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GOLF INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE MAY 2010

TRAVEL / PROPERTY / GOLF LUXURY / WELLBEING / FASHION / MOTORING / MEMORABILIA AND MORE...

MAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 1


Portugal’s ever-expanding portfolio

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Bunkering is just one of the many exceptional features at Monte Rei (above), a quite stunning championship design from Jack Nicklaus that has raised the bar at the the luxury end of the market and furthered the expansion of golf long the Algarve. (Right): The timeless charm of San Lorenzo, one of the original courses within striking distance of Vale Do Lobo, still one of the Algarve’s finest familyoriented communities

Portugal’s Algarve is a perennial favourite for golfers seeking a mix of sunshine, uncrowded beaches and great golf. Peter Swain reports on the leading developments and the increasing attraction of the Eastern Algarve for those looking for an affordable home from home n the middle of the hectic international tournament schedule, there are very few courses good enough to lure Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington for a quiet recreational game, without any commercial tieups. Monte Rei in the Eastern Algarve is one of them. “Ernie was on holiday with family and friends, and Padraig was in the Algarve with his coaches,” reports Golf Director, Iain McInally. “It was the first time for both, and their own free time.” Many professionals believe Monte Rei to be the best course and clubhouse in Portugal, and near the very top throughout continental Europe. This Rolls Royce resort, with prices to match, is based on the stunning Jack Nicklaus Signature 7,181-yard set-up. A second course, beach club and hotel are in the offing, and there is even talk of a possible future Ryder Cup bid down the line. Seventies Blackburn footballer, John

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Waddington, has made millions out of Greetings Cards. Now aged 57, he’s using some of the cash to build his dream 4,500square foot house at Monte Rei. “This area’s a bit like Quinta do Lago was 20 years ago. The course and facilities are pure class.” Two years ago, for a half-acre plot overlooking the 6th fairway, Waddington paid over £750,000. His palatial pad could easily cost that much again. Three-bedroom linked villas start at about £1 million. This summer, some of them will be available to rent at Monte Rei for the very first time, so even if the house prices are out of your league, a short break down there won’t disappoint. The development suits long-term investors who prize a great course, nature and exclusivity. Short-term capital growth could be modest. Algarve house prices, denoted in Euros, have fallen about 19% since the beginning of 2009, says Mary Mangan, MD of Winkworth

in Portugal. “British owners who bought 5 to 10 years ago when the pound was up near €1.50 can afford to take a modest hit on the Euro price of their property and still show a good profit in pounds when they go back home,” she reports. For instance, a house bought for £100,000 five years ago translated into about €150,000. The same house today sold for €140,000 would yield £120,000. Mangan believes the best value is currently in resales. “Individual sellers, particularly the British, are more prepared to drop prices to make a deal than developers.” For instance, Winkworth is marketing a re-sale two-bedroom apartment on the Boavista golf resort in Lagos on the Western Algarve for £188,000 – a 20% discount on the current resort values. It comes furnished with access to tennis, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, and discounted green fees. The course isn’t spectacular, but the


PROPERTY

CONTACTS Monte Rei // www.monterei.com 00 351 281 952521 Pestana // www.pestanaproperties.com 00 351 282 340 930 Quinta do Vale // www.quintadovale.com 00351 281543407 Vale do Lobo // www.valedolobo.com 00351 289353110

price looks attractive. A few miles to the east, near Lagoa, the largest Portuguese tourism and leisure group, Pestana, has four golf courses and several property developments set in gently undulating countryside, ten minutes from the beach. “We’ve been here for 20 years and see ourselves as a friendly four-star resort,” says Sales Director, James Harrison. “Both the Pinta and Gramacho courses have hosted pro tournaments, and the newer Silves setup has a couple of truly great par-5s.” While other developers have seen almost static sales, Harrison has sold 32 properties in the last 12 months, half re-sales, half new build, and nearly all at discounts of up to 20% on advertised prices. Harrison bases his success on three factors. “Transparency – what you see with us is what you get; sensible pricing – we know there’s a recession and up to a point, price accordingly; and variety – we have everything from a quarter share of a two-bed apartment for £67,000, up to a luxury fourbedroom villa for a million pounds.” One issue for some buyers on a brand new development is the risk of living on a building site for five years, as later phases are built out. Pestana always has a variety of

re-sale stock in established parts of the resort for those who don’t like mud and cranes. The group is also big enough to offer their own finance, so buyers don’t need to use either British or Portuguese banks for a mortgage. The new ‘hot’ part of the region is reckoned by many to be the Eastern Algarve where prices are on average 30% cheaper than the central Algarve. The Quinta do Vale club overlooks the Guadiana river bordering Spain, and has 66 three- and four-bedroom villas, all with private pools, priced from £1.1 million, and 57 townhouses with communal pools in the ‘Riverside Village’ costing from £582,000. “It’s a really friendly set-up especially for us ex-Pats, and there are six other courses like Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima within a dozen or so miles,” says Club member, Phil Thomas. The Quinta do Vale course is built on reclaimed salt flats and has water in play on 14 holes – not easy. Best value on the resort is probably the townhouses with either two or three bedrooms downstairs and the living room, kitchen and views of the golf and river upstairs. They share a couple of club pools, with sailing, a marina, beach club and hotel

in the pipeline. Reading between the lines, Quinta do Vale would probably entertain offers 15% or even 20% below asking price. “For a top end £1.1 million villa, we’d certainly look at £850,000,” says Director, David Silva. Vale do Lobo, 25-minutes from Faro Airport, was one of the very first Algarve golf developments, and is still one of the best. Hunting down re-sales at the resort is currently a good idea. A two-bedroom apartment with pool starts at £430,000, while a three-bedroom linked villa near the beach costs £615,000. Although a few houses are a little close to the fairways, both the Royal and Ocean courses are first class. A good selling point is that several generations continue to enjoy Vale do Lobo. “Parents, children and grandchildren keep visiting because there is something for every age,”says Diogo Gaspar Ferreira of VdL. The main praca has restaurants, shops and nightclubs, while the tennis centre is world class. This big imponderable in all this is the exchange rate. Nobody knows whether by the summer the pound will be worth €1.1 or €1.3 – it’s a big difference. One thing that is certain is that the Algarve still has some of the best all year round golf in Europe. MAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 3


FASHION

(Clockwise from top left) Want to play in Freddieʼs shoes? The ʻGolf Street Casualʼ from Ecco was created to be worn both on and off the course. Luxurious full-grain uppers upon a low-profile footbed and a sole featuring pre-moulded traction bars for optimum comfort and grip. Available in a range of colours. As per Fred, socks optional. Guide: £90 www.eccogolf.co.uk Stand out from the crowd with a classic Trilby from Savile Row tailor William Hunt. Available in multiple styles/colours. Guide: £45. (See ʻWhere thereʼs a Willʼ, page 112) www.williamhunt.com

Currently one of the fastest-growing brands in golf, UnderArmour delivers style with function in the shape of its latest ArmourStorm rainsuit. “By far the best suit I have ever worn – allows freedome for swing in all conditions,” says brand ambassador Ross Fisher. Guide: Jacket £160/pant £140. www.underarmour.com

One of golfʼs classic labels, Oscar Jacobson – official supplier to the European Ryder Cup team again this year at Celtic Manor – has revealed a comprehensive Spring/Summer collection which includes its famous tailoured golf trousers along with coordinated premium cotton shirts and lightweight tops. Visit the website for online catalogue and details of all UK stockists. www.oscarjacobson.com

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INFINITI EX37 GT

Nissan apply theory of Infiniti for better driving In the shape of its all-new luxury Infiniti brand, Nissan is aiming at a highly competitive market, particularly when it comes to the SUV. But in the shape of the compact EX37 model, they have produced an intriguing option, as Anthony Ffrench-Constant reports

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f – as many eminent economists would have us believe – success depends largely on timing, then these are desperately unfortunate times in which to launch a new luxury car, let alone an entire luxury brand. However, clearly coveting that which Lexus has achieved for Toyota, that’s precisely what Nissan has done, murdering the Moet and Chandon on the bows of the no less than five new models that fanfare the launch of a spanking new brand – Infiniti. Yet it isn’t merely a woeful economic climate that Infiniti must contend with. For all the abject perfectionism attendant to the screwing together of its cars, Lexus’ efforts at European conquest remain hampered by the ongoing issue of building brand status when, in the context of the Teutonic triumvirate that is BMW, Audi and Mercedes, it boasts all the long-term pedigree of a mayfly. Evidently, impressed by bullet-proof mechanicals and a dealer network that licks them senseless at every opportunity,

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A smaller, squashed-looking variant of its FX Sports Utility Model, the EX37 is a ʻcoupe crossoverʼ

the Americans are less sniffy about such matters and almost instantaneously embraced the 1989 newcomer with open wallets. But, from a UK perspective, Lexus continues to highlight the impossibility of joining a posh private members club without the requisite eons of languishing on the waiting list. And one can only hazard a guess as to how much longer the company must loiter on the sidelines before the sword of brand approbation finally bounces on the broad shoulders of sheer technical achievement. Lob into the equation the fact that every niche of the premium automotive segment is already glutted with a bewildering choice of machinery, and it would seem that Infiniti has a real tussle on its hands, especially in the SUV market… Now, for most of the North London beret and brioche set, saving the whales remains very much a five day a week concern. Let’s face it; come Friday evening, the only Wales on the collective radar is the one hosting the weekend cottage, the only


MOTORING

serious consideration joining the M4’s camelhair coat caravanserai in the appropriate degree of style and at sufficient velocity to prevent those goujons of sea horse from thawing before the Aga’s up to temperature. Taking brand prejudice and badge snobbery, a Bad Smell Under The Nose driving position, muddy track dismissal and a price tag offering little or no change from £50,000 as a given, then, these part-time Sandalistas already have a wealth of something-for-the-weekend offerings at their disposal – Range Rover, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes ML, BMW X5, or, for the partially sighted, the X6… Even Lexus’ RX 450h struggles for status in this company, so what chance for Infiniti’s new SUV, the FX? Cunningly, however, Infiniti has also produced a somewhat smaller, squashedlooking variant dubbed the EX37, which can be had for as little as £36,500, or nearer £40,000 if you lob in essentials such as sat’ nav’, cruise control and an ear-water-

“The EX37...reminiscent of the long nose and squat cabin of the smaller, cheaper and startlingly ugly BMW X1, but much better looking all round, especially in profile”

ing Bose sound system. Dubbed a ‘coupe crossover’ and occupying that increasingly popular niche hinterland somewhere between full-height SUV and respectable estate car, the EX37 is something of an ocular curate’s egg. It’s reminiscent of the long nose and squat cabin of the smaller, cheaper and startlingly ugly BMW X1, but much better looking

all round, especially in profile. Lexus prides itself on what it calls the ‘hospitality’ aspect of their cars. This isn’t to say a geisha girl will hand you a steaming bowl of jasmine tea and trim your toenails as you pile aboard but, rather, that the lighting is nicely sequenced to match your approach to, and entry into, the car, and you climb aboard and fire it up without recourse to finding the keys. Infiniti approaches the subject with almost identical rigour, but asks that you press a little button within the door handle to unlock the beast, rather than the handle working through sensing the key. This isn’t actually a bad thing, because it’s all too easy to walk away from a Lexus, worry that it isn’t locked, go back, try the door handle and, of course, it will open again. My wife has been known to spend a small lifetime re-approaching cars with this system before realising that it is in fact locked… The Infiniti even goes one better than Lexus in one respect, and that’s the autoMAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 7


With power provided by a 3.7 litre V6 petrol unit good for 316bhp, the EX37 GT doesnʼt want for speed. The needle nudges 62 mph in just 6.4 seconds, while an intelligent 4x4 system guarantees optimum traction in all driving conditions

matic illumination of the interior as the key bearer approaches the car. Under door handle puddle lights would be a nice addition to this system, but it seems we cannot yet have both in one machine. On board, and mindful of how studiously Lexus has avoided the use of anything obviously sourced from the Toyota parts bin, the EX37 is, perhaps, a little to Nissan. The switchgear gives it away. Not that there’s anything wrong with Nissan switchgear, by the way, which is far superior to look than Toyota’s. But here, that which suffices admirably for the little keyboard of sat’ nav’ controls at the top of the centre console doesn’t work quite so well for the stereo and air-conditioning controls below; something about the way the light falls on the switches making the latter two panels seem a different shade of black. If, indeed, you can have shades of black… There’s a predictable abundance of leather, mine finished in a deep burgundy which gives less cause for complaint than 8 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM MAY 2010

“Pop the seven-speed automatic transmission into ‘sport’ mode’ and the EX37 surges through the gears with a remarkable alacrity for such a large machine...” the detailing of the dashboard in front of the passenger, which boasts an array of vertical gashes scored into it, each reminiscent of the nether parts of a plumber you’d rather not notice as he folds himself beneath a leaking kitchen sink. The only major let down is, regrettably, the primary point of contact – the steering wheel. Though fully swathed in leather, the airbag cover is just a big, bland pad and somewhat lets the side down. The whole interior would be seriously

enlivened by a little detailing work to the helm alone; ironically, see elder sibling the FX for details. The driving position is entirely comfortable though, abetted by surprisingly stout lateral support wings to the front seats. I considered this to be something of an overstatement until I set off, then realised they’re actually pretty handy, because the EX37 goes like a stabbed rat. Power is provided by a 3.7 litre V6 petrol unit, which develops 316bhp and 265lb.ft of torque. 62mph comes up in just 6.4 seconds from a standstill and there’s 149mph at your disposal whilst nobody’s looking. Pop the seven-speed automatic transmission into ‘sport’ mode, and the EX37 surges through the gears with a remarkable alacrity for such a large machine. With a weekend trip to the West Country enlivened by flurries of snow as the A30 snakes between Dartmoor and Exmoor before thumping up over Bodmin Moor, I really spanked the map in the Infiniti. Its intelligent 4x4 system worked exceptionally well to provide adequate traction and grip through the slush, allowing me to maintain speeds that would be positively winceworthy in anything of a two-wheel drive disposition. In the dry, the EX37 proves pretty entertaining. It handles remarkably well, with just enough roll to keep you aware of the size of car you’re driving. I don’t, personally, hold much truck with cars that electronically eradicate roll, it feels almost unnatural to be cornering flat in some the size of a small apartment. Best of all though, is just how completely the EX37 cossets over the long haul; an attribute you’d expect to take for granted in any luxury brand, but so often cannot. I could very happily live with the Infiniti, especially if I didn’t have to peer overlong at the exterior. Whether it will succeed in doing for Nissan what Lexus has done for Toyota, however, remains to be seen.


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RESORT SPOTLIGHT CONSTANCE BELLE MARE PLAGE, THE LEGENDS & LINKS, MAURITIUS

Life’s a beach at Belle Mare Setting the benchmark for luxury golf & beach retreats since 1994, little wonder the Constance Belle Mare Plage resort is now the most eagerly anticipated stop on the European Senior Tour, writes Richard Simmons For the members of the European Senior Tour, Christmas really did come early this last December – two weeks early, to be precise, with the inaugural staging of the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open. The 54 hole tournament over the demanding treelined Legends Course was won in some style by England’s Kevin Spurgeon, who, on 6 under par, claimed his maiden victory by a stroke over Gordon J Brand, two clear of Sam Torrance. Credit where it’s due. The Legends Course – literally a 5 minute stroll from the avenues of luxury guest apartments and villas lining one of the finest beaches on the east coast of the island – may be set in a tropical paradise, but Hugh Baiocchi’s turning, twisting layout delivers a series of exacting holes cut through the indiginous forest that demand (and reward!) nothing but accuracy from tee to green. It’s a classic test of strategy and guile over thrust and bluster, and for those who enjoy golf-watching one of the attractions of Belle Mare is the opportunity to visit during tournament week, walking the fairways and getting close to the action. The hotel’s second 18, The Link’s Course – co-designed by Peter Alliss – opened in 2002 and is the more forgiving holiday companion, a layout that beautifully complements the original and one similarly presented in 5-star condition year-round. Beach in the morning, a little golf in the afternoon. Or perhaps you’d prefer to mix things up and do it the other way around. At the Constance Belle Mare Plage, that’s about as complicated as decisions go. It’s a 5-star combination that will leave you wanting more.

CONTACT The Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius Tel: +11 230 402 2600 www.bellemareplagehotel.com

GOLF The Legend Course (1994), 6584 yards, par 72 Architect: Hugh Biaocchi The Links Course (2002), 6,501 yards, par 71 Architect: Rodney Wright & Peter Alliss Mark Farry Golf Academy

Guests of the hotel enjoy complimentary green fees at both the Legend and the Links courses, although golf buggies are compulsory. Check the website for full details. MAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 11


GOLF LITERATURE

A Major Obsession Kenny Reid / Birlinn Golf Books

The Complete Golf Manual Steve Newell / Dorling Kindersley

Guide: £12.99 paperback ISBN: 978-1-84158-859-9

Guide: £16.99 hardback ISBN: 978-1-4053-5523-0

Kenny Reid is not a famous golfer, and this is not another golf biography. This is the story of a man who considers himself to be one of golf’s biggest fans – and after the golfing odyssey upon which this book is based he certainly has the air miles to prove it. Reid has followed golf’s majors for more than 30 years. Through the glow of his television screen – and occasionally from the edge of the green – he has observed the modern greats of the game play their way into the record books and cement their place in golfing lore. But armchair support was just not enough. Reid wanted to live the dream of all golf enthusiasts, and so in 2009 he embarked on a year-long pilgrimage: a ‘fanslam’ of each of the game’s four majors championships. A Major Obsession (rarely has a book carried such as apt title) chronicles Reid’s expedition, first to Augusta National for the Masters, then to Bethpage Black for a rowdy US Open, back home to Turnberry for the Open Championship and finally across the pond one last time to Hazeltine for the US PGA. Original, quirky and brilliantly insightful, this fan’s-eye account of the glamourous world of major championship golf at some of the world’s finest venues makes for easy reading. So sit back and enjoy a very personal account of how the majors of ’09 were won and lost.

Steve Newell first cut his teeth in golf journalism at Golf World in the early 1990’s, where the coveted position of Instruction Editor introduced him to many of the game’s leading international players and coaches and opened a number of doors – one of them leading to a role that he enjoys to this day as a key member of Ernie Els’s publishing team (and Steve provides a terrific feature on his employer inside this issue from page 62). Indeed, it is Els who contributed the Foreword to The Complete Golf Manual, which, as the title suggests, covers just about everything a newcomer to the game needs to know to get a thorough grounding in the basic skills necessary to take those first tentative steps on the course. In typically structured Dorling Kindersley fashion, the book works through the fundamentals with clear, concise prose accompanied by easy-to-follow photography as Newell puts his years of experience to good use, leaving the reader with just the information he or she needs to embark on a course of self-improvement. Often confusing technical jargon is kept to a minimum, and there are dozens of practical drills and exercises to keep even the most ardent student of the game busy through the summer.

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The Greatest Game Professor David Purdie / Birlinn Illustrations by Hugh Dodd

THE OPEN - Golfʼs Oldest Major Donald Steel / Rizolli International Foreword by Arnold Palmer

Guide: £25 HB / Limited Edition: £150 ISBN: 978-0-95144-707-9

Guide: £35 hardback ISBN: 978-0-8478-3308-5

Did you know that Shakespeare was a golfer! And that Rembrandt was no stranger to the fairway? Or that Mary, Queen of Scots was actually beheaded because of golf? Those of you who enjoy the regular blasts from The Major in this magazine will will be interested to learn that his creator, Professor David Purdie, is the academic behind this enlightening and entertaining new book as he takes a swipe at our collected knowledge of the game in his unique style. Based on firm facts (where available), firm invention when not, the book examines the most curious and confusing intricacies of golf. Purdie’s work as a journalist and speechwriter for Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie (no mention here of any involvement with Sir Nick Faldo) has provided him many opportunities to witness golf’s highest and lowest moments. Drawing on his vast experience, Purdie explores the culture of the game across the world – including the USA, China and India – and sweeps aside all claims for the game’s origin outside Scotland. Accompanied by Hugh Dodd’s colourful caricatures, The Greatest Game offers an alternative view of golf and tries to make some sense of the collective madness which pervades the links each day from dawn to sunset. Highly recommended.

Published to coincide with the celebration of the 150th Open Championship, which will be staged this year at St Andrews from July 15-18, THE OPEN Golf’s Oldest Major is a feast of the finest links golf this country has to offer as it captures the history and unique experience of playing each of the fourteen legendary links courses along the British coastline on which the Open – golf’s most coveted prize – has been played. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, in association with Getty Images, presents an astonishing photographic celebration of a tournament that has hosted every icon of the sport. Bringing together classic images of unforgettable moments in the history of the Open, with vintage pictures from the archives and also brand new photographs by David Cannon – a regular contributor to Gi – this extravagantly illustrated book captures the glory and the excitement of the Open and the unparalleled beauty of the golf courses themselves. The publishers, Rizzoli, should also be commended for commissioning noted architect Donald Steel – who has worked on all of the Open venues – for providing the text, describing each of the fourteen venues both through the eyes of a golf course designer while also capturing the atmosphere of the day.


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SHADES OF SUMMER The latest designs from the leading names in high-tech eyewear promise a sharper image, both on and off the golf course this summer 1

2 OAKLEY COMMIT (1&2) These new designs from Oakley are available in a variety of cool frame colours and lens options. The Commit, which is made specificallty for women, shares the same hi-tech advances as all Oakley Sport Performance sunglasses – including the clarity and impact protection of High Definition Optics®. Guide: £120

OAKLEY INMATE (3) A favourite of Ian Poulter away from the course, the Inmate is part of Oakleyʼs ever-developing Square O Lifestyle collection. Again utilizing the same optical technology and High Definition Optics® as the Sports Performance range, this assertive model comes in variety of colour options and adds an extra dimension of style around the clubhouse. Guide: £130

3 BOLLÉ WARRANT (5) The sleek Warrant model from Bolle features b-Toric™ lenses, designed to closely follow the natural contours of the face, thus improving peripheral vision. UV protection is available with a choice of interchangeable lenses including EagleVision, a lense tint that maintains accurate depth perception while tracking the ball in flight, popular among wearers on tour. Bollé Warrant lens technology works by optimizing contrast in the green portion of the colour spectrum, resulting in an enhanced view of the subtle undulations in the green and significantly reduced glare. Guide: £96 BOLLÉ PIRANHA (6) Lightweight, durable & extremely comfortable the Piranha model features a ʻPinless Hingeʼ, an innovative design that seamlessly connects the arms to the frame fronts with a strong, durable mechanism. Both of these new Bolle models feature virtually shatterproof polycarbonate lenses & thermogrip templetips & nosepads for stability in action. Guide: £89

www.bolle.com Stockist enquiry line - 0208 391 4700

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OAKLEY FLAK JACKET XLI (4) The Flak Jacket XLJ comes as standard with Oakleyʼs golf specific G30 Iridium lens (pictured), although if you wish to follow in the flamboyant footsteps of Oakley ambassador Ian Poulter, then visit www.oakley.co.uk/custom and create your own individual look. Guide: £115 www.oakley.co.uk / 01462 475 400

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EYEWEAR FASHION

SERENGETI FONTANA (7) Using technology originally designed for use in car windscreens, Serengeti glass lenses are the most optically clear of any lens material. The Bianca frames are constructed of injected Grilamid TR-90 Nylon, a material chosen for superior strength-toweight ratio and flexibility and have multi-barrel spring hinges for a closer, more comfortable fit and are available in prescription. Guide: £160 SERENGETI MAESTRALE (8) Also from Serengeti, the Maestrale model features new lightweight, impact resistant Polar PhD lenses which combine the latest polarization & photochromic lens technologies with a Spectral Control filter to fine tune colour wavelengths to provide superior optical clarity. Guide: £139 www.serengeti-eyewear.com

7 TAG HEUER Squadra 5500 Series (9) The TAG Heuer Squadra 5500 Series is the latest model of fashion sports glasses to offer 100% UV A/B/C protection through the latest in lens technology. The Squadra also benefits from a polarized, panoramic shield lens, while TAG Heuerʼs unique elastomere frames enhance the Squadraʼs performance with great hold and stability, making them ideal for both active and fashion wear. Guide: from £188 TAG HEUER 27º Air Photochromic (10) The TAG Heuer 27º Air glasses feature a lightweight frame made from polyvalence, invisible hinge technology, exclusive to TAG 27° Air, and come in three frame options to ensure comfortable, aerodynamic fit & six lens options, easy to interchange. From £181. www.tagheuer.com/eyewear for stockists details call 0870 850 8071

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MAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 15


Items this issue include a badge signed by ʻBabeʼ Zaharias, rare early rubber-cored balls and a scarce Dunlop golf ball tin

More cash in the attic? Gi’s auction-room expert Kevin McGimpsey answers more readers’ letters as he tries to identify and value an assortment of items of memorabilia and golfing collectibles ADMISSION BADGE

I have two 1954 Wichita Country Club Women’s Invitation Golf Tournament admission cardboard badges that belonged originally to a husband and wife and they are signed by Mildred ‘Babe’ Zaharias, Patty Berg, Marlene Bauer, Marilyn Smith and others. May I have your valuation? Howard Karasick USA by email These two admission tickets have been autographed by many of the leading women golf professionals in the immediate post WWII era. Ticket #305 has the signatures of the great Betsy Rawls (winner of 1953 and 1960 Women’s Open Championship), Betti Hicks, Betty Jameson Marilyn Smith with a dedication to the badge holder, Doug (she was attached to the Wichita Country Club) and Carol Bowman. Ticket #308 has the Babe Zaharias signature (winner of the 1948, 1950 and 1954 US Women’s Open), Beverley Hanson, Bonnie Randolph and Patty Berg (winner of 1946 US Women’s Open). Of course, the star signature is the Mildred Babe Didrikson one. She was a phenomenal athlete and became an American sporting legend. Not only did she win three US Opens, she was also the first American to win the British Open (1947). She represented the USA in the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles in three events and won medals in all three – gold in the Javelin, gold in the 80 metres Hurdles and a silver in the High Jump when she cleared 5 foot 5 inches (a mere two inches below her height!). 16 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM MAY 2010

She died less than two years after the 1954 Wichita event, aged only 45. VALUE: There are many collectors of women golfers’ autographs and memorabilia. There are also many who would just want to own a piece of ‘Babe’ memorabilia. The condition of the two badges appears to be good, both without bent corners and still retaining their original tie-ons. As with autographs in general, ones signed in pencil tend to be more robust when it comes to sun-fading. Sold as a pair, I would expect them to fetch £600.

BRASS HEARTH SET

Our hearth set is a permanent fixture in our holiday cottage. What do you know about it please? Steve Prior, Norwich, Norfolk This brass metal hearth set features a young caddie with a bag of clubs. The caddie was modeled after a real-life caddie called Charles Elkins, who caddied for Arthur Havers (Coombe Hill) when he won the 1923 Open Champion at Troon with a score of 295. I have seen similar items including a door stop and a weather vane. I’ve also seen them in different metals and finishes. VALUE: A popular addition to any golfing home throughout the 1930s and well into the 1950s, but probably not so in 2010. Even so at auction these Elkin pieces continue to fetch £50 plus.

GOLF BALLS

We found these three golf balls in a bric-abrac shop last year whilst on holiday in the Orkney Islands. They were described as ‘antique golf balls’ and priced at 1 for £50 and the 3 for £100. I have since checked on

the web and if they are genuine, I think I have done well. What do you think? Ryan Maugham, Eastbourne, Sussex You certainly have done well, Mr Maugham, as the vendor grossly miscalculated their value. The three golf balls were made in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. One is a gutta-percha (a type of rubber) ball and the other two are early rubber cored balls. Anderson, Anderson & Anderson, whose address was St. Pauls Churchyard in London, produced the fine looking Varsity B gutty golf ball in the 1890s. This is a particularly scarce ball and very few have survived. In fact there has only been one sold at auction (2000) and that one had had its core removed. Even so it sold for £200. Our reader’s Varsity appears to be in near mint un-played condition. The second ball – with its unusual randomly placed studs cover pattern – is an Army & Navy CSL (Co-operative Supply Ltd) No.2 ball made around 1905. Again, a scarce ball because the more common cover pattern is the bramble (like a blackberry) pattern. The Army & Navy Co-operative was founded in 1871 by a group of Army and Navy officers who had decided that their mess bills had become too expensive. They decided that it would be cheaper to buy cases of wine at


MEMORABILIA

wholesale prices. The Army & Navy Association became a large chain of retail shops offering all sorts of items from wallpaper to sports ware, with extensive distribution throughout the British Empire. Finally, the third ball, a Springvale Falcon bramble golf ball circa 1906, as made in Scotland by Hutchison Main & Co. Again it appears to in near mint condition. Hutchison Main was sued the following year for patent infringement by the Haskell Company in the USA who had invented the rubber core ball in 1898. This legal action more or less bankrupted Hutchison Main and it closed in 1912. VALUE: The golf ball sector remains buoyant especially for golf balls that never or seldom come to auction. Condition is maybe not just as important as, say, golfing ceramics for instance. A golf ball can be missing some of its original paint but as long as it is rare and displays well it will sell well. At auction the three golf balls would sell as individually lots with the A & N at £300, the Varsity B also at £300 and the Falcon ball at £200.

PAYNE STEWART SIGNATURE

I would like your opinion on this signed US Open programme. Its significance should be obvious. - David Griffiths, Baltimore, Maryland, USA Payne Stewart won his second US Open at Pinehurst No.2 in June 1999. Six months after that US Open victory – and barely a month after playing a part in the Ryder Cup at Brookline – Payne died along with the crew when a private jet suffered decompression and ultimately crashed into a field in South Dakota, on 25 October 1999. I was privileged to meet Payne on two occasions. The first was at the 1985 Open at Royal St. Georges. I was caddying for my brother Garth and his playing partners were two ‘unknowns’ – Payne Stewart and Ian BakerFinch. Both were true gentlemen and superb golfers. The second occasion was at a Titleist party before the 1986 Masters. Payne literally held court all evening telling jokes and funny

golfing anecdotes. Maybe he was a little brash but he was a pleasure to be around. At the time of his death, the 42 year old golfer was ranked No. 10 in the world with $12.67 million in career earnings. He won 11 PGA Tour events and three majors – the 1989 PGA Championship and the ’91 and ’99 US Opens. VALUE: Strangely, Payne Stewart signed items haven’t escalated in price. A signature on a blank piece of card is worth £50; signed on a profile photograph such as in a programme £75 and as in this case on a full image £150. But such an item can only increase in value.

VINTAGE GOLF BALL TIN

My late father kept screws and plugs in this tin. Neither of us plays golf but I was told that as a golf ball tin, it could be worth something. Andy Swann, Bromsgrove, Wirral Readers may remember Dunlop’s small yellow bicycle puncture tins. Well, this is a similar tin albeit larger measuring 10 x 3½ x 2½ inches. It would have contained 15 late 1920s and early 1930s Dunlop golf balls. The tin would have been displayed in the professional’s shop in the hope of enticing members to spend 2/6 on a new Black or Blue Maxfli ball. I suppose that once in a while an affluent golfer would buy the full tin. Because the tin was considered a disposable item, once all the balls had been sold the professional would throw it away and replace it with a new tin from Dunlop, and so not many have survived. And as a result, when you do find one, they are quite valuable. As to condition, this tin has some paint rubs, as it was most likely languishing on an old work top surface somewhere. But overall it is in a very acceptable condition. VALUE: Keenly sought after by golf ball collectors, it should fetch at least £200 at auction. [Do any readers possess a Dunlop blue double drawer metal golf ball dispenser that would have been used in the 1920s? If so, I’d love to hear about it and see a photo.]

HANDBOOK

I collect Golf Club handbooks and was particularly pleased to acquire this one last week as Westward Ho! is my all-time favourite English links course. I tend to pay on average £10 for such a booklet but in this instance I paid £20. Calvin Ferguson Tidworth, Wiltshire The great golf scribe Bernard Darwin authored this history of The Royal North Devon Golf Club in 1921. Darwin (grandson of Charles) was called, ‘the greatest golf writer of all time’ by his American counterpart, Herbert Warren Wind. Running to just 24 pages this 7½ x 5 inch publication included advertisements, illustrations from photographs and a two page map of the course. The publishers were the Golf Clubs Association and they published literally hundreds of Club histories. This one dates to 1925, but there were at least 7 editions over the years with the last known one being produced in 1956. Such handbooks were free and were financed by the advertising contained within. VALUE: This is a reasonably scarce title, as it wasn’t recorded by Donovan and Murdoch in their 1985 bibliography, The Game of Golf and The Printed Word 15661985. However it was recorded in Donovan and Jerris, the bibliography that superceded Donovan and Murdoch, in 2006. There will be several collector factions interested in this handbook. Obviously there are the Darwin aficionados, many of whom so dedicated that they are obliged to collect every one of his many books; then there are those (like the reader) who collect club handbooks in general. And then there is the small group of professional lake and pond divers who empty water hazards of their golf balls. For the older courses, where these hazards are no longer obvious, such handbooks with original and detailed golf course plans are worth their weight in gold! At auction, in this tidy complete condition, I would expect this handbook to fly out comfortably at £40 or more.

Please send your letters and best photographs to PO BOX 120, Deeside, Flintshire, N. Wales or email with jpegs to kevin.mcgimpsey@bonhams.com MAY 2010 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM 17


THE BALEARICS

Advantage, Mallorca A native of the island, keen golfer Rafael Nadal has been appointed as Ambassador to the Balearic Island’s Tourism Board. And it’s hard to fault Mallorca’s claim as Europe’s ‘Golf Island’, writes Andy Farrell

18 GOLFINTERNATIONALMAG.COM MAY 2010

GOVERNMENT OF THE BALEARIC ISLANDS / CONSELLERIA DE TOURISME / IBATUR / KLAUS SIEPMANN

T

hings have not exactly been going to plan for two of Spain’s greatest sporting stars, Sergio Garcia and Rafael Nadal. While Garcia started the year with concerns over a wrist injury and ever-present putting exasperations, Nadal, briefly the world No1 in 2009, limped out of his defence of the Australian Open, the first tennis major of the year, with a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out of Wimbledon last year. If last summer is anything to go by, however, when Nadal is forced off the courts he just heads for the course. Nadal is an eight-handicapper and plays right-handed – he is a lefty with a racket in his hand – who is frequently found at Pula Golf, where he played with Garcia in the pro-am before the 2007 Mallorca Classic. While that event lost its date on the schedule to the Castello Masters, ironically in Garcia’s neck of the woods near Valencia, Pula will return to the European Tour this May with the Open Cala Millor Mallorca. It is a big step forward for what they call Golf Island. There are 23 courses on Mallorca and 25 in the islands as a whole. Nadal is an ambassador for the Balearic Islands Tourism Board and features in their latest television advertising campaign. The aim is to promote the islands as home to more than just sun and sand, with culture, sailing, cycling and golf also of the highest order. Nadal is certainly a golfer. “I play a lot when I am at home,” he said. “Last summer I played more an ever because of the injury. It was good for my golf if not my tennis.” Perhaps, when the knees give out for good, he will be able to play ever more golf. When asked who was the better golfer, himself or Roger Federer, he said: “I don’t think Roger plays very much.” With twin babies and 16 tennis majors to his name, perhaps Federer does not have the time but he is thought to be about a 13-handicapper. The smart money may be on Nadal and Garcia if they ever played a fourball against Federer


GETTYIMAGES.COM

Nadalʼs style has been honed on the pristine layouts Mallorca has to offer – including Son Vida (left) and the championship test at Santa Ponsa (below)

and his friend Tiger Woods. Garcia, who has also hit on the tennis court with Nadal, said: “Actually he was quite impressed with my tennis. He thought I was going to be a little bit worse. I was very impressed with his golf when we played the pro-am in Mallorca.” The pair keep in touch and exchange thoughts on their various fortunes. “I watch the golf a lot and always follow Sergio and, of course, we talk,” Nadal said. “He did not have the best year but he works hard and hopefully this year will be good for him.” Comparing golf and tennis, Nadal added: “The thing that is the same is the concentration. In tennis, you can hit a good shot and still lose the point. In golf, you hit a good shot and hopefully you make birdie. But the thing in golf is that you must not have one mistake after another. You have to make sure you recover on the next shot.” Despite raving about a round with Fred Couples once in Indian Wells, asked for his perfect fourball, the modest Nadal went for his friends from home. “This is the best golf, spending time with your friends, being out on the course and in a beautiful place.” Susanna Sciacovelli, director of the Balearic Islands Tourism Board, is keen to increase the annual tally of golfing visitors, currently around 120,000, emphasising the all-year-round climate – last year they enjoyed their hottest November for 40 years – and the two-hour flight time from much of northern Europe. As for Nadal, she said: “He loves his islands and he is a wonderful ambassador for us. We can use a picture of a beautiful beach in our adverts but with Rafa it has more impact. He is not just a talented sportsman but has a very appealing character.” Find out more: www.balearicgolf.com

Golf International, Lifestyle 94  

Golf International Magazine, Lifestyle section - May 2010. Featuring all the good things in golf... Travel, Property, Golf Luxury, Wellbeing...

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