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Issue 228 | November 2013

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November 2013 / Issue 228

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

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Published by BlueGreen Media Contributors Paul Mahoney, Clive Agran, Ewen Murray, Denis Pugh, Alistair Tait

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Editor’sview

Experience the magic of Trevose Golf Club

email: editor@golfnews.co.uk

A game of two halves

W

ith leaves clogging up the gutters and puddles everywhere, thoughts of emigration to somewhere sunny often drift through my mind at this time of year. But then I wake up and realise that one of the things I most like about living in England is the seasons. I love digging out the winter jumpers, the heavier-fibred trousers, the mud-splattered wellies, and hearing the reassuring click of the thermostat as the heating system works out that the temperature in the sitting room shire-winter-promo-11:Layout has dipped below 16 degrees.

Which, rather obviously, leads me on to the subject of winter golf, which, to my mind, isn’t really golf at all. It’s a good walk enhanced by the company of fellow sufferers who bend their heads against the elements and pretend that it’s nothing more than light drizzle and a zephyr of wind, as they pour the water from their golf shoes and watch helplessly as another umbrella goes sailing into the distance. It’s a test of mind over mud, and man’s willingness to do silly things in the name of sport. And as long as you enter into 1it with 3/10/13 09:32 that Page 1 the knowledge

you’re not going to break the course record, or play close to anything resembling your handicap, you won’t come away too disappointed. It may even lift the spirits. So don’t be tempted to put away those clubs for the winter and wait for the fairways to play like roads again; take pleasure in getting your ball to stop on the greens, thrill at the challenge of trying to write your score down with a soggy pencil on a soggy scorecard, and cherish making it back to the clubhouse in one piece for a warming ale (other beverages are available). Winter golf. Bring it on.

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November 2013 / Issue 228

News in Brief PORTELLI’S POT

Verulam professional Glen Portelli won the Herts PGA Captain’s Day held at Harpenden. His two-underpar 68 beat Paul Hetherington of (Great Hadham) by one shot.

MARSHALL LOWERS ASHDOWN RECORD European Tour player Andrew Marshall claimed an impressive victory in a 36-hole TP Tour Series event at Royal Ashdown Forest on October 16-17. The Norwich-based pro shot a course record 65 in the second round at the East Sussex venue, to add to an earlier level-par 72, and win the tournament by six shots from Van Phillips, Greg Hughes and Chris Jess.

Q SCHOOL DATE Next year’s PGA in England (East) Order of Merit qualifying school is to be held on March 18-19 at Essendon Country Club in Hertfordshire.

Bag yourself a slice of Beatles history!

Stonelees PGA pro receives honour for 50 years’ service

Golfers with a passion for pop history – and very deep pockets – might be tempted to put in an offer for a house that once belonged to John Lennon and which overlooks St George’s Hill Golf Club in Surrey. The beautiful mock Tudor mansion in Weybridge was home to Lennon and his first wife Cynthia between 1964 and 1968. The 1920s-era estate boasts six bedrooms, a swimming pool, 1.5 acres of landscaped garden – and a hefty £13.75 million price tag. Originally called the Brown House, it was designed by architect T.A. Allen, and built in 1913 by local builders, Love & Sons. It was re-named Kenwood by Ken Wood, founder of the famous food mixer company, when he owned the

Kent PGA professional David Bonthron has been awarded honorary life membership of St Andrews Golf Club in Scotland. Bonthron, who was born in St Andrews, was invited to a presentation lunch at the St Andrews clubhouse in recognition of his 50 years’ membership of the club and his long career in golf. David, who has been the professional at Stonelees Golf Centre in Ramsgate

John Lennon with wife Cythnia

Kenwood is for sale for £13.75m

The house overlooks St George’s Hill

property. John Lennon bought the house for £20,000 in 1964 and sold it for £400,000 four years later. At the time, the St George’s Hill estate was home to a veritable hive of pop stars, with Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, and Ringo Starr all living there during the 1960s. During his time at Kenwood, Lennon wrote a number of tracks for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The house also appears in scenes from a home movie which featured in the film Imagine. In addition to its Lennon connection, the house also enjoys a superb plateau position set around St George’s Hill’s renowned golf course, tennis club and leisure amenities. The property is being sold by Knight Frank.

David Bonthron

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for the past 18 years, was presented with a gold badge and clip fashioned in the style of the club. It is the third honour that Bonthron, who lives in Eastry, has received in the past three years. In 2011, he was presented with a scroll to recognise his 50 years’ membership of the Professional Golfers Association, and in the same year Thanet Sports Council presented him with a plaque for his long service to sport in the area.  Bonthron, who is still teaching parttime at Stonelees, said: “I was naturally delighted to return to my hometown to receive this award from the R&A. I would also like to thank Stonelees Golf Centre for their support over the years. In all probability, without them none of this would have been possible.”

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November 2013 / Issue 228

Calling all golf day organisers! HOTSHOT HATTON SECURES TOUR CARD Marlow’s Tyrrell Hatton will rub shoulders with some of Europe’s top golfers next season after securing his card for the European Tour. Hatton wrapped up his card with a sixth place finish at the Challenge Tour season’s climax in Dubai, the Tour Championship at the Al Badia Golf Club. Hatton also finished second at The Kazakhstan Open and China Open during a debut season that saw him compete in 17 of the 25 Challenge Tour events, making 15 cuts. The 22-year-old, who is attached to Harleyford Golf Club in Buckinghamshire, finished tenth overall in the Challenge Tour’s money list, and secured his place alongside the biggest

names in golf for next year’s European Tour, where he will continue to work towards his long-held goal to be one of the world’s top 50 players. With an all-time high world golf ranking of 372, it’s all looking bright for Marlow-born Tyrrell, who began playing golf aged five. After enjoying a successful amateur career, including numerous caps for England, he turned pro in 2011 and has graduated to the top ranks after just two seasons on the Challenge Tour. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of other successful Challenge Tour graduates such as Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari, Hatton said: “Ever since I was a little boy I’ve dreamed of playing on the

European Tour. It’s a great feeling, and I’ve achieved it not that long after turning pro. At the start of the year I set myself a clear goal of securing my European Tour card, and to achieve it in the final event of the year in Dubai is a great feeling. Those back-to-back second places in Kazakhstan and China shot me up the order of merit.” He added: “I would like to say a big thank you to all those who support me, including Ark Data Centres, my main sponors, who understand my ambitions to develop as a golfer. Since a young age, I have been determined to become one of the top 50 in the world, and my focus now is to kick on in 2014.”

Golf News’ Ultimate Society Golf Guide has been a musthave publication for every society and corporate golf organiser for many years, and the 2014 version, which is published in January 2014, is guaranteed to be even bigger and better, with many new features introduced to make it even easier to use in the digital age. Showcasing many of the UK’s finest clubs and courses, this indispensible, handy, full-colour handbook provides all the information organisers need to make their golf day a success. Among details included are upto-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. As well as being available in print format, the 2014 Ultimate Guide is available to download from the Golf News website – www. golfnews.co.uk – as a digital version and as a standalone website – www.golfdayguide.com – which connects golf clubs and golfers like never before. To order your free copy of the 2014 Ultimate Golf Guide, email your name and address to info@ golfnews.co.uk, with ‘Ultimate Guide’ in the subject line.

News in Brief WALTON WASHOUT The 2013 Surrey Masters, which was due to be held at Walton Heath on October 20, had to be abandoned due to bad weather. It will now be replayed next spring.

WHITGIFT CLAIMS SCHOOLS CHAMPS Whitgift School in Croydon won the Independent Schools’ Golf Association European Championships at the Villaitana resort in Spain after beating teams from Winchester and Kings Taunton over three rounds. The individual prize was won by Whitgift’s George Mullins with an eight-under par 126.

BLIND MAN HITS HINDHEAD ACE A blind golfer entered the record books last month after hitting a hole-in-one at Hindhead Golf Club. Jim O’Brien, 71, aced the 139-yard sixth during an annual event organised by the England and Wales Blind Golf Association at the Surrey club. He is believed to be only the third totally blind golfer to have hit a hole-in-one in the UK in the past 20 years.

Winter Offers at Chart Hills. Green Fees. This winter you can enjoy a full English Breakfast &18 holes of golf for £45pp. Offer available Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays from November 1st 2013 to March 31st 2014. Terms and conditions apply. Book on line at www.charthills.co.uk (7 days in advance only) or call the pro shop on 01580 292222 or email proshop@charthills.co.uk.

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News in Brief LANE GOES CLOSE IN JAPAN Barry Lane finished fifth in the Japan Senior Open Golf Championship after shooting a four-under-par total over 72 holes at Aso Iizuka Golf Club. The 53-year-old Henley-on-Thames man was in touch with the leaders going into the final round, but a closing 75 saw him finish five shots behind winner Kiyoshi Murota.

HARRY’S ON HIS GAME Junior golfer Harry Dearsley wasted no time in chalking up his first hole-in-one when aceing the 130-yard sixth hole at Broome Manor Golf Club in Swindon. Despite his stunning shot with a driver, Harry finished second in the event behind 10-year-old winner Ben Wakeley.

KINGS OF THE CASTLES The Royal Household won this year’s renewal of the Tri Castle Cup, a tournament held between teams representing Leeds Castle and Hever Castle in Kent, and the Royal Household Golf Club at Windsor Castle.

STOKE PARK SUCCCESS The Stoke Park pairing of Luke Rusher and Kevin Freen won the London Amateur Foursomes for the second time in six years after they beat the team from Walton Heath at The Berkshire. The pair, who also won in 2007, beat Royal Ashdown Forest in their semifinal, while Walton Heath were victorious against Shirley Park. 

HILLLMAN WIN FOR WOKEFIELD Wokefield Park won the final of the BB&O’s Hillman Trophy after beating Castle Royle 4-3 in a very evenly fought contest held at Calcot Park. Five of the matches were won by wide margins, but John Mann and Ryan North squeezed home one-up in both their matches to seal the win.

TRAINEES TAKE HURRING TROPHY The Hampshire PGA Trainees team defeated the Hampshire County Juniors team at Test Valley Golf Club to win this year’s Paul Hurring Memorial Match 10-3. The trainees won the morning foursomes 3-2, and then increased their advantage by winning six of the afternoon singles, with two matches halved.

November 2013 / Issue 228

Dye has designs on London opening One of the world’s top golf architects has pledged to create a spectacular new challenge for golfers in the south east of England. An application has been submitted by US golf architects Dye Designs to start construction of The Dye London on land near Edgware, north London. The company’s lead architect is Pete Dye, who has been responsible for some of golf’s most celebrated courses, including the Stadium Course at Sawgrass, home to the Tour Championship, as well as other famous PGA Tour venues, including Whistling Straits, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Harbor Town Golf Links at Hilton Head, and Crooked Stick, host of the 1991 US PGA Championship and the 2005 Solheim Cup. Closer to home, Perry’s firm has built courses throughout southern Europe, although he has never previously built a layout in the UK. The application to build the new course has been submitted by the MenaiDavis family, who opened The Shire London, featuring the UK’s only Seve Ballesteros golf course, near Barnet, North London, in 2007. The Dye London, as it will be known, will be an 18-hole Tour-style course, stretching to over 7,000 yards from

The Shire London

Tony Menai Davis with Seve Balllesteros

The new course in Edgware will have a signature hole based on the 17th at TPC Sawgrass

the championship tees, but with many other teeing options make it playable for all levels of golfer. It will mimic the proven format at The Shire, which has a small membership and seven-day access for the public. “Dye Designs is thrilled to announce its latest project, The Dye London,” said a Dye Designs spokesperson. “The course will feature a Dye signature island green, similar to the famous 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Dye-designed courses have hosted over 50 championships worldwide, and our team is looking

forward tremendously to creating its first golf course in the United Kingdom. The site in Edgware is a beautiful piece of ground, with magnificent views across London. The ambience and the setting are brilliant, but most of all it’s the people involved which will make this project so special. We are passionate about what we have planned here.” Speaking about the new project, Tony Menai-Davis, said: “What a coup! After working with Seve at The Shire, we knew there was only one name of a similar

stature we wanted to work with on this project – Dye Designs. With Sawgrass, Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits, and so many more globally-renowned courses bearing their name, we are every bit as excited, as I’m sure all British golfers will be, to see what they create right here in London.” He added: “The construction of Dye London will begin in 2015, and, once open, will compete in terms of quality with other top facilities in the south, such as The Grove and Woburn, but at more accessible

prices. Initial demand has been phenomenal among those who knew that it was coming, and we hope to repeat the success of The Shire, which launched with a fully-sold membership in 2007.” Menai-Davis continued: “Golf is changing. Many golfers these days don’t want to be part of a traditional members’ club, and prefer to play less frequently, but at spectacular high-quality golf courses – like the Tour venues they see on TV, or when they go on holiday. We identified this when we approached Seve to design The Shire, which has become a huge success.” He added: “We look forward to a time when the detailed facts about this project – including accurate information about how it will enhance the surrounding area. The Dye London will be a sociallyresponsible addition to, and indeed of great benefit to, the local community,.” The Menai Davis family also recently opened The West London Golf Centre, a driving range and 9-hole golf course, near Northolt, and an accompanying 18-hole West London Links course is currently due to open nearby in 2017.

Wentworth Farr rises to Prince’s evokes spirit of challenge ’53 at special Ryder Cup gala dinner The ballroom at Wentworth Club was filled with a who’s who of golf last month, when the European Tour’s headquarters hosted a gala dinner to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ryder Cup. Peter Alliss, Bernard Gallacher, Tony Jacklin and George O’Grady were among the honoured guests at the party, following a whole day of Ryder Cup-themed golf for 84 members on the club’s West Course, which staged the biannual matches back in 1953.
 Sixty years ago, a fresh faced 22-yearold Alliss made his Ryder Cup debut at Wentworth, and he returned to the club alongside fellow Ryder Cup stars Jacklin and Gallacher, as one of the guests of honour at the dinner, where the menu was a recreation of the same meal that was served at the 1953 Ryder Cup gala dinner.
 A collection of period photographs was shown on big screens around the ballroom, including action shots from the matches Wentworth and even an image of Alliss and his father, Percy, enjoying tea al fresco between matches. The highlight of the evening was an entertaining question and answer session

hosted by Wentworth member Sir Michael Parkinson, which gave Alliss, Jacklin, and Gallacher an opportunity to share some of their Ryder Cup stories.
 “I’m beginning to feel like the only panda in the zoo,” joked Alliss, in reference to him being the only surviving member of the GB&I team that took on the US team that year. Gallacher, who was making his first appearance at the club since suffering ‘sudden death syndrome’ in Scotland two months ago, received a standing ovation. “I’m a bit nervous about speaking at a golf function so soon after the last one,” he joked. “All I remember is waking up in hospital five days later with a priest beside my bed. I’m lucky to be here and I’m very grateful to all the members for their good wishes. I didn’t realise people liked me so much!”
  The evening was brought to an end as Sir Michael read out a letter to Alliss from Jack Burke Jnr, the only surviving member of the 1953 US team. “If I get to heaven before you,” wrote Burke, “I’ll have the gates left open and you can have that game with Ben Hogan.”
 

Welshman Oliver Farr won the 888poker.com PGA Europro Tour Championship, and with it the 2013 season Order of Merit, after finishing 13-under-par for his 54 holes at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent. Farr, who is attached to Worcester Golf & Country Club, shot a final round 67 to beat overnight leader Daniel Gavins (Oulton Hall) by one stroke, and in doing so also claimed the Order of Merit title. Gavins’s second-placed finish also confirmed his position as runner-up on the tour rankings, while Paul Reed and James Watts finished tied for third on 10 under par. Farr led for much of the back nine at Prince’s, after shooting five birdies on the first 11 holes. A birdie for Gavins on the last left Farr with a short putt for victory, which he calmly made to collect a winner’s cheque of £15,000, and a brand new Motocaddy S3 Pro. The top five on the Order of Merit are awarded Challenge Tour cards for 2014. George Woolgar, who was guaranteed a top-five finish before Tour Championship, came third, with Dave Coupland and Paul McKechnie also progressing to Europe’s second-tier Tour. “I wasn’t quite sure of my Challenge Tour card for next year, but it is brilliant to get it,” said Farr. “I’m really looking forward to playing on it full-time next season. I played in few events this year, and I felt comfortable out there. There is a little step up, but I will prepare myself and get some good practice in over the winter to get ready for next year.”


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November 2013 / Issue 228

News in Brief

Lord Lucan’s clubs discovered at Knightsbridge swing studio

MITCHELL WINS SUFFOLK TITLE

It may not have been the breakthrough that Scotland Yard was hoping for, but a set of golf clubs belonging to Lord Lucan have been found in an attic in London. The clubs were discovered during renovations at the Knightsbridge Golf School, where Lucan used to regularly take golf lessons. The peer had played at the school in Lowndes Square and left his clubs there a day or two before he vanished. Lucan disappeared after his family’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was found dead at the Belgravia home of his estranged wife in November 1974, having been bludgeoned with a lead pipe. Lady Lucan was also attacked before she managed to escape and raise the alarm. She later identified Lucan as her assailant. His car was found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared Lucan the killer a year later. What happened to the gambling aristocrat remains a mystery, and although he was declared dead by the High Court in 1999, there have been reported sightings of him as far afield as Australia, Ireland and South Africa. Lucan played at the golf school several times a week with his friends, and would often arrive after a night’s gambling to take early morning

Bury Golf Range’s Neil Mitchell won the Suffolk PGA match play championship after beating Andrew Robinson (Stowmarket) 4&3 in the final played in glorious autumn weather at Thorpeness Golf Club.

SPOILS SHARED AT ESSEX PRO-AM Essex PGA captain Andrew Pestell (Chelmsford) and Mark Baker (Colchester) took a share of the spoils after a close finale to the Essex PGA Pro-Am. The duo matched each other blow-forblow over the Purdis Heath course, finishing the day with three-underpar 68s.

RATTUE RETIRES Tony Rattue, St George’s Hill Golf Club’s professional for the last 42 years, has retired. Appointed in 1972, following the retirement of Lambert Toppings, Rattue was one of just four clubs pros to have served at the club since it first opened for play in 1913.

lessons from the club’s founder, Leslie King. Players practised their swings on a piece of coconut matting in a converted squash club. Coach David Wilkinson, who still teaches at the exclusive venue, remembers Lucan as friendly and polite. “He was charming, very tall, very

Lord and Lady Lucan

Lucan’s original clubs

handsome, typically aristocratic,” Mr Wilkinson said. “I remember him being in the club a day or two before he disappeared. A day or two afterwards the police came round, they interviewed me and asked what he was like when I last saw him, whether he was acting strangely or depressed. I told them he was his usual self.” According to the co-director of the central London school, Steve Gould, the golf bag containing a full set of clubs was left by Lady Lucan, with a note asking for them to be sold in the week of the scandalous attack. Mr Gould said: “I wasn’t working here at the time, but I’m told we had a letter from Lady Lucan asking if we could sell the clubs for her. Unfortunately they were forgotten about until they were discovered during the recent refurbishment. We don’t know exactly what the letter said, but obviously it would be very interesting to find it.” The Knightsbridge Golf School is a regular haunt for celebrity golfers looking to hone their games in private. Actors Sean Connery and Christopher Lee were regular clients in the early days, while more recently Vernon Kay, Ant and Dec, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell have all been lowering their handicaps by following the school’s unique ‘Golden Rule’ swing philosophy.

Big-hitting Joe Miller has vowed to make quick amends, after narrowly failing to add the world title to his European crown at the 2013 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 28-year-old from Potters Bar went into the event for golf’s biggest hitters as favourite to land the $250,000 first prize, and duly advanced through the qualifying stages to face American Tim Burke in the final. Both players received six drives, over two rounds of three shots apiece, with the longest shot that stayed within a 50yard wide grid counting towards their final score. But, despite managing a drive of 405 yards with his fourth attempt, 2010 world champion Miller

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November 2013 / Issue 228

Miller edged out at long drive finals

found himself beaten to the title when Burke hit a championship-record 427 yards with his fourth shot. Miller said: “It would’ve been a perfect end to what’s been a perfect year if I’d won. It’s extremely frustrating to come up short, but I gave it my all. It was amazing to be part of such a spectacle, but I will regroup, share some developmental ideas with Callaway, and come back bigger, stronger and better next year. I appreciate all the support that everyone has given me and hope to give people what they want next time.” Miller, who is attached to Brocket Hall Golf Club in Hertfordshire, is part of Callaway’s long driving team. His X Hot Pro LD driver is set up with just 3.2 degrees of loft and features a XXX Stiff Fujikura shaft.

Bearwood members lament club closure Golfers looking to enjoy a round at Bearwood “Some people have been here since it began Golf Club in Berkshire have until the end in 1986; it’s where everybody gets together. of March next year to do so, after it was The members are disappointed, as we have all announced that the club is to close its doors had a good time here. We’ll just move on, but for good on that date, following its sale to some players might not play any more – the Reading Football Club. average age here is higher than most clubs.” The Berkshire club’s nine staff have all When the sale came up, club members put received redundancy notices, and after it shuts in a bid to try to buy it at the £750,000 asking on March 31 next year, the 320 members will price. David Houghton, from Woodley, who have to find somewhere else to play their golf. has been playing golf at the course for 16 The nine-hole club, which is based in years, said: “We matched the price they were Sindlesham, only opened in 1986, and there asking, and we were going to get a mortgage.” are still a number of founder members Members believe that Reading Football among the current membership. It is adjacent Club, which is owned by Russian businessman to Bearwood Lakes Golf Club, which is not Anton Zingarevich, offered £1.5m for the site affected by the sale. – which is set to become the Championship Barry Tustin, Bearwood’s manager for side’s training complex. the past 27 years, said: “It’s been a joy to The land on which the course was built is see everything develop here from the very owned by the Royal Merchant Navy School beginning. The smaller trees that we planted Foundation, a charity which provides funding all those years ago have come to maturity in for children of Merchant Navy seafarers, the time that I have been professional fishermen, here, and seeing the golf and RNLI lifeboat crews. It club grow has been a is selling about 120 acres to fantastic experience.” the football club, subject to Tustin added: “I’m not planning permission being bitter or anything, it’s part granted by Wokingham of life. I’m retiring now. Borough Council. It will We had some happy still retain about 260 acres, memories here. There was including the land on which one point where we had a Bearwood Lakes Golf Club three-year waiting list.” is built, but the charity said Bryan Reynolds, from there were no plans to Lower Earley, who has sell any of the remaining End of an era: Bearwood members John Macgregor, Keith been playing golf at the land, and Bearwood Lakes Lathbury and Keith Fielding club for 12 years, said: remains open for business.

Gatton appoints new head coach

Gatton Manor has strengthened its professional team with the appointment of a new head teaching coach. Lloyd Davies has joined existing PGA Professionals Malcolm Churchill and Max Newman at the Ockley-based club, to help broaden and develop the golf academy and teaching skills on offer to members. Having honed his skills as an assistant at nearby Slinfold, 24-year-old Davies is excited about the challenges offered at Gatton. He said: “I am thrilled to have joined the team here at Gatton. In addition to having a great golf course, the driving range, putting green, and short game area here offers some of the best teaching facilities in the region.”

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News in Brief TRENT PARK OPENS NEW RESTAURANT Trent Park Golf Club in Enfield has converted part of its clubhouse into a separate bar and restaurant. The new facility, which uses part of the club’s existing bar and function area, has become The Fairway Inn and Carvery. It will be open from 7am until midnight.

BERNIE’S A SAFE BET AT BEXLEYHEATH! Seventy-eight-year-old Bernie Betts from Gravesend has joined an exclusive club by scoring his fourth hole-in-one – all at the same hole. The retired accountant achieved all of his aces at the par-three 12th at Bexleyheath Golf Club. Mr Bett’s most recent effort at the 151-yard hole won him a limited edition Hugo Boss watch.

GOLF CLUBS TARGETED Golf clubs across the Thames Valley region are being warned to remove high value golf trophies after a spate of thefts from clubs in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The Berkshire and Goring and Streatley have been targeted in recent weeks.


10 /

March 2013 / Issue 219

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“We use Chipstead Golf Club each year for our Rugby Club Golf Day and each year they pull out all the stops. The Club provides great service and first class hospitality along with a golf course that is always in tip top condition” Paul Champion Chipstead Rugby Club “I have been running the Palace of Westminster Golf Day for twenty five years and have always chosen Chipstead as our venue. The club provides great value and excellent service and a golf course that provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities” Pat McCabe

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THE PRIZE This exclusive prize includes coffee on arrival, 18 holes of golf, a hot or cold buffet lunch or dinner, plus a golf clinic with Sand Martin’s leading PGA teaching professional, Andrew Hall (pictured above). The lucky winner can have the whole day tailor-made to suit their requirements. After golf, guests will be treated to lunch or dinner in the private restaurant in the historic clubhouse. With stunning views over the ninth and 18th greens, it will provide the perfect place to finish what certainly promises to be a memorable day. The prize can be used to entertain clients or to simply have a great day out with colleagues, friends or family. THE COURSE Conveniently located just off the M4 (Jct10) and M3 (Jct3), near Wokingham, Sand Martins is one of the premier venues in the South of England. Opened in 1993, the cleverly-designed par-70 course features two distinct and contrasting nine-hole loops. The front nine is a traditional parkland course, featuring tree-lined fairways and numerous water hazards, while the back nine is truly unique among

inland courses in the region, featuring a links-style layout with heather, undulating fairways and deep rivetted bunkers. HOW TO ENTER To be in with a chance of winning this stunning prize, simply answer the question below, and email it to: info@golfnews. co.uk, with ‘Sand Martins Competition’ in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, business name, address, and contact telephone number. QUESTION: What year did Sand Martins Golf Club open? Terms & Conditions: The golf day is available for Monday to Friday bookings only, and must be taken before April 30, 2014.

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/ 13

November 2013 / Issue 228

Worthing pro leaves lasting legacy It was the end of an era at Worthing Golf Club last month, when the West Sussex club’s longserving professional, Steve Rolley, retired after 25 years of service. The club’s membership gave him a suitably rousing send-off, with parting gifts including a crystal wine decanter and honorary life membership of the club for both him and his wife, Anne. Speaking at the event, Rolley said: “I’m very grateful to all the members of Worthing for the support and friendship they have shown my wife and me over the last 25 years. We truly feel at home at the club and clearly the missionary work we are doing in the Deep South is paying dividends! We look forward to spending more time at the club in a social capacity, and, of course, I’m looking forward to continuing my coaching role here.” As his reference to the Deep South’ suggests, Rolley was born far north of Worthing, in Rotherham.

Steve Rolley (centre) received a warm send off from Worthing

Both his father and uncle were golf professionals, so golf was in the family blood. A natural talent, he played for England at boy and youth level, and for the Great Britain U23 squad, before turning professional in 1971 with the aim of becoming a Tour pro. Rolley played on tour for 12 years, with a modicum of success, including a victory in the Tunisian Masters, and made five appearances at the Open Championship. After losing his card at the end of the 1981 season, he finally gave up the dream of winning majors, and decided to concentrate on a coaching career. He was fortunate enough

The new pace of play app will help golfers and golf clubs

Crown backs new app to tackle slow play Crown Golf, the biggest operator of golf clubs in the UK, has introduced a new scheme to speed up the pace on play across its 25 golf clubs. The company is trialling pace of play software technology to root out slow play, which is known to be one of the biggest factors in deterring people from taking up the game, as well as reducing the enjoyment of those that do play. One of Crown Golf’s venues, Pine Ridge Golf Club in Surrey, is encouraging all visitors to download a free app to their smartphones that will track their pace of play via GPS, and feed that information back to the pro shop. The app will provide immediate data on every hole throughout the twomonth trial, and will result in the pro shop alerting a marshal to advise golfers to increase their pace if slow play is flagged up on its computer. “It is very important that clubs put measures in place to ensure that everyone gets around quickly,” said Elaine Jackson, the club’s general manager. “Our customers understand that this trial is designed to help us identify any speed issues we might occasionally have with the golf course, and ultimately that this will make the Pine Ridge experience even better for them in the future.” The club may even use the app, developed by Finnish firm GREENi, to make alterations to the course if it finds that certain holes are slowing players down.

that we have all followed, and I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to share his knowledge and wisdom and to work alongside him for so many years. Because of John’s influence, my coaching improved and the players I was teaching started to excel at the highest levels.” After joining Worthing in

Rolley is to continue his coaching role at the club

to fall under the wing of coaching guru John Jacobs, who has been a friend and mentor for the past 30 years. “I have been blessed in with wonderful friends, and no one has had a greater impact on my life in golf than John,” said Rolley. “He wrote the book on coaching

1988, Rolley’s early students at the club included Tour player Gary Evans, British Ladies champion Karen Mitchell, and British Boys champion Carl Watts. His success with these players gained him regional and national attention, and he was soon helping with

England’s national elite squad, which brought him into contact with many of the greats of the modern game. “Justin Rose and Paul Casey were in one of my early squads, through to emerging stars Tommy Fleetwood, Tom Lewis and Eddie Pepperell,” Rolley recalled. “And, of course, Worthing members Toby Tree and Marco Penge have also made their mark, and look certain to have bright futures.” He added: “I have been lucky in my career, which has been very varied, often challenging, but mostly lots of fun. Nothing has given me greater pleasure and more satisfaction than being pro at Worthing for the last 25 years. I shall miss it very much, but I’m looking forward to continuing my coaching role, watching our player’s progress, and to playing much more golf!” To book a golf lesson with Steve, call him on 07919 444225, or email srgolfcoaching@yahoo.co.uk.

Hewson claims Telegraph Junior title Hertfordshire’s Alice Hewson overcame a two-day battle with childhood friend Samantha Fuller to take victory in the Telegraph BMW Junior Golf Championship at a Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
 “So stressful” were Hewson’s first words, as the relief poured from the 16-year-old from Berkhamsted after her twostroke win in the world’s largest junior golf event.
  Hewson, who has had

multiple offers to attend American universities next year, held off a superb effort by 14-year-old Fuller, as she finished with a 75 to clinch a wire-to-wire victory “I couldn’t control what Sammy might do, so I took it one shot at a time,” said

Hewson, a member of the England Girls’ squad. Fellow England star Ashton Turner overturned a four-shot deficit to take victory in the boys’ competition thanks to a brilliant closing 69.
 Brokenhurst Manor’s Jack Singh-Barar finished second, while his brother Arrun finished seventh. The two winners will now tee it up with Paul McGinley at next year’s BMW Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth. 
 

Camberley’s hives produced a steady supply of heather honey this summer

Project pollinator puts the ‘bee’ back into Camberley! A project to revive the heather at Camberley Heath Golf Club in Surrey has proved such a success that the club’s bar is now selling Camberley Heath honey to its members and visitors. ‘Project Pollinator’ was launched at Camberley back in August, when eight honey bee hives were installed in an out of play area near the course’s 17th and 18th fairways. The idea came about when course manager Nick Paris was exploring ways to regenerate the

heathland, with one option being to increase the heather growth. Aware that the British bee population was in decline, Paris got in touch with the local beekeepers’ association and the hives were installed a few weeks later, so that the bees spent most of the summer pollinating the heather and producing a healthy crop of honey. This has been used by the club’s kitchen staff, as well as sold in pots to members from behind the bar.

News in Brief BURKE OPENS ESSENDON RANGE Hertfordshire-based Tour pro Hannah Burke officially opened the new practice range at Essendon Country Club near Welwyn Garden City last month.

TESCO SCRAPS HERNE PLANS Plans for a Tesco Superstore to be built on the former site of Herne Bay Golf Club in Kent have been scrapped after the supermarket group’s strategic plans did not marry with the vision of developers Quinn Estates.

SHINKWIN SHINES IN SPAIN Moor Park’s Callum Shinkwin was one of only two amateur players to make it through to the final stage of the European Tour’s qualifying school held in Spain. The Hertfordshire star finished tied second at Lumine Golf & Beach Club after shooting 10-under par for 72 holes, which included a six under-par 65 in round three.

HULL UP FOR BEEB AWARD Solheim Cup star Charley Hull is one of the bookmakers’ favourites for the 2013 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year after nominations opened last month. The winner will be announced at the 60th awards ceremony at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on December 15.

ROEHAMPTON UNCOVERS JUNIORS MASTERS The 2013 Roehampton Junior Masters was won by Tom O’Reilly and Lauren Horsford. O’Reilly, from Sidcup in Kent, won the boys section with a score of 142, while Surrey player Horsford, from Wimbledon Park, won the girls’ division with a score of 153.

FUTURE STARS NEEDED Playgolf London are looking for four budding stars to award scholarships to. Offering membership to all Playgolf sites, free range balls, free instruction as well as mental coaching up until the age of 18. www.playgolflondon.com


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November 2013 / Issue 228

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HARRY BLAZES THE TRAIL AT HEVER! One of Sussex’s most promising juniors has won the 2013 Junior Trailblazers’ Order of Merit in his first competitive season at the age of just seven. Harry Callow, who is a member of Golf At Goodwood’s Junior Excellence programme, won five tournaments on his way to winning the 5-7 year age category. The Midhurst-based youngster, who was given his first set of clubs two years ago, went on to compete in the Trailblazers’ National Tour Championship at Hever Castle, where he also won his age group. The Trailblazers Tour started three years ago and aims to provide young boys and girls with a fun and friendly environment in which to compete against children of their own age. Harry’s rapid progress is attributed partly to his natural flair for the game, but also to Goodwood’s successful Junior Excellence programme, which coaches the juniors through all aspects of the game including technique, strength and conditioning, nutrition and psychology. Earlier this season Harry met US Open Champion Justin Rose, who is a global ambassador for Goodwood. The 34-year Ryder Cup star has been helping the club’s coaching

Justin Rose met Harry at Goowood earlier this year

team to promote its junior programme and inspiring new golfing stars to emerge. More recently Goodwood’s achievements in junior golf have been recognised by the English Golf Union, which has selected the venue as one of only ten England Regional Performance Centres throughout the country.

They’re under starter’s orders for Newbury course refurb Officials at Newbury & Crookham Golf Club have signed the lease that gives them the right to run the golfing facilities at Newbury racecourse for at least the next ten years. Newbury & Crookham will now begin an improvement programme at the 9-hole racecourse venue, including building new teeing areas and green complexes, creating mounding to improve definition, and gorse planting to encourage the look and feel of a linksstyle course. Also included in the club’s plans are a new practice range for the centre of the course, and the creationof a ‘Get Into Golf’ centre and academy. As part of the new lease agreement, Newbury &

Golfers can expect to find a host of new facilities at Newbury next season

Crookham will continue to operate the existing facilities until March next year, with the floodlit driving range fully open until then. The club is also linking up with David Wilson Homes to offer new homeowners in the Living at The Racecourse development special incentives to take up golf at the centre. Newbury & Crookham chairman Paul Wyatt

commented: “We are delighted that we are now able to press ahead with our plans for significantly improving the golfing experience at the racecourse for members and visitors alike. Next year, we also intend to introduce a wider choice of membership options, and aim to make the racecourse links an affordable and fun place to play golf.”

Spurs sign up Brocket as home club

A Hertfordshire golf club has agreed a corporate partnership with Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur. Brocket Hall Golf Club has agreed to host the Europa League outfit’s two annual golf days. In return, the football club’s officials have committed to working with the golf club on a number of joint marketing initiatives, in which corporate clients will have the opportunity to attend matches. “Tottenham Hotspur FC have really raised the bar over the last couple of years – and Brocket Hall is delighted to be rubbing shoulders with them,” said David Griffin, Brocket Hall’s club manager. “Brocket Hall and Spurs share the same ambition of being among the top clubs in the UK and Europe in their respective fields, and we’re all excited at the prospect of working with them again.” Andy O’Sullivan, director of hospitality for Tottenham Hotspur, added: “We have always had a good relationship with Brocket Hall which is, in my opinion, one of the best golf clubs in the UK and, in particular, the North London area. It is the perfect place for our players and staff to relax and unwind, and ideal to host our own supporters and clients in a number of golf events throughout the year.”

Nizels ladies look forward to Mail on Sunday finals The ladies team at Nizels Golf Club in Kent are preparing to pack their golf bags for Spain, after winning a place in the finals of The Mail on Sunday National Golf Club Classic. The team has reached the last four from over 900 initial entries in the amateur knockout competition, which began in 1993. To reach the semi-final stages Nizels played nine rounds, having a bye in the second round. In January, they beat Kings Hill away, while in April they beat Knole Park

at home, before defeating Sweetwoods in May. A tough encounter against local rivals Westerham saw them winning 3&2, after which they took on Royal Wimbledon at home, followed by an overnight trip to Chichester in August to

secure another win. A long journey to Oxford left them with a home draw against Stoke by Nayland, which they won 3.5 to 1.5. The team, which is captained by Gina Phillips, comprises Nikki Jones, Nikki Bell, Adele Young, Tara Easton, Mary Bell, Julie Fayers, Janette Withey, Amanda Rose and Thea Farley. Speaking about their narrow win over Stoke by Nayland, Mrs Phillips said: “We have a fantastic team spirit. Everyone has fought for each other. If

one person lost, everybody was still behind them. We really did want to win. We were running, screaming and grabbing each other when we won. It was such a relief. I hope we can do ourselves justice in the finals. My father, who was a very keen golfer, died this year from Alzheimer’s and I was determined to make it to Spain as a tribute to the man who got me started in golf.” The top four ladies and men’s teams will be playing in the finals at El Rompido in Spain.


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www.mytimegolf.co.uk/GNoffer Terms and conditions apply, correct at time of going to print (August 2013). Mytime Active reserves the right to amend the promotion at any time. A minimum of twelve golfers per society day. Golf society bookings apply to Barnehurst Golf Course, Bromley Golf Centre, Cobtree Manor Park Golf Course, High Elms Golf Course, Hollingbury Park Golf Course, Orpington Golf Centre, and Waterhall Golf Course only. To receive discount, golf society days must be booked all at once by 14th February 2014 and used within 12 months.


16 /

November 2013 / Issue 228

SAND MARTINS INVESTS OVER £500K ASHFORD (KENT) GOLF CLUB

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Sand Martins Golf Club in Berkshire has always enjoyed a well-earned reputation for offering a five-star experience both on and off the course. However, rather than rest on their laurels, the owners of the Wokingham-based venue have decided to invest even more funds into the course and clubhouse facilities, with over £500,000 being spent as part of a new five-year programme. The ambitious project, which is currently in its second year, comprises a number of major golf course initiatives, including the remodelling of a number of the holes; an extensive bunker refurbishment programme; the construction of new tees; the overseeding of roughs; and the introduction of new sprinklers to improve the irrigation to green surrounds. The changes are not only designed to enhance the character and playability of the 6,235 yard, par 70 layout, but will also help with course maintenance. Over £350,000 has already been spent on the venue’s historic Georgian clubhouse, which has undergone extensive refurbishment, and some important design and layout changes to ensure members and visitors enjoy

first-class facilities. Andrew Hall, the club’s owner and head PGA professional, said: “The original layout of the building was somewhat inflexible, and had the potential to create a conflict between our membership and any outside business. We also wanted to create a better flow within the clubhouse, improving the entrance for both function customers and golfers. This has now been achieved by relocating the ladies’ locker room from the first floor to the ground floor, and creating a new golfers’ entrance and pro shop with improved access to both ladies’ and men’s locker rooms.” As well as re-jigging the internal layout, the locker rooms and showers have all benefitted from an upgrade, as has the function room on the first floor. Hall added: “My aim has always been to create a club of lasting quality, and I am confident that these plans will ensure that Sand Martins grows in stature for years to come. I am delighted with how our members have reacted to the improvements – we are without doubt becoming the club of choice in the area,” said Hall. The investment is already paying dividends, with seven-day membership about to close and a waiting list being reintroduced.

The final hole on Walton Heath’s Old Course will play very differently next season

For details of all other events and MEMBERSHIP availability visit our website www.ashfordgolfclub.co.uk

Walton Heath completes Old Course project Visitors to Walton Heath Golf Club will be faced with a very different climax to the round on its famed Old Course, following the completion of a major renovation project on its 18th hole. The project at the famous Surrey venue became essential after the 110-year-old green began to flood during periods of heavy rain as a result of poor drainage beneath the compacted sub-soil. The club’s green committee decided to rebuild the entire green, and brought in architect Donald Steel, who has a longstanding relationship with the club, to oversee the renovations. The new green, which will come into play early next year, has been raised by 60cm to provide better drainage, with the flanking

bunkers also reconstructed. Steel’s new green, despite being elevated, fits nicely into the low-profile Walton landscape, and, although still extremely long, is now narrower, pinched particularly by the left bunker, which creates a challenging back left pin location, and will make recoveries from that side especially tricky. The two left side fairway bunkers on the par-four hole have also been rebuilt. The bank of the first bunker has been lowered, and additional heather planted on the second, to improve its visibility. No work has yet been carried out on the iconic cross-bunker 30 yards short of the green, which is one of architect Herbert Fowler’s original hazards. Started in August, the work was completed in late September, and the club expects the new-look hole to be in play next spring.


November 2013 / Issue 228

/ 17

Bennett bows out in style as Mannings land Covey Cup Luke Bennett ended his twoyear reign as Mannings Heath Golf Club’s junior captain in the best possible fashion by leading his side to victory in the 2013 Alan Covey Cup. Twelve months after reaching the semi-finals, Bennett and his teammates were in determined mood when they faced Hassocks in

the final at Lewes Golf Club. before two-handicapper Heavy rain and strong winds Bennett, playing alongside greeted the two teams on Sam Huddlestone, added a the day, but Mannings Heath second point after defeating made light of the conditions their opponents on the final to ease to a convincing 3-1 hole. Victory was confirmed success. by Jack Holmwood and Saul Elliot Webster and George Dolby’s win in the penultimate Atkinson gave the West Sussex tie, before the final game, club a flying start with a 4&3 involving Jamie Dart and Ali victoryALTONWOOD_SOCIETY_GN1_AW2.qxd in the first match, Crunden, was abandoned 19/10/13 12:44 am Page 1

at the 16th hole with the match all square, as the rain continued to pour down. Carl Watts, resident teaching professional and junior organiser at Mannings Heath, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and deserved reward for the progress the team has made over the last few years.”

Mannings Heath’s junior squad with coach Carl Watts (right)

ALTONWOOD

Hanbury lands top hotel awards Hertfordshire’s Hanbury Manor Hotel & Country Club won best regional and best national golf resort at this month’s International Hotel Awards sponsored by Virgin Atlantic. The five-star, Ware-based Marriott venue competed against a number of hotels and resorts in the United Kingdom to achieve the globally-respected awards, which were judged by a highlyexperienced team of industry professionals, including Sir David Michels, the former chief executive of Hilton Hotels. William Boulton-Smith, general manager of Hanbury Manor, said: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious award. The team at Hanbury work incredibly hard to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience for every one of our guests. To be honoured with an award really is the icing on the cake.” The resort features an ivyclad Jacobean country house hotel offering 161 bedrooms, which is surrounded by an 18hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus Jnr. The course hosted the English Open from 1997-1999.

Camberley H4H day raises £7k Camberley Heath’s year of centenary celebrations came to a close this month with a captain’s charity day, which raised over £7,000 for Help for Heroes and the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust. Eighteen teams took part in the event, including ones from the Coldstream Guards and Help for Heroes, both of which included players injured in action in Afghanistan. Two Coldstream Guards dressed in formal uniform attended the day, after which all the teams enjoyed a dinner in the clubhouse.

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November 2013 / Issue 228

After overcoming serious illness, Tony Johnstone is delighted to back in the game that has brought so much joy to the popular Zimbabwean’s life

BACK IN THE GAME Ten years ago Tony Johnstone used to forget the name of his son and would struggle just to open the door, as he bravely battled multiple sclerosis. The Zimbabwean legend, who was only in his mid-forties at the time, could barely walk, and doctors told him that he would never play golf again, while the prospect of a long and happy life was not looking good either. “When my left side went numb, I thought I was having a stroke,” says Johnstone. “It was diagnosed as a viral infection and I was given steroids, which did help for a short while, but two months later I began to feel dodgy again. My co-ordination deteriorated, and my golf game vanished. My short-term memory began to suffer, too. I’d ask my wife, Karen, the same question 10 times over without realising, and once forgot my son’s name. I’d chat to people, and then greet them like long-lost friends moments later. Then my long-term memory started to go. Recalling childhood details was impossible. The whole family was terrified.” And for a good reason too. During qualifying for the 2003 Open in Kent, he managed to play just nine holes before walking became virtually impossible, and he had to call it a day as his condition deteriorated. “The doctors said I’d never play tournament golf again. I was devastated,” says the 57-year-old, who played on the professional circuit for 25 years, winning 25 titles, including six on the European Tour and 17 on the Sunshine Tour in Africa. But Johnstone refused to throw in the towel and, after a trip to South Africa in 2004, he was advised to join a group of patients taking part in a trial of a drug called Alemtuzumab, which was used to treat leukaemia but had also been discovered to be an effective treatment for MS, not just halting the disease, but repairing the damage caused by it. Johnstone, who was 52 at the time, was one of only 334 patients with MS to be included in the drug trial, and incredibly, was the very last candidate to be accepted on the three-year programme. Over the course of 2004 and 2005, he underwent two rounds of treatments, which involved having the drug injected intravenously over several hours. “The whole process made me feel sick, shaky and exhausted,” Johnstone recalls. “After each session I had to have extensive tests

on my physical reflexes and memory, and blood tests to check my immune system. Within three months, there had been a dramatic improvement. Before the treatment, I’d have two or three attempts to reach a door handle, swiping thin air. Now I could hit shots on the golf course again.” With his symptoms diminishing all the time, Johnstone felt strong enough to consider getting his golf career back on track, and in the autumn of 2005 he gave himself nine months to get his game back in shape to have a crack at playing on the European Senior’s Tour, for which he would qualify in 2006. “It was a very tough time,” he recalls. “I was weaker than I thought I was, and my style of play had changed. Slowly, though, it all began to improve and my concentration sharpened. My ambitions were simply to play competitive golf again, and see where it took me from there.” Johnstone’s first tournament back was the Italian Seniors Open, where he played all three rounds and finished tied 28th – but by the end of the 2006 season he had racked up an impressive six top-10s from 13 events, including a fourth in the Senior PGA Championship. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that Johnstone felt that his career had got fully back on the track when he won his first tournament on the over-50s circuit, the Jersey Seniors Open. Leading by two shots with 18 holes to play at a windy La Moye Golf Club, a nervous Johnstone held his advantage to the finish, birdieing the 16th to close with a 74 and fend off the challenge from Gordon Brand Jr

“To be told four years earlier that I wouldn’t play golf again, and then to come out and win was beyond my wildest dreams”

Tony Johnstone was one of the international team vice-captains at the Presidents Cup

and Ross Drummond. “No other win has given me as much personal satisfaction as that one did,” he recalls. “To be told four years earlier that I wouldn’t play golf again, and then to come out and win was beyond my wildest dreams. I was holding back the tears on the final putt.” Johnstone, who lives in Sunningdale with his wife Karen, with whom he has two grown-up children, is still enjoying a successful career on the Seniors Tour – he followed up his first win with another at the 2009 Travis Perkins Senior Masters – and has also carved himself as a very successful second career as a broadcaster with Sky Sports, where his experience and insight into the professional game, and his warmth and humour, make him an immensely popular figure with both viewers and players out on Tour. Well known for his superb chipping and bunker play, Johnstone has made an equally accomplished third career as a short game coach, and helped to turnaround Lee Westwood’s short game woes for a while last season. “To be honest, it had always driven me a bit doolally how Lee was not winning majors because of his short game. We worked on a couple of things and within 15 minutes the stuff we talked about fell into place.” Unfortunately, the partnership didn’t last long, but Johnstone has plenty of other clients knocking his door down for advice. Most recently, he was one of fellow Zimbabwean Nick Price’s three vice-captains at last month’s Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village, which was the source of immense personal pride. While the result didn’t go the International team’s way – USA won 18.5–15.5 – Johnstone enjoyed being in the thick of the action once again. “I got so excited about it, it was ridiculous” he says. “I felt like I had had 10 cups of coffee. We had a good side, with a great mix of youth and experience, but it’s hard to win away from home. I think the Presidents Cup needs the Internationals to win soon, otherwise people will lose interest. Nick [Price] loves the tournament and wanted it to be a great contest. If it’s close, it becomes a thrilling spectacle, and we need to get that back again. “ Given the personal challenges that he has had to handle, it’s amazing that Johnstone still gets excited about things that happen on the golf course, but golf is what has driven his forward life from the very beginning, and it still motivates him today.


November 2013 / Issue 228

DOWNSHIRE/ 19 GOLF COMPLEX

Flanagan rules roost on Rookies Tour Prize days don’t come much bigger than the one that took place at Pine Ridge Golf Club in Surrey earlier this month, when over 220 awards were handed out at Surrey’s Nike Golf Rookie Tour’s end of season awards. With the event being filmed by Sky Sports as part of its Game Changers series, Rookie Tour manager Steve McNeill reported on a record-breaking year for the series, which ran 12 competitions for golfers between the ages of five and 14 across the county in 2013, attracting 227 players, who represented 53 different clubs. The season culminated in the Race To The Stars finale, which was held at Cuddington. Among the prizes

winners was Angus Flanagan from St George’s Hill, who topped the U14 order of merit in both the scratch and handicap divisions. He also picked up the Birdie Trophy after amassing a remarkable 28 gross birdies during the nine events he entered. Enrique Dimayuga (Cuddington) won the U12 Boys Scratch competition, while the aptly-named Barnes Wallis (Surrey National) blitzed his rivals in the U13 Boys Handicap competition. Canice Screene (Shirley Park) won the U14 girls’ handicap.There were also special prizes awarded to Aadam Syed and Jason Denham for aces achieved at Hoebridge and Foxhills respectively. Next season’s Race To The Stars finale will be held at Wentworth.

National Golf Club challenge raises £228,600 for Help For Heroes The National Golf Club Challenge, a national inter-club competition which invites golf clubs throughout the UK to compete against each other, has raised £228,600 for Help for Heroes. The NGCC’s patron is Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood, who took time out from his preparations for the HSBC Champions event in China to hand over the cheque to the charity, which supports injured members of the British Armed Forces. The impressive donation from the 2013 events means almost £750,000 has been raised in the four years that the Challenge has been running. “It’s the best way I can think of to bring the Great British golfing community together to raise funds for such a worthy cause,” said Westwood. “Our troops do a great job and deserve our help and support. Congratulations to the Challenge team this year on such a successful fundraising achievement.” He added: “Next year will be a very important one, as our soldiers withdraw from Afghanistan, and as golfers can unite once more through the Challenge to help our injured service heroes, while at the same time welcoming home those

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who have given so much on our behalf over the last decade. I would encourage every golf club in the UK to unite with us in 2014.” There is no registration fee for golf clubs to take part in the National Golf Club Challenge; the only requirement is to raise as much money as possible for Help for Heroes through running a qualifier event. Golfers from each event have the chance to progress to regional semi-finals and a national final at Turnberry sponsored by Your Golf Travel. Golf Clubs can register to take part in the 2014 National Golf Club Challenge at www.2014ngcc.com.

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A whirlwind blew into Epsom Golf Club earlier this month – although thankfully this particular storm came in the form of snooker player Jimmy White, who entertained fellow members and guests with an exhibition as part of the Surrey club’s 125th anniversary celebrations. ‘The Whirlwind’, who has recently joined the club as a full member, Jimmy White in action at Epsom entertained guests in the club’s historic wooden-panelled Victorian snooker room, and helped raise over £400 for tournaments, a cricket match on the 18th the captain’s charity. fairway, as it would have been played in The club has many other special events Victorian times, and a spectacular summer planned to help celebrate its 125th ball. anniversary in 2014, which commences with To help commemorate this special year, new a Hickory Challenge on January 25, when members joining in December will get three members take on head professional Stuart months’ free membership, with this exclusive Walker and his hickory clubs, while wearing offer limited to the first 12 new members only. traditional golfing attire. For more details call 01372 741867 or email Other events include anniversary stuartwalker@epsomgolfclub.co.uk.

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March 2013 / Issue 219

NickBayly

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

Race runs out of steam Are you ready to play? The European Tour’s Final Series, which was introduced to mirror the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, sadly fell a long way short of creating the end-ofseason thriller that was hoped. To be honest, bar the Ryder Cup and the odd major, it’s hard to get too excited these days about any group of professional golfers scrapping it out for a few more million dollars to invest in some off-shore tax haven. The golf tours are becoming a little bit like the Premier League, only the golf season never stops. Team A beats Team B, and next week, wait for it, Team B takes on Team C, before Team D plays Team A, and so on and so on. It’s by and large the same cast list every week, and the golf courses, especially from close up, look pretty much the same. And it’s a storyline that is beginning to look a little tired – as are the players, who are mostly sleep walking from tournament to tournament in a schedule that takes it toll on the worn-out workforce. The result is that many of the top players have said enough is enough, and are cutting back heavily on their schedules next season. Tiger Woods, who leads the way in the less-is-more theory of scheduling, can barely raise the effort to play in WGC events these days, and this will become increasingly the way of the world. His $2 million appearance fee to play in Turkey may have put a few extra bums on seats, but

his presence in the field was an insult to all the European Tour pros that have been slogging their guts out to earn a shot at glory in Dubai. I was therefore delighted that the little-known Victor Dubuisson took the top prize – which a career-changing sum of money for the lad – although Woods, who had no business being in Turkey, still pocketed a hefty whack that should have ended up in the pocket of someone who had played more than twice in Europe this season. With players awash with cash, it was amusing to learn of Ian Poulter’s side bet with Stenson ahead of the Turkish Open. Poults wagered $100 at 10-1 with Our ‘Enrik that he would overhaul the Swede in Dubai, but the bet had the proviso that if Poulter won, Stenson would have to pour his drinks all night. If that’s the level of money required to motivate players these days, I suggest the European Tour takes a couple of zeros off its prize funds for next year and then we’ll find out who really wants to play for the beer money.

Is there any other sport where the spectators attending a live event dress in the same way as the players taking part to quite the same degree as golf? A lot of football fans wear team shirts, but stop short of donning shorts, socks and a pair of Nike Mercurials. Likewise, rugby fans are happy to pour themselves into a replica top, but tend to give it a miss when it comes to shoulder pads, mouth guards and scrum caps. So why is it that the overwhelming percentage of people attending golf tournaments choose to dress like they’ve been asked to play in it, rather than to simply watch from the grandstands or behind the ropes? I’m always slightly amused when I see fans wearing a pair of spiked golf shoes when attending Tour events. Comfortable although these shoes undoubtedly are, they’re not so easy to walk in across the skiddy metal floors of the bar, or when marching up the

road from the car park. And as for those wearing horizontalstriped polo shirt, casual slacks, club jumper and logoed visor, I can only assume that they are fully expecting to get asked to take a shot themselves. I can picture the scene up and down the country. “Darling, I’ve just been offered some

tickets to go and watch the Open at St Andrews. Have you seen my checked trousers, three-button shirt, argyle socks, and sleeveless windvest? I should probably bring my glove as well, just in case.” It’s almost as if Rory McIlroy might turn to them in the grandstand and say “Hey, you! Yeah, you look like you know how to play golf. Why don’t you come out here and talk me through this next hole? In fact, why don’t you hit the shot for me, my game’s not in great shape right now?” “Why yes,” you eagerly reply. “It’s a good thing I wore all my golf gear, Rory, otherwise I would never have got this amazing opportunity!” Sadly, I’m speaking inside a glass house at this point in time. My drawers are stuffed with nothing but logoed polo shirts, beige chinos, and an unhealthy amount of corduroy – and I never leave home without a paif of golf shoes in the boot of the car – just in case.

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November 2013 / Issue 228

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MEET THE PRO

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Stuart Collier, the director of golf at Stoke Park, talks about his professional ambitions and personal passions What was your first job in golf? I was assistant to Steve Bryan at Flackwell Heath Golf Club in High Wycombe. Who inspired you to take up the game? What really inspired me to play was watching Sandy Lyle win the 1988 US Masters. I had played occasionally before this, but really got the golfing bug after watching his victory. What is your day-to-day role at the club? As director of golf, my main role is to oversee the smooth running of the golf operation and to ensure that every golfer coming through the door enjoys a world class experience. This may be for a member who plays three or four times a week, or a visitor that is playing the course for the first time. What’s the best thing about your job? The people I get to meet. Golf is an amazing vehicle for bringing a diverse mix of people together with a common passion. And the worst? I would have to say the increase in email, rather than face-to-face or verbal communication, is probably the worst thing. My preference is always to pick up the phone or see somebody in person. I understand emails are a necessary part of the business, but I prefer ‘old-fashioned’ forms of communication. How has the membership held up during the recession? The membership has grown over the past few years. The profile of our members means there will always be a small turnover due to new career opportunities and lifestyle changes, but the recruitment of new golfers has been very good. We have focused time and effort in expanding the active golfing community at the club, trying to ensure members participate in golf and social events. This enables us to grow the core of the club, and weave Stoke Park into the fabric of their lives. What is the club doing to attract juniors? We are now about to move into the second year of our scholarship programme, which was launched by the members and owners of Stoke Park to develop young talent. We recruited 12 scholars last December – eight boys and four girls, aged between 10 and 16 – and their progress has been amazing. The scholars receive an hour’s one-to-one coaching per month, and attend a 90-minute group clinic. In addition, we have developed a golfspecific strength and flexibility programme for them all. From this group we have had great success within the club and county, and some excellent national performances as well.

How much time do you spend teaching? I spend very little time teaching now. Trying to juggle teaching with business commitments is very difficult. I am fortunate to have Stuart Rank running our golf academy. Stuart has done an amazing job with the academy development, enabling me to concentrate on other areas of the business.

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What custom-fitting facilities do you have? We have an indoor swing studio with Flightscope. The studio has been open for almost three years now, and has been a very popular addition to the facilities. What’s the best tip you’ve ever received? See the shot, feel the shot, hit the shot – Seve. If there was one rule in golf you could change, which one would it be? I would add a free drop from a divot in a fairway. You really should not be punished for hitting your drive in the fairway. What are your favourite golf courses? In the UK it would be Sunningdale New – a Harry Colt masterpiece always superbly presented and a joy to play. My favourite in the world would be Spyglass Hill in California. I took some members there for a pro-am a few years ago, and we loved the course so much that we paid a twilight green fee and teed off again straight after the tournament finished. Who is your golfing hero? Seve. I first watched him in person during the 1989 Ryder Cup at The Belfry. What struck me immediately was the aura around the guy and the effect he had on everyone around him – just amazing. Seve had a presence that you couldn’t describe, but certainly something magical. Who would make up your dream fourball? Seve, Moe Norman and Sir Alex Ferguson. What would you have done if you hadn’t have been a pro? A police dog handler. I always wanted to work with people and dogs!

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News in Brief BROWN DOUBLES UP Former West Sussex-based pro Simon Brown claimed the second title of his rookie season on the European Senior Tour when winning the Dutch Senior Open.

GILLIGAN GOES WILD Wildernesse Golf Club’s assistant professional Gary Gilligan made the most of his home advantage to share the spoils in the Wildernesse Pro-Am after shooting a fourunder-par 68 at the Kent club. His score was matched by Andrew Butterfield, the head professional at neighbouring Knole Park, and the pair the winners’ cheques while holding off the challenge of some strong competition from Paul Page (King’s Hill) and Rob McGuirk (Prince’s), who finished a stroke behind to share second spot after carding 69s.

November 2013 / Issue 228

Ascot breaks tradition with lady captain Royal Ascot Golf Club has broken 127 years of male-dominated history by announcing that its captain for the 2014 season will be a woman. The ground-breaking position has been awarded to Anthea Winn, who has served as vice-captain and lady captain at the famous Berkshire-based club this year. The vice-captain traditionally takes over the roll of captain the following year, but Mrs Winn still had to obtain a majority vote from the club’s membership before her appointment was made official. Mrs Winn, who has been a member at the club since 1995, plays off a handicap of 11. A former captain of Sunningdale Ladies, she is no stranger to playing a

Anthea Winn (centre) will captain Royal Ascot next year

leading role at club level, and has served as captain of the Berkshire County Ladies Golf Association. Her husband, Mick, also served as club captain at Ascot, while her father was captain of Wentworth in the early 1970s. Speaking about her history-making role, she said: “Holding the position of club captain of a Royal Club will be without doubt the

STONELEES OFFERS FREE BIRTHDAY ROUNDS Stonelees Golf Centre in Kent has introduced an innovative marketing hook – golfers receive a free round if it is their birthday. In exchange for the free round at the Ramsgate-based venue, golfers only have to provide contact information and answer a few online questions.

COOKE WINS BGL JUNIOR TROPHY Seventeenyear-old Michael Cooke beat 50 youngsters from across the country for victory in the 2013 BGL Junior Trophy staged at Hoebridge Golf Centre, Woking.

Having ‘Royal’ in the name it conjures up the thoughts of a stuffy private members’ club, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a super social side, as well as plenty of competitive golf. My husband, Mick, is a member too, and my two grandchildren have joined this year, which I am very excited about. “During my year, I am raising money for prostate cancer research, which I hope the membership will support. A number of our members have gone through treatment and there are some who have just started theirs. so I thought it very apt. I would like to try to raise around £3,000, and will be holding a charity day and many other functions throughout the year.”

WARLEY BOOSTS ITS GREEN CREDENTIALS

ROEHAMPTON JUNIORS MASTERS The 2013 Roehampton Junior Masters was won by Tom O’Reilly and Lauren Horsford. O’Reilly, from Sidcup in Kent, won the boys section with a score of 142, while Surrey player Horsford, from Wimbledon Park, won the girls’ division with a score of 153.

most prestigious post I shall ever hold, as it’s an honour which, up until now, has only ever been bestowed on gentlemen. I cannot say that it was plain sailing all the way. Traditions are very prevalent in golf, and very hard to change. Breaking away from them has caused a few raised eyebrows, but after the initial mutterings I have had very positive feedback and many promises of support.

The support of the board of directors, the general manager, and all the staff will be essential throughout the year. “I’m hoping that my appointment will have a knock-on effect at other clubs. Someone has to be the first, but I am sure I will not be last. It is particularly relevant today considering the coverage that Muirfield received regarding its policy on lady members at this year’s Open. Rightly or wrongly they, and the R&A, got some terrible PR out of the whole thing and came across as misogynistic. So will my appointment make a difference in the world of golf? Time will tell!” She added: “Royal Ascot is very friendly club with an unique atmosphere.

South Weald under new ownership South Weald Golf Course in Essex has been sold to a private buyer for £1.75 million. The Brentwood-based club, which first opened in 1994, features an 18-hole parkland course and a clubhouse converted from a two-story barn. It was put on the market in June, when it was offered with vacant possession after the previous tenant retired due to ill heath in October last year and closed the course. The course reopened this spring under the stewardship of the club’s original owners, but it has now been sold to a local private investor. The club has been operating on a pay-and-play basis for the past eight months, but the new owner plans to reinstate traditional club membership, as well as continuing to offer visitor green fees. He also plans to re-launch the venue as Brentwood Golf Club, and has pledged to invest in both the course and the clubhouse.

A forward-thinking golf club in Essex is going green off the greens as well as on them – and saving thousands of pounds in the process. Warley Park Golf Club, near Brentwood, has introduced a series of energy-saving measures to help cut overheads, as well as boost its environmental credentials. Basic ideas to preserve energy in the clubhouse included the introduction of LED lighting, waterless unrinals, movement-sensitive lighting in changing rooms, and the replacement of old cast-iron pipework heating with more efficient modern radiators. Warley Park’s financial director Stuart Orrin said: “Those measures alone will save us over £3,000 a year. Additionally, we’ve reorganised the way in which we sort our waste and we

Surrey stars eclipse European rivals A team of six under-18 golfers from Surrey beat teams from France, Germany and Spain by 15 points at Wentworth Club earlier this month. Alfredo Curbishley (Burhill), Joe Carmody-Firth (Purley Downs), Sammy Fuller (Roehampton), Annabel

Dimmock (Wentworth), Jaques Cooke (Burhill), and Iain Mackay (Wentworth) competed in the event, which was designed to promote junior golf across Europe. The 36-hole strokeplay event, which was sponsored by the European Tour, took

(L-R) Alfredo Curbishley, Joe Carmody Firth, Samantha Fuller, Surrey U18 Manager Alan Page, Annabel Dimmock, Iain Mackay, Jacques Cooke

place across two days, with the four best scores counting from each region. France, which finished second was represented by a team from the Midi Pyrenees region, while third-placed Germany were represented by a team from Nordhein Westfallen, and fourth-placed Catalunya represented Spain. One of the leading performances came from Dimmock, who came close to setting a new course record when getting to five under par at one point during her round. Surrey Golf will be sending a team to Germany next year to defend the title.

hope we can increase our recycling from 10 per cent in 2012 to 30 per cent by the end of the year.” The club has also installed light-reactive lighting in the driveways. “They only come on during the hours of darkness, so the classic issue of forgetting to alter the timer settings as the seasons change doesn’t occur,” added Mr Orrin, who has also made savings in the bar and kitchen with a more efficient beer pump positions and by making staff lunches with excess food from the main clubhouse menu. The food for members and guests has also gone a bit

Eastern European, reflecting the cultural influences of some of the club’s backroom staff. As Mr Orrin explained: “One of our most popular staff meals is borscht, a dish that one of our Polish kitchen porters now makes on a regular basis. While she closely guards the exact recipe, it is a purplecoloured beef stew made with beetroot, potato and cabbage, adding any roast beef which we have left over from our Sunday carvery. It has become so popular with our staff that we now also sell it on our specials menu in the clubhouse.”

Corben sweeps the board at Hindhead David Corben walked off with an impressive four trophies at Hindhead Golf Club’s annual awards night. The plus-three handicapper won the Surrey club’s Devil’s Punchbowl Open, the Mungo Swanston Salver, the Dick Hartley Trophy, and the Lord Parker of Waddington Club Championship – the latter for the fourth time in five years. His other achievements included being presented with his Surrey first team

colours, along with his Hindhead fellow member Kieran Lovelock. Despite the fact that most of the club’s trophies were stolen last year, there was a good turnout for the presentation, with winners being presented with a personally-named framed photograph of the relevant lost trophies.


November 2013 / Issue 228

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Eddie Pepperell’s TOUR DIARY

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY At the end of his first season on the European Tour, Eddie ponders the great gulf that is growing between the game’s elite and the also-rans It was the great Gary Player who once said: “We travelled around the world, not for the money, but because we loved the game, loved the people, and wanted to spread the game.” Fast forward a few decades and it appears this vision has dwindled. As a member of the European Tour, I can’t help but feel slightly worried about what the future looks like. Mainly because you can reverse the above quote. Nowadays, players only travel for the money. It’s the size of the problem that concerns me. This scenario should have been foreseen years ago, before players were millionaires 10 times over. Rules that are now being implemented to combat this problem, are, dare I say it, a bit late. Player power, like in a lot of other sports, has grown rapidly. And some have, it would appear, outgrown the European Tour. The vicious cycle of sponsors only pledging funds if big players play, and big players playing only if the fund is big enough, has created an unusual divide between the players and the tour. The once benevolent, philanthropic player has become driven by money. Who can blame them? I’m not accusing big players of ‘not giving back’, as I know some do a lot for charities and grass roots in golf. But money is easy to give when you’ve got plenty – time is a different matter. Time is money, and that is becoming more and more obvious. What is evident to me is that somewhere along the line there has been a breakdown in communication and loss of respect between the players and the European Tour. The tour, for lots of these top players, has been the foundation, the facilitator, for them to bolster their reputations so that they could eventually travel across to America’s PGA Tour and compete for bigger prize funds on top courses, while affording themselves a nice retirement pension package when they finally hang up their golf shoes. Is it any wonder they want to play on the PGA Tour? I turned professional for a few reasons, one of which was because I was fed up of the amateur scene. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t remember what the English Golf Union has done for me. People move on, that’s accepted by all, and expected – but forgetting

“The vicious cycle of sponsors only pledging funds if big players play, and big players playing only if the fund is big enough, has created an unusual divide between the players and the tour.” where you grew up, and who and what enabled you to get where you are, is entirely unacceptable. Which leads me nicely onto what’s been making the headlines recently, this débâcle with the season-ending Final Series. I can’t help but agree with many of the comments posted on the BBC Sport website under Iain Carter’s most recent column (check out www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/24912155 for the context). Much of the feeling towards the top players is not sympathetic. ‘Four weeks’ golf, earning more than some earn in a lifetime, and still they’re whingeing’ read one. How true. Colin Montgomerie said that modern players act like royalty. I couldn’t agree more, and I don’t exclude myself from that. We are completely spoilt, and whatever happens in the coming months happens – but I for one hope the European Tour stamps its authority on the whole situation, because no player can be bigger than a tour, period.

Eddie Pepperell is the touring professional of Frilford Heath Golf Club

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November 2013 / Issue 228

Callaway has had to push the envelope of golf club design to get a hotter set of performing clubs than the X Hot, but it believes it has done it with the new X2 Hot range, which hits the shelves next month. But watch out, they’re seriously hot!

HOTTER If you’re looking to treat yourself to a new set of sticks this Christmas, or simply looking to add some firepower to your bag for the 2014 season, then Callaway Golf’s new range of X2 Hot clubs could be the answer to your prayers. Building on the success of its X Hot range, which proved a huge hit with golfers during the 2013 season, the all-new X2 Hot range features drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons, all of which promise extra distance combined with improved forgiveness. Let’s start by looking at the drivers.

X2 HOT DRIVERS

X2 HOT FAIRWAY WOODS

Featuring a 10 per cent larger sweet spot than the original X Hot, and being the thinnest, lightest all-titanium driver that Callaway has ever produced, the X2 Hot promises longer, more consistent distance wherever you hit it on the clubface. In independent tests, the X2 Hot came out a full nine yards longer than its predecessor – which wasn’t exactly short on yardage itself – with its thin, spring-like face producing more ball speed over a wider area of the face. The X2 Hot also features a significantly deeper clubface, which helps on miss-hits higher up the face, and an overall improved head shape and construction, which optimises mass properties for greater forgiveness and consistency. Adjustability remains a key element in customising launch conditions, and the X2 Hot features a new advanced adjustable hosel, which allows the golfer to increase or decrease loft (+2° and ‐1°) to dial in the optimum launch angle and spin for maximum distance. It also features a directional bias to draw or neutral to optimise shot shape for increased accuracy off the tee. As with the original X Hot driver, there is also Pro version for lower handicappers, which features a smaller, 440c head with more neutral bias for increased workability, and delivers penetrating trajectories with low spin.

Complementing the X2 Hot drivers are the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro fairway woods, both of which feature a faster face and improved internal weighting to make them seven yards longer, on average, than the X Hot equivalents. The hyper speed face cup is thinner and lighter than its predecessor, leading to faster balls speeds across the entire face for more consistency and playability. The ability to play off a variety of lies is to key to the success of all fairway woods, and the X2 Hot sees a new improved Warbird sole design, which sits closer to the ground, making it more versatile than ever. Shaft option in the standard model is Aldila’s new Tour Blue graphite shaft, which is designed for higher launch angle with low spin, for longer distance. It is available in six loft options: 3, (17), 5 (19), 7 (21), 9 (23) and 11 (25). The Pro version comes in four lofts –13.5, 15, 17 and 19 – and is fitted with Aldila’s Tour Green shaft, which has lower torque for a firmer feel, mid launch, and low spin.

£279

£189


November 2013 / Issue 219

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R THAN HOT! “The X2 Hot driver is nine yards longer than its predecessor, with the spring-like face producing more ball speed on a wider section of the face”

X2 HOT HYBRIDS

X2 HOT IRONS

X2 HOT PRO IRONS

The X2 Hot hybrids feature Callaway’s forged cup face technology, which brings driver‐like performance to the hybrid category for the first time ever. With a new tourinspired shape offering confidence at address, as well as accuracy and easy alignment, the X2 Hot hybrids also feature a thinner, lighter and more robust steel face cup design, which produces faster ball speeds across the entire face for longer, more consistent distance. The X2 Hot ‘characteristic time’, which is the measurement for how spring-like a clubface is, is up 22% on centre hits when compared to the X Hot, and as much as 40% higher on offcentre hits – which translates to distance gains of up to 15 yards over its predecessor. The standard X2 Hot is available in four loft options: 3 (19), 4 (22), 5 (25) and 6 (29), while the X2 Hot Pro model is available in 16, 18, 20 and 23-degree options.

Callaway raised the distance bar with the X Hot iron, but the benchmark has been moved even higher with the introduction of the X2 Hot irons, which offer more in all areas: more forgiveness, more ball speed, and, of course, more distance.

Offering power, distance and shot-making all rolled into one club, the new X2 Hot Pro is now Callaway’s best high performance players’ iron, offering longer shots, more forgiveness, and improved feel.

DEEP UNDERCUT CHANNEL: A massive undercut channel increases the rate at which the face flexes and rebounds for more ball speed and distance, making these new irons 3‐5 yards longer than X Hot. STABILISING ARCH: Reinforces the face, creating exceptional sound and feel at high balls speeds. PERIMETER WEIGHTING: Maximum perimeter weighting increases the sweet spot, making the X2 Hot irons easy to hit, producing higher launch angles for more distance and extra stopping power on the greens. LIGHTWEIGHT SHAFTS: The Speed Step 85 steel shaft is available in regular and stiff flexes, while the new graphite Adila Tour Blue shaft comes in three flexes and weights: light (55g), regular (60g) and stiff (65g). It improves feel and control while increasing launch angles.

THINNER HOT FACE: The thinner, hotter face creates a larger sweet spot, increasing ball speeds for more distance. Tests have shown X2 Hot Pro irons are 3‐5 yards longer compared to X Hot Pro. CENTRAL MASS BAR: A Central Mass Bar concentrates the weight low and central, increasing MOI (resistance to twisting) and enhancing feel, while a stabilising arch reinforces the face, creating exceptional feel at high ball speeds. PROGRESSIVE OFFSET: With less offset found in the shorter irons for more workability and accuracy, and more offset in the long irons for increased forgiveness, the lofts are one degree weaker than the standard irons to counter the impact of higher clubhead speed. HIGH PERFORMANCE SHAFT: The Project X 95g Flighted shaft offers the perfect weight ratio balance for more speed and more control.

£169 £549

£549

For more information on the new Callaway Golf X2 Hot range, including video demonstrations and details of where to get custom-fitted for all of these clubs, visit www.callawaygolf.com


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November 2013 / Issue 228

Storybehindthepic Nick Faldo and David Carter Gulf Harbour, New Zealand, November 22, 1998

A

s a selection of the world’s top players prepare to descend on Royal Melbourne for the 57th staging of the World Cup of Golf, it’s perhaps worth remembering that once upon a time this tournament was quite a big deal. It was founded exactly 60 years ago by a Canadian industrialist called John Jay Hopkins, who, perhaps somewhat naively, hoped it would promote international goodwill through golf. Back then it was known as the Canada Cup – taking its name from Hopkins’ place of birth, as well as the fact the first two events were staged in that country – before evolving into the World Cup in 1967. With the global game still some way off, the tournament attracted some stellar pairings in the early

renewals, with Sam Snead and Ben Hogan winning the 1956 event held at Wentworth, beating Booby Locke and Gary Player to the title, no less. Jack Nicklaus and Arnie Palmer joined forces four times in the 1960s, winning on all four occasions, so it is perhaps no surprise that America is by far the most successful world cup nation, with 24 wins under it collective belt, the most recent being Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland’s in 2011. But therein lies the tale of its diminishing attraction to the game’s elite. Where once Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would have been regular teammates, America had to dig down the rankings to uncover Mr Woodland two years ago, while, as this picture shows, the England team has also had to look a long way down the money list to uncover some its latent

talent (no offence, Mr Carter, you did win the darn thing, after all). With busy end of season schedules for our top players, and their desire to take a bit of time off, the World Cup

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have turned it into a straight strokeplay event. And whereas before, only two players from each qualfiiying nation could enter, this year up to four players from the same country

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are allowed to take part, providing they are inside the world’s top 15. Essentially this is only giving more Americans and Englishmen the chance to compete. In addition, just $1 million of the $8 million prize fund will be awarded to the winning nation, with the remainder going to the top-placed players in the individual scoring. It’s a format which will be replicated at the Olympics in three years time, when golf’s top players will bid for medals rather than cups – the only difference being that players from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will have to compete under the same GB banner at the Olympics, but remain separate nations for the World Cup. I don’t think any team will have too much trouble filling the spots in Rio, and that could well signal the end for the World Cup of Golf.

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November 2013 / Issue 228

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Banker finds greenkeeping New range opens in Oxford a less taxing career Golfers enjoying a only student from a class of students on the course were round at Orsett Golf 16 who had no greenkeeping young kids, and although I Club in Essex might experience. However, he didn’t go out partying with be surprised to learn that was so successful that he them every night, we got on the greens that they putt has graduated with a first well and had the odd night on, and the fairways that class honours, and has been out in Preston.” they push their trollies awarded a scholarship by Nichols plans to stay along, have been cut by The R&A and has won the at Orsett, and help head man who is more used to Ransomes Jacobsen best greenkeeper Perry Lowe handling hedge funds than student award, and with it a maintain the regional Open hedges, and qualifying skimming venue, profits from however he share deals has ambitions rather than beyond being strimming an assistant. grass from “It depends the fringes. on the A victim of opportunities the banking available,” collapse, he said. “The Orsett’s course is being looked after by an award-winning staff Essex-based combination Ian Nichols of a firstleft behind a 20-year career trip to the USA. class honours degree and in the financial markets in During his degree he the high-profile placement London’s Square Mile to retrain spent two years working that the course brought as a greenkeeper. After being at St Andrews Links in certainly benefits my CV, made redundant in 2010, Scotland, and is now assistant along with the award of an Nichols swapped his pinstripes greenkeeper at Orsett. R&A scholarship. Pay is also for a pair of jeans and some “I owe a huge debt a factor – I do feel that the stout working boots to study to Gordon Moir, course greenkeepng industry loses for turfgrass science degree superintendent at St Andrews talented people because for three years at Myerscough Links, for taking me on, and it they simply can’t live on the College in Lancashire. was a wonderful opportunity salary. I have no financial The course involved doing to work at the ‘home of golf’, commitments, but the wage an eight-week intensive one I will never forget,” said only just covers my living course in which he was the Nichols. “The majority of expenses.”

Bucking the trend for golf closures, a new driving range and academy has been opened up in the village of Bletchingdon, in between Bicester and Oxford. The new venue is the brainchild of PGA Professional Geoff Robbins, who has invested £500,000 in the Heathfield Park complex, which includes 19 floodlit covered bay and 10 outdoor bays, a giant putting green, bunker, café and shop. Robbins is no strangers to the pressure of running a golf business, as he owned Carswell Golf and Country Club near Faringdon for 12 years, before taking early retirement. However, after ‘absolutely hating’ life away form the game, Robbins bought the piece of land in Bletchingdon with the aim of teaching the next generation of golfers. Speaking about the new venture, Robbins said: “It was quite a big project, bigger than I had anticipated, but it looks amazing. If you go onto a golf course and you’ve never played before, it can be daunting. A driving range can be an ideal place to start or to hone your skills.”

He added: “As with any new venture you are going to have butterflies, but it’s a fabulous location we’ve got here, just off the A34.” The centre, which offers lessons from £15 for half an hour, hosted an open day on November 15, which was attended by Chris Kamara. For more details visit www. heathfieldparkgolfrange. co.uk.

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Although he may be currently lying two places behind 20-yearold Matteo Manassero in the world rankings, Francesco Molinari is not quite ready to be pigeonholed as Italy’s second best golfer. The 31-year-old Italian, who has three European Tour wins, two winning Ryder Cup appearances, and, most recently, a Seve Trophy victory, on his CV, is still a youngster by golf’s slowed-down timescale, and is yet to enter his prime. Although he has the look – in the kindest possible terms – of someone who has lived a little longer, the younger of the two Molinari brothers on tour feels that he is still learning his trade, especially when it comes to competing in the game’s biggest events. A permanent fixture on the European Tour since earning his card through qualifying school in 2005, Molinari has risen steadily up the rankings over the last eight years – his money list finishes from 2005-2012 read 86, 38, 60, 24, 14, 5, 21, 8. At the time of going to press, he was in 13th, following a run of solid results in the latter part of the year, and is building up a good head of steam to add another Ryder Cup cap to his name come September next year. With wins in the Italian Open in 2006, the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2010, and the Spanish Open in 2012, it’s fair to say that he has performed consistently without setting his career on fire in quite the way that the young Manassero has done since he came on the scene in 2010. Steady, but unspectacular is how Francesco plays it, and it has served him well in a career that has seen him pocket over €11m. Italian pro golfers, whose numbers are swelling year on year, are a tight-knit bunch, and Molinari has been something of a father figure to the young Manassero, despite there being just a 10-year age gap between them. The pair has played countless practice rounds together at regular tour events, while Francesco

November 2013 / Issue 228

has been happy to show Matteo the ropes at the majors, too. Although a friendly rivalry exists, the pair will go into battle on the same side for Italy later this month, when they tee it up in the World Cup of Golf later this month, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Coming at the end of a long season, and off the back of five straight weeks of competition in the European Tour’s Final Series, Molinari is not sure how much he will have left in the locker, but he is keen to put up a stout effort in an event in which he enjoyed such success with his brother, Edoardo, in 2009, when the pair prevailed at Mission Hills. “It is always a great honour to represent your country, and I hope we can win it again for Italy, as we did in 2009. Matteo is in great form, and I’m sure we will give it a good go. It comes at the end of a long run of events, but playing for your country always helps you find an extra gear.”

That’s certainly been the case for Molinari, and nowhere has that passion for the team game been shown morethan in the Ryder Cup, an event that has come to mean so much for the young Italian. He became one of only three pairs of brothers to play in the same Ryder Cup team when he was selected alongside Edoardo to be a part of Colin Montgomerie’s team at Celtic Manor. Of course, the wet week in Wales ended in glorious triumph for Europe, with Edoardo bagging a vital half-point in the singles against a charging Ricky Fowler, while Francesco birdied the 18th hole in his foursomes match to earn another critical half against Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink. Later that year, he took another significant step up the career ladder when he fended off the challenge of Lee Westwood to win his first ever World Golf Championship event at the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. The

Italian stallion: Molinari brought home the Ryder Cup for Europe with his half against Tiger Woods

win moved him to a career high of 14th, while 11 top-10s took to him to another career record finish of fifth in the Race to Dubai. After a steady but winless 2011, he picked up his third European Tour victory in May last year, when he came from four shots off the pace to win the Spanish Open with a closing 65. That victory, followed by a runner-up finish at the Scottish Open, took Molinari into one of the nine automatic qualification spots for the Ryder Cup at Medinah, a once-in-a-lifetime event that was to elevate him to a whole new level of public prominence. Having lost 4&3 to Tiger Woods in the singles at Celtic Manor two years earlier, Molinari felt he had something to prove against his old adversary. After going two-up in the first three holes, Woods pegged him back to all square by the turn, and then went one-up after birdieing the 17th. With the results going Europe’s way all around him, walking down the 18th fairway Molinari had the comfort of knowing that the outcome of his match wouldn’t prevent Europe from retaining the cup. But he’d come for the win, and after hitting a stunning approach to the green from a fairway bunker, he had a 20-foot putt to win the match outright, after Woods had missed his long-range effort from the back of the green. Molinari left his putt three foot from the cup – just outside gimme range in most circumstances, but especially so in a Ryder Cup – and watched in amazement as Woods pulled his short par putt wide, before displaying a rare touch of sportsmanship, picked up Molinari’s ball, thus handing the outright win to Europe, 14.5-13.5. “I

After playing key roles in winning the 2012 Ryder Cup, last month’s Seve Trophy, and the World Cup in 2009, Italy’s Francesco Molinari is earning a reputation as a good man to have on your side Words by Nick Bayly

EUROPE’S MAN OF STEEL


November 2013 / Issue 219

really didn’t think he was going Molinari rose to the team matchplay Francesco Molinari is to concede it, and I was really challenge once again, this time both a member and surprised when he did,” says at the Seve Trophy last month, an ambassador for Francesco, who still looks visibly the bi-annual contest between The Hideaways Club, a global property relieved not to have been made to Continental Europe and GB&I. portfolio of villas hole the three-footer. “We had been Playing the anchor role in Olazabal’s and apartments. For going hard at it for 17 holes, and we Continental European team, details visit www. both played some really good golf, Molinari helped inflict a rare defeat thehideawaysclub. so it was a really sporting gesture to on the GB&I side in the singles, with com. give me the putt.” a confident 3&2 victory He adds: “It took a long over Chris Wood giving time to sink in, but it was Europe a 14-13 win. “I’ve gone out last an amazing day, and an A beautifully-struck tee twice now, but I’m amazing week. We were shot on the par-three 16th getting beaten in every at St Nom la Breteche, not sure I want to match for almost a day and followed by a curling make a habit of it – a half, but after winning 12-foot putt, sealed a it’s not good for two late points on Saturday dramatic victory for the we knew we had a chance, man who is coolness the nerves!” albeit a very small chance. personified whenever he Going out last in the has a golf club in his hands. singles, I knew it would “There wasn’t quite as come down to me, or the guys just in front of much pressure as I felt at the Ryder Cup, more me. Three years ago I played good golf, but I just a sense of relief that we had finally managed got crushed by Tiger, so the plan was to go out to beat them,” says Molinari, who had been on and play my game, and not worry about what the losing side in his previous two Seve Trophy he was doing. I played well, and I had a couple appearances. “When José Maria was reading of chances over the last three holes to go oneout the order of the singles, I kind of knew I up. Seeing Martin [Kaymer] holing the putt on was going to be last, but I was waiting on every 18 was obviously a huge relief, but getting the name, hoping to hear mine, and it didn’t come half, and the win, was even better.” until the 10th spot. I’ve gone out last twice now, Asked what the atmosphere was like before but I’m not sure I want to make a habit of it – it’s ‘Super Sunday’, he says: “José Maria had us in not good for the nerves!” tears with all of his speeches, and we couldn’t Team golf is also very much on Molinari’s mind have been more motivated than what we were for next year, and he is determined to make Paul on Sunday. Sometimes it just goes the other McGinley’s team for Gleneagles in September. “It way, but it was great to hang onto the seems like a long way away now, but obviously it points that we needed to.” would be fantastic for me to be there again,” he As for many of the European says. “I never thought I would have played two team, the 2013 season has been Ryder Cups in a row, so to think about perhaps something of a hiatus after all playing in a third would be amazing. Gleneagles the excitement, with few is going to be a great venue, and one which I of them finding the know well, so it’s definitely going to be my goal form that got them to make the team again.” into the Ryder Unlike most of his Ryder Cup teammates, Cup side in Molinari has resisted taking up his card on the the first PGA Tour, and is content to play in the majors, place. the WGC events, and a handful of other USbased events. And while his parents still reside in his home city of Turin, Molinari has made a life for himself and his wife, Valentina, and young son, Tommaso, in west London, which he finds the perfect base for his increasingly global schedule. “I like living in London, it has a nice international feel, and easy access west and east. I wouldn’t like my son to grow up in a gated community in Florida, or wherever,” he adds. A member at The Wisley in Cobham, Molinari is coached by the club’s resident teach Molinari’s professional, Denis Pugh, who has worked year has also closely with the Italian since his time as head been somewhat low key, coach to the Italian amateur team in the midwhich he puts down to a mixture 90s. “The Wisley’s facilities are second to none, of reasons. “There has definitely been a lull and it’s not unusual to find half a dozen tour pros after Medinah. It’s not so much the mental hitting balls on the range, or using the indoor and physical fatigue, it’s more about swing studio, so it’s the ideal place to get some coming back to reality and taking a practice in,” says Molinari, who has also been step back to recognise what you’ve working on his short game with Mark Roe at achieved. You’re full of adrenaline his putting studio at Pachesham Park in nearby for a whole week, and then you Leatherhead. come back to normality. It has While sibling rivalry has obviously played its taken some time to recover part in pushing Francesco forward, his older from, that’s for sure, but if you brother, Eduardo, is currently recovering from look at my career historically, an operation on his thumb, and aims to be back I always seem to have playing by the end of the year. Francesco has performed better in Ryder missed having his brother on tour with him, and Cup years. Whether is looking forward to renewing their constant that’s coincidence or battle to be the best Molinari on tour. not, I couldn’t say, but For now, Molinari is looking forward to it certainly gets me putting the clubs away for a few weeks, enjoying motivated.” Christmas with his young family, maybe getting Fast forward to watch his adopted West Ham team play a 12 months from game or two, while keeping one eye on ensuring those heady days his game is up to scratch for the momentous at Medinah, and season that surely lies ahead.

/ 29

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March 2013 / Issue 219

EwenMurray

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

FINAL SERIES ISN’T THE FINISHED ARTICLE The inaugural Final Series of the European Tour was eagerly anticipated, but now that it’s race has been run, the powers that be will go back to the boardroom, or in this case, the drawing board, for an end of term report. But what should that report say about a series of tournaments that promised to shake up the climax to the end of the season? Starting in Shanghai, the BMW Masters was a good start. Lake Malaren proved an excellent venue, and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez Castano was a worthy winner. That was followed by arguably the European Tour’s strongest tournament of the year, the WGC HSBC Champions event at the She Shan International, which was also staged in Shanghai. Being part of the PGA Tour for the first time gave the event an enormous boost, and the last day three-ball of Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and eventual winner Dustin Johnson, produced golf of the very highest quality in front of sizeable crowds. On to Turkey, where world No.1 Tiger Woods headlined the field, and a tense final day concluded with 23-yearold Frenchman Victor Dubuisson stealing the show and celebrating his maiden victory. All good so far, but what about the grand finale in Dubai? The Tour ruled that a player had to sign up to at least two of the first three events of the Final Series if they were to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship. If a player was eligible, and played in all three, a 20% cash bonus would be added to their points total, increasing their opportunity of finishing in the Race To Dubai top ten, thus gaining a share of the bonus pool which enjoyed a first prize of $1m. In my view, it was sensible and inventive, but some thought not. Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els or Charl Schwartzel, who were

Sergio Garcia was among a number of big-name players to miss the European Tour’s Final Series

ranked 10th, 14th and 21st in the Race to Dubai respectively, were notable absentees from Dubai after failing to meet the Tour’s strict qualification criteria. It was tough on Dubai, which has been an unswerving supporter of European golf, but the players in question, who rounded on the ‘silly rules’ for their absence, have no-one to blame but themselves. Tour boss George O’Grady put together a four-week swing on great golf courses with committed sponsors, and a $30m plus prize fund. All the top players had to do was commit to two of the three events. Was that really so difficult, especially when the first two were held in the same city? Clearly something needs to be done to avoid a repeat of this situation next year, and I’m sure it will. Maybe I’m missing something here, but I sincerely hope those who didn’t manage to be eligible for Dubai don’t turn up for some of the meaningless ‘wheelbarrow events’ in golf’s silly season. If they do, they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. On the subject of tournament golf, I was interested to hear that China will be launching its own professional tour next year, which will be backed by the PGA Tour. With the abolition of the PGA Tour qualifying school, many Americans will venture east as this is a way to get onto the Web.com tour, a stepping stone to the main Tour. The European Tour will be watching these events closely. This announcement is also the start of Chinese players making their way onto the international golfing stage. I can’t help thinking that Greg Norman was correct 20 years ago when he suggested setting up a world tour. He was laughed at then, but by the looks of it he was way ahead of his time. I’ve no doubt will be heading that way in the years ahead.

Great Scott respects his Aussie roots

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is one of a dozen championship courses to have been built in Turkey in recent years

Australia lauded its first Masters champion last April, when Adam Scott earned the green jacket at Augusta. So many in his homeland have come close, but none closer than Greg Norman. While I’ve written about players doing what they can do, and should do, for their respective tours, it’s worth noting what Scott has done for his country at the end of what has been an

Trot on over to Turkey For many years, Spain and Portugal have been the go-to destinations for those seeking a week’s holiday playing on well-conditioned courses under cloudless skies and a warm sun. However, in recent years Turkey has emerged as a serious rival to these countries, and it’s easy to see why. With just a four-hour flight to Antalya, the hub of the dozen or more championship courses on offer is just a 30-minute drive from the airport, while the Mediterranean coastline,

framed by the Taurus Mountains, presents an idyllic setting for the layouts, which have been designed by the likes of Perry Dye, David Jones, Peter Thomson and Nick Faldo. The venue for the inaugural Turkish Open, Maxx Royal, bears the name of Colin Montgomerie, and its introduction to the world’s golfing stage was a successful one earlier this month. During the week of the tournament I stayed in the Voyage Hotel, which did the job, while I had rave

reports from those who were lucky enough to stay in the five-star Maxx Royal. There was an excellent choice of restaurants at the Voyage, which offers an all-inclusive deal, while the morning and evening buffets would grace any top hotel in Europe, and the service was first class. So if you’re looking for something a little different to your regular golf break to the Iberian Peninsula, I recommend getting the brochures out as soon as you can, as flights aren’t always easy to come by.

unusually hectic season. He shunned vast appearance fees in China and Turkey to go home to the tour that gave him the opportunity to become the superstar he is today. He let his nation share in his success, and for that he deserves a lot of credit. He landed in Queensland with the green jacket in tow and promptly won the Australian PGA Championship by four shots, and then headed to Royal Melbourne, where he was defending the Australian Masters title he won last year as Golf News went to press. Australia is a country where sport comes before everything else. As Masters champion, Scott could command whatever he wanted for his personal financial gain, but the 32-year-old from Adelaide is a wellgrounded golfer and a supremely rounded individual. He has more than enough money to see him through to old age, so this extended spell in his homeland was out of respect for the likes of Peter Thomson, Bruce Devlin, Ian Baker Finch and Norman, among others. There will be more great champions from Down Under in the years ahead, of that I’m sure. Success is of no use unless it can be shared. That’s the joy of winning. So who better than this great sporting nation to celebrate with him that golden moment on a rainy night in Georgia? In Adam Scott, Australia has a sporting son to be proud of, as does the rest of the golfing world.


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TOM LEWIS TIPS FROM THE TOUR

MY TOP FIVE SHOT SAVERS European Tour star Tom Lewis offers five tips and drills to save yourself a hatful of shots around the course

1

TIP 1 PRECISION IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS POWER You can make the best swing in the world with your driver, but if you’re not lined up correctly, the chances are you won’t hit the ball where you want it to go. Getting lined up is important for all shots but it’s especially important when you’re hitting a tee shot because the margins for error are so small. When I’m setting up to hit a drive the first thing I do is to aim the line marked on my ball where I want it to start out and select a point about 3-4 feet in front of me that I want to hit the ball over. Next, I will imagine the shot I want to play, take a couple of practice swings behind the ball and then walk into the ball. It’s only after I have been through that routine that I will take my stance, have one last look at the target, and then commit to the shot.

TIP 2 PLAY AWAY FROM TROUBLE

2

TIP 5 PERFECT YOUR PACE PUTTING

TIP 3 KEEP YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR LEFT SIDE WHEN CHIPPING When I’m chipping, one of my key thoughts is to keep my weight on my left side through impact. For a chip shot I will set up so that my stance is slightly open, and my club is square to the target. Then I will try to keep the club shallow to the ground on both the backswing and the downswing. It’s a simple shot that works best when you keep the moving parts in your swing to a 3 minimum.

4

TIP 4 GET SET BEFORE YOU GO Getting yourself set up correctly is key to all golf shots, and never more so when faced with a downhill pitch to a sloping green. It’s the sort of shot that strikes fear into the hearts of even low handicap golfers, but it isn’t as hard as it seems if you get the basics right. When faced with this sort of shot, I play the ball well forward in my stance. Both my left foot and left knee point out a bit more than normal, so I can get the majority of my weight onto my left side. From this position I can swing back and through almost as if the contours weren’t a factor.

Most golfers are not good enough to consistently hit their approach shots to under 10 feet from the flag, so they need a drill to help them practise their pace putting from longer distances. The one I use is nice and simple, and is worth giving a go if you struggle in this area. When I’m setting up to work on this drill, the first thing I do is to stick five tees into the ground, the first 10 feet from the hole, and the other four at five-feet intervals back to 30 feet from the hole. Then I will place a club on the ground about two feet behind the hole as a backstop for this drill, the idea being that every putt that misses should end up somewhere between the hole and the club lying on the ground. To start the drill, hit one put from 10 feet, and then move back to 15 feet, 20 feet, 25 feet and 30 feet, hitting one putt each time and concentrating on getting the ball into that twofoot area just past the hole. Once you’ve done that for a while, hit putts from more random distances, maybe 10 feet, followed by 30 feet, and then 15 feet, as this will develop your pace control even further.

There are times even when you are playing well that it is worth playing the percentages, and this is probably one of them. In this instance, I’ve got a shot of about 180 yards straight into the wind to a pin cut tight to the trouble on the right of the green. It’s what the pros call a ‘sucker pin’, and in most instances the best advice I could give is to ignore it altogether, and aim at a spot close to the centre of the green. Flag hunting is all very well when there’s not much trouble around, but sometimes it’s best to accept a two-putt par than go for broke and end up with a double bogey.

Tom Lewis is a brand ambassador for Marriott. The photographs were shot at Marriott Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire. For details visit www. marriott.co.uk or download the Marriott app from iTunes.

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TOUR NEWS

Dyson faces ban after spike-mark repair Simon Dyson could be banned from the European Tour after being caught fixing a spike mark during the second round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai. The 35-year-old Yorkshireman was seen to flatten down a spike mark, which was on the line of his putt, using his golf ball. The offence, which took place on the eighth green, went unnoticed by tournament officials at the time, but a television viewer later called the European Tour to highlight the incident, which is a clear breach of rule 16-1a of the Rules of Golf, which bans players from touching the line

Captain McGinley delays wildcard announcement

of a putt. Dyson, who had already finished his round, was subsequently disqualified from the tournament after failing to add what would have been deemed a two-shot penalty to his card. Dyson later denied deliberately fixing the spike mark, calling it an‘accidental mistake’, however the European Tour has taken a dim view of his actions, and has asked the player to attend a disciplinary hearing at the end of the month. Under European Tour regulations, the threeperson panel would comprise an independent lawyer, an ex-member of the European Tour

or current player on the European Senior Tour, and an experienced sports administrator. The panel will have the power to issue a financial penalty, a suspension, or even a ban from the European Tour. Dyson, who has never previously been disqualified from a tournament during his 12 years on Tour, said:“I have never deliberately broken the rules, either on this occasion or in the past. It was only after I was shown the replay of my action after marking the ball on the eighth green during the second round that I realised what I had done and that I was in breach. I immediately accepted that I should

be disqualified. My action was in no way a deliberate act with the intention of breaking the rules. It was simply an accidental mistake.” Following the reaction from fellow tour players, Dyson withdrew from the Turkish Open and did not qualify to take part in the final event of the Race to Dubai. The most recent player to break the Tour’s code of conduct was Scotland’s Elliot Saltman, who was banned from playing on the Tour for three months after being found guilty of incorrectly marking his ball on the green on a number of occasions during the Russian Open in 2010.

PRECISION ENGINEERED FOR ADVANCED PERFORMANCE. LONGER FLIGHT. INCREASED FORGIVENESS. SOLID FEEL.

INTRODUCING NEW TITLEIST AP IRONS. European captain Paul McGinley announced that he would delay the announcement of his wild card picks for next year’s Ryder Cup in order to fit in with the PGA Tour’s schedule. The Irishman was originally due to unveil his three captain’s selections on September 2, the day after the final qualifying event – the Italian Open – finished. But he has put back the announcement by 24 hours to avoid clashing with the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second of the four FedEx Cup play-off events, which will finish on the Monday. The delay will avoid a repeat of the situation that occurred in 2010, when Justin Rose and Paul Casey played the final round in Boston, shortly after finding out they had been overlooked by Colin Montgomerie for the contest at Celtic Manor.

New Titleist AP irons are precision engineered to make long irons easier to hit high and short irons easier to flight low, while delivering more distance and shot-stopping control throughout the set. New AP1 ® irons feature a slightly larger club head for more confidence at address and provide golfers with increased forgiveness for more speed across the face. New AP2 ® irons are designed for more forgiveness while retaining a Tour-proven blade length for shot workability. Both models feature a progressive design that aligns the CG closer to where you hit the ball for solid feel. AP irons deliver longer carry with consistent distance control to help you hit more shots closer to the hole.

NEW Increased forgiveness and higher ball speed

Gonzo springs Shanghai surprise Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano shot a closing 68 at Lake Maleren to win the BMW Shanghai Masters by one shot from Francesco Molinari and Thongchai Jaidee. The Spaniard, who fired six birdies over the closing 12 holes, led by three shots with one hole to play, but double-bogeyed the last to win by the minimum margin.

across the face from a deep, undercut, dual cavity design with high density tungsten weighting.

NEW Increased forgiveness with workability from the

Jeong bags first pro win in Perth South Korean Jin Jeong beat Ross Fisher in a sudden death play-off to win the ISPS Handa Perth International. It was the Melbourne-based player’s first win since turning professional in 2011. The former world amateur No.1’s previous best finish had been fifth at last year’s New Zealand PGA Championship. 

forged, Tour-proven design with high density tungsten weights in the toe and co-forged into the heel.

Visit titleist.co.uk to get more details. And to experience the new AP irons for yourself, contact your local golf shop.

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TOUR NEWS

Luiten’s one-shot wonder leaves Walters in the cold Dutchman Joost Luiten caused a deal of controversy last month when he withdrew from the BMW Masters in Shanghai after playing just one shot. Luiten, who was suffering from a shoulder injury before the event began, hit the solitary shot in order to fulfill the qualification criteria for the European Tour’s new Final Series, which required players to play in two the of four events in order to qualify for the DP World Championship in Dubai. Twice a winner this season, Luiten was ranked 11th in the money list before teeing it up in China, but still needed to play in

order to meet the rules of the series, which were designed to ensure high-quality fields at the first three of the Race to Dubai’s Final Series events - two in Shanghai and one in Turkey - and not just for the £4.9m seasonending tournament in Dubai, which carries a £2.3m bonus pool for the top 10 in the Race To Dubai standings. Luke Donald, who partnered Luiten for all of 15 seconds in the opening round, said: “I can’t blame Joost – the new rule forced his hand. If that rule wasn’t in effect then he would have withdrawn prior to the event and the first reserve would have got to play.”

South Africa’s Justin Walters was the first reserve, and the man to miss out; however, he too had sympathy for Luiten. He said: “I’ve got no hard feelings towards Joost. He came and spoke to me about the situation.Obviously some changes will be made to the Tour surrounding the Race To Dubai play-offs, and it’s unfortunate I had to be the guinea pig.” In a strange twist, Luiten was on the reserve list for this year’s Open at Muirfield, and was denied the chance to play when Peter Hanson tried to play with a back injury, only for the Swede to pull out after five holes.

Tiger stops the traffic in Turkey

Tiger Woods had his driving accuracy tested to the max earlier this month when he took aim on a 20-yard wide stretch of tarmac on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. The world no.1 had two million reasons to be teeing it up in the Turkish Open (all of them dollars), and took part in the PR stunt to raises awareness of the Turkish Airlines-backed event, which was the penultimate tournament in the European Tour’s new Final Series. “I have really enjoyed my visit to Istanbul. To see the Bosphorus for the first time was a very memorable experience,” said Woods, before being whisked back to his hotel room. The 1,510-metre suspension bridge was closed on one side for 20 minutes while Woods played his shots, although locals might have preferred it if the other lanes had been closed if they had seen his ‘fairways hit’ stats for the current season.

Open launches global qualifying series A new series of international qualifying events is to be introduced for The Open Championship, which takes place at Royal Liverpool in 2014. The Open Qualifying Series will comprise 14 events in nine countries on five continents, and will offer players the opportunity to qualify for the Open Championship at events on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Japan Golf Tour, and the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Nine qualifying places will be available on both the PGA and European Tours. PGA Tour players will be able to qualify at the AT&T National, The Greenbrier Classic and the John Deere Classic, while European Tour players will be able to qualify at the Irish, French and Scottish Opens. The Qualifying Series begins with the Australian Open, which takes place at the end of this month at Royal Sydney Golf Club. Qualifying places will also be available at the Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour, The Open Qualifying Series – Thailand, and the Joburg Open in South Africa.

Join Team Titleist at titleist.co.uk

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November 2013 / Issue 228

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

THE NEW ERA NEW & IMPROVED SRIXON AD333

If you want your putter face to be square to the target, it makes sense to use a square putter

A new era dawns with our best-ever AD333. The 2014 version offers superb feel, greater distance and excellent spin on every shot for all abilities.

NOW WITH

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for increased friction with club face for more greenside spin and short game control.

The keyto holing those clutch putts from inside 10 feet is less about pace, and more about accuracy. Getting the ball starting out on the right line, and having complete confidence that your putter’s face is in perfect alignment with the target, will help you hole more putts. This simple principle is behind one of the most exciting new equipment launches hitting the pro shops early next season – Cleveland Golf’s new Smart Square putter. This eye-catching design, which reaches the shelves in February, looks set to completely revolutionise the ‘game within a game’ that is putting. Following extensive research into the most successful putters of all time, and what golfers focus on when they align a putt, Cleveland Golf has created the Smart Square, which could improve your putting alignment by as much as 23%. The result of this testing is Dual Axis Alignment. The most advanced alignment technology Cleveland has ever created, Dual Axis Alignment generates two perpendicular lines that highlight when the putter is misaligned at address. How does it do this? Simple. Two squares on the putter head create

parallel lines that frame the ball at address, providing a clear visual path to the hole. During Cleveland’s testing, the Smart Square putter showed that players aligned the putter face 23% more accurately than they did using one of the most popular putters of all time. On the putter face, Cleveland has enhanced feel and sound at impact with a co-polymer insert promoting a consistent roll. The Smart Square also has a high MOI design, meaning that distance loss on any off-centre hits is minimised. Dean Cracknell, product manager at Cleveland Golf and Srixon, said: “We believe golfers are going to gain confidence and hole more clutch putts with the Smart Square putter. Two squares on the top of the putter might not seem incredibly revolutionary, but our testing shows that players align the Smart Square more accurately 23% of the time, when measured against one of the most popular putters ever created. While it’s the most advanced putter alignment technology Cleveland Golf has ever created, it’s also incredibly simple to understand, and will give golfers a visual tool they can have confidence in when standing over a putt. If you know you have the putter aligned correctly, there’s only so much that can go wrong! Twenty-three per cent is a staggering number when you think that

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The Cleveland Golf Smart Square putter will be available for £129, from February 2014. Look out for more information on the Smart Square putter in the December/January edition of Golf News, or visit www.clevelandgolf.com, where you will be able to get your hands on the Smart Square as soon as it is available.


November 2013 / Issue 219

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

THINK SQUARE

THE NEW FACE OF SPIN • • •

misaligned putts could potentially be costing you between four and five shots per round.” The Smart Square putter will be available in a variety of options to suit golfers’ preferences. The traditional lengths of 33-inch to 35-inch will be available in both heel- and centre-shafted models. To get ahead of the game on the impending ban on belly putters, Cleveland is also releasing the Smart Square putter in a 39-inch ‘Almost Belly’ model. The latter will feature a 400g putter head, which is 40g heavier than that found in traditional length models, as well as an oversized 158g putter grip (two-and-a-half times heavier than standard). This gives the Almost Belly model counterbalanced weighting to add stability and consistency to a player’s putting stroke, without the need for the soon-to-beabolished anchoring technique.

Cleveland Golf, the leaders in wedge innovation, introduce the new 588 RTX Rotex Wedges: 16% larger grooves for increased contact and friction at impact Enhanced laser-milling for improved durability and surface roughness Unique directionally-optimized Rotex face pattern for maximum spin

588 RTX Blade

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WWW.CLEVELANDGOLF.COM


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November 2013 / Issue 228

Ping Scottsdale TR putter RRP: £129-£175 Contact: ping.com Ping has added three new models to its True Roll range of putters, all of which feature variable-depth grooves in the face and adjustable-length shafts. The blade-style Anser, mallet-style Craz-E and counter-balanced Senita B models all utilise a variable-depth groove insert to increase ball-speed consistency by nearly 50%. The Anser T, which will suit those with a slight arc to their stroke, features a bridge-style alignment line that extends from the front edge of the top rail to the back edge, while the Craz-E features the same alignment shape as the original Craz-E head, and can be ordered to fit any stroke type. The Senita B provides the feel of a belly putter without the need for anchoring. Its 38-inch shaft has a 50g weight inside the grip end to counter-balance the 400g head. Built into the 17-inch grip are reference lines to help position the hands to optimise the benefits of counter-balancing. Adjustable-length shafts are optional in all models, but can be ordered for an extra £20.

FootJoy XPS-1 MyJoys

SHOP TaylorMade Golf SLDR woods and hybrids

RRP: £235 Contact: myjoys.co.uk FootJoy’s high stability XPS-1 shoe is the latest in the brand’s range to join the MyJoys programme. The new design allows three areas of the uppers to be designed in colour configurations to suit your personal style, including the main body of the shoe, a half moon-shaped saddle, and the tongue and top collar. A new ghost white Xtreme outsole, featuring lateral outriggers, gives the XPS-1 its trademark stability platform. The MyJoys programme offers a choice of over 40 coloured leathers, and a variety of finishes, including smooth, patent, metallic and animal print. Purchasers can also choose the laceless BOA closure system for an extra £10.

RRP: £199/£169 Contact: taylormadegolf.eu Hot on the heels of the SLDR driver come five SLDR fairway woods and four SLDR rescue clubs. Similar to the driver, each combines a low and forward centre of gravity placement, which results in a higher launch angle and a lower spinrate. However, none feature the sliding rail in the head, which makes the ‘SLDR’ name seem irrelevant to the point of being misleading. On the plus side, the clubs are adjustable for loft by 1.5 degrees up or down, while the fairway wood is available in four lofts: Tour Spoon (14°), 3 (15°), 3HL (17°), 5 (19°) and 5HL (21°), and the Rescue has five options: 2 (17°), 3 (19°), 4 (21°) and 5 (24°).

Nike Method MOD RRP: £180 Contact: nikegolfeurope.com Nike has added four new models to its range of Method putters, all of which feature the polymetal grooves found in the original design which first came out in 2010. The four MOD models – 00, 30, 60 and 90 – were inspired by some of the most popular putter designs of the past four decades. Each number in the name corresponds to the toe-hang of the putter. For example, the 00 is facebalanced so it has no toe hang, while the MOD 60 has 60 degrees of toe hang. This allows golfers to choose a model to suit personal preference for optimal forgiveness, roll and accuracy. Like previous Method putters, the MODs are milled from a single block of stainless steel on to which a series of grooves are cut into the face, while a deep channel cut into the sole extends up and into the head. The head weight, which is not adjustable, is different for each model, with the 33- and 34-inch shafts featuring 360g weights, while the 35-inch model has 345g to keep the swing weight even.

Pinnacle Bling balls RRP: £17 for 12 Contact: pinnaclegolf.com Although a Pinnacle golf ball is never going to get you much backspin, the latest range promises to be the softest that the brand has ever produced. The Bling range features four different high-vis colours in its box of 12 – bright white, pink, yellow and orange – which are not only designed to be more visible through the air and on the course, but aim to offer improved all-round performance off the tee and around the green. A softer compression core produces Pinnacle’s trademark distance off the tee, while a softer ionomer-blended cover delivers better control around the greens, and a softer feel off the face. The new Pinnacle range also includes updated Gold and Gold Lady balls (£13.80 for 12), which also promises explosive distance combined with improved feel.

Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ RRP: £135 Contact: uk.oakley.com Unless you’re teeing off into a low winter sun, these new shades from Oakley will only come into their own when playing the ball out of bright, white bunkers in sunnier destinations, like Florida or Dubai, when the polarising lenses will eliminate 99% of the glare and 100% of the harmful UV from the sun’s rays. Designed to boost contrast and increase depth perception, they’re also ideal for picking out the ball against the sky, as well as focusing in on the flag. The lightweight frames sit comfortably on the nose, and remain securely in place throughout the swing.


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Adams Golf Idea Hybrid Irons RRP: £599/£499 (gr/st) Contact: adamsgolf.co.uk This new hybrid/iron combo set falls firmly into the ‘super game improvement’ category, and is specifically designed to help high handicappers to get the ball up in the air with the minimum of effort. Each iron features a cut-through slot in the sole which creates a spring-like effect across the entire face, expanding the sweet spot. Compared to the a12 OS Hybrid Irons, these provide 44% more ball speed on off-centre hits – and 24% more speed on flushed shots – because of the increased flex from the unsupported faces. The standard set contains hybrids from 4 to 6, transitional hybrid irons in the 7 and 8, and traditional cavity-back irons in the 9, PW and SW.

TRIED &

TESTED ECCO Street EVO One Rating: RRP: £140 Contact: ecco.com/golf

Cobra Baffler XL Driver RRP: £199 Contact: cobragolf.co.uk The new Baffler XL driver offers the largest ever face on a Cobra driver – 17% bigger than the Amp Cell. The 5,000 square mm structure offers a 21% increase in the size of the sweet spot, with more of the effective hitting area located above the centre of gravity for optimised spin, consistent launch conditions, and more distance. The larger face also creates an enhanced ‘trampoline’ effect, resulting in more consistent distance on shots hit across a larger portion of the face. A new high MOI sole, combined with an offset design, makes the Baffler XL easier to hit straight by correcting slices and increasing stability. It is available in 9.5°, 10.5° and 11.5° lofts with the usual shaft flex options, and a Lamkin reminder grip. The driver is complemented by a complete range of Baffler XL clubs, including fairway woods, hybrids, irons, and a combo iron/hybrid set. An offset design throughout the set helps correct slices, while pronounced rails on the fairways, hybrids and irons make it easier to get the ball in the air. The entire range is also available in women’s models.

While the tidal wave of interest created by Fred Couples’ appearance at the 2006 US Masters wearing what looked like a pair of trainers has long since reached the shore, it’s impact is still being enjoyed by Danish footwear brand Ecco, whose launch into the golf market was secured almost overnight by Fred’s choice of funky footwear. Now worn by dozens of Tour pros – including Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn, Thongchai Jaidee and Marcel Siem – Ecco has made giant inroads into the once staid, and frankly dull world of golf shoes dominated by two-tone saddle designs, inflexible soles, boring colour options and, of course, spikes and plastic cleats. With rubber nubs on the soles, colourful leather uppers, and a comfort level that no other shoe had previously offered, the Ecco Street range turned the golf shoe business on its head, throwing out convention and perceived wisdom. Some eight years later, the fourth generation of Street shoes – which forms part of a entire range of golf shoes that also include Street, Biom, Biom Hybrid, Biom Zero, Tour Hybrid, and World Class models – is about to hit the shelves. The all-new Street EVO One combines Ecco’s trademark Dynamic Traction System, which features over 100 wear-resistance rubber nubs, with a direct-injected midsole and a brand new integrated shank piece. The latter cups and cushions the heel, delivering comfort and support, while also creating an exceptionally stable platform from which to hit through the ball. The uppers are made from high-grade cow or camel leather, both of which are finished with Ecco’s own Hydromax weather-resistance treatment. Golfers can choose from five different colour options – while they also feature a two-colour outsole. In practical terms, the Street EVO One feels markedly different from its forerunners, with the new heel and shank design offering a much more supportive feel, without losing any of the cushioning and comfort for which the Street is renowned. The camel leather versions, which also feature leather laces, are almost too smart for winter golf, and would be ideal for weekend wear, but the cow leather models are definitely made for playing in, and are perfect for all conditions. Ecco shoes are priced at the premium end of the market, and thankfully they not only look like quality shoes, but they perform like them too.

Galvin Green Base Layer RRP: £55 Contact: galvingreen.com Galvin Green’s new long-sleeved crew neck vest, which is available with matching leggings, has been specially developed to help improve golf performance in cold conditions. Offering a less compressed option than other garments in the brand’s Skintight range, both the top and leggings feature a combination of advanced knitting techniques and high-tech fibres to create a light, airy material structure for maximum comfort, breathability and moisture wicking when playing. Both the vest and leggings come in black (sizes XSXXL), while the vest is also available in white.

Srixon Rain Glove RRP: £16 Contact: srixon.co.uk Another vital piece of armoury in the winter golfer’s essential kit list is a pair of stout rain gloves. Srixon’s offering is ideal for use in damp conditions thanks to a microfibre suede palm and a quick-dry knit material on the back of the hand which ensures your grip remains firm, and your hands warm and dry. Sold as a pair, they are available in mens’ sizes S-XL.


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SkyCaddie Watch RRP: £149.99 Contact: skygolf.com Part of SkyCaddie’s new subscription-free range of entry-level GPS devices, the Watch provides distances to front, centre and back of the green, while additional features include a pedometer, calorie counter, alarm clock, calendar and stopwatch. Given SkyCaddie’s famed mapping service, it’s surprising that the watch only offers distances to those three points on the green, but then given that it is almost half the price of some other watches it is perhaps to be expected. So if you’re looking for more bells and whistles you should try the full-screen SGX handset. + Easy navigation; excellent course coverage; no subs fee; quality feel – Measures only three fixed points on each green; synching with computer can be time-consuming.

Garmin Approach S4 RRP: £289.99 Contact: garmin.com The Approach S4 has a touchscreen display, is subscription-free, and comes preloaded with more than 30,000 courses and free updates. When paired with a compatible Apple iPhone, the watch can wirelessly receive emails and texts from the phone’s notification centre. On the golfing front, it provides distances to the front, back and middle of the green, and incorporates layup, dogleg and shot distances. A ‘green view’ feature shows the true shape of the green, while the pin can be moved to the day’s location with a click and drag. For those that play the same course a lot, it has customisable yardage points, so that water hazards or specific bunkers can also be saved. The lithium-ion battery has a 10-hour charge. Available in black or white. + ‘Green View’ feature; custom hazard recognition; email/text alerts. – Hazard yardages should be available out of the box; quite expensive.

Easygreen WR67 RRP: £199 Contact: easygreen.com The WR67 comes preloaded with automatic recognition of over 25,000 courses (34,000 in total) through its partnership with iGolf. With auto-hole advance, and free course updates available, it provides distances to front, back and centre of the green, and up to two hazards per hole. It measures shot distances, and has a tee time start feature, so that it only starts looking for the course when you’re ready to play. At the end of a round, the total distance covered and the time taken for the round are displayed. Offering all the standard functions of a digital watch, it has stainless steel buttons and is waterproof to 30 metres, should you decide to throw it in a lake in a fit of rage. The rechargeable battery has a 12hour life when used for GPS and it is available in black or white. + Hazard features; long battery life; big number display; quality buttons. – Battery life not displayed on home screen.

November 2013 / Issue 228

Snooper Shotsaver SG250 RRP: £124.99 Contact: snooper.co.uk A leading supplier of sat nav systems to the automotive market for many years, Snooper also offers a comprehensive range of GPS and laser rangefinders for golf. The new SG250 brings its GPS knowhow to the watch sector, with an affordable model that is packed with features. Subscription-free, it automatically recognises 99% of the courses in Europe and worldwide straight out of the box, and in addition to the standard front, centre and back yardages, offers distances to key hazards on each hole, including bunkers, lakes and trees. It also boasts an electronic scorecard with an automatic Stableford points calculator, while stats can be saved and downloaded to your computer, and there is standard watch functionality, plus a calorie counter and an odometer. The battery life is eight hours in golf mode. + Full hazard information; data download; points calculator; competitively priced. – Yardage numbers on the small side; battery life shorter than some other brands; no autohole advance function.

Six of the best GPS watches reviewed Bushnell Neo X RRP: £179 Contact: bushnellgolf.com The latest generation of Bushnell’s Neo range of GPS devices comes with 25,000 preloaded courses around the world. With no membership fees, the device works straight from the box, and instantly recognises courses and holes as you move through a layout. In a step up from the Neo + watch, the Neo X also offers distances to two hazards per hole, and has a tee time start mode. It has a 14-hour battery life – enough for at least four rounds – depending on where and who you play with – and also offers the normal functions of a watch, as well as a timer, alarm, and odometer. It is available in black only. + Easy to use; useful hazard data; comfortable and light to wear. – No scoring or statistics options.

GolfBuddy VT3 Smartwatch RRP: £229.95 Contact: gpsgolfbuddy.eu Golfbuddy’s VT3 combines screen swipe technology with a GPS rangefinder, and packages it all up in a handy piece of wearable tech, which can be worn on the wrist, attached to a retractable cord, or clipped to a hat, belt or shirt. The LCD display shows distances to the front, middle and back of the green on more than 36,000 courses worldwide. Users navigate through all the device’s functions via a TouchSwipe screen, which accesses all of the functionality options, including the ability to move the position of the pin, view distances from your angle of approach, track scores, and measure shot distances, as well as all the normal functions of a wristwatch. It has an 11-hour re-chargeable lithium battery, and requires no annual subscription. + Swipe screen; visible dynamic green; moveable pin locations – No distances to hazards; if you don’t want to wear it as a watch, buy the much cheaper Voice+.


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November 2013 / Issue 228

EQUIPMENT NEWS

EA Sports pulls Ping buys Ping Collection the plug on Tiger EA Sports has ended its 15-year relationship with Tiger Woods, who has been on the cover of its simulation video golf games for XBox, Play Station and Wii consoles for almost a generation. EA Sports was one of the few sponsors to remain loyal to the world No.1 following his infidelity scandal in 2009, but flagging sales have forced the gaming brand to part company with the man who has graced the cover of its games since 1999. The 2014 version, on which Woods shared the cover with Seve Ballesteros and Rory McIIroy, will be the last with which he will have a commercial involvement. EA Sports will maintain its PGA Tour license,

and is currently working on a new golf game for nextgeneration consoles, including PS4 and Xbox One. As yet, no new players have been announced to replace Woods.

Golf equipment manufacturer Ping has bought clothing subbrand Ping Collection Europe as part of its plans to grow the ‘soft goods’ side of its business. Ping Collection Europe was licensed out to Peter McGuigan, who was responsible for designing and distributing Ping-branded apparel throughout Europe and other selected countries. Following the acquisition, PCE will become Ping Collection Ltd, although its European headquarters will remain at Cheadle in Lancashire. “Bringing Ping Collection Europe under the Ping corporate umbrella gives us even more opportunity to grow our position as a leader in the soft goods categories worldwide,” said Andy Solheim, Ping’s vice president of business development. The product creation centre in Cheadle will continue to develop

Ping-branded apparel, which is distinguished by its high-performance fabrics marketed under the trademarks Sensor Cool, Sensor Warm and Sensor Dry. He added: “Our longterm strategy is to expand on Ping’s reputation as a global golf brand that offers authenticity in every key golf product category. With our own apparel group, we can now leverage our success in Europe, while continuing to provide golfers with apparel that delivers the quality and innovation that Ping was founded on more than 50 years ago.” In other Ping news, the company has announced that it has retained PGA Tour player Billy Horschel on its staff following the signing of a new contract. The 26-year-old, who won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this

year, had eight top-10s in 2013, including a fourth at the US Open. His bag currently contains a G25 driver, 3-wood and 5-wood, the new S55 irons, Tour Gorge wedges, and a Redwood Piper S putter.

Foremost launches new ‘Click & Collect’ service

McIlroy puts faith in Nike 2.0 gear Nike has yet to officially unveil its 2014 equipment range, but that hasn’t stopped a number of its staff pros from putting the brand’s soon-to-be-released VR_S Covert 2.0 driver and new RZN ball into play over the last few weeks, including a resurgent Rory McIlroy. The former world No.1, who has yet to win in 2013, was spotted using the new Covert 2.0 driver and prototype RZN ball during his exhibition match against Tiger Woods in China, and also during the Asian Tour’s Kolon Korea Open, where he finished second in a welcome return to form. Speaking about the new driver during the exhibition match, McIloy was heard to say to Tiger: “From the moment I first started hitting it in July I thought it was awesome. It’s just a little more forgiving.

Like I can hit it off the toe or the heel and it’s tight. With the bigger head, it’s got a slightly longer face, so I feel like I can turn it over better. With the last one I felt I was losing it to the right a lot, but with this one the clubface squares up better at impact. As a result, I’m driving the ball much better, much straighter.” Unlike last year’s VR_S Covert Tour, the 2014 version has white paint in the cavity and a TOUR emblem on the sole. Nike has yet to release full details on the new driver, but five players had it in the bag at the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic. Nike also plans to unveil its reworking of its RZN ball next month. The softer RZN prototype ball McIlroy was using in China prompted Woods to say: “How did you do that?” after one chip that stopped up sharply.

Golf retailer Foremost Golf has launched a new retail service designed to help customers who like to buy their golf equipment on the internet, but are seldom at home in order to receive their purchases. The Click & Collect service allows customers to purchase all the goods they need online and then collect them at one of over 950 Foremost stores nationwide. Alternatively, customers who prefer to have deliveries to home or work can still choose to have their purchases couriered direct to them, as the service offers free delivery for all orders over £50. There is also a 30-day money back guarantee if customers are not completely satisfied with their purchase. “We believe that the launch of our new Click & Collect service is a major breakthrough in golf retailing and will prove to be hugely popular among golfers all over the country,” said Foremost CEO, Paul Hedges. “The system also gives customers access to advice and a wide range of other services provided by our PGA professionals which is not something that is normally available during most on-line transactions.” For more details visit www.foremostgolf.com.

THE GEAR EFFECT WINNERS’ BAGS ON TOUR JIN JEONG Perth International DRIVER: Titleist 913D3 (10.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 913 F.d (15), Titleist 913F (17) IRONS: Titleist AP2 712 (3-PW) WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (54°, 60°) PUTTER: Odyssey ProType Tour Series #5 BALL: Titleist Pro V1 GONZALO FERNANDEZCASTANO BMW Masters DRIVER: Srixon Z 525 (9.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike VR_S Covert Tour (13), Ping G25 5-wood HYBRID: Titleist 913 H.d IRONS: Cleveland CG1 Tour (3-9) WEDGES: Cleveland CG1 Tour (47), Cleveland Precision Forged (52, 58) PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron GoLo 3 BALL: Srixon XV KENNY PERRY AT&T Championship DRIVER: Adams Super LS (10.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: Adams Super LS (15) HYBRID: Adams Super 9031 (20) IRONS: Adams Redline (4-9) WEDGES: Adams Redline (48), TaylorMade ATV (56, 60) PUTTER: TaylorMade Ghost Spider Vicino 02 BALL: Titleist Pro V1x RYAN MOORE CIMB Classic DRIVER: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP (8.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 (15, 19) IRONS: Ping S55 (3-9) WEDGES: Ping S55 (48), Ping Tour Gorge (54), Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (60) PUTTER: Yes! Sandy-12 BALL: Titleist Pro V1x DUSTIN JOHNSON WGC - HSBC Champions DRIVER: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade R9 (15.5), TaylorMade R9 (19) IRONS: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB Forged (3-PW) WEDGES: TaylorMade TP xFT (54, 60) PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 BALL: TaylorMade Lethal VICTOR DUBUISSON Turkish Open DRIVER: Titleist 910D2 (8.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: Titleist 913F (15) HYBRID: Titleist 913H (21) IRONS: Titleist AP2 712 (3-9) WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (48, 54, 58) PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport BALL: Titleist Pro V1x CHRIS KIRK McGladrey Classic DRIVER: Callaway FT Optiforce 440 (9.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro (13.5) HYBRID: Ping Anser IRONS: Callaway RAZR X Muscleback (3-9) WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47, 54, 58) PUTTER: Odyssey Mystery Milled No. 1 BALL: Titleist Pro V1x


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November 2013 / Issue 228

1. G-Fore Left Golf Glove Blocked Azure

2. Aquascutum Pitchfork Chrome

Material: 100% premium cabretta AA leather

Material: 100% Zinc Alloy

Ultimate functional golf accessory. Add colour to your game and grip to your swing with the latest designer golf glove. Worn by Ricky Barnes of the PGA Tour. Conforms to R&A rules. £25

New for 2013, this pitchfork and marker set from Aquascutum is a must have for any golfing fan. The magnetic ball marker features signature Aquascutum shield logo and sits on pitchform and hat clip. Pitchfork features signature Aquascutum text logo and makes for an ideal gift. £49

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3. Hugo Boss Boxer Short Luxury 2-Pack Open Green

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4. Lyle & Scott Leather/Canvas Belt Black leather/cotton Material: 100% pique cotton New for 2013, this stylish belt from Lyle & Scott is a great addition to complete your on- and off-course look. Wear this with chinos or denim. The signature embossed green eagle logo is located on the leather ends. £39

5. Ecco Golf Clean Care Protect Leather Kit The ultimate cleaning and care kit for your golf shoes, the Ecco foam cleaner removes ground in dirt and salt stains and revives the performance of leather. The Ecco smooth leather daily cream cleans nourishes and protects all smooth leather and against rain and stains. The Ecco universal waterproofing spray is specially formulated for waterproof, breathable footwear adds a high level of water repellency to leather, suede, nylon and any combination uppers. £15

Material: 100% cotton

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A cotton brief with elastic waistband and gold-coloured tipping. A comfort pant with logo on the front of the waistband. 2-pack comes in a sophisticated box package making it an ideal gift or treat for yourself. £35

6. Gabicci Aztec Argyle Polo Yella Material: 100% cotton This aztec print polo features a contrast coloured button down collar and three-button placket with colourblock sleeves and back panels. A metal Gabicci ‘G’ logo features on a patch at the wearer’s left chest. £49

HAVE YOURSELF A VERY

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CHRISTMAS

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Get the look this festive season with the latest fashions and accessories from trendygolf.com

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7. Tom Morris Lanark Fairisle Scarf Night Sky Material: 100% lambswool New for AW13, this scarf from Tom Morris will certainly keep you looking good out on the course this season. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, this scarf will keep you warm. £75

8. Peak Performance Haines Hat Cerulean

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Material: 50% merino wool / 50% acrylic | lining: 100% polyester This wool mix bobble hat features a soft interior lining for ulimate comfort and stitched peak performace written logo on the front of the hat. A real winter warmer perfect those cold winter mornings out on the links. £40

12. Polo Ralph Lauren Rugby 3 Pack Stripe Sock Material: 78% cotton/19% polyamide/3% elastane

9. JLindeberg Nick Tech Mesh Jersey Green Intense

10. Rlx Lightweight Airflow Bold Chest Stripe French Navy

Material: 55% cotton/ 45% polyester

Material: 92% polyester/ 8% spandex

New for AW13, the Nick from JLindeberg is a multi-layered polo shirt made from a moisture wicking material that will keep you dry and feeling fresh. Bold contrasting twin chest stripes, and larger signature JL bridge logo located on the left and small bridge logo on back of the neck, make this a must-have this season. Regular fit. £79

This technical polo from RLX features a bold chest stripe in contrasting colour, with tipped collar and cuffs. Made from moisture wicking material, this shirt will keep the wearer cool and dry. Additional features include a classic two button placket and signature RLX logo located on the left chest and back centre. £79

This three sock gift set comes in a branded polo golf Ralph Lauren box and features two plain pairs and one striped pair all with the polo player on the outside of the sock. This makes either a great gift or a treat for yourself. £35

11. Original Penguin Earl Pocket Polo Total Eclipse Material: 100% pique cotton This soft handle Earl polo from Original Penguin features piping around the collar, a three-button placket and piping on the arm of the sleeve. Contrast coloured pocket at wearer’s left chest with Original Penguin logo on the pocket. Heritage slim fit. £59


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All the items featured in this page are stocked by trendygolf.com. To make a purchase visit the website direct or call 0845 680 6479. Gift vouchers are also available. All orders over £100 will be dispatched for next day delivery at no additional charge, while postage returns are free.

13. Polo Ralph Lauren Barrow Fit Cord Classic Khaki Material: 99% cotton/ 1% spandex

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New for AW13, this corduroy pant from Ralph Lauren is a must have this season. Featuring a button fasten and zip fly, two open side pockets and two button up back pockets with signature pony logo, it provides additional warmth and style for this season. £115

14. Lacoste Wallet Dark Brown/Red

16. Aquascutum 1/4 Zip Argyle Knit Black Material: 100% merino wool

Material: 100% leather This luxury wallet features two main compartments for bank notes and eight card compartments, four on each side. Great contrasting colour from the outside to the inside makes this an attractive accessory. Lacoste written logo on a metal badge in the bottom right corner of item. Completed in a gift box making this a great gift all year round for yourself or the lucky receipient. £55

15. Hugo Boss Martyn Golf Shoe White Material: 100% leather upper

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A new and improved shoe from Hugo Boss for the 2013 season, this gore-tex lined leather upper oozes sophistication. Hints of the Hugo Boss green throughout the shoe, at the back of the heel, within the sole plate and on the tongue. Subtle logos embossed on the tongue, within the insole and on the outside back portion of the shoe. The best Hugo Boss golf shoe to date. £239

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WIN

New for AW13, this quarter zip argyle sweater from Aquascutum features an all-over Argyle on the front panel with a quarter zip at the neck. A luxurious piece that can be worn on and off course this season. £165

17. Peak Performance Multi Zip T-Shirt Blue Shadow Material: 50% merino wool/ 46% polyester/4% elastane This base layer style featues Thermocool wool technology to help regulate body temperature in adverse conditions. A soft touch with a classic feel but enriched with technology, it features a contrast coloured half-zip with zip guard and contrast P logo at the wearer’s left chest. £65

18. JLindeberg Bona Hybrid Jacket Pertex Quantum Eggshell Material: 100% nylon The Bona Hybrid from JLindeberg is a featherweight jacket in a thin, high performance fabric. Featuring a a full zip with two side pockets and zip chest pocket. Contrasting panels, with signature JL logo located on the left chest and stamped on the left arm. £219

COMPETITION

an Aquascutum holdall full of clothing!

TrendyGolf has teamed up with Aquascutum to offer you guys the chance to win a holdall stuffed full of clothing from its Autumn/Winter 13 collection worth up to £1,500. Aquascutum, a brand once known for the introduction of waterproof wool, was founded in 1851, and has established itself within the golfing market. Fine craftsmanship, luxurious tailoring and attention to detail are applied to all matters sartorial, creating a company with a quintessentially British point of view, for whom the pursuit of style is a way of life. The latest collection from Aquascutum is one of its strongest to date, with an array of knitwear, outerwear, shirts and accessories. Competition closes midnight 30th November 2013 and prize is subject to availability.

QUESTION In what year was Aquascutum founded? A) 1841 B) 1851 C) 1861

ENTER AT trendygolf.com/competition/win-anaquascutum-holdall

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November 2013 / Issue 228

MAGICAL MONTE From its impressive clubhouse, to its stunning Jack Nicklausdesigned championship course and fivestar service, there’s plenty to get excited about playing at Monte Rei in Portugal’s Eastern Algarve, says Matt Nicholson

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is one of that rare breed of golf courses that simply reeks of class. Located in the hills just a few miles to the northeast of the pretty town of Tavira in Portugal’s eastern Algarve, the place lets you know that you have arrived somewhere special the very moment you pass through the impressive entrance. Just as you’d expect from Portugal’s most consistently top-ranked course, everything at Monte Rei oozes quality, and the remarkable attention to detail verges on the obsessive. All this quality comes at a price, of course, but it’s well worth paying if you’re looking to create golfing memories that will last a lot longer than most. Before you head down to the first tee on your mandatory buggy, be sure to hit a few balls on the Tour-standard driving range, where neat pyramids of three-piece Callaway balls wait to be smacked over an enormous area that can comfortably accommodate the full panoply of shots. With a practice putting green and bunker, it’s the ideal preparation for the challenge that awaits on this stunning Jack Nicklaus layout. Created with a sizeable budget, and a lot of earth-moving equipment, the North Course, which first opened in 2006, is without question one of Nicklaus’s finest layouts outside of America, with the quality of the challenge mirrored perfectly by the pristine condition in which it is presented. Each hole is delightfully self-contained, and even knowing that

the Serra do Caldeirao mountains are to the north and the Atlantic Ocean is to the south doesn’t help you maintain your bearings as you weave your way around the vast 70 hectare site. Fortunately, the imposing hilltop clubhouse looms reassuringly as you play up the ninth and 18th. With tee times spread 12 minutes apart, it’s quite likely that you will play the whole round without spotting another group, let alone be held up. It’s millionaires’ golf for non-milionaires, so you won’t feel rushed as you take on the eight par 4s, five par 3s and five par 5s. Although the course measures significantly more than 7,000 yards off the back tees, it is progressively less daunting off the three other tees – Championship, Signature and Forward – but whichever tee you play off, it’s hard to avoid noticing

“The North Course is one of Jack Nicklaus’s finest layouts outside of America, with the quality of the challenge mirrored perfectly by the pristine condition in which it is presented”

the extensive bunkering that is such a key feature of the course. The only upside of landing in one of these many traps is that the sand is made from crushed limestone, which resists plugging, and means that your ball will almost always end up in the flat part of the trap. Talking of hazards, the water that comes into play on 11 of the holes is altogether less forgiving, and rarely do balls that are hit into the numerous ponds, streams and lakes ever reappear. What does make a welcome appearance from time to time, however, is the drinks’ cart, which administers much-welcomed iced towels, as well as a range of cooling beverages and snacks. There isn’t a weak hole among the 18 on offer, kicking off with the par-four opener which plays off an elevated tee down to a fairway that dog legs to the right. Bunkers must be avoided to set up an approach to the green, as they must on almost every hole. Other highlights include the 13th, another downhill two-shotter that features a lake protecting a wickedly undulating green, while the 14th is a pretty par three, where another water feature must be negotiated to find the putting surface. The 18th is a cracking closing par five, with the longest drives setting up a heart-in-mouth shot to the green that must take on the water all the way up the right-hand side of the fairway to the front of the green. As you come off the last, you will be presented with a commemorative Monte Rei bag tag with your name engraved on it, which is another nice touch. The pleasure, however, is far from over, as you haven’t yet explored the spectacular Mediterranean-style clubhouse that is home to the club’s superb Vistas restaurant, which overlooks the course. The head chef, Jamie Perez, hails from the kitchens of El Bulli, once the world’s best restaurant, and the food is easily up to Michelin-starred standards, so it is well worth booking in advance to ensure you get a table. Although Monte Rei is slightly off the beaten track when it comes to the main bulk of other golf courses in the region, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you make the extra effort to find it, and play it. Among the current range of packages on offer is a two-night stay in a luxury one-bedroom villa with one round of golf, including buggy, daily breakfast, one tapas lunch and one fine dining dinner, which costs from €415pp in December, with extra nights from €217. To book, or for further enquiries, visit www.monte-rei.com.


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BREAKS

EXPERIENCE CARLYON’S CLIFF-TOP DRAMA the resort also offers a six-acre practice ground, two putting greens, and a 9-hole approach course, while head pro Mark Rowe regularly runs residential golf schools that are ideal for the serious improver. Handily located for most of Cornwall’s major attractions, the hotel at Carlyon Bay features a wide choice of rooms, many of which offer sea-facing views, while the leisure facilities include a spa (sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy spa bath, indoor heated pool and beauty treatments), tennis courts, snooker room, and two excellent restaurants, the award-winning Bay View for more formal dining, and the relaxed Taste brasserie. Winter golf breaks start from just £55pp/pn, including B&B and a round of golf, while extra rounds can be added for just £20. For the latest offers, visit www.carlyonbay.com or call 01726 812304.

Dorset strikes gold again ceilings, wood burning stoves, sauna in every home, verandas, trolley sheds –in fact, everything to ensure five star accommodation for all guests. Stephen Packer, the club’s PGA Professional, said: “To be acknowledged as a five-star holiday destination is a massive honour, but to achieve the highest marks possible and receive the Gold Award is very special. We all feel so proud here. as so much hard work goes in to running the resort and we are all dedicated to continue to achieve high standards.” Stay-and-Play packages start from £61.95 pp/ pn, based on four people sharing a house, with dinner, breakfast and all golf included. Threenight packages, with three rounds of golf, cost from £175 per person. For bookings call 01929 472244 or visit www. dorsetgolfresort.com.

www.dorsetgolfresort.com THE DORSET GOLF HOTEL AND LUXURY LOG HOMES FOR RENT FREE GOLF Air-conditioned clubhouse facilities l Restaurant offering an extensive menu l On site accommodation in the Dorset Golf Hotel 16 twin rooms l From £67.95 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l

FESTIVE 4BALL OFFER:

Coffee on arrival

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18 Holes of Championship Golf Christmas Baguette: Turkey, Cranberry, Stuffing, Chipolata & Bacon

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ONLY £25.00pp! (min 4) Bring 12 or more and the ORGANISER GOES FREE!

DORSET’S PREMIER GOLFING VENUE NOT TO BE MISSED!

TELEPHONE NO: 01929 472244

FREE GOLF At The UK’s Largest Golf Resort

& - The Only Sport, Craft & Spa Hotels in the UK Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3

Mouth-watering offers at The Manor Golfers are set for a treat at The Manor House Golf Club this winter with the popular Wiltshire venue’s latest stay-and-play packages including the chance to experience fine-dining at its Michelin-starred restaurant. The popular venue in Castle Combe, near Bath, is offering exceptional value to visitors this autumn and winter – with a one-night break and two rounds of golf available from just £99 per person. As well as including 36 holes on its Championship Course, the Waterfall Lodge breaks feature one night’s bed and breakfast, a three-course dinner in the Michelin-starred Bybrook restaurant and unlimited use of the driving range. Packages are available until the end of March, with one person in every eight able to stay and play for free, and accommodation is provided at the club’s Waterfall Lodge, overlooking the 18th green, where guests can relax and unwind after a hard day on the course. For details call 01249 782206 or visit www. manorhousegolf.co.uk.

27 holes of fantastic golf

Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4

Set in the foothills of Dartmoor in Devon, The Ashbury Hotel is the ideal venue for your golf break. Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4

7 x 18 hole course options all on one site! KiGBeARe PineS FoReST AShBuRy BeeCheS oAKWood WiLLoWS

Par 72 Par 72 Par 71 Par 69 Par 69 Par 68 Par 54

6528 6400 6140 5804 5765 5502 1939

Autumn to Spring Specials 23/9/13 - 30/4/14

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The Dorset Golf & Country Club has once again achieved the highest accolade from Visit Britain, winning its five star Gold Award for 2013/14. Visit Britain awarded The Dorset Resort with the Gold Award for its outstanding accommodation, its food, attention to detail, customer service and surroundings, and is one of only a few awarded each year throughout the country. This makes the Dorset Resort the only Five Star Resort Village in the South that is a golf venue - it offers three loops of nine, 27 holes of quality, contrasting golf. The 12 Scandinavian-style houses at the Bere Regis-based resort are made entirely from trees grown in the Nordic forests of Finland. Located in a quiet wooded glade, in a pine tree forest, these beautiful houses sleep up to eight people and can be rented throughout the year. Each one has a fully fitted kitchen, luxurious furniture, natural oiled pine floors, walls and

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Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board

H N yd E ro W Sp a

Boasting some of the finest hotels, restaurants and beaches in Britain, Cornwall has long been an attractive destination for UK holidaymakers, with its temperate climate and stunning countryside proving a winning combination. Add to that some of the most challenging and beautiful golf courses in the country, and you have all the ingredients for the perfect break. Among the county’s most popular golf resorts is the fourstar Carlyon Bay Hotel, located just outside St Austell, whose stunning cliff-top course is like few other layouts in the country, offering drama and fantastic views at every turn. Measuring 6,500 yards, the first 10 holes of the par 72 course play right on the cliff top, affording beautiful views across St Austell Bay. For those looking to sharpen up their games,

• FREE GOLF • FREE BUGGIES • RANGE TOKENS

Early 2014 Bargain Breaks 4nts Midweek from £160pp Full Board! Sports Bowls Table Tennis 5-A-Side Basketball

Additional Facilities FREE to residents of our hotels Racket Sports Leisure Family Tennis Swimming Funhouse Badminton Spa & Sauna Gamezone Squash Snooker Waterslides Short Tennis Ten-Pin Play Area

Ranges Archery Air Pistols Air Rifles Laser Clays

PLUS unique Craft Centre featuring 17 tutored crafts, including Pottery & Woodwork

0800 389 9892 ashburygolfhotel.com All rooms en-suite • Full board • Child rates • Party discounts


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November 2013 / Issue 228

SarahStirk

A favoured destination for honeymooners and snorklers, the Maldives will soon be on the golfing map if an ambitious plan to build the world’s first floating golf course gets off the ground, says Sarah Stirk

ÎLES FLOTTANTES Velea Island will have a short game academy

Villingili offers a nine-hole layout

Keen readers with an eye for luxury will have no doubt heard about the proposed £320 million floating golf course set to open in the Maldives in 2015. As I sit here on a cold, November evening the thought of it simply sounds magical! I visited the Maldives two years ago, and this could well be the perfect excuse to venture back. It’s an idyllic destination in every sense of the word, and it now looks set to be home to one of the most outrageous golfing creations on the planet. Of course, this isn’t some ambitious Middle East-style grandiose project designed on a whim; it’s based on real environmental concerns. The course is part of a massive plan to replace the sinking islands with a network of man-made floating islands. With an average elevation of just five feet above sea level, the Maldives, with its 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, is the lowest country in the world. Amid fears many of the islands will soon sink into the sea, the Maldivian government has launched a joint venture with the architectural firm Dutch Docklands International to build the world’s largest series of artificial floating islands. CEO Paul van de Camp summed up the project: “We told the president of the Maldives we

An artist’s impression of the Royal Indian Golf Club, which will be the world’s first ‘floating’ golf course

“A series of underwater tunnels will connect the holes, while a glass elevator will descend under the waves to the clubhouse”

can transform you from climate refugees to climate innovators. This will be the first and only floating golf course in the world - and it comes complete with spectacular ocean views on every hole. And then there’s the clubhouse. You get in an elevator and go underwater to get to it. It’s like being Captain Nemo down there.” The proposed site is just a fiveminute speedboat ride from the capital of Male, giving golfers the chance to make quick journeys to the mainland, The golf course will be built in India and the Middle East, and the islands then transported to the area, where they will be installed, with

a series of underwater tunnels connecting the holes. The designers also claim the entire resort will be carbon neutral. So, good for the environment and very good for the soul! The Maldives is the epitome of chilled-out relaxation. If there’s one criticism people have, some say there’s not enough to do. For many, myself included, that is exactly why it’s so appealing. Now though, we can add golf to the list of Maldivian recreational activities, which pretty much consists of swimming, snorkeling and diving. When finished, it will surely be the world’s most luxurious golfing destination. The new Royal Indian Golf Club

will be the first 18-hole course in the Maldives, but the Indian Ocean Islands are creating a bit of a golfing stir at the moment. You can currently hone your skills at two resorts, the Kuredu Golf Club, a six-hole, par-three course, and the Villingili Golf Course at the Shangri-La, a great nine-hole layout. Set to open in December is the Velaa Private Island in the northerly Noonu Atoll, which will feature a Troon short game academy. ‘Private Golf Moments by Olazabal’ has been designed by the ex-Ryder Cup captain and two-time Masters champion, and will provide an unrivalled level of intimate tuition. With the latest

technology available, guests are guaranteed a learning experience bespoken to their individual needs. The priciest rooms on the Island will reportedly cost a staggering £20,000 per night, but with Olazabal’s name and an exotic Champagne bar among the signature attractions, it already has me sold! Exciting times indeed for golf in the Maldives, and a whole new meaning to the term water hazard. I can’t wait to pay another visit…

Follow Sarah on Twitter @ SarahSkySports


November 2013 / Issue 228

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TRAVEL

BEAT THE WINTER BLUES AT HERITAGE Heritage The Villas is offering a three-week break in Mauritius from £1,250 per person – an offer designed specifically for golfers who want to beat the winter blues with an extended holiday and golf for free. Included in the price is rental with daily housekeeping in one of Heritage’s luxurious villas, free access to Heritage’s two sister hotels and the relaxed C Beach Club, unlimited green fees at Heritage Golf Club, and a 20% discount in the Domaine’s 12 restaurants and bars. The Peter Matkovich-designed 18-hole championship course covers over 100 acres of tropical terrain, with natural ponds, lakes and palm trees dominating the fairways, and has twice been winner of the prestigious World Travel Awards accolade of ‘Best Golf Resort in Mauritius’ in 2011 and 2012, while the adjacent 9-hole course makes the Heritage Golf Club the only 27-hole club on the island. Heritage The Villas is a collection of luxury villas set within the breathtaking beauty of

a nature reserve. The spacious two- to fourbedroom villas have contemporary décors, spacious patios with verandas and BBQs, infinity pools and even golf buggies for the convenience of getting around. Holiday company Destinology is offering three weeks’ B&B in a three-bedroom villa from £2,263 per person (six sharing), including flights with Emirates (Gatwick), transfers, 20% discount in all bars and restaurants, free green fees at the award-winning golf course, free land and water sports and free access to Heritage’s two sister hotels. The package is valid until April 11, but excludes the Christmas holidays. For more details, visit www.heritagethevillas. mu, or for bookings log on to www.destinology. co.uk or call 0808 231 4618.

Onyria launches ‘drop three shots’ promotion Golfers looking to lower their handicaps over the winter should take up a fantastic offer from Onyria Golf Resorts in Portugal, which is promising to offer a 30% reduction on the cost of the three-day tuition package if the guests fails to drop more than three or more shots. The new package promises golfers with a handicap of between 12 and 36 that it will significantly lower their scores by following a special three-day tuition programme with head professional Gary Nairn. If the anticipated improvement fails to materialise, then guests will be offered a 30 per cent refund. The promotion is valid from now until October 2014 and includes four nights’ twin-share accommodation at the Onyria Marinha Hotel in Portugal. The extensive tuition, which includes video analysis, will take place across three mornings, with Nairn accompanying students onto the Quinta da Marinha golf course to play 18 holes on three afternoons and incorporating mental and strategic aspects of the game. The package costs €746 per person and also includes breakfast. Nairn, an Australian PGA pro with 25 years’ experience, is confident his teaching methods will deliver real benefits to his pupils. He explained: “I’m sure that the combination of time on the range, video analysis, and three full playing lessons will send golfers back home with a smile on their faces and the ability to shoot lower scores.” Located in the Quinta da Marinha estate, close to Cascais, on the Lisbon coast, the luxurious five-star boutique Onyria Marinha opened in 2011. It sits adjacent to the Quinta da Marinha golf course, which enjoys magnificent views to the Atlantic Ocean and the mountain of Sintra. For more details, email reservations@onyriaresorts.com.

Last chance to take on Taba Professional and amateur golfers alike will once again be welcomed to Taba Heights’ stunning championship course later this month for the seventh annual International Pro-Am. Sponsored by the five-star Marriott Beach Resort in Taba Heights, the 72-hole tournament is the highlight of the Taba Heights golfing calendar and will take place from 27 November to 1 December. Challenging for the title and a slice of the jackpot prize fund will be 25 teams of four, made up of one professional and three amateur players. Applications for amateur players to enter the tournament are now open and will cost €695 per person. The price includes seven night’, all-inclusive accommodation at the five-star Marriot Taba Heights Hotel with a free upgrade to a sea-view room. Competitors will also enjoy welcome cocktails, free range balls on practice and competition days, a gala prize dinner and a complimentary meal with 50% discount on drinks at Mexican café and bar, El Fuego. For more information on Taba Heights and the 2013 Pro-Am, visit www. tabaheights.com.

Unlimited golf on offer at Cornelia Golfers looking to enjoy a winter break at the five-star Cornelia Resort in Turkey, should take up one of the many offers currently available through Alternative Travel & Holidays. The resort features Sir Nick Faldo’s first design project in Eastern Europe, which officially opened for play five years ago. The 27-hole course comprises three loops of nine holes – The Prince (3,240 metres), The Queen (3,190 metres) and The King (3,320 metres), which allow a combination of three different 18-hole courses to be played. Built on sandy, pine-clad site,

the course features a threemetre high ridge that runs like a spine throughout the layout to offer a number of changes in elevation. Raised greens and tees are a specific feature of the course, as are the bunkers, which are a break from tradition for Faldo Designs. As well as the 27-hole course and a state-of-the art practice and game improvement facility, the Cornelia Golf Resort features its own 300 bedroom-hotel and a number of associated luxury golf villas. Cornelia is located on the eastern side of Belek, in an excellent seaside and forest location, with a modern,

stylish design and first class amenities that will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike. The associated Cornelia DeLuxe Resort is located just 2km from the golf course. Alternative Travel has a range of golf breaks to the stunning new resort, including seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Cornelia DeLuxe with unlimited golf (for bookings between Jan 6–Feb 1, 2014) for just £485pp, or £402 for groups of eight, where one person goes free. For the very latest offers, call Alternative Travel & Holidays on 020 7923 3230, email info@ turkishgolf.com or visit www. turkishgolf.com.

We’re the golfing holiday experts.

MAURITIUS

MEXICO

from £1,695 PP

5* Belle Mare Plage

12 nights half board & £250 resort credit pp unlimited golf on 2 courses incl. flights & transfers

from £2,550 PP

5* Le Blanc Resort 2 weeks all inclusive

unlimited golf on 2 courses incl. flights & transfers

SOUTH AFRICA

from £1,695 PP 2 weeks Garden Route & Cape Town 12 nights b&b 6 rounds of golf on 6 different courses incl. flights & car hire

from £2,695 PP THAILAND 5* Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort 12 nights b&b 5 rounds of golf on 5 different courses incl. flights & transfers

from £1,199 PP ABU DHABI 4* Crowne Plaza Yas Island 7 nights b&b 5 rounds of golf on 3 different courses incl. flights, airport & golf transfers

ITALY

www.chakatravel.com enquiries@chakatravel.com

from £525 PP

5* Verdura Golf & Spa Resort 5 nights half board 5 rounds of golf excl. flights & transfers

CALL OUR SPECIALISTS

028 9023 2112


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November 2013 / Issue 228

TRAVEL

Hideaways Club offers a homefrom-home for the luxury traveler TARTING S S Y A W IR US A FROM

IGHTS L F T C E R I D LOTTE R A H C O T ER MANCHEST EPT 28TH S MAY 22 TO

7-DAY SPECI FOR ONLY £3AL 49 Enjoy 7

nights B&B in cluding 3 rounds of go lf for just £349 each + a second conse cutive week for just £300 (based on 2 pe ople sharing an d assuming rate of £1 to $1.55)

IRE’S MILLIONA OVERED C IS D N U NEW & LAND GOLF AN IN EACH

The Hideaways Club, a prestigious collection of villas and apartments across the world, has unveiled a bespoke golf package that will enable members to play legendary courses while staying in ultimate luxury. The Hideaways Club aims to redefine luxury second home ownership by combining two aspects to support a luxury lifestyle: an investment in high-end residential properties around the world, and membership of an exclusive private members’ club. Its Golf Share will join the existing Classic and City collections, and offer members the chance to play some of the world’s leading courses, including Valderrama in Spain, Oceanico in Portugal and Steenberg in South Africa. Working on a point-based system, golf members will be able to utilise more than 100 golf properties located around

One of the club’s villas in Vilamoura

the world for 10 days between October and February, with the opportunity to buy extra points for a further 10 days ‘usage. In addition to the benefits that come with being part of the most exclusive club in golf, Golf Share members will also have the luxury of a specialist golf concierge who will take care of equipment rental, buggy rental, caddies and lessons. Members also enjoy significant discounts on tee times and premium golf equipment, as well as exclusive entry into golf days. Stephen Wise, cofounder of The Hideaways Club, said: “Since 2007, The Hideaways Club has

been combining incredible properties with a members’ club feel. We have seen a real gap in the golf market for a truly luxurious escape. Not only does our new Golf Share enable members to play some of the best golf courses in the world, it also ensures they can enjoy their downtime in their stunning villa instead of a soulless hotel.” Following the unveiling of two new properties on the Vilamoura estate in Portugal in October, the Hideaways Club is to broaden its range of properties into Dubai. For more information go to www. thehideawaysclub.com.

MYRTLE B

Chervo has Christmas wrapped up Stay in a historic Southern Plantation, English run B&B Never more than 4 pampered couples Play leisurely golf on fabulously conditioned courses Experience the slow pace and charm of small-town mid America Relax and unwind after golf by the pool sipping “Mint Juleps” Luxury en-suite rooms with gourmet breakfasts and concierge services Golf booked and arranged to your liking Choice of more than 20 courses within a 35-minute drive Just a 50-minute drive south of Charlotte Airport Check out our guest reviews on www.tripadvisor.co.uk or www.destinationnexus.com An INN on York Street 164 York Street, Chester, SC 29706 Tel: 001-803-581-8681 E: info@innonyorkstreet.com W: www.innonyorkstreet.com

Golfers looking to shake up their traditional Christmas routine should consider booking a winter break to northern Italy, where the 27-hole resort at Chervo Golf San Vigilio is offering some great value breaks over the festive period. Forget about stuffing the turkey or boiling the brussels, and let the attentive staff at this fabulous four-star venue take care of all your catering worries, and sit back and enjoy the entertainment. Located in Lombardy, just 15 minutes from Lake Garda, San Vigilio, is a golfer’s paradise, with 27 holes of championship golf coupled with a 9-hole par three course, and superb practice facilities. Designed by the architect Kurt Rossknecht, and built in 2009, the course offers three loops of nine – Benaco, Solferino and San Martino – which are presented

in superb condition throughout the year. With stunning views over the course, the elegant hotel offers 75 comfortable rooms and a wide selection of selfcontained apartments, while guests can also enjoy Turkish baths, saunas, massages and beauty treatments in the onsite spa and fitness centre, which offers two outdoor swimming pools. The spacious clubhouse is home to an excellent restaurant, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served using the finest locallysourced ingredients and fine wines from the region. The resort is hosting special Christmas and New

Year packages this year, which comprise three-night stays for the price of two. The Christmas package, which costs £192pp, includes a specially-prepared sixcourse Christmas lunch, free access to the spa and fitness facilities, and up to 30% discount on green fees and reductions on spa treatments. The New Year package, which includes a gala dinner on New Year’s eve, and all the same benefits of the Christmas package, costs from €328.50pp. While the resort itself is a haven of peace and tranquility, those in search of sites of interest and a more lively nightlife can head to the towns dotted along the shores of Lake Garda, including the ancient Sirmione (left), which is world-renowned for its stunning scenery. For bookings and the latest offers, visit www. chervogolfsanvigilio.it or call 00 39 03091801.


November 2013 / Issue 228

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Me&MyTravels with Nasser Hussain - After years spent touring, the former England cricket captain likes nothing better than going on holiday with his golf clubs rather than his bat My first holiday memory… is going to Spain with my brother when I was about 17. We stayed near Barcelona and it was terrible. There were floods and I ended up missing my flight home. My best holiday… was when I took my wife and kids to Le Touessrok in Mauritius, which was exceptional. The beach, food and weather were perfect. I have a split life, because I travel with the cricket so much, so it’s nice to go away with my family now. My favourite place in the British Isles is… Sharrow Bay in the Lake District. It’s on Lake Ullswater that has a lodge up the road from the main house. I quite like my privacy, so it was perfect. My favourite golf course is… hard to choose. We get to play quite a lot of golf between test matches, as most of the Sky team can swing a club. We had the chance to play Cape

Kidnappers in New Zealand, and not only is it a breathtaking course, but I took the money, so it was memorable all round. I’ve had the good fortune to play in the Dunhill Links championship, and the Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns are about as good as it gets when it comes to links golf. My ideal travelling companions… are my family. I go away far too much with work, so I end up sitting in hotel rooms on my own a lot. The time I spend with my three children is the most precious. Fortunately now I’m not a player I have weeks between test matches when my

Le Touessrok, Mauritius

family can come out and meet me. They once came to see me in Delhi when England was touring India, which was great.

less painful. We recently flew to India with Virgin and the lounge at Heathrow was like a hotel.

The Taj in Mumbai, which overlooks the Gateway of India. It’s a beautiful old building that hasn’t changed its character.

My biggest travel luxury is…flying business class. As a player and as a commentator we get ferried around in business class, which makes long distance travel slightly

The thing is hate about travel is… travelling. Even checking into a hotel becomes a pain when you’ve got three small children with you. We recently stayed at a hotel in Cochin, India and we were ferried to our room by a small boat, which was the last thing we wanted to do after being on a long flight.

My best meal abroad… was at Le Touessrok. They put on a buffet, which I’m usually not keen on, but the atmosphere was fantastic and the food was incredible. They’re great with children there too.

Cape Kidnappers

The Taj Hotel, Mumbai

My worst travel experience was… when I was on a cricket tour in Sri Lanka, and my family came out to meet me while I was there. We travelled up to Kandy and stayed at a hotel where they all caught salmonella. My favourite hotels are… Le Touessrok in Mauritius, the Lighthouse in Galle and Dolphin Square in London. I really love

The first thing I do when I arrive somewhere new…is run through the TV channels. I like to hide in my room away from Ian Botham and David Gower! My dream dream trip…would be to take my kids skiing in Canada when they’re a bit older. My wife has family over there, too. Nasser Hussain will be commentating on this winter’s Ashes Series for Sky Sports.


Golf News November 2013  

Read the UK's No.1 Golf Paper - Dye designs to build a new championship course on outskirts of London