur and history to a new club. Farmland and converted barns are another way we preserve and adapt existing buildings for sporting use, and this is perfectly understandable. 054

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Opened in January 1993, Dubai’s second world class golf course is the centrepiece of an 80 hectare sports and leisure complex that also incorporates a 115 berth marina. It is located close to the city centre and Dubai International Airport on the banks of the Dubai Creek. Designed in the shape of the billowing sails of a traditional Arabian dhow, the 45 metre high clubhouse captures the essence of Dubai’s sea-faring traditions. Image courtesy

Although not a clubhouse, Foster & Partners design for The McLaren Technology Centre, Woking, England is an impressive example of integrating the most modern of facilities into the countryside. Viewed on plan, the building is roughly semi-circular, the circle being completed by a formal lake, which forms an integral part of the buildings cooling system. The principal lakeside facade is a continuous curved glass wall, developed in part using McLarens own technology, and shaded by a cantilevered roof. Internally, the building

is organised around double-height linear streets, which form circulation routes and articulate fingers of flexible accommodation.

La Cala Resort Bridges. Campo Europa, Mijas, Spain

However when no such property exists our attempts to interpret these historic buildings in a modern style - by taking a ‘corniche’ here and a ‘column’ there - often has awkward looking results. Building aspirations through false authenticity is what makes this mock style of architecture known as a modern parody or pastiche. It is true that almost all architecture has been influenced by other styles and cultures, and could therefore have been considered pastiche at one time. But these historic homes have a quality to the architecture that is rarely recreated by craftsmen today - their modern counterpart frequently displays a lack of sympathy, character and imagination present in the original. Post modernism is a take on the term modernism, a movement that spread throughout Europe in the 1930s with very clear aims and ideals. Modernism was never meant to be ostentatious, quite the opposite. The modernist movement was created to blur the boundaries between the ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ of popular culture. Rather than viewing it as a style which is empty and

devoid of culture, it should perhaps be seen as a creative outlook which represents an opportunity to break new ground, creating an escape from our busy world and a chance to develop a new identity. Failed attempts are responsible for a negative attitude towards modern architecture. British high rise flats of the 60s, Expo ‘98 in Seville and the Millennium Dome in London have become symbols of unsuccessful efforts to create the modernist dream. Uncared for and left to deteriorate, these examples were flawed ideas from the outset. Without consideration of their long term practicality they lacked the focus and vision of the very future they were meant to stand for. The difference with a golf clubhouse is that it has a clearly defined brief of what is required to successfully serve its clients. A more favourable precedent can be seen within a city environment. Here modern architecture is used to give a clean, bright and functional habitat whilst demonstrating the wealth and stature of the company which occupies the building.

“...modern architecture is used to give a clean, bright and functional habitat whilst demonstrating the wealth and stature of the company...”

One of the most distinctive features of the new golf course in La Cala Resort is five bridges crossing the Ojén river. Bridges were necessary for pedestrian crossings, but also for utilities pipe work. Arup carefully designed these to bring a functional solution, but also an aesthetic solution which enhances and protects this unique golf course and environment. From a distance, the structures appear sober and elegant, whilst their tri-dimensionality have a distinctive and striking component at closer range. The bridges are built in steel, concrete and wood. Images courtesy La Cala Resort. 055

Blessings Golf Clubhouse. University of Arkansas, USA The work of Marlon Blackwell, architect is born out of a goal to enrich the experience of the everyday world by simply ‘building well’. They seek to provide for their clients an architecture that can be felt as much as it is understood, an architecture that contributes to the fundamental civic dignity in any community. Image courtesy Marlon Blackwell architect:

Are these not the very ideals that a well designed golf clubhouse should endeavour to achieve? Take a look at other sports which have their sights firmly set on the future, and consider the benefits. Creations for the Olympic games or the Millennium Stadium stand as symbols of a worldwide interest in the sports they host. In other areas of culture buildings have become icons of what they represent. The Tate Modern bravely combines old and new to provide a graphic interpretation of the art it houses. Why are companies so afraid of taking a modern approach to architecture? The popularity of television programmes such as Grand Designs or Living with Modernism would suggest that society is more ready to accept something different than developers might expect. When building for the home buyers market, developers must anticipate and build what they 056

think will sell. However developers of various nationalities have very different ideas about what their customers want. The British might be conceived as restrained, private and with strong social status - hence the desire for small windows, net curtains and a design which symbolises their economic hierarchy. An open natured and European society such as the Dutch are less afraid of being on display and more willing to be adventurous in their approach to living accommodation. In Holland there is a more daring use of materials commonly used to construct the home environment. To many an avid golfer the clubhouse is their second home, and surely that is the difference. The fact that this is not their permanent residence means that the golf clubhouse represents an opportunity for designers to offer the post modern experience without the risk of alienating their normal home buying customer base.

Bonnet Creek Golf Clubhouse. Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida Intended to evoke memories and expectations, as opposed to making literal or figural allusions. Sited on the knoll of a golf course overlooking a lake, the Bonnet Creek Golf Clubhouse building is an object with a composite identity, its silhouette, visible from a distance across the greens, is experienced more immediately through the vehicular arrival sequence. Designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects:

Royal Birkdale, Southport, UK Built in 1935, the clubhouse is a typical example of architecture from the period. A large bay window gives impressive views over the course.

“If we are intent on attracting young players to the game, maybe we should be looking at the front that the clubhouse represents.” Stapleford Park, Leicestershire, UK One of England’s finest stately homes, offering a stunning blend of architecture history and landscape, with a heritage stretching back to the 14th century.

London Golf Club, Kent, UK Interior designers of The Spike Bar have create a relaxed, contemporary space to enjoy a glass of wine and something to eat either side of a game of golf.

Örkelljunga Golf Club, Sweden Voted Swedish Golf Club of the year in 1992. The new club house, designed by Pontus Möller, was inaugurated in the spring of 2003.

The Grove, Hertfordshire, UK Outdoor sculptures from both sides of the Atlantic on display in the grounds. Somerset-based Neil Wilkin’s trademark elegant glass pieces were specially commissioned by The Grove.

The Costa del Sol makes an interesting case study in itself. Its location and accessibility to the rest of the world combined with its warm climate has seen a massive influx of house buyers - resulting in a unique mix of nationalities. This has led to the construction of a diverse blend of traditional Andalusian style homes through to modern apartments and villas across a relatively small area. The golf scene has brought about equal measures of diversity in its approach to building of golf courses and their clubhouses - but we are still yet to see a full size golf development embrace the possibilities that a modernist approach could offer. Of course weather plays a large part in our attitudes towards architecture. The colours and materials used can greatly affect the warmth and practicality of a building. But the most influential factors of style must be tradition and history. Our desire to blend in and stick to what we know means that councils have a hard task facing the potential animosity from locals who wish to protect their heritage. Afraid of destroying the landscape with constructions which challenge our notion of who we are puts us in danger of standing still. Take a look at a relatively new city such as Dubai and there is an almost free reign on architecture - with some impressive results. The environment in which we choose to build has a great impact on how brave we feel we can be, and modernism must therefore be handled with the utmost care.

As brave as the designs in Dubai are, they are often not abstract in the strictest sense of the word. We still seem to feel the need to justify the presence of modernity, giving designs a literal meaning that all can understand. Perhaps the most successful examples are designs which are not so easily defined. The use of abstract art forms in the golfing environment is visible in two very different environments, The Grove in Hertfordshire, and Disney World. Both handled with great imagination, one is designed in an ‘anything goes’ fantasy world, and the other a celebration of the fusion of old and new. Here contemporary styling welcomes golf into the 21st century. With modern materials and technology we are able to connect with the outside world and still remain eco friendly. There is no longer the need for small windows separating us from our sporting pride and joy. If we are intent on attracting young players to the game, maybe we should be looking at the front that the clubhouse represents. By embracing modernism we could help to make golf more approachable by removing the barriers that golfs high societies create, whilst retaining its integrity and earning a new found respect. Now might just be the time for developers and architects to grasp the opportunity to blend functionality and modernity in a building that could enhance our golfing experience without restriction, bringing the golf course and its clubhouse together as one. 057


South East view at dusk. All photos by Benny Chan, Fotoworks (except where noted)


GOLF! got in touch with

John Friedman, co architect of Yangsan Golf Clubhouse, to discuss the 50,000 square foot structure which was designed to sit comfortably within the landscape, as well as to produce a strong and recognisable image for the club’s membership.

John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, Inc. Los Angeles, California.


What are your design philosophies? Our primary interest lies in designing what we refer to as “social spaces” – spaces that foster social interaction, understanding, and integration. This is particularly important when one considers the heterogeneous cultural realm(s) in which we live. That being said, it is also our intention that our buildings inspire joy, wonder, and reflection - for both the individual and group alike - and that they sit meaningfully in their physical, social, and cultural contexts. Some of the consistent strategies we use to accomplish these aims are to frame dynamic views within our structures, as well as to maximize views to the urbanistic and natural worlds beyond. Blurring the boundaries between exterior

and interior space, and using natural light (often through skylights) to activate the interior spaces are also common strategies in our designs. How did the design of Yangsan golf clubhouse come to be so different from the norm? The easy answer is that we just designed it according to the core values that guide most of our freestanding buildings: maximization of exterior views, strong indoor-outdoor relationships, dynamic views and relationships within and throughout the buildings’ interiors, use of natural light to activate largely open interior spaces, a minimal palette (though this does not apply for many of our interiors projects), and the use of sculptural forms that give the buildings a clear identity, but also allow them to sit comfortably and meaningfully within their contexts, whether natural or urban.

What has been the reaction to your design of Yangsan golf clubhouse from the members of the club? The reaction has been great. The members love the light filled spaces, the open plan, and the views to the exterior. Even within the men’s locker room, there are expansive views to the course and the mountains beyond. The club is very popular.

Main dining room. Photo by Ho Kwan Park, SAC International, Ltd.

“...when people are in open, light-filled spaces with a connection to the natural world, their emotions and moods are often encouraged in positive ways.” We visited a great many golf clubs in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, many of them very exclusive clubs. But what always struck us was the disconnect between the interior spaces and the greens, not to mention the beautiful natural landscapes that often sat just beyond. Our first goal was to bring the life of the natural world into the interior.

were inspired, in a way, by the architectural heritage of Korea. The building is essentially a series of overlapping, upwardly-tilting butterfly roofs anchored to the earth by a set of limestone volumes. The butterfly roofs are an inversion of the gable roof found on most traditional buildings. The limestone volumes were inspired by the ancient stone fortifications found in the area.

What advantages do you feel modern styles of architecture can offer the end consumer? By now, it is very clear that we are committed to modern architecture. But though of course we enjoy the sculptural, material qualities of this architecture for their own sake, the bottom line is that when people are in open, light-filled spaces with a connection to the natural world, their emotions and moods are often encouraged in positive ways. The free plan that comes with modern architecture is also very beneficial because it encourages interactions between different kinds of activities and spaces. Do you think that more golf courses could benefit from a contemporary architecture style? Of course. And as a result you see more and more of them all the time. Why be stuck in some pompous, dark building trying to mimic an old castle or country manor when you could be in

We were also aided by the fact of being in Asia, Korea specifically, where there is more of an acceptance of modernism and modern (open, light-filled) spaces. These cultures have a lot of history and baggage, but thankfully not the baggage of stuffy, smoke-filled, dark wood-paneled club rooms with little connection to nature or natural light. Contemporary ideas and industry have allowed Asia to compete very successfully with the West, so thankfully they extend this attitude to their architectural thinking and expectations. We never had to convince our clients of anything that we did. They understood immediately. Here, I might also add that though we were able to ignore the historical model of the golf clubhouse, we Reflecting pool 059

East Facade

beautiful dining room, lounge, or locker room that allows you to watch the players outside? Why do you think that developers are afraid to take such a leap forward, and take advantage of modern designs? That’s the same question architects are always asked, no matter what type of building they are doing. There are two interrelated issues. The first is just the simple fact that the styles associated with wealth and power are, of course, the traditional ones. So the best marketing approach for developers is still to build those types of buildings that say to their prospective buyers and clients: this building proves that you are successful, that you are noble, that you have the taste of royalty. The second problem is that the common perception of modern

Main dining room 060

architecture until the last 20 years or so is that is cold, sterile, ugly, etc. Unfortunately, architects themselves were partially to blame for much of this perception since in the 60’s and 70’s they did in fact build a lot of cold, sterile, ugly buildings. It did not have to be this way: the great modern masters such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Wright, and Aalto did create beautiful buildings. But with lesser talents, and those who


were more ideologically driven, the results were far less successful. And many of these came with disastrous urban renewal policies which involved clearing whole neighbourhoods and replacing them with brutal, lifeless architecture. However, in the past two decades, architects have re-learned to pursue a contemporary architecture that is imaginative, warm, materially sensuous, and filled with light and life. And as architecture and


View down into main lounge from stair landing. Photo by Ho Kwan Park, SAC International, Ltd.

“Why be stuck in some pompous, dark building trying to mimic an old castle or country manor when you could be in a beautiful dining room, lounge, or locker room that allows you to watch the players outside?� design have become part of the general cultural discourse, the general population has learned to value, even crave, contemporary design and architecture. So the future looks bright, I would say. New building techniques allow the use vast expanses of glass to bring the outside world into the living space. Are there any disadvantages to this approach? There are two issues. First of all, glass is expensive, so when construction costs are high, as they are today, large expanses of glass can be prohibitive, though mostly

what happens is that the systems of support and connections are downgraded. Secondly, without adequate solar protection (louvers, low-E coatings, etc.), heat gain can be high, which taxes the air conditioning systems and pushes up energy costs. With intelligence, these problems can be mitigated. Typically, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Do you have any plans to build more golf clubhouses in the future? Would you take a similar approach again? Currently, we are not designing

any new golf clubhouses, though we would be happy to do so. And yes, we would take a similar approach, though we would probably push our ideas even further. For example, based on other projects we have done, we would probably incorporate more sustainable strategies, such as the use of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity and the use of sod roofs to provide insulation, filter the rain water, and generate more Oxygen. There are a lot of new techniques and technologies that we are planning to work with in our future projects. 061


The Pebble – scale model of a conceptual design for a driving range


GOLF! spoke with

Stan Colders, founder of a new company with a vision to promote and build modern clubhouses.

All images © Mind:Style Concept Architecture - All rights reserved.


What is Mind:Style Concept Architecture? Mind:Style Concept Architecture is a growing network of creative talent – architects, designers and artisans – dedicated to building outstanding golf resorts, clubhouses and driving ranges. Most Mind:Style members also have their own businesses, but for each project we specially select a team of highly creative minds, generating radical synergies and ideas. What are your design philosophies? Every detail of a Mind:Style design integrates the golfer’s personal experience and creates a seamless transition between the inner and outer experience of golf, so there is a perfect balance of mind, body and soul. In practical terms, that means designing more efficient driving ranges to train the body

and inspiring clubhouses to relax the mind. Combining this with the importance of individual wellness and healthy environments for all, we create organic designs that blend into their urban and natural environments. What has been the reaction to your company’s design concepts? Very positive. So many of today’s resorts, clubhouses and driving ranges look the same, as if they have come off a production line. More astute developers and golf industry professionals are beginning to realise that a successful golf business requires inspiring spaces and buildings to enhance the visitor’s experience, effectively creating golf sanctuaries. Of course, there are also many people who don’t want change – but we are young designers with a strong sense of the future of golf.

“Every detail of a Mind:Style design integrates the golfer’s personal experience and creates a seamless transition between the inner and outer experience of golf...”

Concept clubhouse design

What advantages do your concepts have over traditional designs? Our concepts are forged from specialist teams of well-known architects and interior designers with wide ranging experience and a variety of cultural backgrounds – so the designs and ideas are powerful and original. We allow potential clients to visit brainstorming sessions with the

How will your designs change the future of golf? I don’t want to change the future of golf – I am anticipating the future of golf. There are new types of golfers emerging who have different wants and needs. For example, the value of family experiences and being together outside the ever more demanding world of work will become more important in the future. So clubhouses

professionals, which can result in a unique debate about details. That’s fun. We are not limited to design, though. Our network allows us to test concepts in different areas, such as environmental, social, business and marketing. We think about the brochures, website and dress code of the operation staff, if necessary. This is important for the consistency of our design philosophy.

Concept clubhouse design 063

Proposals for a unique grass roofed driving range in Antwerp, Belgium

Concept clubhouse design

and multi-functional city driving ranges have to be ready for these total family experiences for men, women and children. I believe there will be a need for low-entrance opportunities into golf, which is why I want to create a new style of urban driving range; and I think clubhouses will be required to relax the mind before and after play. So the way we see the future of golf is built into our designs. Why do you think modern architecture is more readily accepted in a city environment? We are living in an era when a wide range of people can have anything they want. They like luxury and new gadgets – and it’s not the technology that drives their choice, but the design of the product. The same is true for modern architecture. It has a new luxury design expression not only for the people, but also for a city to put itself on the world map. It attracts people to live and work there and it’s good for tourism and business (although not always for health, of course). Keeping respect for natural environments in mind and by choosing the right materials you can still create a modern concept

outside a city with a different and more human related goal. Do you believe that all clubhouses should reflect the period in which they were built? No, not all clubhouses. It depends on the country, culture and history. When there is a story to tell about the clubhouse, protect it – when there is no story, no soul, break it down and create one for history. Heritage is important to protect and to inspire new generations. You have to know where you’ve come from to know where you are going and how to improve things for the future.

“So many of today’s clubhouses, driving ranges and resorts look the same, as if they have come off a production line.”

Concept clubhouse design 064

Self - Reflection a mental skill that can make a huge impact on your game Making the time to either look back or reflect on a past performance can have huge benefits for any golfer. Questioning and examining golf experiences or performances can help you learn from them and may enable you to deal with similar situations in the future far more effectively. This type of practice is called ‘self-reflection’.

By Allison Dyer, BSc, MSc, C.Psychol, Total Sport Psychology


What is Self-Reflection? Learning from experience and working around aspects of your performance that need to be changed. Questioning your common routines, challenging your usual practices and asking why-type questions. This attitude or open-minded way of looking at things builds on your achievements, asking what went well and why, but it can also be critical, working constructively with the weaker sides of performance. Fifteen minutes of your time could be well spent on self-reflection!

Reflection is important to: Identify lessons learnt e.g. If I could live that experience again (a particular round, hole or practice session) what would I do differently? What would I repeat? Inform practice sessions e.g. What area of my game (technically and/or mentally) is a priority to work on this week? Enhance confidence e.g. By logging the experiences you are pleased with you are effectively creating a confidence library of good shots, positive experiences, achievements and so on that you can refer back to.

ACTIVE REFLECTION Draw out lessons from your experiences

Target areas for improvement

Create appropriate action plans

Act on the action plans

“It is important to challenge your decisions and create action plans that will help ensure that you do not make the same mistake twice!�


Example Practice Session Reflections: Did I engage in a quality practice session today? Did I practice my long and short game? Did I spend enough time on my least favourite practice? Did I work on the weaker elements of my game? Did I spend enough time ingraining my pre-shot routine? Did I think of new drills I could complete? Were the goals I set myself challenging enough? What areas do I need to focus on in my next practice session? What did I do particularly well today? What am I pleased with? Example Competition Round Reflections: If I could play that round again what would I do differently? Are there any decisions I would change e.g. with regards to my course management? Did I let anything distract me e.g. a bad shot, my opponent? Did I effectively use my pre-shot routine? What was my thought control like today? Following that performance what part of my game should I focus on in my practice sessions next week? What do I need to work on? What decisions would I make again? If I could play that round again what would I do the same?

What was particularly good about that round? Which shots am I particularly pleased with? It is important to challenge your decisions and create action plans that will help ensure that you do not make the same mistake twice! It is also essential that you build your confidence by placing emphasis on what you do well. Although it’s important to work on areas of weakness it is also important to acknowledge and remember the areas you are pleased with! It is recommended that you regularly record your selfreflections using a ‘Self-Reflection Grid´ similar to the one below. The grid should help you to identify: • What you have learnt and need to improve on. • What you are particularly pleased with.

Tips: • Be honest with yourself. Reflection takes you out of your comfort zone and can be an uncomfortable experience but you need to be open and truthful for it to work. • Set a time when you are going to reflect. Like anything new you will have to build reflection into your routine. • Ideally you would complete the process of self-reflection within 24 hours following the golf experience or performance. • Make a conscious, fullhearted decision to reflect. • During your practice of self-reflection consider all possible options and solutions to a given scenario. • Learn from yourself and others. Reflection does not have to be completed alone, reflection is often more effective when done with others.

• Appropriate action plans.

• Make use of all sources of feedback available.

You can revisit your past reflections at regular intervals to identify any emerging themes relating to your development.

• You may find it helpful to record your self-reflection in a diary. It is often useful to look back on your previous thoughts and feelings.

Example Self Reflection Grid:

EVENT: EuroPro Event Three




After a couple of bad holes (10th/11th) I let my head drop and got sloppy with my pre-shot routine.

I putted well throughout the competition.

I tried to overcompensate on the 11th and played too aggressively.

My chipping was consistent. I felt more confident with it.



In my next competition I will set myself the goal of committing to working hard from the first tee through to the last putt on the 18th – I must remember there could be a birdie around the corner!?!?!

I will continue to practice and use my putting pre-shot routine.

In the next competition I will set myself the goal of committing and sticking to my game plan.

I will continue working hard on my chipping drills in practice this week.

So - why don’t you give it a go! Turn experience into learning and learning into improved performance! 068


beached? By Patrick Brady PGA Professional

If there is one aspect of the game I hear golfers regularly complain about, it is the bunker shot. This needn’t be the case, as with a little understanding and good technique it can be a highly rewarding and satisfying shot to play. Once we realise that we use the sand to push the ball out of the bunker, we can work it to our advantage. Read my tips and you should never find yourself beached again.


There are many different areas in golf that we may practice and improve, but bunker shots tend to be left until last (or ignored in some cases). We might go in one bunker today, yet not go near one during our next three rounds - so why bother? Bunkers are an integral part of the golf course, and too many scores are ruined as a result of being unable to get out. The knock on effect of this is that a simple pitch shot over a bunker can strike fear into somebody who was originally a very confident golfer. The bunker can, regardless as to whether you go in them or not, cause great problems with our thought process on the course. As our fear grows, we begin to steer our iron shots clear of them, and our focus is taken away from enjoying the game. It may seem obvious, but the lower handicap golfers are normally the better bunker players. This is because the more experienced golfer has a better understanding of where and when the club head will hit the sand. The higher handicap golfer generally has less knowledge and control of their swing, making consistent striking of the sand difficult, which leads to inconsistent results. Thankfully we can all improve with practice, so let’s find a bunker, get into the sand and learn how to get out. The first thing we need to discover is a feel for the bottom of our swing arc. This is the lowest point the club travels relative to the ground through the swing. The way to do this is to practice hitting the sand without a ball until we are able to take a consistency of sand that still allows us to swing the club freely to the target. We do not want to be taking so much sand that the club digs in and gets stuck.

Practice hitting the sand without a ball to create a splashing sound

The sole of the sand wedge is designed to bounce rather than dig into the sand, and we can increase the bounce of the club by opening the face. Our grip on the club is, as always, vital to the success of our control over the face of the club, so try to establish your grip before you take your stance. I prefer to have an open club face in order to maximise the bounce on the sole. This is the part of the club to hit the sand 072

Ball position just forward of centre

This way I do not have to be so precise on how I hit the sand, and it gives me a lot more freedom to control the distance of the shot through the length of my swing. Be aware that the more you open the face the further right of the target it will aim. We need to counteract this by continuing to open our stance (feet point to the left of the target for a right handed golfer) until the leading edge of the club points directly at it. From here we will swing along the path our feet have created, effectively cutting across the ball. Let’s start with a slightly open stance and an open club face. Try to develop a feel for the effects opening and closing the face of the club has on the sand. Simply draw a line in the bunker just ahead of the centre of your stance, and aim to hit 3 inches before the line through to 3 inches after it. Keep practising and making adjustments until you feel you are getting closer to the line. Don’t be disheartened if you start catching the sand one foot before the line, as this drill gives you instant feedback as to why you may not have been hitting good bunker shots in the past. At this point we should have found the bottom of our swing arc, and we will be able to hear and see the amount of sand we are taking. We are listening for a splash as the club hits the sand. To give a visual indication of how much sand we should be taking I have placed a 10 euro note underneath the ball. This volume of sand is

A visual image of where to hit the sand 074

Depending on how open you have the club face will alter how far left you take your stance

Catching the sand too early

Completely missing the sand

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most likely to achieve the correct splash when the club bounces off the surface of the bunker. The amount and depth of sand can vary from bunker to bunker, and it is useful to try and gage this when stepping in and settling to the shot. To maintain the consistent volume of sand we have learnt to take in practice, we should adjust how far down we grip the club accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to grip down the shaft the equivalent amount to how far our feet sink into the sand. So we are still in the bunker and we are yet to hit a ball! The reason for this is simple. Whereas most bunker lessons begin with ‘hit the sand one inch before the ball...’ I would liken this to demanding an imperfect player to hit a perfect shot. So far we have learnt where we are able to hit the sand, and now have the knowledge that is crucial to achieving consistent results. Let’s finally put a ball in place of the line we drew, and concentrate solely on repeating the exercise of hitting the sand with the swing which produced the clean splash in practice, and we will only adjust the length of our swing to achieve the correct distance to the target. A simple thought is to use the length of swing required to get the sand to hit the part of the green where you would first like the ball to land. If you are able to overcome the urge to hit the ball first, you might be surprised to see the ball pop out of the

A full finish shows my confidence and commitment to the shot

This series of pictures shows how much swing I used to move the sand 8 meters - the area where I wanted the ball to land first 076

bunker with little effort. Now you can continue by practising your aim, stance and feel of the shot, and the effects these changes have on the flight of the ball. You will begin to understand why the bunker shot can be the source of much satisfaction in your game, rather than the beginning of your worst nightmare on the course. There are different situations in the bunker, such as uphill and downhill lies. You have to treat these in the same way you would do on the fairway. Get your shoulders and hips parallel with the slope. On an uphill lie there is less need to open the face as you are already adding loft. On a downhill lie the ball will come out lower, do not try to lift the ball out, simply open the face a little more to counteract the steep angle of attack you will be forced to play. Plugged lies are a relatively easy shot to play. Hood the face a little by getting the hands in front of the ball. This allows the club to cut rather than bounce in the sand, and be aware that there will be no back spin on the shot. If there is no lip in front of you I would advise you use a pitching wedge. If you need any more reason to practice your bunker shots, believe me when I tell you that regular bunker practice can also improve the strength and timing of your left side, as the sand acts as resistance to the swing. Stepping out onto the course after a lengthy session in the bunker will see you hitting much crisper, straighter and longer golf shots with every club in your bag!

Plugged lie: Keep the club face square to the target and make a normal swing

Wide soled wedges are a great benefit, as these have a lot more bounce and are a lot more forgiving in sand. Go and see your pro to get advice on selecting the right sand wedge for your game.

Golf course photos taken at Atalaya Golf Club, Southern European HQ of the PGAs of Europe. For more info visit:

Plugged lie: ball is sat down in the sand... 078

square up the club face to reduce bounce


shaft fitting By David Poulton PGA Professional, KZG World Top 100 Club Fitter 2006

Shaft fitting is one of the most confusing aspects of fitting for many golfers and clubmakers. The main function of the shaft is to control the weight of the club and optimise the launch angle of the shot.

It is critical in shaft fitting to analyse four of the significant movements in a golfers swing. Get your swing speed measured with the driver (wood fitting) and a 5 iron (iron fitting). The next important parameter to be noted is overall swing tempo: A smooth tempo will have a timing of over 1.2 seconds, an average swing tempo timing is 0.9 - 1.2 seconds, and a fast swing tempo will be less than 0.9 seconds. Force of the downswing transition and the release move (the point in the downswing when the golfer unhinges their wrists) are the last two swing movements that absolutely must be observed by a professional club fitter in order to guarantee the correct shaft selection. We can only look at the ball flight once all of these swing movements have been observed.

If the golfer is testing a driver shaft that matches their 4 basic swing movements, but does not match their ball flight (it is not going straight), a decision has to be made with the club fitters advice. As described last issue, we need to identify whether the golfer falls into category 1 or category 2. Category 1 golfer (leisure golfer) The shaft has to hit the ball straight regardless of the swing movement. Category 2 golfer (serious golfer): The shaft must match the golfers swing movements, and the golfer must work with their coach to attain the correct ball flight. We see professionals using many brightly coloured and appealing looking shafts. Remember that they have been fitted for these shafts, which companies are quite willing to sell to you. Get your shafts professionally fitted to ensure that they match your swing and ball flight - not the professional on television.


Golfers who have a forceful start to the downswing bow the shaft and require a flex higher than their swing speed indicates

Golfers that unhinge the wrists late in the downswing are better with a shaft that is firm in the tip section

Golfers that unhinge early in the downswing are more suited to a softer tip section

shaft selection



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Peter Thomson by Brora, a famous old links course in the Scottish highlands that is Peter’s favourite course in the world, and which he visits twice a year.


Five times British Open Champion from 1954-1965, three times Australian Open Champion and nine times the New Zealand Open Champion, Peter Thomson has won a hundred tournaments worldwide. Now aged 76, Peter plays an active role designing golf courses. EAT

GOLF! caught up with

him to find out more.

What is your favourite memory from your past 5 wins in the British Open? Well it was all like a dream, but I don’t have any particular one. I remember the third one pretty well, which made it three in a row at Hoylake, where they are playing this year. That one was, I think, a bit more unexpected than the others. Or at least I felt very pessimistic before I started. In spite of that I came out on top, though I don’t know why! Everybody else must have felt pessimistic at the same time! What was it that made you feel pessimistic about that particular event? In the practise days before the championship I didn’t find that I was on top of the course in any way. That was the way I used to feel when I won things. I had a plan for the course, and it was a very simple, straight forward plan. But I would stick to it in the hope that in the end I would come out on top. In the case at Hoylake I couldn’t quite make out a lot of the course, it didn’t seem to suit me. What I didn’t realise is that it didn’t suit the other competitors either! 085

“I found that the courses we played on, especially the ones on which I won, were beautifully proportioned. Generous fairways and greens, and very happy arenas.”

Have you been back to Hoylake recently, and has it changed a lot in the time since you played in The Open? Yes, I went there last year to play some golf. No, it hasn’t changed a lot at all. The changes really took place around twenty years ago, not recently. Although for this championship they are changing the circuit of holes, so they start on the 17th I think. Do you have a favourite course on The Open circuit? No, I don’t have a favourite course - I like them all equally. The courses on the roster of the British Championship are all wonderful, master courses. I like them all. Do you have a favourite hole? No, not really - a favourite hole would be one I made a good score on!


Why do you think you were so successful at the Open? There’s no secret. I used to prepare as best I could in the way of ‘soft training’ in those days. Practising pretty hard, getting my clubs ready and studying the course. That was always my routine. Was it this studying of the course that led you into designing them? Yes, I think that’s absolutely true. Because in playing them one had to study courses very carefully to figure out how to play them well, how to keep out of trouble, and work out what sort of trouble there was. I learnt a lot about courses during that period. What areas would you examine specifically? Were you trying to get into the mind of the designer and work out what they intended for you to do?

The Open Course at Moonah Links (Home of the 2003 Australia Open)

Not really. All of the course that we played had multiple designers, and they sort of grew naturally. I don’t think there was any great brain work in any of them - the courses just evolved naturally. It’s to do with balancing the fairway in proportion to the rest of it. In other words if a golf course has a very narrow fairway and a lot of wild rough on both sides then it’s out of proportion. I found that the courses we played on, especially the ones on which I won, were beautifully proportioned. Generous fairways and greens, and very happy arenas. Is that what you try to focus on when designing a course yourself? Yes indeed. I think that there was a time when not enough attention or sympathy was given to people who don’t play so well. And as I’ve gotten older, and I

don’t play so well myself now, I have great sympathy with these people! I make sure that the game is enjoyable for everybody. You are now a partner in Thomson, Perrett & Lobb. What sort of projects do you generally work on? We have designed and remodeled more than 200 courses all around the world. Some of them are golf courses only, but that’s pretty rare these days. What it’s now all about is either resort construction, with hotels and condominiums, or the other side of it where they become housing estates integrated with golf. That’s what we plan in our office, we not only have golf designers, but urban planners also. There is often a lot of criticism levelled at golf courses based

on real estate. How do you combat these attacks? Well we don’t make mistakes concerning safety for instance. But some of the great courses I could name are actually housing estates - for instance Wentworth, where great championships have been played, and Sunningdale to some degree. There are many famous courses around the world which are bordered by real estate. In fact it’s pretty hard to find a course that is so remote that it is surrounded by nature - it just doesn’t happen! The criticism of the houses integrated with the golf is usually that the houses are too near, and therefore not environmentally adjusted to the golf - they are dangerous in some places. If the developer gets too greedy and wants too many houses too 087

“Sam Snead, the great American player, was my particular idol. I adored his golf and admired him as a man. He was like an Uncle to me...”

near to the golf, then there is a problem. Otherwise I think that housing estates of a certain quality go very well together with golf. You have been looking into developing courses in Egypt. Yes, we have had the good fortune to sign up with a developer who wants a resort on the Red Sea, and also a big development in the outskirts of Cairo. In regard to the Cairo suburban course - it is in the vicinity of the Great Pyramids, so that’s a fun backdrop! We’ve got a lot of work in China, and we’ve been working in China now for about twelve years. We have seven course on the ground there now. It is a boom place for golf, so we expect to do another 20 or 30 yet. Going back to your golfing career. It lasted forty years,


which is an incredible length of time to play competitive golf. Yes, my glory days were in the 1950s, when I won the championships and extended into the 60s of course. But golf is such a game that it can be played at a high level well into your 50s if one keeps oneself fit. You proved that with your Senior Tour record, which is also very impressive. In the case of Senior golf it should be looked at as what it is - it is a competition between Seniors. I don’t think that the Seniors could match it with the Juniors! Playing amongst themselves they get a different result. Which gives you the most satisfaction - designing a course or playing one? Well both have a part in ones life I

The Ocean Course, The National Golf Club, Australia

think. I’m a competitive person so I enjoyed the competition. At the end of it there is the opportunity to be creative and artistic. I have always had that in my make-up. Do you miss the competitive side? I wish I could play as well as those young players play! Unfortunately at my age I have to resign myself to the fact that I cannot still do it. I play about one game a week, sometimes up to three times a week. Who are your biggest influences, both in playing and designing career? Those are two separate things. In my playing days I made many friends in Britain, America, Argentina and Japan. I had a wide extent of friends that I still keep in touch with. What I do

nowadays is more business like, so my contact is with people who are property developers, and generally those who are ambitious and want to create something like a major golf course. Do you have any idols from your younger days? Oh yes. Sam Snead, the great American player, was my particular idol. I adored his golf and admired him as a man. He was like an Uncle to me, very helpful and friendly. He was my great man. He won the Open Championship in 1946 by the way! Did you play against him many times? Yes, yes I did. Of course he was a superior golfer to me, but as time went on I got more mature and he got less mature, and I was able to get on top of him!

With respect to the younger players of today, equipment is quite a large factor in the game. Have you found that modern equipment has helped you as time has gone on? The equipment in the case of the clubs is a great help, because the clubs we used to play with in the 50s, 60s, and even 70s, weren’t very good really. But the modern clubs are wonderful implements with which to play. The biggest sadness in the game of golf has been with the ball. The ball is so much more aerodynamically better now than what it ever was. The game has really changed - the wind doesn’t affect the ball so much now. It also carries further through the air, which is really a sadness because it is making all the old traditional courses look very short indeed. That’s a great tragedy for the game of golf I think. 089

Peter Thomson with his design partners Ross Perrett and Tim Lobb


“Greg Norman for instance would hit more golf balls in a week than I did in ten years! But there is a penalty in that the body tends to wear out with use.”

Is there a solution? Yes there is. We are waiting for action to be taken to get the ball back to the aerodynamic limitations of the 50s and 60s. I think it must happen eventually. Everywhere I go in the world the question is asked - when are they going to do something about the ball? It’s not just me, it is everybody I come into contact with.

Thomson, Perrett & Lobb Golf Course Architects

You are a journalist, author and commentator. Have you found these a natural progression from your involvement in golf - or do you simply have a lot that you wish to say?! I wanted to ‘do it’ because I wanted to see if I could do it! Mind, when I first became a pro golfer, I had to be a journalist as well because there wasn’t enough prize money to be won to keep the wolf from the door. The tournaments

were few and far between, and the prizes weren’t very lucrative. Did you used to practise your golf to the level that the professionals of today do? Nowhere near it. Greg Norman for instance would hit more golf balls in a week than I did in ten years! But there is a penalty in that the body tends to wear out with use. When we played in our time there was not a lot of actual practise done, but in my case there was a lot of playing of holes. If I had an hour to spare, I would play a few holes instead of just hitting a bag of balls on a practise field. Have you ever thought about retiring? I would say that I am in perfect health for my age, and that I have to be around golf for a long time yet - so no thoughts at all!

northern light Linna Golf is the newest addition to the PGA European Tour Courses Group and was created to bring top class professional events to Finland. But its exquisite castle hotel, fairytale forest and 24-hour summer daylight also makes it a magical destination for the discerning travelling golfer.


“This spectacular virgin golf territory is part of the Vanajan Linna Hotel estate, an exquisite former hunting lodge...”

* Tim Lobb is now a partner of Thomson Perrett and Lobb Golf Course Architects.

Linna Golf is special. Carved out of one of Scandinavia’s finest birch and pine forests 100km north of Helsinki, the naturally set course looks like it has been part of the landscape for decades. In fact, this is its first full season – and it is already being described as one of Europe’s best new courses.

outcrops, bordering a sparkling 7km long lake. This spectacular virgin golf territory is part of the Vanajan Linna Hotel estate, an exquisite former hunting lodge built by a wealthy industrialist in the 1920s to host Helsinki’s leading society figures, including the country’s President.

The 6,624m (7,244 yard) layout, designed by Tim Lobb of European Golf Design*, rides a natural rollercoaster of craggy hills peppered with rocky

Today, the great and the good of Helsinki and Scandinavian society are returning to Linna – except now they come to play golf and be seen at Finland’s most fashionable resort.


Of course, Finland isn’t an obvious destination for a golf break. While Sweden and Denmark, and more recently Norway, have developed their golf facilities, Finland has been slower to catch the golf bug. That is all changing with the country’s 100,000 golfers now growing by 10% a year and more courses being built.

“The challenge was to create a course that would be a potential European Tour venue while also making it fun and enjoyable for the average player...”


But what makes Linna Golf stand out from the crowd is its special combination of inspiring location, beautifully natural golf course, classy country house hotel and soon to be completed ultra cool clubhouse. The final magical ingredient is a touch of midsummer golfing madness – midnight golf. “Being in the southern part of Finland, we have 24-hour daylight when the weather is good so you really can play golf all night,” explains Anssi Kankkonen, the former European Tour professional whose teaching academy is based at Linna Golf.

“For visitors, playing golf at night is a surreal experience – it’s beautiful to see the sun go down, but to finish your round as the sun is rising again is magical.” The novelty of midnight golf shouldn’t detract from the quality of the course itself, though. The hotel’s young, charismatic owners – Mika Walkamo and Pekka Vihma – wanted a course that would bring top-flight professional golf to Finland. But being avid golfers themselves and sometimes frustrated by the difficulty of new ‘professional standard’ resort courses, they set a clear brief – Linna Golf had to be an enjoyable course for the average golfer, as well as a challenge for professionals. European Golf Design, creator of numerous European Tour courses, including Carton House and PGA Golf de Catalunya, was commissioned to design the course and the talented young Australian architect Tim Lobb led the project.

“The land was a golf designer’s dream and the chance to create something very special was on offer,” says Lobb. “It was instantly clear how a golf course could be seamlessly melded into the natural environment and it was a very exciting prospect. “The challenge was to create a course that would be a potential European Tour venue while also making it fun and enjoyable for the average player. That may sound straightforward, but with professional golfers now driving the ball 350 yards, the architect’s work has never been so difficult.” The solution lay largely in the careful positioning of tees and Lobb was able to push the pro tees back into secluded locations and angle drives for different players to bring hazards into play and create varying levels of difficulty. The finished product is a joy to play with some outstanding individual holes. The par-4 5th is a completely

natural hole that runs along a ridge through the trees with a wide fairway that encourages the golfer to open their shoulders from the tee and give it a whack down the hill. The 15th is a classic short par-5. It has multiple strategic options with water and fairway bunkers both coming into play requiring a precise approach if you are to take it on in two. And the tee shot from the elevated 18th tee is sublime. The hole is laid out in front of you, with the fairway sweeping down the hill to a pond in front of the green. It’s a marvellous finishing hole and one that, like the rest of the course, has apparently melted into the landscape. It’s the whole experience that makes Linna Golf special. The fresh air of the Finnish countryside, the enjoyable golf course wending its way through the forest, the understated class of the hotel and the cool cosmopolitan style of nearby Helsinki. For the first time, there really is a reason to fly north for summer golf.

Linna Golf Factfile The golf package at Linna Golf costs €130 (£90) per person per night, based on two people sharing a room, and includes breakfast, 18hole green fee and practice balls. Instructional breaks are also available with a two-day package at the Anssi Kankkonen Golf Academy at Linna Golf costing €350 (£240) per person (based on two people sharing a double room). Alternatively, lessons can be booked for €60 (£40) per hour. Linna Golf, near Hämeenlinna, is within easy reach of Helsinki Airport (100km), serviced by a variety of airlines including SAS, Blue 1, Finnair and British Airways; and Tampere Airport (80km), with Ryanair flights from London Stansted. For more information, call +358 3 610 2600, e-mail or visit


taste modern Being called EAT GOLF! we thought it was about time that we featured a restaurant, and the NH Sotogrande in Spain fits ‘la cuenta’ perfectly this issue. Situated next to some of the best golf courses in Europe, it is as close to the ‘modern clubhouse’ as you will likely find. Stunning in its simplicity, the restaurant at NH Sotogrande occupies one of the architectural high points of the hotel, with trendy, modern décor accentuated by the large glass and metal column window that looks out onto a beautifully natural stretch of garden. The combination of a highly stylised and modern interior with the uncontrived natural setting it borders is really quite effective. Open to the public, the restaurant has proved highly popular, adding additional life and vivaciousness to an already charming hotel. With the 096

spa and other luxurious facilities of the NH Almenara hotel nearby, the NH Sotogrande is a highly attractive and stylish new addition to the small but distinguished list of Sotogrande hotels. Head chef Pepe Tariff presents his own modern twist on traditional Andalusian specialities. His recommendation would be to sample their original gazpachos, rice caldoso or one of the fresh fish of the day. During the summer months visitors can enjoy the outdoor terrace and swimming pool.

For further information: Tel: + 34 902 18 18 36


NEXT ISSUE Issue 5 - September / October 2006


Eat Golf! 04  
Eat Golf! 04  

Digest news, reviews, fashion and interviews in the most stylish magazine designed to feed your golfing appetite