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Issue 197 | MARCH 2011

England’s ‘forgotten man’ Justin Rose explains why he is ready to be remembered Full interview on pages 16 & 17

ROSE IN FULL BLOOM

Win: Holiday to Mauritius | Callaway’s latest driver | BMW PGA Championship tickets

© PING 2011

andrew cotter p24 | FRED COUPLES p28 | EWEN MURRAY p32 | AUGUSTA p34 | Pro Shop p42 | ME & MY TravelS p53


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‘Improve your swing’ and ‘play more consistently’ Join Brian Sparks, author of Positive Impact Golf, on the UKs most effective 3-day residential coaching course.

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Editor’sview email: editor@golfnews.co.uk

Do we need another hero?

W

ith his long history of swearing, club-throwing and spitting, Tiger Woods was never the role model that he was sometimes made out to be. And that was eons before we got to know about the extramarital activities. None of these things are illegal, but then again, none of them are things that you’d encourage your kids to get up to on, or off, the golf course. His latest, and arguably his most offensive, piece of behaviour to date – which Ewen Murray goes into greater length, and far more insight, in his column this month – scraped new lows, just when you thought he could go no lower. Not content with having relieved the Dubai government of $55million for designing a golf course that will never be built, he was happy to rub

the monumental appearance fee in everyone’s noses by flobbing his bile onto the green. While I’ve had plenty of sporting heroes in my life, from Ian Botham to John McEnroe to name but two, I would never take lessons in etiquette or social mores from them. And that’s where we stand with Mr Woods. We can all admire his technique with a wedge from the fringe, and his ability to twirl a driver after splitting the fairway, but he’s no role model, and I’d hazard a guess that he’d agree with me that he never set out to be. He just wanted to be the best golfer in the world. So while Tiger is no longer the cleancut superhero that we all wanted him to be, our kids perhaps need to look closer to home – maybe in the home – for someone to really look up to.

Barham on the road to recovery Kent tour pro Benn Barham is planning his return to tournament golf after undergoing an operation to remove a cancerous kidney just before Christmas. The 35-year-old from Ashford, who is attached to Chart Hills Golf Club, is back hitting balls again following the successful operation, and is working on his fitness by swimming and regular workouts in the gym. Barham underwent an operation to remove the tumour on his right kidney in December. “The doctors were not sure if

the tumour was malignant or not, so they felt that the safest thing was to remove it,” Barham said. “I feel lucky in the fact that we found it early and it was on a kidney – you can live without one kidney.” Barham, who lost his place on the European Tour last year, had been experiencing stomach problems during his last few events on the Challenge Tour, and he wasted no time in seeking medical advice. “One of the tour doctors said that it would be a good idea to get an ultrasound scan to see if

there was anything going on with my stomach,” Barham said. “As it turned out there wasn’t – it was absolutely clear – but there was a shadow on my kidney. My GP sent me to have a CT scan to get a clearer look and it showed up that there was a tumour on it.” Barham had hoped to try and win his tour card back at last year’s qualifying school, but missed his chance through the illness and will be playing on a Challenge Tour ranking when he returns to competition later this year. “My health is the most important thing for me and my family, so that’s what I’ve got to concentrate on,” said Barham. Barham’s off-course duties now include acting as an ambassador for the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer, a charity that helps raise awareness of the disease. Speaking about his appointment, he said: “The charity’s work is very relevant to me and my life, and I hope that golf can serve as a good vehicle in raising money and increasing the profile of kidney cancer, which rarely attracts much public attention.” Read an exclusive interview with Benn in the April issue of Golf News.

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Thomson takes o Wimbledon renov

T

he historic Wimbledon Park Golf Club is to begin a programme of renovation in order to enhance the playing experience for members and visitors alike. The first stage of renovations will see a complete overhaul of the 113-year-old club’s bunkers, with design practice Thomson Perrett & Lobb, founded by five-times Open Champion Peter Thomson, having been called in to undertake the work. Speaking about the project, TPL partner Tim Lobb said: “Wimbledon Park has a rich and colourful

Renovation work is already under way at Wimbledon Park

history and is a classic English parkland layout. Our plans are to review the current bunkering across the whole course and implement a design plan that will enhance the playing experience for members

and guests.” Course manager, David Langheim, said: “The proposed renovations will undoubtedly give all golfers a greater strategic challenge when they play Wimbledon Park, but the improvements

Pepperell prepares to turn pro Oxfordshire amateur Eddie Pepperell is to sacrifice a potential Walker Cup place by turning professional in April. The 20-year-old Drayton Park member revealed his sensational plans in the wake of his Portuguese Amateur Championship victory at Montado last month. Pepperell was named in Great Britain and Ireland’s 23-man training squad for September’s match against the USA at Royal Aberdeen. But he will rule himself out of appearing in the ‘amateur Ryder Cup’ by prioritising his long-term future. “I spoke to a lot of people about the Walker Cup,” said Pepperell. “It is a great event. But for me to achieve my goal of gaining a European Tour card at the end of the year, I have got to give myself the best opportunity. I believe that is by turning pro sooner rather than later and earning enough points. I am confident I can do that.” Pepperell, from Abingdon, expects to play Challenge Tour events intially, but has not yet confirmed his schedule.

Gatton get behind their (bag) man! The members at Beaconsfield Golf Club weren’t the only ones cheering on Luke Donald during his recent win at the World Golf Championships in Arizona. While the Buckinghamshire club had every reason to support its favourite son, so too did the members at Gatton Manor Golf & Country Club in Surrey, only they were also adding a special cheer for Donald’s caddie, John McLaren, who is a long-time member of the Ockley-based club. McLaren took over Donald’s bag duties this time last year, after he dispensed with the services of his brother, Christian. The new pairing has enjoyed a successful partnership since, with Donald rising rapidly up the rankings, moving from 28th to his new lofty status as world number three in just 12 months. McLaren is a pretty useful golfer himself, having

twice won Gatton’s club championship, and has proved a useful addition to Donald’s armoury. During a long career on tour, he has also caddied for Duffy Waldorf and Scott Dunlap, and was working for Anders Hansen when he won the BMW PGA Championship in 2007. Gatton Manor’s owner, Patrick Kiely, is naturally delighted that one of their own should be shining on the world stage. “There was a great buzz in the clubhouse throughout the tournament. The members always follow John, and such he’s a great ambassador for the club,” said Patrick, who gave John a lifetime membership last year, in recognition of all his help with the club. Gatton Manor will once again be hosting the PGA Surrey Open Championship this summer, with this year’s event taking place from July 4 (Pro-Am) through to July 6.


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Queenwood joins Tavistock Cup

will also enhance the aesthetics of the course and make it much more appealing to the eye.� Founded in 1898, Wimbledon Park, which occupies a prized location next to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, has seen many changes, including the construction of no fewer than four clubhouses, the most of which was built after the third one was destroyed by a bomb during World War II. The bombings also made changes to the golf course, and a bunker near the 13th green was created from one of the numerous craters.

Reflecting the new ‘special relationship’ enjoyed between the European Tour and the PGA Tour, this year’s Tavistock Cup is to include an English club for the fist time in the event’s seven-year history. Traditionally pitting Orlando golf clubs Isleworth and Lake Nona in a two-day competition, this year’s tournament, which is being held at Isleworth on March 14-15, will include Albany, a new luxury resort in The Bahamas, and Queenwood, a private members’ club located in Ottershaw, Surrey. Widely regarded as the UK’s most exclusive golf club, with a reported joining fee of ÂŁ145,000, Queenwood stands out as being the only club in the tournament which was not developed by the Tavistock Group. Opened in 2001, Queenwood’s 6,831-yard course was designed by David McLay Kidd and is typical, if exceptionally manicured, Surrey heathland course.

Coles goes closes in India Essex pro Robert Coles came agonisingly close to securing a longedawaited first victory on the European Tour last month, only to stumble at the final hurdle. Coles was joint leader in the Avantha Masters in New Delhi with just the par-five 18th to play, but a costly bogey saw him miss out on a play-off with eventual winner CP Chowrasia by a single shot. Standing on the 18th tee, Coles was tied with Chowrasia, but his second

shot caught the greenside rough, and his subsequent chip from went 20 feet past the hole. He the overhit the putt and also missed with his eight-foot return to miss

out on a play-off. The 38year-old from Hornchurch was gutted to have given up such a golden opportunity to bag his first win, as well as secure a three-year exemption on tour. “It was just a really awkward shot,� said Coles, explaining his poor chip. “The ground was rock hard and it just flew on me. It is obviously disappointing, but I don’t feel too bad. I gave a good account of myself, but it was just wasn’t good enough.�

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Golf Newsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ultimate Guide to Society & Company Golf 2011 is now available. This has been a musthave publication for every golf society organiser for many a year and now its even bigger and better

8:43

than before with a new look, size and style. Featuring many of the regions finest clubs and courses, predominantly located in the South East, this indispensible handy full-colour

booklet provides all the information youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ever need to make your golf day a success. Among details included are up-to-date prices and packages for societies and visitors, information on tee time restrictions, comprehensive directions and local accommodation tips, as well as detailed descriptions of all the courses, with full colour photographs. For your free copy of The Ultimate Guide please email your Society or Company name to: info@golfnews.co.uk. read the U Kâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

no.1 go lf pap er on line at golfn ews.co .uk

Golf News, The Studio, 14 Deanway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6DG. Tel: 01273 556377. email: info@golfnews.co.uk. Website: www.golfnews.co.uk

Editor Nick Bayly editor@golfnews.co.uk

Photography Action Images, James Cheadle

Advertising Production Kath Perry ads@golfnews.co.uk

Published by BlueGreen Media

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

| MAR

CH 2011

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The Dyke Golf Club

(Est 1906)

Buckinghamshire upgrades pro shop

Play golf on the South Downs and enjoy our stunning sea views No temporary tees or greens. Buggies available.

Summer Golf Society Package

Membership Special Offer

From April - October 2011

3 months Trial Membership for £250 (no joining fee)

Mon/Tues PM Special Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 holes

£32.50 per person

If you decide to join as a full member after your trial period this £250 will be deducted from your first year.

PACKAGE A (Mon - Fri) Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 holes One course lunch

£44.00 per person PACKAGE B (Mon - Fri) Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 holes Two Course Carvery

£50.00 per person

For more information contact Megan/Anna on 01273 857296 or email: manager@dykegolfclub.co.uk Quote: (offer-GolfNews)

www.dykegolf.com

The Dyke Golf Club, Devil’s Dyke Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 8YJ

Treat Yourself...

Steve Wills in the new look equipment centre

Members at The Buckinghamshire can look forward to being offered a state-of-the-art clubfitting and repair service, following the opening of a new custom-built equipment centre in the club’s pro shop. Peter Schunter, the club’s long-standing PGA Professional, said: “The concept is to bring a Tour-style level of service to the club golfer. The vast majority of repairs and adjustments, including altering lofts and lies, re-gripping, and lengthening and shortening shafts can be done while the customer is waiting. We stock a huge selection of the major manufacturers’ grips and shafts, allowing us to make instant repairs.”

In addition to the repair element, the new-look shop is also equipped to offer the latest in custom-fitting technology, including a FlightScope system for monitoring ball flight when fitting irons and woods, while a Tomi putting system is available for use when fitting putters, as well as for coaching purposes. Schunter is assisted in the shop by experienced Steve Wills, Pro Shop Manager, PGA professionals Chris Roake and Adam Hinton, with all three able to offer lessons, as well as carry out fitting services and club repairs. Anyone requiring further information should contact the pro shop on 01895 836814.

Bramshaw hits the mark

Nev James, Bramshaw Junior Organiser; Ian Barrett, Cobra-Puma Golf; Ian Baker, Bramshaw general manager

Special Midweek Four ball Offer

Society Packages from

when quoting Golf News

per person through the season

£80

£30

Green Fees from £25  

Full Membership available from just £500

...more than just a golf club Chislehurst Golf Club, Camden Place, Camden Park Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5HJ Tel: 020 8467 3055 | www.chislehurstgolfclub.co.uk

Bramshaw Golf Club in Hampshire has been awarded the prestigious GolfMark Club of the Year Award. The English Golf Union and English Women’s Golf Association introduced the award to recognise those facilities that have shown an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf. Bramshaw impressed judges with strong evidence of a team ‘working together’ to grow the game. Having a focus on recruiting and retaining beginners of all ages in a welcoming atmosphere, the club has worked well with the Hampshire County Golf Partnership, sharing reciprocal links with 13 other clubs to provide easier access for new players. The club has carried out a successful three-year development plan to grow the junior section, while

greater numbers of adult beginners have also been actively encouraged and welcomed by established members. Presenting the award, Ian Barrett, marketing manager

for award sponsors CobraPuma Golf, said: “We are delighted to be able to help recognise the tremendous efforts of all at Bramshaw. This is clearly a club that is focused on developing golf for the good of the community. Part of our new business strategy is to help make golf more fun and inclusive, and supporting programmes like GolfMark provides us with an ideal opportunity to contribute to grassroots golf development and reward those clubs who go that extra mile for the good of the game.”

Are you up to th

Golfers can help raise money for charity by paying to have a go at reaching the green


News 0

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West Essex Golf Club was crowned 2010 Junior Team Golf Home Nations Champion after fighting off competition from Athenry, Wrexham, and Liberton on the El Valle course at Polaris World in Spain. The English team won all three of its matches, producing the most consistent level of high quality golf. They beat Scottish team Liberton 3.52.5, with Hugh Campbell, playing off one, shooting a gross level par 71 to win his match. They followed that up by whitewashing a young Wrexham team 6-0, with 2-handicapper Bobby Keeble leading the way with a nett 67. In the winner-takes-all battle against Irish team Athenry, Jack Heasman looked to be heading for a comfortable victory in the opening match, until a late comeback from Sean Cannon earned the Irish a half. But from thereon in, the West Essex team showed its strength in depth, winning four

West Essex reign in Spain matches and bagging two halves to run out 5-1 victors to be crowned the 16th Home Nations Champions. The seven-strong team included Jack Heasman, Hugh Campbell, Bobby Keeble, Chris Moore, Sophie Madden, Ashleigh Greenham and Mitchell Wellington, Gareth Nash, West Essex’s Junior Organiser, spoke of his delight after the victory:

Trailblazers 2011 tour schedule

Poult Wood

The dates and venues for the 2011 Trailblazers Tour are shortly to be announced, with a host of new venues due to come on board with the tour that is aimed at creating a professional, yet friendly competitive environment for youngsters – both boys and girls – aged between six and 12. Last year’s venues included Hever Castle, where the grand final was held, Boars Head Golf Centre, Addington Court, Poult Wood and Stonelees. This year’s schedule is once again being sponsored by FootJoy and Titleist. To take part in a tournament visit www.trailblazerstour.com or email info@trailblazerstour.com.

“I was amazed at how well our team played over the three days, not losing a game over the weekend. The course was very difficult, as proven by some of the scoring by the other sides, but it provided an absolutely fantastic test of golfing ability and character. It’s a great feeling to win the event shooting the scores that we did.”

months

free membership

Wilson receives lifetime award Former Sussex County Boys’ team manager John Wilson has been given a Lifetime Achievement award by the English Golf Union in recognition of his 33 years of work in amateur golf. Highlights include a long stint as Sussex County Boys team manager and a 10-year tenure on the EGU Junior Boys Committee. The 73-year-old still maintains a schedule that would alarm many younger volunteers, with his latest triumph being the popular Tigger Tour, created for youngsters aged 7-11, which is in its fourth year. Speaking after receiving the award, John said: “It is marvellous to receive this accolade, but much of what we do is not about the individual. Golf development is a team effort, and I’m delighted to have worked with so many people who care about the game as much as I do.”

his par-three challenge?

A

three

n enterprising farmer on the north coast of Devon is challenging golfers to test out their short game skills on a rather unusual golf hole that he has created. Tim Northcote’s 600-acre farm estate near Bude includes a rocky outcrop on which he has managed to construct a proper USGA-standard green with the help of the greenkeeping team at his local golf club. He has also built a makeshift tee up on the cliff top some 270 yards from the green, and is challenging all-comers to have a go at reaching the putting surface this summer. Mr Northcote, who plays off 12 at nearby St Petrocs Golf Club, said: “I thought it would be a bit of fun over the summer to install the green and charge people a few pounds to have a go at reaching it. It was a real job getting the earth, and the turf, up on to the rock, but seeing how it has turned out, I think it’s been worthwhile. Any money raised will be donated to the RNLI lifeboat station at Bude, which provides an invaluable service to locals and tourists alike.” The hole officially opens for play on April 1, and will be available to play – for £5 a ball (clubs and balls are provided) – every weekend until the end of July. Anyone who hits the green will have their name put into a prize draw to win a two-week family holiday in Devon next year, while anyone who manages a hole-in-one will win a £10,000 car, which has been put up as a prize by a local dealership.

a once in a blue moon chance... to join our award-winning golf club. In celebration of Exclusive Hotels 30 th Anniversary, a limited number of 30 seven day memberships have been made available! Aim for the moon… join Mannings Heath Golf Club before 31st March 2011 and get the first three months membership absolutely FREE! call julie hill on

+44 (0) 1403 220346

Email: j.hill@manningsheath.com or visit www.manningsheath.com/moon to find out more. Mannings Heath Golf Club - part of Exclusive Golf, Hammerpond Road, Mannings Heath, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6PG

MANNINGS HEATH GOLF CLUB


Play a Piece of History... Summer prices start from £75 per person, for 18 holes including Coffee and Bacon Roll A top-class field assembled in the desert playground of Contact us today on: 01304 611118 or email: office@princesgolfclub.co.uk Scottsdale, Arizona, to compete in The Scottsdale Classic Pro-Am, one of the PGA’s premier winter pro-am events, which immediately follows the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open. The week-long event climaxed with European Challenge Tour Player Craig Lee shooting a superb 64 a We-Ko-Pa to claim his first Pro-Am Tour title. Lee opened with a 66 at the exclusive FireRock Country Club, and followed it with rounds of 70 at both Quintero and Superstition Mountain. Pro-Am Tour regular Simon Lilly (pictured) briefly threatened after a third round 69, but had to settle for second place after Craig Lee’s magnificent last round set up a twelve shot victory. Darren Prosser was third and James Ablett fourth. Lee also won the mid-week Challenge Day at TPC Scottsdale, which was presented in magnificent condition with the grandstands still in place from the previous week’s PGA Tour event.

The Lodge at Prince’s will be available from late 2011, please visit www.thelodgeatprinces.co.uk for further details

Prince’s Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf ® the leader in upscale golf course management.

Princes Golf Club, Sandwich Bay, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9QB

Visit our website www.princesgolfclub.co.uk


News 11

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See the world’s best on Wentworth’s West Current world No.1 Martin Kaymer is one of a cast of stars heading to Wentworth

Golf fans are in for a treat when the BMW PGA Championship 2011 tees off at Wentworth Club from May 26-29, as the cream of European golf, including new World Number One Martin Kaymer, and many of his fellow Ryder Cup stars, are due to be in action over the Surrey club’s stunning West Course. Always one of the highlights of the golfing calendar, this year’s renewal of the BMW PGA Championship promises to be one of most star-studded fields ever assembled. With Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell

currently occupying the top four places in the World Ranking, and all scheduled to play in the event, spectators are in for a treat normally reserved for Major Championships. Thanks to the backing of BMW, which is now entering its seventh year as title sponsor, the Championship is one of the richest European Tour events, with the €4.5 million prize fund once again guaranteed to attract one of the strongest fields in The Race to Dubai. Last year saw over 25,000 fans on the final day, descend on Wentworth Club’s West Course to see Essex’s

Simon Khan pull off one of the fairytale finishes of the season. The 37-yearold, who entered the event ranked 471st in the world, achieving a life-changing victory and bagged the £637,000 first prize. The runner-up that week was Donald, who spurned a winning opportunity with an uncharacteristically errant drive on the par-five 17th during the final round, but he, along with 2009 champion Paul Casey, will be back to try and settle the score. Kaymer missed the cut by some way last year, but has shown course form before, finishing 11th behind Casey in 2009. Tickets for the tournament are already on sale, with adult season tickets, which allow entry for practice days and the four tournament days, costing just £55 (if bought in advance). Day tickets cost £30, while children under 16 go free if accompanied by a paying adult. To book tickets, visit www.europeantour.com or call 0800 023 2557.

summer Society Offers April - October 2011

From

£46

£33

From

WESTERHAM GOLF CLUB

WOLDINGHAM GOLF CLUB

www.westerhamgc.co.uk

www.woldingham-golfclub.co.uk

01959 567100

From

01883 653501

£33

From

£75

SURREY NATIONAL GOLF CLUB

THE ADDINGTON GOLF CLUB

www.surreynational.co.uk

www.addingtongolf.com

01883 344555

020 8777 1055

Please call the Club of your choice for further details or to book your society

Hever unveils ‘masterplan’

the ridge golf club

summer Golf Packages 1st April 2011 – 31st October 2011

Diamond Bronze EMERALD Silver Gold Platinum

Coffee, bacon rolls, 18 holes of golf English breakfast/light lunch, 18 holes of golf Coffee, bacon rolls, light lunch, 18 holes of golf Coffee, bacon rolls, 2 course dinner, 18 holes of golf Coffee, bacon rolls, light lunch, 2 course dinner, 28 holes of golf Coffee, bacon rolls, light lunch, 2 course dinner, 36 holes of golf

£25 £29 £33 £37 £52 £55

Weekend bronze: £35 Weekend Silver: £44

Hever Castle Golf Club in Kent has unveiled a programme of investments designed to keep the club as one of the top facilities in Kent, Surrey and Sussex region. Details of planned improvements and new initiatives have been outlined in a new ‘masterplan’ that has been distributed to members of the club. The detailed document reveals areas for future improvement to both the golf course and the clubhouse. Areas for investment include a path renovation programme, improved drainage and aeration, new course signage and furniture, the construction of a new starter’s hut and two new storm shelters, and

general improvements to the first tee and the area around it. In the clubhouse, the catering operation is being upgraded, with the purchase of a new coffee machine and the introduction of the monthly Sunday carvery, while the décor is to be altered. The pro shop is also to be improved, with the creation of a new custom fitting and re-gripping area, while the club’s

website is also being redesigned to improve communication with members and visitors. The Edenbridge-based club, which boasts 27holes of championship golf, offers several levels of membership, including standard seven- and five-day categories, joint memberships, and a free junior membership for new adult members. For more information visit: www.hever.co.uk

Society Special Offer

Book for 20 Players or more and one goes free Quote “GN Society Offer” when booking

*NEW* SENIOR JOINT MEMBERSHIP JUST £759 PER YEAR – Contact us for more information

PLAY & PAY EVERY TUESDAY & THURSDAY Play the Course any time for £15 (60+ £13). After 12.00pm £12, Loyalty Cards extra savings The Ridge Golf Club, Chartway Street, Sutton Valence, Maidstone, ME17 3JB. Tel: 01622 844382. Web: www.theridgegolfclub.co.uk


12 News

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Lydd Golf Club Romney Road, Lydd, Kent TN29 9LS

easter special

Mannings backs Sussex MatchPlay

Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive

Only £20.00 per person for 18 holes Book now to avoid disappointment

Sunday Special

Just £20 for 18 holes

a third off!

Exclusive Golf and Mannings Heath Golf Club are to sponsor a new knockout tournament in Sussex this season. The Sussex County Inter Club Handicap Matchplay Championship is open to category 2 and 3 players

– above 5.4 and not more than 20 – over the age of 18, and will be played for The Exclusive Golf Trophy. The format is a four-ball better ball match play, with each team consisting of four players. The final is to be held at Mannings Heath

– unless Mannings Heath makes the final, when an alternative, neutral venue will be chosen instead. Those clubs knocked out in the opening two rounds will be put into a draw for The Exclusive Golf Plate.

Leaderboa interactive

L

eaderboard Golf, owner and operator five top flight clubs in the south, has launched a new website. The redesigned site not only provides up-to-date information on Chart Hills, Dale Hill, The Oxfordshire, Sandford Springs and The Leaderboard Golf Centre at Reading, but combines social media and interactive functionality. Key site features include golf news from around the world and close to home, via the news pages and the integrated Twitter widget; product reviews and top-10 lists, covering everything from golf balls to putters; direct links to retailers

Lee shines in Scottsdale A top-class field assembled in the desert playground of Scottsdale, Arizona, to compete in The Scottsdale Classic Pro-Am – one of the PGA’s premier winter pro-am events, which immediately follows the PGA Tour’s WM Phoenix Open. The week-long event climaxed with European Challenge Tour Player Craig Lee shooting a superb 64 a We-Ko-Pa to claim his first Pro-Am Tour title. Lee opened with a 66 at the exclusive FireRock Country Club, and followed it with rounds of 70 at both Quintero and Superstition Mountain. Pro-Am Tour regular Simon Lilly (pictured) briefly threatened after a third round 69, but had to settle for second place after Craig Lee’s magnificent last round set up a 12-shot victory.

For more information or to book call the Pro Shop on: 01797 321201 www.lyddgolfclub.co.uk

Come along to Old Thorns and enjoy our Winter Warmer Offer... For just £27.25 per person midweek and £32.25 per person at weekends, there’s tea or coffee on arrival, 18 holes on our superb course, followed by delicious sausage & mash in the King’s Carvery.

Winter

warmers

For more information on this and other great offers, call us on 01428 725 890 or visit oldthorns.com Corporate & Regular Membership from £765pp – and no joining fee!

OLD THORNS MANOR HOTEL GOLF & COUNTRY ESTATE

Griggs Green | Liphook | Hampshire GU30 7PE T 01428 725 890 E golfcoordinator@oldthorns.com W oldthorns.com Offer valid until April 30th 2011.Terms & conditions apply. Please visit our website for more details.


News 13

www.golfnews.co.uk

ard launches new e golfers’ website

selling most of the golfing merchandise featured on the site; interviews with golf bloggers and other people of interest to the golfing world, and biographies of all the top players The site also sees the launch of Leaderboard TV, featuring exclusive

Play over 210 of the finest courses in the South East for only

Horton to host ‘Big Weekend’

video tutorials, coaching tips from the clubs’ PGA professionals, and video tours around the five Leaderboard venues. The brainchild of Leaderboard Chairman Paul Gibbons, the new website can be found at ­ www.leaderboardgolf.co.uk

£39.95

While the world top professionals will be battling it out for the green jacket in Augusta on April 9-10, the same weekend will see another golfing extravaganza being held 6,000 miles away at Horton Park Golf Club in Epsom. The club’s PGA professionals and staff will all be on hand throughout the two days to offer free swing analysis assessments, equipment checks, Tri Golf sessions, a six-hole exhibition match, long driving demonstrations and host short game clinics of the club’s range will also be well worth attending for those looking to brush on that vital part of the game. There will also be plenty of competitions to win a great selection of prizes, including the chance to win the latest Ping putter for the 9-hole putting challenge. For those who want to take on the 18-hole Millennium Course, tee times will be available from 10am, with green fees costing just £10 per person for pre-booked four-balls. For more details and to pre-register please visit www.hortonparkgolfclub.co.uk or call 020 8394 2626.

Heasman takes up Augusta scholarship Essex county player Jack Heasman will be heading over to Augusta later this year – not to play in the US Masters, but to take up a golf scholarship at the renowned Augusta State University in Georgia. The respected college, whose golf team is nicknamed ‘The Jaguars’, has long been a breeding ground for some of the game’s best players, including European Tour star Oliver Wilson, former Ryder Cup player Vaughn Taylor and PGA Tour player Richard Johnson. Other recent graduates include Surrey’s James Heath, who is currently playing on the Challenge Tour alongside another former Jag’s player, Jamie Elson. Eighteen-year-old Heasman, who is a member of West Essex Golf Club – which also produced Oliver Fisher – has been one of the top-rated teenage golfers in England over the past two or three years. He was a member of the England’s A squad last year, and represented England in the 2010 Home Internationals.

3

tw

one

To order call: 01273 556377 or visit: www.golfnews.co.uk

2 for 1_Layout 1 02/03/2011 11:44 Page 1

dibden golf centre

Home to Bramshott Hill GC

18 hole course

£15 per round

7 days a week after 2.00pm Valid ‘on the day’ 1 April - 30 September 2011

Edge water’s

10% OFF a pint of beer included with this offer

cafe • restaurant • bar

Main Road, Dibden (near Hythe), Southampton, SO45 5TB

Tel: 023 8020 7508 or visit newforest.gov.uk/golf

reasons to book your society at Camberley Heath Golf Club... Bacon roll and 18 Holes £54.00 Bacon roll and 36 Holes £79.00 Lunch from

£7.50

Dinner from

£17.00

1

2

3

Challenging Heathland Course

Competitive Rates

Excellent Food & Service

Book now on: 01276 23258 | email: jmoreau@camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk | www.camberleyheathgolfclub.co.uk Camberley Heath Golf Club, Surrey, GU15 1JG


PAR 5 17th

Voted in the top 500 golf holes in the world

DRAMATIC ISN’T IT Create your own drama this Easter With 3 nights for the price of 2

Easter breaks, 3 nights for the price of 2 from £60 pppn sharing. Go to www.theoxfordshire.co.uk “Something special” Going for Golf

“Golf of the highest quality” Golf News

“One of the finest clubhouses in the country” Todays Golfer

The Oxfordshire :: Golf :: Hotel :: Spa Rycote Lane, Milton Common Thame, Oxon. OX39 4PW Tel: 01844 278300


www.golfnews.co.uk

competition

Win

tickets for the 2011 BMW PGA Championship

Golf News is delighted to offer five lucky readers the opportunity to win a pair of season tickets for this year’s BMW PGA Championship, played over the famous West Course at Wentworth Club, Surrey, on May 26-29.

T

hese season tickets are worth £110 a pair, and give the lucky winners and their guests access to the course on the official practice day on May 19, plus all four rounds of the Championship itself. With a prize fund in excess of €4.5million, the BMW PGA Championship is the flagship event on the European Tour, and this year will be the first time many of the victorious Ryder Cup team will have played in the UK since their victory at Celtic Manor. For more information on this year’s BMW PGA Championship go to www.europeantour.com/tickets or telephone 0800 023 2557. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets all you need to do is answer the question below correctly, and email your answer to info@golfnews.co.uk, with ‘BMW Competition’ in the subject line.

Question: Who won the 2010 BMW PGA Championship? Terms & Conditions: The closing date for entries is April 30, 2011 and the winners will be contacted by May 1. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is available. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.

For more information telephone 0800 023 2557 or visit:

www.europeantour.com/tickets

Competition 15


16 Feature

www.golfnews.co.uk

NickBayly

S

acrificing quality time with your family is one of the hardest elements of being a successful, globetrotting professional golfer, according to Justin Rose. The 30-year-old from Hampshire – yes, he really is only 30 – has set his sights on becoming the best player possible over the next decade, and he readily accepts that the loneliness of life on the road is a frequent but necessary part of the equation. “It is tough,” says Rose, whose son Leo was born in 2009. “I had two weeks away from my family at the start of the PGA Tour season in Hawaii, and you certainly miss a lot with a young kid. Leo is talking and I couldn’t believe the difference in his speech and the words he was picking up in just two weeks. It’s really tough to miss things like that, but it is one of the small sacrifices of a great job.” However, Rose felt that one week away from home was often a bonus for all concerned. “One week is no problem,” said the Florida-based Englishman who plays most of his golf on the PGA Tour. “You get your head down and you work hard at your game, because all of that is time-consuming too. When your family is out with you, there’s certainly no point dragging them out on the road and then spending no time with them. So occasionally it is very good to get to have a week on your own. But being away for two weeks is tough.” Asked whether he has ever adjusted his playing schedule to spend extra time with his family, Rose replied: “Not really. I schedule it where I am going to play best, how I think I can get the most out of a season. The family makes sacrifices and I make sacrifices. You’ve got to get the most out of yourself in this game, and you never quite know when your career could be up, so it’s a case of making the most of every single year.” Rose won twice on the 2010 PGA Tour – the Memorial and the AT&T Championship – before ending a superb season in the United States with earnings of $3.6million, for a career-high ninth place in the money list, and a world ranking inside the top 30. Although delighted to claim his first – and second – victory on US soil after coming agonisingly close several times during the previous seven years, Rose says his selfbelief in his own abilities had never wavered. “There’s no doubt that it has taken me quite a while to get my head in front – 160-odd events, I’d guess. It was certainly longer than I expected, and I’m glad I managed to do it in my 20s – albeit at 29! Having said that, I had plenty of chances to win throughout that period, and clocked up a decent amount of top 10s, and three or four seconds, so it was just a question of staying patient and not trying too hard.” He adds: “I’ve always realised that I have a game that can contend at the highest level, but those two wins here in the US have taken a little bit of the pressure off. It has certainly got the monkey off my back, and it’s freed me up a little bit this year, mentally as well as

“You never quite know when your career could be up, so it’s a case of making the most of every single year”


Feature 17

www.golfnews.co.uk

On the eve of the season’s first major, Justin Rose – the forgotten man of English golf – reveals his hopes for 2011 and explains the pressures of trying to balance family life with winning tournaments

Justin’s time opening doors to events that I have missed in the past. You also don’t have to face those annoying questions every time you are in and around the lead – which you deal with, but they’re not what you want to face every time you’re in contention.” Despite having turned professional in 1999, Rose is still surprisingly inexperienced when it comes to the majors, having only made 26 appearances, and making the cut in just 16 of them. No wonder he is keen to start making an impact in the game’s biggest events, starting with the next month’s US Masters at Augusta, a tournament which has yielded his best performance so far – tied fifth in 2007. He has never missed the cut in his five Masters’ appearances and never finished outside the top 40. His absence from the majors in recent seasons – he missed the cut at The Open in St Andrews (his first ever Open appearance there) and the US PGA Championship last year – and from October’s Ryder Cup, have given rise to Rose being regarded as ‘the forgotten man’ of English golf. With contemporaries such as Lee Westwood, Grame McDowell, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and young guns

like Rory McIlroy grabbing the headlines, Rose’s dual-winning season, where he also finished fifth in the FedEx Cup, almost slipped unnoticed under the radar. “I’d have to agree that I’m very much a forgotten man in English golf,” he says. “But I haven’t let it bother me. I’ve played for myself. I like to think I’m mature enough, and dare I say it, intelligent enough, not to worry about what other people think of me and just focus on my game and remember why I do it. Yes, there are five or six Europeans in the world’s top dozen or so right now, four of whom are English. So, as a nation, we’re really strong right now. But for my part, I feel like I’m a better golfer than I was when I was at No.6 in the world a few years ago. So I think sometimes standings can be misleading to a certain extent.” Not known as the longest hittest on tour – his average drive last year was 287 yards (99th) – Rose is one of the best scramblers around – getting up and down from all sorts of positions to save par while others are dropping shots. His putting has also improved massively, averaging just 28.64 putts per round (13th) in 2010, using a technique that he first used in 2007 which involves not doing a practice swing. Working with swing coach Sean Foley – who has recently taken on a time-consuming pupil in Tiger Woods – Rose has worked hard to become a better all-round player, and one that is better equipped to withstanding the pressures of leading an event on Sunday. Key to getting Rose into that winning mindset has been mental coach Gio Valiante, author of the best-selling book Fearless Golf, who Rose turned to just weeks

Justin Rose celebrates holing the winning putt at The Memorial tournament in 2010.

before his breakthrough win at The Memorial. “I think it was just the little nudge that I needed in the right direction,” admits Rose. “I knew I was playing well and swinging the club well, and my range sessions were good, so ultimately it was creating a little bit of frustration when things weren’t happening on the golf course and I was just maybe getting in my own way a little bit. Gio helped me get back to basics and really helped me put a few things in perspective. All we’ve done is focus on the right things on the golf course, harness what’s been happening for a long time on the range and understand how I’ve been feeling about my game. It suddenly just helped to translate into taking it onto the course and, therefore, results.” Not known for changing his equipment without due cause, Rose is one of the many TaylorMade staff players who has started using the new R11 driver, with its eye-catching white crown. Rose has been pleasantly surprised with how easy it has been to make the switch to such an unusual-looking club. “Moving to the R11 has been such an easy transition for me,” he says. “The biggest thing to say about the club is that it’s not just the same driver painted white. There’s no doubt it takes a little bit of time to get used to the white, but when I say a little bit of time, maybe ten minutes. You think ‘wow’ when you put it down, because it looks so different, but after a couple shots you’re into it. It doesn’t bother me, especially having used a white putter – the Ghost – for so long. It wasn’t a big transition. But there’s so much more technology behind the club, so much more versatility. You can really dial it in. You’ve got face angle options, more loft options, movable weight options. You can build one driver and you can pretty much make it work, and I think that’s the cool thing for the amateur player. They can buy one, and if they get it out on the range, and didn’t hit it so well the first time round, they’ve got the ability to tinker around with it.” While Rose has repeatedly said he wants to make the very most of his abundant golfing talent before he retires, he has not adjusted his goals for this year following his 2010 success. “I’m not very goal-orientated at the moment,” the four-times European winner claims. “I am very much just trying to stick with the process. I want to see my shots clearly, and I want to execute them as freely as possible and play without being tight. If I can do that, good golf is going to come and tournaments (wins) are going to get in the way.” Rose, who clinched the European Tour Order of Merit for the first time in 2007 by winning the season-ending Volvo Masters, has challenged himself to make the most of his golfing potential over the next decade. “I see the next 10 years as my prime, where I feel I’m going to have the enthusiasm and energy to devote everything I’ve got to being the best player I can be,” he says. “And then who knows after that? I have a great family life right now and I’m very happy off the golf course. I’m in a good place with everything really...”


18 News

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Faldo qualifiers in record numbe NOW OPEN! The NEW Palmerston Golf Academy at Brocket Hall Book now for game improvement courses hosted by short game guru and Golf Monthly columnist Barney Puttick and European & Asian Tour winners

Sam and Jo Head

The Faldo Junior Series continues to provide a platform for the best youngsters in the world to make a name for themselves

T

he 2011 Faldo Series, Sir Nick Faldo’s global golf development programme, gets under way next month at Moortown in Yorkshire, teeing off a record total of nine

UK events. After Moortown on April 6-7, the full UK schedule comprises 36hole tournaments at West Lancs, Lancs, (April 20-21); Walton Heath, Surrey, (May 4-5); Royal Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, (May

17-18); Trentham, Staffs, (June 8-9); The Roxburghe, Roxburghshire, (June 2930); Pyle & Kenfig, Wales (July 4-5); The Grove, Hertfordshire, England (Aug 22-23); and Hollinwell, Notts (Aug 30-31). The winners of the five

Goodwoo

For more information please call Louis Matamala on 01707 368740 or email palmerstonacademy@brocket-hall.co.uk Brocket Hall, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL8 7XG

Hundred years up at Betchworth Built in the golden era of golf club development, Betchworth Park Golf Club is one of a number of clubs in the South East celebrating its centenary in 2011. The Harry Colt-designed course, which occupies a stunning spot on the North Downs near Dorking, actually opened for play in 1913, but construction and the foundation of the club began two years earlier. The club will be hosting a number of special golfing and social events during the centenary year, although one of the highlights of the competitive calendar is actually a non-members’ event, as the club has been selected to host the British Senior Open Final Qualifier on July 18, preceding the British Senior Open, which is being staged at nearby Walton Heath. As well as hosting the Surrey Colts Championships, and the Surrey Ladies Foursomes Championship, the club will be hosting a series of Open and Invitation events throughout May and June, while a special series of matches is being held against Croham Hurst in Croydon, which also celebrate its centenary this year. To celebrate the centenary, Betchworth is also opening a new halfway hut, which will open for all the centenary events, as well as for society and corporate days on request. The winter has seen a number of improvements to the course carried out, with new tees on the 8th, 10th and 12th holes, and some tree clearance on the 16th, which has opened up views to the River Mole.

Goodwood Golf in West Sussex has been voted the club with the ‘tastiest food’ by the 59Club, an independent golf analysis business that measures service at many of the leading golf venues in the country. The 59Club hosted its first award ceremony last month to recognise excellence within golf. Other gongs went to Marriott Forest of Arden for the ‘best conditioned course’, while the ‘best service’ award went to DeVere Wychwood Park. DeVere also picked up the best golf group award, while The Wales National at The Vale was voted the favourite course to play. The 59club scheme is designed to work at every type of golf venue, be it

Raise you


News 19

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s pull ers age group categories (Boys’ Under-21, Boys’ Under-18, Boys’ Under16, Girls’ Under-21 and Girls’ Under-16) at each UK Championship will progress to the 15th Faldo Series Europe Grand Final, to be held for the second successive year over The Faldo Course at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, next September.  Earlier this month, three category winners from last year’s UK Faldo Series competed in the fifth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final held at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen. Boys’ U21 champion Hugo Dobson (Fynn Valle), Boys’ U18 champion Jack Colegate (Rochester & Cobham), and Girls’ U16 champion Abi Laker (Burford), were among a group of 79 competitors from 17 different countries who were invited to part. All accredited themselves well, with Colegate finishing tied sixth on six over par.

Grove launches timely team event The Grove is hosting its annual Teams Trophy event again this summer, providing amateurs with a unique opportunity to play the award-winning Championship course in true tournament style. The Grove Teams Trophy involves groups of four entering one or more of a series of qualifying events held at the Watford-based resort in May, July and September. The top three teams from each qualifier will then do battle in the Grand Final in October, which will be held under full tournament conditions.

Each qualifier includes breakfast, unlimited balls on the driving range, and 18 holes of golf, followed by a buffet lunch. In addition to generous team prizes, which include breaks to The Grove, there will also be nearestthe-pin and longest drive competitions. Members of the winning team will each win a TW Steel watch, as well as the coveted Grove Teams Trophy. The price to enter a team of four is £600. To register please call 01923 296027 or visit www.thegrove.co.uk/golf. 

od scoops food award

The Kennels at Goodwood was singled out for quality of its food

resort, pay and play, or private, and ensures that the customers of those venues, be they visitors or the venues members, receive consistently high service. The venues within scheme receive mystery calls and visits six times

per year throughout the seasons, ensuring that minimum standards are maintained. Simon Wordsworth, Fellow of the PGA and director of 59club said: “The winners totally deserve their accolades;

they work diligently within the scheme to improve, and then maintain higher service standards across their venues. It was a pleasure to highlight the excellent work that went on in golf venues throughout 2010.” In the past two years 59club has worked with the leading golf groups De Vere, Marriott Hotels, Macdonald and Q Hotels, plus a number of independent and private members clubs such as The Belfry and The Vale. The aim is to provide golf clubs, shops, ranges and golf resorts with a tool to measure standards of customer service and to develop and train staff, the end result being a boost to customer satisfaction, revenues and profits.

ur game at The Downshire! Rated within the top ten municipal courses in the country, The Downshire Golf Complex in Wokingham is not only home to an 18-hole championship course, but also has superb practice and coaching facilities, making it the ideal venue to take your game to the next level, whatever your starting point may be. The venue boasts a 30-bay floodlit driving range –15 of which are fitted with user-friendly Power Tees – and two putting greens, one of which is a Huxley synthetic surface – ideal for chipping and putting practice, as the slightly faster surface helps improve touch and feel. There is also a large practice bunker available and a short pitch-and-putt course, with holes varying from 40 to 90 yards – excellent for improving short game skills, or for giving youngsters a taster of the game. The Downshire Golf Complex has much more to offer than being one of the best municipal courses in the country, it also has great facilities and coaches to help you take your game to the next level. For more information please contact 01344 302030 or email downshiregc@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

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20 News

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brief news in

Bob gets the job Hendon’s Bob Blower has been appointed as the new secretary of the Middlesex Country Golf Union. He has been on the Executive Committee since 2008 and is secretary of Hampstead Golf Club. Outgoing secretary Mike Wilcox will stand on the Executive Committee and will also assume the role of non-playing captain of the county team.

Josh is no mug Surrey youngster Josh Mugridge had a dream start to his round at Hoebridge Golf Centre when his first tee shot went straight into the hole on the 127-yard par-3 first hole of The Shey Copse course. The 15-yearold from Deepcut, who was lucky enough to see the ball roll into the hole, was competing in one of the Hoebridge’s friendly competitions on the club’s short course, which offers a combination of par 3s and par 4s.

M

acdonald Botley Park Golf Course in Southampton is making that first step into golf much easier, with the launch of a free coaching scheme for beginners called Drive 25. For a limited time, the club is inviting 25 people to a series of six beginner golf lessons held over a 12-week period this summer, with great incentives to join the club for the remainder of the year after the lessons. Botley Park’s practice facilities include covered driving range, and the venue’s team of PGA Professionals will ensure

Botley Park launches ‘Drive 25’ scheme a fun and informal environment to prepare golfers before they venture out onto the 18-

hole course. Drive 25 is on a strictly first-come-first-served basis, so if you, or

someone you know, is keen to start golf, then apply by emailing golf. manager@macdonald-

hotels.co.uk. For those players whose game is more established, Botley Park currently has vacancies for five-day members for the forthcoming season, which offers access the the Ewen Murraydesigned championship course, as well as all the fabulous facilities in the four-star hotel, including a spa and a 15-metre pool. Five-day membership packages start from just £55 per month, including complimentary golf at all eight golf venues in the Macdonald hotel group. For more information visit www.Macdonald Hotels.co.uk/Golf or call 0844 879 9294.

Trade-in your trolley and save some lolly! Golfers looking to trade in and trade up their old golf equipment for the very latest products have a new place to go, following the launch of a new online business called Golftrolleyshop. Set up by PGA Professional Steve Harden, the former head professional at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club in Berkshire, the website allows customers to trade-in their old golf trolley or GPS unit against the purchase of new products. The site currently trades in new and used PowaKaddy, Hill Billy and Motocaddy trollies, SkyCaddie GPS systems, Bushnell rangefinders and accessories such as cart bags, batteries and umbrellas. Golfers can email in descriptions of the equipment for an online quote and one of Golftrolleyshop’s staff will come and take the product away from your club or home. Golfers can choose to take the money, or use it as credit against buying new or reconditioned products. “This scheme provides golfers with a hassle-free way of disposing of their old equipment and getting money off the very latest launches,” says Steve, who operates out of a workshop in Wokingham. For more details visit www.golftrolleyshop.co.uk.

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Volvo Matchplay Championship In 2011 the Volvo Matchplay Championship will be celebrating its 16th year. Grand Finalists win a six day holiday at Vale do Lobo, Algarve 14th –19th January 2012 including return flights, 5 nights luxury accommodation, hire car, practice round and four competitive rounds on the spectacular Ocean Course and the magnificent Royal Course.

The format is Better-Ball or Individual matchplay with a maximum of 4 rounds before the Regional Finals. Matches are played regionally with minimum traveling and on a mutually convenient date and time with up to five weeks to play each round. Complimentary or reduced green fees. Courtesy of the course is often granted, but any green fees payable will be charged at the member’s guest rate and shared between competitors.

Up to 8 Regional Finals staged at top class courses in October. Format at Regional and Grand Finals is stableford points.

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Who can enter? Current golf clubs members who have an ACTIVE CONGU handicap. In matchplay stages stroke allowance is ¾ difference in Better-Ball and full in Individual.

Handicap limits are 24 for men and 30 for ladies. Golfers with higher handicaps may enter and play off these limits. Better–Ball teams may be mixed and players may come from different clubs. Golfers under 18 yrs may compete in the BetterBall competition but MUST be partnered by an adult. Competitors in the Individual MUST be 18 yrs and over. Approved by the R&A for the payment of expenses – Rule 4 – 2g RA/15/2011

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22 Instruction

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In search of Par with PGA professional Carl Watts

Be treated like Royalty Everyone’s welcome at Poult Wood Golf Centre, set in rural woodland and only Three miles outside of Tonbridge. We have a reputation for being one of the finest quality pay and play golf centres in the South of England. Excellent 18-Hole and 9-Hole courses, Driving range with covered and open bays, expert PGA tuition, a Ben Ross outlet store on site and a relaxing restaurant and bar which overlooks the course. It’s a perfect venue to host a golf day or visit as a casual green fee player. Higham Lane, Tonbridge, Kent, tn11 9Qr. Tel: 01732 364039. www.poultwoodgolf.co.uk

Nick’s new set up sees his feet aligned to the target, while his clubface aims slightly right to compensate for his new-found draw

After three months spent coaching Golf News editor Nick Bayly, Mannings Heath Golf Club’s resident professional Carl Watts believes his pupil is on the road to becoming a more consistent player

G

iven the lack of playing opportunities this winter, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the significant impact the changes we have made to Nick’s whole way of approaching a round. His mental attitude is now to concentrate more fully on the shot in hand, following the drills, and not worrying about where the ball is going, as by following all the right drills that should take care of itself! Nick’s technique has obviously improved, and the fact he has gained distance and now hits a draw, rather than a fade, confirms this, yet if he cannot be decisive with his shot selection, then aggressive with the shot itself, then the swing technique, no matter how good in practice, will revert back to his old move, old shape, and old distance. Over the last 10 years of coaching, part of my job has been to caddy for tournament professionals. I coach by helping them to see when they start to play defensively, holding back on the swing and doubting themselves. More often than not, it’s not their technique that’s at fault, but their mental state. When Nick begins to doubt himself. his old habit of aiming right, then coming over-the-top with an open clubface creeps back. His ball starts left and then

Rotating the arms has been built in to Nick’s pre-shot routine

fades right. As with most amateurs, Nick was more concerned about where he didn’t want to go, as opposed to focusing on his routine of picturing the shot and committing to his new move, hence his old move returned. So changing and ingraining a new technique on the range is one part of improving scores, taking it to the course and being able to have a routine that encourages and reminds is another. Nick, in particular, needs his warm up swings before each shot to be a constant reminder to swing in-to-out, with the clubface rolling closed (see image below). The practice swings need to be extreme versions of what he is after, then he can relax more into the shot, knowing the feeling is clear and fresh in his mind. So my advice is to regularly rehearse your extreme pre-shot routine, check your alignment and make a decision and commit to it, no matter what. The main picture above shows how Nick still aims at the middle of the green, yet his swing path feels as though it goes towards the right hand bunker, yet the clubface will close enough to hit it into the left bunker with a hook. Please remember this is a feeling to help Nick’s technique, his feeling is not reality yet we need to go extreme with the description, as we all know any change takes some believing!

Nick writes: After six hour-long sessions with Carl over the winter, and plenty of buckets of balls on the range, the time finally came to try and put what I’ve learnt over these past months into practice, without Carl looking over my shoulder. The day after our final session I played 18 holes at Dale Hill in East Sussex, determined to translate my ‘studio swing’ onto the course. The result left me, and my partner, somewhat staggered. With Carl’s voice ringing in my ears, and his drills working my arms, I reeled off five straight pars from the first, and then added six more over the next 13 holes to shoot a nine-over par 80. My best score in ages. My only hope that this was no flash-in-the-pan fluke, and that I can take this form forward into the season. Carl’s coaching is certainly no ‘quick fix’, and has required a complete reworking of my swing, and a complete change in my approach to the game, but the results have been as dramatic as they have been pleasing. All that remains is for me to go out there and get it done. The sun is out and the temporary greens are gone, so it’s time to charge up the PowaKaddy! Learn the Watts way If you would like a lesson with Carl, you can attend The Exclusive Golf Academy at Mannings Heath GC in Sussex for an on-course assessment, or even a two-day residential tuition break. Golfers can also join Carl on a series of week-long tuition breaks in Portugal, Spain and Turkey later this year. For more information email carl@carlwattsgolf.co.uk, call 07930 365866 or visit www.carlwattsgolf.co.uk.


Mid Sussex Golf Club | UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

Just a few reasons to be part of this friendly and progressive club u Fantastic setting overlooking The South Downs u A real members club where customer service comes first u Challenging but playable course u Full fleet of electric golf carts u No joining fee u Subs payable by monthly DD (no interest charged) u Golf shop with masses of stock u Powakaddy service centre u Covered driving bays u Full Sunday carvery offering fantastic roast lunch u Full breakfast menu available 7 Days a week from

7.30am with excellent teas and coffees

u Comprehensive food menu available all day until

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u Off Peak - £499.00 unlimited play on the course after

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24 Interview

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H

ow excited do you get going to Augusta – and being paid to do it? It’s a great place to go and obviously to get paid to do so is very, very fortunate indeed. It’s a remarkably different place to that experienced by the TV viewer, with the city of Augusta itself a huge contrast to the pristine club and the slopes and contours of the course are far more pronounced than you might imagine. But Amen Corner is everything you expect it to be, and the colours are exceptional. It’s a week of intense springtime after a long winter.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT PICKING THE RIGHT CLUB The freedom to make choices is one of the great things about being a golfer. Now, imagine joining one superb golf club and having complimentary access to another 7 of the finest courses in the UK. Macdonald Botley Park Hotel Golf & Spa is a countryside, close to the City of Southampton. The superb 18-hole course blends beautifully into the setting and USGA greens means you have the choice to play quality golf any time of the year. With 5-day memberships at Macdonald Botley Park picked the right club.

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Who do you think has the best chance of winning a green jacket for Europe? Well, Westwood showed last year that he has the game, if he can hit that form again. And now that McDowell and Kaymer have won majors they will have even more belief. Casey is also capable of very good rounds there and is in good form, and Justin Rose has come close. Then you have McIlroy with a high-ball flight perfectly-suited to the place, and Poulter with a great short-game. I think that just about covers everybody! You played amateur golf for Scottish Boys. Did you harbour ambitions to become a pro? Yes, but they dwindled very quickly at about 17, when I realised that I was never going to be anywhere near good enough. You famously caddied for Gary Wolstenholme during the 2008 US Open. What do you remember of that week? I remember it being a hugely enjoyable week. I was working there for 5 Live and Gary was there as first alternate, and he asked if I would caddy if he got in, as he was operating on a tight budget. At one point it looked as if Adam Scott was going to pull out with a broken finger and Gary would have been in Tiger’s group, but eventually it was Sean O’Hair, and he played with Hunter Mahan and Richard Sterne. A great experience, but the course just wasn’t suited to his game. Do you still keep up with Gary? I get the occasional text. I’m delighted to see him doing well on the Seniors Tour. I never really think of him as that age, but it’s amazing after so long as an amateur that he has finally found his calling in the pro game. Of the current crop of pros, who would you most like to caddy for? Tiger Woods. To be in the middle of the madness for just a while.

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Where’s your favourite spot to watch the Masters’ action on the course? I’ve worked there for the past few years for BBC radio, and they have commentary positions out on the course. One is at the 12th, which is fantastic, but the one in the stand at the 15th, which also gives views of the 16th tee-shots, is hard to beat.

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What’s your favourite venue on the Open rota? I obviously have a soft spot for Troon, as a member, but half an hour down the coast, Turnberry is the best in terms of the course, the vistas, the viewing

Taking

Golf News catches up as he prepares to pac for spectators. It’s just a shame that its relatively isolated location means it gets quite low attendance figures. Describe your average day during The Open? Long. Up at 6am – into the course, final prep. On-air at 9, and with shift rotation, commentate right through to the end which, with interactive TV and long daylight hours as well, can mean a 10pm finish on Thursdays and Fridays. We commentated on Tom Watson’s farewell to St Andrews at 10pm. Does it bother you that the BBC gets so little live golf to cover these days? Yes, but I understand the market and the BBC’s wider responsibilities. Has Sky been good for golf? Yes, because there is blanket coverage of most tournaments and their financial input has to be good for the game. If you only had one question to ask Tiger Woods the next time you saw him, what would you ask him? It wouldn’t matter, because he wouldn’t answer it as himself anyway. Who is your golfing hero? It would have to be Seve Ballesteros. Temperamental, dashing and exciting. Golf needs someone like him or Arnold Palmer again. What’s your handicap and where do you play? I’m off 3, but I don’t play a huge amount any more. Just a golf day here or there, and the very occasional pro-am. I live in London, but am still a member of Troon and will always hit balls when I get back up there. Lowest scratch score?


Interview 25

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I remember a medal at Kilmarnock Barassie, starting birdie, eagle, eagle, with a 5-footer on the fourth to go to six-under. It lipped out and that was the end of that. I shot 67, so thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably my best. What is yout favourite golfing memory as a broadcaster? I always enjoy the intensity of The Ryder Cup. Working for BBC radio in 2006, I was at the 16th for Darren Clarkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moment. And I was also there in the McDowell-based mayhem of the 17th at Celtic Manor. Those were two great days. Rugby World Cup final v Ryder Cup â&#x20AC;&#x201C; discuss... Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re such different sports to work on, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to compare, but The Ryder Cup is the only event in golf to come close to a big rugby match in terms of noise and passion. And in that scrum after McDowellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s victory, I did think that Monty was going to collapse the maul at one point. Radio or TV? Which do you enjoy the most? In golf, they are so very different, in tennis even more so, in rugby not so much. Even though Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m mostly TV now, radio is in a way more enjoyable because your words are everything. In TV, a silence can be as good as a phrase, because the pictures are everything. In TV, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knowing that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to say something.

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Do you think the boat race should be on the BBC, given its elitist background? Of course. It gets six million people watching, and 250,000 on the banks of The Thames. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a British institution and we shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid of that. Enjoy it.

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Are you the new Barry Davies? Well, he was and is one of my favourite commentators, so any comparison is gratefully received. In terms of the number of sports done, perhaps. Although golf and rugby are certainly my top two. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your take on golf becoming an Olympic event in 2016? Great. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure how much a gold medal will really be valued. Like tennis, the majors will still be the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest prizes, but it will spread the game. Golf in China, for example, will only get stronger and stronger. How do you relax away from sport/work? Climb mountains and walk dogs. Sometimes combine both. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re back at GolfLive in May, what can visitors expect to find you doing there and what was the atmosphere like last year? A lot of visitors hopefully, like last year. The golf public really took to the event and it was great fun. Again, it just gives everyone a chance to see the pros in a more lighthearted environment. Being themselves.

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26 Competition

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Golf News has teamed up with Callaway Golf to offer TWO readers the opportunity to win the new RAZR Hawk driver. And to maximise its game-changing potential, both winners will be invited to Callaway’s European HQ to be custom-fitted at the company’s state-of-the-art performance centre WINNING MACHINE The RAZR Hawk, which went on sale last month, is already making a big impact on tour, with two wins in as many weeks. Thomas Bjorn’s victory at the Qatar Masters gave the new driver its first title, and that was quickly followed by victory in the Dubai Desert Classic when Alvaro Quiros beat a stellar field. Quiros was imperious with his 9.5° RAZR Hawk in Dubai, averaging 310 yards off the tee – 10 yards clear of his nearest rival. Since putting the RAZR Hawk into play, Quiros has led the driving distance rankings, averaging more than 300 yards. Incredibly, he is now 12 yards longer than his 2010 average. “I was long with my FT-5, but I’ve picked up at least 10 yards with the RAZR Hawk, and I’m also hitting it straighter than ever,” says Quiros. “It’s giving me a lovely flat and penetrating ball flight, and also feels a bit softer off the face, giving me great feeling and feedback.” SPEED MACHINE The RAZR Hawk features a new forged composite material in the sole and crown, which was developed in collaboration with Lamborghini. This incredibly strong and lightweight material allowed Callaway’s designers to precisely control the thickness

of the head, giving a new level of performance coupled with an extremely high resistance to twisting. A new aerodynamic 460cc head shape reduces drag to improve swing speeds, while a weighting system allows the head to be set up for a draw or a neutral shot shape. The RAZR Hawk is available in 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13-degree lofts, with Aldila’s 46-inch RIP graphite shaft as standard. A Tour version offers 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 lofts, with a 45.5-inch shaft. TO ENTER Simply answer the question below and email it to: info@golfnews.co.uk, remembering to include your name, address, and contact number, and putting ‘Callaway Competition’ in the subject line of your email. The closing date for entries is April 30, 2011. No cash alternative is available and winners must be prepared to come to Callaway Golf for a custom fitting. QUESTION By how many yards did Alvaro Quiros outhit his rivals with his average drive at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic? a) 5 yards b) 10 yards c) 19 yards

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28 Interview

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After winning four times during his first season on the Champions Tour, 51-year-old Fred Couples is still mixing it up with the younger generation as he prepares to have at crack at winning another US Masters’ title

Y

ou had a genuine chance of winning the Masters last year, at an age when many other players are counting down the days until retirement. How do you account for that? Well, the Masters has always been one of my favorite tournaments, so it always seems to bring out the best in me. I didn’t go out there expecting too much, and that’s what probably helped. I also got the broomhandle going, which also helps. Did you ever envisage that joining the Champions Tour could re-energise you as a player the way it has? I think the best thing about the Champions Tour was seeing all my old friends again, and then I just felt like I worked pretty hard on my game to get to the first event in Hawaii, and lost to Tom Watson by a stroke, and have won four events since. I think my time has passed on the regular tour, even though I can still have my good days. But on the Champions Tour, I’m one of the youngest guys, and I feel like I’m one of the players to beat out there. If you stay healthy, to what extent could you dominate the Seniors Tour? Well, I watch those guys, and they play incredible golf, and they putt really well. I know it’s not easy. I’m not stupid. I mean, Nick Price, one of our great players, has not won out there. My goal is to win. You came pretty close last month at the Northern Trust Open. What was it like to go down the stretch on the Sunday of a PGA Tour event again? It was great to be up there, but I was trying to win, so it was disappointing to put in such a lame final round. I found the rough with my drive off the seventh, and something went in my back as I gouged it out. I never hit a shot after that, and slapped it round in 73, which was the worst I could have scored around there, which still wasn’t bad. Riviera has been good to me over the years, so if there is a course that I can still compete on, this is it. Do you see yourself carrying on playing the PGA Tour into your mid-50s? I wanted to play the West Coast swing this year, and then I don’t really want to play the regular PGA Tour anymore. I still love to play, but I just think there comes a time to call it quits. Your back injury seems to have caused you a lot of pain over the years. How did it happen? It was at Doral in 1994. I was on the range with my teacher Paul Marchand, and I hit a shot, and it was like a bomb went off. I just stood crooked. I went in a Tour therapy truck and lay down. I’ll never forget it, I said, “No, I can play.” I rolled over and put my foot down and the minute it hit the floor my back went out again, just shooting pain. There was no way. They got me into my hotel room, and I stayed in there, and Tuesday I was able to straighten up and fly home. I took three and a half months off and tried to work on it. Do you take anything for it? It’s like having a constant toothache. I’ve been living on painkillers my whole life. Now I’ve stopped that, and I take two anti-

Couples has been dogged by back problems for over 15 years

King of Cool inflammatory pills in the morning and one before I hit the sack. I feel like they help, but am I going to take 900 of these things a year? How many tournaments do you reckon you’ve missed in your career because of your back? Important ones? I missed Augusta once, I missed the US PGA and a couple of Open Championships. I’ve probably missed five or six majors, and 15 to 20 other tournaments. Are you able to practise between tournaments or do you just rest? I can’t remember the last time I just went out and practiced. At tournaments I hit 30-40 balls to warm up and then I just play and then I go home, or back to the hotel. I can’t hit irons off the deck, so I tend to tee up a few hybrids or woods and leave it at that. You were the No.1 putter on the Champions Tour last year, what have you done to turn things around, is it something technical? No, it just happened. There’s no change in my stroke. I very rarely practise my putting, as bending over is not good for my back, but it’s just happened. I’m hitting the ball very well, and the putting has become the best thing in my game. I always felt like I could hit the ball, but when I’m making eight and 10-footers for pars and birdies, it makes my

game a lot easier. Instead of trying to roll a 25-foot birdie up there close and tap it in, I’ve been a little bit more aggressive and I’ve made a couple of extra long putts, which will help shoot the scores I’ve been shooting.

Even with a touchy back, you averaged nearly 290 yards in driving distance last year. I’ve always hit the ball a long way and that’s been a strength. I think I’m actually a better driver today than I was 20 year ago, and that’s basically just because of the equipment. Some of the younger guys are actually shocked that I can still out-drive them. It’s kind of a good feeling, but the problem is when I sign our card, I’ve got a 72 and they’ve got 69. You received a bit of media attention last year when you decided to wear those Ecco Street shoes with no socks. How did all that come about? I’ve had back problems for a long time, so I wear nothing but tennis shoes when I’m not playing golf, although I did wear some dress shoes for the Champions Dinner, but they were not on for very long. I wear tennis shoes and I usually don’t wear socks, and with ECCO, I have extra soles, and I throw them away at the end of the week. I just feel like they are tennis shoes, so I just don’t wear any socks with tennis shoes and these shoes have been good so far.


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Interview 29

You’ve always come across as a very laidback individual. Were you ever an angry young man? Yeah, I used to break a lot of clubs. I probably was a little different than your average junior player. I did have a lot longer hair and a lot more brown hair. But my demeanor, you know, really from maybe my second, third year on Tour, has gotten on a lot more even keel. Have I stopped breaking clubs? Yeah. I don’t even throw them anymore – it’s not worth of the time and effort. Given your easygoing style, how do you think the players will react to your captaincy at the Presidents Cup? Well, seeing as it’s my second time in the role, there won’t be any surprises. I don’t think they’ll need any motivation. What I’ll be able to do easily is have a rapport with the players, whether Kenny Perry makes the team, or Anthony Kim makes the team. They’ll know me, and I think they’ll have a lot of respect for me. Have you been scouting for the Presidents Cup team during PGA Tour events? Sure. I’ve played in a good number of PGA events and spoken to lots of players. Even though it’s early, I’m excited with the US team rankings as they stand right now. I think we’ve got a nice mix of veterans, guys like Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, and of course, Tiger Woods, along with some younger guys. I was impressed with how Rickie Fowler, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar handled themselves in the Ryder Cup, so we should have a nice mix. Of course, there will be some new faces. Mark Wilson and D.A. Points are off to a great start, and Jonathan Byrd is another name on my radar, but it all starts to really rock and roll after the Open Championships, when I think there are double points on offer. I like any team we have. They’re all great players. Greg Norman is going to have a great team, and we’re going to Royal Melbourne, which is a great course, so it’ll be fun. You once said that after a round on Tour you often look for the quickest exit route. As Presidents Cup captain, will you be more of a people person? When I tap in on the 18th hole, I look around and, it’s not to be rude, but I just like to find the easiest way to get away from the course. It’s not to avoid signing autographs – I sign plenty – but I made that comment because it’s my way of saying that in other sports athletes finish and they get to go into a locker room. We finish and we’re fair game for media, fans, whoever happens to be walking around. Sometimes when I’ve just three-putted the last green I need time to think rather than be faced with a barrage of questions and requests. If I make a birdie, it’s a different story! What’s the best advice you were ever given about competing in a team event? Well, I can tell you the worst advice, I’ll never forget! I was practising before my first Ryder Cup with Paul Marchand and Dick Harmon. They were standing behind me telling me: “This is the shot off the first tee, you’re going to be so nervous, you won’t be able to breathe.” When I got there, I understood what they were talking about. The best advice I ever got would probably have been on the 17th tee playing at Kiawah Island with Ray Floyd. He said: “Take a deep breath and smash it.” I hit a great 2-iron on that tough par three. Everyone knows it’s pressure-packed, but the Presidents Cup is a little less pressure than the Ryder Cup, because everyone plays every day. You’re not pushed into a corner because someone thinks you’re playing poorly. How important is The Presidents Cup for international golf? I think it has become very important. It’s an event with great golf, and top players who go out and put on a great show for four days.


30 Feature

www.golfnews.co.uk

Arkley Golf Club Hertfordshire, 4th hole

S

Storybehindthepicture thick fog reducing visibility to just 100 metres, the plane came down over two miles short of the runway. Experts suggested it was risky to attempt landing in such conditions, but Hill’s life had been all about living on the edge, although he would not have wanted to endanger the lives of his passengers. Arkley Golf Club’s then steward, Ted Dickins, described the visibility as very poor at the time of the accident. “It was terrible – the ambulances couldn’t even see the bunkers as they were driving down the fairway. If the plane had touched

down 200 yards earlier it could have landed on the fourth fairway and Mr Hill and his friends would all have survived.” The irony was that Hill, a keen golfer, had played Arkley many times, and knew the course well, but must have thought his aircraft was on a different trajectory. Although the official investigation failed to establish the exact cause of the accident, it suggested that Hill may have misjudged his distance from the airfield due to the poor visibility. It later transpired that Hill’s instrument rating certificate had expired, leading to litigation

from the families of those that had died, after the insurance had been invalidated. The club erected a plaque to commemorate the incident, and Hill’s life, which can still be seen today by the second green, close to the crash site near the fourth fairway. Hill is the only driver to have won the Indianapolis 500, the 24-hour Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship. He won the world title with BRM in 1962 and again in 1968, with Lotus. His son, Damon, followed in his footsteps, winning the F1 title in 1996.

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his Piper Aztec crashed at Arkley Golf Club, near Elstree, in 1975. The accident instantly killed Hill and five other members of his recently-established Embassy Hill racing team, and provoked national mourning for the loss of such a world-renowned figure, and a much-loved family man, at the age of just 46. An experienced pilot, Hill had flown the plane himself from the south of France, and was beginning his descent into Elstree airfield when he clipped a row of trees on Arkley golf course. Hampered by darkness – it was 10’oclock at night – and

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tatistics show that the golf course is one of the most common places for people to die once they pass the age of 65. Given that most golf club members over that age spend most of the daylight hours playing golf, it’s hardily a surprising figure. Especially when you consider the sudden movements, steep hills, and stressful moments that that make up the average round. It is no wonder Britain’s golf courses aren’t littered with memorial plaques in the same way that our motorway verges are whenever some unfortunate individual dies in a car crash. Of course, it’s entirely possible to die on a golf course without even taking part in the game, what with dog walkers regularly being pole-axed by errant golf balls and such like. Sadly, a golf course in Hertfordshire was the place where one of Britain’s greatest sporting legends, dual Formula 1 grand prix champion Graham Hill, met his death, when

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B Bee


Column 31

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NickBayly email: editor@golfnews.co.uk

You snood, you lose!

A

It looks like Martin Kaymer suffered something of a wardrobe crisis during the final of the Accenture World Match Play against Luke Donald. The 26-year-old German appeared to have taken some fashion tips from the Premier League, and donned what, to the untrained eye, looked to be a snood during his 3&2 defeat at the hands of ‘The Don’. Questionmarks over the new world No.1’s inappropriate attire arose when he started to use his neckwear like he was a tank commander leading a Panzer division over the Sinai, instead of taking part in a gentle round of golf in the Arizona desert. OK, so there was definitely a nip in the air, but a full face scarf? Come on Marty, we’re made of stronger stuff on the European Tour these days. Further enquiries into the origin of this dodgy-looking accessory have revealed that it is called a Buff, and is made by a Hertfordshire-based company called Buffera. According to the manufacturer, it offers 93% UV protection, as well as being wind resistant. The multifunctional muffler can even be worn as a hairband – one for Charley Hoffman perhaps – but that really would be sailing far too close towards footballing fashions for my liking. So Mr Kaymer, if you’re going to earn your stripes as the new world No.1, it’s time to get a grip. Real men don’t play golf in the Buff.

These are not just any old golf trousers… In other fashion news, word has it that Ernie Els – he of the massively baggy trousers – has landed a contract with global trendsetters Marks & Spencer to launch an exclusive collection of golfwear. My catwalk advisors tell me that The Big Easy will be designing eight easy-fitting pieces in the ‘collezione’, which is described as being ‘smart, stylish and practical’ – which comes as a relief, given that ‘grubby, unflattering and impractical’ just doesn’t cut it on the fairways of the European Tour these days. The bespoke range, which will be made from high performance fabrics, includes a £28 polo shirt, a £35 jumper, and a pair of signature Ernie-stylee chinos, also priced £35, which come with silicone sticky tape edges on the pockets for ‘keeping your glove safe’. The price for optional trademark Els style touches, such as extra deep pleats and turn-ups, is not known. Sizes start from XXXL. Els is quoted as saying: “When I am playing, I need my clothes not only to look good, but to work hard for me on the course so that I can focus on my game. I have worked closely with M&S to design this range so that the garments do just that. I also love their prawn sandwiches and those sour wiggly worms that they sell at the tills.” OK, I made that last bit up.

Hawking up a new prize If Tiger Woods is going to insist on playing on the European Tour every so often, I think it might be time for Tour officials to change the traditional monthly gong for the best shot of the month to one that rewards – or, as in this case, fines – the player who manages to spew the best bolus of sputum. A ‘Gob of the Month’ award, if you like. Points could be awarded for audio effects, consistency of phlegm, distance, and a special nearest-the-pin prize. Further points can be

Top of the flobs: Tiger Woods gets his Gob of the Month entry in early

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32 Column

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EwenMurray

Skysports voice of golf speaks out on issues of the month email: ewen@golfnews.co.uk

Sky adds new dimension to Masters viewing

‘Spitgate’ sees Tiger sink to new low

F The Par 3 tournament will be shown live on TV for the first time next month

Not long now to wait for the year’s first major! Augusta has always heralded the start of our golfing year in this country, and no doubt there is a real buzz around the clubhouses of Britain. For the first time, Sky Sports will cover all five days of the Masters and not only in high definition, but in 3D as well. For those of you who have the capabilities to watch in 3D, you will see a very different Augusta. The cameras highlight the slopes that Augusta is so famous for. You will be able to read putts as if they were your own, and appreciate the uneven lies that players encounter on the immaculate fairways. The azaleas and dogwoods will be out in full bloom and, of course, a Masters roar has no equal. For the first time we will cover the par 3 tournament on the Wednesday, which is a wonderful starter to the main course served from Thursday through Sunday. The short course in this unique part of Georgia has been revamped in recent years and is a miniature edition of Bobby Jones’s masterpiece that began its life in the 1930s. It’s a fun day with a family feel, and some of the players’ children acting as caddies. A year ago, at a memorial pro-am for Tour player Steve Webster’ mum, an Ascot businessman, William Dewsall, bought the opportunity to caddie for Adam Scott at an auction. Both will be there on the Wednesday. The course is mainly wedge shots to tiny greens guarded by ponds, although one or two of the holes require as much as an eight iron. Once the par 3 tournament is over, it’s down to the serious stuff, and this year’s event may well rank with the very best from yesteryear. We have added interest this year, with so many of our players in with a genuine chance of winning. Will Mickelson defend or will a rejuvenated Tiger grab back the green jacket again? Or will one of the lesser-known players spring a surprise? I have no idea who will prevail, and that’s why this year’s tournament will be special. Never before has the Masters been so wide open.

or any of you who watched Sky’s coverage of the Dubai Desert Classic, I can’t let this month’s column pass without following up the comments I made on air about the unsavoury incident involving Tiger Woods spitting on the green. Sadly, Alvaro Quiros’s brilliant victory was over shadowed by the behaviour, or lack of it, from Woods. The undesirable sight of releasing phlegm from his mouth on the 12th green at The Emirates took much away from what was a marvellous contest over the four days. In the fifth from last group after a poor first putt, Woods’s ‘deposit’ landed just six feet from the hole. I was with Howard Clark in the commentary box at the time, and we looked at each other with disgust. Without hesitation, I said on air: “The work ethics of Tiger are an inspiration to so many, but there are times when he is just arrogant and petulant. There are four groups behind him and there is every chance one or more of these eight players will have to putt through that mess. That’s about as low as it gets.” Too strong? I’ll leave that for you to decide. From a selfish point of view, I was annoyed I had to say something of that nature, as I’m a commentator, not an agony aunt, but if I hadn’t said something I would have let the game down, along with a multitude of decent people who play golf. You see, Woods’ spit only comes after a poor shot, it is therefore an indication of petulance, not a biological need, as so many described it in the aftermath of the incident. It was an act of pure indecency. Tiger

Tigerr temper: Woods needs to learn to control his anger out on the golf course

is fortunate we were playing in Dubai, because had it been Singapore, the outcome would have been more stressful than a £5,000 fine and a warning about his future conduct. Tiger’s tumble down the world rankings is understandable. We know his off-course problems were of his own making, but if you have played this game for a living and to a reasonable standard, you cannot take any joy in seeing a fellow professional struggling. Right now, I feel for Tiger, as, for the first time in his life, he is finding golf difficult. His touch around the greens is less than average, and that has always been his great strength.

He is suffering difficulties with his recent technique change, most noticeably with his pitching and chipping. Tiger is angry inside and until an inner calmness returns he will struggle, no matter what method he is using. In all my time of playing golf and speaking about it, Woods is by far and away the best golfer I have seen and, like many of you, I have been privileged to watch golf of the quality he has often produced at high-pressure moments. I hope we have not seen the last of those moments. Maybe the Masters will inspire him, I sincerely hope so, as the game is better with Woods in full flow.

Europe’s ‘golden generation’ comes of age The European bandwagon continues to gather momentum, and for the first time in nearly twenty years, we have four players on this side of the Atlantic occupying the top four places in the world rankings. Luke Donald’s emphatic win in the year’s first World Golf Championship event in Tuscon elevated the Englishman to a career high third place, while Martin Kaymer’s journey to the final of the Accenture was good enough to end Lee Westwood’s 17-week reign as the world number one. As I suggested in last month’s column, the world rankings will make fascinating reading

It’s time for Europe’s stars to take their game to the next level

throughout the year, as for the first time in ages many players are separated by mere fractions. Last month’s change at the top will be

the first of several throughout 2011. Tiger Woods is now in fifth, with defending Masters’ champion Phil Mickelson in sixth. They are the only two Americans in the top eight. This is very much a golden era for Europe, but they will not need reminding that they must continue to perform, as these rankings can change quickly. The worry for golf in America is where their next generation of stars is coming from. Anthony Kim’s form has dipped since making his Ryder Cup debut in 2008, and their great hope, Rickie Fowler, is still looking for his maiden victory. Still in the top 15 are Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk, both of

whom are over forty, along with late developer Matt Kuchar, and fellow Ryder Cuppers Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. In Europe, teenager Matteo Manassero, Rory McIlroy, the Molinaris and Alvaro Quiros are all capable of taking further steps up the ladder, and their inspiration are the friends and team mates who are above them in the rankings. For Donald, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey, their time is now. Hailed as our golden generation for the past ten years, their year of reckoning is upon them. Without doubt, they have the potential to be major champions,

and it is now time to step up to the plate and realise that rich talent. No longer is one player out of sight at the top of the list, no longer is Woods the player he was, and no longer are the aforementioned players just promising prospects for the future. For these players, including Westwood and our gifted youngsters, now is the time to get the foot on the pedal and progress. They have done superbly well, but now they have to have the desire and the work ethic to maximize their wonderful talents and potential. For the European golfing fan, we have never had it so good.


London Golf Club Jack’s Inspiration

Jack Nicklaus’ success and vision as the greatest golfer in history is peerless, and was the inspiration for his two championship courses at London Golf Club. Jack’s vision demands the best in tournament golf, which is why we are excited to be part of the oldest Championship of all. Welcome to London Golf Club, host to The Open Championship Regional Qualifying.

To find out more call 01474 879899, or email us at info@londongolf.co.uk www.londongolf.co.uk

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34 US Masters Preview

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The 75th US Masters, which begins on April 7, promise as a new generation bids to put its stamp on the se defending champion Phil Mickelson may have somethin

T

he Masters has always been different. The only one of golf’s four majors not a championship, it is also one quarter of the so-called ‘Impregnable Quadrilateral’ played for at the same venue, Augusta National, every spring. But this year, courtesy of Tiger Woods’ welldocumented fall from grace, and his even more dramatic tumble down the world rankings, the 75th playing of what America loves to call the game’s ‘rite of spring’ amidst the newly flowering azaleas and dogwoods, promises to be even more arresting than usual. For one thing, the bookmakers no longer have Woods as 5/4 favourite to win a fifth green jacket (admittedly, he’s 6-1 jointfavourite). The reality is that a 15th major victory for the world No.5 would represent, for the first time since he turned professional back in 1996, something of a surprise. Over 18 months without a tour win, and still in the process of rebuilding his swing with new coach Sean Foley, Woods will arrive in Augusta some way short of his peerless best. Years ago, that would still have been good enough to win, but there’s a new posse in town, a generation of gunslingers for whom Woods holds few fears, now that the 36-year-

old has been shown to be all-too human. But let’s not get carried away here – for all the great recent form shown by the likes of Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Paul Casey, none of them could light a candle to Woods at Augusta in April. He finished a gutsy fourth here last year, despite all the extra attention and missing most of the fairways, and his record before that reads: 6th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st. Write him off at your peril, or take the 6-1 each-way and start thinking about the ways to spend the winnings. Okay, so if not Tiger, who is going to emerge victorious? Will we witness the first back-to-back Masters wins since Woods (2001-02) and see Phil Mickelson put the jacket on his own back? Or are we, dare we mention it, on the cusp of seeing the first British winner since Nick Faldo in 1996? An already hysterical domestic media is all worked up about the chances of Casey, Donald, Poulter and Westwood, while Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy will also be popular bets for UK golf fans. The latter will have to erase the memory of his missed cut last year, while the 2010 US Open winner has two missed cuts and a tied 19th to show for his three Masters

outings to date. Of the young guns pressing for glory, most have too little course form to vote with much confidence, with world No.1 Kaymer having missed the cut in all three of his visits here – not a great sign for a course that seems to have a ‘Marmite’ effect on some players. So perhaps it is best to look for proven performers outside the top section of the betting to provide some value, with the likes of ‘veteran’ types such as Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen offering that vital mix of class and experience that often pays dividends. Also helping on the interest front this year is the fact that the recently muchmaligned course is slowly, but surely being restored to the fascinating strategic test it once was before former club chairman Hootie Johnson decided that the introduction of semi-rough, more trees and back tees located somewhere near to Augusta’s main drag were somehow a good idea. This policy produced cautious winners like Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman, who, through no fault of their own, turned the final round into a snoozefest of pars. Last year, the Augusta National committee stuck with tradition and tweaked the Alister Mackenzie/Bobby

Jones course in ways not immediately obvious to even experienced Masters campaigners, widening the odd fairway here, tightening the odd approach there, but generally letting nature take its course. This year promises more of the same, with no ‘official’ changes to the layout having been taken place over the last 12 months, although that’s not to say keen-eyed viewers won’t notice the odd blade of grass out of place. However what is certain to change, at least for armchair fans in the UK, is the viewing experience, now that the BBC and Sky Sports will both be covering the tournament for the first time this year. The latter is showing all four days of the tournament live to its subscribers, including the


US Masters Preview 35

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acket Words by Nick Bayly

par 3 contest that takes place on the Wednesday, while the Beeb will screen only the final two rounds live, with highlights on the other two days. Will Peter Alliss’s all too familiar languid tones win the hearts and minds of viewers, or will Ewen Murray sway the day with his Scottish bur and his access to super slow-mo, high definition,

3D wizardry? The battle of the airwaves promises to be almost as exciting as the contest itself. And if that wasn’t enough, there will also be an extra hour’s coverage on the opening two days, meaning less time spent focusing on the flowers and more time watching the world’s best players doing what they do best. I, for one, can’t wait.

Three off the tee PHIL MICKELSON – 6/1 MASTERS FORM: 1/5/5/24/1

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At 41, the defending champion is no spring chicken, but like a fine wine, he seems to be getting better with age, at least when it comes to the big occasions. His record at the Masters is extraordinary, with three wins and six other top-10s in the last decade. He saves his best for the majors these days, so expect him to bring his ‘A’ game to Augusta, and I don’t mean arthritis, a form of which he revealed he was suffering from last year. JUSTIN ROSE – 40/1 MASTERS FORM: -/20/36/5/-

es a changing of the guard, eason’s opening major, but ng to say about that…

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PAUL CASEY – 28/1 MASTERS FORM: -/20/11/10/A confident Casey is always a force to be reckoned with, and his recent victory in Bahrain will have given him an extra spring in his already springy step. After missing out on the Ryder Cup last year, he seems to be a man on a mission, and although he’s just as likely to miss the cut at Augusta as he is to win it, the 2011 Casey is a far more level-headed performer than the one from a few years ago, and he has the power and the putting touch to make his presence felt here.

Walmer & Kingsdown G o l f

C l u b

US Masters betting: 6 Mickelson, Woods; 12 Westwood; 16 Kaymer, 22 McIlroy; 25 Watney, McDowell; 28 Johnson D, Casey, Donald; 40 Poulter, Mahan, Harrington, Els, Goosen, Watson B, Rose, Kim; 50 Ogilvy, Schwartzel, Furyk, Garcia, Kuchar, Stricker, Singh, Fowler; 66 Choi, Quiros, Hass B, Karlsson, Scott, Moore, O’Hair, Baddeley; 80 Oosthuizen, Molinari F, Johnson Z, Clark, Couples, Crane, Fisher, Cabrera. 100+ the field.

Short Course Champs seeks amateur entries Following the success of the Farmfoods’ British Par 3 Championship held at Nailcote Hall in recent years, the organisers have decided to launch an amateur series of Open Par 3 Championships in 2011. The British Par 3 Championship has previously only been open to professional golfers, largely drawn from the ranks of the European, Senior and Challenge Tours, but Nailcote Hall’s owner, Rick Cressman, feels the time is right to open up the event to the amateur ranks. From 2011, amateur players will be able to enter a number of qualifying events, which will take place

between the end of May and early July. There will be five categories, comprising two junior sections (8-12 and 1317), Mens’, Ladies, Senior Mens’ and Senior Ladies’ Championship. The entry fee for juniors is £20, Ladies and Seniors £30, and £40 for Men, to include green fees and light refreshments. There will be prizes for the top three places in each category

at each qualifier, with the winners given the chance to play for two days with a top professional in the Farmfoods’ British Par 3 Championship on August 10_11. The winners will also be able to enjoy the VIP players’ party, rubbing shoulders with a host of professional stars, including event host former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jackin. The tournament, which

offers £5,000 to the winner, always attracts an eclectic mix of players, including big names off the European and Senior Tour, leading PGA professionals, as well as celebrities drawn from the world of stage, screen and sport, with previous players including Sir Alex Ferguson, Jasper Carrott, Peter Schmeichel, Peter Shilton, William Roache, Willie Thorne and Brendan Cole. The highlights are also shown on Sky Sports. To obtain an entry form for one of the amateur qualifiers please e-mail golf@nailcotehall.co.uk, call 02476 466174 or visit: www.nailcotehall.co.uk or www.britishpar3championship.co.uk.

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Equipment News 37

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As Titleist unveils the next generation of its record-breaking Pro V1 golf ball to an expectant public, Nick Bayly charts the rise and rise of one of the most successful brands in golfing history

Pro V1 celebrates ‘decade of domination’

T

here have only been a handful of products that have turned the game on its head since golf was invented all those centuries ago, but there’s no question that Titleist’s Pro V1 ball deserves its place on that list, alongside Callaway’s Big Bertha driver and Ping’s Eye2 irons during the modern era. The Pro V1, and its arriviste sidekick the Pro V1x, dominated the professional tours right from its launch in late 2000, and in the intervening 10 years has chalked up 18 major titles and over 1,500 wins on the world’s professional tours – all bar a few of which have been achieved without the help of the world’s most dominant player over the last decade. While the Pro V1 started off life aimed at the game’s better players, the message – or what is known in marketing speak as the ‘pyramid of influence’ – saw the ball rapidly filter down through the handicap categories to the point where many weekend hackers who had yet to break 100 wouldn’t be seen dead without a dozen Pro Vs in their bags. Given that a single ball retails at close to £4 – although sadly they don’t sell them in packs of one – playing with these supercharged sphericals is like setting fire to £10 notes when you spend more time in the woods then on the fairway. Such has been the Pro V1s dominance, that almost one in every six golf balls bought at the tills in the UK is a Pro V1 of some description, accounting for a third of all the money spent on golf balls. But the Pro V1 hasn’t stood still. In fact quite the opposite, having undergone tweaks to its design every other year since its launch. Thus the 2011 version is a fifth generation Pro V1, and hits the shelves of pro shops this month, following three months of trials on the professional tours, which have resulted in over 100 pros already switching to the new and improved version. The 2011 Pro V1 promises ‘increased spin control, more consistent flight and exceptional distance’, which has been achieved with a new core technology, a responsive ionomeric casing layer, urethane elastomer cover and a new dimple design. The new 352 dimple pattern features five different dimple sizes (the previous model had had 392 dimples) for more surface coverage and three axes of symmetry; resulting in improved aerodynamics and a more penetrating ball flight. “By implementing design improvements in the core, casing layer and aerodynamics, we

have produced the highest performing and most consistent performing Pro V1 we’ve ever made,” says Bill Morgan, Titleist’s head of Golf Ball Research and Design. “Players’ feedback has focused on new Pro V1’s tight penetrating flight, particularly in holding its line in the wind, as well as the increased spin control and consistent reaction into the green.” The firmer four-piece Pro V1x has always focused on delivering even greater distance than its sister product, and the 2011 version continues this trend, focusing on adding yardage, while retaining spin and control. This has been achieved by a new dimple design, with the new model featuring 328 dimples, comprising seven different dimple sizes, which combine to produce a higher trajectory for great overall distance. The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x go on sale this month, priced at £48 for a dozen, and they will no doubt be snapped up by thousands of golfers eager to become part of the one biggest continuing success stories in golf.

Mark Calcavecchia used the Pro V1 when recording the lowest 72-hole total on tour in 2001

Titleist Pro V1: a putted history June 2000: Prototype Pro V1 balls are sampled with over 100 Titleist players on the PGA Tour.

April 2007: Pro V1 and Pro V1x combine for a market share of 24%.

October 2000: 47 pros put the new Pro V1 in play at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas the first week it is available for competition, making it the largest shift of equipment at one event in golfing history. Pro V1 player Billy Andrade won the event, shooting five rounds in the 60s.

July 2007: Toru Taniguchi captures the Sega Sammy Cup in Japan, marking the 1,000th win for the Pro V1 throughout the world.

November 2000: Phil Mickelson wins the season-sending Tour Championship and says: “I honestly believe that if you are not playing this golf ball then you are at a distinct disadvantage to the entire field.” December 2000: The Pro V1 goes on sale to the public for the first time, gaining market share of 5.6% in the first month. January 2001: Pro V1 player Mark Calcavecchia rewrites PGA Tour history by recording new low scores for 36, 54 and 72 holes at the Phoenix Open. February 2001: The top eight finishers on the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing play the Pro V1. Sixteen tournament scoring records and eight PGA Tour alltime scoring records are tied or set since its introduction in October 2000.

August 2008: Padraig Harrington captures the 90th PGA Championship using a Pro V1 for his second consecutive major title and his third in the last six.

March 2001: The Pro V1 becomes the best-selling ball in the marketplace after reaching an On-Course share of 15% in just its fourth month. It has been the bestselling ball every month since. June 2001: Pro V1 records its first major title when Retief Goosen (pictured above) wins the US Open, followed by a second a month later, when David Toms captures the PGA Championship. January 2002: Titleist ships its 3 millionth dozen Pro V1 in the first year since its launch. July 2002: Ernie Els wins the Open Championship at Muirfield with a Pro V1.

March 2003: Titleist launches the second generation Pro V1 and new Pro V1x balls. August 2003: 92% of the field use a Pro V1 at the US Amateur Championship. August 2004: Vijay Singh wins the PGA Championship to complete a Pro V1 ‘Brand Slam’ in the season’s majors. March 2005: Titleist launches third generation of the Pro V1. December 2006: Ernie Els wins the South African Airways Open playing the fourth generation version of the Pro V1x. It marks the 900th win with a Titleist Pro V1 since its launch.

January 2009: Pat Perez is the first player to win with the new 2009 Pro V1x when he captures the 90-hole Bob Hope Classic with a 33-under par total. July 2010: South African Louis Oosthuizen (Pro V1x) captures the 150th Anniversary of the Open Championship in a strong winds at St Andrews. October 2010: Bill Haas wins the Viking Classic marking the Pro V1’s 1,500th victory. Padraig Harrington becomes the first player to win with the new Titleist Pro V1x prototype golf ball, capturing Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia. Feb 2011: The fifth generation Pro V1 ball is launched.


38 Instruction

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Distance: Min E T A M I T L U E TH E C N A M R O F R UR PE

TO

PONSIV R ATION, RES E L E C C A Y, R SPIN, TRA JECTO

ENESS

Cleveland Golf/Srixon ambassador Ben Cla through a combination of a controlled backs

O

ver the years, lofts in sets of irons have got stronger and stronger, while the loft of a sand iron has stayed the same. So, the need for a Gap Wedge is now much more important than ever before. This means that many amateur club

players will therefore have a yardage gap problem between each club. This month I will show you how to pepper the pin under control, not only with your wedges, but with all your clubs from 7-iron to lob wedge. I also use this shot a lot this time of year when cold, wet conditions make crisp iron shots that little bit harder.

Tip 1: Graeme ‘G-Mac’

Here I have the ball positioned in the middle of my feet, with my weight ever so slightly on my front foot. I try and feel my chest is level with the ball in this position.

McDowell

PIECE

4

PIECE

3

Tip 2: In the backswing, I make a swing that feels 3/4 in length and 3/4 in pace. As this is not a power shot, I don’t need to have too much of a weight shift. I like to feel my weight is staying even in the backswing. This shot’s success is based around being able to hit it the distance you wish consistently.

ALSO AVAILABLE IN TOUR YELLOW

* S N I TOUR W S Z-STAR SERIE

HE IN 2010 FOR T

7011-Srixon-GolfNewsAdvertArt.indd 1

* AS OF 1st DECEMBER 2010

47

AL INTERNATION

09/02/2011 11:16

Remember: good golf is based around consistency and what you can do all of the time, not some of the time.


Instruction 39

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nd the gaps

ayton show how to dial in your distances swing and a smooth tempo Tip 3:

one wedge IS a STaRT, Two IS BeTTeR, BUT THRee IS a

SCORING SYSTEM

A consistent return of the club becomes much easier by simplifying the setup and backswing, by keeping it at a pace that allows you to keep your chest level with the ball throughout the swing.

The loft of the club hits the ball in the air, so try and feel you are hitting the ball forward, not up.

Tip 4: A balanced finish position is the product of a controlled pace of swing throughout. Here, I am using my Flightscope system to track how far not only my full swings go, but my knockdown iron shots too. Next time you are in-between one short iron and another, why not play the percentage shot and hit the knockdown instead?

Cleveland and the CG logo are registered trademarks of Cleveland Golf / Srixon, CG16 and Zip Grooves are trademarks of Cleveland Golf/Srixon

A common mistake is wanting to slide the club under the ball to get it airborne.

G-MAC

“ MY LOFTS ARE 48°, 52°, 58° ”

HOW MANY WEDGES DO YOU PLAY?

WEDGES AREN’T JUST INDIVIDUAL CLUBS. OVER THE COURSE OF A ROUND THEY REALLY PERFORM AS A SHORT GAME SCORING SYSTEM. THAT’S WHY THE PROS PLAY THREE, OR EVEN FOUR, WEDGES, ALL WITH PROPER GAPPING. TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORES GO TO THE WEDGE FITTING SYSTEM AT CLEVELANDGOLF.COM WHERE WE’LL HELP YOU DETERMINE THE RIGHT WEDGE SET FOR YOUR GAME. To book a session at the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Centre of Excellence call: 07747 533959 or email: customfit@srixoncleveland.co.uk Ben Clayton is based at Hindhead Golf Club. To move your game forward in 2011, call Ben on: 01428 60445 or email: benclaytongolf@yahoo.co.uk to book your free on-course assessment.

www.clevelandgolf.com


THE BEST KEEP THE NEW TITLEIST PRO V1 The new Pro V1 provides the exceptional distance and durability golfers have counted on, and now also delivers increased spin control and a more consistent flight. This advanced performance results from a new innovative ZG process core technology, responsive ionomeric casing layer, Urethane Elastomer™ cover and spherically tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design. And with 3 axes of symmetry, our new aerodynamics deliver a penetrating ball flight that holds its line in the wind.

WE CARE ABOUT YOUR GAME At Titleist, we know golf balls. We design the best performing golf balls in the game and validate performance with players of all skill levels. And we manufacture every Titleist golf ball to the strictest standards, applying precision process technologies in order to achieve unmatched consistency and quality. The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x™ are the result of this continuous improvement process. A lot goes into your game, and that’s why we put so much into ours. ®

SPHERICALLY TILED 352 TETRAHEDRAL DIMPLE DESIGN

INNOVATIVE ZG PROCESS CORE TECHNOLOGY

THE NEW TITLEIST PRO V1x Delivering very low spin off the driver and long irons, the new Pro V1x provides longer distance and more consistent flight along with its renowned Drop-and-Stop greenside control. It features a large, high velocity dual core with a soft center, responsive ionomeric casing layer, Urethane Elastomer cover and spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design. Also, a higher trajectory contributes to Pro V1x’s longer distance and a consistent flight that cuts through windy conditions.

SPHERICALLY TILED 328 TETRAHEDRAL DIMPLE DESIGN

LARGE, HIGH VELOCITY DUAL CORE WITH SOFT CENTER


GETTING BETTER. YOUR INVITATION TO LOWER SCORES Every player desires more time to dedicate to their game. So when there’s an opportunity to play, whether it’s a qualifying round for the club championship or just a friendly weekend match, you want to make the most of it. Every round of golf is an invitation to improve and shoot lower scores. Trusting that your golf ball will do exactly what you want the shot to do, if you hit it correctly, is critical to building confidence. And confidence leads to better shot execution.

THE #1 BALL IN GOLF FOR A REASON Success is earned through consistency and better performance. Year after year, Titleist earns the trust of the overwhelming majority of players on the worldwide professional tours and with amateurs everywhere. Learn more about the new Pro V1 and new Pro V1x, and which is best for your game at Titleist.co.uk

The new Pro V1 and Pro V1x.

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42 Pro Shop

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Callaway RAZR Hawk driver RRP: £329 Contact: www.callawaygolf.com An instant hit on tour, with wins from Thomas Bjorn and Alvaro Quiros in successive weeks, the RAZR Hawk promises booming drives, although the average club golf will be hard pushed to match the Spaniard’s 350-yard plus efforts. The Hawk features a new forged composite material in the sole and crown, which was developed in collaboration with Lamborghini. This incredibly strong and lightweight material allowed designers to precisely control the thickness of the head, giving a new level of performance coupled with an extremely high resistance to twisting. A new aerodynamic head shape rediuces drag to improve swing speeds, while a weighting system allows the head to be set up for a draw or a neutral shot shape. Available in 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 13-degree lofts, it comes with Aldila’s 46-inch RIP graphite shaft as standard, which provides lower torque with better tip stability. A Tour version offers 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 lofts, with a 45-5-inch shaft.

Motocaddy S3 Digital Trolley RRP: £399.99 (£599.99 Lithium) Contact: www.motocaddy.co.uk

Srixon Z-Star irons RRP: £599 (4-PW) Contact: www.srixon.com You’ve played the ball, now try the irons. Srixon’s new Z-Star irons are mid-sized, forged cavity-back, geared toward low-to mid-handicap players. The heads feature a unique application of two different types of carbon steel, with the main body made from 1025 carbon steel, which helps maintain the integrity of lofts and lies, while the face is forged from a softer 1020 carbon steel to provide ultimate feel. The standard steel shaft is the NS Pro 1050GH, which blends the playability of graphite with the stability of steel to help increase distance while maintaining feel.

Motocaddy’s flagship trolley incorporates several pioneering features new to the fast-growing powered trolley market, including a USB port that allows a GPS unit to be charged from the trolley’s battery; a security device that enables the owner to render the trolley useless to a would-be thief; ergonomic handle grips, and new low-profile tyres; a multifunctional display screen and digital control panel; a new Alpine White finish to add to the popular black and titanium options. The S3 Digital is powered by a whisper-quiet 200w motor and either lightweight Panasonic batteries that can easily cope with 36 holes, or a powerful lithium battery designed as the most efficient and lightweight option on the market. Other standard features include adjustable distance control, a speedometer, clock and improved battery meter; plus distance readings that can be reset at any time to determine the length of drives or distance past a marker.

John Letters Master Model irons RRP: £599, 3-PW Contact: www.johnletters.com First made famous by former John Letters’ staff player Fred Daly, who used the original Master Models to win the 1947 Open Championship, the 2011 version is forged from mild carbon steel for an ultra-soft responsive feel. An invisible-ataddress slim-cavity design ensures forgiveness without losing the blade-inspired looks, offering plenty of appeal for better players. As well as the traditional custom-fitting options of loft, lie and shaft preference, John Letters is offering fullycustomisable heads, where customers can determine the colour of paint used on the back of the each clubhead while their set is being made up in St Andrews. Featuring Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips, the Master Models are available with a variety of shaft options, including Rifle, Nippon and True temper Dynamic Gold, each in a variety of flexes.

Puma Golf belt RRP: £30 Contact: www.trendygolf.com This high shine belt in Rickie Fowler’s trademark orange will guarantee to get you noticed on the fairways this summer. Made from 100% leather, it is 4cm wide and comes in X and XL sizes, with the cut-out cat logo for an impressive finish. It goes particularly well with white trousers. Also available in white and black.


Pro Shop 43

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Powakaddy Winter Wheels RRP: £64.99 per pair Contact: www.powakaddy.com PowaKaddy has developed a ground-breaking – or should that be ‘ground-saving’ – solution to the problem of using powered trolleys during the winter. Anxious to protect their hallowed turf, many clubs ban trolleys during wet periods, fearing danger to the sod from excess traffic. To help overcome this problem, PowaKaddy spent eight months working with British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association and a panel of course managers in the production of its new winter wheels. Featuring an open tread, the winter wheels create minimal ground contact and evenly distribute weight over a smaller surface area, thus avoiding compacting and denting. A small crown on the front and rear of the tyre reduces dragging while turning without loss of traction. They can be fitted to any PowaKaddy electric trolley from the year 2000 models onwards.

Ping Karsten 1959 putter

Cobra Golf S3 irons

RRP: £85 (Craz-E £105)

RRP: £599/£499 (gr/st, 5-SW) Contact: www.cobragolf.com Cobra’s S3 irons feature E9 Face Technology, which creates a progressive sweet spot designed around impact patterns of typical golfers. With most irons, the sweet spot is in the centre of the face, but Cobra analysed thousands of shots from hundreds of golfers and discovered that is not always where golfers strike the ball. In long irons, golfers hit in a horizontal elliptical pattern; in mid-irons golfers hit in an oval pattern, while in short irons, golfers hit in a circular pattern. Thus the S3’s cavity design – and sweet spot location – changes to match these strike patterns. Cobra has also optimised the face thickness of each iron to provide the distance, feel, forgiveness and accuracy that golfers are looking for from each of their irons. The different sweet spots are achieved by combining a thin, hot face design with multi-material technology and a stepped crescent sole.

Never Compromise Gambler putters RRP: £249 Contact: www.nevercompromise.com After several years in the putting wilderness, Never Compromise is back with a new range of ultra-premium putters for 2011. The new Gambler Limited putters are a series of classic one-piece designs, own design based on the colourful imagery of a deck of cards. Forged from stainless steel, then milled and hand polished, the Gambler range features four models: the Royal, a heeltoe weighted blade with a crank neck hosel; the Straight, a face-balanced mallet with a doublebend neck; the Boat, a Zing-style, toe-down blade with a crank neck hosel; and the Flush, a toe-down mid mallet. Already in the bag of PGA Tour star Boo Weekley, the Gambler looks set to be a big deal with tour players and amateurs alike.

Contact: www.ping.com

Ecco Biom Shoe RRP: £160 Contact: www.eccogolf.com

D

anish shoe brand Ecco grabbed plenty of headlines earlier this year with the surprise commercial hit that was the Golf Street shoe, as worn to great effect by Fred Couples during the US Masters and his subsequent Champions Tour wins, and the company is hoping to strike shoe gold again with the eye-catching Biom. Like the Street shoe, the Biom breaks a few conventions within the traditional shoe market, not least by the fact that the uppers are made from Tibetan Yak leather. Yaks, which are found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, produce particularly stretchy, yet extremely durable leather, which allows the uppers to be much thinner – and therefore more supple – than those found in shoes made using traditional cow leather. Hides aside, it is the last – the base unit around which the platform is designed – and the lower part of the shoe, where the real performance benefits are to be found in the Biom. Drawing on technology found in Ecco’s running and walking shoes, the Biom is billed as the world’s first ‘natural motion’ golf shoe. Essentially, the design follows the foot’s natural system for absorbing impact, while strengthening muscles in the feet and lower legs. This has resulted in the creation of a much thinner platform than found in most other performance golf shoes, which brings the foot closer to the ground, improving feel and aiding natural stability. Thus rather than the wearer relying on the shoe to do all the work and provide all the cushioning, the Biom trains the foot to react as the natural shock absorber, helping the foot to land more on the mid-foot rather than the heel, which leads to a more comfortable walking position while helping to build muscles in the calves. It all adds up to an extremely light shoe – up to 100g less mass than other models – that is both soft and pliable – and waterproof – yet at the same time extremely supportive to the foot and still allowing plenty of natural movement within the confines of the shoe. The sole features a unique cleat configuration mixed with an arrangement of stability bars that provide high levels of traction, while a series of channels allow the foot to flex with the natural movement of the foot. Couples has already forsaken his beloved Streets for these, so they must be on to something. The Biom will be available in three colour options for men (White/ Lime Punch, White/Concrete and Brown/Fanta), and three for women (White/Lime Punch, White/ Beetroot and White/ Concrete).

RATING

Ping has drawn inspiration from its rich heritage of designing some of the most successful putters in professional golf to create a completely new Karsten 1959 series. Instantly recognisable designs like the Anser, Zing, B60 and Craz-E have been upgraded using high-performance and modern manufacturing processes to produce a high-performance modern collection of putters. The Karsten 1959 putters are confidence-builders from the moment they’re placed behind the ball. A thin, satin-finish topline offers a clean look and spot-on alignment. At impact, an elastomer insert behind the face softens the feel while a traditional steel face delivers solid response, consistency and feedback that golfers can rely on. They are available for both right and lefthanders in Anser 2, B60, Zing, Craz-E, My Day and Anser X designs.

Callaway RAZR X irons RRP: £599/£729 (st/gr) Contact: www.callawaygolf.com Research has shown that golfers tend to strike the ball lower on the clubface and Callaway’s new RAZR irons are designed for optimal performance on such shots, with RAZR Technology shifting the centre of gravity lower and deeper in the clubhead, redistributing around 30g of weight, taking the centre of gravity around 15% deeper than the company’s X-22 irons. The RAZR X irons also contain Callaway’s Variable Face Thickness technology, with a fully integrated undercut cavity system that enables mass to be precisely positioned for maximum ball speed on all shots.


44 Product Showcase

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Improve your game from the ground up with a new pair of Scooby Doos Adidas AdiPure Z Price: £149.99 Contact: adidas.com Combines leather uppers and linings with a polyurethane footbed to offer total comfort. Low profile technology offers improved stability, while the Powerband Chassis wraps higher up the foot to ensure that it remains secure at high swing speeds. A 10-Spike configuration offers superior grip, while Climaproof technology provides waterproof protection. Available in sizes 6.5-13 in black, brown and white.

ECCO Golf Street

FootJoy Icon

Price: £100 Contact: ecco.com

Price: £200 Contact: footjoy.co.uk The Icons feature premium leather uppers and interior linings, dual density fitbeds, memory foam cushioning and a perforated alloy torque bar, which offers tour-level stability. Optiflex outsoles and Champ’s new Stinger III cleats improve comfort and traction. Icons are available in four patterns and nine styles, while the ‘MyJoys’ programme allows up to 2.5 million combinations of base colours, flashes and wing tips for an extra £20 above the base price.

Designed to be worn both on and off the course, the latest Golf Streets feature an outsole that has 100 molded traction bars, with more than 800 tractions angles, for excellent grip in all conditions. The outsole is constructed from a TPU material that has been shown to last five times longer than rubber, while the removable anatomical insole is lightweight yet provides extra cushioning and support. They are available in licorice/coffee/fanta, concrete/white/royal and sephia/bison/honey.

FootJoy SYNR-G

Stuburt Helium Tour

Price: £160 Contact: footjoy.co.uk

Price: £90 Contact: stuburt.com

SOLE TRADERS

The new SYNR-G range features Pittards’ Extreme Comfort Leather uppers with a membrane-free waterproofing system. The leather is 30% softer than previous FootJoy designs, while memory foam in the tongue and collar enhance comfort. A silcone HeelLoc Zone reduces friction and keeps the foot secure. Full leather linings provide in-shoe breathability, while the tri-density outsole provides a stable hitting platform. Available in white/black or black/black.

Puma Cell Fusion Price: £130 Contact: puma.com With uppers made from a combination of full-grain leather and microfibre synthetic leather, the Cell Fusion features Puma’s Heel iCell technology, which consists of a system of hexagonal cells that are designed to enhance cushioning and stability. The TPU outsole comes with seven Smart Quill spikes. Available in orange/white, black/white/red, in sizes 6-13, with a two-year waterproof guarantee.

Key design elements include uppers made from waterproof full-grain leather, a four-layer membrane system, and a dual density heel insert. A cradle runs from under the midfoot and around the heel to offer stability and maximum protection. A new eight-cleat sole pattern improves grip, while a TecTuff toe guard prevents scuffing. Available in black, white/black/blue, white/black and white/black/red, in sizes 7-12, all with a 12-month guarantee.

FootJoy DryJoys Tour Price: £125 Contact: footjoy.co.uk

Mizuno MP Stability Price: £129 Contact: mizunoeurope.com The MP Stability shoes are designed to keep the feet firmly planted whatever your swing speed, with their eye-catching sole design and Wave Plate footbed reducing lateral movement by up to 200%. The synthetic leather uppers offer breathability and a degree of water repellency, while the spike pattern on the sole can be arranged to encourage a draw or fade bias. Available in sizes 6-11 and in black or white.

FootJoy’s top-selling all-weather shoe gets an upgrade, offering the performance benefits demanded by Tour players. Features full-leather uppers and linings and a footbed that provides plenty of cushioning to support the swing. A rounded toe with a slightly narrower heal prevents internal movement. They are available in sizes 6-12, including half sizes, in a choice of five colours.

Callaway Bio Kinetic Tour Price: £149.99 Contact: callawaygolf.com Crafted in full grain leather, this stylish waterproof lace-up features excellent midsole support, a moisture-wicking lining, and a gel-injected tongue that is designed to spread pressure across the foot. Eight chevron spikes provide superior traction and stability, while flexing with every move. Available in sizes 7-13 in black, brown, black/white and white, with a two-year waterproof guarantee.


46 Breaks

www.golfnews.co.uk

Saintly break for links lovers

Play over 210 of the finest courses in the South East for only

St Moritz Hotel

ÂŁ39.95

tw

one

To order call: 01273 556377 or visit: www.golfnews.co.uk

Stay & play in the

Garden of England Play one of the best courses in Kent while enjoying the very comfortable 4 star Ramada Hotel 1 night dinner, Bed & Breakfast, 2 Rounds of Golf

1 night Bed & Breakfast, 2 Rounds of Golf

ÂŁ85 ÂŁ129

ÂŁ98 ÂŁ155

per person

St Enodoc Golf Club and the St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall have teamed up to offering a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Saintly Breakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; package that allows golfers to spend time on the golf course while their non-playing partners relax in the spa. While golfers enjoy the renowned James Braiddesigned course, nongolfers can choose to be pampered in the Cornish Cowshed spa at the St Moritz Hotel. St Enodoc, located on the high sand dunes of the North Cornwall coast

per person

2 nights Bed & Breakfast, 3 Rounds of Golf

The Ridge Golf Club, Chartway Street, Sutton Valence, Maidstone, Kent ME17 3JB

FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Largest Golf Resort 6HW LQ RYHU  DFUHV RI UROOLQJ 'HYRQ FRXQWU\VLGH LQ WKH IRRWKLOOV RI Dartmoor National Park, the Ashbury Golf Hotel boasts seven 18 hole golf FRXUVHRSWLRQVSOXVH[WHQVLYHVSRUWVDQGOHLVXUHIDFLOLWLHVDOOIUHHRIFKDUJH WRJXHVWVVWD\LQJDWWKHKRWHO*XHVWVPD\DOVRWDNHDGYDQWDJHRIWKHVSRUW FUDIWDQGOHLVXUHDFWLYLWLHVDYDLODEOHWRWKHPDWWKH0DQRU+RXVH+RWHO Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4

Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3

which was totally refurbished in 2008 following a change of ownership, is a glamourous art deco-inspired building occupying a stunning location between Polzeath and Rock, and just five minutes walk from the

Your Golf Travel.comâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ÂŁ36 golf break is back, with Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading golf travel company offering its customers unbeatable value at The Wiltshire. Groups of four golfers or more can enjoy two rounds of golf at The Wiltshire, near Swindon, and one nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bed and breakfast for just ÂŁ36 per person. The offer is valid every Monday, Thursday and Sunday night until the end of April, as well as Saturday nights until the end of March. For more information visit www.yourgolftravel.com.

per person

Contact us today on: 01622 844382 www.theridgegolfclub.co.uk

Beeches 5th 385 yards, Par4

overlooking the Camel Estuary, is famed for its undulating fairways and firm greens that are set against the backdrop of some of the greatest sea and estuary views of any course in the world. The St Moritz Hotel,

The ÂŁ36 golf break is back!

2 nights dinner, Bed & Breakfast, 3 Rounds of Golf

per person

St Enodoc

Kigbeare 8th 403 yards, Par 4

Race is on to claim Devonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best break Dartmouth Golf & Country Club in Devon has come up with the perfect treat for golf and horseracing fans by launching a new range of breaks combining the two pursuits. The popular resort is offering visitors to south Devon the chance to sample some of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest racing venues and golf courses from as little as ÂŁ74 per person for a onenight package. As well as top horseracing venues like Exeter, Taunton and Newton Abbott, the packages

Autumn to Spring Specials

include options for some of the south-westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best pointto-point meetings. The breaks are based at Dartmouth Golf & Country Club, where guests can play the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Championship

Tenterden

Up until 28th Apr 2011

3 Night weekend ÂŁ167/ÂŁ212 4 Night midweek ÂŁ172/ÂŁ236 Full board, Group Discounts, Free buggies

Fantastic Summer Specials 0D\Ä&#x192;6HSW

3 Night weekend ÂŁ221/ÂŁ268 4 Night midweek ÂŁ250/ÂŁ301 Full board, Group Discounts [KROHFRXUVHRSWLRQVÄ&#x192;\DUGV KIGBEARE 3,1(6 )25(67 $6+%85< %((&+(6 OAKWOOD :,//2:6

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

White 6528 6400 6140 5804 5765 5400 1939

Yellow 6126 6076 5854 5534 5400 5400 1939

Red 5334 5327 5211 4918 4826 4650 1939

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

beach. Guests can choose from a variety of suites, many of which come with their own kitchens. The family-friendly hotel offers a swimming pool, sauna, bar, and an excellent restaurant serving a variety of locallycaught fish and seafood. The Cornish Cowshed is part of the global spa network founded at Babington House in Somerset, and guests can also enjoy the use of a fullyfitted gym and a Hammanstyle steam room, as well as six treatment rooms. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Saintly Breakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; comprises two rounds over the Church and Holywell Courses at St Enodoc, two one-hour spa treatments, two-nightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bed and breakfast, with dinner on both nights, and costs ÂŁ145 per person per night, based on two people sharing a king/twin room. For bookings or more details visit www.stmoritzhotel.co.uk.

Pines 4th 270 yards, Par 4

Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4

Freephone: 0800 389 9892 www.ashburygolfhotel.co.uk

Golf breaks with tuition Day 1

Day 2

Swing Health Check with Pro (1hr) l Breakfast l 9 Hole Playing l 18 Holes of Golf Lesson with the Pro l Full Unlimited use of Golf Facilities l 18 Holes of Golf l Full Use of our Luxury Spa l Full Use of Golf Facilities l 2-Course Dinner l Full Use of our Luxury Spa l Accommodation (up to 5pm) Variety of Spa Treatments available on request l

Price £190 per person (based on 2 sharing)  London Beach, Hotel Club & Spa, Ashford Road, Tenterden, Kent. TN30 6HX. Tel: 01580 766279. Fax: 01580 763884. Email: offers@londonbeach.com

www.londonbeach.com

and Dartmouth courses while additional golf can be arranged at a number of local clubs, including Bigbury, China Fleet, Dawlish Warren and Bovey Castle. The one-night package includes bed and breakfast, paddock entry on raceday, 18 holes on Dartmouthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Championship course and use of the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive leisure facilities. Unlimited golf on the two Dartmouth Golf & Country Club courses can be added from ÂŁ16pp, while raceday hospitality starts at just ÂŁ15. A two-night package with unlimited golf and paddock entry starts from ÂŁ104pp. To make a booking call 0800 043 3498 or visit www.golfandracingbreaks.com.


Breaks 47

www.golfnews.co.uk

F

orget Pebble Beach, if you want to enjoy some seriously stunning rugged links golf, then you only need to head to the fabulous coast of North Wales to experience some of the best links in the world. Save the 6,000-mile trip and the money, by heading off to play the glorious links at Nefyn, before heading over to nearby Porthmadog, and finishing up by heading inland to Royal St Davids. With views of the sea from every tee, and eight holes played on the world-famous ‘Point’, it is no wonder Nefyn often draw comparisons with Pebble Beach. Located on a narrow peninsula, with the holes bounded on one side by rocky outcrops and the sea, and on the other by a glorious stretch of sandy beach, it’s an aweinspiring spot. Porthmadog, situated a mile from Portmerion, offers an intriguing mix of heathland and links golf. Designed by James Braid, the gorse and undulating fairways make for a testing round. The back nine heads out to sea for a pure links challenge, with the 12th, Porthmadog

Nefyn

Just awarded British Tourist Board Gold Award

Exclusive breaks to Welsh wonders which requires a carry over a narrow bay, being an obvious highlight. Royal St Davids, needs little introduction, with its magnificent setting beneath the brooding Harlech Castle making it one of the most photographed courses in the UK. Host to numerous top-class amateur events over the years, it is consistently rated well inside the top 50 courses in Britain. Golfers will need to bring their complete game here, as St Davids, which plays to a par of 69, is not only

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, Bed and Breakfast and FREE GOLF l One Day Society Packages from £25.00pp l l

noted for its succession of testing long par fours, but also its massive greens. Exclusive Golf Breaks has put together a great package to enjoy all three courses while staying for two nights at the three-star Royal Sportsman Hotel in Portmadog, with prices starting at just £225 per person. For more details call 01822 618181 or visit www.exclusivegolfbreaks.com for details on breaks to Cornwall, Woodhall Spa, Mid Wales and Hampshire and Surrey.

Telephone No: 01929 472244

HAMPSHIRE & SURREY CLASSICS 2 NIGHTS B&B at either: Marriott Portsmouth or Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, Haslemere 3 ROUNDS at one of Hindhead, Stoneham, Hayling or Liphook

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

ONLY £249 pp Weekend supplement: £10pp extra

ENGLISH RIVIERA DEVON

CORNISH CREAM

MID WALES

NORTH WALES

WOODHALL GOLF BREAKS

2 NIGHTS B&B at Toorak Hotel, Torquay 3 ROUNDS at the following courses:

2 NIGHTS B&B at St Mellion or Trevose 3 ROUNDS at the following courses:

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

Churston, Torquay & Teignmouth

ONLY £199 pp

Dinner Option: £10pp per night extra

St Mellion, Perranporth and Trevose

ONLY £225 pp

Dinner option: £20pp per night extra

Weekend supplement: £15pp extra

Weekend supplement: £17pp extra

1 x Bracken Course* 1 x Seacroft GC

* Located at Woodhall

To discuss your exclusive golf package call 01822 618181 or visit exclusivegolfbreaks.com


48 Travel

www.golfnews.co.uk

Get more for your money at Morgado

The popular CS hotel chain in the Algarve has just opened a brand new hotel on the Morgado/Alamos 36hole complex in the Western Algarve near Alvor. At the CS Morgado Golf Hotel, Sussex-based golf

tour operator Golf Escapes is offering seven-night packages with seven rounds of golf on site, half board with drinks, free trolleys and driving range tokens for £485 per person from April to September.

Prices for October are £535 per person. The world-famous Montecastillo Resort – previous host of the Volvo Masters – also has some great offers for the autumn. A seven-night stay on an all-inclusive basis, with unlimited golf on Montecastillo Golf Course, will cost £425 per person in September and October. See www.golf-escapes. com for more details or call 01342 811777.

Your golf travel bible is here! YourGolfTravel.com has introduced an increased range of worldwide destinations and additional savings in its new 2011 brochure. The new portfolio features a selection of the operator’s best-selling products, with affordable golf travel options to 13 different countries across the globe and a choice of almost 200 resort, hotel and golf course destinations. While there is plenty of choice available in the traditional strongholds of Spain, Portugal, the UK and Ireland, the introduction of new options in Italy, Greece, Morocco and Tunisia adds considerable scope to the programme. With more than 1,500 venues available through its website, Your Golf Travel.com has selected a combination of its most popular locations and the best deals available, with trips starting from just £59 per person. For that fantastic price, golfers can enjoy one night’s dinner, bed and breakfast and two rounds of golf at the Bank House Hotel in Worcestershire. In Europe, a three-night bed and breakfast break in May and June – with unlimited golf – is available for just £99 per person, staying at the five-star Montecastillo Resort in Jerez, Spain. For a copy of the brochure phone free on 0800 043 0360 or go online at www.yourgolftravel.com.

Play where the stars have played From e30 (£27)

Scrum down at La Manga

1996-2009

...Arras Golf Club Hotel & Golf Club l 18-Hole Championship Course Par 72 - 6692 yards l Societies and visitors welcome reservation advisable l Luxurious 3 stars Hotel 39 rooms and 4 suites l Cosy Clubhouse with Bar and Brasserie l Driving range and Practice facilities l Golf Shop l Buggy and Trolley Hire

special summer offer

Green fee & meal @ 50€ Includes main course, 1/4 wine or beer, coffee & dessert

l Easy access from Calais by motorway A26

(Calais/Reims) l 5 mins drive from the centre of historic town

of Arras (Pas de Calais) l Special rates for parties of 12 or more l Societies packages and Stay and Play packages on request

Arras Golf Club rue Briquet Taillandier, 62 223 Anzin Saint Aubin-France Tel: 00 33 3 21 50 24 24. email: golf@golf-arras.com www.golf-arras.com

For more information please contact us Tel: 00 33 3 21 50 24 24. Fax 00 33 3 21 50 29 71 email: golf@golf-arras.com or visit our website

www.golf-arras.com

A

galaxy of rugby stars will take to La Manga Club’s fairways in May for the fifth Wooden Spoon Golf Classic. Former England scrum-half Shaun Perry staged a dramatic late charge to win the 2010 title and organisers are hopeful he will return to defend his crown, from May 18-22, against a field packed with legends of the game, as well as groups of amateur golfers who will get the chance to play alongside their heroes of yesteryear. Those already confirmed to compete include arguably the greatest British Lion of all time, Willie John

McBride, ex-Scotland captain Gavin Hastings and England’s most-capped fullback Matt Perry, along with a host of internationals from across the home nations. Tony Richards,

Holidays begin Discover the beautifully uncrowded fairways of France and northern Spain with Brittany Ferries.

Play & Stay in France 1 night plus golf from

10th hole at Pléneuf Val André

For our latest offers call the golf desk on 0871 244 0668 or visit brittanyferries.com/golf Prices are per person based on 4 passengers travelling in one car for travel in April. Selected sailings, exclusions and conditions apply. See website for full details.

2 nights plus golf from

£154 £233 where holidays begin

development director of Spoon Golf, said: “We already have 20 teams booked, and a fantastic field of rugby legends to play alongside them. We’re all looking forward to another trip packed with good golf, good company and good fun. We can’t wait to get back to La Manga Club, it’s the perfect venue for a great event.” Golfing rugby fans have the chance to play alongside their heroes with a Stableford team event taking place alongside the celebrity contest, which sees teams of three play three rounds, each with a different rugby star. Packages start from £999 and as well as golf on La Manga Club’s North and South courses, include four-nights’ accommodation in the fivestar Hotel La Manga Club Principe Felipe, a welcome dinner and drinks reception, barbeques and a gala dinner with prize-giving. Non-golfing partners are also welcome to attend and can enjoy all the festivities for just £599 and all packages include a donation to the Wooden Spoon charity. Last year’s event raised more than £30,000 towards children’s charity Wooden Spoon’s goal of helping underprivileged children and organisers have high hopes of exceeding that amount this time round. To book your place go to www.wooden spoon-lamanga.com or call 0117 9681745.


Travel 49

www.golfnews.co.uk

Following the recent political upheavals in North Africa, Tunisia might not be on everyone’s radar for a golf holiday, but Clive Agran is as fearless with a five-iron as he is about his choice of destinations

Q

uite why the British are as low down the league table of visitors as they are is a cause of both consternation and sadness to the Tunisian tourist authorities. For reasons lingual and geographical, the French and Italians are always likely to outnumber us, but why we languish some way behind the Scandinavians and the Germans is not so easily understood. Maybe our comparative ignorance of Tunisia and its people might go some way to explaining our apparent reluctance to cross the Mediterranean and explore this most attractive North African country. Although only two-and-a-half hours from Gatwick, it’s rarely given serious consideration when a list of possible winter golf destinations is compiled. In these difficult days, when fear of terrorism and political unrest is a legitimate factor to be taken into account alongside more traditional preoccupations, such as the quality of the beaches and the strength of the beer, Tunisia almost certainly suffers for being an Arab country. Following the ousting of long-time President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, the country has returned to a reasonable level of stability, with all the major tour operators having long since resumed their normal holiday services. It’s a perfectly safe place to visit, and certainly to play golf, providing you exercise all the normal sensitivities when visiting an Arab country. Indeed, it seems that while the mass exodus from neighbouring Libya is causing concerns in the cities, it appears to have had little impact on life at the luxury hotels and golf resorts that dot the palm-fringed coastline. “We have heard about, but not seen anything,” said one French tourist I spoke to, as he took a break after playing nine holes at the Djerba golf course, beneath a broad, blue sky. “The sun is shining and everything is normal here.” Indeed, since golf is unquestionably the most civilised of activities, Tunisia’s enthusiasm for the game is confirmation that it rightly belongs in the multi-cultural family of golfing nations, where religion and politics is of much less concern than the speed of the greens or depth of the rough.

The Residence

Tune in to Tunisia The first tee at Yasmine Golf Club

The tight and tough Foret course at Citrus leaves little room for error.

El Kantaoui

Most of the ten or so golf courses are close to the Mediterranean coast, which dictates a daily itinerary of golf in the morning, followed by lunch…pause, and then a swim in the sea, although the swim is decidedly optional from November to the end of February. Plunging in half-way round is an appealing proposition when playing at El Kantaoui, which is just five minutes from the picturesque port from which it gets its name. Blessed with two courses, the club operates a sensible system that separates better players from beginners in a laudable attempt to speed up play. Lower handicappers play one, while their less competent cousins play the other. The rotation system then ensures everyone has a chance to play both the Sea and Panorama courses. In the days when the Tunisian Open was a regular fixture on the European Tour, El Kantaoui was the chosen venue. Among the famous winners here are a brace of European Ryder Cup captains - Mark James in 1983 and Sam Torrance in 1984. More recently, the course has hosted the European Seniors Tour. Massive greens make monster putts a common occurrence. Although there are not very many trees, cunningly-located specimen palms oblige you to think carefully about where to put the ball. The cactus and big bunkers are best avoided, as indeed are the lakes. The adjacent

beach looks dangerously inviting, and some of its prettier occupants can present a welcome distraction on the Sea course. Away from the beach, both courses rise up a gentle hill to provide excellent views of the port and coastline. Like so many others in Tunisia, they were designed by the American architect Ronald Fream. The Panorama is generally regarded as the more difficult, while the Sea is significantly longer, noticeably flatter but no less enjoyable. Set a decent distance back from the sparkling Mediterranean and up against some imposing mountains, is the altogether hillier Citrus Golf Club, just south of Hammamet and about an hour’s drive from Tunis. Owned by a consortium of local hotels, it clearly caters for the visiting golfer. Again there are two 18-hole courses; Les Oliviers, the gentler of the two, and La Foret, a stiff test by any standards. Considering it rains here less frequently than Ian Poulter wears a grey suit and matching tie, both courses are pleasantly lush and the greens surprisingly receptive. There are numerous bunkers, a few of which are of biblical proportions and could comfortably accommodate a sizeable camel train. On La Foret, the fairways are pretty tight and there are enough out of bounds’ posts to create considerable anxiety. On a more positive note, an errant shot into the adjacent trees does at least offer the consolation of welcome shade. The terrain is gently undulating with the occasional more testing climb, the views are splendid and a fine finishing hole with a demanding drive over an imposing lake from an elevated tee provides a fitting climax to a memorable round. Just over the road from Citrus, no more

than a few hundred metres as the vulture flies, is yet another Ronald Fream course at Yasmine. Visually very appealing with lakes, waterfalls, decorative bridges and a rich mix of magnificent plants, it provides a wide variety of holes and is challenging without being frightening. Cleverly carved out of the available acreage, it smells as good as it looks - the eponymous jasmine being responsible for the sweet scent. According to the card, the course weaves around a river. If my third form geography is more reliable than my short game – and I’m in big trouble if it isn’t – this ‘river’ should more properly be regarded as a wadi, or dry riverbed. No doubt at some time of the year it’s a raging torrent, but not very often, I suspect. A Jack Nicklaus course is being built next door and is due to open later this year. When it does, the plan is to carry out restoration work on the existing course, so that Jasmine will evolve into a truly outstanding 36-hole complex. A new course that recently opened is The Residence. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior, and sited alongside a lake close to the capital Tunis, everything about it reeks of class. Wide open, but with more than enough aquatic hazards, it weaves its way through a nature reserve and around a peaceful lake. Although obviously not a genuine links, it nevertheless manifests many of the qualities associated with authentic dunes, not least the sensuous shaping. Undoubtedly the bestconditioned course I encountered in Tunisia, it’s a genuine thrill to play, despite the fact that the water will claim at least a couple of your balls. The Residence apart, generally the condition of Tunisian courses is not quite up to the highest European standards. But the year-round sunshine, delicious food, friendly people and extremely competitive prices ensure that you will enjoy yourself in this exotic golf destination. For more information on golf holidays in Tunisia, visit www.tourismtunisia.com or email info@tourismtunisia.com.


50 News

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Win one of 10 places on the ultimate golf trip to

Mauritius

Play at seven of the best championship resort courses for an experience you will never forget! The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Tourism Partners are offering this incredible opportunity for you to play in the Mauritius Golf Challenge 2011.  Majestic mountains, breathtaking waterfalls and a lush interior are the backdrops to Mauritius’ superb championship courses, designed by some of the game’s greatest names such as Ernie Els, Bernhard Langer and Peter Alliss.  All this before we even mention the miles of beautiful unspoilt white sandy beaches or the warm turquoise lagoons of this tropical paradise. And if adventure, sightseeing and watersports are too much for you, relax in one of our world-class resorts and be pampered in the luxurious spas. To enter the competition: Go to: www.mauritiusgolfcollection.co.uk  and click on the competition page to answer the 3 questions and register to win. The Travel dates are 29th May to 8th June 2011.


Travel 51

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Resort just outside Belek, seven nights all-inclusive in a double or single room (no single supplements), four rounds of golf on the magnificent on-site Lykia Links course, including airport transfers, will cost €720 in April and €760 in May. The eighth golfer stays and plays completely free on these packages. See www.golfdelights.com or email sales@golfdelights.com for details.

Oman offers golfing oasis Travelling golfers willing to go a bit off the beaten tourist track will be royally rewarded with a trip to the gulf state of Oman, which has recently opened its first championship-standard 18-hole golf course. For the past 40 years, golfers in Oman have had to follow their passion on a handful of ‘brown’ courses, where players are required to carry around a patch of astroturf and putt out on sand-based greens. But all that changed last year, following the official opening of Muscat Hills Golf & Country Club, while later this year will see the unveiling of a new links course designed by Greg Norman, which will form part of a new luxury beachfront development called The Wave. Designed by architect English architect Paul Thomas, the 7,000-yard The Chedi Hotel

course at Muscat Hills is set in typically rocky terrain on the outskirts of Oman’s historic capital. With the imposing Jebel Akdar mountain range providing a stunning backdrop on one side, and the shimmering Arabian Sea two miles distant on the other, a round at Muscat Hills is memorable for many reasons. The course enjoys some significant elevation changes from many of the tees and greens, with the generous fairways framed by desert scrub and cavernous dried up riverbeds. The par 72 layout, which features four par fives and four par threes, threads its way through the rocky terrain, with the back tees providing a challenging test for low handicappers. With the championship links at The Wave opening

at the end of this year, and a further nine holes of grass golf available at the nearby Ghallah Wentworth Golf Club, there is more than enough holes to combine golf with a holiday to one of the Gulf’s most undiscovered countries. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, with a variety of top-class hotels to choose from. Arguably the best is The Chedi, a five-star beach-fronted hotel, is 10 minutes from Muscat Hills, and the same distance from the international airport at Seeb. It features 156 rooms and suites, with a private beach, two restaurants, two outdoor pools, and a new 103-metre indoor pool in the recently-opened spa. Five nights’ B&B accommodation and four rounds of golf at Muscat Hills costs RO 660 per person, based on double occupancy. Oman Air and Gulf Air both offer daily direct flights to Muscat, with a flying time of seven hours. For golf package bookings to the Chedi visit ghmluxuryhotels.com or call 00 96 82452 4400). For more details on Muscat Hills visit www.muscathills.com.

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52 Breaks

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Saint-Saëns Golf Hôtel, otherwise known as the Château du Vaudichon, is an impressive, traditional French resort with a fantastic restaurant and an onsite woodland golf course. Located just outside the attractive town of Saint-Saëns, and about two hours’ drive from Calais, it is a great location for a golf break

S

et in the middle of an ancient 200-acre estate, the wonderful 19th century Château du Vaudichon has been converted into a bright, elegant and spacious golf hotel. It is located between Rouen and Dieppe, next to the Eawy forest, which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful beech groves of France. Each of the golf hotel’s seven comfortable and roomy bedrooms is en-suite and overlooks either the first tee or the 18th green of Golf de Saint-Saëns. A recent renovation to an onsite barn means there are now an extra 13 bedrooms, all built to a modern standard and only a stone’s throw away from the main château. The food at the hotel is excellent, so be prepared to loosen your belt a notch or two during your stay! The large outdoor terrace is the perfect sun spot to enjoy a cold beer and watch the intrepid golfers battling down the 18th hole. All the staff are friendly and helpful, sure to guarantee a memorable stay. Golf de Saint-Saëns is a 6,572 yard, par 71 golf course which carves through this magnificent woodland. Its charm lies in a blend of beauty and diversity, although the winding design makes it a testing golf course. There are three distinct sections: the first five holes are in the valley, just below the château clubhouse and crossed by the river ‘La Varenne’. Water plays a huge part in these holes and conservative play is recommended. For the next sequence of holes, the golfer has to start working their way uphill through the Golf news ad:Layout 1

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French Fancy meandering forest. This part of the course is obviously more undulating, although it makes for a beautiful walk through the estate; be sure to take a moment on the 8th tee to admire the breathtaking views. The back nine holes are tranquil and scenic, with generous fairways making these particular holes tempting for the longer hitters. Some may also see these as an opportunity to claw some shots back, although beware of the oak trees, hedges, roughs and bunkers which litter these holes. The 17th hole is a tough par-3 and the

Page 1

impressive 18th gives magnificent views back onto the château, making a superb finish to an emphatic round. The golf is as challenging as it is gorgeous and will satisfy both the serious and social golfer with a lovely variety of holes. The 19th century destination is a truly magnificent place to spend a few days golfing, and you are sure to enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the estate. For exclusive breaks to Saint-Saëns Golf Hôtel from £165 per person visit www.golfbreaks.com.

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Travel 53

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meandmytravels with Tim Henman

After retiring from tennis four years ago, Tim Henman prefers to spend his weekdays playing golf at Sunningdale and his weekends and holidays relaxing with his family in Oxfordshire or in the south of France My first holiday was toâ&#x20AC;Ś Portugal when I was eight or nine. My parents have a holiday home in the Algarve now, so we go back there quite a lot.

The best hotel Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever stayed at isâ&#x20AC;Ś the Singita Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Morzine

My favourite city in the world isâ&#x20AC;Ś Melbourne. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clean, there are lots of open spaces, and the climate is superb.

I always travel with myâ&#x20AC;Ś passport. My most recent holiday was toâ&#x20AC;Ś the South of France last summer. We bought into a fractional ownership scheme called Hideaways a few years ago, which offers properties all over the world for up to six weeks a year. They have some wonderful villas in Provence, overlooking the Cote Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Azur. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my idea of the perfect holiday home. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a beautiful location, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no one overlooking us, and the house has kept traditional features such as the old beams, but it also has great contemporary touches. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m planning on a trip toâ&#x20AC;Ś go skiing. When I was playing competitive tennis I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allowed to ski, as it was considered too dangerous. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m about a 36-handicap skier, but at least now I can break a leg and no-one will mind, so Lucy and I are looking forward to

My most memorable meal abroad wasâ&#x20AC;Ś a huge fry-up when I was on safari.

Sunningdale

an addiction to replace the tennis bug, and I like to play at least three times a week. I managed to get my handicap down to scratch last year, but it takes plenty of practice to keep it that low. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a chipping area and an artificial putting green installed at home, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no excuse! Singita Safari Lodge

staying in some of Hideawaysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; chalets in France or Switzerland. No matter where I am I likeâ&#x20AC;Ś to play golf. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become something of

My favourite golf course in the world isâ&#x20AC;Ś Pine Valley in New Jersey. My ideal travelling golf partnersâ&#x20AC;Ś are Sam Torrance, Jamie Redknapp and Terry Crawley, who is a friend of

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My best ever round wasâ&#x20AC;Ś a 66 at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links Championship, when Colin Montgomerie was my professional playing partner. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get much better than that!

The thing I hate about travel isâ&#x20AC;Ś being away from my family. Being on the tennis circuit kept me away from family and friends for long periods, so I am really enjoying be there for the school run and generally being able to relax and spend time with my wife and children. The worst holiday Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever had was toâ&#x20AC;Ś St Lucia in the West Indies. Sadly, my dad had to go home early.

My favourite golf resort is... St Andrews, if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s okay to describe St Andrews as a golf resort. (No, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not, but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let it pass this time - Ed)

My top travel tip isâ&#x20AC;Ś to give yourself plenty of time, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re travelling with children.

M A U R I T I U S 5* Belle Mare Plage 2 weeks from ÂŁ1,325 incl.ďż˝12ďż˝nightsďż˝halfboardďż˝accom. flightsďż˝&ďż˝transfers â&#x20AC;&#x153;bestďż˝golfďż˝resortďż˝inďż˝theďż˝world!â&#x20AC;?

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mine. I play with Sam at Sunningdale quite a lot and he has taught me so much about the game.

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54 Travel

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As the southernmost island in the Mediterranean, with transparent waters, fabulous beaches, excellent golf courses and year-round sunny skies, there are many reasons why Cyprus is often described as a jewel

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his peaceful, stress-free island oasis has a long tradition of hospitality towards travellers that makes it among the most welcoming of holiday destinations. Of course, it helps that Cyprus offers great value for money and that everybody speaks English and drives on the left-hand side of the road! But for those who want more than two weeks lounging in the sun, Cyprus has few peers when it comes to variety. Some of the country’s 2.2 million annual visitors head straight out on tours to the magnificent monasteries and exquisite Byzantine churches. Others embark on bacchanalian wine tours, gourmet trails or bird watching in the mountains. The activities on offer are as varied as the landscape, which switches between rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, rocky hills and forest covered mountains. With so much to do and so little time to do it, it is no wonder that families return year after year to the same converted farmhouse in the same old sleepy village or to one of Cyprus’s many first class hotels. With a bewildering legacy of more than 10,000 years of history, Cyprus has spectacular theatres, Roman mosaics, Crusader bridges and Venetian fortresses. The culture

calendar buzzes with year-round live performances attended by tourists and locals alike. While the hotels offer cuisine from all over the world, it would be a mistake to leave Cyprus without having sampled the local food at one of the many tavernas and restaurants which offer authentic Cypriot cooking. Cyprus boasts four championship golf courses designed by some of the best golf architects including Donald Steel’s course situated 1,800 feet above sea level, the completely refurbished 6,650 yard par 72 course lies on the grounds of a 12th century monastery.

The second course built near Aphrodite’s Rock is 6,780 yards and lies in a beautiful valley surrounded by dramatic red rock formation. In 2003, Cabell Robinson designed a superb course, also located minutes from Aphrodite’s Rock. The 7,330 yard course lies on an American style resort surrounded by a 5* hotel and villas. The newly opened excellent course designed by 6 times major champion, Sir Nick Faldo is a magnificent 6,890 yard Par-71 Mediterranean golf course, this is a must to play and already gaining a reputation with a

ranking from Golf.com as one of the 10 best new courses. Cyprus has developed into an attractive golfing destination with more courses in the pipeline expected to open in the next few years.

EN Q U I R I E S For further information call Cyprus Tourist Office on 020 7569 8800 or visit: www.visitcyprus.com For golf enquiries call Exclusive Golf on 020 8660 9905 or visit: www.exclusivegolf.co.uk

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APHRODITE HILLS VILLAS & APTS Paphos - Cyprus 7 nights in 2 bed villa/4 rounds from £295 pp

ABAMA GOLF & SPA RESORT Tenerife - Canary Islands 5 nights on BB/3 rounds from £295 pp

TAMARINA BEACH & GOLF RESORT Mauritius 7 nights on AI/daily golf from £695 pp

MARRIOTT DORAL GOLF RESORT Miami - Florida 7 nights on BB/5 rounds from £525 pp

PENHA LONGA GOLF & SPA RESORT Lisbon - Portugal 3 nights on BB/3 rounds from £185 pp

ROYAL WESTMORELAND- Barbados

LA CALA RESORT Mijas - Spain 3 nights on BB/3 rounds from £229 pp

7 nights in 3 bed Villa/daily golf from £485

LA MANGA RESORT - La Manga, Spain

Exclusive Golf is a trading name of the

4 nights on BB/3 rounds from £259 pp

Total financial security when booking a package with us Beware if companies that are not ATOL bonded

For reservation call: 020 8660 9905 To register log on to our website complete form and earn £10.

sales@exclusivegolf.co.uk

www.exclusivegolf.co.uk

Call our offices as some date restrictions may apply to the holidays, above are only a few offers available.


© 2011 PING P.O. Box 82000 Phoenix, AZ 85071 GD311

HITS the TARGET The G15 iron technology starts with an innovative cavity design for maximum forgiveness and it continues with a wider sole that helps you hit higher-flying, longer-carrying shots. ® To start consistently hitting your mark, visit a PING fitting specialist or ping.com.

PLAY YOUR BEST


golfnews march issue  

golfnews march issue

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