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THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE'S // 10-17 JULy 2011

SEVE & THE OPEN SANDWICH KILLERS MARK ROE REFLECTS ON ’03 COTTON’S SCRAPBOOK BUBBA WATSON

TOP WRITING Peter Alliss Robert Green Jeremy Chapman John Hopkins Tom Cox Clive Agran Dan Davies Dominic Pedler Dr Felix Shank The Major!

THE PEOPLE’S

CHAMPION Memories, photos, anecdotes & tributes to the man who transformed European golf SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS 1957-2011

Lee Westwood shares his secrets to distance off the tee Jonathan Yarwood on how to develop a sharper short-game Talking wedges with design guru Bob Vokey ISSuE 103 • JuLY 2011 • £4.25

03

9 771368 402034

GIRLS ALLOWED / A COTSWOLD’S GEM / MEMORABILIA / MERCEDES C63 AMG & MORE


GOLF INTERNATIONAL

RICHARD SIMMONS

MAGAZINE

FIRST UP

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Privileged to have been there The story behind this photograph is special for many reasons – not least because it was taken on the vast beach in Pedrena where, as a young boy, Seve famously took his first – and we’ll have to assume anything but tentative – swings with home-made clubs, scuttling pebbles across the sand. It was a cold February in 1991 when I made the trip to Seve’s home on a two-day assignment along with editor Robert Green and photographer David Cannon to shoot a series of instruction articles for Golf World, the UK magazine to which he was attached at the time. For the more orthodox features we toured the tree-lined fairway of the rolling Pedrena layout to find suitable locations, although you won’t be surprised to learn that the more interesting ideas came about as golf’s greatest escape artist took every opportunity to dazzle us with his ability to contort shots around and over the pines. And it was going to get better. From the moment the trip to Pedrena had been confirmed I’d had it in my mind that we could not waste this opportunity to get Seve onto the beach to hit some balls – but would he be up for it? “The beach, sure, why not?,” he shot back at the suggestion. “But first I need to get something from the clubhouse.” Minutes later he emerged from a side door carrying a net of practice balls and a tin can. “I show you something,” he said, climbing behind the wheel of his Range Rover. With nothing but blue sky as a backdrop, and on sand rendered firm by the retreating tide, Seve kept himself warm hitting 5-iron shots, pinching each one clean off the surface, the flight of the ball arcing like a tracer across the skyline. One of the world’s most gifted golfers was simply in his element, happy as he could be in his home town, doing what he loved best. The sequences were safely in the can. A unique cover story. Job done.

Editor:

Richard Simmons richard@golfinternationalmag.com

Editor in chief:

Robert Green robert@golfinternationalmag.com

Equipment Editor: Dominic Pedler dominic@golfinternationalmag.com Design:

Tony Seagrave design@golfinternationalmag.com

Professional Teaching Panel: Robert Baker, Tim Barter, Pete cowen, Jim christine, Dan Frost, Andrew Hall, Simon Holmes, Paul Hurrion, Stuart Morgan, Denis Pugh, Stuart Smith, David Whelan & Jonathan Yarwood Regular contributors: clive Agran, Peter Alliss, colin callander, Jeremy chapman, Tom cox, Richard Gillis, Anthony ffrench-constant, Michael Flannery, John Hopkins, Tony Johnstone, kevin McGimpsey, David Purdie, Ronan Rafferty, Sarah Stirk, Jayne Storey, Paul Trow & Jake ulrich Photographers: David cannon, Peter Dazeley, Ross kinnaird, Andrew Redington, Getty Images, charles Briscoe-knight, Matthew Harris, Mark Newcombe, Eric Hepworth, Steve Read Regular Illustrators: Peter clark, Harold Riley, Dave F. Smith, Tony Husband Overseas correspondents: karl Ableidinger Austria Jan kees van der Velden Holland Hong kong Spencer Robinson Mario camicia Italy Andy Brumer uSA Advertising/Publishing Director: Peter Simmons peter@golfinternationalmag.com Tel: (020) 7828 3003 • Mobile: 07827 995 080 Advertising Director: Nick Edgley nick@golfinternationalmag.com Mobile: 07774 703 491 Advertising consultant: Ian Harkness ian@golfinternationalmag.com Tel: 01702 558512 • Mobile: 07980 464 378 uS Travel Representative: Gary Edwards gary@coastalsc.com Tel: (00) 1 843 849 1308 Special Projects: Brosnan Event Management Tel: (020) 8691 6836 Printers: Wyndeham Group // Tel: 01726 892400 Distribution: comag // Tel: 01895 433600

But Seve had a finale planned. “OK, now I’m going to show you how to practice putting like it is at Augusta,” he announced, taking a sand iron and using it like an old-fashioned brace drill to dig a makeshift hole, into which he pressed in the tin. A nearby piece of driftwood made for the stick and, pulling a pristine white handkerchief from his pocket to use as a flag, Seve completed the picture. “Now I show you,” he repeated, taking his putter and a handful of the remaining practice balls and heading up the beach. Freshly washed by the sea, the sand was perfect – smooth and firm. And Quick. “Very fast, eh,” Seve ventured as he lined up the downhill, downwind 30-footer. “We stay ’til I make a putt.” And you really don’t need me to tell you that holing a putt didn’t take very long. Kneeling to hold the small flagstick he had made, Seve gave us one last flash of that smile. For me, David Cannon’s photograph of that single moment in time captured a pure and lasting image of the late, great Severiano Ballesteros. We dedicate this Open preview issue to his memory. See you at Royal St George’s.

ISSUE 103 • JULY 2011

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Essential reading from the best in the game

12

LETTERS

6

Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Why not email us? You could win the latest FootJoy shoes and wind-shirts

17

PLANET GOLF

90

52

Richard Simmons tells the story behind one of the great images of Seve on the beach at his lifelong home in Pedrena

36

19th Hole Q&A with Justin Rose...Exclusive reader competition – you could win a luxury experience at the Open championship...Latest equipment news...Jayne Storey and chi-Power Golf...more advice from Dr Felix Shank...2Minute Lesson – Stuart Morgan shows you how to ‘hinge’ and ‘turn’ for a solid backswing...The Major!...The Rules Office – how’s your general knowledge?...Divots...!

FIRST uP

OPEN PREVIEW

AND ANOTHER THING... The five-way race to stage the 2018 Ryder cup was deservedly won by the French. Which, of course, left four prospective venues to lick their wounds, writes Robert Green

62

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THE AMATEuR ScENE Our spotlight this issue falls on Jack Senior, a one of the ‘Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!’ – to the accompaniment of the Atlantic surf crashing on Booby’s Bay, the William Hunt Trilby Tour Trevose, plus we bring you a roundup of amateur tournament news, while Colin Callendar reports on a Golf Foundation-backed initiative that is bringing golf to urban areas all over the country

40

kEEP cALM & cARRY ON On the verge of his boyhood dream in 2003, England’s Mark Roe suffered one of the cruelist injustices ever seen in professional golf. Editor Richard Simmons talked to him

19TH HOLE According to the notice board at his home club, Clive Agran’s handicap was ‘innactive’ – and yet it seemed to work perfectly well on a trip to compete in Ireland

86 104 OPEN BETTING

SANDWIcH SPREAD The ultimate account of Henry cotton’s 1934 Open triumph at Royal St George’s compiled from the pages of the maestro’s personal scrapbook – bought at auction by Gi’s Dominic Pedler

Gi’s betting expert Jeremy Chapman with the latest odds on what promises to be one of the most open of Opens for years

152 WORLD TOuRNAMENT NEWS At the top of his game – Andy Farrell reports on the latest happenings in world tournament golf, headlining with Luke Donald’s victory at the BMW PGA which elevated the Englishman to the top of the world rankings. Plus our regular round-up of results and stats

SANDWIcH kILLERS: TALES OF HEROES & ZERO’S Selecting his favourite Sandwich trivia, Dominic Pedler brings you an alternative hole-by-hole guide to the topographical and historical highlights of the 13 Open’s to have been staged in this corner of kent

38 ON THE AIR European golf has lost perhaps the most flambouyant character it has ever known. Peter Alliss was fortunate enough to have known Seve from the beginnings

THE PEOPLE’S cHAMPION His performances in the Open championship were integral to establishing Seve Ballesteros as the darling of the British golfing public, writes Robert Green

168 TOM cOX For a whole generation, the arrival of Seve Ballesteros at Royal Birkdale in 1976 was the inspiration for a love affair with golf. It certainly was for Tom Cox

92

178 THE LAST SHOT Hitting the jackpot – then missing the cut: in Monty and GMac John Hopkins observes two men who have found that time-pressures off the course can have an adverse effect of their performance on it

OuT OF LEFT FIELD Bubba Watson is one of the most entertaining and engaging characters in the world of golf. John Hopkins discovered as much when he sat down to talk to him at the Players’ championship

98

THE YOuNG GuNS Gi is delighted to welcome to its team of writers Dan Davies, a former editor of Esquire who hits the ground running with an assessment of six young guns likely to be in the mix at Sandwich

FEATURES 132 HIGH FLYER Design guru Bob Vokey is the leading authority on grooves, grinds, ‘gapping’ and other nuances of the wedge. Dominic Pedler talked to him

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GIRLS ARE ALLOWED! Jodi Ewart laments the shortage of playing partners who share in her passion for golf – but applauds the many schemes in place to attract girls onto the fairways A cOuNTRY HOuSE GEM In the heart of the cotswolds, The Manor House Hotel & Golf club, is the perfect retreat. Peter Swain reports

114

MEMORABILIA Auction-room expert Kevin McGimpsey answers more of your letters

120

MOTORING Anthony ffrench-Constant drives the jaw-dropping Mercedes-Benz c63 AMG coupe, described as ‘the finest road-going V8 in the world’

132 WHOLESALER IN ONE Gi’s equipment editor Dominic Pedler turns the industry sportlight on Golfsmith Europe

154 TEE TIMES & TAPAS The island of Mallorca is blessed with all the ingredients you need to create a fabulous holiday – great golf being just one of them, as Andrew Marshall reports

162 TRAVEL PAGES

JULY 2011

GOLFINTE

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A LUXURY OPEN EXPERIENCE A GOLFBUDDY GPS! SEE PAGE 117

SEE PAGE 25

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTYIMAGES.COM

ISSUE #103 // JULY 2011 Regulars Columns


Instruction WITHIN PLANET GOLF 24

Activating the ‘core’ muscle groups – and using them to generate rotary speed – is the secret to effortless power. Jayne Storey continues her series on the benefits of chi Power Golf

28

2-Minute Lesson: Stuart Morgan shows you a simple drill to blend wrist hinge with a good body motion for more power and consistency

48

ON THE TEE WITH WESTY On the Tuesday of the BMW PGA at Wentworth, England’s Lee Westwood took time out to talk to editor Richard Simmons about the swing keys that have made him one of the longest and straightest drivers of the ball the game has seen. His straightforward thinking can help you to go out and drive it with more authority this weekend

106 AIR TRAFFIc cONTROL With the announcement that he is returning to the uk to focus on developing his teaching academies at both Donnington and Stoke Park, Gi readers will be seeing a lot more of top coach Jonathan Yarwood. Here he offers a terrific insight into the way tour players think about controlling trajectory and spin for a complete wedge game

138 HOW TO PuTT WITH PREcISION In the second part of her series, Lynn McCool suggests a handful of drills and exercises that can improve your accuracy on the greens – a sure-fire way to shooting lower scores 148 SIMPLIFY YOuR SWING ‘Coiling is fine with the spine in line’ – PGA Master Professional Luther Blacklock reveals a 3-step hinge drill that will simplify your concept of making a sound backswing, getting you on path and on plane for more soild ball striking

Learn how to play the ‘burning wedge’ shot – and a lot else besides – with Jonathan Yarwood, page 106

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN MURRAY


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GOLF JUSTIN ROSE // STUART MORGAN // RULES OFFICE // DR FELIX SHANK // THE MAJOR... & MORE

THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE'S // 10-17 JULy 2011

FAST TRACK TO GOLF’S

GREATEST CHAMPIONSHIP There was a time in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when Royal St George’s was off the Open rota because it was deemed inaccessible by car but a century and more ago the train was king and helped make Sandwich a popular golfing destination, and the host of the first Open outside Scotland in 1894. And now, thanks to a High Speed Rail link between St Pancras and Sandwich, the train has once again provided a solution for those in and around London looking for the easiest way of getting to golf’s greatest championship. The journey from St Pancras to Sandwich will take just 80 minutes, plus a short bus ride or a 15-minute walk to the course. Early birds will be able to stay on their own beds (well, briefly) and still be on the course for the first tee time at 6.30am on Thursday and Friday. (See page 25 for details of an exclusive competition with official supplier Pilsner urquell that can have you making that journey in some style). www.golfinternationalmag.com PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC HEPWORTH

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 7


planet golf

19th hOLE Q&A

19TH HOLE Q&A

JUSTIN ROSE A two-time winner last year on the PGA Tour, England’s Justin Rose has all the potential in the world to join his contempories at the very top of the rankings. Richard Simmons talked to him during his visit to London and the the PGA Gi: You have made no secret of your love of living in America – how much do you enjoy coming home to play? JR: I love it – and the PGA at Wentworth is one of my favourite tournaments to play. Outside the majors it is up there as the one I want to win. I grew up not far away, at North Hants, and it’s always good to get the buzz of the crowd and feel like a hometown boy again. I’ve been coming to Wentworth since I was about 8 years old – I’d be one of the kids behind the 18th green asking for a ball. It’s a sign of how far I’ve come – and of the years rolling by! I like to do my best to remember I was in those kids’ shoes and that is the future of golf coming through, which is kind of cool. 8 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

Gi: What do you make of what they have done? JR: I can understand what they are trying to achieve, toughening up the course a little bit. They needed to do something about the greens. In recent years the seed on the greens made holing a putt of any significant length all but out of your control. But it’s always hard to see an iconic golf course go through the quite dramatic changes we have witnessed. A couple of holes, for me, they have got a little too busy, there’s too much going on. Having said that, I think the 18th is probably a better hole now. The thing with Wentworth is it’s such an iconic course you tend to look at it as you remember it watching the world’s best compete there over the years in PGA’s and World Match Plays.

Gi: You moved from Nick Bradley to Tiger’s coach Sean Foley recently – how is that working out? JR: I made the switch to Sean a little over a year ago and a lot of what I have worked on with Sean has been relatively easy because of where we had got before. Nick [Bradley] and I had done well together – he took me to No 6 in the world. But I just thought I was ready for a change. I feel that Sean has ‘rounded off’ my swing made it more of a circle, made the plane a little better and more consistent and he’s added shots to my game. In the past I felt like I didn’t really know how to shape a ball. I didn’t really understand the science of hitting a ball right to left or left to right, clubface versus path versus hand angle and so on. Sean really teaches principles based on using feedback from TrackMan – he’s at the forefront of teaching that way. That’s the way golf is going right now and it suits me because I’m a fairly analytical type of player. Gi: Given the quality of the data that’s teaching you can’t argue with? JR: Sure. And the key is, it doesn’t


The long game and short game are very different animals. You know, in the long game I try to keep my right hand out of the swing and yet in chipping I’m looking for right hand feel and so on. Roey is very good. I think that when you work with someone who is an expert, like he is, it gives you clarity and when you have clarity it’s easier to practice more and practice well. When you are confused about something it’s very difficult to practice for 3 hours and make a difference – in fact you’ll probably get worse.

Gi: Do you see much of Tiger? JR: Certainly since he’s been working with Sean we’ve spent a bit of time together. Talk golf technique. I’m a little further down the road with Sean than he is. But it’s fascinating to get

Justin’s superlative performance at Muirfield Village last year won him his biggest title to date – and a firm handshake from golf’s greatest player

necessarily have to look pretty in every sense of the word, in terms of having a swing on ‘perfect plane’ and having hands in certain positions. That kind of thinking is out of the window. What Sean does is have you think about assembling your levers and delivering the clubface in the most efficient way. You know, I have no doubt Tiger is a smart guy and he would not have made the decision to switch to Sean lightly. I switched to Sean after playing a lot of golf with Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair, and watching these guys hit shots that I just couldn’t hit. They were hitting shots that I was just not comfortable playing, something was not adding up and so that got me thinking. Sean is not a guy who is all that interested in

an insight into the way he thinks about the game. They have been doing a lot of good work together – we saw glimpses of that on the last day at Augusta. But with the knee injury I think there are a lot of limitations on what Tiger can do. Gi: Your game seems to get hot in bursts – is consistency the thing you work towards most? JR: Certainly a goal of mine this year is to be in contention on a more regular basis – though perhaps not up to Luke Donald-standards – in terms of cuts made, top 20 finishes and so on. I’m getting there. I need the shortgame to improve a little bit and I’ve just started working with Mark Roe.

Gi: When you see the likes of Luke and Lee at the top of the rankings – guys you’ve grown up with – does it give you extra motivation? JR: I think in the past I’ve consciously tried to do that – to get determined, to be more aggressive and work harder, thinking I’m every bit as good as they are. But that doesn’t really help me. What I need to do is not to pay too much attention to what others are doing. I work best when I focus on my own trend lines. I am getting incrementally better week-in and week-out. That’s all I can do. I’m not really much of a goal setter; I focus more on the learning experience and improvement process. If I keep on doing that I believe some great things will happen and I think my time will come. But it’s only going to happen if I can keep on improving – and that’s a hard thing to do.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AcTIONIMAGES.cOM

self promotion – he’s just a serious coach who believes in what he does. I find him very genuine.

Gi: How much of a benefit has the TaylorMade Performance Lab been to you on the equipment side? JR: I am a big believer in technology. Always have been. We all have an idea as to how the swing feels, but as every golfer will tell you the reality of what you are actually doing is often very different to the reality. The TaylorMade Matt system not only

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When my swing is on song I know I can stand on a tee and fly the ball dead straight 300 yards through the air – that’s why I’m smiling. But it’s not rocket science, and With the ball back, with a few of my ideas on naturally the hands want to lean the shaft to board, I’m pretty certain the target – adjustments for a low, punchy shot learn to hit you can longer, more consistent drives, too.

By Lee Westwood WWW.LEEWESTWOOD.COM • PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK NEWCOMBE SHOT ON LOCATION AT WENTWORTH CLUB

On the Tee

wıth

Westy JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 11


INSTRUCTION LEE WESTWOOD

“The transition? Just remember one thing: if you want to maximise your speed at impact, don’t be in a hurry to shift through the gears from the top” Fully coiled, loaded with power; from here, the subtle shift of weight back towards the target initiates the downswing sequence

Having ‘settled’ in the transition, the lower body stabilises (the left foot securely planted) as the upper body unwinds, accelerating the arms and the hands, and generating this ‘lag’

Make rhythm your friend as you reverse the gears and unwind through the ball The first thing I want you to notice in this top of the swing position is that I’ve kept my chin level to the top, my shoulders are turned through 90 degrees and my back is facing the target. My weight has shifted into the right thigh, it is never allowed to sway to the outside of the right foot. The right side serves as ‘post’, if you like, that I turn and coil against – with just a hint of ‘lift’ in my left heel visible as I reach the top. And that suspension in the lower body provides the springboard into the

12 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

downswing – my left heel returns securely to the deck my coach, Pete Cowen, talks a lot about the importance of ‘keeping the ground’) and my weight shifts across towards the target, a subtle but distinct squat in the lower body as the knees stabilise and lead the motion. This is a key movement that you need to work on, and a great way to do this on the range is to make slow-motion swings and just ‘dink’ the ball down the fairway. The worst thing you can do with a

driver in your hands is go at it too fast; jerky movements throw the whole sequence out of shape and you’ll never recover consistently. So challenge yourself to slow it all down and really sense the transition from the top as you shift smoothly through the gears into the downswing. As you get the feel you can then gradually speed it up. Swing it slower and smoother from the top and you will create a better release of the clubhead through the ball – the transfer of energy will be all the more efficient.


Shifting smoothly through the gears from the top gives you the best possible chance of ‘timing’ impact – your arms and hands deliver the final burst of speed in sync with the rotation of your body through the ball

Looking at freeze-frame images can often be misleading, so don’t study impact position in isolation. Almost more important is this image – the full release of the right arm/hand and clubhead through to the target. Commit to getting here and you can expect a lot of good things to occur through impact

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FEATURE SEVE // THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION

Smash hit: Seve’s game, charisma and daring won him instant popularity at Birkdale in 1976 – the start of a love affair that would last for 35 years

14 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE’S // 10-17 JULy 2011

thE

His performances in the Open Championship were integral in establishing Seve Ballesteros as the darling of the British golfing public. In kicking off our preview section to this year’s Open at Sandwich, Robert Green tells the tale of the man who was part of our golfing lives since

PEOPLE’S

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FEATURE SANDWICH

SANDWICH

KILLERS

ROyAL ST GEORGE’S: TALES OF HEROES & ZEROS Home to the Maiden, Corsets, Kitchen and Suez Canal, Royal St George’s has some of the most colourful landmarks on the Open rota along with a rich legacy of tournament dramas. Selecting his favourite Sandwich trivia, Dominic Pedler brings you an alternative hole-by-hole guide to the geographical and historical highlights.

With its rollercoaster fairway and plateau green guarded by a false front and deep bunkers, the 17th is part of a notably testing finishing stretch at Royal St George’s. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC HEPWORTH

16 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE’S // 10-17 JULy 2011

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FEATURE MARK ROE

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

Sealed with a kiss: having played the round of his life, England’s Mark Roe left the 18th green on a high. Ten minutes later his dream turned into a nightmare

18 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

On the threshold of realising a boyhood dream in the 2003 Open Championship at a sun-kissed Royal St George’s, Mark Roe suffered one of the cruellest injustices in golf when his third-round score of 67 – a four under par effort witnessed by millions around the world – was disqualified on the grounds that Roe and his playing partner, Jesper Parnevik, had failed to exchange cards on the first tee. To his eternal credit, Roey accepted his fate with a grace rarely matched in all of sport. He shared his memories of that eventful Saturday with editor Richard Simmons


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE // 10-17 JULy 2011

Gi: Let’s rewind to Saturday July 19, Royal St George’s...

to shake hands. We just banged it down towards the fairway

MR: I’d battled hard to make the cut with a 70 on Friday for a

and we were off.

total of 147. Funnily enough, that second round contained signs that something special was happening. I started

Gi: Jesper wasn’t in for the best of Saturdays?

3,3,3,3,3,3 – six threes out of the blocks. I think I had a putt on

MR: After all that rushing around he got off to a poor start – in

the 7th for another three and I’m thinking, ‘I wonder if anyone

fact we both did, five apiece at the 1st. I have the original cards

has ever started the Open with seven threes...’. Totally lost my

right here [produces them from his desk]. There you go – I

focus and missed it, obviously. But made the cut OK, and that’s

made a three at the 2nd and settled myself. Jesper parred two

always the primary goal at the Open. I just remember thinking

and three, and then the thing I remember quite clearly is that

that everything just felt right that week – it all just suited my

at the 4th I knocked it on in two and three-putted and he has

eye. I liked the way the course was running, hard and fast, you

missed it short and right, then pitched up to about 30 feet and

had to land the ball 30 yards or so short of the green. The put-

canned it for a birdie. The hole was a par-five then. I three-

ter felt good. Silly things you remember – like on the practice

putted for a par. So he’s basically up-and-downed it from the

green the holes just looked to be beautifully cut, inviting. I love

bundi to make a four and I’ve played two great shots and

the atmosphere at the Open and felt good about my game.

walked off with a five. Anyway we carry on...he bogeys six, eight and nine while I birdied 7 to be out in 35, one under. I

Gi: So you’ve achieved your first goal – making the cut –

then started to get hot on the back nine: birdied 10 and then

and now you’re revved up for the weekend?

holed my second shot at 13, the slinging right-to-left dogleg. It

MR: Absolutely. And as was typical for me I was on the 1st tee

was only a sand-iron – 114 yards, one bounce and in. I can

in good time on Saturday. I always liked to have a chat with

remember standing in the fairway raising my arms and think-

Ivor [Robson, the starter]. After a couple of minutes I’m think-

ing, ‘Wow, this is now turning into something special’. I was

ing ‘Where’s Jesper?’. I’ve just seen him on the putting green.

four under for the round. And the course is playing tough.

He was cutting it fine. Ivor’s given me my scorecard, which was

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always the protocol on the 1st tee. Ivor hands you your card

Gi: Presumably you're on the leaderboard by now?

and you exchange and so on. Anyway, Jesper eventually arrives

MR: On it? I’m on top of the leaderborard. I pick the ball out of

and it’s all a bit of a rush. ‘Sorry Roey, been to the loo.’ Ivor

the hole at 13 and see my name being put up there – leading

announces us onto the tee and we hit. There was hardly time

the Open Championship. In the meantime, things were going JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 19


FEATURE HENRY COTTON 1934

The ultimate account of Henry Cotton’s sensational 1934 Open triumph at Royal St George’s compiled from the pages of the Maestro’s personal scrapbook When Henry Cotton’s prized possessions were auctioned at Sotheby’s in the summer of 1996, the highlight of the sale – the gold medal from his 1934 Open triumph – was dramatically withdrawn at the eleventh hour. As the room hushed for Lot 176, the auctioneer announced: ‘Sold by private treaty to the R&A for an undisclosed sum’. Whether the R&A forked out the £20,000 estimated at the time they’re not saying, but they weren’t going to let the ultimate memento of such a landmark moment in British golfing history slip through their fingers (even if Cotton’s two other Open medals, Carnoustie 1937 and Muirfield 1948, went to other bidders for £9,200 and £12,600, respectively). Meanwhile, other items of ‘Maestro Memorabilia’ under the hammer that day included a bronze bust (£7,130); a silver trophy modelling his textbook grip (£11, 500); a presentation box of Dunlop 65 golf balls (£2,185); his 1953 Ryder Cup Team Captain badge (£1,610); and Cotton’s own personal album of newspaper cuttings documenting every detail of the drama of the 1934 Open. The album was bought by Golf International writer, Dominic Pedler, who recounts the extraordinary events at Sandwich that summer.

SANDwICh

SPREAD H

ENRY COTTON’S VICTORY AT THE 1934 OPEN AT

as man can hope to play,” while even Bobby Jones, who had pre-

Royal St George’s not only confirmed the promise

viously epitomised the concept of golfing perfection, volun-

of Britain’s 27-year-old major hope at the very

teered: “It is difficult to conceive of the superb play by which he

highest level, it was a landmark in British golfing

achieved his victory.”

history that also saw the claret jug recaptured after a decade of American domination dating back to Arthur Havers at Troon,

However, Cotton’s victory would only be secured after a near collapse in the final round that turned what should have been a

in 1923. Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones had

procession into a rollercoaster finale. The newspaper reports in

been among the all-conquering heroes during that time; caus-

Cotton’s scrapbook capture the drama as well as the euphoria

ing the home game to wallow in a deep inferiority complex –

and sense of awe that greeted his golf that

reinforced in early 1934 by US success in the Walker Cup and

week, starting with his qualifying rounds

British Amateur.

which were mandatory in those days.

But over the course of five days that summer, Cotton not

Smash hit: Seve’s game, charisma and daring won him instant popularity at Birkdale in 1976 – the start of a love affair that would span five decades.

merely broke the spell but transformed British golf, astonishing

66: 1st qualifying round (Monday

the world with his technique and tenacity while comprehensively

June 25, 1934)

rewriting the record books.

Ironically, for all the achievements in the

He smashed the 18-, 36- and 54-hole Open records in a per-

championship proper, Cotton would always

formance which, in the words of Golfing magazine at the time,

nominate the 66 he shot in qualifying as his

“eclipsed anything that has ever been done since golf began”.

finest round of the week.

Gene Sarazen, the pre-tournament favourite and champion

The Royal St George’s course record of 68

two years previously at Princes, acclaimed it “as near perfect golf

(held by amateurs E. Merton Smith and Douglas

20 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE'S // 10-17 JULy 2011

Grant) had stood for 20 years, with George Duncan’s 69 at the

Admittedly, the smaller 1.62 ball was in operation in those

1922 Open being the lowest professional score. But Cotton beat

days but it still makes sobering reading for those who believe

both these scores three times in three days (and on a newly

that modern equipment has made such a ruinous impact on the

lengthened layout), starting with a display of shot-making which

game.

the Daily Telegraph described the following day as “Flawless to the point of tedium”. On a course measuring almost 6,800 yards, Cotton was out in 31 and back in 35, without a five – or a single dropped shot – on his card. He was twelve under the official ‘bogey’ of 78 and six under the ‘strict’ par. Most incredibly, he achieved it with a positively generous 33 putts, the longest being a 15-footer for birdie on the 3rd which

Cotton was never in a bunker and only once in the rough with his only bad shot of the day – a hooked approach to the 13th from which he recovered instantly with a chip and a 7-foot, parsaving putt. ‘A record smashing achievement immaculate in its execution,’ said the Daily Telegraph; ‘One of the greatest rounds ever played,’ claimed many others ranging from the Yorkshire Observer to the great Henry Longhurst.

helped him play the first six holes in 20 shots. Elsewhere, he lipped-out three times and often tapped-in nonchalantly with the

75: 2nd qualifying round

back of his hickory-shafted Braid Mills putter.

– at deal (tuesday June 26)

Cotton’s extraordinary length off the tee was well document-

In the excitement it was easy to forget that Cotton’s 66 was

ed: George Greenwood of the Daily Telegraph reported drives

‘merely’ a qualifying round. Indeed, when the 8-1 hot favourite,

well past 300-yards “on several occasions”, most notably at the

Gene Sarazen, who had started his 36-hole qualifying at neigh-

370-yard 2nd hole, where a “tiny chip” secured his first birdie of

bouring Deal that day, was greeted with the news of Cotton’s

the day; and at the 520-yard 14th, ‘Suez’, where he was “pin-high

score he teased that “while it is spectacular, it is wholly unneces-

with a driver and spoon” before lipping out for eagle.

sary” and would be soon “wiped from the slate” as the champi-

Sceptics who assume that course and wind conditions must have been favourable, should note that Sandwich suffered tor-

FOR FULL ARTICLE... Scraps of inspiration: press

onship proper began.

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As if heeding Sarazen’s words, Cotton turned up at Deal for the

rential rain the previous night, making the greens receptive but

second qualifying round the following day and matched the mod-

the fairways slow, while several accounts describe how Cotton

est 75 that Sarazen himself had happily posted 24 hours earlier.

played Suez against a light wind.

cuttings tell the story of Henry Cotton’s extraordinary exploits during the 1934 Open at Sandwich, a week in which a second-round 65 set one of several new scoring records

The Times saw this as a welcome calm before the storm. “It

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 21


FEATURE BUBBA WATSON

All his own work: there is nothing ‘textbook’ about the way Bubba goes about his buisness – and golf is richer for his unconventional style

22 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE'S // 10-17 JULy 2011

OUt Of

LEftfIELD To watch Bubba Watson strike a ball is to witness the jaw-dropping genius of a man who defies all convention. And around the top-10 in the world rankings, there’s more to the big-hitting Floridian than meets the eye, as John Hopkins discovered when he talked to him at the recent Players’ Championship

H

e is afraid of the dark yet loves the limelight.

Not a normal excuse, that, is it? But there is precious

Sometimes he aims right and hits the ball left

little that is normal about Watson, a man who has never

and sometimes he aims left and hits it right.

had a golf lesson in his life, once won a junior tourna-

His swing is a mass of different movements yet it

ment by 42 strokes, doesn’t drink or smoke, drives very,

repeats itself as regularly as a Swiss watch. He was

very fast cars to the legal speed limits and no faster, has

christened Gary yet is known as Bubba. He loves chil-

an average clubhead speed of 128mph, a 44 1/2 inch long

dren yet has none of his own. He has won millions of

driver and a registered ball speed of nearly 200 mph

dollars this year alone yet has little idea what is in his

(nearly 30 mph faster than the average on the US tour)

bank account. He once bought a Lamborghini and sold

and is happiest when in the company of children. “He

it shortly after his wife rode in it for the one and only

loves his toys,” Amanda Ausink, a member of Watson’s

time. “She didn’t like it,” he said simply.

management team, said. “He has every one known to

Meet Bubba Watson, as idiosyncratic a man and golfer as there is in the game at present. Few hit a golf

man and the biggest child of all is Bubba.” Watson was born in November 1978 in Bagdad,

ball so far or manoeuvre it as well as he can. This

Florida, “a two-stop light town outside Pensacola,”

combination of exceptional vision, unusual power, a

according to Jens Beck, his manager. He was a hefty

vivid imagination and very rare hand-eye co-ordination

baby, weighing in at more than 11 lbs (which is two lbs

make him to be one of the longest hitters on the US

less than Peter Alliss was at birth). Seeing the size and

tour and have contributed to his winning three tourna-

weight of his son, his father nicknamed him “Bubba”

ments and playing in the Ryder Cup in the past year,

and Bubba he has been known as since. The name on

and as a result, to climbing to 11th in the world rank-

his birth certificate is Gerry, which in the US is pro-

ings (as at May 30.) Add to this that he is relentlessly

nounced Gary.

restless, has a child-like enthusiasm, tweets continual-

“What strikes me about Bubba’s character is his

ly and possibly suffers from attention deficit disorder

integrity,” Angie Watson, his wife, said. “He won’t tell

(ADD), and the picture emerges of one of the most

even a white lie if he can avoid it. He has a heart the

unusual men in professional golf.

size of Texas. If it wasn’t for me poking my nose into

At Royal St George’s this July Watson, 32, will be

our bank account every so often he would have given

playing in only his third Open. And if it is easy to

away our money to children. Kids love him. We were in

guess why he lasted only two rounds at St Andrews

Seattle recently and it was 36 degrees outside and there

last year (he couldn’t get his putter going) it is more

was Bubba out there with the kids playing basketball.

difficult to work out why he missed the cut at

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

“He is witty. He makes me laugh. He is fun to hang

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW

Turnberry in 2009. The answer is, having arrived on

out with. When he plays tennis he hits a lot of drop

the Sunday before the Open, he was immediately quar-

shots. He spins the ball all over the place sometimes

antined in his hotel room, suspected of having swine

so the ball bounces back at him. He likes wake surfing,

‘flu. He had to stay there until Wednesday afternoon.

wake boarding. He will go at 70 mph on jet skis. He

“Not much time for practice,” he said, smiling wryly.

never ceases to amaze me. We play golf together a lot. JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 23


FEATURE THE HOT SHOTS

YOUNG

LIONS Six of the world’s best (and youngest) players: Top: Jason Day came very close at Augusta; the future looks like a yes for Noh Middle: headgear apart, Rickie Fowler looks the real deal; Ryo is no longer raw; Matteo Manassero is already a multi-winner in Europe Bottom: Surely glory beckons for Rory, even though it’s only two wins to date

T

here has been much talk of a new world order in golf since Tiger Woods’ private life became mired in controversy and his game fell off a cliff, and a fair chunk of it has focused on the shift away from the US as the centre of the golfing

universe.

Going into the US Open at Congressional, all four major

championship trophies were in the hands of what our friends

We seem to be entering the post-Woods era, with a host of young players who have never suffered the scars of being mauled by Tiger making the headlines. As Dan Davies reflects, it would be fitting if, as the game comes to terms with the loss of Seve Ballesteros, one of these young lions were to win the Open

across the Atlantic might refer to as ‘international players’. Then, added to the success of South African Charl Schwartzel at Augusta this year, and the Grand Slam victories of 2010

champion (17 years, 5 months and 3 days in 1868) will not be

earned by his fellow European Tour members Graeme

in danger this year at Royal St George’s, it is conceivable that

McDowell (US Open), Louis Oosthuizen (Open Championship)

the places directly below him in the record books (Willie

and Martin Kaymer (USPGA Championship, the bragging rights

Auchterlonie – 21 years, 24 days in 1893) and Severiano

as the world’s top-ranked player have variously belonged to

Ballesteros – 22 years, 3 months and 12 days in 1979) will need

Europeans: Lee Westwood, Kaymer and Luke Donald.

revision come Sunday July 17.

But it is not only a geographical shift that’s getting commen-

There are now so many accomplished golfers in their 20s

tators excited (or as the case may be across the pond, wringing

who could feasibly win at Sandwich that for the purposes of

their hands), there is a generational aspect to consider, too.

this assessment we have restricted our runners to players aged

Kaymer, the seemingly consumate heir to Bernhard Langer,

25 or under who have yet to win a major. There are more in

came out of the pack to claim his first major title at Whistling

with a shout than you might think. In the first Open

Straits aged just 25, while Schwartzel was only 26 when Phil

Championship after the death of Seve, who first emerged as a

Mickelson helped him into a green jacket. To get there he’d

dashing 19-year-old challenger at Royal Birkdale 35 years ago,

cruised passed 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy (22) before holding

how appropriate it would be if we got to witness the emer-

off the strong finishes of, among others, Australian Jason Day

gence of another bright young star on the greatest stage of

(23). Kaymer or Schwartzel were both established winners of

them all.

European Tour events by the time they made their careerchanging breakthroughs. Seasoned observers have put forward the theory that the young players now appearing at the business end of leader-

MATTEO MANASSERO, 18 The Italian who is being hailed as the heir to Ballesteros will

boards around the world have broken into the elite level in the

still be only 18 when he tees it up in his second Open

‘post-Tiger’ era. Unlike the preceding generation that included

Championship at Royal St George’s. In 2009, Manassero quali-

Ernie Els, they have not been scarred. It should be pointed out Tiger has been 0 for 10 in the

fied for Turnberry by being the youngest-ever winner of the Amateur Championship, beating England’s Sam Hutsby in the

majors before now (2002-2005) and subsequently bounced

final at Formby, having led the strokeplay qualifiers and set a

back to win five of the 14 in his collection to date. Whatever

course record over the arguably even more demanding links at

your thoughts on whether Tiger will reach his goal of overtak-

neighbouring West Lancs.

ing Jack Nicklaus, or even get a single major closer to it, the

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

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In Ayrshire a month later, he partnered Tom Watson in the

argument for the untrammeled potency of today’s best young-

first two rounds of, drawing praise from the five-time champi-

sters is gaining momentum.

on (and leader for most of the tournament) for the quality of

While Tom Morris Jnr’s record as the youngest-ever Open

24 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

his play and clarity of his thinking. “When he was playing with


THEOPEN

ROyAL ST GEORGE’S // 10-17 JULy 2011

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 25


INSTRUCTION

Understanding the way set-up can influence strike and spin is the key to working on your repertoire of attacking wedge shots

By Jonathan Yarwood WWW.GOLFJY.COM • PHOTOGRAPHY: KEVIN MURRAY SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE CONCESSION GOLF CLUB

Air Traffıc control Your body language plays a huge part in determining the flight of the ball – this fully ‘released’ finish being the conclusion to a high-flyiing wedge shot

26 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


l

JONATHAN YARWOOD

A more neutral position, ball just back of centre, shaft lean comfortable, clubface square

With the ball back, the hands naturally want to lean the shaft to the target – adjustments for a low, punchy shot

For a higher shot, ball forward, clubface open, the shaft now almost vertical

IT’S A SET-UP: Create the stance & ball position that gives you the perfect shot

Strengthen left hand grip for lower, punchy shots

To become proficient in the pitching arena requires that you learn to control the flight, spin and trajectory of your shots in the critical scoring range, anything from 20 yards or so to a full wedge shot. And that boils down to the way in which you adjust the ball position, the angle of the clubfaceand indeed your posture prior to making your swing. Nowhere in the game of golf is experimentation with these variables more important than in these approach shots to the flag. As the images above illustrate, ball position and clubface angle are related. Play the ball back in your stance, opposite the inside of the right foot, and you automatically close down the face angle and lean the shaft towards the target (pic 1). a more neutral position would see the ball just back of centre, where the majority of tour players have it for a standard wedge shot, the face

square (pic 2). Moving it forward from there suggests that you are looking to play a higher shot, for which you might also open the clubface a little (pic 3). There is another key consideration here, too: the position of the left hand on the grip. For a lower, punchy shot, a lot of players these days strengthen their left hand grip – i.e. turning the left hand to the right – to expose three knuckles before adding the right hand. As the hand will naturally want to return to a neutral position at impact, this adjustment helps you to keep the close down the clubface through the ball. Conversely, weakening the left hand grip is the adjustment you would make to accentuate an open clubface and play a higher, floating shot (right). In both of these examples you would pre-set the face angle before adding the left hand and then completing your grip.

Weaken the left hand to accentuate loft for higher, softer shots

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 27


AMATEUR

On the back of a scintillating performance at Walton Heath last year and competitive winter training ‘Down Under’, England’s Jack Senior has his sights set high this summer. Adam Hathaway reports

In a Senior position Jack Senior may live in the north of England but the Heysham Golf Club member knows how

Last July, his career took off in the classical comic-book style. At the South of England Open

the Egyptian Amateur crown, when he beat Eddie Pepperell in a play-off, soon followed, as did a

Londoners feel when they are standing at a bus

Amateur Championship at Walton Heath he was

place in the England team for the European Cup

stop for 30 minutes in the pouring rain and then

off the pace to the tune of eight shots and hoping

of Nations, this year’s New South Wales Amateur

four double-deckers come along at once. Until this

for another steady closing round and the satisfac-

Championship, the Hampshire Hog and the

time last year the 22-year-old had not won a single

tion of a respectable finish.

Lytham Trophy – his biggest title to date.

amateur event, and like Padraig Harrington at the start of his professional career, had a string of

Just 62 blows later he was handing in a score of ten-under par to land the title by five shots on a day

Many players have tried to win their first title from the top of the leaderboard and the list of last

high finishes without getting his nose over the line

when only three other players managed to get it round

day collapses would fill this entire magazine so

in front. Then all of a sudden he couldn’t stop the

in under 70 and his career was up and running.

you are probably better off breaking your duck by

flood of trophies heading his way. 28 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

That is some way to claim your first title and

flying through the field in the fourth round when


THE AMATEUR SCENE

there is a bit less pressure.

NEWS IN BRIEF...AMATEUR SCENE...NEWS IN BRIEF....

Senior, who revels in the nickname of ‘The Bear’, certainly thinks so. “Getting that first win lifted a massive bur-

Muswell Hill’s Tara Watters and 14-year-old Ashleigh Greenham shared The Hampshire Rose

den,” Senior told Gi as he made final prepara-

when both finished one-under par for 36 holes at

tions to his game before heading to the Amateur

North Hants.

at Hillside and Hesketh. “I was eight shots down

In only the fifth tie in the history of the event

going into the last round and won it by five. The

Greenham led with a first round 73, level par, to

hardest place to win is from the front. You see

Watters’ 75 but the two-time English championship

guys up there week in week out and even the

runner-up had a best-of-the-day 70 in the afternoon

top players in the world find it hard. You have

to snatch of the title. The pair were eight shots clear

all the pressure on you with the guys lurking

of Rachel Drummond in third.

behind with ten of them on your tail. “It was good to get my first win like that and

Leading finishers: 145 Tara Watters (Muswell Hill), Ashleigh Greenham (West Essex); 153 Rachel

I did exactly the same in the Lytham Trophy

Drummond (Beaconsfield); 154 Lauren Horsford

where I came from miles back. This time last

(Wimbledon Park), Daisy Dyer (chigwell), Samantha

championship he won last year. The 15-year-old claimed the boys’ title at Porters

year I had not won a significant amateur tour-

Park, winning by three shots from Niclas Bay

nament, now I am in much better shape. I’ve

Jenson from Batchworth Park after carding a two-

won five times in the last ten months.”

over par total of 144.

Senior spent six weeks in Australia over the

Ward adds the title to the county championship

winter, thanks to the generosity of the EGU,

he won last year at Sandy Lodge and joins Faldo,

and that helped him to get his game nicely into

who achieved the double in 1975, and Peter

shape in time for the start of the new season.

Townsend, who did his 1964, on the list of players

Many British sportsmen have come back from

who have managed twin triumphs.

winters down under broken men but for Senior

Ward (pictured above), was Herts u-14 champion

it was invigorating.

in 2007 and Scottish u-14 champion a year later,

“I had a couple of good results in Australia,”

the England Boys' u-15 champion in 2010 and is a

Senior adds. “And as a result of that regular com-

member of the England u-16 squad.

petition, great courses and great weather I was

However, it seems unlikely he will be able to

well into the groove coming into this season,

defend his county championship crown – he was

rather than trying to get into gear from a stand-

its youngest ever winner at 15 – because of a clash-

ing start. Guys who had not had the opportunity

ing GcSE examination at school.

were not as well-prepared.” Senior had better be prepared come the the Walker Cup, he will have his third crack at

second Welshman to win in the 119-year history of the Irish Open Amateur Championship when

Giles (St Mellion).

winning his European Tour card at Qualifying

he beat Scotland’s Gordon Stevenson by four-

School. In the last two years he has dropped

Hertfordshire’s Lucy Williams (above) claimed

out at the second stage of what is one of the

the English Women’s Amateur Championship at

most nerve-shredding things a sportsman can

West Sussex beating Charley Hull on the 19th

go through.

hole of a nail-biting final.

Before that however he will attempt to

Williams was one down after 16 but a run of

become only the second Brit, after Richie

birdie, eagle, birdie saw her take the title ahead

Ramsay, to win the US Amateur in 90 years at

of the 15-year-old Hull.

Erin Hills in Wisconsin. Having seen the foreign invasion of British

This was Williams’ first time at the event which previously clashed with school and university

amateur tournaments recently, Senior is deter-

commitments but having finished her degree she

mined to experience life on the other side of

is taking a year to concentrate on golf.

the pond while still being in awe of some of the courses he gets the chance to play on. Senior adds: “At the St Andrews Links

TOM WARD

Rhys Pugh (pictured below) became only the

autumn when, after hopefully an appearance in

shots in a play-off at Royal Dublin. Pugh emulated Craig Smith in 2004 as he

Results (from ¼ finals): Quarter finals: Charlotte Wild (Mere) bt Holly Clyburn (Woodhall

made the fewest mistakes in the three-hole play-

Spa) 3&2; Charley Hull (Woburn) bt Lisa Hall

off and watched Stevenson drive out of bounds

Trophy my dad told me there were 64 overseas

(Matfen Hall) 3&2; Charlotte Ellis

on the 17th to virtually guarantee him the title.

players playing. That’s half the field. I have

(Minchinhampton) bt Jerry Lawrence (Rochester

The pair had finished on 294, six-over par, a

made the decision to try and play the US

& Cobham Park) 6&5; Lucy Williams (Mid-Herts)

shot ahead of Dutchman Daan Huizing who had looked a likely winner until dropping four shots

Amateur and have a look at it from the other

bt Rachel Drummond (Beaconsfield) 1up: Semi-

side. Richie won it but before that a British

finals: Hull bt Wild 2&1; Williams bt Ellis 5&3:

player hadn’t won for ages which shows how

Final: Williams bt Hull at 19th.

FOR on FULL ARTICLE... the final two holes.

difficult it is. The American players come over

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW Paul Dunne (Greystones) carded a brilliant

closing 72 in tough conditions, and but for his

here and don’t perform massively well. We play

Redbourn’s Nick Ward emulated Sir Nick Faldo

a lot of links golf and they play a lot of college

when he secured a rare double adding the

golf on parkland courses. They can stand on

Hertfordshire Boys’ championship to the county

10-foot par putt on the 18th grazing the hole, would have made the playoff.

continued on page 116

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 29


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GOLF INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE JULY 2011

GIRLS ALLOWED / THE MANOR HOUSE / MEMORABILIA / MOTORING & MORE...

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 31


Manor House golf & Hotel CASTLE COMBE, WILTSHIRE

A Country House Gem England’s green and pleasant land has umpteen boutique country house hotels with rather ordinary courses, and conversely, any number of excellent clubs associated with mediocre but expensive hostelries. For Peter Swain, both course and hospitality at the Manor House Hotel and Golf Club tick the quality and value tee boxes

WITH A SCENIC 18 HOLES MEANDERING through the rolling Cotswold countryside, a sensibly priced but still sumptuously appointed 48room hotel dating from 14th century and Michelin-starred food, the Manor House in the time-warp village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire is something of a hidden gem. After playing the Peter Alliss and Clive Clarkdesigned set-up recently, Luke Donald said: “The Manor House Golf Club is a truly stunning course and I will definitely be coming back.” My game may not quite be on a par with the world number one’s, but after visiting the parkland club in June, I’m inclined to agree. Having first played here 10 years earlier, I was pleasantly surprised that, even in these recessionary times, the condition of the course is still 32 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


THE MANOR HOUSE / WILTSHIRE

Situated in the picturesque Bybrook valley minutes from thetime-warp village of castle combe, the Manor House course enjoys an undulating parkland setting over which the design team of Peter Alliss and clive clark created a fabulously challenging test of golf. The hotel itself is the definitive country retreat with its stylish furnishings, exposed beams and grand four-poster beds.

immaculate. And the Pecorelli family, who own

Not particularly long, the design of this set-up

house, refreshment cart, new electric buggies and

the establishment, are constantly investing in

calls for accuracy and skillful course manage-

a friendly clubhouse complete the exemplary

improvements, starting at the 1st.

ment. Without planes, trains or cars to interrupt

package.

Instead of a dogleg round the trees, the tee

the birdsong, the five par-3s and five 5s provide

Close by the 18th green, the new Waterfall Lodge,

shot now requires a 220-yard carry over water

good variety, and a couple of the shorter par-4s

which sleeps eight, provides an ideal base for a small

and what was once a mott and bailey fortification

are reachable for long hitters.

to reach the fairway. Easy enough on, say, the 8th,

I like the 498-yard par-five 12th, which

FACT BOX: Manor House Hotel & Golf Club

but it’s something of a buttock-clencher as the

demands a good 3-wood off the elevated tee to a

Where:

Just off J17 of the M4, near Bath

first shot of the day right in front of the mem-

plateau fairway, followed by solid hybrid or 3-iron

How much:

In Waterfall Lodge, from £109 per person for 36 holes, bed, breakfast and dinner in the clubhouse. In the hotel, from £155 per person, based on two sharing, for two rounds with dinner in the Bybrook. Green fees from £59.

bers’ terrace. On the par-three 2nd, you discover what a fine

over the wooded valley up onto to the other side. The small two-tier green, protected by six

piece of golfing topography this is. From an ele-

bunkers, deters all but the most determined

vated tee up in the woods, you look down on a

approach shots.

smallish green surrounded by the Bybrook stream and bunkers. It’s only 151 yards long, but

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW

The handsome 18th, with an Eisenhower tree on the fairway and a skinny green flanked by

the 100-foot drop and a swirling wind make club

water, makes for a great finishing hole. A USGA-

selection exceptionally tricky.

spec driving range and short game area, halfway

contact:

01249 782982, manorhousegolf.co.uk part of Exclusive Golf

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 33


MerCedes-BenZ C63 AMG COUPE

Merc engineers a driver’s dream

A

t the risk of sundry friends immedi-

In the form of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe, Gi’s motoring correspondent Anthony Ffrench-Constant believes he has driven the world’s greatest road-going V8 – in this case boasting an unburstable 6.3 litre powerplant with a performance that will blow your mind

ately insisting on a hastily booked appointment with a button-backed Harley Street sofa, I must confess to never having had much truck with

the cult hit that is the clutch of Mad Max movies. Albeit undeniably decorative, Mel Gibson really

the pub, then, that first film did, however, at least

sions of the car, I decided that there’s absolutely

have the benefit of one vaguely respectable motor

nothing wrong with the new Mercedes except for a

car; a somewhat ratty, all-local-carwashes-out-of-

gentle lack of distinction about the exterior styling,

isn’t my type, lacking each and every one of the

order concoction with faux Hot Rod bonnet pro-

a distinct lack of adult-sized accommodation in the

feminine attributes that might otherwise keep me

trusions and an entirely agreeable sound track,

back and a baffling lack of correlation between

clamped, rapt, to the tip of the Kia-Ora straw.

that some soon-to-be-slaughtered casual

model classification and engine size; both the

Moreover, the Australian outback boasts all the

bystander described in awe-struck tones as ‘the

C200 CDI and C250 CDI sport the same 2143cc

cinematographic appeal of a close-up plate cleared

last of the V8 Interceptors’.

of a particularly sloppy spaghetti bolognaise then left, unwashed, in the sun 24 hours. The dialogue rarely transcends Gloucester Old

And I mention this because I believe I’ve just driven the very same, in the form of the MercedesBenz C63 AMG Coupe. I have, in fact, been lucky

turbodiesel, and both the C180 and C250 make do with an identical, 1796cc powerplant. Go, as our American cousins would have it, figure… After a day spent with the C63 AMG, on the

Spot levels of articulacy, and the plot lines – most

enough to share various Mercedes bodyshells with

notably when she of vibrating thigh and larynx,

AMG’s extraordinary, 6.3 litre V8 over the last year

one; £56,665 being easily the least you’ll have to

Tina Turner, is called upon to fulfil the role of

or so, but nowhere has it impressed me quite so

pay to acquire a brand spanking variant of a V8 which, quite rightly, won the Best Performance cat-

other hand, I decided that I simply had to have

baddie – generally prove about as gripping as the

much (not even in the deliciously retro’ SLS) as

handshake of the unfortunate thug whose arm

when shoehorned into the front of the new C-

egory of the 2010 Engine of the Year awards

Max towed clean off early in the first episode.

Class Coupe.

hands down.

Invariably far better viewing after an evening in 34 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

After a day spent with diverse, ‘cooking’ ver-

This is a sublime powerplant; mercifully unfet-


MOTORING

tered by the unwarranted stresses of turbocharging, it feels utterly unburstable. And what really impresses isn’t so much its healthy 451bhp, but a whopping 443 lb.ft of torque, some 370lb.ft of which is available from just 2000rpm. Via a 7-

On board the C63 blends luxury and refinement with a full package of sports options to make driving this extraordinarily compact machine a gripping experience – and despite the electronic trickery at your fingertips the result is direct, instantaneously responsive and inexhaustively entertaining

speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle manual override, 0-62mph comes up in just 4.4 seconds. Far more significant, though, is the C63’s ability to thunder to 100mph in under 10 seconds. And quite what terminal velocity might be were it not limited to a spoilsport 155mph is anyone’s guess. It’s amazing how quickly you become attuned to a car’s performance to the extent that, even in the likes of Porsche’s fabulous Cayman R, you increasingly find yourself hankering for more. But familiarity steadfastly fails to breed contempt on this occasion, and the C63 remains relentlessly fast throughout. Barking into life with an unsolicited, and occasionally faintly embarrassing, prod of throttle, the soundtrack proves equally intoxicating; a mellifluous menagerie of growl, roar, rumble and snarl allied to – best of all – the intoxicating ‘ooof’ of the out-of-condition bully punched in

ably comfortable in such a breakneck machine,

the stomach when you lift off after a bout of full

elicits just a tad too much roll through the bends,

then never touch it again. The paddle shift works

throttle. My only criticism is that perhaps slightly

calling on every inch of the sports seats’ formida-

smoothly, effortlessly and quickly and, of course,

too much of this glorious din seems reserved for

ble lateral support to prevent you sloshing to and

is accompanied by automatic throttle blips on

the innocent bystander rather than the owner…

fro like a pea in washing up water.

down changes to bring out the superhero in even

Then again, the gentle application of the ‘mute’

Combine ‘Sport’ suspension with ‘Sport +’

button must make the C63 far easier to live with

transmission, then, and everything falls perfect-

in the long term.

ly into place. In this setting, rather than leaving

show off to chums when you first buy the car and

the most ham fisted. Handling is also a vice-free revelation, with the traditional hint of Mercedes stodginess that has

As discussed in the context of other recent

you thumping into a bend in an inappropriately

always steered the enthusiast towards the BMW

AMG offerings, the C63 incorporates a range of

high gear with no engine braking, this gearbox

showroom utterly vanquished. The helm is a

switchable transmission modes and a ‘Sport’ sus-

comes down through the gears, unsolicited, as

pension setting. Happily, the two are not shackled

you lift off.

together, as is so often the case, so maximum per-

Now, that should obviate the need for flappy-

formance and optimum comfort may be simulta-

paddle finger aerobics. But this is also a rare

neously conjured. Not for long though, because

example of an automatic saloon in which you

the undercarriage’s softer setting, albeit remark-

won’t just play with the manual override a bit to

FOR FULL ARTICLE... masterclass in accuracy and carefully considered

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW weight, and even flung about, the C63 always

feels entirely composed and solidly planted on

the road.

But, somewhat uniquely to Mercedes’ AMG

offerings, what really gets under the skin is the JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM


EQUIPMENT

Having sold an incredible seven million units of his signature wedges since joining Titleist in the mid-1990s, design guru Bob Vokey is the leading authority on grooves, grinds, gapping and other nuances of the wedge: the most versatile club in the bag. Dominic Pedler talked to one of the golf industry’s most colourful characters.

High Gi How did you first get into golf club design and engineering? BV: My dad was a good golfer and a tool and die maker, so I would often tinker with golf clubs in his workshop in the garage. Being canadian, I was actually more interested in hockey and I also played baseball

Titleist’s master wedge designer Bob Vokey (right) has been a pioneer of equipment excellence over three decades.

design and player fitting?

achieve almost as much control as

BV: It was a difficult time to say the least.

before?

We had some 600 players to convert to

BV: As a general rule, the new grooves spin

conforming grooves in about six months but

some 30-50% less out of the rough. From

first I had to test and get feedback on some

the fairway there is really no difference at all.

16 different combinations of proposed new

But with those 50-75 yards shots from the

grooves. Some of the early comments from

rough, players initially found a big difference.

players familiar with the old higher spinning

But once they worked at it, many adjusted

and I learnt a lot from him when I started as

grooves are not printable! Even when we’d

surprisingly well – even if it meant changing

a technician on tour. I worked on drivers,

chosen the best new grooves, there was a

their technique. Players like Robert

irons and fairways as well, but when Titleist

follow-on effect in that players now required

karlsson, Ross Fisher and Webb Simpson

asked me to specialize in wedges I got

different grinds and lofts to create an appro-

also commented that slightly less spin actu-

behind the grinder and away I went.

priate trajectory that best compensated for

ally helped them reach those back-right pin

the lower spinning grooves. For several

positions that were previously so hard to get

Gi: How does the challenge of designing

months I had my team of grinders working

to. Like they say on the commercial—

wedges compare to that of the other

10-hour shifts.

“these guys are good”.

BV: I used to think wedges were just ‘get

Gi: Would you agree that it was partly

Gi: To what extent is the ability to adjust

out of trouble’ clubs, but when I saw how

your own success in creating high-spin-

dependent on the type of player and his

players like Trevino, Dave Stockton, Bruce

ning groove designs over the years that

swing?

crampton and Lanny Wadkins used them, it

prompted the authorities to rein back

BV: The quickest to adjust were what I call

transformed my way of thinking. The versa-

spin in the first place?!

‘trajectory biased’ players. Guys like Scott

tility of the wedge and the need for design

BV: certainly my grooves designs back in

Verplank, Zach Johnson, Tom Pernice and

creativity is so much greater than for other

the early 2000s did get a lot of publicity.

other feel-based players who naturally vary

clubs – it has to work in a whole variety of

With the incredible control that players were

their trajectory according to any situation. It

situations. And because of the loft, the play-

getting from the rough the phone was soon

was amazing how well they coped even

er sees so much more of the face at

ringing off the hook. I guess wedge design-

from day one. But even the more spin-

address which alone requires an extra ele-

ers did help create the monster and the

based players, like Rickie Fowler and Rory

ment of craftsmanship. It’s the most unique

uSGA then wanted to control that monster.

McIlroy, who have grown up relying more on

and football. But in my 20s I had a girlfriend in southern california and I got a job there with TaylorMade. I got to know Lee Trevino, who would always be adjusting his clubs

clubs in the bag?

club in the bag and the toughest to design.

spin, have also adjusted by visualizing a Gi: How much less spin do 2010 con-

wider range of trajectories and allowing for

Gi: To what extent did the rule changes

forming grooves generate – and is that

the extra release.

on grooves, which came in for tour pros

figure meaningless if the world’s best

in 2010, affect you in terms of both

players can adapt their technique to

36 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011

Gi: How have the groove changes dictat-


BOB VOKEY

ed other wedge specifications? BV: It’s mainly about trying to compensate for the higher launch angle resulting from the new grooves which, having less bite, cause the ball to roll up the face a bit more making it harder to control. Some players have moved to lower lofts than the 54° and 60° combination that was very popular. Geoff Ogilvy is an example of a player who moved into a 58° for his highest loft. Other players have preferred a change in the bounce and sole grind. At the start of last season Ian Poulter found the ball slipping up the face too much and I gave him more bounce with a wider flange. He took it to Tucson the next week and won the tournament (WGc Accenture World Matchplay). But, generally, players are reacting more to what the ball is doing by tweaking their technique rather than their equipment. Gi: Turning to average players, what are your key tips on wedge fitting? Gapping is crucial. A lot of players don’t know what the loft gaps are in their set, especially at the short end where pitching wedges have got steeper over the years. They used to be 51° but have come down to 47° or 46° but the sand wedge has stayed the same at 56°. A gap wedge of 52° can really help a player achieve consistent distance gaps. I encourage 4° to 6° loft increments to help you avoid those dreaded half-shot and quarter-shot situations. Of course, you can simply adjust the loft on your existing wedge – but be careful as that has a direct effect on the bounce angle on the sole of the club. Lie angle is also important for dispersion and control. Too upright, for example, and you’ll be hitting too many shots left. Gi: What’s your view on the lob wedge of 60° or more – should average golfers be playing them? BV: The lob wedge can be a great club but it takes a lot of time, practice and confidence to be able to play it properly. Because of the high loft it’s especially difficult to make consistent contact. One minute you’re hitting 60 yards, the next minute 40 yards. And average players with a typical ‘over the top attack’ are often going to lose trajectory and spin. Even many tour players FOR FULL ARTICLE... are struggling now with 62° and 64°

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW

because of the way the ball slides up the face with the new grooves making it launch higher anyway.

Gi: To what extent does the choice of

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 37


INSTRUCTION LUTHER BLACKLOCK

How to

sımplıfy your

swıng Let me share a handful of easy drills that will transform your concept of making – and repeating – a powerful swing

By Luther Blacklock PGA MASTER PROFESSIONAL, WOBURN GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATTHEW HARRIS

Over the last thirty five years I have been teaching golfers of all abilities to improve their game; a combination of swing theory and improvisation of all the required shots. Basically it breaks down into three familiar areas: • The address position • The backswing movement • The throughswing movement I am determined that every golfer I teach ends up with an exemplary set-up – it’s just a question of me gently and persistently bullying them until they do it! Most pupils come to me with a strong sense of through-swing and generally have above average hand and eye co-ordination. So, most of my working day is spent with pupils majoring on the correct backswing movement; be they novice, established amateur or tour professional. This article is designed to give you a concise understanding of how to go about building your most consistent and functional backswing. And I’m going to start by asking you a very important question: “What is the purpose of the backswing?” If you are not sure then how can you clearly tell yourself and your body what to do? The worst possible answer to my question would be to say ‘to get in a good position at the top of the backswing’. This poisonous thought is one of the things that keep me in business: how can it possibly be about getting in a certain position when you have 13 long golf clubs in your bag?! You would have to learn 13 positions, one for every club; then there’s halfshots, making 26 positions, three-quarter shots making 39 positions and so on. The fact is, there never was a ‘position’ in the golf swing until somebody photographed the movement of the swing. So let’s be absolutely clear – the purpose of the backswing is to create power! If you will utilise a sound set-up routine and then create your most powerful backswing, I promise that you will automatically be in the swing “position” that we both wanted. An orthodox


All is then fine when you rotate with your spine in the right line!

‘Tip from the hip’ when taking your set-up position and create this distinct spine angle

REMEMBER, THE SPINE ANGLE PROVIDES THE AXIS TO YOUR ROTATION Work on your posture to create the angles that help you make a good coil In the inset photos above I am holding my second

attempt to imitate the angle of spine for a 6 iron; we

favourite teaching aid – a nylon comb. (Obviously I

must lean forward more for a wedge swing and less

By coiling my shoulders through 90 degrees in

had to borrow it as this demonstration doesn’t work

for a driver swing. (Your understanding of this will be

the same manner, the exertion of the coil is spread

with a sponge.) If I hold the straightened comb at

enhanced if you are able to refer to my article

evenly down my entire spine. The beauty of this

the bottom with my left hand and at the top with my

“Addressing all Angles” in Issue 99.)

principle is that it makes understanding the back-

right hand, I am demonstrating the correct posture

When I twist the top of the comb through 90

of the spine at address. I am in readiness to twist

degrees, notice how evenly the load of twisting is

the top of the comb through some 90 degrees

spread along the entire length of the comb (inset

Similarly, here I am holding a 6 iron across my

his perfect posture at address.

swing very simple: if the spine is in line everything from your neck down will work automatically! And thus you set in motion a chain reaction –

top right). The stress of rotation is dispersed evenly,

coiling the shoulder line through 90 degrees ignites

shoulders whilst inclining from the hips. Like the

this ensures that no kink or stress occurs in a single

the following:

straight comb, my spine is in line, a neutral posture

place. It is this neutral alignment that safeguards the

• Your torso coils and loads

from the top of my head right down to my tailbone. I

spine: the forceful nature of Tiger Woods’ swing has

• Your hips will turn between 30-45 degrees

am inclining forward towards the golf ball in an

not caused injury to his spine thus far because of

• Your right knee will move back a hint yet retain

A kink in the spine leads to ineffective coiling...

...as the load is spread unevenly along the length of the comb

IS YOUR GOLF IN A SLUMP? Rounded, lazy posture destroys dynamics For the modern tour player regular work-

into a weak ineffective coil. The ‘loading’

outs in the gym are part and parcel of

that is normally created by coiling the

the daily routine – and, for the sake of

shoulders becomes concentrated into

posture and the coiling motion generally I

one place. No longer is the massive load

would urge all of you who are serious

of shoulder coil spread evenly along the

about improving your golf to work on

full length of the spine (or comb).

basic levels of ‘core’ fitness. It’s easy to

As a result of the dramatic deteriora-

fall into bad posture if your core muscles

tion in the backswing movement, we

are in poor shape and you are liable to

become weak in 5 areas:

become fatigued towards the end of a

• Shoulder coil is less than 90 degrees

round. And it takes only a minor slump to

• Hip turn is reduced

wreak havoc in your backswing and

• Legs become static

FOR FULL ARTICLE... • Almost zero weight shift

jeopardise your lower back and neck.

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW

Ouch! At far left I am illustrating a typical fault – a slumped posture with the

• Head liable to lateral sway

This clearly demonstrates the dam-

spine clearly arched and out of line. And

age done to the spine when all the force

look at how this minor kink deteriorates

of the coil becomes focused in one

JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 39


TRAVEL MALLORCA

Good enough to stage a European Seniors tour event, Son Gual is one of the island’s ‘must-plays’; after your game, don’t miss a stop at Jamon & Jamon, one of several venues on Palma’s weekly tapas crawl ‘Ruta Martiana’

40 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


Tee Times & Tapas The island of Mallorca is blessed with all the ingredients you need to create a fabulous holiday – great golf being just one of them Andrew Marshall reports WORDS: AnDReW MARShAll • PhOTOS: PAul MARShAll

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

OPEN ISSUE // 103 ON SALE NOW JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 41


TOM COX

LITERALLY GOLF

Crowd pleaser A cavallier approach to the game made Seve the player we all willed to win, while his empathy with the common man made him the golfer we took to our hearts. Tom Cox was among the crowd at the 1988 Open

I

often tell people that the main reason I fell in love with golf was the 1988 US Masters, but that’s not strictly true. Sandy Lyle’s victory at Augusta that weekend might have introduced me to my new

green religion, but following that came a kind of trial period, where I probably could have gone either way. As a youth of little attention span, I’d spent the previous three years wearing out sports like cheap socks. Watching Lyle notch up a second Masters (the British, web, though Nick Faldo’s play-off with Curtis Strange at the US Open a few weeks later at The Country Club in Brooklyne felt a bit too much like hard work. I came to the 1988 Open as a Faldo fan: mainly because I’d been rooting for him to win at The Country Club, I’d heard he was an only child, like me, and I’d been told by someone he was quite simply the golfer you liked in 1988, if you were British. But by the beginning of day four, at Royal Lytham, my loyalties had shifted. I’d never really been properly exposed to Seve in full flow before, and it

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTYIMAGES.COM

this time) at Woburn drew me in a little further to golf’s tangled

was immediately apparent that he was a far different golfing beast. You could tell that from the moment the two of them settled over the ball: Seve did it like he was a jungle cat, waiting to pounce; Faldo, meanwhile, as deliberate and charismatic as the ‘Geometric George’ shapes on his Pringle sweaters. Not only that, Seve seemed

Royal Lytham 1988: for Seve, the love and support of the British public was like having a 15th club in the bag

shoulder turns. The chip that Seve hit from the side of the 18th green forty minutes later is another, perhaps even more memorable, example of the same thing: grazing

to enjoy golf so much more. Also, he made Peter Alliss, in the com-

the hole, again, it’s a shot that somehow

mentary box, whisper, and it was clear that you had to be an excit-

seems to deserve to go in the hole more

ing player to do that. By this point, I’d heard the golfing old guard citing Rudyard Kipling’s line in his poem If about being able to “meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” as a summation of what it took to be a great golfing machine, but that

than the swinging, tradesman’s entrance final green putt that had won him his second Open, at St Andrews, four years previously. It seems strange to me now remembering the fact that my parents didn’t have a video recorder in 1988, since over the next six

sounded kind of boring, and didn’t appear to apply to Seve at all.

months I feel like I rewatched that shot endlessly, so many were the

This was eight years after his first victory at Lytham, when he had

times I replayed it in my head. I didn’t have a sand-iron, or even a

charged after his shots seemingly before he had hit them, but golf

wedge, but my nine-iron – together with an early 20th century 7-

still seemed to pull his body and mind off in myriad different direc-

iron, a putter, and a driver with a hole in its face and its whipping

tions, and this was much of the fun of watching him.

hanging off, one of the three clubs I owned – became Seve’s gleam-

Plenty has been made of Seve’s “car park shot” on the sixteenth

ing club, and every time I chipped I heard Seve’s ball being pinched

in that 1979 tournament, but it’s his approach shot on the same

off the turf and the cameras clicking, just as they had that day at

hole in the final round in 1988 that has made an even more lasting

Lytham. What a sound that shot had made. I’d been a little bit

imprint on my brain. A nine-iron that actually grazes the hole after

obsessive about Aston Villa in the years leading up to that, but from

landing, it’s a stroke that looks to have been willed: proof that

that moment on, they – and the inferior game they played – became

there’s an alchemy of touch and spirit to great golf shots; that

an afterthought. You could spend all day messing about with a foot-

they’re not just a matter of perfect yardages and robotically correct

ball, but you could never make a noise as good as that.

42 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


Seve might not have been what you called a hellraiser, but he

playing their best golf of the year, and end with the world’s most

subverted virtually everything I’d been told about golfers: that they

charismatic player shooting 65 to win. It was a hard lesson to learn

didn’t dress well, that they were all middle-class, that they were

for me, and – unthinkable as it was at the time – Seve would never

non-flamboyant, dull. “It’s a pity that I didn’t find any cars on the

win another major, or even come all that close to it. Some had even

16th fairway this time,” he said in his victory speech at Lytham.

said he was in decline before that, wasting chances to win the 1986

“The R&A should park their cars on the fairway.” This was hardly

and 1987 Masters. Which makes me wonder: how Seve-crazy would

Woody Allen, certainly, and it perhaps doesn’t look all that witty

my friends and I have been if he had lived up to his potential in the

written down, but for a victory speech, from a golfer who still didn’t

following few years? A year later, in 1989, at the PGA at Wentworth, I

speak the world’s clearest English, it was pretty damn sharp, espe-

and a group of other autograph-hunting teens virtually ignored Faldo

cially when you introduced the Spanish accent to it. “Will you be

as he came out of the scorer’s tent, then, a matter of minutes later,

watching this later on News At Ten?” a reporter asked Seve earlier

charged after Seve. To this day, he remains the only five time major

that week. “News At Ten?” he replied. “I will be sleeping by then.”

champion whose back I have enthusiastically mounted.

Later, when assigning pro names for ourselves in our after-school

Was I partly responsible for the back problems that contributed to

friendly fourballs, my friends and I at my Midlands golf club gener-

the demise of Seve’s career in the early-to-mid 90s? I really hope not.

ally let Steve – the half-Spanish one amongst us – be “Seve”. In

I’m sure he also had plenty of other enthusiastic adolescent fans

truth, though, we all wanted to be him: we learned our wristy chip-

jump on his spine during his years in the limelight. None of us liked

ping actions from him, our facial expression when we hit a bad

watching Seve burn out so quickly, but there is also a slight, guilty

shot. When really going for a drive, it wasn’t a Greg Norman or

feeling that to watch his career ending was no less sad than it would

Mark Calcavecchia follow through we mimicked; it was The Seve

have been to watch him half-succeeding into his forties and fifties.

Twirl. No wonder we’ve all ended up with back problems by the

I fully egged on the Seve who won the PGA at Wentworth in

time we hit 25. That Open set the bar too high: normal Major Championships didn’t go on five days, feature three of the very best golfers in the world

FOR FULL ARTICLE...

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1991, but, with his irons off the tee, and somewhat ragged victory,

he wasn’t quite the same Seve I knew existed. His golf and persona for the first decade and a half of his career burned so bright that,

JULY 2011GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 43


WORLD

NEWS

At the top of his game Opening his account at Wentworth with an astonishing 64, Luke Donald gave notice of his intentions on the world No. 1 spot. In the end, it took a playoff with the man who started the week at the top of the rankings, Lee Westwood, to seal the deal. Andy Farrell reports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JULY 2011 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 171


JOHN HOPKINS

LAST SHOT

Hitting the jackpot – then missing the cut! It takes disciplined time management to juggle the demands that inevitably follow success with the effort necessary to maintain performance where it matters most – out on the course. Just ask Monty and GMac nd the hardest thing in golf is? The long bunker

A

shot? Winning the first major championship? Then

Montgomerie’s life had become so hectic post Celtic Manor that he could not find the right balance. “I’m so very busy,” he said just

winning a second and third to show that the first was

before leaving the Wales Open. “You think you’re just a tournament

not a fluke and that you are not a one-major wonder?

golfer but there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. It’s busy,

How about the difficult balancing trick of playing

busy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good being busy but it takes your toll

excellently and winning big tournaments, major championships even,

as you are trying to compete against guys that are only doing this and

and then sustaining that level of play while coping with the extra

that and guys who are less than half my age.

demands on your time that have arrived because of your outstanding golf and increased prominence in the game?

“I want to try and play a little more than I have and try and play my way out of the way I’m playing. I played OK last week but that

Take Colin Montgomerie for exam-

was once in a bloody blue moon.

ple. No one deserves his place in the

That’s not enough to write home

spotlight more than the Scot after

about and then you’re back to

leading Europe so well in the 2010

square one with a bump.”

Ryder Cup. Montgomerie and his

Consider also Graeme McDowell.

manager have a fiduciary duty to

2010 was McDowell’s year of years,

cash in on that success. It will last

the year he won the Wales Open, the

only until the next match after which

US Open, beat Tiger in a playoff to

it will be the turn of Jose Maria

win the Chevron Challenge and,

Olazabal, the captain in 2012, turn to

memorably, the point that got

cash in, win or lose. So in the weeks

Europe home in the Ryder Cup. The start of 2011 was different.

“Colin, could you endorse this prod-

Missed cuts in three of his first four

uct? Colin, could you give a clinic in

events on the PGA tour in the US

Holland? Colin, would you design a

were a portent. Third in the Abu

course in Thailand, compete in a

Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

tournament in Sicily?” Montgomerie’s

was encouraging and he came 9th

response was almost always the

and 5th in the two match play

same: “Great. Of course. Super.

events in the first half of the sea-

Thank you.” Then your golf begins to go off. Just a stroke or two each round initially and then three or four. Next come one or two high scores on an individual hole followed by high scores over 18 holes. Montgomerie’s first six months in

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTYIMAGES.COM

that followed Europe’s victory it was:

son. Then he was joint leader after 54 holes at The Players in the US in May and one stroke behind the leader at the halfway stage of the Wales Open in June. But in the last round at Jacksonville he slumped to a 79, seven over par. And in Wales, where

2011 have pretty much followed this pattern. Nine events played, one top ten finish, 88th in the Race to Dubai. Insult was added to indignity in the

he was the defending champion, he Monty’s stock has never been higher off the golf course; on it the game has become one long struggle

SAAB Wales Open in June. Eight months earlier Montgomerie had been Lord of the Manor. Now he was Last at the Manor. Rounds of 78

had an 81 in the third round. He dropped eight strokes in the first seven holes and then ran up an 8 on a par four. “By then my head was gone,” McDowell said. “The first seven holes were the craziest I have played in a long time.” And the reason? McDowell, like Montgomerie, was doing his best to maximise his publicity and play golf and the one was probably affect-

and 79 for a total of 15 over par were his worst as a professional on a

ing the other. Few people in history have been so accommodating as

European Tour event since an 80, 81 at St Mellion in 1991. “It’s

the affable and intelligent Irishman. “We’ve had hundreds of requests

awful,” Monty said, shaking his head and adding for effect: “Not just

for him to do things and we grant perhaps 10% or 15%,” Colin

not playing at the weekend. I’m one of the last names on the board.”

Morrissey of Horizon Sports Management, McDowell’s agents, said.

Montgomerie’s attempts to qualify for the Open emphasized his

“Graeme has realised his responsibilities brilliantly. Because he gives

dilemma. One year earlier he’d had a 62 in pre-qualifying at

honest answers, he is more and more in demand. It’s not just the

Sunningdale and swept magisterially into the Open for the 21st time in

pure golf media it’s travel magazines, airline magazines, radio sta-

a row. This year his rounds were 71 and 74, last of those who finished.

tions in the US.”

46 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM JULY 2011


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