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Issue 206 | december 2011/january 2012

Inside: Win Callaway wedges Bomb found in bunker Ewen Murray on course design Paul McGinley interview Readers go to Mauritius

above & beyond Donald creates history on two fronts See pages 20 & 21

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ROBERT COLES p10 | EWEN MURRAY p30 | JASON DAY p32 | Pro Shop p34-35 | TRAVEL p44 | ME & MY TRAVELS p47

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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Photography Kevin Murray ( Action Images, James Cheadle Published by BlueGreen Media

Contributors Paul Mahoney, Clive Agran, Ewen Murray, Denis Pugh, Alistair Tait, Luke Donald

Winter Specials at Singing Hills Golf Course

INSIDE: Win Callaway wedges Bomb found in bunker Ewen Murray on course design Paul McGinley interview Readers go to Mauritius

ABOVE & BEYOND Donald creates history on two fronts See pages 20 & 21

There’s an

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Editor’sview email:

Luke, we salute you I’m not sure where to start or end with events over the last 12 months, but one thing is for sure – it began and ended with Mr Luke Donald. Dispelling the myth that nice guys finish second, our man (yes, I think we can claim ownership, despite his Chicago address and American wife) has played the kind of golf over the last 12 months that most professionals will only ever dream about. From his demolition derby at the Accenture World Match Play in February, where he was never taken to the 18th hole, to his one-sided duel in the desert with Rory McIlroy just a few days ago, Donald has exuded the air of a man who is in complete control of his game. On the rare occasions that he has missed a fairway, or seen a six-footer slip by the cup, he simply pressed ‘reset’, and the machine was soon back to its normal programme. Not that Luke is a robot, I might add, he’s far

too personable to be called that. But he seems to have been operating on some sort of ‘A Game’ autopilot this year – which isn’t a bad thing for a sport that tends to play tricks on the minds of those prone to over-analysis. This was the year that The Quiet Man of Golf dared to roar, and although his halfhearted fist pumps and muted screams must rank alongside those of Tim Henman on Centre Court in terms of their meaningfulness, there’s no doubting that there was something of the inner Tiger with Donald that has been waiting to be let out. Thankfully, despite his choice of residence, Donald remains English to his very core, and he no doubt finds all the attention being heaped on him rather over the top. Still, I’ll be raising a glass to him and his family this Christmas – and hope his run of good fortune continues next year. A green jacket in April would be a good start.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

News in Brief Rising amateur star Laura Watkins collected five trophies at Bicester Gofl Club ladies’ presentation night. The 21-yearold Oxfordshire player received the Bradbury Cup, Dean Salver, Humphris Trophy, Ladies’ Winter Trophy and the Phipps Pairs with Carly Bosher.

Navy pulls THE plug on Cornish club! A 50-year-old club owned by the Royal Navy has been forced to close for good after newlyinstalled radar equipment was deemed to be too close to edge of the course. Culdrose Golf Club was shut down on November 20, after it was decided that stray balls could damage the base’s communications.

Photo: Matt Lewis/Getty Images

Watkins cleans up at Bicester

Winning-machine Wallis bags pga play-offs

Kent’s Richard Wallis rounded off the most successful year of his professional career by snatching a dramatic victory in the Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey. The 30-year-old from Walmer & Kingsdown was crowned the PGA’s No.1 player on the back of a thrilling back nine, which had seen Simon Lilly storm into contention with a superb 64 - the best round of the week at Antalya Golf Club’s Sultan Course. Also in the frame were David Higgins and Paul Streeter, but Wallis delivered what proved to be the decisive blow when he arrowed in a five-iron to seven feet on the par-five 16th to set up an eagle. It was the perfect riposte to Lilly, who minutes earlier had birdied the 16th to go in front at 13-under-par. The Wellingborough pro saw his dramatic last day charge halted with a bogey on the last to give Wallis some precious breathing space. Wallis secured the win with rounds of 65, 67 and 68, which left him a stroke ahead of Lilly and Higgins. The winner, who lives in Deal, pocketed a cheque for £2,000, but more significantly for his aspirations of getting on tour, earned starts in the BMW PGA Championship, Wales and Scottish Opens, plus a handful of Challenge Tour events. “This is my first national title, winning the South Region Order of Merit was probably the biggest result of my career to date and winning this is great. To be PGA No.1 is awesome,” he said.

Pyecombe bunker p more than just a ha Golfers who have splashed out of the bunker at the 15th hole at Pyecombe Golf Club can think themselves lucky to be alive, after a bomb dating back to the Second World War was discovered just inches below the sand. Greenkeeping staff at the East Sussex-based club found the explosive device while improving drainage at the sand trap at the 15th hole. But it was only when they pulled it out that they realised it could be dangerous and called the police. Bomb disposal experts were quickly on the scene to assess the mortar shell, which had lain undetected for over 60 years. Historical records revealed that the club was used as a tank training area by Canadian forces during the Second World War, and golfers have discovered ammunition and mortars on the course before. Pyecombe’s assistant secretary, Matt Bolton,

The bomb squad survey the damage after detonating the WW2 bomb

was overseeing the refurbishment when the explosive, which is thought to be an anti-tank Spigot mortar – was found. He said: “The men working on the bunker only realised what it was when they pulled it out. They came and told me and I told them to stop what they were doing, and called the

bomb disposal unit, which is based in Aldershot. “They shouted ‘clear firing’ and even though I was expecting a loud noise, I still jumped when they detonated the bomb. The explosion reverberated around the valley, and all the people in the village heard it. One person even reported it to the police, who were


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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

proves azard!

Golf Live promises to be ‘bigger and better’ in 2012 Henry Cooper Masters opens up to girls

already on the scene.” Despite the drama, the holes were only closed for ten minutes. Bolton added: “The only group to come down that hole during that time included our new club captain, David Schwartz. “I told him he had new ammunition for his speech, and he said I had blown it out of all proportion!”

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The Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, one of the leading amateur tournaments for young golfers, is to open up entries to girls from 2013. Following the merger of the English Women’s Golf Association and the English Golf Union to become England Golf, and with the extension of the tournament to four days earlier this year, tournament organisers have decided to open up entries for the best under-18 girls in the world. The tournament, which was launched in 1998, is held at Nizels Golf Club in Kent. Past winners of the boys’ event include current Tour professionals Tom Lewis (pictured above), Joost Luiten, Luke Goddard and Zane Scotland, while previous players have also included Rhys Davies, Oliver Fisher, David Horsey, John Parry and Chris Wood.

The organisers of Golf Live are already gearing up for the third renewal of the public golf show, which is slated for London Golf Club from May 18-20. Building on the foundations of this year’s successful staging, and the inaugural event at Stoke Park in 2010, organisers Brand Events is promising to improve the experience for returning and new visitors in 2012. This year’s event was attended by over 12,000 visitors over the three days, who were treated to a bevy of top Tour professionals – including Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell, Ian Woosnam, Retief Goosen, David Howell, Thomas Levet, Nick Dougherty, Carly Booth and

Rhys Davies – all of whom offered first-hand insights into their shot-making skills and their off-course personalities. Visitors were also able to sample a wealth of golf equipment, accessories, destination and fashion products and services, much of which they could try and buy there and then for themselves. Equipment exhibitors already signed up to attend include Bushnell, Callaway, Odyssey,Cleveland, COBRA-PUMA, Srixon, Mizuno,Wilson, Yonex, RIFE, Dave Hicks, Powerbug, Garmin, Golf Pride, Druh Belts, UKKO, Glenbrae, Ecco, and Titleist. Montgomerie, who is an ambassador for Golf Live, was delighted with the second edition of the show. He said: “Golf Live is such a

unique event. It gives fans the opportunity to engage and interact with professionals in a way that no other exhibition or event can.” The former Ryder Cup captain will be back next year, along with a roster of other big name stars, which is currently being finalised, but will include some wellknown names as well as some very exciting younger players who are breaking through at the highest level. Golf Live event director James Goode explained that he was very happy with last year’s event, which saw a 16% increase in visitors from the first year, but said the team now wanted to improve the offering further. “With research done during and after the event, coupled with anecdotal feedback from exhibitors, suppliers, and visitors, we are confident that changes made for this year will take things to another level,” he said. “The entire team at Golf Live and London Golf Club want 15,000 people to be coming through the gate, and to build further on satisfaction levels across the board.

News in Brief Sutton Green donation Sutton Green Golf Club in Surrey has raised over £10,000 for a cancer charity. The Fountain Centre, which offers therapy and counselling to cancer patients, as well as their families and carers at Royal Surrey County Hospital, received the money following a year of fundraising by the club.

Lane pipped to Senior Order of Merit Berkshire’s Barry Lane lost out to Australia’s Peter Senior by just €32,000 in the race to be crowned European Senior Tour Order of Merit champion. Lane finished second in the final event of the season, the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius, while Senior finished seventh to stay narrowly ahead of his rival. Lane won twice in 2011, and ended the season with €271,173 in prize money.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Fwore way is Cherry Lodge duo pick up Virgin title Craig Sutherland and Colin Rutter from Cherry Lodge Golf Club in Kent are flying high after winning the Virgin Atlantic PGA National Pro-Am Championship in Las Vegas. Head PGA professional Sutherland and his amateur partner carded a final round 64 at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort to win by two strokes from Irish club Ashbourne and Sheffield club Renishaw Park. The Kent pair’s 10-under-par total for two rounds over the Jack Nicklaus-designed South Shore course earned Sutherland the £5,000 winner’s cheque, as they beat off competition from 15 other finalists in the SkyCaddie and BMW supported event. Cherry Lodge pro Sutherland praised his partner, an investment manager who has only been playing golf for three years. Rutter plays off a handicap of 21, but saved his best until last with a superb closing stretch of holes. “Colin played brilliantly, he made a couple of up and downs at 14 and 15 that any pro would have been proud of,” said Sutherland. “We missed a few putts early on and were only four under for the tournament when we reached the turn. But we knew the leading score was only six under, so with the greens quick, we knew it was just a case of being patient.”

Golfers at TopGolf’s site in Chigwell could have been forgiven for executing the odd air shot last month, after a parade of ‘leggy lovelies’ took to the driving range at the Essexbased golf facility. Rumours that Chigwell’s branch of the Women’s Institute were in town for a spot of short game practice were quickly scotched, as the glamourous group of 10 young women, none of whom looked dressed for the weather or a round of golf, were revealed to be staging a pre-parade for the final of Miss Essex 2012, which is being held at TopGolf next year. The girls were shown around the TopGolf site, which will be the venue for the Grand Final next March, where they will be judged by a panel in front of 500 invited guests. The winner will automatically go into the final of Miss England 2012. TopGolf’s Miss Essex Project Manager, Michael

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Woburn murder suspect appears in court A man charged with the murder of a teenager whose body was found at Woburn Golf Club in 2000 has appeared in court. Shahidul Ahmed, 40, from Bletchley, appeared at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody. He will next appear at Luton Crown Court later this month. Two people have previously served sentences in relation to the death of Rachel Manning, 19. Her fiancé, Barri White, served six years in jail for her murder, while another man

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served two and a half for perverting the course of justice. Both had their convictions quashed in 2008, after the case was highlighted by the BBC’s Rough Justice programme. In the original trial in 2002, the defence said the evidence against the fiancé was unreliable and it was more likely that a man who worked at the golf club had carried out the murder. Miss Manning’s body was found on December 12 by a man walking his dog in undergrowth at the golf course.

‘Ageless’ Davies bids to Laura Davies is running out of time to secure the win she needs in order to keep her record of securing victories in every season bar one since she turned professional in 1985. Surrey-based Davies, who celebrated her 48th birthday last month, has won 79 titles around the world during her 26-year- career, and has prided herself on winning at least one tournament during each of those years, but for a blip in 1985. Last year she bagged five titles on the Ladies European

Davies shows no sign of losing her competitive edge despite not winning in 2011

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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e! The only (fair) s Miss Essex


Prospective Miss Essex’s raises a toast at TopGolf

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Hay, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for every Essex girl. Chigwell is the spiritual home of the Essex Girl, so we have the ideal venue. We’ve had a large number of applications already, and all Miss Essex hopefuls should

apply as soon as possible. “TopGolf Chigwell is an established and much-loved venue in the heart of Essex and we truly believe we can offer something unique, while keeping to the traditions of this great beauty pageant.”

Golfers at two Leaderboardowned clubs came out in force last month to support charity tournaments for Children in Need. Members and guests at Chart Hills and The Oxfordshire rallied behind the well-known BBC-backed children’s charity, and helped raise over £14,000 across the two venues.

Leaderboard raises funds for Children in Need A total of 22 teams took part in the day at Chart Hills, and 23 at The Oxfordshire, both of which were played in bright sunshine. The winning team at the Kent venue comprised Graham Hutson, Bill Hutson,

Applications for Miss Essex 2012 close on January 27, so any Essex ladies, whether they know one of end of a putter from the other, can enter by visiting www. or calling 020 8500 2644.

Danny Cheeseman and Paul Garry, all of whom won a golf bag and a four-ball voucher for The Oxfordshire. The winning team at the latter was Richard Williamson, Paul Woodbine, Robert Williams and Chris Milner, who each won an Oxfordshire holdall and a four-ball voucher for Chart Hills, Dale Hill, Sandford Springs and Studley Wood. The best individual score of the day was Gary Pickford’s 43 points, which earned him a pass for up to five people to Badminton Horse Trails courtesy of Humphris Oxford Ltd-Mitsubishi.

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o maintain winning run Tour and finished second to Leanne Pace on the money list, but this season has proved a much tougher proposition, with a bestplaced finish of seventh in the New Zealand Open from 16 starts. She currently ranks 41st on the money list, with just €50,000 in prize money to show for her year’s work. Despite her advancing years, Davies remains adamant that age is irrelevant when it comes to winning golf tournaments. “If you’re good enough,

you’re good enough. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 years ago or 20 years from now,” she said during the lead up to last month’s Sanya Ladies Open in China, where she finished 50th. “Everyone always goes on about age in professional golf. Tom Watson nearly won the Open Championship at 60, so I’ve got 11 years on that. If you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” Davies, who was part of Europe’s Solheim Cup-winning team in October, added:

“What’s to slow down for? I’m still good enough. I just play where I like the golf courses. If I play a tournament one year and don’t like the course, I don’t go back. This year I’ve played well from tee to green, but I’ve just not holed any putts. My scoring could have been very different this year if I’d have got something going with the putter.” Davies’s last attempt to win came at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, which was under way as Golf News went to press.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

News in Brief

Crowborough cuts membership costs

a Noble appointment The RAC Club’s John Noble has been appointed the new head coach for Boys’ golf in Surrey. An AA PGA Level 3 teaching professional, Noble will have responsibility for coaching all junior teams, from the Surrey Futures to the Elite Squads at U14, U16 and U18 levels. He is taking over the job from Hugh Marr, who has recently been appointed head coach for England Boys.

Herts claim senior title Hertfordshire Seniors won the Daily Telegraph South East League play-off final for the first time by beating Sussex 6-4 at The Dyke Golf Club in Brighton. The team then went on to finish third in the Southern Senior Foursomes at North Weald, where they were beaten 3-2 by eventual winners Gloucestershire in the semi-final.

With many club golfers starting to feel the economic pinch, golf clubs up and down the country are attempting to soften the blow of membership fees by introducing new categories and, in some cases, even reducing subscriptions across the board. One such club is Crowborough Beacon in East Sussex, which, although enjoying a healthy membership, recently announced a reduction in its subscription fees across all categories for 2012. At an extraordinary general meeting held at the club in November, an overwhelming number of members voted to reduce subscriptions for next year by nearly 60 per cent for some categories, and by over five per cent for the majority. The club says that it has been able to lower its fees following a successful membership drive in 2011, which has seen over 130 new members join the club over the last 12 months, and an increase in income from other sources by over 35 per cent. The members who will benefit from the 60% reduction are those who joined the flexible limited membership category, which was launched by the club in May. For £495 a year, these members will continue to enjoy membership of at a cost that matches the fewer rounds they play in comparison with a full member. The annual subscription for full members is being reduced to £1,125 from January 1, down from last year’s £1,188. Alongside the new flexible category, the club recently revised its County scheme, which now gives full membership privileges to golfers living 15 miles or more from the club for just £599.

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Basingstoke Golf Club members have paved the way for more than 1,000 new homes to be built on the site after agreeing to sell their land. More than 75 per cent of the club’s 700 members have agreed to sell the club site, which is off the A30 – a move that will allow developers to put in a bid for the land. The 43 hectares has been included in the borough’s draft core strategy – a document that outlines which greenfield sites the local council will promote for development between now and 2026. Of the 9,500 homes proposed to be built in that time, more than 3,000 are planned for greenfield sites – and 1,050 of those have been earmarked for Basingstoke Golf Club. Had members decided against selling, it would have caused a major headache for the borough’s planning chiefs, who would have had to come up with new sites to take those homes. The vote took place on November 28, when 77 per cent of members backed the sell-off. John Hiscock, general manager at Basingstoke Golf Club, said a new club would need to be provided for members as part of any

Basingstoke Golf Club is set to have 1,000 homes built on it

Basingstoke me vote to sell off deal, and that members could also make a financial gain on top. He said: “I can confirm we had a meeting of the members and they have voted in favour of going to the council and saying they have agreed for it to be included in the development plan. We do not know if

it will be included, and probably won’t know until 2012. The golf club has been in existence since 1907 and it’s been on this site since 1928 – so it’s been around a long time. We will now wait and see what happens.” Councillor Rob Golding, Cabinet member for planning, infrastructure and

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Ford races to Hankley win

members course transport, said: “It is very important that we have a approved planning blueprint for how the borough will develop in the future. As land at Basingstoke Golf Course has been earmarked as a possible site for 1,050 new homes, the vote by members represents a significant step forward in that process.”

Over at Hankley Common Ford earned £500 for his birdie-packed round, and was delighted to be back on top again with the European Tour School Qualifying coming up in a couple of weeks’ time. “It was my first outing at Hankley and after opening with a bogey by driving into the heather up the left, I was really pleased to make a good score today,” he said. “A thirty foot birdie putt on the 12th got me going again, and having made the par five 13th with a driver and a seven iron, I made another birdie to go to fourunder-par. Although I missed good birdie opportunities at the next two holes from around 10 feet, a 25 footer went in on the 17th to get me to fiveunder. I missed the fairway up the last, but got down in two from 100 yards to card a good score at what I thought was a super course in great nick.”

/ 09

Windlesham drives pro shop deal with Porsche

Windlesham Golf Club in Surrey has formed a partnership with Porsche Design, a leading luxury brand in high-end men’s accessories.The deal will see the club become the first in England to stock Porsche Design sportswear and accessories via its pro shop. Elsewhere, the products are sold in Porsche Design stores, shop-in-shops, department stores, and luxury retail outlets. Peter Lumley, managing director at Windlesham Golf Club, explained: “The club already boasts one of the most successful golf club retail businesses in the south east of England. That being

said, we are forever striving to ensure that we’re offering all our members the highest quality of products to match the level of experience that we provide on the course and in the clubhouse. “The Porsche Design brand is not only a global brand, but is one that is synonymous with true quality and we’re delighted to have been recognised by the company as an outlet that is committed to the same level of excellence as to complement its products.” The licensing agreement comes hot on the heels of

the club’s announcement that it has also signed a partnership with Monte Rei Golf Club in Portugal’s Algarve, which will allow Windlesham’s members to play the stunning Jack Nicklaus-designed championship course at a reduced visitors’ rate. This comes on top of similar discounts available at clubs in the UK, including Wentworth and The Wisley. The club is currently about to embark on the third year of a 10-year development plan defined for the golf course by worldrenowned course architects Hawtree Ltd. In addition to a new fleet of greenkeeping equipment, buggies and fairway irrigation, many of the course’s bunkers are going to be renovated, work on which is to begin this winter.

News in Brief Monty rallies troops in Afghanistan Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie called upon all his renowned motivational and diplomatic skills when he dropped in to give British troops a morale boost during a whistle stop tour of Afghanistan. The 48-year-old eight-time Order of Merit winner was joined by past and present PGA Captains Parnell Reilly and Eddie Bullock for the three-day trip, which was designed to show support for soldiers helping establish a new future for the war-ravaged country.

Alliss in the Hall of Fame BBC golf commentator Peter Alliss has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May next year. The 80-year-old, who won 23 tournaments and played in every Ryder Cup between 1953 to 1969 during his 20-year professional career, is to be honoured in the Lifetime Achievement category.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

The Hammers may be playing in football’s second tier this season, but Hornchurch-born Robert Coles has already booked his place in golf’s premier league for 2012, thanks to a solid campaign in 2011, which has seen him gain a solid middle ranking in golf’s answer to the league tables. As a miserable spring that would ultimately lead to relegation unfolded for West Ham, Coles enjoyed contrasting fortunes to his club. Indeed, back in February, the 38-yearold secured the best European Tour finish of his career to date when he was second in the Avantha Masters in India. And, along with that strong performance, came a runners-up cheque of €200,000, which erased any worries about retaining his card – something Coles hasn’t always found so easy during his 15 years as a pro. But the amiable Essex man still harbours a lingering regret that he wasn’t able to go one better in New Delhi. Going into the final round in the unaccustomed position of overnight leader, he was still very much in contention playing the closing par-five. A birdie would win it, while a par would take him into a play-off, with tournament host Shiv Chowrasia. Unfortunately, a three-putt from 30 feet gave him neither of those desired outcomes. “I ran the first putt eight feet by. I was trying to hole it, but was a bit too aggressive,” he says, ruefully. “It was a lack of experience. Losing is losing – you don’t like to, no matter how you do it. But to do that was tough to take. You just have to move on, don’t you? In that

Like his beloved West Ham, there is a chance that Essex tour pro Robert Coles is set for the Premier League of the European Tour after his best ever season

Forever scoring birdies Words by Tony Rushmer

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 11

moment, it was just a rush of blood, but hopefully next time I’ll be ready for it. I’ve just got to give myself more chances to do it, and then hopefully it will come.” For Coles, the overall performance provided confirmation, if he needed any, that he is capable of winning on the European Tour, even though he has gone more than 300 starts without breaking his duck. He feels his all-round game is as good as it’s ever been, and that display in India backs

Coles is looking forward to building on his good form in 2012

As long as I’m improving and I can compete, I certainly hope that I’m going to get better, otherwise it would be a tough road ahead.” up his belief. But ask Coles about his improved form that week and it turns out that there is no big mystery to it. “It’s a bit of a boring answer, but I just played well, really,” he recalls. “I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, and gave myself a lot of chances. It was nice to know that when I do play well for four days that I can have a chance. I really should have won and it hurts to lose because it was there to win. I just didn’t see it through. The positives outweigh the negatives, without a doubt, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t hurt me, because it still hurts.” Coles first owned a European Tour card as long ago as 1996, and just held onto it for a couple or seasons.

But for a decade or so from the end of 1998, his career rather resembled not West Ham, but West Brom, who have yo-yoed between the Championship and the Premier League. Several times Coles fell off golf’s elite circuit, before bouncing back via the Qualifying School or the Challenge Tour, where

he has notched up three victories. Two of those triumphs came in 2009 to regain his playing rights among the sport’s big guns, and last year he finished inside the all-important top 115 with a bit to spare. With further progress this year – his end of season ranking was 70th – courtesy of top 10

finishes at the BMW International and the Scottish Open – Coles is entitled to feel his best golf is yet to come. “I’ve had a couple of spells of three straight years on the Tour and then fallen away,” he says. “I think I am a better player now, so I’m hoping that’s a thing of the past and that I can put a more consistent few years together. I think it’s all improved. I’m a better driver of the ball, I hit more greens and give myself more chances. My short game has always been fairly tidy. So I just feel more confident. As long as I’m improving and I can compete, I certainly hope that I’m going to get better, otherwise it would be a tough road ahead.” Coles, definitely a glass half-full man, is reaping the benefits of longterm associations with Hertfordshirebased swing coach Matt Belsham and Phil Kenyon, who assists with his putting. “They’ve both helped me and I’m a better player than I was five years ago, so I’m pleased with that,” sums up Coles, who has had the benefit of Scotsman Gary Marshall on the bag this season. Coles has certainly shown plenty of resolve and character throughout his time as a tournament pro. Indeed, West Ham could do a lot worse than take a tip or two from him on the subject of ‘bouncebackability’. “You never know, they might stabilise in the next year,” says Coles, whose natural optimism is never far away. “In a way, I’m looking forward to the Championship. I think we’ve got to get back to a winning mentality. The fans have had enough of losing games and struggling. It would be nice to see us win a few games – hopefully!”

You don’t have to pay a king’s ransom... be treated like royalty Winter society packages are available until the end of April from £25 per person. Special offers on society packages from May start from £30 per person. All packages can be tailored to meet any requirements. Our exclusive Golf News winter four ball green fee offer of £80, to include a bacon roll on arrival, is available until the end of March. Please quote Golf News when booking. Contact us now for full details of all society, green fee and membership offers

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12 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Fenwick fans the flames for future tour stars

great golf, great value...this winter

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Broome Park Golf Club

“Merr y Christmas and a H New appy from Year Broome Park Golf Club”

There’s an old saying that goes something along the lines of ‘those that can, do; and those that can’t, teach’. It’s a rather unfair assessment of the teaching profession in general, and certainly not an idiom that applies to 33-year-old PGA Professional Ryan Fenwick, who’s golfing CV proves that he’s rather good at both. Fenwick, who is based at Slinfold Golf & Country Club, near Horsham in West Sussex, is living proof that top flight golfers can also become excellent coaches, not something that always rings true in a profession where passing on skills is not quite so straightforward as it is in other sports or career paths. Fenwick came through the same England Boys’ team that produced players of the calibre of Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Justin Rose and Simon Dyson, although he readily admits that he never quite made it to their dizzy heights. Turning professional in 2000, he enjoyed a five-year career on the European Challenge Tour, and the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, competing in 16 different countries and winning in Johannesburg in 2005. On the domestic front, Ryan won the Sussex Open in 2006, and again just four months ago, and he is currently the holder of no fewer than five course records. But it is the ability to pass on his talent, knowledge

of swing mechanics, and the psychological understanding of what it takes to compete at the highest levels, that motivates him these days. Now a fully qualified PGA professional, Fenwick is the head teaching professional at Slinfold, a bustling country club that boasts 3,000 members; and the lead coach for Sussex County golf; as well as being the current England regional and ASSE coach. In between his various team commitments, Fenwick has also taken a growing number of county players, England internationals, and aspiring young professionals on the developmental tours, under his expert wing. He has been working with rising Ladies European Tour player Hannah Ralph for the past year. “My coaching career has

Fenwick enjpys bringing on talented youngsters

really taken off in the last few years,” said Ryan, who is always on the look out for new talent to bring on. “I coach all of the Sussex junior squads and England regional squads, so my playing career has taken a back seat. I’ve a real passion for helping out good young players. I still enjoying competing, and I think it is important to play so that I can understand what my pupils and players are going through.” He added: “Although I spend the majority of my time working with elite players, I am still very active in coaching club members and amateur handicappers who wish to reach their golfing goals, whatever they may be. I offer several different coaching programmes,
starting with total beginners and juniors to corporate clients and tour-level players. I specialise in long-term player development, and build tailor-made golf fitness and psychological programmes to suit each individual golfer.” Ryan finds that intensive coaching breaks are an

extremely effective way of making rapid improvement for all levels of player, and he regularly runs weeklong tuition breaks in Spain, Turkey and also in the UK – although as a keen traveler, he prefers the warmer climates. He also runs a popular one-day programme at Slinfold, which is ideal for those who want to focus on a particular part of their game or iron out a swing fault. “You never stop learning in this game, either as a player or a coach,” said Ryan. “I am fully committed to developing my own skills as a coach, and regularly travel around the world attending seminars and consulting with many of the game’s best coaches. There are no short cuts to becoming a better player, so my advice to anyone who wants to get more enjoyment from their game is to come and have a lesson, and see where it takes them.” If you’d like to find out what Ryan Fenwick can do to take your game to the next level, email him at ryanfenwickgolf@gmail. com or call 07795 564345.

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A PGA professional from Hertfordshire has revealed the sacrifices he has made to play his part in establishing the UK’s first and only chemical-free golf course – which has just been recognised with a prestigious Green Apple award. Brian Mudge, co-owner of New Malton Golf Club in Royston, has spent the last two years living in a caravan, spending six days a week away from his wife and two teenage children, while mortgaging the family home to invest in the club with his business partner Paul Stevenson. Aside from the personal and financial sacrifices, he has also been forced to reduce his coaching commitments, as he juggles a multitude of roles including

New Malton owner lives the green dream receptionist, barman, cleaner and club secretary. But the 54-year-old former Midland PGA captain is seeing the fruits of his efforts reap rewards by winning a Green Apple award in recognition of his ‘organic’ golf course. Mudge attended a special event at the Houses of Parliament in November to pick up the accolade, which is awarded by environmental group The Green Organisation. Set amongst 230 acres of gently undulating countryside, yet only eight miles from Cambridge, New

Malton’s 18-hole course slopes down towards and beyond the picturesque River Cam. The course was originally designed in consultation with Bruce Critchley, the Sky Sports commentator and former Walker Cup Player, and opened in 1994.

The club’s environmentallyfriendly approach, while saving them thousands of pounds each year, has created a great deal of interest in the golf course world, while locally their initiative has seen an increase in membership. Mudge said: “I want to prove to the world of golf that you can encourage wildlife and reduce chemical use, but still have a great course which makes a profit. We have created a model and shown it can work. It’s attracted a lot of interest locally, nationally, and now it’s spreading overseas.”

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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Southern stars saluted The PGA South’s annual awards dinner at Wentworth saw a number of the region’s leading professionals recognised for their role in developing the game. Gary Bason from Manston Golf Centre was awarded the PGA South Region Coach of the Year, while Walmer & Kingsdown’s Richard Wallis once again topped the Order of Merit to win Player of the Year. Milford’s David Calloway was awarded the title of Assistant of the Year; Worplesdon’s Jim Christine (right) was named Professional of the Year, and Johnathan Callister, PGA pro and chief executive of Pentland Golf, received the Charity Fundraiser of the Year award. Bason has been instrumental in developing the Kent County Golf Partnership with highlights this year including bringing golf to nearly 900 young people. In addition close to 4,000 adults have also been introduced to the sport through his work at Golf Live and the establishment of adult participation centres. He also played a pivotal role in the new look R&A Swing Zone at the Open Championship where he recruited young ambassadors for an Open Legacy Project. Wallis secured his award on the back of a phenomenally

c o m p e titi o n


A SET OF CALLAWAY FORGED WEDGES! Johnathan Callister has raised £20,000 for charity

successful year in which he won three of the first four Order of Merit events. His consistent displays saw him average 69.30 over 48 events, with 33 of them rounds in the 60s. Calloway, in his third year on the PGA training programme, achieved a merit in his exams while also winning three county pro-ams, two regional pro-ams and finishing ninth in the region Order of Merit. He

also lifted the SkyCaddie PGA South Region Assistants and Trainees Championship and assistants Order of Merit. Worplesdon’s Christine earned his honour following a wide-ranging career where has been a respected coach, served on the PGA board for two decades, and is a respected PGA tutor mentoring hundreds of young assistants. Finally Calllister picked up the fundraiser award for generating nearly £20,000 in a year for Demelza House - a charity based in the South East that provides care to families and children with life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately he was not able to receive the award in person, as he was climbing the 5,985-metre Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Fifty years at the top of his game where he received a scroll in recognition of all his work in promoting the game. Born and raised in St Andrews, Bonthron has been teaching for over 50 years. Turning professional at 18 years old, he represented Scotland & England, and until recently played on the Senior Tour. He has competed in Suzannah Chapman, David Bonthron and John Chapman major European competitions and even led the Open work in improving the facilities David Bonthron, the Head PGA Championship for a short while and encouraging new and Professional at Stonelees Golf on one occasion. young golfers into the sport. He Centre in Kent, can be forgiven Stoneless’s general manager, was also noted for being very for glowing with pride after being Suzannah Chapman, said: “We approachable and always having given not one, but two major are all very proud of David, time for questions from golfers. industry awards in recognition and are very pleased that In July this year, he was also of his service to the game. his unwavering loyalty and rewarded for 50 years service Bonthron was given the commitment to Stonelees Golf to the Professional Golfers Long Service Award at last Centre, as well as golf in general, Association, and was invited month’s Thanet Sports Awards has been properly recognised.” to Birmingham University, in recognition of his tireless TGC_GSC_GolfNews80x260_GolfNewsLandscapeAd.qxd 06/12/2011 14:13 Page 1

Golf News has teamed up with Callaway Golf to offer one lucky reader the chance to out some zip back into their short game with a brand new set of the company’s fantastic-looking and performing Forged Wedges. With lofts comprising 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 64 degrees, and a choice of chrome or copper finishes, the winner can choose their favourite three wedges to create their ideal combination of scoring clubs. The new Forged Wedges, which are the brainchild of Callaway’s Chief Designer Roger Cleveland, offer golfers all the control, spin and feel they could ever want to attack the pin, with new finish options that exude confidence with a striking look. KEY PERFORMANCE FEATURES Tour CC Grooves – 21 tightly spaced, conforming grooves with sharper edges for ideal trajectory and distance control; Maximum conforming groove capacity ensures moisture is swept away, ensuring more edges come in contact with the ball to maximise friction and increase spin. Tour-inspired shape – Forged from 1020 carbon steel for soft feel; very traditional styling, with a higher toe and straighter leading edge for a square look at address. Blended C-Grind – A softer, more gradual ‘C’ shape provides versatility for pinpoint shotmaking by relieving the heel and reducing the width of the sole; enables golfers to lay the face open while effectively reducing the bounce angle, allowing for proper contact and maximum spin and control. Finish Options – Dark chrome produces a smoky, muted look that helps reduce

glare; Copper finish is designed to oxidize over time for a distinctive look. Bounce Optimisation – Each wedge loft has been paired with the ideal bounce to provide optimal turf interaction and versatility for creative shot-making. TO ENTER: To be in with a chance of winning these stunning wedges, Simply answer the question below correctly, and email it to with ‘Callaway Wedge Competition’ in the subject line, including your name, address and telephone number. The closing date for entries is January 31st, 2012. Question: How many grooves do the new Callaway Forged Wedges have on the face? a) 18 b) 20 c) 21

For more information visit DATA PROTECTION: Your email address may be used to keep you informed about Golfnews and’s future products and services. If you do not wish to receive such information please say so when replying to this competition. Blue Green Media, publisher of Golfnews, respects your privacy and will not share your personal data with any third parties without your prior permission.


Is your society good enough to go all the way to the finals, or even, be the first to have it’s name engraved on the Society Championship Cup? The new Golf Society Championship will be played at Tenterden Golf Club, where the course is challenging, but great fun. There are lots of prizes to be won – but you can’t win if you don’t enter! Get your Entry Forms to us by 1st March 2012.




16 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Centurions to the Five golf clubs in the South East are looking forward to celebrating centenaries in 2012. They are Bedford & County, Bedfordshire; Cooden Beach, East Sussex; Hainault Forest, Essex; Woodcote Park, Surrey, and St George’s Hill, Surrey.

Woodcote Park will be hosting the Surrey Open as part of its centenary celebrations

The members at St George’s Hill have some grand plans in the pipeline to mark the club’s 100 years, including a men’s ball to be held at Middle Temple Hall in London on March 15. The club’s official centenary begins next November, so a Centenary Ball is to be held at The Savoy in September 2013. Woodcote Park, near Croydon, has been selected to host the Surrey Championship in June, and will be staging a number of special centenary events through the year. It will also be hosting a Jamega Tour event in 2012, following a successful staging in September this year, which saw Tyrell Hatton secure his

first professional victory. Cooden Beach is hosting over 20 centenary events throughout the year, but the highlight will be a week-long series of team and singles competitions in all formats of the game, taking place from July 9-13. The week ends with a prize presentation, Jeremy Dale trick shot show and a barbeque. The final event will be a hickory golf tournament on August 25. The club has also been selected to host the Sussex Ladies Amateur Championships at the end of April and the Sussex Men’s Amateur Championships in June. Bedford and County’s celebrations get under way

the ridge WINTER SOCIETY PACKAGEs 1st November 2011 - 31st March 2012

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in April, with an opening ceremony, followed by a centenary dinner held in Bedford on May 18, which is being attended by the captain of the R&A, the captain of the PGA, and the President of the English Golf Union. The club’s Centenary Golf Festival is being held

Cowper and

golf club

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Disabled open future secured The future of the Disabled British Open has been secured following the announcement that Tourism South East has set up a company to run, manage and grow both the Disabled British Open and the Junior Disabled British Open. The new body, Remarkable Events, will take over from Accentuate – a Legacy Trust-funded body – that has looked after golf’s largest pan-disability tournament since its inception and inaugural outing in 2009. The new company is a joint venture between Tourism South East, the creator of the Disabled British Open, and public relations company Azalea, and will drive the tournaments forward in the years beyond 2012. The event, which has been held at East Sussex National Resort for the past two years, offers opportunities to showcase the talents of deaf and disabled people, and has been televised on Sky Sports. Esther Fox, programme director of Accentuate, said: “The Disabled British Open raises the profile of disabled people at international level by promoting talent and professionalism. Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust and we hope to create a lasting legacy from the 2012 Games, therefore we are delighted to hear that there is a future for this fantastic event and we will certainly do all we can to support it.”

The American Golf Holiday’s ProAm Tour moved to the sunny Palm Springs Desert Resorts for the 18th staging of the popular California Classic Pro-Am. The event featured play on six stunning desert courses, including former PGA Tour venues and the exclusive Stone Eagle Golf Club in Palm Desert. Once again the event attracted a strong field, and it was the South Region duo of Craig Cowper and Andy Raitt who duelled under the California sunshine for the major prizes. In the professional individual event, Cowper just managed to hold on for victory by one shot, after Raitt charged back into contention following a

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

e fore!

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Goodwood Grill offers best golfers’ grub If you’re looking to chow down on some awardwinning tucker after your next round of golf, then you should head to the Bar & Grill at Goodwood Golf Club. The informal restaurant at the Sussex-based club has recently been presented with the award for the golf venue that ‘serves and presents the tastiest food’. The industry gong was handed out at the Excellence in Golf Awards ceremony, which was attended by Britain’s leading golf resorts and golf hotel groups. The accolade was awarded by 59club, the independent golf analysis business that measures service at most of the leading golf venues in the country. The venues within the 59club scheme receive mystery calls and visits six times a year

throughout the season, ensuring that minimum standards are maintained across the entire year. Visitors to Goodwood’s Bar & Grill, which is located just behind the 18th green on the club’s pay-and-play Park Course, can enjoy such postround treats as rib eye steak with hand cut chips and béarnaise sauce, or indulge in a homemade Goodwood Estate Burger, loaded with cheese, bacon, and onion rings and chips on the side, and washed down with a ale or lager, both of which are brewed on the estate. For those seeking less protein, a prawn and crayfish salad or a mushroom risotto with rocket and Parmesan also look likely to hit the spot. And don’t forget to leave space for the legendary sticky toffee pudding or an Eton Mess.

Top tucker: Goodwood’s stylish Bar & Grill

  

  

  


 

  

  

   

    

We can now offer your society our new private Fairways Dining Room   To make an enquiry or book your day call:

over a two-week period, with events for all members beginning with Ladies’ Captain weekend on June 23 and concluding with Captain’s Day on July 8. The club has also been chosen to host both the men’s and ladies’ Bedfordshire County Championships during 2012.

or We can now01273 offer 857296 your society our new private Fairways Dining Room Dyke Golf Club, Devil’s Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 8YJ To make enquiry or book your day call:

01273 857296 or Dyke Golf Club, Devil’s Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 8YJ

nd Raitt duel in California sun

Pro-Am winners Graham Jasper, Andy Raitt, Gary Cheater and Dave Roberts

Craig Cowper (left) with John Hooper

slow start at the Classic Club. European Senior Tour player Claude Grenier was third, and Moor Hall’s Cameron Clark finished fourth. In the team event, Raitt exacted revenge by leading his team of Graham Jasper,

Dave Roberts and Gary Cheater to victory by three shots over Cowper’s team. Robert McGuirk’s team were third and Jason Neve’s team finished fourth. The next two events on The Pro-Am Tour are the 12th Annual Scottsdale Classic Pro-Am and the 15th Annual Las Vegas Classic Pro-Am, both in February. The Pro-Am Tour continues in Dubai in March, and then concludes with Pinehurst and Sawgrass in May. PGA Professionals are welcome to enter a team and qualify for a free Pro-Am land package and guaranteed prize money. For more information visit

Duke joins Doug’s birthday bash! The red carpet was rolled out at Kingswood Golf Club in Surrey last month when HRH The Duke of York added his royal seal of approval to the a charity golf day. The Duke, a keen golfer with a single figure handicap, took part in Doug McClelland’s Birthday Challenge at the Surrey venue, an annual event hosted by the owner of the eponymous golfing superstore at Silvermere Golf Complex. The chosen charity for the day was the On Course Foundation, of which Prince Andrew is the patron. The aim of the foundation is to offer employment opportunities within the golf industry for members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured. A total of 124 players took part in the Birthday Challenge, and after a post-match auction and raffle, over £36,000 was raised for the charity. Kingswood’s club secretary Mark Stewart was thrilled with the day and the generosity of the members and guests. “It was an incredible day, and with the presence of His Royal Highness there was a real buzz around the club.,” he said. “The golf course was in superb condition, with the greens rolling over 11 on the stimpmeter, which unfortunately proved a little too quick for some players, including myself! The money raised for such a fantastic charity has been awe-inspiring. Overall it was a proud day to be connected to Kingswood Golf Club.

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18 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Kent enjoys £77m Open

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The staging of this year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s Golf Club is claimed to have delivered a £77 million boost to the local economy, but issues over the road network in East Kent continue to dog the organisers and local planners. Independent research conducted for the R&A indicates that the direct economic impact of the tournament was worth £25 million to local businesses, while television and media coverage and tourism marketing campaigns contributed a further £50 million to the financial legacy. Commenting on the findings, R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson said: “We found a worthy winner in Darren Clarke at Royal St George’s and we are delighted that the Championship also delivered a significant economic impact to the local community. In one week, the economic benefit for Kent exceeded £24 million, and the tourism legacy benefit of almost 300 hours of scenic images of the Kent countryside, viewed globally on television, will pay back in the county for years to come.” Welcoming The Open’s

Grandstand finish: 180,000 fans attended The Open this summer

economic benefit to the local economy, Dover District Council Leader, councillor Paul Watkins said: “The Open was the largest major global sports event that Kent has hosted in recent years. Not only did it lead to a golf legacy project involving many hundreds of people in the county trying golf for the first time, but it boosted the profile of the area nationally and internationally, which should help in our efforts to secure inward investment, tourism and jobs for East Kent. The Open is clearly beneficial to both local people and businesses in Kent and we trust it will not be too long before golf’s oldest major makes a return visit.” While the financial picture

was rosy, officials from The R&A and local authority representatives met in Dover last month to discuss continuing concerns over the impact of the championship on the transport infrastructure, with thousands of golf fans reporting long delays getting in and out of the tournament venue. A total of 180,000 people attended the week-long championship, which also included three practice days, with a reported 37,000 fans travelling on the new high speed rail link from London. However, the vast majority travelled by car and coach, and many were faced with hours of delays on congested routes into the area, which

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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was further hampered by on-going road works. Visitors were also kept waiting for long periods at the various park-and-ride venues. Business owners in Sandwich also complained that the one-way system that was put in place virtually cut off golf fans from visiting the town at certain times, with access to many areas restricted to local residents. The R&A and the Highways Agency have promised a complete revue of the travel routing for future Opens at St George’s, although with the tournament not expected to return until 2019 at the earliest, it has plenty of time to come up with a workable solution.

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Motty goes spotty for Children in Need! Generous golfers at Redbourn Golf Club in Hertfordshire swung into action last month to raise more than £1,400 for Children in Need with a little help from legendary BBC football commentator John Motson. The 66-year-old veteran broadcoaster was guest of honour for a charity raffle which brought a close to a day of events held at the club, including a golf competition where prizes were also handed out for the best spotted outfit, the theme for this year’s Children in Need. Twenty-two teams competed over Redbourn’s Ver Course, with Mike Benson and Rob Flanagan claiming the top prize with a haul of 46 Stableford points, thanks largely to a stunning eagle on the 619-yard par five 18th. With points counting double on the final hole, and their handicap giving them an extra shot, the duo walked off with 10 points to seal the victory. The special prize for best-dressed golfers went to Lesley Cassidy, Ang O’Connor and Jen Smith for their outfits. Once the golf was completed John Motson presented raffle prizes including golf lessons, golf vouchers, gym memberships and a signed copy of his own autobiography.

Ann Stowe, Ben Stowe, Lady Captain Maggie Melville and Lee Martindale get into the spirit of things at Redbourn’s Children in Need day.

Sussex star down to scratch at 13 Teen talent Marco Penge has reached his target of getting his handicap down to scratch following a stunning season at both club and national level. The youngster from Horsham in West Sussex began the year playing off three, but through hard work and determination saw that drop to the magic mark of 0.0 by October, aged just 13 years and five months. Marco had an added incentive of reaching his target, as his coach, Alex Saary, had offered the carrot of giving him free coaching for the 2012 season if he managed get down to scratch by the end of the year – a feat that he achieved with fully two months to spare. Marco’s home club is the ultra-challenging Worthing, although he also plays for the scratch team at The Dyke in nearby Brighton & Hove.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

After becoming the first golfer to win money lists on the PGA Tour and European T same season, World No.1 Luke Donald reflects on his record-breaking year in the im aftermath of his third-placed finish in the Dubai World Championship

Looking out for No.1 You’re US No.1, European No.1, World No.1. It’s downhill all the way from now on, isn’t it? Probably – and thanks for reminding me! Could you take us through your immediate thoughts at the end of what must have been an emotional year? It’s hard to adequately put into words how I feel. It was very strange out there today, because I looked at the leaderboard on the 13th hole, and I couldn’t see Rory’s name on there, and the leaders were playing well, so at that point I knew that I had made history, and the last six holes were kind of surreal. The pressure went away and I was able to just enjoy myself, have a few smiles, and enjoy the walk. I guess that’s what it’s all about. And you came pretty close to actually winning the tournament. Winning the tournament would have been an extra bonus, but I got what I came for, and that was to win The Race to Dubai, do the double and create history. Hats off to Alvaro [Quiros].  He played well down the stretch, and making an eagle on the last is a pretty spectacular way to finish the

event. I was pretty pleased with my three birdies, too. At what point in the season did you think the double was possibly on? It wasn’t something I thought about at the beginning of the year, because no-one had ever accomplished it. I think Ernie Els got close one year, but it was just a thought in my mind that it would be a pretty cool achievement to pull off. It’s not easy traveling around and spreading yourself thin. I suppose when I won the World Match Play in February, which counts on both Tours, it started to make me think about it a little bit more. You need to play well in the right events, and I’ve done that for the most part. Lee Westwood said that it’s easier now than it’s ever been to do the double because of more co‑sanctioned events. What’s your take on that? I’m not exactly sure what Lee was trying to say there or mean, but for the last ten or so years we’ve had four majors and three World Golf Championship events, and they are the only seven events that have counted on both tours. Playing well in those events certainly helps, but it’s not something that has changed overnight.

How useful will doing what you did here be to you going forward trying to get that major? I think it’s invaluable. Success breeds success, and being able to feed off instances like this week, like Disney, like the BMW, any time you’re doing well, you’re able to feed off that and know that when the pressure is at the most, you’re able to come up with the shots. I obviously did that. Obviously, what’s missing from my CV right now is a major. I feel like this year, I’ve done everything but win a major, and I’m excited about 2012. I’m excited to bring these memories and these experiences to the Majors, and hopefully that will help me get me in contention and give myself a chance to get my first one. Do you think you can improve as a player next year, and if so, how? Well, there’s always ways to improve.  I think that’s the beauty of our sport, and life. You can always find ways to better yourself as a person and a player, and I’ll continue to try and do that. I made pretty big leaps this year with my driving. My statistics in terms of hitting fairways and hitting greens were a lot better this year, but they certainly weren’t the best, so I can improve on

Daddy’s girl: Donald’s growing family has provided a new sense of balance to his life

that. I can improve on any number of other statistics. I look very closely at the numbers, and try and figure out where there are areas that I can improve, and I’ll be working on that in the off‑season. You look like you’re better able to cope with the pressure these days – that you’re more comfortable in the spotlight. Can you explain how that is for you? There were times where I felt very comfortable under pressure and

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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Tour in the mmediate

World beaters: Rory McIlroy pushed Donald all the way in the Race to Dubai

putting has proven in statistics, that if you can do it, then you’re going to have a decent year, no matter what. I think people are taking notice of what I’ve done and how I’ve done it, and some people will maybe change the way they approach their practice.

“You can always find ways to better yourself as a person and a player, and I’ll continue to try and do that” Would you mind sharing with us what your brother Christian said to you as you came out of the scorer’s hut? He just said: “Well done, it would have made Dad really proud. Well done for doing it for Dad.” 

and do what I needed to do. You learn a lot about yourself in these situations, and it’s nice to know that despite feeling nervous, I was able to hit good shots. What added pressure has being World No.1 heaped on you? Just being No.1 brings expectation from everyone. It also brings expectation from myself. But I think I’ve been able to deal with it pretty well. This has been a great year, but I feel like there’s ways to improve, and obviously one of those ways is to be a bit more consistent in the majors and give myself more opportunities and hopefully pick up a win. I think I’ve proven quite a few times that under pretty extreme pressure, I’ve been able to deal with it. Hopefully that will be the case in Majors, as well.

there were times where I felt quite nervous. But my golf really has not changed despite the different feelings. This week, I felt very nervous and it showed in a couple tee shots perhaps. It showed that there are still improvements to be made in my swing. There are still a few flaws that creep in now and again that cause some of those errant tee shots. I didn’t swing it my best this week, but I was able to shoot 16‑under par for 54 holes

Will your schedule next season be geared towards trying to repeat this accomplishment, or will there be a definite change of emphasis towards the Majors? My schedule will be very similar to this year. The only area that I felt like I maybe didn’t manage my season quite so well was around the US Open. I felt like I arrived there feeling a little bit drained. I felt like I had played a bit too much leading up to that. I was also feeling a little under the weather, as well, which didn’t help. But I’ve looked at my schedule for next year, and there will be a little bit more time off before the Majors, so I can feel like I’m extremely rested and ready to go for those events. My schedule will be spread between both tours and now I’ve done it once; I’ll be looking to try and do what I did this year again next year. Which Major best suits your game and which one do you want to win most? Well, I’ve always said I’d love to win The Open Championship the most, just because I’m from there. I don’t know if that’s necessarily my favourite one to win. I actually feel the most comfortable around Augusta at the Masters. I’ve had some success there. I think the more times you play it, the

more comfortable you feel. Every other Major obviously moves around, but there, you get a little bit more of a feel for the course, because you’re there every year, and it seems to produce very good winners because of that. So I suppose if I had to pick my best chance of winning a Major, it would probably be the Masters. If you look back, can you point to one moment where things really changed for you? I suppose from a mental viewpoint, probably the birth of my first child, Elle, in February 2010. You know, becoming a father changes you, and it changed me in a very positive manner. I felt like golf had always been very important to me, but maybe it was too important before I had children. Maybe I was a little bit too concentrated on it. My dad always told me to lead a balanced life, and I think I did, but sometimes you can get a little bit too into something, and it affects you if you don’t succeed. With having a daughter, I was able to let go of some of those frustrating days at the office, and know that I had a smiling, loving, healthy family at home. I think that’s really helped me as a person and as a golfer. A few months later, I won in Madrid, and everything’s kind of kicked off from there. A few years ago the theory was that golf would be dominated by huge, muscular guys? I wonder if you think what you, and to an extent Rory, have achieved this year has redefined what it takes to dominate in golf? I’m sure there are golfers out there that have looked at my success and figured out that you don’t need to hit it a hundred miles to win golf tournaments. Obviously knocking it 350 yards off the tee, helps. It’s one of Alvaro’s [Quiros] biggest strengths, and I’m sure it helped him this week. There’s more to this game than hitting it far. I would certainly love to hit it further. I think it would make my life a little easier, but I’ve got to stick with what I have, and what my talents are. Certainly a good, proficient short game and good

How important was replacing Christian on the bag in your pursuit of becoming as good as you can be. It was a tough thing for me to do, but sometimes change is good. I think Chris and I did pretty well to last eight years given our family ties. Everyone who has brothers and sisters know that it can be tough at times. Chris has never had a jealous bone in his body, he’s always wanted the best for me, and it was a tough split. But the relationship on the course was getting a little bit stale, and it was as simple as that. It was affecting our relationship as brothers, and it was time for a change. He knew that it was the right thing to do. But it was a necessary change for me, and it’s helped. John [McLaren] has been great on the bag. We’ve had a lot of success together, and it’s been a worthwhile change.









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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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NickBayly The appearance of three very different golfers in the shortlist of 10 sportsmen – there were no women, somewhat controversially – for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards kicked off the annual discussion as to what the awards are supposed to recognise and what constitutes a personality. Regardless of the title, TSPOTYA, like The X Factor, is nothing more than a popularity contest. In the face of a lack of any meaningful statistical evidence on which to base the voting, the winner is generally the person whose story inspires people to pick up the phone. Little Mix were clearly not the best singers in the X Factor line-up (nor the best looking, nor best dressed for that matter), but their girl-next-door image, and their geographical spread, ensured that they won the vote. So how will it play out for our three golfers, each of whom has had a year to compete with the best of them? Take Luke Donald, the world’s No.1 golfer for the past six months, who just 12 months ago had been charged with creating a disease that was afflicting a generation of British golfers who were making millions, but not winning anything of note. Fast forward to today, and we have a man who has not only won four times, but who has

GNeditor reveals what has caught his eye in the golfing headlines in recent weeks

The one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Irishman

risen to the top of the game, despite not possessing the power-packed game that many believe is required to counteract the length of modern courses. With an ability to up-anddown it from anywhere, and his deadly accuracy from inside 10 feet, Donald has become the Tiger of 10 years ago – only with a visor and green trousers. And what of his potential nemesis, young firebrand Rory McIlroy? The voting public will find it hard to ignore the heart-rending tale of the boy wonder from Northern Ireland who threw away a golden opportunity to win the US Masters, and then returned

to the fray two months later and romped to victory in the US Open. It was a script made in Hollywood – one in LA, the other just outside Belfast – which had grown men wanting to proudly ruffle his curly locks and women of all ages wanting to give the lad a cuddle. It was Tin Cup, Champions, Chariots of Fire and Bagger Vance all rolled into one. But hold on, there’s one other contender to consider. A portly, occasionally red-faced, 42-year-old from Dungannon (ooh, they’ve only gone and spilt the Irish vote), who popped up from virtually nowhere to

grab The Open Championship, and the nation’s heart, with an emotionallycharged display in front of a huge audience of BBC licence fee payers. While Messrs Donald and McIlroy have been largely strutting their stuff in front on thousands on Sky Sports 17 at 2am, Darren Clarke picked his moment in the sun in front of a Sunday afternoon armchair audience of 6.1 million. And he looked up to the heavens and spoke of his late wife while accepting the Claret Jug. I’ll admit to having wiped a small tear from the corner of my eye at that moment, and it was enough to secure my vote. While Luke and Rory will carry on winning for many years to come, July 17, 2011 was all of Dazza’s birthdays and Christmases rolled into one. He won’t ever scale those heights again, but for one brief, but tangible moment, he touched a cord with every golfer who has ever played the game, and many more millions who haven’t. And for that reason alone, he deserves the BBC’s gong.

Time to hit the links For those land-locked golfers among you whose home courses aren’t as free-draining as you’d like – and even if they are – I can’t urge you strongly enough to venture to the coast this winter and sample a few of the stunning links courses to be found on our shores. We are blessed with a bounty of beautiful links along the Kent and Sussex coast, while those who are willing to venture further afield can enjoy the springy feel of the turf under their feet in Devon, Somerset, Norfolk and Lancashire, and many more places besides. A diet of one particular type of golfing experience is never a healthy one, so pack your thermals, dig out that bobble hat, fill up the thermos and/or hip flask, and head for the coast. The bounces may not always be fair, or the wind on your back, but it’ll remind you that the appeal of golf is its infinite variety, and of not knowing quite where the ball, or you, will end up.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Sky Sports’ commentator Ewen Murray is not only one of the most recognisable voice culminated in the launch of a new course design business, Golf Course Renfinements the day with the Sussex-based Scot to discuss what he’s learnt from a lifetime spent p

Murray draws his inspiration from a lifetime spent playing and watching golf at the highest level. Among his favourites are Primland in Virginia (main pictures) and the links at Castle Stuart in Scotland

One of Britain’s leading junior golfers in the early 1970s, Ewen Murray, even by his own admission, had a successful, if not quite stellar career as a professional golfer. With two wins on the co-sanctioned Safari Tour in Africa to show for his 20 years on tour, and with putting problems blighting the latter part of his career, he decided to hang up his clubs in 1990 and replace them with a microphone. The switch from playing golf for a living to talking about it was a surprisingly smooth one for Murray, now 57, and his familiar Scottish burr has been a comforting background for Sky Sports’ golf coverage for the last 20 years. Two decades of watching the world’s best players slug it out on many of the world’s best courses has not been wasted on Murray, whose passion for course design, and the subtle nuances of architecture, is only matched by his love for his wife, Nikki, their two dogs, and, of course, a glass or two of wine. While also a master technician when

it comes to the finer points of the golf swing – he has coached a number of top golfers over the years, including current Open Champion Darren Clarke – it is his deep knowledge of what it takes to make a great golf course, not just for top pros, but also for the regular club golfer, that comes across when the conversation turns to courses he has recently seen or played – although he rarely has much time for dusting off the clubs these days. His course design work, such as it is, has been limited to the design of Botley Park in Hampshire, while more recently he has worked in partnership with Essex-based architect Howard Swan on a number of course projects, including the redevelopment of several holes on the Downs Course at Goodwood in West Sussex. Murray has the great advantage of having seen a huge number of golf courses up close and personal as a result of his commentary work, and he’s not all that complimentary about some of them. “It’s true that a lot of modern golf courses are quite bland,” he says. “The

Murray’s grand designs various Tours often go to courses that are newly-built, and as a result haven’t had time to settle down. A good example – if that is not the wrong way of saying it – is München Nord-Eichenried, where the BMW Open is played. Fifteen or twenty years ago, that course was very ordinary, but over time it has been improved and the trees now frame the fairways better. Some of the great old courses in Germany were cut through pine forests, and they have that Sunningdale or Swinley Forest look to them. But the new courses have to wait before they can get that look.” It’s not just in Germany that courses need time to mature, Murray says, taking a gentle dig at The Belfry, Britain’s iconic Ryder Cup venue. “I played at the first ever tournament the European Tour held at the Belfry,” he recalls. “It was positively the worst golf course I have ever played. The trees between the ninth and fifth hole were all staked, but now there’s a big bank of trees there, and the ninth is a

very good golf hole.” Warming to his theme, Murray continues: “A lot of golf design in the last 20 years has been too similar. Even the most expensive designers often build courses that look very similar. I don’t think a lot of modern designers look very closely at what they have on the ground before they launch into it.” But good courses are still being built, he says, citing the Primland course in Virginia, built by Donald Steel and Martin Ebert, which coincidentally has just won a major award from Golf Digest. “I really think that Primland is one of the best courses I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” he says. “I also really like the venue chosen for the 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National in Paris, which was designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert von Hagge. “Von Hagge is one of my favourite designers, and his course at Les Bordes in the Loire Valley, which is currently undergoing major renovations, is just stupendous. My other favourite is Greg Norman, with his quirky creation

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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es in golf, but also a keen devotee of golf course architecture, which has s, aimed at revitalising some of the UK’s old layouts. Nick Bayly spent playing and watching golf at the highest level

at Doonbeg definitely in my top 10 courses in the world.” In keeping with his style of commentary, during which he is known for throwing the odd brickbat at players, Murray is not scared to point his arrow at a few sacred cows in terms of courses. “Augusta is a lovely place to play, but I don’t think it’s as great as people think,” he says. “It wouldn’t be in my top 10.” Moving on to his design dislikes, he is adamant on his No.1 enemy. “My pet hate is greens with lots of humps. It’s true there are humps on the links, but links greens are generally not very quick, so they can generally take it. Having said that, the greens at Kingsbarns in Scotland are way too undulating. I have never seen another links course with greens that sloping. I think it’s a phenomenal place, brilliantly laid out. But the second it gets windy, the greens become impossible.” Murray is equally vocal on the golfing authorities’ lack of response to advancements in equipment technology, which has had such a massive impact on modern course design. “I don’t think we can stop equipment development, because we were too slow noticing what it was doing,” he explains. “The authorities should have taken heed of what Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were saying a few years ago.” Rather than curtailing technological progress, he reckons, the answer must come from course changes. “The solution is quite simple – if you have bunkers at 300-340 yards that are properly placed, and angled so that a really good driver of the ball can still place his drive, then you can defend the course. But the bunkers need to be a real hazard. Nobody builds real bunkers anymore. I don’t mean ones that are so

deep no amateur can get out of them, but ones that are not so big – not these Gobi Desert bunkers that are the same level as the fairway. I hate that look, and I hate even more that we are trying to copy them everywhere else.” One course that has seen more than its fair share of bunkers moved and remodeled is the West Course at Wentworth, a venue that seems to have become the Marmite of the golfing world. Once again, Murray is quick to highlight where he thinks the changes have worked, and where they haven’t been quite so successful. “I think the first seven holes are wonderful. Yes, they have been renovated, but they are in keeping with the Harry Colt design of days gone by. The first talking point is the eighth green. It is a little too raised, and that is not in keeping with Wentworth. Nine, 10 and 11 are good, but the 12th green is arguably too small a target for such a long par four. The entrance to 15 is also too narrow, given the tough par four it is, and I don’t like the front bunker at 16, because it takes the view of the green away from the player.” In full flow now, Murray saves his best until last. “The 17th is one of England’s iconic par fives. I like the fall-off area by the right of the green, but I don’t agree with the one to the left. I would prefer the bank to be restored, so that a shot hit towards the out of bounds would roll back to the target. Doing that would bring back the chance of an eagle, which has been missing from the last two PGA Championships. “The 18th is nearly right. The green is a huge improvement from last year, but I’ve always believed that the dip at the corner should be filled in and the fairway shaped from left to right. This is a made-for par four and today’s green is designed to receive a five or a six-iron from a flat lie. “Any revamp will need the odd change here and there, but the changes needed are minor and they would make the West Course what it deserves to be – one of the world’s finest.” With all this knowledge in the bank, Murray’s decision to launch himself into the commercial world of course design is a challenge that the man himself is looking forward to immensely. “I

have a real passion for design, and believe I have the expertise to pass this on to golf clubs that are looking to enhance the playing experience for their members. I would like to be able to come into a club and undertake a complete overview of where I see that cost-effective improvements can be made – ideally by the club’s own greenkeeping team – and that can really make a difference to the enjoyment of the course. This could be anything from relocating bunkers, changing the angle of tees, shape of the fairways and approaches to greens, to enlarging putting surfaces to create a greater variety of pin positions.” Speed of play is another of Murray’s passions, and it’s an issue that relates back as much to course design, as it does to golfers’ willingness to get a shift on. “So much of slow play is down to poor course design, whether it be caused by tricked up greens, silly pin positions, thick rough close to the fairways, or overgrown areas of trees,” he says. “The way to speed up play, without making the course too easy, is to widen the fairways and make the challenge increasingly more testing as you reach the green. That way, higher handicappers don’t spend hours looking for balls off the tee, but good players have to be accurate with their approaches. This type of design is perhaps best seen at Castle Stuart, home of the Scottish Open, where wide fairways are the norm, but the closer you get to the putting surface the more

challenging it becomes, with run-offs, swales, grass bunkers and pot bunkers requiring the player to think before pulling out a wedge.” Murray is adamant that length is not the answer when it comes to modernising an established course. “Improving the strategic element of every shot is the key to renovating a course, and bringing it into the modern age. Too many courses allow players to simply stand on the tee and hit driver. I’d like to bring back a bit of course management into the equation, where a 3-wood or even an iron off the tee might be the better option. Clubs also need to look at their greens, and see whether they can enlarge the putting surface and increase the number of possible pin positions. This not only reduces wear and tear on greens, but also allows for some extra strategic pin placement, which can often completely change the way a hole can be played. They are little things, which don’t cost a lot of money to do.” In these testing economic times, where many clubs are struggling to hold on to their members, investing in the course is often the last thing on the agenda, but for Murray the course is everything. “It’s no use having a stunning clubhouse and lovely changing rooms if the very thing that keeps golfers coming back is tired and out of step with the way golf is played today,” he says. Please see overleaf for a case study of Pyecombe Golf Club.

Ewen Murray lists Les Bordes (below) as one of his favourite layouts, although he finds the greens at Kingsbarns (bottom) too tricked up for his liking

26 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

As part of the launch of his new design venture, Golf Course Refinements, Ewen Murray spends the day at Pyecombe Golf Club in West Sussex appraising the layout and strategy of this established Downland course Pyecombe enjoys a stunning location on Sussex’s South Downs


Ewen spent the day with the entire management team at Pyecombe, assessing where cost-effective improvements could be made to the design and stategy of the course

Although I have been lucky enough to have played and visited some of the finest courses in the world, no matter how big the green fee or how posh the clubhouse, it is the passion of the people that look after the golf course that matters most. I have worked at various times in my career with course managers and head greenkeepers, and have had my share difficulties, but the attitude and work ethic of Simon Wells, the course manager at Pyecomebe is like a breath of fresh air. He clearly enjoys his job, and the course is a labour of love for him, rather than just a labour. It is always a pleasure to work alongside people who love what they are doing, and Pyecombe Golf Club has a clean bill of health on that front, from secretary Alan Davey to head professional Jason Bowen, and all the staff and members connected with the management of the course. I was impressed by the keenness of everyone involved in the club, all of whom want to see the club and course develop in the years ahead. Pyecombe is similar to the course I was brought up on – a members’ course five miles West of Edinburgh, where my father was the club professional. Despite all of the famous courses I have been pivileged to visit, it’s courses like Pyecombe that represent the norm, and the majority of golfers in this country are members of clubs like it. The report produced for the club covered all 18 holes, but for reasons of space we have featured just a few. I believe all of the proposed changes are sympathtetic to the character of the original design, while introducing new levels of course management, and enhancing the natural features already present in the layout. 4th hole, 266 yards, par 4 I would introduce a row of ‘Church Pews’ – similar to those found at

Perfecting Pyecombe

Ewen with course manager Simon Wells

much a part of the club’s heritage. Having driven just short of where the 17th green lies today, the hole would wind its way from left to right, with the fairway moved towards the out of bounds fence running alongside the entire left-hand side of the hole. Twelve to 15 yards of rough would be sufficient to separate the boundary from the fairway. I envisage this to be a par five of around 520 yards. A new green would be created in front of the Jack and Jill windmills, overlooking what is surely one of the best views in the South of England.

16th hole, 393 yards, par 4 The 16th should become the ‘old 18th’, with tees ranging from 180 yards to 140 yards. On completion of this hole, players would walk to the right over the public right of way to the 17th tee, where the practice tee is today.

18th, 337 yards, par 4 I like the idea of a par five, as the terrain suggests it should be, but it would also be a fine finishing par four. Should the present 17th tee not be chosen as a starting point, a collection of tees could run alongside the row of gorse to the right of the proposed hole. The Dew Pond would be in play for the longer hitters, while the shorter players would play to the right of it. There would be fairway re-shaping required and the removal of some scrub. The present 18th green lies nicely to the angle of play, so there would be no need for any other construction. I would advocate that the steepest part of the downhill area be cut as semi-rough. I would also suggest that the area left of the pond be made into primary rough in order to protect the walkers on the public right of way. I would remove the central bunker and re-instate it below the one on the left of the green.

17th, 366 yards, par 4 The drive would be between the view of the Clayton Windmills, which is very

For further details visit or call 07885 673258.

Ewen talks through his ideas with Club Professional Jason Bowen

Oakmont Country Club – to the fairway at this short par four. Positioned on the greenside of the bridle path, this row of ridges could run at the same angle as the path. I would also position a small pot bunker seven yards right of the green. The slope of the putting suface dictates this, and with these two introductions, this short par four would ask a few more difficult questions. 5th hole, 158 yards, par 3 A great short hole that is spoilt by the false height of the front left-hand bunker. It is too high and consequently hides the bunker behind it. I would shave the top down to almost green height, and then raise the second lefthand bunker so that you can see it. This would also add definition to the green, which is vital on par threes. I think it is the best green on the course and the more you can see of it the better.

7th hole, 377 yards, par 4 I would fill in the first of the two fairway bunkers on the right-hand side of the fairway, as they serve little hazard, except for the higher handicap player. I would replace them with two or three bunkers on the corner of the dogleg, so that those taking the most direct route have to be extremely accurate off the tee. Up at the green, I would take out the left-hand greenside bunker, as it is not in keeping with the rest of the course.

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 27

Storybehindthepic Nick Faldo: 1992 Open Championship, Muirfield


t’s hard to believe that this summer will mark the passing of 20 years since Nicholas Alexander Faldo won the last of his three Open Championships. But the record books show that on July 19, 1992, the 35-year-old from Welwyn Garden City captured the fifth of his six major titles, after beating America’s John Cook by two shots at Muirfield. No-one had to work harder than Faldo to win his majors, and although at times it wasn’t pretty, it was pretty damn good all the same. He proved that although great champions are often born, they can also be made. In the mid-80s Faldo was a good player, a winner of several tour titles and a successful Ryder Cup team member, but he was not a Major winner. So he sat down with swing guru David Leadbetter and planned how to become one. It took two years of painstaking work

to rebuild his swing into the most consistent weapon on the circuit. There were times when he questioned whether it was all worthwhile, but he stuck at it, practised until his hands bled, and refused to give in until he finally came out of it a new, improved player. And he finally got his reward in 1987, when he triumphed at Muirfield for the first time. The tournament was played in horrendous conditions. It was wet and windy, but Faldo’s finely-tuned swing stood the test, and his nerve held as he recorded 18 consecutive pars during the final round to edge out Paul Azinger by the smallest of margins. His second Open triumph, three years later, saw Faldo in his pomp, as he romped to a commanding five-shot victory at St Andrews. However, it was his third win, in 1992, and his second at Muirfield, that perhaps showed Faldo at his greatest. The clear favourite to win, the pressure was

immense from the start, and it grew and grew until it reached fever pitch on the back nine on Sunday. Starting off with a threeshot lead, Faldo looked like he only had to grind out 18 pars again to take the title, but an inspired late charge from the little-known Cook put the pressure squarely back on the leader. With bogeys at the 11th, 13th and 14th, it looked for a moment that Faldo might live up to the old ‘Foldo’ nickname given to him by the press in the early 1980s. Cook, playing in the group ahead, birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th to take the lead, and Faldo’s race looked run. But like a true champion, Faldo picked himself up to birdie 15th, while Cook three-putted the 17th from 30 feet, and then bogeyed the 18th to open the door once again. Sensing blood, Faldo saved a par on 16, birdied 17, and then hit his approach to the last to 20 feet beforme calmly twoputting to take the title. The

emotions soon poured out, and with his wife Gill and faithful caddy Fanny Sunesson by his side, he looked a spent force. Sadly, Faldo soured it all for the media with his famous ‘heart of my bottom’ winner’s speech – but he has suffered from foot-in-mouth disease throughout his career and ever since, so it perhaps came as no surprise. Faldo’s ruthless dedication throughout those trophyladen years had turned him into something of a loner, someone who failed to inspire the adoration that contemporaries like Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam did. His isolation as a player, and as a human being, made him both defensive and arrogant. There was always respect and admiration for his success, but it is only now, 20 years on from his last Open triumph, and with all the good work for young golfers and charity that he has done in the intervening years, that Faldo has finally won the fans’ affection. DOWNSHIRE GOLF COMPLEX


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28 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

With three Ryder Cup caps to his name and successful skipper at two renewals of the Seve Trophy, Paul McGinley looks a shoo-in to lead Europe into battle at Gleneagles in 2014. Words by Nick Bayly

Captain in waiting McGinley’s CV

Age: 44 Status: Married to Alison, with three children aged 12,11 and 9 Lives: Sunningdale, Berkshire Turned Pro: 1991 Career Wins: Irish PGA Champion (‘97, ‘00, ‘02 and ‘03), Hohe Bruke Open ’96, Oki Pro-Am ‘97, Wales Open ‘01, Volvo Masters ‘05 Team Appearances: Walker Cup ’91, World Cup ’97, Ryder Cup ‘02, ‘04, ’06. Best Major finishes: 6th US PGA ’04; 18th US Masters ’02, 14th Open Championship ’96, 42nd US Open ’05.

The European Tour is currently blessed with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to 40-something pros with Ryder Cup blood coursing through their veins. The excess of potential candidates to captain the team is such that they could stage the Ryder Cup every year for the next ten years and we still wouldn’t get through the roll call of players who deserve a shot at ‘the big one’. But one name that has cropped up more than most in recent months is that of Paul McGinley. The 45-year-old Irishman, who resides with his family in Sunningdale, has long been talked of as a ‘FEC’ – Future European Captain. And although it’s not a position that you can apply for, the outwards signs are that McGinley is the man for the job. Popular with the fans, his fellow players, and, perhaps just as pertinently, officialdom, the affable Dubliner has already shown that he has the tactical nous for the big occasion following his triumphs at the Seve Trophy, and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to confident public speaking and smooth public relations. He also is a lynchpin of the Tournament Players Committee, and it’s this committee, by sheer coincidence, that happens to vote on the Ryder Cup Captain. To many informed minds it’s just a formality before McGinley is

officially announced as the man to captain Europe at Gleneagles in 2014, by which time he will be a nicelymatured 47-year-old. McGinley’s Ryder Cup record as a player is also hard to fault, having been on the winning side in all three of his appearances in 2002, 2004 and 2006, bagging four-and-a-half points from a possible nine. He etched his name into Ryder Cup folklore at the first of those encounters, when he bravely holed an 11-foot putt across the 18th green at The Belfry to halve his game with Jim Furyk and thus win the match for Europe. It was a real ‘where-were-you moment? in Ryder Cup history, and firmly cemented McGinley in the national psyche as one of the ‘people’s champions’. It’s a measure of the man that he has retained that connection with the crowds ever since – although beneath his genial demeanour is a steely competitor whose will to win is as strong as it ever was, even if the skills aren’t quite what they were. With over 500 appearances on the European Tour, McGinley has plied his trade almost exclusively on this side of the Atlantic during his 20 years on tour. His career, although successful by anyone’s standards, with over €10 million banked in prize money, has so far yielded ‘just’ four wins, the last, and perhaps best of which, came at the season-ending Volvo Masters in 2005, accompanied by a cheque for €666,000.

With a current world ranking on the wrong side of 400, and having finished outside the top 150 in Europe this year, McGinley’s best days are clearly behind him, but he doesn’t seem ready to throw in the towel just yet. However, he has already began preparing for life after his tour days are over, launching his own course design company, attaching his name to a new academy at Quinta do Lago in Portugal, and setting up a golf equipment rental business that is currently being rolled out at major airports throughout Europe. Although he currently maintains a busy playing schedule, there’s no doubt that by 2014, he will, should the nod come, be able to concentrate fully on his role as a captain, rather than entertaining any ‘will I, won’t I’ thoughts of taking part as a player, as seems to have been the case for many candidates in recent years. The players who make McGinley’s final 12 at Gleneagles can expect a feisty, aggressive, but extremely fair man to

lead them into battle. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and knows the current crop of players well enough to say it how he sees it. He was typically outspoken when a number of key players, including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald, gave the Seve Trophy a miss in September, and anyone who does the same in the run-up to Ryder Cup qualification can expect short shrift when it comes to those three captain’s picks. His captaincy at the Seve Trophy, where he was short on experience, saw him combine what old hands he had at his disposal with youth throughout his selections, helping the young guns to play aggressively, safe in the knowledge that there was a steady hand to back them up. That balance proved a masterstroke, with the form players, regardless of their age or experience, proving to be the difference between the two teams during the narrow 15.5-12.5 win. “The strength of a team is not necessarily down to experience,” said McGinley at the time. “For example, everyone looks at Darren Clarke and says ‘experience’, but Darren and I knew that he wasn’t on his game that week, so he wasn’t my ‘go to’ player to shore up a point. Experience only counts when you’ve got the current form to back it up, which is why players like Jamie Donaldson and Simon Dyson performed so well. They had little match play experience at this level, but they were all on top of their games.” Despite his 2-0 unbeaten record in the event, following his earlier win in 2009, McGinley still feels he has room for improvement as a skipper, and even in the euphoria of victory questioned why he had been unable to get his teams to win the singles matches during both events. “It’s a big learning curve for me,” he said. “I’ve been the winning captain twice and people have said nice things about me being captain, but the bottom line is that I’ve also lost two singles. I have to address that. I have to ask if I have done something wrong in my strategy. Why is my team not coming out in the singles, with good leads, and finishing the job off.” He might be guilty of over-analysing the situation a bit, but it’s comforting to know that McGinley will leave no stone unturned in his search for success, at whatever level he finds it. Asked, as he often is, whether he saw his role at the Seve Trophy as simply a warm up for the main act, McGinley is typically tactiturn. “I don’t think it’s a stepping stone, as it’s an important job in its own right, but it certainly doesn’t do your credentials any harm, that’s for sure. But my attitude has always been that I do what I do. I do what I think is best, and if I’m honoured with the Ryder Cup captaincy in the future, great. If I’m not, I’m not, and I move on and do other things. That’s all for the future, so we’ll just have to wait and see.” Indeed we will, but if Paul McGinley hasn’t been offered the job on a silver platter by this time next year, then I’m an Irishman.

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 29 The U lTim G U ideaTe

Chart Hills to open new-style academy Chart Hills’ Director of Golf James Cornish

Karl Steptoe

Tenterden launches society championship

Tenterden will provide a fitting challenge for the newly-launched Golf Society Championship

Golf societies looking to add a touch of inter-society rivalry and some healthy competition into next season’s schedule of events are being asked to join a new competition that is being held at Tenterden Golf Club in Kent. The Golf Society Championship, which is open to teams of eight players, will give societies the opportunity to compete against each other and experience the buzz of a large competition. The Championship will be organised by, and held at, Tenterden, a club that boasts an excellent parkland layout and is experienced at hosting large-scale society and corporate events. Speaking about the concept behind the new tournament, Richard Silman, the head pro at Tenterden, said: “Golf societies often play in their own a rarified atmosphere and members become accustomed to their own society’s level of play. By competing in the Golf Society Championship players can experience a different level of play and competition. The course, which has undergone significant improvements in recent seasons, is the ideal venue for the event, and requires both skill and imagination to score well, rather than brute force.” The format for the tournament will see a series of preliminary rounds of knockout Stableford competitions between the competing teams, with the best six scores counting. The knockout rounds have flexible dates and must be arranged by the ‘home team’. There will be a charge of £30 per player per round, which includes a two-course meal. The final, which will be staged on September 14, will be a Stableford competition played off the back white tees, with the best seven scores counting. The closing date for entries is March 1, 2012. Apart from the Society Championship Cup, there will be prizes for best individual score, longest drive, nearest-the-pin, the proceeds from which will be donated to the Kent, Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance Service. For more information and details of how to enter a team, visit

Centre apart from other academies. Whether our client is an aspiring professional player or an enthusiastic novice, this service is about designing and delivering bespoke development plans for all players which include mental, physical and

It’s ‘Astor’ la vista at Hever Members at, and visitors to, Hever Castle Golf Club are invited to experience a small slice of golfing history in the recently-refurbished lounge, restaurant and bar areas at the popular Kent venue. The club’s new Astor Lounge & Restaurant, as well as the new 19th Bar, has just reopened to rave reviews, with the design evoking the style and elegance of the Hever Estate’s previous opulent owners, the Astor family. The Astor Lounge displays previously undiscovered history from when golf first featured on the Hever Castle Estate back in the 1920’s. Club manager Jon Wittenberg said: “ The elegant décor truly lives up to the brief given to the experienced designer, Sarah Clark, to deliver areas that encapsulate the cub experience at Hever, which we summed up in three words: historic, picturesque and inspiring.” To celebrate the new facilities, a brand new all-day menu has been launched, along with a new choice of Italian coffees and local ales, while a new category of social membership is also now available. As well as offering discounts on food and drink at the club, social membership comes with the benefit of an annual family pass to the historic Hever Castle, home of the Boleyn family during the reign of King Henry VIII.

technical elements.’’ The club is creating a new work space to give the experts and clients a place to work together. A private therapy room, conditioning area and classroom are all currently under construction. Joining James in the expert line-up are sports psychologist Karl Steptoe and body conditioning specialist Rob Goldup. “I am really excited to join the team and it’s a huge opportunity to create a unique learning environment within Kent,” says Goldup. “Working with both Karl and James brings together an exciting combination of skills to enhance all level of golfer’s game. The Leaderboard Academy is officially launching in March, when the work space will be complete, but all three experts are happy to begin work with any clients who feel they could benefit from their help now.

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| 2011

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Chart Hills Golf club in Kent is set to open a brand new allencompassing golf academy early in the New Year. The Leaderboard Golf Performance Centre sees three professionals from different fields combine their skills to create an opportunity for golfers of all levels to work on all aspects of their game; mind, body and skill. James Cornish PGA, the Director of Golf at Chart Hills explained that golf is not just about technique. “Professional golfers are constantly developing the whole of their game in order to keep improving their performance. A good mental attitude is vital, as is the importance of protecting and conditioning the body, while improving the swing and shot-making skills. We have brought together experts in these three areas to offer all golfers an opportunity to improve their results and their enjoyment of the game.  Cornish continued: “Our clients are welcome to work with just one coach, but we would encourage everyone to take advantage of a fantastic opportunity to develop a working partnership with a team of coaching experts. This is something that few academies provide, and which sets the Leaderboard Golf Performance



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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206


Sky Sport’s voice of golf speaks out on issues of the month

From Donald to Daly: Moments to remember (and forget) in 2011 A

lthough I’ve barely had time to draw breath since the climax of the season in Dubai earlier this month, it’s that time of the year when we look back at some of the highs and lows of yet another extraordinary golfing year. My Player of the Year is, of course, Luke Donald. American No.1, European No.1, World No.1. The history books have been rewritten. Thirty tournaments played, 23 times inside the top ten with four wins. He gave us much to admire in 2011, and his year was full of highs on and off the course, marred only by the sad and untimely death of his father in November. Among the highlights was his first World Golf Championship win in an epic battle against Martin Kaymer in the Arizona desert. The Barclays Scottish Open was another, and, of course, topping the PGA Tour money list by winning the final event of the year in such dramatic fashion against Webb Simpson. His classy third at the Dubai World Championships, where he sealed an historic money list double on both sides of the Atlantic, was nothing more than he deserved for a truly immense season, which has seen him miss only two cuts and bank almost £6m in prize money. My Favourite Moment of the Year came at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where Donald and Lee Westwood went head to head down the stretch, battling not just for the European Tour’s flagship title, but also for the World No.1 spot. Even Steven Spielberg would have been proud of the script, as both players went to sudden death, before Donald claimed the top spot – a position he has

There are no prizes for guessing my top golfer of the year

Daly has outstayed his welcome

held on to ever since. Round of the Year goes to Westwood. Having covered the Nedbank Challenge for more years than I care to remember, his third round 62 was the finest I have witnessed as a player and commentator. It was a golfing masterclass from tee to green, and not far off the perfect round. It was part of four days of sustained brilliance. Emotional Moment of the Year surely had to be Darren Clarke’s Open victory at Royal St George’s. After 20 years of trying, Clarke cruised to victory over the Kent links, finally landing the major title his career surely

deserves. He had his best years taken away from him as his charming wife Heather fought her battle against cancer, yet the golfing gods were with him at Royal St Georges, and so was every golf fan. My Gripe of the Year has to be tournament sponsors’ continued insistence on giving John Daly invitations to play in their events. I don’t think I’m the only one who is tired of his erratic behaviour, and fed up reading reports of him bashing balls continually into lakes and having words with officials before taking his bat and ball back to Dardanelle, or wherever he hangs out. His time has come and gone, and despite being a two-time major winner, his appeal has passed and he should be put out to grass. Ugly Moment of the Year was Tiger Woods’s filthy gob on the 12th green at the Emirates during the Dubai Desert Classic. It was an unpleasant sight for all TV viewers and spectators, and set a terrible example to all the youngsters who hold him in such high esteem. Win of the Year for me was Rory McIlroy’s extraordinary

victory in the US Open at Congressional. His eight-shot total demolition of a quality field was quite breathtaking, as he destroyed one of America’s most revered courses. Rory deserved his Congressional Medal of Honour, and it made up for the Disappointment of the Year, which was his Sunday afternoon meltdown at the US Masters. A four-shot lead disappeared in the blink of an eye, and McIlroy’s Masters dreams were left in tatters. However, it should not be forgotten that McIlroy’s fall from grace was tempered by one of the best finishes to the Masters for many a year, as South African Charl Schwartzel became the first player to birdie the final four holes to take the green jacket. Worst Celebration of the Year had to be Steve Williams at the Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. Caddying for Australian Adam Scott, after his parting with long-term employer Tiger Woods, he called it the ‘best win’ of his life – conveniently forgetting the 13 majors he’d won with Tiger, and also forgetting that it was Adam

that had actually won the tournament while he was just carrying the bag! At the other end of the scale, the Best Celebration of the Year belongs to Darren Clarke. It began in July, and it’s still in full flow, as far as I can make out! I’m not sure if Darren’s worried whether he makes another cut again, as his dreams have been fulfilled. Staying with the celebrating theme, Stupid Celebration of the Year goes to Thomas Levet, who, on winning the French Open in Paris, jumped into the lake besides the 18th green and broke his leg. It cost him playing in the Open Championship and a few other events. We will forgive him, though, as players who win their national championship tell us it’s their fifth major. Final Round of the Year goes to Martin Kaymer in the HSBC Championship at Sheshan International in China. The young German holed his bunker shot after a duffed pitch at the 7th hole. It sparked a run of nine birdies in the last twelve holes to take the HSBC title. Young Golfer of the Year goes to Tom Lewis. The lowest round ever by an amateur in The Open – a 65 en route to finishing 30th and collecting the Silver Medal. In the process, he partnered Tom Watson, the

player he was named after. In October, Tom took his maiden professional win in the Portugal Masters. Fairytale stuff. Golden Oldie of the Year goes to my old pal Thomas Bjorn. A win early in the season in Qatar was followed by victories at Gleneagles and Crans sur Sierre. It was too much to ask him to win The Open, where the ‘Sands of Tom’ in 2003 still haunt him. Still, he finished fourth, his comeback this year has been very impressive, and there’s still life in the ageing Dane. On a more personal level, my Low Point of the Year is the retirement of my colleague at Sky Sports, Di Dougherty. Di has stepped down to devote more time to her husband Nick’s career. He has endured a torrid time during the past 12 months and I wish them both well. They are two of the most professional and genuine people I have met in the sport. On an even more personal note, I, as viewers will know, am prone to the odd commentating gaff and my Worst Comment of the Year was my decision to call Thomas Bjorn a ‘cyclone’ – in other words, a slow-moving depression! No doubt he’ll get his own back in the New Year, and he knows that particular game has no final whistle!

Celebration of the Year goes to Darren Clarke following his Open triumph

Tiger comes in from the cold Tiger Woods’s world returned to something resembling normality last month with a victory in his own event over in California, the Chevron World Challenge. After a losing streak that lasted just over two years, Tiger tucked away his 95th win in a tournament he was fortunate to be playing in. Had the field of 17 players been selected a week later than it was, he would have been excluded. When Woods changed the rules two years ago so only those in the top 50 in the world rankings could be invited, he could never have thought that rule would affect him.

It was heartening to see the Tiger of old steering the crowds, with the cheers ringing out for arguably the greatest, certainly most exciting golfer in the game today. One adrift of Zach Johnson with two holes to go, it was a self-styled win with two dramatic closing birdies. The game has missed this Tiger, and for him, it was a timely win for sure. He can start next year knowing his swing and nerve is back. There will be no awkward questions of going into his third year without a victory. Many doubters will say it was a small field, and not a very strong

one at that, while Woods will say a win is a win. It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that the victory took Tiger 31 places up the rankings to 21st. During the past two years, he has lost nearly all of his 30 ranking points. Top five by the Masters? Maybe not. World number one by this time next year? Possibly. Whatever, the game’s top draw is on the way back, and for those of us who enjoy watching golf, it’s good news. For Tiger Woods, his exhibition win in his own tournament may turn out to be the most important of his 95 victories.

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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Alvaro Quirós may have won the Dubai World Championship, but it was Luke Donald who stole the show after bagging the money lists in Europe and America While the prize for the best player in a supporting role was handed to irrepressible Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, whose name even has a film star ring, it was cool hand Luke Donald who topped the bill at the Dubai World Championship, after he completed an historic double by winning the money lists on the PGA and European Tours for the first time in history. While private jets and doublecounting tournaments helped his cause considerably, Donald’s globe-trotting efforts in 2011 have earned him No.1 status across every continent, and made his name, although not quite a household one yet, certainly one to be feared in golfing circles. Quirós brought the curtain down on the 2011 season in spectacular style by eagling the fearsome 630-yard 18th hole on the Earth Course to take the Dubai World Championship – and the £793,000 winner's cheque – by two shots from surprise package Paul Lawrie. Victory confirmed the big-hitting Spaniard as a virtual banker for a place in José María Olazábal's Ryder Cup team next year, as well as being a star in the making, if not already the real deal. Despite Quirós’s heroics during the final round, it was Donald who stole the show with his now traditional Sunday afternoon charge, firing three birdies over the testing final three holes to edge his way into third place – a full six places in front of where he needed to be in order to guarantee his place in history. The much-vaunted clash with World No.2 Rory McIlroy threatened to turn Donald’s year on its head, when the young Irishman crept into contention after the second round – but no doubt feeling the effects of Denge fever picked up in China, and the pressure of keeping tabs on the World

Show me the money (lists)! McIlroy’s challenge faded over the final two rounds

At the double: Luke Donald celebrates after winning the Race to Dubai, while Alvaro Quiros won the tournament

No.1, the US Open champion’s charge faded over the weekend, as Donald fired back-to-back 66s to assert his authority as the world’s most inform player. Unofficially, Tiger Woods also headed

both money lists during his prime, albeit that he was not a member of the European Tour at the time and therefore his achievement is not in the record books. But the world came to expect such outlandish achievement from Woods. Donald is an altogether different animal – a less imposing figure and, until now, a less dominant one, too. Yet if the world outside golf is surprised to discover an Englishman

with a quiet disposition at the top of the sport's most greasy of poles, those within the game – especially his peers– are not. Over the past 12 months Donald has transformed himself physically – he proudly flexed his bulging biceps to the media on Sunday – and mentally with startling effect. He has won four times, including at the World Matchplay Championship and the BMW Championship, the flagship event of the European Tour, and was seldom outside the top 10 in any tournament in which he played. Once upon a time Donald might have blushed at such praise, but he is a more self-assured figured these days. "Being the world number one brings expectations for everybody, and it brings expectations for myself. But I think I have proven quite a few times that I have been able to deal with pretty extreme pressure," he said. "Hats off to Alvaro. He played

well coming down the stretch, and to make an eagle on the last is a pretty spectacular way to finish the event. But I got what I came for and that was to win the Race to Dubai, do the double and create history." The Englishman will play in his final event of the year in Australia this week, then head back to his home in Chicago to prepare for 2012, when his main ambition will be to fill the one glaring gap in the CV: a major championship victory. In these modern times some remain unconvinced by a world No.1 who is yet to win one of the sport's four biggest prizes, and Donald appears set on silencing the sceptics one more time – or maybe even four more times. "I'm not going to be greedy. I would love to win one major championship, but I guess winning the grand slam in one calendar year would be something. No one has ever done it, so I guess that would be the ultimate goal," he said.

“I got what I came for and that was to win the Race to Dubai, do the double and create history”


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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

If you’ve never heard of Jason Day, prepare to hear a lot more about the little man from Down Under who is making giant strides on the world stage Open, ironically gaining a last-minute entry after fellow Australian Greg Norman withdrew through injury. Day went on to make the cut at St Andrews, and finished in a tie for 60th. He ended the year by shooting 66 in the third round of the US PGA Championship to earn his first top-10 in a major. But despite his strong showing in this season’s majors, and 10 top 10s on the PGA Tour, it’s not all been plain sailing for Day, who admits to finding practice ‘boring’ and whose form is apt to swing between brilliant and ‘plain awful’ by his own admittance. Much of his problems were in his mind, rather than as a result of any breakdown in his compact swing. “I was finding it very hard to get up in the morning and go, ‘I want to go play golf today’”, admitted Day earlier this year. “I was very down on myself on the golf course, and just felt like I didn’t want to be there. I’d go home for a week or two weeks, but I’d be bored. So I’d go back out and play and that was even more disappointing. It was like a vicious circle. That’s why I turned to a mental coach.” Fortunately, Day sought out advice from Neale Smith, an Australian sports psychologist based in California, who put his client back on the path to contentment by giving him a clearer focus to his practice and teaching him how to enjoy his ‘homework’. Day’s earned his place in last month’s Presidents Cup by finishing top of the world team rankings, and although his own performance was nothing to get too excited about, the matches gave Day a prominent platform on the world’s stage, and an opportunity to reconnect with an Australian public who hadn’t seen him play in the flesh since his days as an amateur. “If you had told me at the start of the year, that I was going to be on the Presidents Cup team, I would have been happy. But to be the No.1 pick was an amazing accomplishment,” he

Dawning of a new Day

Day’s debut win on the PGA Tour came at the Byron Nelson Championship in 2010 and he is now ranked eighth in the world

Ask the man in the street who they think performed best in the majors in 2011, and you might receive suggestions along the lines of Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson or maybe Phil Mickelson. The correct answer, however, is Jason Day. Their next question might be “Who?” To which the answer would be something like: “You know, the little Aussie fella with the goatee, the white trousers and the white driver.” None the wiser? Then join the queue. So how has a man who has amassed over $7 million in prize money in the last two years, and is currently ranked eighth in the world, slipped so anonymously under the collective radar? The short answer is that he is an Australian who has spent his entire professional life in America. With his friends, family and countrymen 6,000 miles away, who’s rooting for Jason Day? But while his fan club may be low on names, his bank account has plenty of big numbers in it, following a confident 2011 season that brims with promise of yet further riches. And what about that run in the majors? Although he missed the cut in the US PGA Championship, Day finished tied second in the US Masters, outright second in the US Open – admittedly, a country mile behind Rory McIlroy – and 30th in the Open Championship. As a result of his major performances, Day jumped into the top-10 in the world, and, despite not winning during 2011, ended the season ranked ninth on the money list. Not a bad year’s work for somebody that few people could pick out in a police line up on either side of the Atlantic. In fact, most Australians would have a hard time naming him in their top-five list of domestic golfers, given that Day left home at 19, lives in Texas, and has barely set foot in his homeland since turning professional, barring his recent appearance at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne. Following his exceptional run of results, which also included a win at the Byron Nelson Championship in May last year, the 24-year-old has made the bold prediction that he will be world No.1 sometime within the next five years. It’s a ballsy statement for anyone to make, but it’s somewhat

typical of a man who has always been confident in his own ability. His cocksure attitude no doubt springs from an Australian upbringing, which saw young Jason taken to his local golf club in Queensland by his father aged just six, where he was allowed to play six holes every day. By the time he was eight, Day was winning junior events and local tournaments, and later attended a high school that had the added attraction of its own golf course. He honed his skills there under the watchful eye of golf coach Col Swatton, who was Day’s mentor as much as he was a swing coach, following the sudden death of Day’s father in 2000. The story goes that Day was inspired to push his game to the next level when, aged just 12, he read a book about Tiger Woods. The words provided the necessary encouragement for Day to spend more time working on his game by practising before and after school, and even during his lunch break. A year later, the work paid off when he won the Australian Junior Masters, while two years later he won the Boys division at the 2004 Callaway World Junior Championship to announce his arrival on the global stage. After further wins at national level in Australia, Day eschewed the traditional college golf scholarship, and launched straight into the unforgiving world that is professional golf. Backed by a

“If you had told me at the start of the year, that I was going to be on The Presidents Cup team, I would have been happy. But to be the No.1 pick was an amazing accomplishment” sponsorship deal with TaylorMade, he headed straight for the PGA Tour’s qualifying school in 2007. “I thought about going to college,” says Day, “but I just wanted to get out there and be a professional. I wanted to play against the best, and to put my game up against theirs and see where I stood.” After coming up a few strokes short at Q School, Day quickly made his mark on the Nationwide Tour, winning in July of that same year to become the youngest man ever to win on any of the three PGA Tour-backed tours. That victory, coupled with some other high finishes, was good enough to secure Day’s Tour card for 2008-09, and although he endured a poor rookie season, he did enough to secure his playing rights for 2010, which proved a turning point for the talented Queenslander. In May last year he became the youngest Australian to win a PGA Tour event, winning the Byron Nelson Championship by two shots. He also enjoyed his first start in a major at The

says. “Obviously the result didn’t go our way, but I enjoyed the experience, and it’s been good to think about others for a change, rather than concentrating on yourself all the time.” Day was too young to see his team captain, Greg Norman, playing in his prime, but he was honoured to have earned his place in the team all the same. “Greg has always been great to me, but I was too young to draw much inspiration from him,” says Day. “I was more inspired by Adam [Scott], who was in his mid-20s when I was at school. I played a practice round with him before the Australian Open when I was 17, and he told me I was good enough to turn pro. To hear it from someone whom I respected gave me a lot of confidence to pursue my goals.” As for next season’s goals, Day has targeted another win on the PGA Tour, and maybe he’ll have a crack at the world’s top five. Not bad going from the man from Down Under that nobody seems to know.


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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Golfband Loop RRP: £14.99 Contact: GolfBand is a golf-specific training aid that uses resistance technology to strengthen and condition muscles, helping to improve balance, stability and arm-to-body connection, for a more powerful, controlled and consistent swing. By providing resistance for muscles to work against, the GolfBand can replicate virtually any exercise that can be done in the gym or specific to the swing. Available in three brand strengths – medium (green), strong (purple) and extra strong (grey) – and fitted with a detachable soft-grip handle, it comes with a 20-page instruction booklet that provides a variety of warm-up, flexibility training, practice drill and strength training exercises.

Pinnacle Gold balls RRP: £15 per 15-ball pack Contact: There can’t be a club golfer in the world that hasn’t got a Pinnacle of some description at the bottom of their golf bag, no matter how it got there. It’s the ‘go-to’ ball for the player who doesn’t care too much where it goes, as long as it’s further away than from where it started. To make the buying decision easier for confused souls, Pinnacle has narrowed its offering to just one ball for men (Gold) and one for women (Gold Lady). Both promise to offer out-and-out distance, combined with durability (providing you don’t lose them), and a splash of feel. The Gold Lady is available in bright white or girly pearlescent pink, while the lads’ version comes in bright white or high viz yellow. At just £1 a ball, you can’t go too far wrong if you’re in the habit of finding fields rather than fairways, and aren’t looking for yards of suck back from your wedges.

Callaway RAZR XF irons RRP: £1,148 (st), £1,299 (gr) Contact: The RAZR XF iron is Callaway’s first foray into the forged iron market with a club aimed specifically at higher handicappers. The company admits that for years game improvers using their irons have had to compromise on feel in their quest for more forgiveness in the irons, but it believes that by forging the body and frame from carbon steel and attaching a steel face, they are able to offer the best of both worlds. The result is an iron that has the highest MOI (resistance to twisting) of any in Callaway’s history, while still retaining a high degree of feel and feedback at impact. The irons also feature a multi-material medallion in the back of the head to aid feedback and dampen unwanted vibrations from miss-hits. They come with a sleek-

looking black PVD finish to make the heads look slightly more compact and reduce glare in bright sunlight, but they retain the traditional confidence-building features of generous offset and an extremely wide sole design. The clubs are fitted with a soft Winn-style grip as standard, which won’t be to everyone’s liking, but these can easily be switched out for something that feels a little more solid. Because of the high levels of technology and the premium materials involved, the irons carry a high price tag, but Callaway believes there are enough higher handicappers out there who still want to play a premium product. You only need to see the number of bad drivers sitting behind the wheels of Ferraris to know that’s the truth!

TaylorMade Ghost Putters RRP: £129 Contact: If you’re looking for a white putter to match your white driver (and possibly white teeth and white Porsche), then TaylorMade’s Ghost series of putters should be right up your alley. The distinctive white body features black sightlines on the crown to provide strong visual alignment aids, while a thicker black rail emphasises the positioning of the ball central to the putter face. Like previous Ghost models, the Raylor features a grooved insert in the face that provides soft feel, encourages topspin and prevents skidding for a smoother roll. It is available in a choice of one blade design and two mallet models.

Ecco Biom Hybrid Shoes RRP: £160 Contact: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the design team at Danish shoemaker Ecco must have been flushing red these past months, after a raft of Streetinspired golf shoes have been rushed to pro shops, hoping to grab a slice of the booming sales of trainer-style golf footwear. Over the last two seasons, Ecco’s Golf Streets have enjoyed an almost exclusive share of a market that has grown in response to demands for golf shoes be more comfortable and fashionable than traditional designs, offering the wearer

something they would be happy to wear on and off the golf course, yet without compromising on performance. Convincing course managers that they’re wearing a ‘proper’ pair of shoes has not been easy for early adopters, despite being worn by the likes of Fred Couples, but there’s no getting away from the fact that a shoe that can be worn from house to clubhouse to course, and back again, is an appealing idea for us lazy golfers. While there are new Bioms and new Street shoes for 2012,

the eye-catching addition to the Ecco line-up next year is undoubtedly the Hybrid Biom, which is a marvellous marriage between the Street and the Biom that is part-trainer and part-golf shoe. Featuring the Yak leather uppers and cushioning found in the Biom, along with the moulded traction bars and styling of the Street, the Hybrid is a ‘win-win’ for golfers who want to forget they’re wearing golf

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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FJ Sport shoe RRP: £110 (£120 with BOA lacing) .Contact:

Nike Golf VR Pro Forged Driver RRP: £299 Contact: Designed to appeal to low handicap golfers who like to be able to change their shot shape without having to get a spanner out of the bag, the VR Pro Limited Edition Forged driver is a tour-level performer that has already made it into the bags of Paul Casey and Antony Kim. The 430cc pear-shaped head is made using a four-piece forged construction process that sees the face, crown, sole and hosel combined to maximise the centre of gravity to offer high levels of control, allowing skilled players to hit low draws, high cuts and stingers. It features the full-length compression channel found in previous VR driver models, which delivers fasters ball speeds across a wider section of the face. It comes with Mitsubishi’s Diamana ‘Ahina shaft as standard, and is available in 8.5 (RH); 9.5 (RH/LH); 10.5 (RH/LH) lofts in R, S and X flexes.

shoes while they’re playing golf. The structure of the Biom upper is designed to guide the foot through its natural motion, while fitting like a second skin. Yak leather is extremely soft, smooth and breathable, yet is three times stronger than other leathers. The Biom Hybrids, which are available in a choice of four colours, go on sale in January, so be prepared to form an orderly queue.

Titleist AP1 and AP2 712 irons Rating:

The next generation of FootJoy’s popular Sport shoe has undergone a number of design and styling tweaks, including the introduction of the laceless BOA closure system, a version of which first appeared on a number of FootJoy shoes several years ago. The shoe itself features full grain leather uppers with a waterproof membrane, while a mesh lining helps keep water at bay while allowing moisture to escape. With plenty of in-shoe cushioning and a flexible, lightweight outsole, the Sport shoe makes for easy walking, while its bold patterns and striking colour options offer plenty of youth appeal. Available in Sport, Icon, Contour and Women’s DryJoys for the new season, the BOA lace system has undergone significant design improvements to ensure a more precise and comfortable fit. The dial-driven tightening mechanism is less visible on the heel than the previous design, and has been adjusted to offer more precise intervals, with one ‘click’ now equating to roughly 1mm of lace pull. The lace has also been upgraded, and is now made from aircraft-grade stainless steel, while the lock-in mechanism ensures the laces stay tight at all times.

RRP: £114/£130 per club Contact: Although Titleist irons have always been seen as a badge of excellence, some golfers – me included – didn’t feel there was a natural club in the range to suit them, until that is, the AP irons came along a few years ago. The more forgiving AP1 is the brand’s entry level model, while the AP2 offers a slightly more compact forged head that will suit the eye of mid to high single figure handicappers. In a bid to finally pin down whether I’m an AP1 or an AP2 kind of player, Titleist kindly sent me the latest version of each, both of which had been custom-fitted to my exact specifications, down to the very last detail, including the size, style and colour of the grips. I hit the driving range to see how they fared using a Flightscope launch monitor to provide a more accurate assessment of how the clubs performed, rather than relying on my less-than-scientific ‘oh, these feel nice’ or ‘hmm, not so sure about that’. Secretly hoping that the Flightscope would start shouting “AP2, AP2!”, I was naturally a little disappointed after half an hours’ testing to discover that the AP1s were doing the best job for me. Although my very best shot with the AP2 matched the performance of my best efforts with the AP1, I was only able to replicate those shots one out of every four or five, while a slight miss-hit with the AP2 went nowhere near as far, or as straight, as those with the AP1. Allowing 15% extra for low compression range balls, and using a 6-iron as a benchmark, the AP1s averaged 165 yards total distance, while the AP2 went ‘just’ 150 yards – a significant margin. My clubhead speed was 82mph with the AP1, and 78mph with the AP2, translating to ball speeds of 105mph and 96mph respectively – again a significant difference. Although launch angles for both clubs hovered around the 19-degree mark, the AP1s stayed higher for longer, with the AP2 offering a more penetrating overall trajectory. Lookswise, I like the confidence-inspiring top line and the profile of the AP1 at address, which is nowhere near as clunky as other game improver models and retains a certain degree of elegance despite its forgiving qualities. The forged AP2 is a more refined animal altogether, with less offset and a narrower topline, and in the hands of a stronger ball striker than me proved a very solid performer. For golfers who may have previously thought that Titleist was out of their league in terms of playability, the AP1 irons are an extremely plausible option, while the AP2s would be a better bet for those who are able to put a consistent downward strike on the ball, and are after a bit more workability from their irons.

Cleveland Golf CG Black Irons RRP: £659 (4-PW, gr) Contact: New for 2012, the CG Black irons are aimed at mid-tohigh handicappers with slower swing speeds that are seeking a forgiving iron that will help to rediscover lost distance. Featuring a classy black PVD finish, they offer a multimaterial construction that incorporates a thin titanium face which helps generate increased ball speed and added distance. The large face area translates into an increased sweet spot for more forgiveness on off-centre hits, while an undercut channel in the cavity moves weight lower and further back in the head to improve launch conditions. The irons are available with a light Miyazaki C. Kua 59 graphite shaft that encourages faster swing speeds and a thicker-than-standard Lamkin Lite grip. They are available with a set of matching CG Black wedges, which are sold separately.

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December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

1: Galvin Green Dayton RRP: £89

2: Mizuno Thermal Mittens RRP: £14.99

Ideal for a dry, but chilly winter game, the Dayton insulates body heat while also allowing moisture to escape. The soft, stretchy material fits snugly to the body, but allows complete freedom of movement.

3: Ping Collection Visor Hat RRP: £14

With soft fleece linings and a 100% waterproof outer layer, these handy mittens will help retain the feeling in your fingers long after your nose has dropped off. There’s also a clip to keep them together after use.

4: DryJoys Performance Light Rain Shirt RRP: £150


Stand out with this on-trend titfer, which has a built-in visor to keep the low winter sun – or the driving rain – out of your eyes. It comes in five colours and has a poly-lined interior to keep your lugs roasty toasty.

This sporty number will keep you swinging in the rain thanks to side stretch panels which allow complete upper body movement. It’ll also keep the water out and the heat in courtesy of a fully breathable lining.

winter warmers



Thrill to the chill with a collection of cold weather gear 7 5


8 4

5: Galvin Green Ayers GTX jacket RRP: £279 The Rolls Royce of golf jackets, the Ayers comes with a lifetime waterproof guarantee, ensuring years of dampfree golf thanks to the Gore Tex lining and a host of other weather-beating design features.

6: Ping Collection Torsion trousers RRP: £76 9

A polyester mesh lining ensures these smart kecks are waterproof, windproof, and fully breathable, meaning you can leave those bulky waterproof suit bottoms behind when you hit the links this winter.

7: Nike GoreTex Paclite Jacket RRP: £179

8: FootJoy Performance 9: Under Armour Base Layer RRP: £30 Artic Beanie RRP: £12.99

Offering the very best in waterproof protection, the Paclite is not only windproof, waterproof, breathable and seamsealed, but it can be rolled up to fit in the smallest pockets in your golf bag for easy storage.

Available in white or black, the ProDry base layer hugs the body to keep warmth in, while being fully breathable to let moisture out. Its non-restrictive fit allows full movement, while helping muscles stay warm.

Keep your noggin under wraps with this unmissable and stylish beanie, featuring a toasty fleece with a polyarmour mesh lining that accelerates moisture transport, so your head stays dry as the action heats up.

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

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38 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

January abi Golf The Abu Dhship is renamed Champion Kaymer Benefit the Martinent following the Tournam victory by the German’s g margin of 21 astonishin is third win in shots. It’s h bu Dhabi and a row in A is made a Lord Alliss P . e years etr’esrHonours for servicestitotle of v fi in th r u fo ’s New Yea r unusual in the Queeng and adopts the ratheb. Chubby Chandler broadcastin of Hindhead Golf Cluby Chandler. Lord Allissd for services to Chub is knighte

February Tiger Woods sensation reveals on St Valentine’sally that he and Fanny Sunn Day are “very much in lov eson are planning to marrye”inand Vegas but denies that Ste Las Williams will be best m ve Bubba Watson records than. ever hole in one on a pa r five at the 552 yard 15e first during the Phoenix Open th Americans unimaginati at the TPC Scottsdale. vely call it a triple eagle while, following a compet name, the Royal and An ition to find a suitable cient plump for Pteroda ctyl.



Aug Natiousta Pope B nal reject appl enedict s memication fo ’s despe In whbership r incr rate bid inter at is . Ian Peases the nto boost it suppl oulter sig umber of s popular by mapreted y colo ns a urful mult pins on eaity, PowernPy as a cloth i-mill ch gr lay G es to P ion p een to olf rimar ound d three k. eal to .

What awaits next year? 2012 promises to be another eventful year in the world of golf. For those who can’t wait, Clive Agran reveals some of the more remarkable happenings exclusively to the readers of Golfnews

April Michael Hoey ds to the list of recent Nad or Ireland success thern capturing the Ues by A spectator wea S Masters. ring a green shir t, trou sock and shoes, wh se rs, o w as lost at Augusta during the Mas National te rs , is ev en tu in the middle ally found u on scious three days afterofththe 10th fairway by a greenc n ke ep e to er u rn am ent ended. Alt he makes a fu ugh attack, the spectll recover y from a suspected ho heart tournaments forator is banned from attending ‘littering’. future

July Challenge Tour player Paul Cutler ofand Nor thern Irel ugh makes it thros the qualifier to record a pen sensational Oip Championsh es erie mov on . Colin M tgthom am th Ly al n Irish oy er R win at and adopts Nor im tr e number n A th ty ses n u ea to Co olf incr G ay Pl er w Po y. nationalit ch green to four. of pins on ea

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als us reve n A censthe populatioand that r thern Irel n of No wollen by a in the has s ishing 37% The aston three years. e about past ase has com s a incre st entirely a US and almo ts from the the rict an mmigrRyanair restto one. The i of x golf. nd influ lf bag a huge whom playarry in a gong of jeans a of t l u i c res pe, 94% of you can the bann aces’. Euro ber of balls announces l public pl num e Secretary ollars ‘in al Hom s without c shir t

May The Duke of York declares his suppor t for Sir Donald Trump’s controversial plans to turn Hyde Park into golf facility”, d, -en gh a “magnificent, new,erhiting Kensington Palace into which include conv in the Philippine Open lifts a clubhouse. Victorytop of the Asian Tour Order of Luke Donald to the lishing him as the first golfer Merit thereby estab major tours. ever to head all three

August Colin Montgom finally erie his majoarchieves breakth o ugh by winnrin the USP g Kiawah GI A at For the fi sland. rankings w e r e in since the rst time the top ten troduced in p from Nor layers are from the early 198world thern Irela 0s, the UK an nd. d five araell

November Royal County Down and Royal Portrush close their membership lists and declare that they regrettably can’t consider new applications until 2020 at the earliest. Ryanair start selling duty free golf balls in flight. Surprise Republican candidate and former golfer Mark O’Meara is elected President of the United States of America.

June After qu at Sunninalif ying relatively gdale, Gareth M unknown Nor thern aybin of wins th Ireland Neil Colese US Open. 77) com (aged out of retiremees nt and immediate Vere Club oldest ma PGA Seniors Cham triumphs atly n to win a th ny thing apionship to become e De nywhere. the

September rst Following the fi p Cu er yd R ever ith whitewash win g sh u cr pe Euro the hapless Yaenks 28-0, there ar then calls to streng the US side by e permitting th ffle reshu icans. A Cabinet er m A th u ointed So of app inclusion dhead Golf Clueab ses the number in H of iss ll A rd cr sees Lo PowerPlay Golf in Home Secretar to five. of pins on each



Guinn announ main tess ces h r u PowerPl st of its spothat it is switc a y each gre Golf increa nsorship fromhing the ses the n en to 18 rugby to . umber of g pins on olf.

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FROM £85 PER PERSON AT S I X M A C D O N A L D G O L F V E N U E S F O R B R E A K S B E T W E E N M A R C H - O C TO B E R 2 0 1 2

W E E K D AY B R E A K S Mon-Thu stay with 2 rounds of golf Available at 6 Macdonald golf venues 1 in 12 goes free!

£ 85

B E D & B R E A K FA S T


D I N N E R B E D & B R E A K FA S T

WEEKEND BREAKS Fri or Sat stay with 2 rounds of golf Available at 6 Macdonald golf venues 1 in 12 goes free!


b ot l e y pa r k H OT E L G O L F & S PA


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B E D & B R E A K FA S T


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£ 99

Sunday stay with 2 rounds of golf Sun/Mon DINNER Available at 6 Macdonald golf venues B E D & B R E A K FA S T 1 in 12 goes free!

March - October 2012. Must be booked before 31 March 2012 to qualify for these rates. £30 supplement at Spey Valley.

Terms & Conditions: All rates quoted are subject to availability and are per person, per night based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Single room supplements apply, please ask for price. Further terms may apply at individual venues and are available on request. E&OE.




linden hall H OT E L G O L F & S PA








Call today: 0844 879 9294 Email:

W W W. M A C D O N A L D H OT E L S . C O. U K / G O L F

Sandy Lyle

Macdonald Hotels Ambassador for Golf

40 /

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| 2011






Golf breaks with tuition Day 1

Day 2

Swing Health Check with Pro (1hr) l 18 Holes of Golf l Full Unlimited use of Golf Facilities l Full Use of our Luxury Spa l 2-Course Dinner l Accommodation

Breakfast l 9 Hole Playing Lesson with the Pro l 18 Holes of Golf l Full Use of Golf Facilities l Full Use of our Luxury Spa (up to 5pm)



Variety of Spa Treatments available on request

Price £190 per person (based on 2 sharing)  London Beach, Hotel Club & Spa,

Ashford Road, Tenterden, Kent. TN30 6HX. T: 01580 766279 F: 01580 763884 E:

Golf groups looking for the ultimate ‘stay and play’ break at the venue for the 2012 Open Championship, should book in at Royal Lytham & St Annes’ iconic Dormy House, which is just 30 yards from the first tee If you’ve yet to stay in a dormy house, which are dotted around a variety of English links courses, you haven’t really lived. Part school dormitory, part bed and breakfast, they epitomise the spirit of adventure that is prerequisite for all lovers of links golf, which calls for its followers to embrace its charms come what may, taking the rough with the smooth, and revelling in the good bounces with the bad. The traditions of dormy house accommodation go back to the halcyon days before the advent of the motor car, when travelling golfers would take the train in search of their sporting fix, with many clubs springing up alongside the newly-laid tracks to make journeys even easier. And rather than organise their forward journeys after playing, many clubs came up with the innovative idea of offering onsite accommodation, which was owned and managed by the clubs themselves. There can’t be a finer way to appreciate a golfing experience than to play

Sweet dreams at Lytham’s dormy delight

FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UK’s Largest Golf Resort Set in over 600 acres of rolling Devon countryside in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park, the Ashbury Golf Hotel boasts seven 18 hole golf course options plus extensive sports and leisure facilities - all free of charge to guests staying at the hotel. Guests may also take advantage of the sport, craft and leisure activities available to them at the Manor House Hotel. Beeches 5th 385 yards, Par4

Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4

Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3

Kigbeare 8th 403 yards, Par 4

Autumn to Spring Specials 3 Night weekend £120/£182 4 Night midweek £160/£228 Full board, Group Discounts Including


with all breaks taken between October 10th 2011 and April 29th 2012 NEW for this winter, All Season Fully Enclosed Buggies. £2 per day. Subject to availability. 7x 18 hole course options – yards KIGBEARE PINES FOREST ASHBURY BEECHES OAKWOOD WILLOWS

Par 72 Par 72 Par 71 Par 69 Par 69 Par 67 Par 54

White 6528 6400 6140 5804 5765 5502 1939

Yellow 6126 6076 5854 5534 5400 5299 1939

Red 5334 5327 5211 4918 4826 4630 1939

In addition there are extensive practice facilities and a driving range.

Pines 4th 270 yards, Par 4

Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4

Freephone: 0800 389 9892

the course and then stay at the club and enjoy clean, comfortable lodgings, with all the facilities of the club at your disposal – including hearty breakfasts, evening meals, and a well-stocked bar that requires no taxi to take you there. This spirit still lives on to this day, although only at a handful of clubs, including Rye, Aberdovey, Burnham & Berrow, Seaford Head, Royal Porthcawl and Formby, but with Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club’s magnificent dormy house being perhaps one of the finest examples. Legendary post-war golf writer Pat Ward-Thomas stayed here on a number of occasions, and described it as: “A handsome building, within its own policies and remains, solely to serve the purpose for which it was built. I love the moment of awakening and looking across the beautiful sleek lawn of putting green to the links, as peacefully the day’s activities begin. All is quiet save perhaps for a greenkeeper making sure that everything is in order. One can linger in the bath and then stroll over to breakfast in the clubhouse, past the little garden that always seems

to be ablaze with colour whenever I am there.” I can only echo those sentiments, if slightly less prosaically, having had the pleasure of staying here on a recent trip to Lancashire’s golf coast to see how course preparations are coming along for next year’s Open. It’s been over 10 years since David Duval won over the crowds with his stunning iron play and courteous speech, but little has changed on the surface at the 115-year-old club that is tucked away in the suburban back streets of genteel Lytham. Eddie Birchenough’s name still sits proudly on a wooden plaque above the professional’s shop door, and the corridors of the timeless clubhouse are stilled filled with the aura of past Open champions, whose achievements are celebrated on the oak-pannelled walls. Equally timeless is the Dormy House, which sits directly behind the putting green that overlooks the first tee. Boasting 16 spotless single rooms, it is the perfect place for large groups, whether friends or corporate colleagues, to stay when playing at Lytham, and

the stunning array of other courses to be found on this over-blessed stretch of coastline. Loved by generations of golfers who make the annual pilgrimage here, it is not plush by any means, with guests required to share bathrooms and toilet facilities, and the rooms a little on the spartan side, but what it lacks in luxurious fripperies, it more than makes up for in character and charm, which will have former public school boys recalling days of being woken up by matron at 6 o’clock for cold showers and stodgy porridge. Thankfully, the showers are as hot as you like, and the porridge, along with the rest of the breakfast – which is served in the clubhouse – is better than anything you’ll find at boutique hotel. Everything is cooked to order – you’ll find no eggs hardening under heat lamps here – with Full English breakfasts, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or eggs benedict providing the necessary nutrients to get any golfer’s energy levels – and taste buds – up and running. There’s also a small lounge with comfy sofas and a big TV to relax in front of after a testing round on the links, although most guests head to the club’s upstairs bar, where the friendly staff will keep your glasses topped up while you gaze out over the links before you in wonder and trepidation. After a night of tall tales, fine food, and frothing ales – and a few frames of snooker – you just have to stumble back to the house (and hopefully remember the security code to the outer door), before waking up just a few hours later to stumble even less assuredly to the first tee, where one of England’s finest links experiences awaits. The rest is up to you. Dormy House packages are available from £181pp, which includes dinner, bed, full English breakfast, one round of golf and a soup and sandwich lunch. For bookings please call 01253 643790
or email

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

It’s a measure of the continued popularity of golf in the UK – as well as golfers’ decision to cut back on shorthaul flights – that five of the 10 most popular golf breaks booked with Yourgolftravel. com this year were for UKbased golf resorts. The number one break was to Celtic Manor, which is still buzzing with activity over a year after the cheers died down following Europe’s dramatic victory in the Ryder Cup. YGT’s one-night break with two rounds of golf, which costs from £105pp, proved a runaway success in 2011, with bookings already getting busy well into 2012. The third most popular break was to another former Ryder Cup venue,

/ 41

Celtic remains top choice for UK breaks The Belfry, where golfers continue to flock to the iconic Warwickshire resort in attempt to relive some of the most memorable moments in the history of the game. Bed and breakfast and two rounds of golf start from

£110, making a trip to the UK’s home of the Ryder Cup eminently affordable. Slipping in at number five is De Vere Belton Woods in Lincolnshire, where the four-star hotel and two 18hole courses remains afirm

favourite with club golfers from all over the UK, thanks to its central location. Seventh favourite destination is another De Vere venue, Slayley Hall in Northumberland. The former PGA Senior Tour venue has dinner, bed and breakfast breaks with two rounds of golf from £99. Last, but not least, in YGT’s top 10 is Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort in North Lincolnshire. The 27-hole resort, which has a QHotel on site, has put in a bid to host the Solheim Cup in 2016, and looks set for another busy year in 2012.

Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board

Please visit our new website The Dorset Golf Hotel and Luxury Log homes for rent FREE GOLF Air-conditioned clubhouse facilities l Restaurant offering an extensive menu l On site accommodation in the Dorset Golf Hotel 16 twin rooms l From £55.95 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l

For details of breaks to all these venues and more, visit

Get in the festive spirit with Macdonald Hotels Whether seeking a Christmas gift for an avid golfer or a fun-filled golf break with family and friends, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has a wide range of golfing holidays at a choice of four and five-star hotels this winter. With a host of challenging championship courses set amidst stunning natural settings, Macdonald Hotels’ seasonal golf packages will ensure you can really putt in style this winter. If you’ve dreamed of playing the iconic Old Course in St Andrews, take advantage of the ‘Home of Golf Old Course Winter Package’ at the four-star Macdonald Rusacks Hotel. From just £210pppn, golfers can combine a luxurious two-night stay with a round of golf on the Old Course and the choice of the New, Eden, Jubilee or Castle course for two further rounds. Moving down the country, guests can combine festive fun with two rounds of golf on the beautiful Sapphire course at the four-star Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa in Shropshire. From just £79pp/pn, golfers can enjoy a round of golf before immersing themselves in the festive spirit with a cocktail followed by with a three-course dinner. After relaxing in a Classic bedroom, guests can savour a sumptuous breakfast before indulging in a further round of golf. There is also a wide choice of golf breaks at Macdonald Hotels’ other UK destinations, with one-night stays starting from £85pp at Botley Park Hotel Golf & Spa, Cardrona Hotel Golf & Spa, Linden Hall Hotel Golf & Spa, and Portal Hotel Golf & Spa in Chester. For details visit or call 0844 879 9294.

27 holes of fantastic golf


Coffee & Bacon Baguette on arrival Basket of Driving Range Balls l 18 Holes of Championship Golf l Two Course Dinner l Coffee & Mints l l

£29.95pp (min 8 players)

Dorset’s premier golfing venue not to be missed! The Dorset Golf & Country Club, Bere Regis, Nr Poole, Dorset BH20 7NT Website: Website: Email:

Telephone no: 01929 472244


2 NIGHTS B&B at St Mellion or Trevose 3 ROUNDS St Mellion, Perranporth & Trevose

ONLY £225 pp Dinner option: £20pp per night extra






2 NIGHTS B&B at Toorak Hotel, Torquay 3 ROUNDS Churston, Torquay & Teignmouth

2 NIGHTS B&B at either: Marriott Portsmouth or Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, Haslemere

2 NIGHTS B&B at The Metropole Hotel DAY 1 Cradoc G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Llandrindod Wells G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Builth Wells G.C 18 holes

2 NIGHTS B&B at The Royal Sportsman DAY 1 Porthmadog G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Nefyn & District G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Royal St Davids G.C 18 holes

2 NIGHTS B&B at Woodhall Spa Hotel 3 DAYS 1 x Hotchkin Course*

ONLY £199 pp

ONLY £225 pp

ONLY £249 pp

3 ROUNDS at any of these courses:

Hindhead, Stoneham, Hayling or Liphook

ONLY £199 pp

Dinner Option: £10pp per night extra

ONLY £249 pp

Weekend supplement: £10pp extra

Weekend supplement: £15pp extra

1 x Bracken Course* 1 x Seacroft GC

* Located at Woodhall

Weekend supplement: £17pp extra

To discuss your exclusive golf package call 01822 618181

We have over 15 years experience of organising golf breaks throughout the UK and Europe

42 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Fred Bickmore provides a personal insight into the Mauritius Tourism Promot Challenge, which saw 10 lucky Golf News competition winners enjoy a 10-day of a lifetime to the tropical island of Mauritius

Rising to the Challenge! The 10 lucky winners, from the thousands of entrants from GolfNews readers, got a first look at each other when we met at the Air Mauritius check-in at Heathrow. After introductions were made, and a goody bag of useful items from the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority handed over, we checked in for our overnight flight on Air Mauritius.

DAY 1: After a smooth journey, we arrived into the gloriously sunny and warm Mauritius morning, where we were met by the team from our ground agents, Connections, who had us loaded up and on our way in no time for the hour-long transfer to the first of our world-class golf resorts, the

Heritage Le Telfair. After a traditional greeting by the staff, with cold towels and a fruit cocktail, we checked into our luxurious rooms, before enjoying a superb lunch, where we soon started to gel as a group over a glass or two of chardonnay – a theme we were to repeat at every opportunity over the next nine days! As winners of the Golf News MTPA competition, the main aim of the week was for us all to have a wonderful time, explore the beautiful tropical paradise of Mauritius, and play on some exquisite golf courses. But the trip was sweetened further by a little healthy competition. As we journeyed across Mauritius, the ten golfers were competing to win the Mauritius Cup – a seven-round

Stapleford competition, played off full handicap, with the four best scores overall determining the winner. DAY 2: The first round took place at the Heritage Golf Club, a magnificent course managed by Steven Shearer, the Director of Golf for Heritage Resorts. Played in glorious weather, first blood in the seven-round challenge went to Helen Maclean, as she threw down the gauntlet for the ladies. After a wonderful lunch in the clubhouse, we checked into our second resort, the Heritage Awali, which is conveniently located next door to the Heritage Golf Club. The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the beach and the many watersports and activities on offer. That evening we were treated to a sumptuous lobster dinner courtesy of the Awali Resort, and our first full day drew to a close under a perfect star-studded sky. DAY 3: The next day we were transferred to the east of the island, and Le Touessrok, one of the best resorts you will ever experience. Occupying a magnificent beach-front setting, Le Touessrok is one of the world’s finest resorts, where attention to detail is taken to a new level, with each room having a dedicated butler to attend to one’s every need. After checking in, we were transported by boat to the world famous Le Touessrok Golf Course on

the beautiful Ile aux Cerfs island, a short distance from the resort. Designed by Bernard Langer, it is without doubt the most difficult course in Mauritius, with some very long carries off the tee and narrow testing fairways. After a snack lunch set up on the first tee, we were off on our second round. From the start the course showed its teeth, and with unforgiving rough and tight fairways, this was a serious test of golf for all concerned, which was reflected in the scores at the end of the day. Dinner at Le Touessrok was sensational, as once more we ate under the stars, and the group retired to bed feeling like things just could not get any better. DAY 4: The next morning, we said farewell to one great resort, before

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 43

tion Authority y golfing trip

many varieties of rum for which the island is famous.

heading for another, Anahita the Resort, where, after we checked into our glorious two-bedroom villas, we were off to the Els Course for a great golfing treat. With stunning views over the Indian Ocean, Els has created a wonderful course, with wide, forgiving fairways making it playable for all levels of golfer – although the large greens require a good deal of attention to read their subtle breaks. Things were warming up on the competition front, with Helen starting to post some steady high scores and Donald Hope not far behind. That evening we had a seafood feast under the stars, which was one of the highlights of the many wonderful culinary experiences on our trip. DAY 5: The following morning, after another hearty breakfast, we had

another boat transfer across the bay to Four Seasons at Anahita, where we were greeted by the manager and staff, and escorted to our individual one-bedroom villas. This was our one free day, and it was testament to the stamina of the group, and the quality of the courses, that most chose to play the Els course again. The few that did not play had the opportunity to visit the spa or partake of the free watersports on offer, and a few went off on a snorkelling trip, after which we all met up on the beach to chill out and enjoy this world-class resort. A fabulous diner in the hotel’s signature restaurant finished off yet another memorable day. DAY 6: The following morning we were off again to Constance Belle Mare Plage Resort, where we were escorted to our extravagant twobedroom villas and introduced to our very own butlers. The villas had their own individual swimming pools, two large en suite bedrooms, and a large sitting room with an extensive outside area to relax and soak up the sun. Our round was on the Legends Course, host to the PGA Seniors Mauritius Open in October, and a very playable course that let everyone score well. Dinner at Belle Mare Plage was a superb buffet, and our group made the most of the many varieties of cuisine on offer. Afterwards we

enjoyed the entertainment in the bar and put the world to rights over a cocktail or two. DAY 7: Our next move was the short distance to the Constance Le Prince Maurice, and a round of golf on the excellent Links Course, where once more we had another beautiful day. The afternoon was spent relaxing on the beach before dinner at Le Prince Maurice, which was another fabulous treat. DAY 8: The next day, we were off across the island to Tamarina Resort for our penultimate night on Mauritius. Tamarina is an all-inclusive resort, built at one end of one of the best surfing beaches on Mauritius, where the well-appointed rooms all have views out over the bay. Our round on Tamarina was a joy, with some great holes, although we all agreed that it was a course that you would play differently the second time around, with a number of blind drives and well-protected greens that required the right line for your approach. After lunch, we had some time to relax by the pool or take a walk around the beautiful bay. That night we had a very enjoyable dinner hosted by Tamarina’s general manager, Dominque Autrey, at which our group decided that they would sample a number of the items on offer at the all-inclusive bar, including the

DAY 9: Our final stop on this magnificent tour was the Beachcomber Paradis Resort with the towering peak of Le Morne providing a dramatic backdrop to the course. After we had checked into our spectacular rooms, we were off for our final competition round. At the halfway house they had set up lunch for our group with some excellent wines. Paradis is exactly what you want from a golf resort, with a welcoming clubhouse, efficient staff, and a course in superb condition, giving high and low handicappers the opportunity to score well and make the most of this very enjoyable and scenically amazing golf course. Our final dinner was attended by representatives from the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius, Beachcomber Hotels and the senior management of the Paradis Resort. It was a gastronomic experience that few will ever enjoy again, and was served with a world-class selection of wines in a fairytale setting overlooking the ocean. The evening ended with the prize-giving from which no-one went away empty handed, but the overall competition was won by Helen Maclean, who won by a slender three points over Donald Hope in second place, with Ian Landau in third. Helen took home the coveted MTPA Golf Challenge Trophy, which will take pride of place in her trophy cabinet. She gave a very gracious winner’s speech, where she echoed the feelings of all by saying it was the golf trip of a lifetime to a magical destination. The following morning we had an early start for our transfer back to the airport and our Air Mauritius day flight back to Heathrow, where we all parted having made firm friends and with a host of fabulous memories of playing golf in what is one of the finest golf destinations in the world.

It was luxury all the way for Golf News’s ten lucky competition winners, who played a stunning selection of golf courses and stayed at the finest hotels during their 10-day trip

For more information please visit

44 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Tee it up with the pros at Vila Sol Golf Escapes, one of the UK’s leading specialist golf holiday operators, is organising the PGA South Region Overseas Pro-Am in Vilamoura on Portugal’s sunny Algarve from February 23-28, 2012. The event includes five nights’ accommodation in the luxury five-star Pestana Vila Sol Resort in a twin room on a bed and breakfast basis, four tournament rounds (two on Vila Sol, plus two at Vale do Lobo Ocean), an estate car per team, daily lunch packs for each tournament day, welcome cocktail party, gala dinner, range tokens, excellent

amateur prizes, on site PGA tournament controller and a professional prize fund of £6,665 (based on 24 teams). Each team will consist of one PGA Professional and three amateurs; the price per amateur is £699, with the team professional staying free of charge. Flights are not included. If you can’t find your own professional, the PGA South Region will be more than happy to find one to join your team.

Weekend breaks to the Western Algarve

For more information please contact Golf Escapes on 01342 811777 or see

The luxury Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa is targeting the UK golf market following strong results for the Algarve region with British holidaymakers in 2011. The resort, located in the Western Algarve near Carvoeiro, has launched a weekend package that offers golfers access to Gramacho or Vale da Pinta courses alongside two nights’ fivestar accommodation from £156 per person. The package also includes a spa

treatment, breakfasts and a three-course evening meal. The Algarve has attracted golfers for over 30 years and provides some of the best golfing conditions in Europe with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, calm winds and championship standard golf courses. “The Algarve has enjoyed a bumper 2011 with tour operators reporting UK visitor numbers are rising due to a strong demand for value-led deals from holidaymakers,” said  Jorge Almeida,

General Manager for Vale d’Oliveiras Resort & Spa. “This proves encouraging for Vale d’Oliveiras as our experiences fit with UK requirements; we are within close driving distance to the beautiful fishing village and beach of Carvoeiro with easy access to the region’s major golf courses. We also offer both hotel and self-catering options and one of the best spas in the Algarve in a secure, gated property.” For more details and bookings visit

Follow in the footsteps of champions at La Manga Normandy Golf

British company based in France, specialising in tailor made golfing breaks in Normandy and the whole of France, for Corporate entertaining, Golf societies or special family trips.

To suit every taste and budget For full details call Jonathan Lloyd

0800 0835 330 (Free service) France: 0033 2 32 97 1256

While many golfers are putting their clubs away for the winter, La Manga Club is enjoying one of its busiest periods of the year, with a host of professional players heading to the five-star Spanish resort in recent weeks. Earlier this month the resort hosted the second stage of the European Tour’s qualifying school, while the Ladies Murcia Open saw the up-andcoming generation of women professionals take to the fairways of the South Course.

And next month sees the LET’s qualifying school take centre stage between January 8-19. However, it’s not just the golfing elite who can enjoy the flagship Spanish resort’s facilities – travelling golfers can experience the same first-class fairways with fantastic winter golf packages for as little as €82.50 per person per night. Guests will receive bedand-breakfast accommodation in the four-star Las Lomas Village, a daily round of golf on any of the three championship courses, and access to the saunas, steam rooms, indoor pool and gym at Spa La Manga Club. Alternatively, guests looking

• Hotels • Villas • Apartments • Bed & Breakfast • • Discounted green fees in The Algarve • Car Hire • • For all your sporting & holiday requirements • • Golf • Tennis • Karting • Bowls • Boating, etc. • • Corporate & Private Event Organisers • • A personal service & a lot more...

PRG Golf V2.indd 1

12/9/11 15:35:37

for the ultimate luxury golf break can stay in the five-star Hotel La Manga Club Principe Felipe for €112.50 per person per night when staying four nights or more. Prices are valid until March 31, 2012, excluding the New Year’s Eve period – December 30, 2011 to January 1, 2012. Guests wanting to spend a day away from the fairways can also choose to exchange their daily golf for a selection of other activities including tennis and spa treatments. The resort boasts unrivalled facilities as a sport and leisure venue including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness

centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses, more than 20 bars and restaurants and great fun for children. For more information or to book a stay please call 00 34 968 17 5577, email reserve@ or visit

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 45 unveils Turkey in time for Christmas the GB & Ireland team to victory in the Vivendi Seve Trophy – has seen bookings for the venture boom for the winter with forward rentals running at more than 20 per cent ahead of this time last year. With the majority of European airlines charging upwards of £60 return to take golf clubs on board, it is little wonder that the scheme has been so well received. As well as saving consumers significant outlay,

Ryder Cup hero Paul McGinley’s offcourse business venture – ClubstoHire. com – has announced the opening of its seventh outlet in Antalya, Turkey. The new branch of the golf club rental company will help to serve the tens of thousands of travelling golfers from across Europe who flock each year to the golf-rich Belek coastline, now home to 15 leading courses with a warm year-round climate ideal for golf. McGinley – who recently captained

the company’s success also comes from providing golfers with a seamless booking process, top-brand equipment choices, including TaylorMade, Callaway, Wilson and MD Golf. All the clubs are offered left or righthanded, ladies and men’s – and hire is available from just one day to four weeks. Bookings for Antalya, Alicante, Murcia, Dublin, Malaga, Edinburgh and Faro can be made online at

Book early for Brittany bargains! France & Spain Golf breaks


• 7 nights B&B 6pp 9 • 4 rounds of golf 5 £ • Return flights with in-flight meals • 20 kg checked luggage and 5 kg hand luggage • Local transfers and representative services • No charge for golf bag • Under 100% ATOL protection

unbeatable value • unrivalled service • superb courses


The 2012 Brittany Ferries golf holiday brochure, which is now out, features no fewer than 71 golf courses in Western France, and a further 17 in Spain. These holidays have always offered outstanding value but now, with a 10 per cent saving if booked before 31 January 2012, they are truly unbeatable. But low prices does not mean any compromise on quality of service, particularly when it comes to getting the right advice from the Brittany Ferries Golf Desk, which is manned by experts that are familiar with the courses, the best routes, what restaurants to visit, and where to stay. Golf breaks to Brittany, Normandy or the Western Loire start from just £57 per person for an away day, which includes return crossings and a round of golf, while overnight trips taking in two rounds start from £99, based on four people travelling together in a standard car and sharing twin/ double rooms between now and the end of March 2012. Extra nights can be added for £54pp. Graham Ruth, Director of Golf for Brittany Ferries, said: “Booking early not only makes sense to secure the best crossings and tee times, but now it can save you 10%. We recognise that in these difficult economic times everyone is seeking value and we truly believe that our golf breaks offer the best value ever, especially when compared to flying, because with us there are no hidden costs and you can take as much golf equipment as you can fit into your car.” Details of all courses can be found at golf. For advice and bookings call the Golf Desk on 0871 244 0808.

7 night golf break from £596

Call our holiday experts on 0203 150 0913 or visit


The Travel Association Y2916

46 /

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

Travellers in search of a North African adventure and some top-class golf should book into the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, where luxury and leisure sit side by side

ee l s fr al ge o n ka 8 gle opac n b 1 i ila ht a g av 7 ni 5&

Mazagan: Where the golf is so Moorish

Amazing golf deals

morocco Golf Escapes is delighted to team up with the fantastic Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco to offer Golfnews readers some amazing Winter & Spring offers... Package 1

Package 2

Valid 02 Jan – 29 March 2012 4 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service.

Valid 02 Jan – 29 March 2012 5 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service.



Package 3

Package 4

Valid 02 Jan – 29 March 2012 7 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service.

Valid 30 March – 21 June 2012 4 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service.



Package 5

Package 6

Valid 30 March – 21 June 2012 5 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service

Valid 30 March – 21 June 2012 7 Nights + Unlimited Golf at Mazagan. Ocean View Twin Rooms – B&B. 1 free round at the Royal Golf El Jadida with transfers included. Free airport shuttle service.



Please note: Prices are valid for bookings made at least 30 days prior to arrival. The prices stated are based on an exchange rate of 12.75 MAD to the Pound.

For more information or to book one of these great packages call: 01342 811777 or visit:

w: e: t: 01342 811777

Situated just an hour’s drive from Casablanca, the luxurious five-star Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is a sumptuous property sitting along four miles of spectacular beach. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, stunning lagoons, beautiful gardens, the spectacular golf course, swimming pool or the internal patio, each of the 500 elegant and spacious rooms feature a large king-sized bed or two double beds with ensuite bathrooms. The rooms, with their decadent Moroccan-inspired décor, all feature satellite television, WiFi, hairdryer, safe and minibar, and the range of room types, from deluxe to suites, caters for all budgets and tastes. The resort’s eight restaurants combine the very best of world cuisine with a variety of Moroccan and Mediterranean gastronomies. Dining options vary from exclusive fine dining to more informal refreshments, with a number of relaxing bars and lounges from which to choose. Aside from the world-class golf course, the excellent leisure facilities include a spa for relaxation and wellbeing, and a fully-equipped fitness centre, with a state-of-theart gym and a wide range of yoga and pilates classes. The many activities include Nordic walking, water sports (surfing, windsurfing and jet skiing),

tennis, beach sports (soccer and volleyball), horseback riding, quads, buggies, mountain biking, cookery and craft classes. After dark, guests can enjoy the elegant casino and the prestigious nightclub. For younger guests, the resort has three kids’ clubs, each offering a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Designed by Gary Player, the Mazagan golf course is one of Morocco’s longest layouts, measuring, 7,400 yards off the back tees. The par 72 course meanders along the ocean, following the contours of the dunes and

natural features of the land, which provide spectacular views at every turn. The sea breeze drifting off the Atlantic will ensure all aspects of your game are tested, so make sure you pack your best golf swing if you’re planning to score well on this magnificent course. Each hole has several tees, enabling golfers of all abilities to fully enjoy the Mazagan experience. The magnificent clubouse, which faces the Atlantic ocean, has a bar and restaurant with attractive terraces surrounded by palm trees and is an ideal oasis in which to relax before or after your round. The neighbouring 18-hole Royal Golf El Jadida course provides an excellent alternative in the unlikely event that you would want a day away from Mazagan. For those in search of a little culture, the historic city of El Jadida – which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site – is only 6kms away, and is well worth a visit to see its impressive ancient fortifications, souks and markets. With a flight time of just three hours from the UK, Morroco enjoys a mild, warm climate all year round, and is the perfect destination for a winter break with a difference. For more information visit

December 2011 - January 2012 / Issue 206

/ 47


In association with...

with Len Goodman – The 67-year-old Dartford-based Strictly Come Dancing judge enjoys the finer things in life and never leaves the UK without his golf clubs My best holiday was… in 1979, when I spent Christmas in South Africa with my mate John Knight. We stayed near Durban, in Umhlanga Rock. We’re both mad keen on golf, so we didn’t visit Table Mountain or any of the touristy spots. All we did was play golf. From the age of 20, I’d just danced and practised, so I’d missed out on all the carefree things that you do in your early twenties. It was like having a second bash at my youth. My most recent holiday was to… Florence. We stayed at the Villa San Michelle in Fiesole. It’s a converted 15th century monastery overlooking the city and it was just stunning.

My favourite golf course in the world is… Pebble Beach in California. My favourIte golf course in the UK is… Sunningdale.

Villa d’Este on Lake Como



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My most memorable meal was… afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. My worst ever holiday was to… Dubai, mainly due to a sickness bug that I picked up when I arrived.

The thing I hate the most about travel is… airport queues. But you can’t complain, or cause a fuss, because they might stop you getting on the flight. My top travel tip is… never to return to the same place twice for a holiday. There are more fantastic places to visit than you can shake a stick at, so as good as any holiday is, it is never quite as good second time around.

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My favourite city in the world is… London.

The best hotel I’ve stayed in is…Villa d’Este on Lake Como, which I stayed in about five years ago with my wife, Sue. It is the most wonderful place. On arrival, my room was a bit pokey and looked out on to a

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My best ever round of golf was at… The London Club in Ash, Kent.

Whenever I go on holiday I always pack… my iPod, golf clubs and mosquito spray, because mosquitoes seem to like me – a bit like grandmothers do.

For my perfect holiday, I need… nice weather, although it doesn’t have to be stinking hot. I also need things to do. Ideally, I’d like a golf course and a couple of little villages within walking distance. Foodwise, I like all kinds of restaurants, as long as they’ve got a British twist.

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I am planning a trip to… Australia and New Zealand. When I was young, there wasn’t such a thing as a gap year, so I would like to have a posh gap year. I haven’t worked out the logistics, but I’d like take to take a year out, and, unlike students who thumb their way around the outback, I’d do it in a chauffeurdriven car.

wall, so I had a bit of a moan – and they gave me the most beautiful room with a terrace, overlooking the lake.

Pebble Beach in California

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Exotic�Golf�Holidays Mauritius 5*�Belle Mare Plage 2�weeks�from�£1,595 incl.�12�nights�halfboard�accom. flights�&�transfers “best�golf�resort�in�the�world!”

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12:08: 43

An Inn on York Street u Stay in a historic Southern Plantation, English run B&B u Never more than 4 pampered couples u Play leisurely golf on fabulous conditions courses u Experience the slow pace and charm of “small-town mid America” u Relax and unwind after golf by the pool by sipping “Mint Juleps” u Luxury en-suite rooms with gourmet breakfasts and concierge services u Golf booked and arranged to your liking u Choice of more than 20 courses within a 35 minutes drive u Find us a 50 minutes drive south of Charlotte Airport u Check out our guest reviews at

includes�unlimited�golf�on 2�championship�courses

Tournament Mauritius�Chaka�Open 7�nights��in�Heritage�Awali 3�competition�rounds with�unlimited�golf 20�-�28�April�2012 from £1,700�pp All�Inclusive

Tu r k e y 5*�LykiaWorld�&�LinksGolf 7�nights�all-Inclusive with�unlimited�golf�(excl.�flights)


incl�flights extend�by�5�nights�for�£300�pp�all�inclusive

South Africa Tailor�made�holidays�by�the

South�African�golf�specialists Visit�our�dedicated�website

Golf Holidays in South

Madeira 5*�Meliã�Madeira�Mare 7�nights�bb with�4�rounds�golf incl�transfers�(excl.�flights)


7 Nights Bed & Breakfast to include 3 rounds of golf for £349 ++++ second consecutive week FOR ONLY £300 based on two people sharing. New set of prices could be (£1=$1.55)


Tel:�028�9023�2112 An INN on York Street, 164 York Street, Chester, SC 29706 Tel: 001- 803- 581- 8681. E-mail: Website:

© 2011 PING P.O. Box 82000 Phoenix, AZ 85071

At PING, we’re always thinking about your game and how to improve it. In the new G20® Series, we’ve applied our more than 50-years of engineering know-how to optimize the entire set to fit your game and your swing. With new materials, like the Ti 8-1-1 used in the G20 driver and the elastomer cavity badge found in the G20 iron, we’ve advanced our award-winning designs even further. Each club is engineered to bring your game more distance, more accuracy and more consistency. It all adds up to more enjoyment. All you need is a custom fitting. We’ve taken care of everything else.

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