Read the UK’s No.1 Golf Paper online at www.golfnews.co.uk
Issue 217 | December 2012 - January 2013
WORLD BEATER Rory McIlroy reflects on a golden year P20-21
EXCLUSIVELY ENGINEERED FOR WOMEN Engineered speciﬁcally for women with slower swing speeds, the Serene Series technology will help you hit the ball longer and straighter. With the driver and fairway woods you’ll discover new distance through high-launching, longer-carrying shots. Easy to launch, and the highly forgiving iron/hybrid blended set will make you longer with every club. Add PING’s industryleading custom ﬁtting process and you’ll be hitting the ball longer and straighter than ever. TO EXPERIENCE THE SERENE SERIES, VISIT A PING® FITTING SPECIALIST OR PING.COM.
©2012 PING 82000 PHOENIX, AZ 85071
12/09/2012 EWEN MURRAY P22 | TOUR NEWS P24 | MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ P25 | PRO SHOP P28 | WATERPROOFS P30 | ME & MY TRAVELS P39
In a world where the finest details matter, London Golf Club continues to raise the bar. As a European Tour Destination we promise a warm welcome, first-class service and a relaxing environment from the moment you arrive. Our two championship courses, designed by Jack Nicklaus are maintained in pristine condition all year-round and have some of the finest putting surfaces in the country.
EXPERIENCE LONDON GOLF CLUB THIS WINTER
per person Monday – Thursday
• English breakfast muffin with tea/coffee • 18 holes of golf on International Course • No temporary greens • Soup at halfway house • Traditional Kentish main meal • Inclusive of range balls and use of practise facilities Available Monday – Thursday from 1st November to 31st March subject to availability. Must be booked in advance.
S U R PA S S I N G E X P E C TAT I O N S
STANSTED LANE | ASH | KENT | TN15 7EH | 01474 879899 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.londongolf.co.uk
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Read the UK’s No.1 Golf Paper online at www.golfnews.co.uk
Issue 217 | December 2012 - January 2013
Golf News, The Studio, 14 Deanway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6DG. Tel: 01273 556377. email: email@example.com. Website: www.golfnews.co.uk Managing Director Matt Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published by BlueGreen Media Contributors Paul Mahoney, Clive Agran, Ewen Murray, Denis Pugh, Alistair Tait
WORLD BEATER Rory McIlroy reflects on a golden year P20-21
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FOR WOMEN Engineered speciﬁcally for women with slower swing speeds, the Serene Series technology will help you hit the ball longer and straighter. With the driver and fairway woods you’ll discover new distance through high-launching, longer-carrying shots. Easy to launch, and the highly forgiving iron/hybrid blended set will make you longer with every club. Add PING’s industryleading custom ﬁtting process and you’ll be hitting the ball longer and straighter than ever. TO EXPERIENCE THE SERENE SERIES, VISIT A PING® FITTING SPECIALIST OR PING.COM.
©2012 PING 82000 PHOENIX, AZ 85071
EWEN MURRAY P22 | MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ P25 | PRO SHOP P28 | WATERPROOFS P30 | ME&MY TRAVELS P39
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JOIN THE CLUB
Use them or lose them
uality is remembered long after price is forgotten. Those words, uttered by Sir Henry Royce of Rolls Royce fame in the early 1900s, are well worth remembering in golf as we enter 2013, a year which many observers are heralding as the start of the race to the bottom. Judging by some of the membership and green fee offers I’ve seen in recent months, golf clubs are doing anything and everything to hold onto their existing members and encourage casual golfers to play more often. While joining fees have disappeared from all but the most in-demand clubs, we’re entering a new era of two-forone memberships, and half-price green fees as a matter of course during off-peak periods.
After enduring several miserable summers, a recession, and a sea change in the way we golfers approach our connection with the game, many clubs are clearly at a financial crossroads, and have been forced into cutting their margins to boost turnover. While welcomed by some cash-strapped golfers in the short term, this headlong dive into indiscriminate price-cutting cannot be sustainable, and it cannot be good for the longterm health of the game. With many clubs no longer able to rely on an annual windfall of subs to keep the tills ticking over, there is a danger that some clubs will go under if they continue to undersell themselves in this way. While choice and value for money are the consumer
ME 201 MB 3 OP ERSH TIO I NS P
Memberships available at East Sussex National
watchwords these days, the former will quickly dry up if we, as golfers, focus on the lowest possible deals and the giveaway headline prices. If we insist on paying peanuts, standards will inevitably drop, and consequently our enjoyment of the game will be diminished. Of course clubs need to invest in facilities to make themselves attractive destinations, but they can only do that with a strong supply of customers. It’s a chicken and egg situation that can only end one way – the chicken dies. So my advice in 2013 is to use your local golf clubs or prepare to lose them. Those golfers that rely on a particular club being around in a few years time, but don’t join it or play it very often, might be in for a big shock one day.
Priority booking on two championship courses
Full Competition & Events Calendar
All Weather Driving Range (plus free range balls)
Bag Drop, Free Club Storage & Hospitality Service
Short Game Area & Putting Greens
Free Use of Pull Trolleys
Members Only Bar
All Year Play on Greens and Tees.
Extra members’ benefits & discounts available at Horsted Health Club, Spa and Hotel ∞ INTERMEDIATE MEMBERSHIP AGE NOW INCREASED TO 29 ∞
Visit us & find out more: 01825 880256 | www.eastsussexnational.co.uk East Sussex National, Little Horsted, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5ES shire-130x180-v11 16/11/12 16:54 Page 1
LONDON’S BEST WINTER GOLF COURSE
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
The finest downland course in Sussex...
CHERKLEY PLANS FACE RENEWED OPPOSITION Plans to turn the Cherkley estate into a hotel and golf resort have received mix reaction
Bookings now being taken for 2013, in our Dormy House, open March to November Twin bed en-suite rooms with a five course dinner, bed & full english breakfast, including two rounds of golf from £80 per person per night GREEN FEE VISITORS CAN NOW BOOK ONLINE AT SPECIAL PRICES go to www.seafordgolfclub.co.uk and follow the visitor tee booking link For a brochure and more information call Sue on: 01323 892442, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.seafordgolfclub.co.uk
Special Winter Society Deals available – to book call
SEAFORD GOLF CLUB SEAFORD GOLF CLUB, FIRLE ROAD, SEAFORD, EAST SUSSEX, BN25 2JD
GOLF NEWS READER’S OFFER
GREEN FEE MONDAYS & FRIDAYS Offer available 3rd January – 28th February 2013 Mondays and Fridays only.
All Clubhouse and Pro Shop facilities available 7.30am – 4.00pm Contact the Pro Shop on 01403 753255 or e.mail email@example.com for further details.
The alternative Membership Opportunity for only £295! Wildwood FlexiPlay, the first and the best in the area, is a special club membership which allows golfers huge benefits in both financial and convenience terms. Wildwood is the most comprehensive golfing facility with 27 holes of Championship Golf, Par 3 Course and a warm and friendly clubhouse. FREE INTRODUCTORY LESSON FOR NEW FLEXIPLAY MEMBERS!
Campaigners fighting against the development of a hotel and golf course on a country estate in Surrey are to launch a new legal challenge to the plans. Lawyers representing the Surrey branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England have written to Mole Valley District Council announcing their intention to apply for a judicial review of the decision to permit the development at Cherkley Court, near Leatherhead. The council confirmed it had responded to the letter and a spokesman said it plans to stand by its decision to allow the multimillion project at the former home of Lord Beaverbrook to proceed. “The letter cites a number of grounds where it claims the council was at fault in the way it considered the application, and seeks for the application to be quashed,” the spokesman said. “The council has carefully considered the letter and is robustly refuting the grounds cited in it.” A judicial review is the final chance to overturn a planning decision, and those applying for it must prove proper procedure has not been followed in the planning process. John Hoad, the CPRE’s national head of planning, said: “It’s a big step to mount a legal challenge. You’ve got to raise a lot of money and you put your reputation at risk in the process.” Mr Hoad claimed that Longshot – the company behind the golf course plan – had tried to get the national CPRE to stop supporting the Surrey branch. “They are putting quite a lot of pressure on the trustees,”
Wallis retains Turkey crown
Treble top: Richard Wallis claimed his third PGA Play-Off title in Turkey
Wildwood Golf & Country Club Our business is your pleasure Horsham Road, Alfold (Nr Cranleigh), Surrey GU6 8JE Tel. 01403 753255 e.mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.wildwoodgolf.co.uk
he said. “They have written a letter saying they believe both the local branch and ourselves have been campaigning against this development to an unreasonable degree in relation to our charitable objectives, which is a strange reaction, as our charitable objectives are exactly that: campaigning to protect the countryside.” A spokesman for Longshot said: “We welcome Mole Valley District Council’s decision to defend their resolution to grant our planning application. We have taken our own legal advice and believe the council has no case to answer. We see this simply as a last attempt by the few selfinterested people who do not care about the public funds they will be wasting.” One of Cherkley Court’s biggest supporters is local MP Sir Paul Beresford. He said: “I don’t believe that this development is an infringement on the green belt and the Government doesn’t either. Having looked at absolutely everything, I am in complete favour of the plans going ahead. It saves the court, saves the building, and secures the grounds.” The planned golf course at Cherkley Court will be a co-design between fivetime Open champion Tom Watson and David McLay Kidd. Joining fees for the golf club will be in the region of £100,000 for founder members, with membership numbers capped at 500. The conversion of the house and grounds, to incorporate a hotel, two restaurants, a spa, herb kitchen and cooking school, is expected to cost £60 million.
Kent professional Richard Wallis overcame some mid-round swing gremlins to successfully defend his Titleist PGA Play-Offs crown in Turkey and realise his goal of qualifying for the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team. The Walmer & Kingsdown ace triumphed by four strokes after an exciting battle with Ireland’s David Higgins, which was made all
the more intriguing as both struggled with their games over Antalya Golf Club’s PGA Sultan Course. Lighting storms wiped out the first round, reducing the £15,000 event to 54-holes, and leaving the leading group of Wallis, Higgins and Hutcheon to resume their interrupted third round on the seventh tee, but the leading two struggled to find rhythm, particularly Higgins, who trailed by two strokes standing on the par five 16th. Wallis handed Higgins a glimmer of hope when he found water off the tee but a pitch to two feet enabled him to salvage par while Higgins missed his birdie putt from the same distance. A hooked drive off the last cost Higgins a bogey on the last with Wallis sealing victory in style by chipping in off the green for a round of 70 to add to rounds of 67 and 68 for a eight-under-par total. “I’m absolutely over the moon. I came here hoping to finish in the top three and get a PGA Cup spot, so I’m really pleased to have achieved that, especially after the collapse of my swing on the back nine,” said Wallis, who is the first man to win the PGA Play-Offs twice.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
New clubhouse for Seaford Head
New Society Packages
The new clubhouse at Seaford Head will command superb views over The Channel
Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes of Golf and a One Course Meal
To book call the Golf Office on 01580 201800 or e-mail email@example.com Coffee Coffee & Bacon & Bacon Roll, Roll, 18 Holes 18 Holes of Golf of Golf and aand Onea One Course Course MealMeal One of the oldest publiclyfunded golf clubs in the South East is set to bring itself firmly into the 21st century next year, following the approval of plans to build a new clubhouse. Founded in 1887, Seaford Head Golf Course is steeped in history, and is one of the most picturesque in the country, with panoramic views over the English Channel and the South Downs. The club has been ‘making do’ with a temporary clubhouse since 1963, but over half a century of wear and tear has made it ‘unfit for purpose’, according to its management team. Seaford Town Council has had plans to rebuild the clubhouse for many years, but only recently has finally given the go ahead to
construct a new clubhouse on the site of the existing building. With the golf course being located in a National Park and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, planning consent was far from straightforward, but local planning officers and the South Downs National Park Authority worked together to approve a final design that met all requirements with regards to its construction and impact on the environment. The clubhouse will have a green roof to blend in with the downland, while the upper floor will feature untreated horizontal timber boarding and a cladding of limestone on the lower ground floor. Facilities will include a full catering kitchen and bar with an outside
balcony, where visitors will be able to take advantage of the views of Seaford Bay. Always a popular society and green fee course, the new clubhouse will enable the club to cater for larger societies and other functions, while still being able to support a vibrant membership. Construction on the £1.7m project is to start early in the New Year, with completion due by the end of 2013. Temporary accommodation will be in place so that the day-to-day running of the club can continue during the construction process. With a reputation for being playable throughout the year, the club is currently running a ‘winter warmer’ deal, with should prove popular with golfers from all over the region.
No minimum numbers!
To book To book call the callGolf the Golf Office Office on 01580 on 01580 201800 201800 or e-mail or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Choose from the three new society packages – • Woosnam • Faldo • Montgomerie. From £35.00 to include Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes on the Woosnam followed by a 1 Course Meal. Please contact the Golf Office for further information 01580 201800 Package to include or email Teresa@dalehill.co.uk One round of golf on the Nick Faldo designed course at Chart Hills
Shared Twin or Double room at the 4 star award winning Dale Hill Hotel including Breakfast One round of golf on the Ian Woosnam designed course at Dale Hill PackagePackage to include to include One round Oneofround golf on of the golfNick on the Faldo Nick designed Faldo designed course atcourse ChartatHills Chart Hills Shared Twin Shared or Twin Double or room Double at room the 4 star at the award 4 starwinning award winning Dale HillDale HotelHill including Hotel including BreakfastBreakfast One round Oneofround golf on ofwww.leaderboardgolf.co.uk the golfIan on Woosnam the Ian Woosnam designeddesigned course atcourse Dale Hill at Dale Hill
Winter Offer at Chart Hills
You can play at Chart Hills this winter from just £40pp. Play on any Tuesday or Thursday for £40pp and Fridays for £50pp. This offer also includes a full English Breakfast before you tee off. Available until March 31st 2013
Corporate Partnership Programme
For £1250 + VAT you can play 50 rounds of golf at Chart Hills on any Sunday afternoon or anytime on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year. Call the membership manager for more details Chart Hills Golf Club, Weeks Lane, Biddenden, Kent . TN27 8JX T:01580 292222 W: www.charthills.co.uk E@ firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
The 9-hole course at West London Golf Centre is set to open in the autumn of 2013
LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE GOLF DAY VENUE?
Ferdinand on target at West London Golf Centre opening Although former England striker Les Ferdinand was well versed in the art of hitting the target during his 10-year international football career, he was slightly less confident when faced with finding the middle of a 100-yard wide driving range, as he hit the opening tee shot at a brand new golf centre in Ruislip, West London. But the ex-Spurs frontman fired a powerfulstruck shot up the middle of the range, coming to rest well over the 200-yard marker on the 26-bay range that forms part of the facilities at the West London Golf Centre, which officially opened on December 6. Located just off the A40 Western Avenue, the centre is set to become London’s latest golfing hot spot, with the driving range complemented by a large American Golf Store, a Cranfield Golf Academy, a practice putting green and chipping area, and by next autumn, a 9-hole golf course. There is also a stylish licensed café, serving drinks and light refreshments, which will be open until 9.30pm every day of the week. The West London Golf Centre has been developed by the Menai Davis family, who set up and run The Shire Golf Club in Barnet. The golf centre forms the first part of an ambitious five-year plan that will see three more new golf courses built across north and west London by 2017, including the 3,500-yard 9-hole course currently being built on site, a new 18-hole West London Links course adjacent to the centre, and a further 18-hole course that is still in the early stages of planning. “The West London Golf Centre will be ideal for golfers of all levels, young or old,” says Ceri Menai Davis. “To practise and improve, golfers want a good range, with great range balls at the right prices – which we’re offering. We think the addition of one of the world’s top coaching schools, and Europe’s largest golf retailer, are the icing on the cake, and we hope that all golfers in north and
Les Ferdinand strikes the opening blow
west London give us a try soon.” Scott Cranfield, who attended the launch day, and whose staff will be running the academy, is excited about the centre’s facilities and its accessibility to such a large number of the capital’s population. “West London Golf Centre promises to be one of golf’s premier places to learn, play and shop within easy access of the city,” he said. “We’re delighted to be a part of this new and growing development, and especially look forward to helping anyone interested in developing their game and experiencing Cranfield Golf Academy’s unique approach.” As a launch offer, golfers who use the range before the end of January are entitled to a free 60-minute swing assessment at the Academy. There will also be special offers on range balls and equipment in the golf shop, as well as in the café.
Open for business: The tape-cutting ceremony was attended by the Menai Davis family and a select group of celebrity guests
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
A TALE OF TWO FISHERS Ross Fisher qualified for the PGA Tour
Two of the region’s leading professionals, who happen to share the same surname, ended their week at the PGA Tour’s qualifying school with very different results, following six gruelling rounds in California. Ross Fisher and Oliver Fisher may not be brothers, but they were brothers-inarms at the marathon test, which resulted in unbridled joy for the former and complete despair for the latter. For former Ryder Cup player Ross, a brilliant final-round 66 meant he finished second and can look forward to a new life on the most glamorous circuit in world golf next year. But for Essex-based tour pro Oliver, a heartbreaking bogey at the final hole cost him one of the 25 highlyprized cards on offer. Ross, who practises at The Wisley Golf Club in Surrey, underlined his determination
to move west in 2013 by giving up guaranteed prize money at last month’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai so that he could prepare properly in California for the qualifying school. His hard work paid off, as opening scores of 69, 69 and 65 in the six-round event left him well placed at halfway. A fourth-round 72 saw him slip back, however, and he knew he could not afford another average final round. In the end, he went the other way to finish a stroke behind Korean winner Dong-hwan Lee. “This game can take you high and drag you low,” said Ross. “This season has not been my best, but it was great to come here and get my card. It sets me up for next year.” Fisher was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor in 2010, but became something of a forgotten man during the disappointing season that
followed. “This year has been more like a year in progress,” he added, a point underlined by runner-up finishes at the Scandinavian Masters in June and the Portugal Masters last month. It was a different story for 24-year-old Oliver, who made a brave effort at getting his US Tour card. Three birdies in a row from the 15th took him into the qualifying positions, but a bogey at the last proved fatal. Fisher will now either have to play on the Web. com Tour in 2013, or return to the European Tour, where he finished 95th in the 2012 Race to Dubai, after making the cut in his last five events following a largely disappointing season. This was the final US Tour qualifying school, as next year’s cards will be given to the leading finishers on the US Tour’s second tier circuit, the Web.com Tour.
CHIPSTEAD GOLF CLUB NEW WEEKEND SOCIETY PACKAGES FOR 2013
• Coffee and Bacon Bap On Arrival • 18 holes of Golf followed by • 2 course carvery Cost £48.50 pp • Golfer’s Brunch followed by • 18 holes of Golf Cost £36.95 pp 20 Book fobrefore or more arch 31st M ganiser r and the oFREE s e go
Weekday packages from £24.95 - see “Societies” page on our website
Visit our website WWW.CHIPSTEADGOLF.CO.UK Please Call Emma or Gary Now !! on 01737-555781 or email email@example.com For further information.
Ollie Fisher just missed out on gaining his US tour card
Visit one of Surrey’s hidden gems… How Lane, Coulsdon, Chipstead Surrey CR5 3LN
Windlesham upgrades clubhouse GOLF CLUB
Bigger and better: Windlesham’s clubhouse is to be extended
Plans have been unveiled to extend the clubhouse at Windlesham Golf Club in Surrey. The popular private members’ club, which carried out a major clubhouse refurbishment several years ago, has begun work on an extension of the existing building, which is hoped will be finished by May. The works to be undertaken include an extension to the pro shop, kitchen, restaurant and staff accommodation, as well as the enlargement of the club’s front façade and patio, and the addition of a new porch to the front lobby. The club is hoping to minimise disruptions to the normal running of events, although it is expected that golfers will have to enter the club via an alternative entrance during the extension of the front lobby, while the trolley and buggy park is also being temporarily relocated so as to allow convenient access to the course. Windlesham’s general manager, Stewart Judd, said: “This is a really exciting
development phase for the club, and we are looking forward to delivering an improved product and service to all our members and guests upon completion of the works. Disruption and access limitations will be kept to a minimum wherever possible, but this will be difficult for a project of this size.” Windlesham has recently completed a significant renovation to its 6,650-yard championship course, with new tees on several holes, and a complete redesign of the third and fourth holes. Commenting on the next stage in the club’s development, Peter Lumley, Windlesham’s managing director, said: “We are well aware that our ongoing investment in the club’s buildings and grounds bucks the trend of UK clubs that seem to be battening down the hatches. However, during austere times, we believe that it’s even more important to improve our offering to our members, so that they can relax and enjoy their golf and leisure.”
On Par Rates... Winter Golf Days
Set in a magnificent 543 acre country estate, Brocket Hall is home to one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world. Enjoy a welcome gift and Brocket bacon roll on arrival, followed by unlimited warm up at the Palmerston Golf Academy. The package also includes management of Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive competitions, 18 holes of golf on one of our two championship courses and a delicious 2-course lunch. Organiser goes free. Rates from £69.00 per person. Preferential members rates available. Please contact us for further details or to make a booking 01707 368 705 | firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
News in Brief
Pepperell prepares for life on European Tour
Eddie Pepperell is all set to take on some of the world’s best golfers after securing a place on the 2013 European Tour. The Abingdon golfer turned professional less than 18 months ago, but will tee it up alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood from December. Making the jump to the elite level is a huge achievement for the 21-year-old, who is the first golfer from Oxfordshire to qualify for the European Tour in 20 years. Pepperell clinched his card after shooting a six-under-par 65 in the fourth round of the Challenge Tour’s Apulia Grand Final in Italy. The joint seventh place, which came with prize money of €10,428, took his total earnings for the year to €72,378, and lifted him to 13th on the final money list, where the top 20 win places on the main tour. Despite his lack of experience, the talented youngster believes he is well prepared to take the step up. “I feel like I’ve done my apprenticeship,” Pepperell said. “Although I’ve only been a pro for 14 or 15 months, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in that period. I’ve been around quite a long time as an amateur and a junior, working my way up the ranks, so I don’t feel like this has happened too soon, even though I’m only 21. I feel like I’m ready for this opportunity to learn a lot and learn fast. Hopefully I’ll perform.” Although Pepperell’s entire golfing career had been building towards winning a place on the elite Tour, the achievement was not followed by a night of raucous partying,
Four talented teenagers from the South East are among 10 amateurs selected to compete for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney from 16-20 January. They are Jack Singh-Brar (Brokenhurst Manor), Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall), Harry Ellis (Meon Valley) and Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak).
HILLMAN TREBLE Maidenhead won the BB&O’s Hillman Trophy for the third time in its history after beating Sonning 5-2 to Final at Temple Golf Club in Berkshire. The club previously won the trophy in 1993 and 1997.
Michael Smith stormed to victory in the British Minigolf Open in Margate to become the first player to win all three BMA Majors, following earlier wins in the British Championships and Castle Golf World Crazy Golf tournament. He was 29-under par after six rounds, and finished 12 shots ahead of runner-up Johan Ahlander.
as one might have expected. He said: “I was in bed pretty early after the grand final, I was absolutely shattered. It’s been a long year and I was playing on adrenalin, really. It’s sunk in a little bit now, though.” But there were plenty of celebrations at Frilford Heath, the club Pepperell represents, and where he played much of his junior golf. Jimmy James, Frilford’s general manager, said: “As a club, it’s been a huge topic of conversation. Lots of members were ringing me up during the final round, they were all following his scores on the internet. All his hard work has paid off. “We have seen the amount of training he puts in – his work ethic is just superb. But also he’s come out a really nice young man, who has got his head screwed on.”
Gardner wins Titleist title on merit Hampshire county player Eleanor Gardner was the only England-based golfer to secure a title in the prestigious 2012 Titleist Order of Merit. Nearly 29,000 players from across the UK and Ireland entered the competition, which was organised by handicap website HowDidiDo.com, and 21-year-old Gardner, who is a member at Botley Park in Southampton, won the ladies’ division one title. The two-handicapper, who is currently looking for a job in golf course management after obtaining her degree, said: “It’s really exciting to win the competition and to be the only English winner. I normally say I’m
British, but I’m happy to be English for this! It was such a surprise to be told I’d won, as I signed up for the competition and forgot about it. The HowDidiDo website is a really good idea, because everything’s online and it does it all for you. If you’re busy or disorganised, like me, you don’t need to worry about inputting your scores. The trophy’s lovely, and I was delighted to win all the Titleist equipment, because I’ve always played Titleist equipment.” Divisional winners each received a haul of Titleist gear, including a golf bag, glove, cap and a dozwen Pro V1s, while the overall winner won a full set of woods and hybrids.
WINTER WARMER PACKAGE FOR TWO
Coffee on arrival 18 Holes Range Balls
Only £29 for 2
For further information please call 0208 657 8811
Monday to Friday (Valid from 1 December 2012 to 31st March 2013) Addington Road, Sanderstead, Surrey, CR2 8YA
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Young Surrey golfers recreate Ryder Cup thrills
TENTERDEN SET TO HOST GOLF SOCIETY CHAMPS Tenterden Golf Club in Kent has unveiled its schedule for the 2013 Golf Society Championship. The championship gives golf societies an opportunity to take their activities to a new and exciting level. First and second rounds, and the final, are played over Tenterden’s 6,500-yard course. The first round can be played on one of eight dates from April to June – either Friday mornings or Sunday afternoons. The winning team from each first round day will go through to the second round, which will be played in July, with the final being held in September. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.golfsocietychampionship.co.uk. The closing date for entries is March 1, 2013. The defending champions in 2013 will be Den Golf Society, based in Smarden. Winning captain Roger Wilmot (pictured above) said: “Everybody got a buzz from last year’s championship – for us it felt like we were playing for the Ryder Cup. We’re already looking forward to the 2013 championship as we much enjoyed last year’s competition, and were so well looked after by the club’s staff.”
Team Europe junior golfers gained revenge over Team USA juniors at Oak Park Golf Club in Surrey last month, as the fourth annual Oak Park Academy ‘Ryder Cup’ went to the home side in a tight finish. The two-day match enjoyed mixed conditions, with Saturday’s sunshine giving way to storms on Sunday, which ensured a tough challenge for the 24 young golfers taking part. The last match finished as darkness fell, with Europe’ clinching a narrow 13-11 victory. Ten-year-old Robert Wheeler was one of Europe’s heroes, winning three points from three matches – although in reality all the players were from the same club, and there were no actual Americans in the event! “What a fantastic weekend! I’m so proud of all of the kids,” said Oak Park’s Director of Coaching, Gavin Grenville-Wood, who was also Team Europe’s captain. “The matches were played in a fantastic spirit, and the standard of golf was amazing. But the highlight was that none of the tents or gazebos blew down
when the big storm came through on Sunday!” Grenville-Wood and Team USA captain Paul Mayoh have taught hundreds of local children to play golf at Oak Park over the last four years, and plans for a fifth annual event in 2013 are already underway. Almost 80 junior golfers competed in three weeks of Academy Ryder Cup qualifying events in September, with training sessions and golf lessons given out along the way. Sixteen players qualified by right at the end of the process, with each captain then having four additional ‘picks’ to boost his team. “The Academy Ryder Cup at Oak Park is incredible fun for our junior golfers,” said Grenville-Wood. “Six of our graduates have gone on to
play county-level golf, and in fact four of our competitors this year – Bobby Wheeler, Christian Lindgreen, Richard Pharo and 12-year old Georgina Carter – have already played golf for Hampshire U12s this season.” As general manager of one of Surrey’s most popular golf clubs, Simon Edwin believes that the Academy Ryder Cup sends out the right message to the local community. “Golf should be as inclusive as possible,” he said, “and we are known in the area as having one of the most thriving Junior sections of any golf club. The work which Gavin, Paul and the Academy coaching staff do week-in, week-out, not only produces better golfers of all ages, but it also plays its part in growing participation in the sport.”
News in Brief GARON MAKES SHORTLIST
Garon Park Golf Club in Essex has been shortlisted for the 2013 GolfMark Club of the Year Awards. The club, which has already been visited by the judging panel, faces two other rivals to the prestigious title, with the overall winner being announced on February 7 at England Golf’s development conference. The award recognises GolfMark clubs that have shown an outstanding and innovative contribution to junior and beginner golf.
BABS BAGS A BRACE OF ACES! Barbara Trenchard was the toast of Bognor Regis Golf Club last month, after the 22-handicapper bagged two hole-in-ones during the same round at the West Sussexbased club. The 64-year-old’s double aces were achieved at the 198-yard second and the 132-yard fifth.
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
News in Brief
HEADLEY COURT SALUTE FOR PGA PROS A group of unsung PGA professionals who have been coaching injured soldiers received special recognition at Headley Court in Surrey last month. The 11 have been volunteering their time as part of a PGA Golf Buddy programme, which pairs up pros with soldiers, many of whom have suffered serious injuries. The Golf Buddy initiative has placed around 20 soldiers with PGA pros across the country, with the aim of introducing them to golf as part of their rehabilitation. And it was in recognition of their contribution that the pros were invited to attend the Surrey base, where they were given a tour of the medical rehabilitation centre and were also presented with plaques by Lt Col Tristan Crew, the clinical development officer for the base. “What the PGA pros are doing in the Golf Buddy programme is very special,” he said. “Sport is ideal for our guys. Many of them have been used to playing rugby and football, but golf’s handicapping system enables them to compete against their peers. More importantly, they get a lot of confidence from playing golf. The support of the golfing community has been huge, with 230 golf clubs giving us free green fees, while Ping and
WEST HOVE WIN
Sussex golfers Jill Corbett and Jenny Davis emerged triumphant from a three-way tie to win the betterball event at the England Golf Women’s Murcia Challenge in Spain. The pair, from West Hove, captured the first prize on countback from Frances Payne and Kay Bone (Essex), after scoring 40 points at Mar Menor.
Brookmans Park assisant Laurence Allen has won the Hertfordshire PGA match play final after beating Crue Elliott at The Grove. Both players produced some sparkling golf in a match in which both held the lead, before Allen won 2&1.
HALL NOMINATED Dorset’s Georgia Hall has been shortlisted for the 2012 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. The 16-year-old from Remedy Oak, who is the current European No.1, follows in the footsteps of another Woburn’s Lauren Taylor, who went on to win the award last year.
RMS BAGS GONG Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club scooped two major awards at the recent Golf Trade Industry Awards held at Wentworth Club. Dean Rodgers won the PGA Assistant of the Year Award, and the club won the Pro Shop of the Year Award.
Callaway have generously supported us with equipment.” The PGA pros used their coaching skills to help soldiers overcome a range of physical disabilities, with a new target for many of them of qualifying for the Captain Pietsch Trophy, which sees injured British war veterans take on their American counterparts in a Ryder Cup-style event. PGA captain Eddie Bullock, who attended the presentation, paid tribute to both the soldiers and the work of the PGA members. He said: “It has been very humbling to listen to some of the experiences of the soldiers. I was fortunate to represent the PGA during a trip to Afghanistan last year, and the one thing I remember is being able to put a smile on faces because of the game of golf. I would like to thank all the PGA members involved in this programme, and I’m sure their efforts are appreciated.” The PGA members present at Headley Court were Sarah Bennett (Three Rivers), Terry Gosden (Tidworth Garrison), Rob Humphrey (Tyrrells Wood), Parnell Reilly (Bradley Park), Lee Skidmore (Humberstone Heights), Brian Mudge (New Malton), Matthew Stables (North Weald), Phil Taylor (Pachesham Park), Craig Thomas (The Golf Academy), Jon Woodroffe (World of Golf, New Malden), and David Young (World of Golf, Sidcup).
HATS OFF TO TRILBY WINNER A one-handicap amateur from Derbyshire has won the Trilby Tour Final after beating 120 rivals at Stoke Park Golf Club in Buckinghamshire. Carl Powell, a 41-year-old construction manager from Ripley, scored 36 points in the 18-hole final, and then beat the remaining three finalists in a nail-biting play-off, which was televised for Sky Sports. “This has absolutely broken me. I never want to go through that pressure again,” said Powell, who
decided to enter the Trilby Tour after watching it on television last year. “I took a look at it on Sky Sports and it didn’t take me long to decide I was going to enter. What a great event!” Powell, a member of Ormonde Field Golf Club in Codnor, threw his trilby hat into the air after holing the winning putt. Saville Row tailor William Hunt, who founded the Trilby Tour series, said: “A massive well done to Carl -
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what a game, and what a play-off! His standard of play was superb throughout and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. He really did seem to come out of nowhere and what a victory! I don’t think anyone saw it coming, but that’s the fantastic thing about the Trilby Tour – it really can be anyone’s game. It all depends on how you cope on the day in front of the crowds and the cameras.” Places for next year’s
Carl Powell in action at The Trilby Tour Final
tour are already filling up, with new additions to the format including a single and doubles matchplay event,
as well as a better ball pairs’ competition. Entries can be made online at www.williamhunttrilbytour.com.
There’s nothing better than getting out into the fresh air, even in the winter. So why not take advantage of our great Winter Warmers*? From Monday to Friday you can play 18 holes of golf followed by a drink or, alternatively, soup and a bread roll, all for just £14.95. At weekends it is only £18.95. Come along any time after 12 noon and try out the course, most golfers find it challenging, but great fun. One thing is sure, you’re bound to receive a very warm welcome. *Offer runs from 1st Nov 2012–31st March 2013 and cannot be combined with other promotions.
All packages can be tailored to your personal needs! Discounts are available during April, August and October as well as Monday & Tuesday throughout the year!
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ENJOY THE C HAL L ENG E
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
South stars head for South Africa
Toby Tree, Max Orrin, Jamie Rutherford and Josh White have been selected to represent England in two major amateur events in South Africa early next year. The youngsters, who hail from Sussex, Kent,
Hertfordshire and Surrey respectively, will take part in the Ten Nations Cup - an amalgamation of the former Four Nations Cup and the Southern Cross Trophy – and the South African Am. The Ten Nations Cup, which is held once every two years, is played over four rounds of stroke play between ten countries, including England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, and Korea. Teams comprise four male players. The Ten Nations is taking place at Kingswood Golf Estate in George from February 6-9, while the South African Am is being hosted at nearby Oubaai Golf Club the following week.
HOLLINS FOR PRESIDENT
The Oxfordshire Golf Club has announced that Chris Hollins, the popular BBC journalist and winner of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, has accepted the position of president of the club. The role has been held by Sir Michael Parkinson for the past eight years. The title is an honorary one and, as president, Chris Hollins will act as the
club figurehead, attending functions, playing the course, mixing with members, and operating as an ambassador. Tim Pettifer, general manager of the Thmaebased club, commented: “Everyone at The Oxfordshire is delighted to welcome Chris as our new president, and we hope that he will both enjoy his time here and help the club grow even more.”
COULSDON ON COURSE FOR UPGRADE Long-awaited plans have been approved for the revamp of Coulsdon Manor Hotel in Surrey. The popular golfing venue in Croydon has had its application to rebuild the golf centre and leisure section on the western side of the hotel approved by local planners. The new, four-storey extension will include 23 hotel bedrooms, a 9x16m swimming pool, a golf centre, treatment rooms and a gym.
A spokeswoman for Oxford Hotels and Inns, which owns Coulsdon Manor, said she could not yet say when work might start. “The hotel welcomes the recent planning permission, but has no timescale or firm plans at present for the works.” The approval comes after years of discussion between the council and the owner of the hotel, which has grown from the manor house belonging to the Byron family, major landowners of Coulsdon
News in Brief
during the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Talks started in 2007, when managers were warned that extending the leisure facility would threaten green belt land. Under the submitted plans, the hotel’s overall footprint would be reduced, from 822sq m to 666sq m, according to the developers. The new facilities are expected to create an extra ten to 12 jobs, including more staff for the golf department.
Rayleigh Golf Range pro Mark Stokes, who will be competing at European Senior Tour qualifying school in Portugal in January, won the individual professional prize at the Essex PGA pro-am held at Woodbridge Golf Club in Suffolk. His score of 34 Stableford points, which was one better than four rivals, earned him the Eddie Sadler Trophy.
CHERRY ON TOP
Craig Sutherland (Cherry Lodge), the newly crowned Lynx PGA Club Pro Classic champion, and past Winter Series winner Jack Harrison (Wildwood), shot threeunder-par 68s to share the spoils at the Titleist & FootJoy Winter Series opener at Hankley Common.
HAIGH ON A HIGH Old Thorns duo Nick Haigh and Antony Chicheportiche dominated an international field to be crowned 2012 Race to Portugal champions at the Algarve’s Monte da Quinta resort. Haigh, who plays off 10, and 11-handicapper Chicheportiche scored 131 Stableford points over two rounds on Quinta do Lago’s prestigious South course to cruise to victory by 17 points from their nearest challengers, Richie Barry and Kieran McGloin, from Westport Golf Club, Co.Mayo, Ireland. The pair, from Liphook, Hampshire, beat off the challenge of 17 other teams from across the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
FOR THE STARS A unique tie-in between a golf club and a private school in Hampshire is set to offer students a fully ‘rounded’ education. Nick Bayly reports
Golf students will become full members at Sherfield Oaks GC
As someone who was fortunate enough to be educated at a school that had its own 9-hole golf course, I know from experience that being introduced to a game at an early age can have a profound effect on your long-term interest in it. Walking out on to the course on a late summer’s evening, with a wedge and putter slung over my shoulder, a pocketful of old golf balls, and a few mates for company, was one of the most abiding memories of my school days. I don’t remember having many golf lessons as such, although I recall my French teacher was a keen amateur who passed on some of the etiquette of the game, if not much of the technique. Which is why I’m rather jealous of the students that will be lucky enough to enrol at a new golf programme being launched at Sherfield School in Hampshire next year. From September 2013, the school is starting an integrated golf programme designed to suit the needs of the dedicated and aspiring golfer. Students will benefit from small group tuition in GCSE and A Level by teachers who are leading professionals within their field, and will have almost unrestricted access to nearby Sherfield Oaks Golf Club. I went to talk to Sherfield School’s headmaster, Dick Jaine, about the new programme and how it will successfully mix work and play. GN: Private schools offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities these days, so why do you think golf will be an appealing option? DJ: Golf has the benefit of being a lifelong sport and is an attractive option for both boys and girls. It can be the classic individual challenge or
organised in a team format, allowing pupils to experience the dynamics of a team event or to simply compete against the course, which is almost unique to this sport. Aspiring pro golfers aren’t always the most gifted academic students, so how do you plan to strike the balance between the classroom and the golf course? By offering an integrated programme where pupils will be able to develop their golf skills during our extended lunch break, as well as before and after school. Pupils will have a tutor who will monitor academic progress and be at the heart of securing extra help should it be needed. We will also have a flexible approach to how many academic subjects pupils will study. The answer for some may be to sit seven GCSEs against the normal diet of 10 or 11. We will apply the same model to A Level study; flexibility and integration is at the heart of this programme. There is a lot of pressure on students at private schools to attain high grades. Do you think that parents will be keen for their children to be distracted by non-core activities, such as golf? Many of the country’s leading schools boast outstanding sports success in a wide range of activities. There is evidence that pupils who excel in one area transfer some of the positive benefits into parts of the curriculum that come less easy to them. Confidence is a great thing! How much on top of the annual tuition fees will students have to pay to enrol on the golf programme? It is an inclusive fee. Pupils who are selected for the programme pay the same as those who are following the more traditional school curriculum.
Is there an academic entrance exam for pupils at Sherfield, and, if so, would any lenience be shown in the grades required for someone who looked like being a future Rory McIlroy? There is an entrance test but it is more about finding the appropriate level for pupils when they arrive here, as opposed to be being an academic barrier to entry. We are proud of our inclusive, mixed ability intake, believing that we are able to enhance all pupils’ academic profiles with a combination of good teaching and our team of support staff, who are able to offer one-on-one help when needed. Prospective students will obviously have to show some level of golf talent, what form will the assessment take? The assessment will consist of a relaxed oneto two-hour session at the golf club. Richard Lewington’s aim as coach is to look at the swing technique and to discuss how long the student has been playing, what their yearly goal/target would be, and find out how much time they have to play and practise out of school hours. As ages and standards will vary, some of this information will help us to find the right student for the programme. Any performance CV that candidates already have is obviously important. The students will be members of Sherfield Oaks Golf Club. Will they be integrated into the club’s membership? All pupils will be junior members of Sherfield Oaks. This will entitle them to play in all club competitions, both junior and adult, to represent the junior team in club matches, and get a handicap. This will show us how the students are progressing. How many hours a week will students spend at the club?
During term time the students will have around two to four hours coaching a week, which will consist of individual, group and supervised tuition. The pupils will be encouraged to play and practise on the days between coaching sessions, and as part of the programme they will have unlimited access to the courses as well as unlimited practice balls through the school week, weekends and for those who live locally, during holiday periods. You have entry ages set at 9, 11, 13 and 16. Will the golf contact time vary between the various age groups? The younger pupils will have fewer hours of coaching than the older ones. Our aim is to develop all of the children of different ages, but for the younger golfers, a more varied programme will be incorporated in order to keep activities both targeted and fun. How many A level subjects do you expect the 16+ age group to be taking? Depending on the academic profile of the pupil, we would expect four AS’s leading to three A levels, but for some, three AS’s leading to three A levels, or perhaps even two A levels might be more appropriate. This decision is led in part by the further education goals of the pupil. We envisage some will be attracted to colleges in the US, and our staff will be able to help with entry into both the UK and US further education. Given the inclement winters in the UK, are there plans to offer students training camps abroad? Sherfield is part of the global GEMS group of schools, so we will have opportunities in Dubai and other countries in the Middle East, alongside some European and US school locations for warm weather training. Are you a golfer yourself? If so, will you be looking to set up an annual Ryder Cup-style Teachers v Students match? I am a weekend golfer, but always keen to compete and we will certainly be running matches against the pupils and perhaps their parents. We will, of course, be able to select the coaching staff to be on our team! “We are proud of our inclusive, mixed ability intake, and believe that we are able to enhance all pupils’ academic profiles” Dick Jaine, Sherfield School headmaster
THE SHERFIELD SCHOOL GOLF PROGRAMME The following will be included as part of the fees: • Weekly coaching from PGA Head Coach Richard Lewington. • Specialist training programmes with regularly set individual goals. • Up-to-date handicap and monthly individual performance reviews. • 7-day membership at Sherfield Oaks GC, with access to club competitions and training facilities. • Unlimited range balls.
REGISTRATION To be eligible for the Sherfield School Golf Programme, applicants must be registered for Sherfield School. Places are subject to academic testing and a half-day golf assessment. To register for a place, contact the programme manager on 01256 884800. For more details about Sherfield School visit www.sherfieldschool.co.uk.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
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Birdies galore as Ford scoops Winter Series win Kent professional Matt Ford overcame a greedy seagull and some equally hungry rivals to win the second PGA South Winter Series event at North Foreland. Ford, who has been playing on the Challenge Tour this season, shot a three-under-par 68 to carry off one of the last events in the 2012 calendar, despite the attentions of a seagull, which attempted to carry off his ball midway through the round. Fortunately for Ford, the greedy bird dropped the ball a few yards from where it initially lay, and PGA Tournament Controller Mark Spratt was on hand to assist with the ruling, which resulted in the ball being replaced under no penalty according to laws relating to ‘outside agencies’. Ford’s round got off to a flying start, shooting two birdies – of the golfing kind – on the first two holes, and although a dropped shot on the short fifth halted his progress, birdies at the next two holes, and another at the 10th, saw him reach
four-under for his round. With icy winds coming in off the coast, the back nine was a struggle for everyone, and Ford nursed his ball home, dropping just one stroke, at the par-five 16th, to take the title by two shots form Glen Haynes (Wildwood) and local man Darren Parris. “I was pretty good for 13 holes, but by then everything was getting pretty cold, and it became a question of hanging on for the last few holes,” said Ford. “It was a great way to round off the season. It’s been a long year, and I’m really looking forward to some time out with my family now, although I’ll be keeping up the momentum throughout the winter with my coach, Paul Foston. He’s got an indoor training academy, so I won’t have to dress up like the Michelin man to keep warm!”
Ruthless Ruths claim Father & Son title Former European Tour player James Ruth and his father, Graham, have won the 2012 SkySports’ European Father and Son Scratch Golf Championship after a thrilling finish at Lumine Golf Resort in Spain. The Ruths (pictured above), who qualified for the event by winning the British title this summer at Belton Woods, were always strong favourites to take the title. James, 27, is a former European Tour player, while 55-year-old Graham, who works for Brittany Ferries’ Golf Division, is a one handicapper and former Devon county champion. The 54-hole, two-ball better ball event was held over three
days, with the Ruths winning both the scratch and handicap titles with a 15-under par score of 123 points to become the undisputed European champions. The Devonshire pair finished seven points clear of points PGA Pro Stuart Syme and scratch golfer son Connor from Scotland to win the sractch division, and four points clear of David Mills and son George from Sussex in the handicap section. The Mills’ managed to reduce the lead to just two points after 17, but playing in front of the Sky Sports cameras, both three-putted the 18th to drop a point and effectively end their challenge.
Burhill scrums down with London Irish A gull moved Ford’s ball
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Hadden Hill Golf Club in Oxfordshire has become the latest driving range to join the UK’s newest golfing revolution – 60 60 Golf. The Didcot-based facility installed the gaming format at its driving range last month, and is running a series of free competitions on the range using the system from December 21 until January 2 as a way of introducing local golfers to this new game. 60 60 Golf turns a standarddriving range into a competitive arena, where players are challenged to hit balls to targets out on the range, and score their game on free-todownload smart phone app (or supplied iPads). With targets from 20 yards through to 200 yards, 60 60 Golf is playable by any level of golfer, making it an ideal way for adults and children to get into golf. All it requires is a basket of balls. Hadden Hill’s general manager, Michael Morley, said: “I am delighted that
we’re the latest range to install the 60 60 Golf concept and I believe it will prove popular with local players of all abilities. As well as being fun, it is a great training aid – our golf professionals are already finding this a great teaching aid, as these very visible targets will improve all golfers’ playing ability.” Other venues in the South East offering 60 60 Golf include Sandown Park in Esher and World of Golf in Sidcup. To find your nearest venue visit www.6060golf.com.
Burhill Golf Club and Aviva Premiership Rugby side London Irish have teamed up to offer members and players the best in elite golf and rugby. As London Irish’s preferred golf club, Burhill will be able to offer its members a wide range of benefits, including behind-the-scenes player access, reduced matchday tickets, and the use of hospitality suites at the Madejski Stadium, home of London Irish. In return, the team has the opportunity to utilise all the facilities on offer at Burhill, including the Old and New courses, and private meeting rooms and function suites in the clubhouse. Richard Marsh, London Irish commercial director, said: “Club directors, senior management, coaches and
players have all expressed a keen interest and will all be taking the opportunity to play both courses – in fact many of the players have already taken advantage of the partnership for a few games.” Irish Players Topsy Ojo, Darren Allinson, Shane Geraghty and Bryn Evans (above) all enjoyed a recent game at Burhill. David Cook, Burhill’s general manager, said: “Both Burhill and London Irish are premier clubs, and by working together we can bring more benefits to both our members and fans of London Irish. I know our members will be extremely enthusiastic to take up many of their offers, including the use of hospitality boxes twice a season, as well as seeing many of the country’s top players enjoying the facilities at Burhill.”
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Former Tour player Chris Moody (pictured) believes amateurs can learn many of the techniques used by pros to improve scores
LEARN TO PLAY AND THINK LIKE A PRO! Tour pros join forces to provide bespoke coaching for amateurs at world’s most exclusive venues
former European Tour pro has got together with a group of current star players to offer a range of unique master classes to golfers looking to take their game to the next level. Chris Moody, who played on the European Tour for 16 years, has gathered some of Europe’s greatest players, including former Ryder Cup members and multiple tournament winners, to create Tour Master Classes, a new venture which will give access to personal coaching that has never previously been available to the handicap golfer. As well as giving a unique and invaluable insight into skills Tour-proven players use in match-winning situations, the masterclasses will be hosted at some of the game’s most iconic venues,such as Wentworth and St Andrews in the UK, and resorts further afield, including Quinta do Lago in Portugal, Verdura in Sicily, and Yas Links in Abu Dhabi. Moody, who won the European Masters in 1988 before retiring from the game in 1994, said: “Tour Master Classes focuses on
Tour Master Classes will take place at exclusive venues in the UK and abroad
teaching amateurs the secrets of winning the game. Where traditionally coaching has concentrated largely on technique, we’re more focused on the final score – on getting the ball around the course with the minimum number of shots. “ Moody is confident that the average golfer will lower his or her handicap by four or five shots a round following a Tour Master Class, without having to significantly alter their technique. “Hitting the ball is just a fraction of knowing how to play the game,” said Moody, who was coached by David Leadbetter for a large part of his career. “A player can achieve their real potential by understanding some simple techniques that Tour players use every day, such as preparation, shot selection, short game skills, and course management. These are all skills that every handicap player can learn, but are seldom taught, and they will make a real and permanent improvement to their game.” He added: “Guests will learn from some of the very best exponents of these skills – our Tour pros have an enormous depth of knowledge that is not normally
WINTER SOCIETY PACKAGES 2012/13 Package prices from £24.50 per person available to the handicap golfer”. Tour Master Classes coaches will boast several household names, including seven-time Ryder Cup player Mark James, five-time European Tour winner Costantino Rocca, and Irish tour player Philip Walton, who played a pivotal role in Europe winning the Ryder Cup at Oak Hill in 1995. The ladies have not been forgotten, with Samantha Head, who has won the South African and Italian Championships on the Ladies European Tour, on hand to pass her knowledge on to women golfers of all handicaps. The Tour Master Classes will be priced at the premium end of the market, which is not surprising given the access to such an array of top players and top venues, with a day starting from £1,250 per person. But Moody believes that they will appeal to those that are serious about improving their game, as well as providing a truly unique experience for corporate clients. “Rather than taking 50 random customers for a golf day, some companies would get more mileage from taking, say, three or four key clients for a day’s master class, which might involve an 18-hole playing lesson with a former Ryder Cup player. That’s not something that most golf days can offer.” The overseas trips will be spread out over two or three days, but for details of bespoke packages, and more information, visit www.tourmasterclasses.com or call 020 7193 4919.
Bespoke packages on request Ideal for corporate & large society/charity days
For more information please contact Lizzie or Debbie on:
01959 522944 www.dvgc.co.uk Darenth Valley Golf Course, Shoreham, Kent, TN14 7SA
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Faldo Series lowers entry fees Be Driven...
Summer golf days
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Talented youngsters looking to take part in next year’s Faldo Series are being offered the incentive of reduced entrance fees for qualifying events taking part in the UK in the Spring. Sir Nick Faldo, who founded the series, is hoping that the reduced cost will ensure the widest possible entry from young golfers around the country. “As a registered charity, the Series aims to bring opportunity to talented young golfers, regardless of background, so I hope that by further reducing the financial burden Royal Ashdown Forest
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on competitors and their parents, even more youngsters can benefit,” Sir Nick said. The UK schedule for 2013 features the same eight championship courses across England, Scotland and Wales. For an entry fee of £45, boys and girls aged 12 to 21 will play one practice round and two tournament rounds at their chosen venue. The five age-group winners at each tournament – three boys and two girls – will join the former world number one at the 17th Faldo Series Europe Grand Final. A new entry format is also in place to allow players more time to enter those tournaments later in the season. The first four events – Moortown (April 3-4), West Lancs (April 10-11), Royal Ashdown Forest (April 23-24) and Trentham (May 28-29), are open for entry until February 22. The second four events – Panmure (June 26-27) in Scotland, Old Fold Manor (July 1-2) near London, Pyle and Kenfig (July 9-10) in Wales and Hollinwell in Nottinghamshire (August 20-21) – are open for entry until May 24. Golfers born in 1992 or later wishing to enter a series should visit www.nickfaldo.com.
England Golf resignation shock John Petrie, chief executive of England Golf, has resigned from his role. The 53-year-old was appointed chief executive of the English Golf Union in 2007, and continued in that position when the English Golf Union merged with the English Women’s Golf Association to form England Golf in January this year. Petrie’s resignation came unexpectedly, and has surprised many within the industry, but speaking about his decision to quit, Petrie said: “To be appointed to this position was a great privilege, and I have thoroughly
enjoyed the many challenges that faced us. I have been supported throughout by excellent staff and so many outstanding volunteers across the country. The merger leading to England Golf was a hugely
significant moment, and now it has been implemented, England Golf needs to look to the future with a new chief executive.” Nigel Evans, chairman of the board of England Golf, said: “I’d like to thank John for his huge contribution during the past five years. The future of England Golf post merger will bring new challenges and we will start the recruitment process for a new chief executive shortly.” Craig Wagstaff, England Golf’s finance director, has assumed Petrie’s duties for an interim period until a full-time replacement is found.
Chart Hills kicks off Over 35s Tour The Mid Amateur Golf Tour’s schedule for the 2013 season starts with a 36-hole event at the Nick Faldo-designed Chart Hills Golf Club, and will be the first event on the Tour’s Order of Merit, which was won this year by Martin Young from Brockenhurst Manor. The schedule for 2013, which tees off in Kent on April 16, also includes events at Hunstanton, Sunningdale, Hankley Common, Liphook, Porters Park, Berkhamsted, Royal Cinque Ports, Old Fold Manor, South Herts, Farnham and Hindhead, as well as Machynys Peninsula in Wales, Doonbeg in Ireland, and Turnberry in Scotland. “Following on from the success of our first full year in 2012, the launch of the dedicated web site at www.midamgolf.co.uk, and also the Order of Merit, we feel we can now add a number of new events at new courses for 2013. We are holding both the Welsh and Scottish events again and we hope that the 54-hole events at
Turnberry and Machynys will once again attract an international field as they did this year,” said Jason Morris, Director of Mid Amateur Golf. The tour is open to any male golfer aged over 35 years with an active CONGU handicap. While most players are low single figures, there is also an event in for players with handicaps from 6 to 18, details of which can be found at www.midamgolf.co.uk.
Poulter beats McIlroy as fans’ favourite Ian Poulter has been named ‘Golfers’ Hero of the Year’ in a poll of 100,000 UK golfers. Poulter was the clear choice of the clients of golf travel company Your Golf Travel, with 69 per cent of its customers voting for him, leaving McIlroy and a resurgent Tiger Woods in his wake. While world no.1 Rory McIlroy is the only golfer to make the BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year shortlist, it is Poulter who is the overwhelmingly preferred choice of golf fans, due to his performance during the Ryder Cup.
The 36-year-old from Woburn was seen as the talisman who sparked the European team’s staging of its biggest ever comeback. He won all four of his matches at Medinah, and elsewhere won the WGC-HSBC Champions
event at the start of November, and finished runner-up at the Australian Masters to move up to 13th in the world rankings. He also registered top-10 finishes in six of his last 10 tournaments before the DP World Championship. A delighted Poulter was presented with his award by Your Golf Travel co-founder Ross Marshall at the seasonending event in Dubai. Poulter said: “I’m really honoured to receive the Golfers’ Hero of the Year award – the support I’ve had this year from fans was key to the success I’ve enjoyed on the course.”
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
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EUROPE RETAINS VIRGIN SWINGERS’ TITLE Virgin Atlantic’s unique online golf league, Flying Club Swingers, reached a thrilling climax earlier this month with a sensational final at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Miami. Teams from Europe and the Rest of the World provided some exceptional golf over the three days, but in the end it was European captain Hugh O’Connor who led his team to a 14-10 victory, ensuring the trophy came back across the Atlantic for another year. The event started with a welcome dinner and the highly entertaining Neon Golf challenge, where both teams took part in a nearest-the-pin competition from a speciallybuilt tee besides the waterfall overlooking the 18th green of the resort’s Soffer Course. Europe got an early win that night, and it proved a good omen for the rest of the week. The Rest of the World team certainly played their part however, and after the first day’s foursomes and second day’s fourballs, there was only one point separating the teams. As the finalists sat in the stunning penthouse of Soho Beach House on South Beach, recovering from their speedboat trip around Miami, there was no doubting the importance of those final night team meetings to decide singles pairings. As it turned out, the order of play looked like producing some incredibly close matches and going into the final morning, it was anyone’s title. The Rest of the World Captain, Kribs Govender from South Africa, had set his team up well, putting them in a great position at the end of day two. But it was Europe who came out the strongest on the final day. The two opening matches were absolutely key. O’Connor did a captain’s job, beating Andrew Lyth 4&3, whilst arguably one of the stars of the week, Paul Swatkins, beat big-hitting South African Janus Horn 6&4. There were other big wins for Peter Parker, who still maintains a 100% record after two finals, as well as British Senior Strokeplay Champion Janet Melville, Alan Horn, Mark Crossan and Martin
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Derrick, while Brian Joy earnt a half-point on the 18th against the Rest of the World captain. The final word went to winning captain, Hugh O’ Comnor, who said: “On the opening evening I compared the Swingers Final to the Ryder Cup – once you’ve played in one, you never want to miss it again. I think that by the final day, all 24 players felt the same way. Over the three seasons I’ve been involved in the league, I’ve made many friends from both teams, and I hope that I’ll be able to meet as many of them as possible for a few holes in the future. It was a huge honour to captain Europe this year, although the other 11 players were easy to captain – right from the moment when we met in Heathrow, there was a great sense of camaraderie among us all.” The 10th anniversary season of Flying Club Swingers will begin in early 2013. Golfers can register now by visiting www. flyingclubgolfleague.com. The Flying Club Golf League is generously sponsored by Srixon, Cleveland Golf, Glenmuir, Sunderland, Marriott, Bushnell, Serengeti, Avis, Golfbidder, Stewart Golf, Level 4 and Golf News.
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Pompey legends prove too strong for Hayling New Lane, Sutton Green, Nr Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7QF Tel: 01483 747898 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GREAT SOCIETY GOLF PACKAGES THAT TAKE A LOT OF BEATING
Over one hundred supporters turned up at West Leigh Park in Hampshire last month to watch a charity football match between a makeshift team from Hayling Island Golf Club and some of the great names of yesteryear from Portsmouth FC. The day was organised to raise funds for Hayling
THE GROVE TEES UP NEW PRACTICE MATS
Club Captain Kevin Ormsby’s chosen charity, The Elizabeth Foundation, which helps young deaf children. The Pompey Legends, which included Paul Walsh and Alan Knight (pictured below), ran out convincing winners, although the final score remains a closelyguarded secret!
Winter practice at The Grove golf resort in Hertfordshire has been made easier following the installation of a new allweather tee. Designed to specifications prepared by the course’s original architect, Kyle Phillips, the new all-weather practice tee is 60 metres long and 1.8 metres wide. The mat has been designed with a slight inward crescent shape to it to ensure shots are angled towards the target greens and away from the fairway on the first hole. “The replacement of individual mats with a full-length synthetic practice tee will help ensure that the facility can be used successfully and kept clean and looking pristine all-yearround,” said The Grove’s course manager Phillip Chiverton. Willbphoto.com
THE PERFECT VENUE FOR SOCIETY & COMPANY GOLF DAYS Bacon Roll & Coffee, 18 holes, Golfers Special (One course meal) - £37.50 Bacon Roll & Coffee, 18 holes & 3 Course Meal - £49.50 Bacon Roll & Coffee, 18 or 36 holes, 2 Course Lunch & High Tea - £59.50 Bacon Roll & Coffee, 36 holes, Light Lunch & 3 Course Meal - £69.50
Top chef serves it up at West Chiltington An award-winning young chef who has worked with some of cooking’s top talents has joined the staff at West Chiltington Golf Club in West Sussex. Star chef Jamie Mosaheb, who originally hails from Mauritius, has worked in some of the country’s top restaurants, including the Michelin-starred eateries at Pennyhill Park in Surrey, and South Lodge in Horsham. The 22-year-old year was snapped up by West Chiltington after it prised him away from the George & Dragon in Arundel, which has won many plaudits for the quality of its food. Mosaheb has now been tasked with overhauling the menu at the popular West Sussex-based golf club, and has wasted no time in adding modern touches to traditional golfers’ favourites, including ale-battered cod served with homemade triple cooked chips, as well as many other popular classics. Members are already flocking to the club’s Sunday roast lunches, with the new chef’s debut resulting in a complete sell-out, while the Christmas menu, which includes dishes such as a chestnut and parmesan risotto, and white chocolate bread and butter pudding, has also been drawing in the crowds.
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
NickBayly Bayly Why wait so long for the anchor ban? While I’m delighted that the anchoring of belly and broomhandle putters is to be banned (see the feature on page 31 for details), I’m rather annoyed that it’s going to be three whole years before the new rule is implemented. I know the wheels of justice take time to swing into motion, but it’s frankly ridiculous that something that is now regarded as illegal in everyone’s minds is going to be allowed to continue unpunished for three full seasons. Poor old Keegan Bradley – who has used a broom almost throughout his extremely successful professional career – was called a cheater by someone in the gallery at the very first tournament he played in following news of the proposed ban, and he – and others like him – can expect more of the same sort of public reaction until such time as he learns how to putt with his hands like the rest of us. I’d compare it, perhaps wrongly, to the corporate tax furore that many big companies and highearning individuals currently find themselves in. Reducing your tax liabilities is perfectly legal, but it’s morally reprehensible in an age when most hard-working souls are coughing up their fair share, without the help of a bunch of highly-
The anchor ban needs to be brought in sooner
paid tax consultants. Is there a collective noun for such people? A ‘hoard’ perhaps? Golf has always been a game founded on selfregulation, so I’d suggest that Bradley, Adam Scott, Ernie Els, and all the other anchorers out there, both professional and amateur, get practising with the appropriate technique during the non-existent off-season, and come out in the new year prepared to do battle on a level playing field. Otherwise, the fairway whispers, and some much louder rebukes, will continue.
GN GNeditor reveals what has caught his eye in the golfing headlines in recent weeks
Standards dropping in the shorts department There was more than a hint of schadenfreude in this household when I heard about basketball legend Michael Jordan being turfed off a golf club in Florida last month for daring to wear a pair of cargo shorts out on the course. I’ve always been under the impression that celebrities operate under a separate set of rules to the rest of us – especially when it comes to behavioural and dress codes – so it was heartening to hear that in the home of the baggy, oversized short, that the etiquette of golf won out, even in the face of one of the world’s most famous sportsmen. Given the opportunity by staff at the La Gorce Golf & Country Club to change into the club’s preferred short – the Bermuda – Jordan apparently refused (he was playing the 11th hole at the time), and as a result has been banned from the club for good. Jordan won’t lose any sleep over it, and I’m sure the club won’t either, but he might think twice about donning a pair of cargos the next time he sets foot on a high-end golf course. Having said that, he probably won’t, as here is a man who wore jeans while walking
the course at this year’s Ryder Cup. But is Jordan so out of step with the times? Probably not. Troon Golf, which runs many high-end clubs around the world (including The Grove), has recently announced that it is relaxing its dress code at its green fee golf courses in an attempt to make them more accessible. This means, in effect that cargo and gym shorts will be acceptable for play, while jeans will be allowed in the clubhouses. A company spokesman suggested that players should ‘try to present them at a length that everyone wants to look at. While gym shorts look best at the gym, we welcome you if that makes you comfortable to play golf’. I’m all for keeping things relaxed on the course and the clubhouse when it comes to clothing – and indeed footwear – but clubs have got to set a benchmark somewhere, and I think it’s not too much to ask that you don’t look like you’re heading for the beach every time you step onto the links. Long socks, on the other hand, definitely have a place in my Room 101, but that’s for another time…
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
SMASH ‘N’ GRAB With five wins, a second Major, and a starring role in the Ryder Cup, 2012 was a stellar year for Rory McIlroy. But the 23-year-old Irishman plans on getting even better GN: We’ve run out of words to describe your season, so can you try in your own words? RM: I feel very proud to have had such a phenomenal year. Any year where you win a major is going to be a great one, but to win both money list titles and join such great names on the trophies really is the icing on the cake. I wanted to finish the season strong, so to win the Dubai World Championship was definitely a great way to end what has been a great season. I’ve played so well throughout the year, and I didn’t want to just let it tail off timidly. I wanted to finish it in style, and I was able to do it. I knew midway through the back nine that I needed to do something special. Somehow I summoned up the energy to make five birdies in the last five holes. It was just a great way to end the season, and I’m already excited about 2013.
The tour obviously wanted the Race to Dubai to go down to the final event, but I’m guessing you were happy to seal it ahead of the Dubai World Championship? It was a bit of an anti-climax in one way, but the way I looked at it was that I wanted to finish the season on a high, and pick up two trophies on the final day – which I managed to do. You’ve managed to put some serious daylight between yourself and the chasing pack in the world rankings. How important is keeping your No.1 status going to be next season? I got back to No.1 after winning the PGA at Kiawah, and I sort of cemented that spot with the two wins in the playoffs over in the States. But to finish off the season like this, and gain another 70-odd world ranking points; it puts me in a really strong position going into next year. It’s great to know that going into the off-season. Five titles, your second major, and the biggest
Doubling up: McIlroy won the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic and ended the season with a stunning victory in Dubai
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
on which events I will or won’t play in, but you’ll find out soon enough.
McIlroy bagged his second major with an eight-shot victory at Kiawah Island
Can you tell us where you’re playing before the Masters next season? So far I’ve scheduled in Abu Dhabi, the World Match Play, Honda, Doral and Houston. I think that’s it. Are you going to persevere with The Players Championship at Sawgrass?
Right on time: McIlroy almost missed his tee time for his Ryder Cup singles match
Love all: McIlroy has found his sporting match in tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki
lead in the rankings since Tiger in his prime. Is this above and beyond your expectations of the year? I had a few goals starting off this year. Obviously I wanted to win a major. I think I said I wanted to win four times around the world, and I managed five; The Race to Dubai I won; I guess getting to world No. 1, which I achieved earlier in the year. Every goal that I set myself at the start of 2012, I’ve achieved, so it doesn’t really get much better than that. So what targets are you setting for 2013? I guess the same. To be focused on the majors, try to win more of those. I’ve won one in 2011, one in 2012, so it would be nice to keep that run going next year. I will just try to keep improving as a player. I feel like I can improve in different areas of the game still. That’s the challenge, and the fun of practice is trying to get better all the time. Are there other areas of your tournament preparation that you will be looking to change next season? I feel like scheduling is going to be a big thing for me going forward. I need to feel fresh and ready every time I tee it up. I think if I do feel that way every tournament that I enter, I have a better chance of winning. What takes it out of you is being in contention a lot, that feeling of pressure and adrenaline on Sundays, and trying to get yourself back up the following week. That takes more out of you than finishing 30th or so every week. What about course management and shot selection? I feel this year what I’ve done very well is hit the ball left-to-right, which I have not done in the past, and it’s enabled me to get to a lot more right-hand pin positions, which is obviously going to set up more birdie chances for me. So I think that’s something I’ve really improved on this year. I guess over the seven or eight weeks that I’ll have off before the new season, I can just look at my game and look at the stats and see what I can improve on and go and work on. One of the most noticeable improvements this season is that even when you’ve not been at your very best, you’ve still able to contend and get onto the leaderboards. Is that a fair assessment? Yes, I wouldn’t argue with that. When I’ve not played my best, I’ve still been able to compete, and to even win tournaments. That’s something I wanted to try and get better at. I felt that my previous wins before this year had been achieved by playing great golf, and no-one could really
get near me in any way. But being able to win with not your best game is what Tiger has done for so many years. That’s why he’s won so many tournaments. I feel like I’m definitely not at that level quite yet, but I’m learning how to do it. You were dressed in a red shirt for the final day at Kiawah and in Dubai, is that something else you’ve picked up from Tiger? It seems to work, and I know it’s worked for him for a while! No, I’m not sure. It was actually the only last clean t-shirt I had, that’s the honest truth. It’s worked for the last couple of times, but I don’t think there’s anything to it and it’s not a trend I’m trying to consciously follow. Another was coming mini-
element of your season out of what seemed like a blip in your form through the middle of the year. How did you recover from that? You know, it wasn’t
as bad as people were making out, and I was just trying to tell everyone that at the time. I knew I was close, I just needed a couple of good rounds just to get my confidence back again. I felt like I did that in Akron this year at the Bridgestone, and then obviously going on to win my second major the week after, and to play great during the Playoffs in the States, as well. But it’s very nice to know that if I am having a few struggles here and there, that it can turn around very quickly, and if I ever have those struggles again, there’s no need to panic. Just keep working hard and things will turn your way. With all the demands on your time, are you having to get better at saying no to people? There are obviously huge pressures to play in tournaments, but I’ve already done my schedule for 2013, and I’m sticking to it. I’m not letting anyone persuade me to go anywhere else. I’ve learned my lesson over the last couple of years, and yes, I’m going to stick to what I’ve planned to do. I don’t really want to get into specifics Up for the Cup: McIlroy played the anchor role in Europe’s incredible Sunday fightback at Medinah
Of course. I feel like I’m a good enough player to get around that course. I’m a good enough player hopefully to get around any course. But I at least want to see what the weekend is like there! Are you concerned about the number of players moving over to the PGA Tour, and the impact that might have on the European Tour going forward? I think with the way golf has gone, you can be a global player and you can play all over the world. I don’t think anyone is going to neglect The European Tour. The European Tour gave me a lot of opportunities coming through, and it’s something that I’ll never forget and something that I’ll always hold onto. I’m always going to be a European Tour Member. Of course, there are opportunities to play over in the States, and it’s hard for guys to pass them up. Three of the four majors are in the US, and there’s three World Golf Championships in the US that are all obviously co-sanctioned with The European Tour. I feel like if you can go over there and play a little bit, it makes sense. The European Tour is still very strong. We have got some of the best players in the world that play on this tour. There are so many strong players in Europe, and there will continue to be strong players coming through. Just looking down the list, you’ve got guys like Branden Grace coming through from Q School and winning four times, so there is always new talent emerging. What are feelings about being pipped to the FedEx Cup, which would in effect, have doubled your earnings for the season? I did feel a little hard done by to play so well and not win that, but Brandt [Snedekker] played the best golf out of anyone that week and deserved the win. You can’t blame him for the way the system is set up – he did what he had to do. We were both in control of our own destinies. I’m not going to complain. It’s been a great year, and I’m very happy with how I’m playing still. You were reunited with all of your fellow Ryder Cup teammates in Dubai. Did that rekindle some good memories for you? Yes it did, and it was just great to be a part of it. To be a part of a team that came back like that. I’ve talked about it a lot, but it’s still hard to fathom how good it was that Sunday. You know, everything that could have gone right for us, did, in terms of the top guys winning their matches; me making my tee time; the whole thing. We held putts when we needed to. It just seemed like Seve was looking down on us, and he was helping us win that thing. So, as I say, it was great to be a part of, and I definitely know to check the tee times in the right time zone from now on!
RORY BY NUMBERS STATS FROM 2012 SEASON
Events Played: 24 Events Won: 5 (Honda Classic, US PGA, Deutche Bank Championship, BMW Championship, Dubai World Championship) Other Top 10s: 10 Missed Cuts: 5 Prize Money: £8,956,305 (including bonus pools) FedEx Cup ranking: 3rd Race to Dubai ranking: 1st World ranking: 1st Average driving distance: 310 yards (5th) Driving accuracy: 56% (156th) Scoring average: 68.873 (1st)
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
THE YEAR THAT EUROPE ROARED! Justin Rose won his first WGC event
t’s been another glorious golfing year and many of the highlights involve players from our shores and members of the European Tour. Justin Rose captured his first World Golf Championship, and in doing so took his game to a new level. He ended the year in the world’s top five. The season gathered momentum when Louis Oosthuizen thumped a magnificent four-iron down the valley at Augusta’s second hole to complete the set of Augusta albatrosses all these years after ‘Mr Gene’s’ first at the 15th back in the thirties. Louis was to be outdone by an outrageous recovery from Bubba Watson in the play-off. A shot of genius, but rest assured, that gap in the trees will not be there when we return in April! May saw the most successful BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, with stunning early summer weather, huge crowds, and a successful defence from Luke Donald. June hosted the second Major, yet I thought The Olympic Club in San Francisco was a disappointment. Having been there for the last one in 1998, when Lee Janzen won his second national title, I thought the course was not up to the quality a US Open deserves. Webb Simpson would no doubt disagree.
Later that month, the Irish Open produced one of the finest spectacles of the year, when over 100,000 spectators descended on Royal Portrush to acclaim their major champions. Only 1.7 million people live in Northern Ireland, yet up to that event, they had managed three major titles. The reception Rory, Darren, and Graeme received had the hairs of the neck standing on end, and caused tears of joy and emotion. They love their heroes and in return their heroes love them. July will be remembered for the event on the Fylde Coast, when Australian Adam Scott had one hand on the Claret Jug, only to reel off four bogies in a row and hand The Open to Ernie Els. Many were thrilled for Els, who, after a gap of ten years, made it major number four. Adam is one of the most likeable sportsmen around, and my wish would be that he wins one of the Big Four in 2013. When August began, many of the world’s media were saying that McIlroy had taken his eye off the ball, spending too much time at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, instead of the practice range. What a way to put them down! At Pete Dye’s Kiawah Island, Rory slipped into top gear, and left silhouettes in his rear view mirror. His destruction of a tough course and a stellar field was magnificent, and that win instigated a change in the world order. For the first time since Tiger Woods emerged and subsequently dominated, the fans had a new idol. He is here to stay for the foreseeable future. September had the FedEx Cup, which has yet to find a formula that works. Rory won two of the four, yet the charismatic Brandt Snedeker rolled home with ten million dollars.The FedEx was, and always will be, overshadowed by the greatest sporting event in the world, The Ryder Cup. Enter, Woburn’s finest, Ian Poulter. As long as I live, I will never forget his contribution at Medinah. It looked for all the world as if America would end Saturday’s four balls at 12-4.
Sky Sport’s voice of golf speaks out on issues of the month
A birdie at 13 from Rory, then five in a row from Europe’s maverick followed, and I don’t mind admitting I came off air that night with tears in my eyes. As with all of you, we had witnessed a super-human effort. Four years earlier, I, along with the majority had disagreed with Nick Faldo picking Ian. I thought then, and still do, that a second and ninth place that year did not warrant a wild card. I have known Ian for many years and these words I know annoyed, maybe even hurt him. He went away, locked himself in his bubble for two weeks, and despite losing his opening match at Valhalla, ended up top points scorer. He was one of many heroes at Celtic Manor two years on, but his magical, inspirational brilliance in the State of Illinois will be remembered forever. Single-handedly, he gave his nation, and his team, a chance – one they would take with both hands. Ian’s reward was his second World Golf Championship in the outpost of Guangdong in Southern China last month. Rory will be Player of the Year, but Man of the Year must surely go to Ian Poulter. It’s been a season of rare vintage. Miguel Angel Jimenez replaced Ireland’s Des Smyth as the oldest winner on tour courtesy of his win in Hong Kong, while Matteo Manessero became the first to achieve three wins as a teenager after adding the Barclays Singapore Open to his winning portfolio. Ross Fisher’s performance in finishing second at the PGA Tour qualifying school deserves special mention, as does Branden Grace, a young South African who came off qualifying school in 11th place last year to win five tournaments, including four on the European Tour. Martin Kaymer’s Medinah adrenaline carried him back into the winner’s circle at Sun City and, typical of this fine young man, he said in his victory speech, “I will never hole a more important putt that the one I holed in the Ryder Cup”. Maybe not, but this model professional will hole a few more to win titles for himself. After the turkey and trimmings, and valuable time spent with our families and friends, we will turn our attentions to 2013, where the prospect of Rory and Tiger locking horns around the world is a mouthwatering prospect indeed. Finally, my thanks for your comments throughout the year, and I close with my very best wishes to you all for a Happy Christmas and a healthy 2013. Luke Donald defended his PGA title at Wentworth
The integrity of the game will be upheld by the proposed ban on anchoring putters
Anchor ban opens up brave new world Much has been said and written about the future of the long putter, and those who use them, following the recent statement from the R&A and the USGA that the practice of anchoring them in the belly or chest is to be outlawed from 2016. As stated in one of my earlier columns that over half of the college youngsters in the States have begun their careers with a version of the long putter, it’s not surprising that it has become one of the big talking points across the golfing world. The putters in question will not change, but the way golfers are allowed to use them will. When the 2016 deadline passes, pros (and amateurs) will no longer be able to anchor putters in their chest or belly. That means those who use them will have to find a new way to get the ball in the hole. Despite using one of these weapons for close on 25 years, I still believe the powers that be have made the correct decision in banning anchoring for the integrity and ethics of the game. Although why they are waiting until 2016 to implement the changes is a mystery. It’s possible the long putters debate may end up in law courts across the
globe. Golf’s answer to World War III might well be upon us, and it might get a little messy. It’s a shame the rules makers didn’t show the same interest when the new breed of balls and big-headed drivers were first launched, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the situation that we are today, where venerable links such as the Old Course at St Andrews having to be redesigned to cope with the vast distances the modern ball travels when thumped by tennis racquet-sized clubhead. Had the ball and driver been kept in check, changes to the most famous course in the world, and many others like it, would not have needed to be considered. Ian Poulter has had his say, and in typical fashion, didn’t hold back. Robert Karlsson, on reading of the proposed changes, thought it was April Fools’ Day! The idea of enlarging the Road Hole bunker by 18 inches is sheer nonsense. I was in that bunker during the final round of the 1984 Open. I was there, knowing full well that I shouldn’t have been. So was Doug Sanders 14 years earlier. Eighteen inches larger? Stop it!
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
/ 23 Comedian & After Dinner Speaker
LEADERBOARD TAKES STAKE IN NEAREST2THEPIN
Taylor looks sharp at Bayonet
A new-internet based platform that aims to match players up according to their location has received the financial backing of the Leaderboard Group, owner of four golf clubs in the South East. Leaderboard’s chairman, Paul Gibbons, has taken a worldwide exclusive licence to promote and use the Nearest2thePin app and website, which he hopes will complement his company’s recently-launched online tee time selling service, Leaderboard Tee Times. Nearest2thePin is a free web-based platform that aims to connect golfers with other golfers, whether at home or abroad, in order to match players up according to their geographical location. Registered golfers can then invite other golfers to play a round, or simply use the messaging system to arrange a time and place to meet.
Surrey elite junior squad member Ben Taylor has enjoyed a solid start to the second season of his college golf career in America. The 20-year-old, who is a member at Walton Heath, is studying at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where he has impressed coaches with the quality of his play. He is currently playing off a handicap of plus four. His most recent success came at the Otter Invitational at Bayonet Golf Club in California, which he won by three shots shooting rounds of 71, 71 and 70. Taylor, who won the same event last year, also finished second in his previous two events in Illinois and West Palm Beach, with his efforts helping his college team to go top of the Division 2 rankings. Back on home soil earlier this year, Taylor reached the quarterfinals of the English Amateur, came fifth in the Brabazon Trophy, and won the Sir Michael Bonnallack Trophy.
Nearest2thePin founder, Jay Pidgeon, said: “As someone who travels extensively for business, I grew tired of sitting in a hotel room when I could have been out on a course. Our goal is to help golfers find other golfers, anytime, anywhere. Equally, by linking this service with Leaderboard Tee Times, players across the UK can make the most of exceptional deals, whether looking to try a new club or
just complete a four ball.” The service can be accessed through Leaderboard Tee Times as a fully integrated function of the site. Each individual club’s page listing shows available tee times, and an embedded Nearest2thePin map of the area shows all registered members in the vicinity. Once registered, each user creates a profile with their home location, handicap, golfing achievements and their club membership, if applicable. This allows other members to find players in their area and judge their suitability for a round. Paul Gibbons said: “We are very excited about working with Nearest2thePin and are pleased to offer this innovative tool to all of our members, which we hope will enhance their experience of Leaderboard Tee Times by connecting players all over the country.”
Volvo finalists take on Turnberry The final of the 2012 Volvo National Golf Club Challenge has been won by a team presenting The Player’s Club in Bristol, following an unforgettable two days’ of competition over the stunning links at Turnberry in Scotland. The iconic Open Championship venue proved a fitting place to host the finals of the nationwide tournament, which was sponsored by YourGolfTravel.com, and brought together the four best men’s and ladies’ teams
Old Course set for Major revamp There has been a mixed reaction to the news that extensive alterations are to be made to the Old Course in St Andrews in advance of the 2015 Open Championship, with Ian Poulter comparing the proposed alterations to ‘drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa’. The plans, which have been drawn up by architect Martin Hawtree, call for work on nine of the course’s 18 holes, including alterations to the iconic 11th and 17th greens. A number of bunkers are also slated to be added, moved or removed, and the project will
from qualifying events held throughout the UK earlier in the year. The aim of the Volvo National Golf Club Challenge is to encourage clubs to hold charity golf days supporting Help for Heroes, while at the same time competing nationally to win some spectacular prizes. After a well fought and good-spirited event, The Players Club from Bristol coped best in the wet and windy conditions to claim first place
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The iconic Road Hole bunker is being rebuilt as part of plans to toughen up the Old Course
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winning the individual order of merit, and with it a place at the Volvo World Golf Final in South Africa in January. Golf clubs are being encouraged to host Help for Heroes charity days from July 12-14 next year, which also act as qualifiers for the 2013 Volvo National Golf Club Challenge. For more details visit www.2013ngcc.com.
A G ME also involve recontouring the surrounds of several greens. The contours of the 17th green are to be altered so that more balls are funnelled towards the infamous Road Hole bunker, while the fairway is to be widened by half a metre on the right-hand side. R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: “The Championship Committee felt there was an opportunity to stiffen the Old Course’s defences in some places to ensure it remains as challenging as ever to the professionals. The proposals should place more of a
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premium on accuracy and ball control, while retaining the spirit and character of the Old Course.” Re-development will take place in two phases, with the first including work at the second, seventh, 11th, and the Road Hole 17th. The second phase will commence in winter 2013/14 with work on the third, fourth, sixth, ninth, and 15th. Mr Dawson insists the changes are all relatively minor, and that the current works will be completed within a fortnight. “It’s men with shovels and wheelbarrows, rather than bulldozers,” he said.
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
News in Brief PARRY LEADS GRADUATES Yorkshire’s John Parry led home a group of 28 relieved graduates from the final stage of the European Tour’s qualifying school in Spain. The 26-year-old began the final round of the 108-hole marathon four shots clear, and his lead was never threatened at PGA Catalunya Resort. Gary Orr became the oldest player to win a card at 45 years and 202 days, while former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson finished two shots shy of the required mark.
WATSON GETS CAPTAINCY
Tom Watson has been named the US Captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. It will be 63-year old’s second time in the role, having captained USA to victory in 1993 at The Belfry the last time the Americans won the title away from the US. He is the first repeat US captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1987, and is the oldest captain in the history of the contest.
STENSON BAGS SA TITLE Henrik Stenson ended a five-year wait for a Tour title by capturing the SA Open Championship at the Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate. The Swede saw off a charge from home favourite George Coetzee to finish on 17 under par and triumph by three shots.
FROST WINS IN MAURITIUS David Frost survived a final round scare to win the MCB Tour Championship by one stroke from Peter Fowler and Barry Lane, sealing his second victory at Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius on a dramatic final day of the European Senior Tour season. The South African began the final round with a four-shot lead, but had to birdie the final hole to cling on for victory.
SCOTT’S FIRST Scott Jamieson won the opening event of the new European Tour season in South Africa. The inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship was cut to 36 holes on a rain-soaked Royal Durban course, with Jamieson shooting a second-round 57 at the par-65 course, and then beating Steve Webster and Edoardo de la Riva in a play-off.
Westwood drops bagman Billy
Tour unveils £19m ‘Final Series’ The European Tour is introducing a new £19m climax to the 2013 Race to Dubai with a ‘Final Series’ of four events. The four tournaments are the BMW Masters and HSBC Champions in China, the Turkish Open in Antalya, and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Players will only be eligible to compete in the season-ending showdown if they play in two of the first three. If they participate in all three, then their points on the Race to Dubai money list will receive a 20 per cent bonus. “We felt there had to be an additional level of commitment from the membership to these important tournaments, hence the new regulation,” said European Tour chief
George O’Grady. Of the 45 scheduled events for 2013, England will host just one, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, while the Wales Open at Celtic Manor switches from the end of May to the end of August. Spain drops from seven tournaments to just one, reflecting the financial pressures the country is facing. The 2013 Race to Dubai began this month with the Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa – the first of six tournaments to be staged in the country this season. The Hong Kong Open and the Singapore Open will be staged as usual next year in the latter part of November, but they will now become the opening events of the 2014 schedule.
McDowell rises to the World Challenge Graeme McDowell continued his love affair with California by winning for the first time in two years when he held off his playing partner Keegan Bradley to clinch the World Challenge by three shots. The 33-year-old Northern Irishman, who had endured a title drought since his play-off victory in the same event over tournament host
Tiger Woods in 2010, ended his 2012 campaign on a triumphant note, as he closed with a four-under-par 68 to post a 17-under total. “This really caps off my season,” he said. “We try not to put winning on a pedestal, but this one feels very sweet because it’s been a grind all year. “Certainly I will draw some confidence from this one. The game
hasn’t given me a huge amount this year.” Although McDowell survived a few anxious moments over the closing stretch at a rain-soaked Sherwood Country Club, he rebounded from a bogey at the 13th with birdies at the 16th and the last to keep Bradley at bay. The 2011 US PGA champion had been the subject of heckling from the crowd during the second round following his continued use of the broomhandle putter, which is set to face restrictions on how it is used in 2016. Bo Van Pelt finished third on 10 under, a stroke better than compatriots Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, and the five-time champion Woods.
Lee Westwood has parted company with his caddie, and long-time friend, Billy Foster. Foster has been off bag-carrying duties for the last six months following a cruciate knee injury, and although Westwood originally promised to give the 46-year-old Yorkshireman back the job when he was fit again, it seems that the world No.10’s patience ran out. With one major to go before his 40th birthday, and Foster unable to guarantee his fitness for the start of next year in the build-up to the Masters in April, Westwood has taken on the full-time services of Zimbabwean Mike Kerr. Foster said: “It’s been very difficult these last six months – I’ve been in a dark tunnel. I’ve only started walking again last month, so to get the call from Lee just as I was starting to see the light again was unbelievably disappointing. We had such a laugh together, have been great mates, and were very successful, but it’s a tough game for caddies, and I’ve just to focus on getting myself right. I’m a
strong character and I’ll be fine – but it’s hard to take.” Speaking about the split, Westwood’s manager, Chubby Chandler, said: “Lee is at that stage of his career where he has to be a little bit selfish. He’s only got four or five prime years left, and he simply can’t afford to mess about with this one coming up. He is playing six tournaments in a row, starting in Dubai next February, and you can’t have Billy one week and then another caddie the following week. It was a difficult decision, because we all know how good Billy is as a caddie, and they’re great mates as well.” Westwood also sacked his long-term coach, Pete Cowan, in August, and has recently moved to Florida in a bid to end his major drought. A brief association with Zimbabwean short game coach Tony Johnstone also come to an abrupt end after Westwood’s chipping let him down in the final round of the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.
Kaymer banks SA win Former world No.1 Martin Kaymer won his first tournament in more than a year when he finished two strokes clear in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa. The 26-year-old German, who spent eight weeks at the top of the rankings early last year, earned his last victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai in November 2011. He hit a final-round 69 to finish on eight under par, two better than the local favourite Charl Schwartzel who also shot a 69, to secure the $1.25m first prize in the 12-man invitational event. Defending champion Lee Westwood was aiming to become the first player to win the event three times in a row, but poor putting let him down and he fell away, shooting a oneover 73 to finish fifth, behind Louis Ooosthuizen and Bill Haas.
“I’m just very happy to finally win this year,” said a relieved Kaymer. “I’ve practised very hard and played very well this season, but it just hasn’t happened for me. I said to my caddie, we had to win one tournament every year, and this was our last chance.” Ryder Cup hero Kaymer has taken up membership of the PGA Tour for next season. He was given automatic qualification for the tour following his victory in the 2010 US PGA Championship, but has waited until now to take up the exemption.
Wesselingh claims Senior rookie title Paul Wesselingh has been crowned the European Senior Tour Rookie of the Year. The 51-year-old Liverpoolborn player secured a maiden victory and six other top-ten finishes in 14 appearances in 2012, and finished fifth in the Order of Merit. “This is the highlight of my career,” said Wesselingh, who enjoyed a successful career as a club pro at Kedleston Park before joining the Senior Tour. “I’m absolutely over the moon. I’m living the dream
playing on the Senior Tour.” Wesselingh, who plays with John Letters’ clubs, was joint runner-up on his debut, in the Mallorca Senior Open, and won the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship at DeVere Slaley Hall a month later. Derby-based Wesselingh opted against playing on The European Tour in his younger days, choosing instead to spend time with his family. As he approached his 50th birthday, however, he decided to compete
on the Senior Tour and, after several years of rigorous preparation, took the second card at the Qualifying School Final Stage in February, having won Stage One a week earlier. “The Senior Tour is something I worked towards for four or five years, so it’s nice that all the hard work has paid off with this award,” he said. “The main thing was the fitness and getting the body in shape to be able to cope with the demands of life on Tour. As we get older, it’s not so easy!”
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
MIGHTY MIGUEL Having become the oldest winner on the European Tour, and securing his playing rights until 2014, there looks to be plenty of petrol left in the tank of charismatic Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez Words by Nick Bayly Olive oil and Rioja. That’s the secret to a long and successful golfing career – well, it is according to Miguel Angel Jiménez, who cites two of Spain’s finest exports as the reason for his longevity in the world of professional golf. In fact, they might well be a successful recipe for life in general, seeing as both products are widely regarded as possessing life-extending qualities – although his third and fourth loves, cigars and fast cars, don’t always have the same positive effects. Either way, it’s a diet that has worked well for the 48-year-old Spaniard, who has just added another page to his extraordinary CV by becoming the oldest ever winner on the European Tour. That particular footnote was added at November’s UBS Hong Kong Open, which has been a happy hunting ground for Jiménez, having now won the event three times in the last seven years. A final round of 65, which might have been even lower had his putter got going, gave him a famous one-shot victory over Fredrik Andersson Hed, and more significantly, a place in the European Tour’s record books. Jiménez is a full six months older than Des Smyth was when he won the
2001 Madeira Islands Open, and there are plenty of signs that the pony-tailed maestro is far from finished. “I hope it’s not the last one,” he jokes. “I really loved the golf course in Hong Kong – it set up perfectly for me, as you have to control the ball very well, and it’s not just a matter of distance.” Asked about the secret of his longevity, Jiménez responds, in his trademark broken English: “This is maybe down to the olive oil in my joints, and the nice Rioja wine. These things keep you fit and flexible. Winning at 48 is fantastic. I still love what I’m doing, but I’ve got to keep fit, keep working, and to keep stretching a lot in order to compete with the new guns!” With his famously gnarled features, greying ginger locks, and a paunch that gently hangs over his shiny white belt, Jiménez may not be anyone’s idea of an sportsman, but the man from Malaga has always broken the mould when it comes to golf, and indeed life itself, defying convention, kicking against the establishment, and generally being his own man. Like the vintage Rioja of which he is so famously fond, Jiménez seems to have got better with age. Never one to be rushed – especially when he’s standing over a ball, or puffing on one of his trademark Cuban cigars – twelve of his 19 European Tour wins have come after his 40th birthday. And although there has been a 30-month gap since his last win in 2010, Jiménez clearly still has the stomach for a fight, and retains all the combative instincts of a matador that has a new generation of bulls to defeat. The bulls in question are the youngsters of the European Tour, many of whom are snapping at his heels – and smashing the ball past him on the driving range – but have yet to learn the art of what it takes to win tournaments. Although not short off the tee, Jiménez’s strength has always been his ability to shape the ball, and to find difficult pins with his high
drawing irons and laser-like fairway woods. His flat, somewhat ungainly swing, is not something you’ll find in coaching manuals, but his ball-striking is second to none. A switch to a broomhandle putter has undoubtedly aided his cause on the greens, although the proposed ban will present the Spaniard, and many others like him, with some serious difficulties. Closing in on 600 career events, Jiménez is something of a father figure on Tour. With his love of the finer things in life, he’s far too cool to be considered a granddad, more a renegade uncle, who has taken over a small part of the mantle left behind by his good friend, and fellow countryman, Seve Ballesteros, who was, without doubt, The Godfather. The European Tour has been kind to Jimenez, with career earnings of over, but he has also been kind to the Tour, having supported it throughout his 25year career, while others have deserted it for the bright lights and big dollars on offer in America. If truth be told, the PGA Tour was never an attractive proposition for the Spaniard, who is too much in love with home comforts to spend his life in airports and impersonal hotels on the other side of the Atlantic. Divorced, with two teenage children, Jiménez loves a party and a chat, and you don’t get much of that on the PGA Tour these days. It’s perhaps no surprise that Jiménez has never won in America, and has never fulfilled his potential in the Majors, with a best-placed finish being a distant tied second in the US Open behind Tiger Woods in 2000, and a tied third at The Open in 2001, where he was four shots behind David Duval. Not that he hasn’t been prepared to travel – he’s won six times in Asia – and, of course, he has been a backbone of the Ryder Cup team both as a player (four times, ‘99, ‘04, ‘08, ‘10), and as a vicecaptain (twice, ‘97 and ‘12), where his charismatic presence has been a key part of the European team locker room atmosphere. Although he came out on the winning side just twice as a player, and lost three of his four singles matches, it’s not hard to see why he is such a good man to have on your side, whether it be on the field of battle or as part of the back room staff. “The most important thing is to be a part of it,” he says. “In 1999, we came very close and should have won. In 2008, the Americans just played much better than us as a team, but despite the result the experience of playing the Ryder Cup is always memorable. I want to win, of course, but the most important thing is that the game of golf wins. It’s all about the game that we love.”
It’s uncertain whether Jiménez is a banker as a future Ryder Cup captain, given all the political machinations surrounding the job, and the fact that he’s still playing so well, but he would certainly be a popular choice among the players, who quite rightly look up to him as a player and a man. It’s testament to Jiménez’s generosity that in recent years he has helped bankroll the Open de Andalucia, a showcase tour event for his home region, to the tune of €560,000. Sadly, even Miguel’s millions were unable to sustain the tournament, and it is a source of regret that, like many other Spanish-based events, it was unable to find a sponsor this year and had to be scrapped at short notice. “I love my home, and I feel golf is part of the economy of Andalucia,” he says. “I feel that the people in this region deserve a big tournament, but these are difficult times to get money from sponsors. I was happy to put my hand in my pocket, but you can only do that for so long. I don’t want to give up and, I’m sure there will be a tournament in this region of Spain again soon.” It’s a measure of the man that while other players moan about playing opportunities and prize money, Jiménez was helping to keep it all afloat. Few others, many with far more cash in the bank, would have considered such action, and that, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about the European Tour’s most interesting man.
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ FACT FILE Age: 48 Turned Pro: 1989 Events Played: 599 ProfessionalWins: 22 (19 on the European Tour) Notable Wins: 2008 BMW PGA Championship, 2010 Dubai Desert Classic Career Prize Money: €19,980,336 Best Majors: US Open (2nd, 2001), Open (3rd, 2001) Masters (8th 2008, US PGA (10th, 1999) What’s in Miguel’s bag? Ping i20 driver (8.5°) Ping Anser 3-wood (14.5°) Ping i20 5-wood (18°) Ping Anser irons (3-PW) Ping Tour Gorge wedges (52, 60) Ping, Anser 1 Milled putter Srixon Z Star ball
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
CLEVEL INSTAN CLASSIC
D E V O R P M I & NEW
F E AT U R E
The launch of the new range of ad has put Cleveland Golf on course t of the biggest hitters in 2013 Cleveland Golf and Srixon has announced that for the first time in the company’s history, it is rolling out a fully adjustable driver as part of its new line-up of drivers and fairway woods, available from February 2013. A continuation on the theme of 2012’s Cleveland Classic driver as used by tour players such as Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley, the Classic XL Custom driver offers golfers total control over how they set it up. The Classic XL Custom driver’s adjustable hosel can be moved to one of 12 different settings to give the optimal face angle and flight, while an interchangeable weight port allows any player’s swing weight to be optimised for precise performance on the tee. Featuring the largest and deepest clubface of any driver in golf, it has an even larger sweet spot than it’s predecessor. This gives golfers the largest effective hitting area in the game to promote confidence on the tee. An enhanced variable face thickness technology at the clubface’s sweet spot creates an incredibly fast ball speed even on off-centre hits, giving users unprecedented forgiveness. The Classic XL Custom is available for £269, and can be fitted with one of three different premium shaft options. The Miyazaki JDL 6 shaft will help to promote mid-launch flight, while golfers looking for a more lightweight, higher launch shaft might go for the Fubuki Tour 53. The final option is the Matrix Ozik Black Tie 6M3 shaft, which offers a penetrating launch. Choosing the correct option to complement your fully-adjustable Classic XL Custom driver is crucial. Cleveland Golf’s certified club fitters will help make the choice for your game and
how you want the driver to perform. Visit www.clevelandgolf.com) to find your nearest fitter. Complementing the Classic XL Custom is the Classic XL, which follows on directly from 2012’s Cleveland Classic driver, but with a few notable tweaks. Gone are the different head weight options, which are now catered for by the Classic XL Custom, but in come the same features as the Classic XL Custom, such as the largest, deepest driver face in golf, and a larger sweet spot with the Classic XL’s 460cc, 285g clubhead. Also new to the Classic XL driver is that the centre of gravity has been moved deeper into the head, which helps to promote a higher launch and a more penetrating flight on tee shots. Weight has also been removed from the grip and shaft to give the Classic XL a higher balance point. The benefit of this feature is that it gives golfers a very traditional feel but promotes more speed through impact for that crucial extra yardage from the tee. It comes fitted with a Miyazaki B. Asha 4 shaft in various flexes and is available for just £239. The Classic XL Fairway wood will complement the Classic XL drivers. Like the Classic XL driver, the Classic XL Fairway features a large face with a bigger sweet spot. It also has a clubhead with a deeper centre of gravity to help promote a mid-high launch, as well as a more penetrating ball flight. Combined with the Matrix OZIK XCON-6 shaft, the Classic XL Fairway provides maximum performance and a stable feel to promote a high-launch, low-spin flight. It is available in four different models (3W+, 3W, 5W and 7W), and is priced at £159. More details about Cleveland Golf’s new range of drivers and fairway woods will be available at www.clevelandgolf.com from February 1, 2013.
A DV E R T I S I N G
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
LAND’S NT ICS
F E AT U R E
IT’S BACK. AND IT’S BETTER THAN EVER.
djustable Classic XL woods to be one Cleveland staff player Graeme McDowell is expected to switch into the new Classic XL driver next year
“The Cleveland 588s were always the best wedges ever made. And with this next generation, they still are!” Graeme McDowell
Experience the legend, re-born at your Cleveland golf retail stockist.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Nike Lunar Swingtip RRP: £79.95 Contact: www.nikegolfeurope.com For a company that specialises in trainers Nike has been almost pedestrian in bringing out a hybrid golf shoe that can be worn on and off the golf course. Drawing on the brand’s skater boy youth styling and mixing it with more classical elements, the new Swingtips are the byproduct of focus groups that included everyone from high school and college golfers to ageing seniors. The upshot is a shoe that is, according to Nike shoe designer Carl Madore, ‘a mash-up of a golf silhouette, with a bottom reminiscent of a skate shoe. A juxtaposition of the classic and forward thinking.’ Featuring a Flywire midfoot saddle, full-length contoured sockliner and lunalon heel cushioning, they come in leather uppers in a choice of black or white. All feature a wingtip upper and nubs on the sole for traction and come with a one-year waterproof guarantee.
NIKE VR_S Covert Driver RRP: £249.99/£349.99 (Tour) Contact: www.nikegolfeurope.com Nike is a company that likes to chalk up firsts, and it looks to have continued this trend with the launch of the Covert driver, which is claimed to be the world’s firstever cavity-backed driver. Perhaps more significantly, although less obvious at first sight, it also offers an industry-first ‘dual axis’ adjustability system that allows users choose their loft and face angle independently of each other – not something that is genuinely offered by other adjustable drivers in the market. Only previously seen in iron designs, the cavity in the Covert driver is hidden – hence the name – in the sole of the club, which is not observable at address, but like it does in an iron, serves to enhance forgiveness and increase ball speeds on off-centre shots. The cavity allows weight to be moved to the heel and toe, raising the head’s moment of inertia. Combine this with Nike’s NexCOR variable thickness face – which creates higher ball speeds from a larger area of the face – and the new FlexLoft adjustability system – which allows lofts to be altered from 8.5 to 12.5 degrees without effecting the face angle – and we have a driver that promises a winning combination of length, forgiveness and workable control. Featuring a stunning red crown, with a visible white Swoosh, there are 460cc and 430cc Covert models to chose from, with the smaller head featuring a deeper face and a fixed weight screw and a 60g Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage shaft, while the 460cc model has a wider face and comes with a 50g shaft. Both clubs go on sale on February 8.
Cleveland Golf 588 wedges RRP: £109-£119 Contact: www.clevelandgolf.com Cleveland’s new range of 588 wedges, the RTX CB and Forged RTG, feature a technology breakthrough in the clubface. The Rotex face has a directionally-milled face pattern that adds roughness and imparts spin on open-face shots where the impact tends to be closer to the toe. The RTX CB wedge, which is available in Satin Chrome and Black Pearl finishes, also features 16% larger U-grooves than previous models to maximise spin on critical scoring shots – especially out of the rough, sand and in wet conditions. It also features a reverse C Sole design. This is a wide, constant-width sole, combined with heel and toe grinds to improve performance from bunkers and deep rough. The RTG wedge is aimed at better players and its dynamic sole, offers a lower leading edge for better contact on open-faced shots. Available in raw oxide or oil quench finishes, it is forged from carbon steel and features Cleveland’s Tour Zip grooves.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Druh Ion Tour Collection Bracelet RRP: £112 Contact: www.druhbeltsandbuckles.com If you know someone who wears a Druh belt, then how about getting them a matching bracelet? OK, it’s a little bit more macho than a bracelet – although not much – as it also contains magnetic technology that provides the wearer with a continuous stream of negative ions to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals (positive ions, not a pop band) that are so prevalent in today’s environment. Using Max Bio-Science technology, the bracelet stimulates muscle activity and provides a natural way to sustain high-intensity exercise. A one-size fits all silicone strap is embellished with a stainless steel buckle with the ‘db’ logo in enamel.
Ecco Tour Hybrid shoes RRP: £160 Contact: www.eccogolf.com
Mizuno JPX 825 Hybrid RRP: £129 Contact: golf.mizunoeurope.com Following the trend for stealth cosmetics, Mizuno’s new JPX 825 hybrids (which have replaced the JPX800 series) feature a glossy jet black crown which sit nicely alongside the woods in the range. And with loft options of 16, 19, 22, and 25 degrees, it offers a club for all manner of shots from all manner of lies. The 825s feature a new L-Face construction, which enables a rounder edge between the face and the sole of the club, making for higher ball speeds and greater distance. The face itself has been engineered using maraging steel, which offers more flex across a wider area so mis-hits are catered for too. While better players will find the 825s stubbornly resistant to shot shaping, the powerful sound at impact, soaring ball flight, and great distance is bound to appeal to a wide cross-section of handicap golfers.
Bushnell Neo+ Golf GPS Watch RRP: £159 Contact: www.bushnellgolf.com It seems like a GPS system ain’t worth a candle these days unless its on your wrist, so Bushnell has wasted no time in joining the trend with the launch of the Neo+, which provides golfers with accurate front/back/centre and shot distance measurements on 25,000 preloaded courses worldwide. With no membership fees, the device works straight from the box, and instantly recognises courses and holes as you move through a layout. It has a 14-hour battery life – enough for at least four rounds – and also offers the normal functions of a watch, including a timer, alarm, and an odometer. It is available in black or white.
Stewart W3 Waterproof Stand Bag RRP: £129 Contact: www.stewartgolf.co.uk Made from a lightweight nylon material with a waterproof coating, as well as taped seams and waterproof zips, this lightweight stand bag is perfect for playing in wet winter conditions. Other features include shoulder straps with a four-way mounting; a double thickness back pad and a multitude of pockets, including a sunglasses holder, phone holder, water bottle pouch, and a velour-lined valuables pocket. Stewart Golf also offers a universal rain cover (£30), which can be clipped to your golf bag, and fitted over the entire bag in a deluge – making it ideal for those who haven’t bought the W3!
While there’s no doubting the runaway success that Ecco has enjoyed with its range of spikeless shoes over the last three years, there are plenty of golfers who remain wary, and indeed sceptical, about wearing shoes that look like trainers from both the viewpoint of the soles and the uppers. In an attempt to win over these more conservative consumers, Ecco has launched a more formal shoe in the shape of the Tour Hybrid. Featuring a refined, traditional leather wingtip upper, the Tour Hybrid is built on Ecco’s Dynamic Traction System outsole that also features in the Biom Hybrid and Golf Street models. This comprises a configuration of over 100 durable moulded traction bars, which provide superior grip in all conditions, as well as making them wearable on and off the golf course. The Tour Hybrid is available in black, white and cocoa brown, while a GoreTex version is available at the slightly higher price point of £180.
TESTED Titleist 913 fairway woods Rating: RRP: £215 Contact: www.titleist.co.uk Complementing the recently-launched 913 driver, Titleist has added a matching set of fairway woods – or rather two sets – as the new 913 fairways come in two models – the F and F.d – which offer slightly different launch characteristics. Both, however, are fully adjustable and feature Titleist’s new SureFit Tour hosel, which allows the loft and lie to be independently adjusted for dialed-in shot-shaping and launch conditions. The 913F.d is a lower-spinning design, with a significantly lower centre of gravity and a flatter trajectory than the F, and will perhaps be preferred by fast-swinging players, who don’t need quite so much help in getting the ball airborne. The F.d has a 157cc head, while the F has a 188cc, both of which are pear-shaped in profile. With thin crowns and discretionary weight placed low and forward, both models have a significantly lower centre of gravity than most fairways woods, and test results have shown they launch the ball up to six yards further than Titleist’s 910 fairways. This was borne out in my own slightly less robotic test, which resulted in a really powerful ball flight, which soars rather than loops, and the kind of distances that I’d be happy with from my driver. The hosel is neat to look at from the address position and is very simple to adjust using the supplied tool, and results in noticeable changes in trajectory and shot shape, while still allowing the face to remain neutral. The cosmetics are understated and classy, while the sole design makes it easy to nip the ball off the turf, or cut through semirough. The smaller-headed F.d is perhaps too much of a step down in size to be seen as a driver replacement for most players, but the F will be ideal on long par threes and holes where shot-shaping is more important than pure distance. The 913F model is available 13.5˚, 15˚, 17˚, 19˚ and 21˚ lofts in stiff, regular, action and ladies flexes, while the 913F.d is available in 13.5˚ and 15˚ in stiff and regular. They go on sale from February 8, although custom fittings will be available from national fitting centres from mid-January.
Cobra AMP Cell Hybrids RRP: £159 Contact: www.cobragolf.co.uk Cobra’s new AMP Cell Hybrids, which go on sale in early February, are available in 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 models that can be adjusted into 10 different lofts. This gives golfers the ability to dial in distance gaps and manage trajectories for their individual long game needs, as wells as ground and weather conditions. SmartPad technology keeps the clubface square at address, regardless of loft setting, and still allows for workability to slightly open or close the face as desired. They are available in silver, blue, red and orange, to match the brand’s new AMP Cell driver and fairway woods.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
1. Sunice Kenai FlexVent
2. Galvin Green Arly
RRP: £220 Contact: sunice.com
RRP: £249 Contact: galvingreen.com
Lightweight waterproof jacket that comes with a fouryear guarantee. Proprietary technology comes in the shape of FlexVent, a waterproof stretchable material that makes the jacket breathable, soft to the touch and whisper quiet.
Lightweight Gore Tex Paclite stretch fabric makes it flexible and comfortable, while offering superb waterproof protection. Breathable material helps to release excess heat. Half-zip design, drawstring hem, cuff and neck feature touch and close fasteners. Available in black, royal blue, white, red or curacao in S-XXXL.
3. Mizuno Flex Rain Jacket RRP: £119 A very light, stretchable waterproof and breathable jacket, with loose liner, heat sealed pocket zippers, integrated neck warmer and draw cord hem. Available in black, white/black, royal blue/black in sizes S-XL, with a two-year guarantee.
IT RAINS A LOT HERE, SO GET ONE OF THESE
4. IJP Aqua-Tech RRP: £125 Contact: ijpdesign.com Waterproof, windproof and breathable jacket with a mesh lining for added warmth. Features include two side pockets and a breast pocket, a shaped collar, full-length zips, and reflecting IJP Design logos.
6. Ping Collection Response RRP: £120 Contact: pingcollection.co.uk
5. FootJoy DryJoys Tour Collection
RRP: £160 Contact: footjoy.co.uk Tour-level waterproof jacket featuring four-way stretch panels for complete range of motion during the swing. Features include two side pockets and a chest scorecard pocket. Available in black/red trim or black/blue trim.
Lightweight jacket featuring a Teflon-coated polyester outerlayer for waterproofing, and an internal stretch mesh lining for added warmth. Available in black/white, blue/black in sizes S-XXXL.
7. Sunderland Hush
8. Under Armour Storm 2.0
RRP: £170 Contact: sunderlandgolf.com
RRP: £170 Contact: sunderlandgolf.com
Lightweight, sealed-seam waterproof with four-way stretch construction guarantees complete freedom of movement and total rain protection. Features an integrated rainhood, two side pockets and a chest pocket. Sizes S-XXXL in black/red or black/blue.
Storm-proof, full-zip waterproof jacket, with fully-taped seams and a bonded two-layer fabric, which makes it warm as well as rain proof. Features include adjustable cuffs and side cinches, an internal drawstring hem cord, and mesh hand pockets. Comes in marine/black or red/black.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
ANCHORS AWAY! Broom and belly putters under threat following proposed ‘anchoring’ stroke ban. Words by Nick Bayly Golfers who rely on the grip end of their putter being anchored to their belly or chest are going to have to find a new way to putt, following a proposed change to the rules of golf. If the rule change is ratified, which it is expected to be next Spring, professionals and amateurs alike will be banned from anchoring any strokes to a pivot point, such as their chest or midriff, from 2016. Three of the past five majors have been won by players using longer putters that were anchored, and may do so again over the next three seasons – but the Royal & Ancient Club and the US Golf Association want to see an end to this type of stroke at all levels of the game. “Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,” said R&A
chief executive Peter Dawson, who is one of the driving forces behind the rule change. “Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes. If you anchor one end of the putter to your body, it is taking away one of those frailties.” He added: “The majority of golfers will understand why we have done this. There will be some players whose
THE LONG & THE SHORT OF IT What players and officials have said about the anchoring ban…. “I’m obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA. I’m going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it.” Keegan Bradley (won 2011 US PGA with a belly putter) “To change something that drastic, it needs to be based off facts and not what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like.” Webb Simpson (won 2012 US Open with a belly putter) careers have become dependent on the anchored putting stroke. They do have three years to find another method if the rule change is confirmed.” The proposed rule would prohibit ‘strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player’s body, or with a forearm held against the body to establish an anchor point. Long-handled putters have been used for several decades, but their popularity has increased over the past two years, with an estimated 15% of pros now choosing this method, while it is understood that a much higher percentage of college golfers are using belly and broomhandle models. While the method of using them is being banned, long putters per se will remain legal, with golfers simply having to find alternative ways of using them, as Angel Cabrera did when winning the US
High demand for Heavenly Hybrids
While most golfers have at least one or two hybrids in the bag these days, the Heavenly Hybrid set is entirely made up of them, on the basis that some players will benefit from their distance-enhancing and forgiveness qualities through the bag. Designed by golf professional Stuart Smith, Heavenly Hybrid’s give golfers of all abilities greater distance, improved ball flight, and better control. Tests have shown that the clubs hit the ball nine per cent further than equivalent irons, and are 10 per cent more accurate from inside 20 yards. The unique design of the Heavenly
Hybrid pitching wedge make those scorecard-wrecking shots from around the edge of the green as simple as putting, while the sand wedge makes escaping from bunkers similarly easy. Smith (pictured left) who has been a golf professional for 20 years, said: “I wanted to produce a complete set of hybrids which would enable golfers of all abilities to improve their game and get more enjoyment from playing without having to change their swing. The response from people who’ve tried or bought the Heavenly Hybrids has been fantastic – so much so that we have had to bring forward our next shipment to cope with demand.” Available in sets for men and women, the nine-piece Heavenly Hybrid range comprises 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons, plus a hybrid pitching wedge and sand wedge. The complete set costs £300, although clubs can also be bought individually for £40 (with clubhead covers included). For more details visit www.heavenlyhybrid.com.
Masters in 2009, or as Bernhard Langer has done for much of career, with the top of the putter held close to, but not touching, his chin. American Ryder Cup player Matt Kuchar is another pro who uses a belly, and has experimented with both the free-flowing and anchored styles, ultimately preferring the former. “I thought I’d find an advantage by anchoring it, but I never quite developed a comfort level,” he said. “If I missed putts to the right or the left, what would I do to correct that? I think the rules-makers want the player to control both ends of the club. I was kind of hoping I would be OK with the rule and it sounds like I am. Anybody that uses a short putter thinks the rule change is a good thing, and anybody that uses the belly putter or long putters is not happy. It’s a pretty black and white subject.”
“We swing all 13 other clubs. I think the putter should be the same.” Tiger Woods “The fact is, if somebody invented the belly putter tomorrow, it would not pass. There’s no way they would let it through.” Padraig Harrington “I’m not going to go rushing out there to conform to a rule that won’t be in effect until 2016.” Adam Scott (long-time broomhandle user) “One of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well. We could go separately, but I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies.” George O’Grady, European Tour Chief Executive
Odyssey offers anchoring alternative
Odyssey Golf, the makers of belly putters as used by major champions Keegan Bradley and Ernie Els, is to release a new range of putters designed to help golfers stabilise the club during the stroke. The brand says its 43-inch Metal X-Arm Lock putter – which will be available in Metal-X #7 and Metal-X Dart models from January - is not intended to be anchored to the tummy or chest, instead, the top
portion of the grip is intended to press against the lead forearm. “We were kind of waiting with bated breath to see what the actual rule would be and whether this design would be conforming,” said Odyssey Golf’s head designer Austie Rollinson. “We were happy to see that it was. At Odyssey we were adamant about offering alternative solutions to golfers who might change their current technique based on the recent anchoring proposal.” To ensure the club is being used correctly, Odyssey has added the words ‘Arm Lock’ to a red area in the section where the club should be fastened against the arm. “We have been anticipating the proposed ban on the anchoring technique for some time now, and working with our Tour players, have identified an alternative and Tourproven putting method,” added Odyssey Golf’s global director Chris Koske. “We’re now moving quickly to deliver the Arm Lock products that promote a stable and consistent putting stroke for both professional and amateur golfers.” Matt Kuchar currently uses this stroke and according to golf’s governing bodies, it will remain legal if the proposed rule changes are enacted. The new Odyssey Arm Lock putters will retail for £159.
News in Brief PROS SAMPLE NEW PRO V1S Luke Donald became the first player across worldwide professional tours to win using Titleist’s new ProV1 prototype golf ball last month. The World No.2 stormed to a five-stroke victory the first week he put the Pro V1x ball into play at the Dunlop Phoenix Open, while the Dubai World Championship was the first event where the new ProV1 and Pro V1x prototypes were seeded at a European Tour event. Among other Titleist ball players to receive ‘white box’ samples were Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen, and Michael Hoey.
SCOTT TRIES THE CLAW Long-time broom handle user Adam Scott was spotted practicing with a custom designed Scotty Cameron GoLo putter at this month’s Australian Open. The 32-year-old Australian was experimenting with the putter following the proposed ban on anchoring long putters in2016. The GoLo model featured an adjustable length shaft, which Scott used with a claw grip on his bottom hand, and his top hand held against his left wrist.
TAYLORMADE RE-SIGNS CLARKE TaylorMade has signed a contract extension with former Open champion Darren Clarke. As part of the deal, which will take it past the 45-year-old Irishman’s 50th birthday, Clarke will continue to use TaylorMade’s Rocketballz woods and hybrids, TP MB irons and the Penta TP5 ball. He will also have the company’s logo on the front of his headwear and use a staff bag. Clarke is currently ranked 140th in the world and finished 108th in the 2012 Race To Dubai.
NIKE COVERT CLAIMS FIRST WIN Scott Jamieson powered to victory in the rain-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa, using Nike’s new VR Covert Tour driver. The 29-year-old from Scotland fired a final round 57 – which did not count as a record, as the course had been shortened – to force the play-off against Steve Webster and Eduardo de la Riva. The result marked a first win for the cavityback Covert driver, which goes on sale in February.
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Sweet dreams at Lytham’s dormy delight
DISCOVER THE DELIGHTS OF DARTMOOR As well as being home to one of the UK’s most scenic National Parks, Dartmoor is also the venue for a handful of stunning moorland golf courses, each of which enjoys its own unique and stunning setting. Exclusive Golf Breaks has put together a great value two-night, three-round package that gives golfers the chance to choose from the delightful layouts to be found at Yelverton, Tavistock, St Mellion and Bovey Castle. The Jack Nicklaus-designed St Mellion needs little introduction to the golfing public, having hosted numerous tour events over the years, while the magnificent Bovey Castle, located in Moretonhampstead, is fast gaining a reputation as a challenging tournament venue, having hosted the EuroPro Tour in recent years. Designed to rival its sister courses at Gleneagles and Turnberry, the JF Abercombie-designed course at
Bovey meanders through the undulating estate, with winding streams and large Dartmoor rocks adding to the challenge at every turn. Tavistock and nearby Yelverton are both classic moorland tracks, with golfers required to share the generous fairways with herds of grazing sheep and native Dartmoor ponies, while enjoying fine views over the stunning Devon landscape. Yelverton staged the Men’s Senior Amateur Championships in 2006, and presents a serious test of golf, although it remains playable for
all skill levels providing you don’t mind chipping out from the gorse bushes and bracken from time to time! The fastdraining Dartmoor soil not only provides tight, links-style lies, and quick putting surfaces, but it also ensures year-round play and no need for temporary greens. There is a choice of accommodation options, including the comfortable Bedford Hotel in the historic market town of Tavistock, which has earned a reputation as a foodie’s paradise, following the launch of its Food & Drink Festival, weekly markets, and its superb range of restaurants and gastro pubs. The Apple Tree Bed & Breakfast, a Grade II Victorian house also located in Tavistock, is also a recommended venue for travelling golfers. Packages start from £225pp, for two nights’ B&B and three rounds. For bookings visit www.exclusivegolfbreaks. com or call 01822 618181.
Golf groups looking for the ultimate ‘stay and play’ break at the venue for the 2012 Open Championship, should book in at Royal Lytham & St Annes‘ iconic Dormy House, which is just 30 yards from the first tee. The house, which sits directly behind the putting green that overlooks the first tee, boasts 16 single rooms, and is the perfect place for large groups, whether friends or ccolleagues, to stay when playing at Lytham and the stunning array of other courses to be found on this blessed stretch of coastline. Loved by generations of golfers who make the annual pilgrimage here, it is not plush by any means, with guests
required to share bathrooms and toilet facilities, but what it lacks in luxury fripperies it more than makes up for in its character and charm. The breakfast – which is served in the clubhouse – is better than anything you’ll find at boutique hotel. There’s also a small lounge with comfy sofas and a big TV to relax in front of after a round on the links, although most guests head to the club’s upstairs bar, where the friendly staff will keep your glasses topped up while you gaze out over the links in wonder and trepidation. After a night of tall tales, fine food and frothing ales – and a few frames of snooker – you just have to stumble back to the house, before waking up just a few hours later to stumble even less assuredly to the first tee, where one of England’s finest links experiences awaits. Dormy House packages are available from £181pp, which includes dinner, bed, full English breakfast, one round of golf and a soup and sandwich lunch. For bookings call 01253 643790 or email email@example.com.
2 NIGHTS B&B at St Mellion or Trevose 3 ROUNDS St Mellion, Perranporth & Trevose
ONLY £225 pp Dinner option: £20pp per night extra
ENGLISH RIVERA DEVON
HAMPSHIRE & SURREY CLASSICS
WOODHALL GOLF BREAKS
2 NIGHTS B&B at Toorak Hotel, Torquay 3 ROUNDS Churston, Torquay & Teignmouth
2 NIGHTS B&B at either: Marriott Portsmouth or Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, Haslemere 3 ROUNDS at any of these courses:
2 NIGHTS B&B at The Metropole Hotel DAY 1 Cradoc G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Llandrindod Wells G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Builth Wells G.C 18 holes
2 NIGHTS B&B at The Royal Sportsman DAY 1 Porthmadog G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Nefyn & District G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Royal St Davids G.C 18 holes
2 NIGHTS B&B at Woodhall Spa Hotel 3 DAYS 1 x Hotchkin Course*
ONLY £249 pp
ONLY £199 pp
ONLY £225 pp
ONLY £249 pp
Hindhead, Stoneham, Hayling or Liphook
ONLY £199 pp
Dinner Option: £10pp per night extra
Weekend supplement: £10pp extra
Weekend supplement: £15pp extra
1 x Bracken Course* 1 x Seacroft GC
* Located at Woodhall
Weekend supplement: £17pp extra
To discuss your exclusive golf package call 01822 618181
We have over 15 years experience of organising golf breaks throughout the UK and Europe
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
GALLOP DOWN TO GOODWOOD WITH GOLFBREAKS
If you’re looking for outstanding golf on an immaculate course, coupled with a relaxing stay at a country hotel, then it’s time you booked a break to Goodwood in West Sussex, where the Park Course and the Goodwood Park Hotel combine to offer a memorable golfing break at any time of the year. They pride themselves on doing things differently at Goodwood, and nowhere is its quintessentially English approach more apparent than
Four-time Ryder Cup host venue The Belfry has unveiled an array of special golf breaks exclusively available throughout winter. With two championship golf courses, the worldfamous Brabazon Course and PGA National Course, plus a further 18-hole course known as The Derby, as well as Europe’s largest customfitting centre and PGA National Golf Academy, The Belfry has something to offer players of all ability and budget. The 324-bedroom resort is supplemented by a host of enviable off-course amenities, such as a relaxing spa, diverse food and beverage outlets, plus an award-winning pro shop. A range of options is available, depending on the length of stay and preferred golf course. For example, starting from just £79, golfers can enjoy one night bed & breakfast and two rounds of golf - one each on the PGA National Course and The Derby. Prices are based on two people sharing, Sunday through Friday, but as an added incentive for those wishing to book for larger groups, 1-in-12 goes for free. Golfers looking to experience championship golf at its finest can play both championship courses, the PGA National and The Brabazon for just £139 per person, including bed & breakfast. Both deals are available now until the end of February, but from January 1st evening meals can be added at a supplement. For more information visit www.TheBelfry.co.uk or call 0300 500 0405.
in its golf offering. From the idiosyncratic Woody buggies, with their wicker Champagne baskets and floral-pattern bench seats, to the unique Ralph Lauren pro shop in the clubhouse, Goodwood gets it right on so many levels. Although the Downs Course is members only, with the exception of packages offered to hotel guests, a good proportion of the membership still choose to play the slightly less challenging Park Course. Located on the doorstep of The Goodwood Hotel,
the 6,650-yard course is 25 years old this year, and was designed by leading architect Donald Steel. The beautiful parkland layout, which is built on largely flat terrain, is impressively overlooked by towering 18th century cedars and boasts quality greens and tees, as well as benefitting from stunning views of Goodwood House. With sculptured fairways, manicured approaches, and evenly-paced greens, the Park Course is a step or two above your average public course
experience. With the round finished, golfers can tot up their scores in the comfort of the hotel’s Bar & Grill, which sits right behind the 18th green. The restaurant and bar create two distinct places to eat and drink, with many of the items on the menu featuring ingredients that have been either brewed, grown or reared – organically, of course – on the Goodwood Estate. The hotel has 91 rooms, and has recently benefitted from a stylish refurbishment with a fresh contemporary feel to the rooms, providing a stunning venue for a golfing break, ith the small matter of a racecourse, a motor racing track, an airfield, leisure club and treatment rooms, and all manner of country sports on top, visitors to Goodwood are clearly spoiled for choice when it comes to alternative leisure activities for nongolfers. Golfbreaks.com is currently offering one night’s dinner, bed & breakfast at the Goodwood Hotel and Country Club and two rounds of golf on the Park Course from £115pp (Mon-Fri only). For bookings visit www. golfbreaks.com.
Belfry launches bargain winter breaks
Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board
Please visit our new website
27 holes of fantastic golf
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 £59.95 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l
DECEMBER & JANUARY SOCIETY SPECIAL OFFER l
Coffee & Bacon Baguettes on arrival
Basket of Driving Range Balls 18 Holes of Championship Golf l Two Course Dinner, Coffee & Mints l l
ONLY £29.95pp! (min 8 players)
DORSET’S PREMIER GOLFING VENUE NOT TO BE MISSED!
TELEPHONE NO: 01929 472244
FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UK’s Largest Golf Resort
Set in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. The Ashbury Golf Hotel is the ideal venue for your golf break.
Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3
Ashbury 6th 410 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
Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4
Kigbeare 15th 382 yards, Par 4
Autumn to Spring Specials 24/9/12 - 01/5/13 • FREE UNLIMITED GOLF • FREE BUGGIES • DRIVING RANGE TOKENS
London beach 10 x 2
Early 2013 Bargain Breaks from: £45per person, per night! 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
All rooms en-suite • Full board • Child rates • Party discounts
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
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excellent golf courses and year-round sunny skies, there are many reasons why CYPRUS is often described as a jewel
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Your Golf Travel signs Clarke Former Open champion Darren Clarke has joined forces with leading golf travel company Your Golf Travel to help promote its services to UK golfers. The hero of Royal St George’s in 2011, Clarke is one of the frontrunners to succeed José Maria Olazabal as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in 2014, and is no stranger to jetting around the world to play the game. “I’m delighted to have agreed my new role with Your Golf Travel,” said the 44-year-old from Northern Ireland. “As Europe’s largest golf travel business, they have an influential role to play in attracting
Your Golf Travel will also become a global partner to ISM, Clarke’s sports management company, which will assist in the marketing of events and promotion of the business in 2013. Your Golf Travel co-founder Ross Marshall said: “Darren has always been a great hero of ours, and it’s a great honour for us to be able to sponsor him to help take our brand to a global audience. There is no better man for the job and we’re relishing the prospect of working with him.” Launched in 2005, Your Golf Travel offers golf holidays to more than 3,000 venues and courses across 22 countries worldwide. The firm features a range of innovative golf breaks, including ‘inside the ropes’ packages to major championship venues, allowing golfers to follow in the footsteps of the pros. For the latest offers, visit www.yourgolftravel.com.
new people to golf and that can only be good for the long-term future of our great game.” Under the terms of the new partnership,
BAG SOME WINTER SUN AT SALOBRE
Eagle-eyed golfers swoop on the States A golf holiday to America rarely disappoints, but given the huge choice of destinations on offer, deciding where to have your fun in the sun is often the hardest call to make. USA golf holiday specialists Eagle Golf Tours, which has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, has sent over 30,000 satisfied clients on golf holidays to the most well-known destinations in America, and is uniquely place to ensure your golf break is a memorable one. One of the most popular destinations in America with British golfers at this moment in time is Myrtle Beach. Also known as the Grand Strand and, more recently, dubbed the ‘Golf Capital of the World’, Myrtle Beach boasts what may well be the greatest collection of public access courses anywhere. With more than 100 stunning layouts in a 60-mile stretch of the South Carolina coastline, the best architects in the world have played their part in Myrtle Beach’s legacy to the game. The types of courses are varied in design from open, windswept links, to traditional low country courses carved through the
Carolina forests. Add in a choice of over 1,000 restaurants offering cuisine from around the world, miles of sandy beach, hundreds of bars and nightclubs, and you have the perfect golf holiday destination. Moving south, we come to the sunshine state of Florida, more specifically to the golfing Mecca that is Orlando, home to many of the world’s best golfers. With in excess of 200 golf courses to choose from, the Orlando area has long been a popular golf holiday destination with UK golfers, and not just families with
young Disney-obsessed children. With daily Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick – where clubs go free – Orlando has never a more attractive proposition. Enjoying a year-round temperate climate, sensible green fees, and a huge choice of accommodation, from budget hotels to five-star resorts to private villas, Orlando really is worth consideration for your next golf holiday in the USA. . For more information on these and other popular destinations, call 01273 419111 or go to www.eaglegolftours.com.
This fantastic and very successful golf tournament is now in its 15th year, we would again like to invite you to this beautiful of countries for a week of friendly fun and competition. Our best event of the year attracts both golfers and non-golfers alike to an island that we guarantee you will enjoy and make new friends. The 4* deluxe Alexander the Great Beach Hotel is currently being completely renovated and refurbished ready for when we arrive. The new look hotel will host the event for the 5th consecutive time for its service, hospitality, great position on the beach overlooking the sea, only minutes from restaurants and tavernas. Golf will be played over three very different course, two on the excellent Aphrodite Hills, one at the Faldo designed Elea and another at the much improved Minthis Hills Cyprus first golf course. Monarch from London Gatwick will again carry the main group of competitors along with Jet2 from Manchester and Newcastle at a supplement.
Golfers: £985 Golfers looking to escape another harsh British winter should consider starting the New Year with a well-deserved golf break to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. Named ‘Europe’s Top Golf Destination’ at the recent IAGTO awards, Gran Canaria is ideal for mid-winter golfing breaks thanks to its year-round temperate climate, which varies between 20 and 27 degrees. Located 100 miles off the north west coast of Africa, the island is known as ‘the miniature continent’ due to its varied landscape and climates. The north is home to beautiful green valleys and the wonderful El Cortijo Club de Campo, while the South features a desert-like landscape and features the Sheraton Salobre, as well as the popular courses at Maspalomas and Anfi Tauro. The island has eight golf courses in total, including Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas – the oldest golf club in Spain – that nestles alongside a former volcano providing deep ravines as its key hazards. Golf Escapes is offering a seven-night stay at the five-star Sheraton Salobre Resort from £835 per person (based on two people sharing). The price includes unlimited green fees for six days at Salobre Golf South and North Course, a free welcome drink, free shuttle bus to the beach club, two hours’ use of the driving range. The 18-hole course Salobre is modern in design and is a challenging par-71. Designed by Roland Faure in 2000, the course sweeps through land originally formed 14 million years ago, when Gran Canaria was little more than a fresh volcano. Elevated tees make it a great driving course, with players able to pick out shots against a background of clear blue sky and emerald fairways. It also has some superb par-threes, including the 120-yard third over water; the sixth, which is perched along a shelf of rock and shale, and the signature 14th, which is settled below the Sheraton Hotel. The resort also offers a Ron Kirby-designed 9-hole course, which offers similarly impressive ocean and mountain views. For more information or to book, visit www.golf-escapes.com.
Falcon’s Fire Golf Club in Orlando
1 - 8 May 2013
Non - Golfers: £785
Flights from Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle 7 nights sharing a double room on BB at the Alexander the Great Beach Hotel in Paphos Free Sea View upgrade for repeat hotel guests Welcome Cocktail Party on arrival Evening at a local tavern for a Meze meal 4 rounds of Individual & Team events Prize Presentation Gala Evening with meal and wine Complimentary golf gift from the hotel Luxury coach transfers
Extras: (per person) Single room £125, Sea View £69, Ext. Nts £55 Other airports may be available on request This event is extremely popular so book early to avoid disappointment!
1 May 2 May 3 May 4 May 5 May 6 May 7 May 8 May
Depart UK for Paphos Airport, Cyprus Welcome cocktail party Free Day Evening at a local taverna Texas Scramble at Elea GC Betterball at Minthis Hills GC Free Day 1st round Singles Aphrodite Hills 2nd round Singles at Aphrodite Hills Gala Evening with Prize Presentation Depart Paphos for the UK
Full handicaps allowance for all competitions/No professionals
Call: 020 8660 9905 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org SPONSORS:
/ 020 8660 9905
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Stay & play brought to you by
For bookings please contact Your Golf Travel.com: Call Free: 0800 193 6612 Email: email@example.com Web: www.yourgolftravel.com
It’s that rare combination that very few golf resorts achieve: serenity, relaxation and beauty, but also being near enough to main transport links to be accessible. And it’s one that Bryn Meadows pulls off in style. Choose this Welsh Valley’s gem for your next break and you’ll be treated idyllic beauty in spades, but that’s not all...
MAJESTIC MEADOWS Part golf hotel, part rural retreat and part spa oasis, Bryn Meadows ticks more boxes than you might think even exist. What it may lack is familiarity among the golfing masses when faced alongiside the might of other two South Wales resorts, but that lends it a charm like few others. An intimate collection of 42 bedrooms helps craft a calm and personal environment where you can expect to treated with care and consideration, while public areas and the spa are a true delight. Inside each of the Bryn Meadows guest rooms, a clean and contemporary style blends seamlessly with the modern amenities required of a high quality four-star hotel. Subtle tones and wonderful views are further hallmarks of an accommodation standard aimed at exceeding expectations. Exploring the local area is a must for any Bryn Meadows visitor; ten minutes will bring you to Caerphilly and its impressive hilltop castle, while the majestic Brecon Beacons are just half an hour away. That said, the 100 acres of countryside that form the hotel’s estate are noteworthy in their own right - with both hotel and golf course enjoying exceptional views. The golf course itself is the perfect
SPECIAL PACKAGES ONE-NIGHT BREAK 1 Night, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast 2 Rounds of Golf FROM
£84 PER PERSON
reflection of the hotel: charming, laid back and enjoyable. Just a shade over 6,000 yards, and with a par of 71, the highlights of the layout are the second, a daunting 557-yarder with an approach over water, and the 13th, a long par-3 that also threatens a watery grave. Leading spa product provider ESPA lends a dose of sophistication to the relaxation experience in Fusion Spa & Wellness. Here, an array of hydrotherapy experiences joins a menu including treatments specifically designed for men and a host of massages. Afterwards, your
evening will centre on the wonderful food at Blas, the signature restaurant at Bryn Meadows. A new seasonal menu underpins the ethos at Blas, with local suppliers ensuring that the offerings are a celebration of what’s best in Wales Views of no less than five surrounding valleys make the restaurant one not to miss. Each component of the resort package seems to punch above its weight; it’s a total experience that visitors will agree makes Bryn Meadows one of the UK’s true hidden gems.
TWO-NIGHT BREAK 2 Nights, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast 3 Rounds of Golf FROM
£164 PER PERSON
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
WATCH RORY AND TIGER DUEL IN THE DESERT
We’re the golfing holiday experts.
from £1,595 PP
5* Belle Mare Plage
Golf fans looking to get a bird’s eye view of the world’s top two golfers battling it out under sun-filled skies should take up a stunning new hospitality package being offered to visitors to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which takes place from January 17-20. Abu Dhabi Golf Club is offering golfing enthusiasts the chance to witness the world’s top players from the comfort of the clubhouse’s iconic Falcon Terrace, which offers elevated views of the 9th and 18th holes. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is fast turning into one of the European Tour’s showcase events, with world numbers one and two, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, being just two of the big names already scheduled to take part in the star-studded event. Group and individual bookings are available to watch the event all week, with packages including a welcome cocktail/glass of champagne, buffet lunch, afternoon tea,
priority parking, souvenir official programme, daily draw sheet and access to the Falcon clubhouse and bars, costing £200pp. Golfers wishing to play golf while they are in Abu Dhabi can take their pick from a handful of stunning championship courses, including the Kyle Phillips-designed Yas Links and the challenging Saadiyat Beach, which is the handiwork of Gary Player. Built on Yas Island, which is also home to the F1 Grand Prix circuit and the Ferrari World theme park, Yas Links offers a rollercoaster ride of its own, with eight of its 18 holes clinging to the edge of a two-mile stretch of man-made coastline, while Saddiyat is no less impressive, with many holes located hard against the sea, while acres of bunkers make for testing tee shots. For hospitality package enquiries contact Louise Simpson at lsimpson@adgolfclub. com. For golf holiday bookings visit www. golfinabudhabi.com.
An INN on York Street 7-DAY SPECIAL FOR ONLY £349 Enjoy 7 nights B&B including 3 rounds of golf for just £349 each + a second consecutive week for just £300 (based on 2 people sharing and assuming rate of £1 to $1.55)
IRE’S A N O I MILL GOLF N UNDISEW & C AN IN OVERED LAN MYRT LE BEA D CH
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 by 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
2 weeks all inclusive unlimited golf on 2 courses incl. flights, transfers with shared cart
from £1,199 PP
from £675 PP
Argentario Golf Resort & Spa
4* Crowne Plaza Yas Island 7 nights b&b with 5 rounds golf incl. flights, airport & golf transfers
7 nights b&b with unlimited golf incl. car hire, excl. flights
SOUTH AFRICA from £1,695 PP 2 weeks Garden Route 12 nights b&b with 5 rounds golf incl. flights, golf & car hire ESCORTED TOURS
from £1,925 PP THAILAND 5* Cape Nidhra Hua Hin 12 nights b&b with 5 rounds golf incl. flights, transfers
Book an escorted golf holiday in South Africa with Jacques Gous, PGA pro.
from £425 PP
5* Intercontinental Mar Menor 5 nights b&b with 4 rounds golf incl. transfers, excl. flights
To enquire about your personal escorted golf holiday call Gerard on 028 9023 2112
CALL OUR SPECIALISTS
028 9023 2112
Golf Escapes is delighted to offer some fantastic packages to Morocco. Great value and superb golf courses greet you in this fascinating, beautiful and magical country...
Morocco EXPERIENCE ALL THE MAGIC OF
RIU TIKIDA GARDEN, MARRAKECH
DELLAROSA HOTEL SUITES & SPA, MARRAKECH
5 Nights – Twin Room – All Inclusive, 3 Rounds – 1 x Palmeraie, 1 x Amelkis, 1 x Al Maaden. Return airport and golf course transfers.
5 Nights – Twin Room – B&B 3 Rounds – 1 x Palmeraie, 1 x Amelkis, 1 x Al Maaden. Return airport and golf course transfers.
VALID 13 FEB – 29 MAR 2013
VALID 01 MAR – 31 MAY 2013
An INN on York Street 164 York Street, Chester, SC 29706 Tel: 001- 803- 581- 8681 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.innonyorkstreet.com
from £1,895 PP
5* Moon Palace Resort
12 nights half board with unlimited golf on 2 championship courses incl. flights, transfers
IBEROSTAR FOUNTY BEACH, AGADIR
PALMERAIE GOLF PALACE, MARRAKECH
5 Nights – Twin Room – All Inclusive, 3 Rounds – 1 x Golf du Soleil, 1 x Golf Les Dunes, 1 x Golf L’Ocean. Return airport and golf course transfers.
3 Nights - Twin Room – B&B – 1 Free Dinner 2 Rounds at Palmeraie Golf Course. Return airport transfers
VALID 26 FEB – 30 APR 2013 (EXCL. EASTER)
Golf du Soleil
VALID 01 MAY – 24 JUN 2013
£315pp VALID 03 JAN – 28 MAR 2013
Different durations, additional rounds of golf, room upgrades and single room supplements available on request – please ask for further details. Prices shown are based on an exchange rate of 13.4 MAD to the Pound. Flights are not included, please enquire for further details.
For more information please email: email@example.com, call: 01342 811777 or visit: ww w.golf-escapes.com
ONLY 3 HRS FROM LONDON | EXCELLENT YEAR ROUND CLIMATE | ALL INCLUSIVE PACKAGES
December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Stay & play brought to you by
For bookings please contact Your Golf Travel.com: Call Free: 0800 193 6612 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.yourgolftravel.com
It’s like your local pub, where you walk through the doors and feel weight lift from your shoulders, as friendly faces greet you with a smile. To borrow from a leading Danish brewer, if they made a golf hotel this would be it. Abbotsley is a home away from home, where the welcome is as warm as the atmosphere is laid back
FALLING IN LOVE WITH ABBOTSLEY The term ‘golf hotel’ can at times be a bit misleading: many of the hotels offering golf breaks are not golf hotels as such, as they often cater primarily for business or leisure visitors. At Abbotsley, however, your fellow guests at the 42-bedroom retreat will most likely be in it for the same reason as you: golf. And plenty of golf there is. 45 holes in fact, divided into two 18-hole routes - the Abbotsley and Cromwell Courses - plus the short Huntingdonshire, a collection of par-3s. That’s more holes of golf than there are bedrooms in the hotel! The par-71 Abbotsley Course is without doubt the most mature and challenging of the resort’s offerings. Though the hotel is located not far from St Neot’s, the surroundings are certainly more rural than urban. Indeed, the Abbotsley winds its way through established woodland, across streams and over lakes. It’s not particularly long, but most come away from the hotel’s premier course knowing they’ve had a good work out. Also just a few short strides from the hotel is the Cromwell Course, although proximity is about all the two have in common. Just a shade over the 6,000 yard mark, the second course here is widely regarded as less
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difficult, but its character helps add a good slug of variety to the Abbotsley experience. Panoramic views of the Cambridgeshire countryside are a highlight of the par-70 tour, the perfect tonic to a more demanding examination next door. Both courses are, however, united in their lovely presentation and conditioning. Abbotsley is truly a golf hotel for all, a fact underlined by the final string to
its golfing bow – the Huntingdonshire Course, a nine-hole loop that is just the ticket for beginners or just friends in search of a light-hearted knock. Head there for a tune up or to introduce new players to the game. Whichever course you choose, the same welcoming hotel will await your return. Three bars (an impressive ratio for a 42-bedroom establishment) give you a choice of 19th hole while the
Mill Restaurant makes superb use of local produce for a menu of traditional and comforting classics. Ranked 3 stars by the AA, the Abbotsley hotel is a byword for comfort for the travelling golfer. The first time you visit you’ll wonder why it all feels so familiar and welcoming and if it’s not your first visit, then you already know what we’re talking about.
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December 2012 - January 2013 / Issue 217
Me&MyTravels Travels with Brendan Cole - The 36-year-old Strictly Come Dancing star swaps his tap shoes for spikes at Stoke Park whenever his busy schedule allows Stoke Park Golf Club
My most recent golf trip was to... Archerfield Links in Scotland for the Ladies Scottish Open Pro-Am. It was a fantastic event all round and a lovely course to play.
If I had to play one course for the rest of my life, it would be...Stoke Park. I like to think of it as my main course, and it’s local to where I live. I think it is one of the best courses in the country and there is more than enough to challenge me. My dream fourball would include... Tiger Woods, Sam Torrance, and my mate Anton du Beke. My usual fourball includes...I don’t have one. I play all over with whoever.
Ritz Carlton Hotel, Hong Kong
My most memorable ever round was at...The Grove. Rolling fairways, pristine tees and smooth greens. I played well, and it was one of the first times I played a really nice course.
My most embarrassing moment on a golf course was... at a live golf event in front of large crowd, where I dribbled the ball off the tee and barely made it past the ladies. Almost a ‘trousers down’ moment!
My favourite city in the world is... Sydney. I’ve only played golf there once and it was too hot! The beer was good afterwards though. My golfing hero is...Sam Torrance. I had the good fortune to play a round with him at Stoke Park this year, and not only is he a legend of the game, but he’s a legend all round. I’ve modelled my swing on... about 20 different players and that’s probably where I’m going wrong. My best gross score was...91. It only happened once and I’m thinking I may have miss-counted, because it hasn’t happened since!
My favourite golf resort is...I’ve not really played many resort courses, so I don’t have a favourite, but I stayed at the Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort in Miyazaki in Japan recently, which was pretty special. I didn’t get to play the course, unfortunately. The best hotel I’ve ever stayed at was...The Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong, followed by the Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort.
Archerfield Links in Scotland
The best piece of golf advice I’ve ever received was...preparation is everything. Don’t even think about swinging the club until you’ve sorted your head out in advance of taking the shot. I’m planning a golf trip to... nowhere! My work doesn’t allow me to plan ahead. The clubs will come back out in April when my tour is finished. Brendan Cole’s Licence To Thrill tour starts on January 20th. Brendan Cole Live At The Manor is at Celtic Manor on Saturday, 9th March 2013. For tickets and details visit www.brendancole.com.
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