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ISSUE 273 | MARCH 2018 | TWITTER: @GOLFNEWSMAG | WEB: GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

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BY

NICK BAYLY

GRABBING DISTANCE BY THE BALLS S macking a drive out of sight down the middle of the fairway is surely one of the most satisfying shots in golf. OK, it’s great to hit one close with a wedge, or hole a snaking 30-foot putt, but for a pure shot of adrenalin, connecting with the centre of the clubface and watching your ball soar towards the green yonder is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. Holding the finish for more than two seconds after such a stunning blow, is, of course, a fineable offence, as is blowing the imaginary smoke from the clubhead and returning your imaginary gun to your imaginary holster, but so rare is it that club golfers hit one ‘out of the screws’, that it’s really hard not to savour, and, on the odd occasion, celebrate, the moment. However, enjoy it while you can, as if seems the golfing authorities are starting to get twitchy again about distance. And by that I mean the length that the golf ball is travelling through the air. Up until a couple of years ago, it looked as it golf club technology, at least as far as creating distance was concerned, had started to plateau, with each new driver launch making less of a song and dance about yardage, and more about adjustability, shot shape and accuracy. Up until 2016, the R&A, whose job it is to know about equipment performance data, measured increments of around 0.2 yards per year from tee shots hit on the world’s professional tours. Nothing to write home about there, I feel. However, a combination of lighter materials, better quality shafts, an increased understanding of aerodynamics, new balls designs, and more aggressive golf swings has resulted in a slightly larger jump in distance over the last two years. Three yards may not sound a lot to you or me, but for those charged with keeping a lid on the impact of technology on scores and course design, it set off all sorts of alarm bells in the corridors of power, and certainly in the offices of those whose job it is to curb power in the world of golf equipment. Whether it’s the driver or the ball is a moot point – although the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Greg Norman have been mooting restrictions on the latter since the beginning of time – but it seems that this latest leap forward has got the rule-makers in a tizzy, and they’re currently sitting around in huddled circles cogitating over what to do about it. Do they create one set of equipment rules for professionals and elite amateurs and another for club golfers? Should all pros play with the same, distancerestricted ball? Should all tour venues be extended to 8,000 yards? Should they do nothing about it all, and let the world

carry on spinning? Personally speaking, I’m in favour of the latter. Not only do I like to see Dustin Johnson clobber one 433 yards to reach a par four in a single blow, but I also like the fact that I’m essentially playing with the same gear as the pros, and while I’m delighted to get one out to 260 yards with a following wind and a road-like fairway, knowing that I could crank one out to the stratosphere if I had the technique and strength to do so, makes it feel worthwhile to splash out on a new driver and some new golf balls once in a while. OK, thanks to my job, I don’t have to splash out on either, but the point is the same. Anything that might harm the fun to be had out on the golf course, either as a spectator sport or leisure pursuit, is to be avoided at all costs. There are plenty of other ways of making tournament courses more difficult other than by making them longer. Narrower fairways, more punishing rough, deeper bunkers, and tighter pin positions can all play a part in making par harder to come by. I really don’t mind whether a tournament is won by someone shooting 26 under or level par, as long as it’s entertaining and doesn’t take all bloody day. So, for the 99.9% of us that play the game for fun, and even for the 0.1% that do it for the money, I suggest that the R&A and the USGA kick any thoughts of reining in the driver, or the ball, into the long grass. After all, that’s generally where most of us hit it.

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“Prices are per person based on 2 adults sharing from London on selected dates only. For prices from other airports please inquire. *FREE Carriage of Golf Bag applies to Ercan airport arrivals only.**Fly, stay & play for free offer applies to Ercan airport arrivals only. All offers are subject to availability. Terms & Condiions apply.”


[6]

MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

LONDON CLUB TO HOST PGA SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP T

he stars of the European senior circuit will be teeing it up at the London Golf Club in Kent this summer for the inaugural staging of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship. The tournament’s return to the senior schedule will have special significance as the first event to be hosted by insurance company Staysure – which this year became the first ever title sponsor of the European Senior Tour. Taking place at the Brands Hatch-based club from August 2-5, the PGA Seniors Championship was last played in 2015, when Peter Fowler lifted the title at Close House in Newcastle. A mainstay on the over-50s circuit between 1992 and 2015, the tournament has been won by some of the tour’s all-time greats, including Brian Huggett, Tommy Horton and Sam Torrance. London Golf Club has impeccable tournament credentials, having held European Tour events in the form of the 2008 and 2009 European Opens and the Volvo World Match Play in 2014. The club last hosted a senior tournament in 2007, the Bendinat

■ PETER FOWLER WAS THE LAST PLAYER TO WIN THE PGA SENIORS TITLE IN 2015

London Seniors Masters, where Torrance held off the challenge of José Rivero to take the title. In addition to the Jack Nicklaus signature-designed Heritage Course, London Golf Club also boasts the International Course – which will host golf’s legends in a four round event this summer. Known for its fast, undulating fairways and risk-and-reward tee shots, the International is set to provide the perfect setting for the first staging of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship.

■ THE LONDON CLUB'S INTERNATIONAL COURSE

David MacLaren, head of the Staysure Tour, said: “London Golf Club is an outstanding venue, and one which has a unique relationship with the European Tour, through our joint-venture partnership. We have to thank all those involved at one of the UK’s finest inland venues for agreeing to host the flagship event of our first year of partnership with Staysure. "We want to give particular thanks to the PGA for their support of over-50s golf and ensuring that one of the game’s most

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08/03/2018 16:17

STOKE PARK PRO PICKS UP TOP KIDS’ COACHING AWARD

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toke Park golf professional Tom Reid has been hailed as one of the top 50 junior coaches in the world for the second consecutive year. Reid was the only British-based coach to make the final cut in the list presented by Coaches Institute, a division of the US Kids Golf Foundation, an organisation designed to promote junior golf. The announcement – and presentation of his personalised plaque – took place at the PGA Show in Florida, the largest annual golf trade show

in the world. US Kids Golf conceived the top 50 awards in 2004 to help parents find child-friendly coaches recognised for their outstanding ability. A delighted Reid, who has been at Stoke Park for almost a year, said: "I was chuffed, as you can imagine. There were about 500 people in the audience and it was streamed live on Facebook. I'm not really one for getting up in front of an audience like that, so my priority was to get up there and get back down without tripping over!” He added: "I gather that I'm the only person

■ TOM REID WITH US KIDS GOLF'S PRESIDENT DAN VAN HORN

in Europe to have won it twice, which is great. I now have to try to make it three years in a row, which would make me a US Kids Golf Master Instructor – the only one in Europe." Dan Van Horn, the president and founder of US Kids Golf, said: "These coaches are honoured as more than instructors. They create outstanding opportunities for young golfers to learn in a fun and rewarding environment that instils a love for the game and engages the entire family. Their ability to connect with students and fully engage them in the learning process sets them apart." Reid moved to Stoke Park last March from Wentworth Club in Surrey, where he helped

established a junior academy. Since moving to the Buckinghamshirebased venue he has been instrumental in the success of the Stoke Park academy, and the restructuring of the scholarship programme over the past 12 months. He added: "What attracted me to Stoke Park was that it was a busy, high-end club, and I came with the intention of helping to grow the academy, which we are succeeding in doing. I've done a lot of junior coaching, and I am looking to now restructure the junior development programme. But our overall intention is to make Stoke Park's academy the ‘go to' academy for any golfer in the area. And visitors can see for themselves: we are well on the way!"


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

NEWS | MARCH 2018

[7]

OXFORD MOURNS PASSING OF PRO TONY REES

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enduring titles returns to the Staysure Tour.” Stephen Follett, chief executive of London Golf Club, added: “We are thrilled to be hosting the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship. The club has a great heritage of hosting high profile tournaments and we look forward to welcoming everyone in August, including an array of former Ryder Cup players, and we look forward to hosting another exciting championship in 2018."

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ony Rees, the PGA Professional who served Oxford Golf Club for more than half a century, has passed away at the age of 77. Rees began his professional career at what was then the Oxford University Golf Club in 1957. He trained under former PGA chairman Fred Taylor and succeeded him as head professional six years later, a role he held until his retirement in 2015. Only the second professional in Oxford Golf Club’s 110-year history, Rees passed the head pro’s baton on to his assistant, Joe Pepperell, the brother of European Tour pro Eddie. Rees’s impressive playing record included holding the Midland Professionals, Assistants and Match Play titles in the same year, as well as competing in the Open Championship. He had the opportunity to become one of Ernest Butten’s ‘Boys’ in the 1960s, and join the likes of Tommy Horton and Brian Barnes, however, he opted to stay at Oxford Golf Club, where he forged an outstanding career as a PGA Professional. Rees was not only one of the first PGA tutors, but also a founder member of the Foremost group. In addition, he was a very active member of both the South Region and BB&O PGA committees. He was made a PGA honorary member on reaching 50 years at his club. Affectionately known as ‘The Pro’ throughout his career, Rees continued to support all those who came into contact with him, and was always happy to give his time and knowledge to help both golfers and pros develop their skills.

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■ TONY REES SERVED AS THE PRO AT OXFORD GOLF CLUB FOR OVER 50 YEARS

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08/03/2018 16:17

ELLIS REVELS IN MASTERS' BUILD UP

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ampshire’s Harry Ellis is hoping to do himself justice at next month’s US Masters, where he will be one of six amateurs in the elite line up at Augusta. The 22-year-old from Meon Valley secured his place in the season’s opening major after winning last year’s Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s. Victory also secured him a place in last year’s Open at Royal Birkdale and this year’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills. Ellis is currently studying at Florida State University, which is a four-hour drive from Augusta, and he has already taken time out from his studies to visit the course, and will be back again this month as part of his preparations. “It’s the ultimate place to play golf, and the ultimate tournament to be a part of,” Ellis said. “To be a part of the Masters is very surreal. It was always a goal to play in the Masters as a

■ HARRY ELLIS CELEBRATES HIS 2017 AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY WITH HIS FAMILY

professional, so it has obviously happened a bit quicker than I thought it would.” After playing in last year’s Open Championship at Birkdale, where he finished tied 137th after shooting rounds of 77 and 75, Ellis has picked up a few tips about the preparation required, including not getting to the venue too early and doing too much practice.

“You can drive yourself insane if you arrive too early, and it’s easy to get carried away with all the things that's on offer,” he said. “It’s more about finding the right balance and giving yourself the best possible chance to play well. "I’ll make my way to Augusta the week before and get used to the playing conditions, which

should be pretty close to what they will be for the following week. I’ve got to keep my energy levels up for tournament week, so I’m going to be careful not to overdo it.” Ellis will be joined for his Masters’ preparations by his long-time coach Kristian Baker, who is travelling over from Surrey a full ten days before the tournament. The pair’s first appointment will be at the Golf Club of Georgia on March 25, where Ellis will play against US Amateur champion Doc Redman for the Georgia Cup and the honour of deciding which of them is top dog. Sergio Garcia won the match in 1999, when he beat Hank Kuehne, while fellow Hampshire player Scott Gregory won it last year, en route to his Masters debut. Ellis added: “I’m confident that Augusta will suit my strengths, as it seems to naturally favour players who prefer to draw the ball, which I do. I know that the greens will be a different pace to anything I’ve experienced before, but we’ll just have to see how we get on.” Ellis will join his fellow amateurs for a special dinner on April 2, after which he will stay in Augusta’s famous Crow’s Nest in the clubhouse, before he joins his family at a nearby rental house for the remainder of the week ahead of the first round, which begins on April 5.


[8]

MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

ROMFORD RAISES £14K FOR GOOD CAUSES Romford Golf Club captain Michael Miles handed over £7,250 to the London Air Ambulance and Cancer Rsearch UK following a year of charitable activities at the popular Essex club during 2017. Incoming captain John Fuller will be raising money for DT38 Foundation, a charity set up for Dylan Tombides, an Australian-born West Ham player who died from testicular cancer in 2014 aged just 20. A golf day held at the club last month supporting the DT38 Foundation raised £700.

STOKES JOINS PRO TEAM AT BISHOPS STORTFORD PGA professional Mark Stokes has left Raleigh Driving Range in Essex after 15 years to join Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club. The 56-year-old former PGA East captain will be working alongside the club’s head professional Simon Sheppard, who captained the region 2017. Stokes new role will see him help lead coach Graham Stone and shop manager David Rickwood with their responsibilities. He will also represent the club in the East region, where he has been an active player for many seasons.

PGA EAST UNVEILS ORDER OF MERIT SCHEDULE The PGA East Region has increased its number of Order of Merit events by one to five for the 2018 season. This year it will stage ranking tournaments at West Essex, Bentley, Ingrebourne, Bishop’s Stortford and Millbrook. The series gets underway with the London Open at West Essex on June 14-15. A week later, the East Anglian Open is scheduled for June 20-21 at Bentley. Ingrebourne has been a fixture on the schedule for several seasons, hosting the region’s Par 3 Championship. In 2018 it will double up by staging its first Order of Merit event on August 7. Bishop’s Stortford will stage the East Region Championship on September 5-6, while the final event will be held at Millbrook in Bedfordshire on September 26-27.

SOUTH KENT REGION WINS KEN STATHAM TROPHY The annual Ken Statham Trophy, a 12-a-side mixed junior team competition played between the north, central and south regions of Kent, saw a win for the south this year, following a testing day on the links at Royal St George’s Golf Club. There was some fine individual scoring from the boys, with Ollie Lewis-Perkins (36) and Jack Shipton (33) over the 17 holes available on the day. For the girls, Nicole Amos had a fine 32 points, with Megan Baldwin on 30 points. The South team won with 298 points, with Central in second on 295, and the North with 282.

JONES JOINS KENT UNION Kent Golf Union has appointed Lee Jones as its new golf manager. Jones is a member of the Weald of Kent and has recently served as club captain.

NEW WORLD HANDICAPPING SYSTEM SET FOR 2020 LAUNCH G

olf’s two rules-making bodies have unveiled a proposal for a World Handicap System, which, if ratified by all parties, would come into effect in 2020. If the system is rolled out, the six existing handicapping authorities in Australia, Great Britain & Ireland, Europe, South Africa, Argentina and America, – along with the 15 million golfers in 80 countries they cumulatively represent — would finally play by the same rules, bringing an end to decades of confusion and conflict for travelling golfers. "One wonderful aspect of golf that separates it from other sports is the ability of players

RORY LIVES LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

of differing abilities to play on an equitable basis through handicapping," said Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA. "With one global system, golf courses will be rated and handicaps calculated in a like manner everywhere in the world. Reducing borders or barriers to provide an easy way for all to play together is great for the game and golfers everywhere. "With the world handicapping system, we are also trying to make it easier for golfers to obtain and maintain a handicap. We also want to make those handicaps more portable. And we want to make them more equitable, no matter where or when you play.”

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers added that unifying the handicapping systems would eliminate the confusion or frustration players experience when applying their own handicap in various parts of the world. He said: "We are working closely with the existing handicapping bodies to benefit from their insights as we try to formulate a system that will be easy to understand and can be applied consistently on a global basis. We very much appreciate their support for this initiative." One of the goals of the new system would be to encourage more golfers to keep a handicap, as well as making the game more fair, accessible and fun. Among the WHS guidelines would be the adoption of the USGA Course and Slope Rating System, which is already used in more than 80 countries and would further stretch its global reach. To encourage more people to establish a handicap, the minimum number of scores required would be reduced from 90 holes (or five 18-hole rounds) to 54 holes. At the same time, the maximum allowable handicap would rise to 54 for all players. The current maximum handicap is 40 for women and 36 for men. The way that handicaps are computed would be refined as well. Under the WHS, a player’s handicap would be an average of the eight best of his or her most recent 20 scores (the current system takes the 10 best out of the most recent 20 scores). That change would result in a slight downward trend in handicaps, but its primary purpose is to safeguard against a sudden upward surge brought on by a recent run of bad form that is not representative of a player’s ability. Handicaps would also be updated daily, rather than on the first and 15th of every month, and those updates would include a calculation that accounts for abnormal course and weather conditions, something the existing system does not do.

■ SPEED DEMON: RORY MCILROY PROVED HE'S A FAST DRIVER ON AND OFF THE GOLF COURSE ON THE GRAND TOUR

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ory McIlroy has lived his life at 100mph ever since he turned professional just over ten years ago at the tender age of 17. Now 28, and with four majors in the bag, and millions of euros in the bank, he’s showing no signs of slowing down as he bids to get his career back on track after recovering from last season’s back injury. With second and third-placed finishes in the Desert Swing, McIlroy looks ready to add some more Ws to his CV. However, what remains to be seen is whether he could beat society A-lister Paris Hilton in the Grand Tour’s Celebrity Race Off. For those who have yet to see it on Amazon, we won’t spoil the result. Let’s just say, he’s as good at driving F Type Jags as he is TaylorMade TP5s. Interviewed by Jeremy Clarkson at the Grand Tour’s Oxfordshire-based studio, McIlroy admitted to having crashed the first car he ever owned, a BMW 1 Series, just after passing his test. “I nearly actually went through the front door of the golf club,” he said. “I hit a big, high kerb, bent the steering axle, and I had to drive five miles home like that. It didn’t go well.”

PRINCE’S PGA PAIR PICK UP SOUTH REGION HONOURS

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rince’s Golf Club’s general manager and director of golf have been honoured by England’s PGA South region for their contribution to the association. General manager Rob McGuirk was presented the highest award of PGA Professional of the Year 2017 at the PGA South annual dinner, while director of golf Anthony Tarchetti (right) will serve as PGA South region captain for the next two seasons. The PGA South region, made up of the counties of Berkshire, Bucks and Oxon, Hampshire,

Kent, Surrey and Sussex, represents many prestigious clubs and their members. Tarchetti was appointed as the captain of The PGA in Kent in 2017/18, and will now lead the entire region as he adds to his busy playing schedule, which saw him recently capture the Royal Links Championship title in October 2017. “It is a great honour to serve as captain of the PGA South region. I’m looking forward to the year ahead and will represent all of the professionals in the area to the best of my ability” commented Tarchetti.

In his role as general manager of Prince’s, McGuirk has overseen a period of improvement at the club, culminating in recent major development works to the Himalayas nine. He has been praised for displaying excellent levels of service to the industry, helping to grow the game, and providing leadership. McGuirk said: “It’s especially rewarding to be voted to receive this award and it makes me feel honoured and very proud to be a PGA Professional in what I regard as a great community of fellow golf pros."


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©2018 Callaway Golf Company. Callaway, the Chevron Device, Speed Step, and Jailbreak are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Callaway Golf Company. #1 Driver claim based on Golf Datatech combined on/off course retail reports for January – November 2017. Rogue is a registered trademark of Aldila, Inc.


[10] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

POULT WOOD TEES UP OPEN WEEKEND HUMPHREYS HAILED AS ‘RISING STAR’ The sensational 2017 season of Essex teenager Lily May Humphreys was recognised last month when she won England Golf’s Rising Star Award. The 15-year-old from Stoke by Nayland Golf Club won five championships last year, capturing the British girls’ championship, the European Young Masters, the English women’s amateur championship, the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and, on her first trip to the USA, the Junior Orange Bowl Invitational. Humphreys was presented with her award by Mark Lichtenhein, chairman of the Ladies European Tour, during an awards dinner held in London.

JARRETT JOINS ROYAL MID-SURREY

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oult Wood Golf Club in Kent is hosting an open weekend on April 7-8, which aims to offer golfers young and old, experienced or complete novices, a chance to enjoy first-hand experience of the venue’s two golf courses and clubhouse facilities. There will also be coaching clinics, on-course challenges, pro shop discounts, and all attendees will receive a voucher entitling them to 50% off their next green fee booking. The open days are from 9.30am-4pm, with free balls available on the driving range, and discounted pre-booked tees times for £10 on the 18-hole course and just £5 on the 9-hole course. Golfers who book a game on the 18-hole course can look forward to a quality experience at one of the region’s finest pay-and-play venues. The 5,524-yard, par-68 course offers a well balanced blend of holes, and is designed to challenge the more accomplished player, but also to offer less experienced players an enjoyable

time. With tree-lined fairways, the layout is quite tight, but user friendly and mature. The nine-hole course measures just 1,221 yards, and is the perfect choice for those starting out in the game, as well as more proficient players, looking to sharpen up their short game. Beginning and finishing in ancient woodland, there are some stunning panoramic views to be enjoyed across the Weald of Kent from many of the holes. Poult Wood has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and welcomes societies, who can choose from a menu of flexible options to suit individual needs. Full catering is available in the clubhouse bar and restaurant which offers comfortable surroundings, first class service and great value for money.

To find out more about the open day, or for details of society packages and green fee rates, visit www.poultwood.co.uk.

Sam Jarrett has joined the professional’s team at Royal MidSurrey Golf Club as the club expands the number of fully-qualified PGA Professionals to cater for its growing membership. The 25 year old has joined the Richmond-based club from the London Golf Club in Kent, the county where he was born and raised. Having begun playing golf just a decade ago, he progressed to become part of England Golf’s Futures Programme at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. He turned pro off a scratch handicap in 2014. “I am thrilled to have joined the team at Royal Mid-Surrey at such an exciting time, and looking forward to the season ahead,” he said. “I hope to improve my skill set and feel privileged to be able to further my career at such a prestigious club.”

BRAMSHAW JUNIORS WIN NEW FOREST TEAM AWARD Bramshaw Golf Club’s junior team capped off a stunning 2017 season by winning the Team of the Year Award at the New Forest Sports Council’s annual awards. The junior squad of the Hampshire-based club comprised Elliot Thomas, Ryan Archer, Joe Buenfeld, Ciaran Simpkin, Billy Lightfoot and Anthony Sweeney, and together the won the Hampshire Junior League, the Junior Team Golf Regional title, and then the National Junior team title too. The Junior team, along with Club Captain Mark Bolton and Past Captain Dave Porter attended the New Forest Sports Council’s annual awards ceremony at the Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, where they fought off competition from two successful cricket and volleyball teams to take the team award.

WENTWORTH APPOINTS NEW BOARD MEMBER Wentworth Club has appointed Martin Gilbert, the co-chief executive of insurance company Standard Life Aberdeen, as a non-executive director. Gilbert, who has been a member at Wentworth since 1998, brings 35 years of business experience to his new role. He is the co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, which last year merged with Standard Life to form Standard Life Aberdeen.

■ ALL GOLFERS, REGARDLESS OF EXPERIENCE, ARE INVITED TO NEXT MONTH'S OPEN DAY AT POULT WOOD IN KENT

KURDI RISES TO QATAR CHALLENGE

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urrey amateur Shergo Kurdi enjoyed his first start in a European Tour event last month, after receiving a special invitation to play in the Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club. The 14-year-old Surrey-born Jordanian, who plays for the Surrey Boys’ team, had played in several European Tour Pro-Ams before, including those held prior to the Dubai Desert Classic and the British Masters, but had never previously teed it up at a fullysanctioned Tour event. He received his invitation from the Qatar Golf Federation. One of only three amateurs in the field, and the youngest by some margin, Kurdi was seemingly unfazed by playing in a field, which contained multiple major champion Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan. After a practice round with fellow Surrey players James Heath and Josh White, Kurdi teeed it up on the last group out of the 10th tee on Thursday, and opened up with an impressive one-over-par round of 73 on the 7,348-yard, par 72 layout. Playing alongside South Africa’s Justin Walters and England's Reece Phillips, he bagged birdies at the 16th and fifth holes, and found himself ahead of Ryder Cup captains Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn on the leaderboard. The second round was played in much windier conditions, and Kurdi followed that up his opening effort with an eight-over-par 80, which saw him miss the cut with a nine-over-par total. Although he dipped out on the weekend’s action, Kurdi provided a very good account of himself against Europe’s top players. Kurdi, who is attached to The Wisley Golf Club, has amassed 107 junior wins so far, and has set himself some high goals this year as he attempts to move up the world amateur rankings. Among his key targets are representing Jordan at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in October, while other big targets include the Asian Pacific Amateur Championships and the British Junior Open Championships, which takes place over the Eden Course at St Andrews from July 16-18.

MUM’S THE WORD AT ROYAL MID SURREY

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strong field looks set to take on Royal Mid Surrey’s Pam Barton Course for the 87th Mothers and Daughters Open Foursomes, which is being held on April 14. The tournament, which first began in 1932, has been held at RMS for the past 56 years, with the 27-hole medal event attracting teams from all over the country. The current champions, Tracey and Amelia Williamson from Royal Cromer in Norfolk (pictured right) , who bagged a fourth successive win last year, are unable to defend their title, so a new name will adorn the cup this year. To enter a team, visit www.rmsgc.co.uk/mothersdaughters.co.uk.

MCKENZIE WINS SPANISH AMATEUR

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ampshire’s Billy McKenzie beat Yorkshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick 3&2 to win the Spanish Amateur at La Manga. The 23-year-old from Rowlands Castle only just scraped into the match play stages, taking the last of the 32 spots following the 36-hole stroke play qualifying. In then found

it easier going in the match play stages, with narrow wins over England international Jake Burnage in the first round, and Jiri Zuska in the quarters, before he dispatched Spain’s Coto Lopez-Chacarra 5&4 in the semis. McKenzie was three up on Fitzpatick after the opening 18 holes of the final, and was six up after 22, before being begged back to two by the 32nd. However, the Hampshire player won the 33rd hole to take the title.

“I wanted a decent result to start the season, and felt that getting to the last 16 would be acceptable,” said McKenzie. “After that, I just freed up and played it one game at a time. To win one of these big match play events is a dream come true.” McKenzie is continuing a strong tradition of Hampshire golfers to add the Spanish Amateur to their CVs, starting with Justin Rose, and including the most recent two champions, Scott Gregory and Harry Ellis.


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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

[12] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS FUTURE OF UK LINKS COURSES If you’re a fan of the UK’s 200-plus links golf courses, then now is the time to start ticking them off your bucket list, as they won’t be around for much longer

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■ ROYAL NORTH DEVON IS ONE OF MANY UK LINKS COURSES BEING ERODED BY THE SEA

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inks course could soon become a thing of a the past: that is the stark warning facing golfers following the publication of a report from the UK’s leading environmental charity that said that every links golf course in the UK is in danger of disappearing in less than a century due to climate change. The Climate Coalition. which is made up of groups ranging from the National Trust and the Women’s Institute to WWF, the RSPB, Greenpeace and Oxfam, says golf faces an ‘unexpected threat’ from even a slight rise in sea levels, and Open Championship venues such as St Andrews and Royal Troon could be under water by 2100. The report, which adds that six of the UK’s seven wettest years on record have occurred since 2000, predicts that ‘golf courses will crumble into the sea’. Among many UK courses already looking to shore up their defences is Montrose Golf Links in Scotland, which is currently looking to raise £5 million to build a rock wall to protect its low-lying links. The club’s director of golf, Chris Curnin, said: “As the sea rises and the coast falls away, we’re left with nowhere to go. Climate change is often seen as tomorrow’s problem – but it’s already

eating away at our course. In a perfect storm, we could lose five to 10 metres over just a couple of days, and that could happen at pretty much any point.” One in six Scottish golf courses is located on the coast, where they are at the most risk of erosion due to rising sea levels, added the report. Steve Isaac, director of golf course management at the R&A, said: “There is no question rising sea levels are becoming a huge factor. I believe golf is more impacted by climate change than any other sport aside from skiing. We are feeling it now, with increases in unplayable holes, winter course closures, and disruption to professional tournaments. And the future threats are very real.” Another club under more imminent threat is Royal North Devon, England’s oldest club, which only last month lost a large chunk of its layout after being battered by Storm Eleanor in January. The Old Tom Morris-designed course, which sits on the mouth of the TawTorridge Estuary, lost 50 yards off its eighth hole when the back tee on the 239-yard par three fell into the sea. Natural England, the body responsible for the stretch of coast near Westward Ho!, has so far ruled out making any

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■ MONTROSE GOLF LINKS IS UNDER THREAT FROM RISING SEA LEVELS

intervention to stop the sea reclaiming the land. The agency insisted no suggestions were ruled out, but a statement explaining that “the dunes and shingle ridge are naturally dynamic coastal features and subject to constant change” has been seized on by local golfers as evidence that government agencies are determined to let Mother Nature take its course. Mark Evans, the RND’s general manager (pictured above), said: “By allowing this collapse we are tampering with history. Natural England has got to look at the bigger picture. Yes, they might be saving England’s oldest golf course, but they’re saving an environmental disaster that’s just waiting to happen. There’s no plan at the moment – it’s a disgrace.” Professor Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds, said: “Climate change is already affecting the historic game of golf in its birthplace. Without cutting the carbon emissions driving climate change, sea levels will rise by over a metre and extremely wet winters will become the norm,” he warned. “Many aspects of our lives, including the game of golf, would struggle to adapt to such a changed world.”


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[14] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SANDY LODGE UNVEILS NEW CHIPPING GREEN LONDON GOLF CLUB TO HOST RONALD MCDONALD GOLF DAY Golfers who would like to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and enjoy a great day’s golf at one of the UK’s finest parkland courses, should book a team for the London Golf Day, which is being held at the London Golf Club’s Heritage Course in Kent on June 28. The cost for a four-person team is £795, which includes breakfast, 18 holes of golf, and a three-course dinner. For registration forms, visit www.rmhc.org. uk and email it to natasha.kyprianou@ uk.mcd.com. The charity, which provides overnight accommodation for parents with children in specialist children’s hospitals across the UK, is also hosting golf days at Westerham Golf Club in Kent on May 1 and Boundary Lakes in Southampton on April 27.

ELDERS PROVE BETTER AT HERTS CHALLENGE SHIELD Hertfordshire’s U18s team retained the Challenge Shield after beating their U16 counterparts 13-5 in a weatheraffected match held at Berkhamsted. Cold, frosty conditions greeted the teams for the morning foursomes, which the U18 team won 5.5-0.5. The U18s were 4-1 up in the afternoon singles, but heavy rain led to the final seven matches – all which were in the U18s favour – being halted, resulting in halves all round. The UN18 team comprised Jack Kelly, Harry Bigham, Matthew Green, Greg Hurley, Abhishek Pankhania, Ben Miller, Daniel Stannard, Adam Tridgell, Casey Blunsum, George Castle and Sam Caney.

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spectacular new chipping green at Sandy Lodge Golf Club in Northwood is the latest attraction for North West London’s golfers, drawing visitors from across the area. The project to build the 600m2 new green, which is adjacent to the club’s existing putting green, was managed by golf agronomy consultan Greg Evans. Featuring a classic links-style revetted bunker, and an additional sleeper-style bunker, which echoes the monster hazard on Sandy Lodge’s renowned second hole, the chipping green adds to Sandy Lodge’s impressive array of off-course facilities. After meeting with club officials in 2016, Evans was commissioned to improve course conditions and also to restructure the greens team at the club. In early 2017, Evans brought together a team that included course designer Ricky Willison, golf architects Weller Designs, and turf contractors Profusion Environmenta, to deliver the first phase, the chipping green. Construction started in June last year, with a key role also played by the club’s new head greenkeeper Richard Elderfield, who was promoted to head the in-house greens team as one of Evans’s restructuring recommendations. The final construction was completed in July, and the last

six months has seen the growing-in phase. David Griffin, general manager at Sandy Lodge , said: “Greg has inspired change across the whole golf course in the last nine months, and has given our members and guests an exceptional golf course to play. The chipping green is the new centrepiece of our practice facilities, and a true showcase for Sandy Lodge Golf Club. It is already attracting newcomers, and is helping us to build for the future.”

GOLFSIXES SHAKES UP FORMAT

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uropean Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn and Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew are to join forces in a world first for professional golf when GolfSixes returns to the European Tour schedule at the Centurion Club in St Albans in May. The Dane and the Scot will be the first male and female professionals to play together in a competitive match play format when they form the captain's team in the second staging of the tournament at the Hertfordshire venue from May 5-6. The captain's team is one of four wild card selections introduced to this year’s event, with two of the other three being an England

■ CATRIONA MATTHEW

Women’s Team comprising Georgia Hall and Charley Hull; and a European Women’s Team featuring England’s Mel Reid and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, all of whom will

Southern Disability Open 2018 Saturday 9 June

join defending champions Denmark, represented again by last year’s winners Lucas Bjerregaard and Thorbjørn Olesen. The final wild card team will be revealed at a later date, alongside the 11 men’s national teams who will qualify automatically from the European Tour’s ranking list. All 16 teams will compete for a total prize fund of €1 million, with the eventual winners receiving €100,000 each. Bjørn said: “I think it’s hugely important to try and break down the barriers that have existed in golf between the men’s and women’s games. When this opportunity arose to play as Ryder Cup captain, I thought it was only right to speak to Catriona, as the Solheim Cup captain, about forming a team, and we’re

both really looking forward to it.” He added: “There are so many 72-hole tournaments around the world that there has to be room for something that puts a different spin on golf and brings more interest. GolfSixes is about having fun and portraying the game in a good way.” Matthew said: “I was delighted when Thomas asked me to play GolfSixes. All Tours are trying to think of ways to make golf different and encourage a new and younger audience, so I think this whole concept is very exciting. Discounted tickets for GolfSixes, priced at £10 for adults and £4 for children - with under 10s going free - are available at www.eventbrite. com until March 23.

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

NEWS | MARCH 2018

[15]

BATTERY THIEVES TARGET PARLEY GOLF CENTRE HANBURY MANOR TO HOST TEENS UNITE’S GOLF DAY

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arley Golf Centre in Dorset has become the latest venue to suffer at the hands of golf buggy battery thieves. The Christchurch-based centre had 20 batteries taken from golf buggies during the night of February 25. The centre, which is located opposite Bournemouth Airport, only opened its new £250,000 golf course and practice centre last year. Daryl Dampney, manager at Parley Golf Centre, said: “Of course this is highly frustrating. Five buggies were targeted and each one had four large batteries beneath the seat that were removed. We have invested heavily in the course and facilities, including this fleet of buggies, so it a really irritating to have suffered this theft. “There were players who wanted to use them and were unable to, and, while we’re insured, it doesn’t solve the frustration we are feeling. We want to warn other clubs to be on their guard, and also to appeal for people to keep their eyes open for these stolen batteries.”

Teens Unite’s annual charity golf day will return on July 20 to Hanbury Manor Golf and Country Club in Hertfordshire. The golf day includes breakfast on arrival, 18 holes of golf and a twocourse lunch in the five-star hotel. Based in Ware, Teens Unite is a selffunded charity dedicated to rebuilding young people’s lives following a cancer diagnosis. To book your place for the day visit www.teensunite.org/events, email events@teensunite.org, or call 01992 440091.

STRAWBERRY HILL JUNIOR ORGANISER WINS MIDDX COUNTY AWARD

LADIES’ COLLECTION TO STAGE WOMEN'S PAIRS TOURNAMENT AT OLD THORNS

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olf travel company Golf Escapes is hosting a Ladies Invitational Pairs competition at Old Thorns in Hampshire to mark the launch of its specialist female-friendly golf travel business, The Ladies Collection. The two-day tournament will take place from September 13-14, with 18 holes of pairs betterball Stableford competition on each day, overnight accommodation, as well as a coaching clinic from PGA

Professional Lucinda Davies (left). Competitors will have full access to all the facilities at Old Thorns, including the swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym and wellness suite. The package also includes a three-course dinner, breakfast and a buffet lunch. The total cost is £219pp, with a £35 single room supplement. To book a r place, call 01342 811777 or email Justine@golf-escapes.com.

Margaret Bedford, Strawberry Hill Golf Club’s junior organiser, has won the title of Junior Organiser of the Year for 2017 at the Middlesex Golf Awards. A winner of England Golf’s Volunteer of the Year in 2016, Bedford has been instrumental in the growth of the club’s junior section, which sees over 50 boys and girls regularly turn out for weekend training sessions with club professional Peter Buchan. “It’s amazing to win such an award from Middlesex Golf,” Bedford said. “I hope this recognition will help more children to take up the game at Strawberry Hill and throughout the county.” Buchan added: “Margaret makes it fun for all the children who are learning the game. The parents are delighted that their kids can enjoy the game in the friendly and safe environment of Strawberry Hill Golf Club.” The award was sponsored by the Noel Johnston Foundation, a charitable trust set up by European Tour player Andrew Johnston in honour of his father. The winner was announced by Johnson in a video and presented to Bedford by his brother, James.

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[16] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

■ AFC BOUREMOUTH IS TO BUILD A NEW TRAINING FACILITY AT THE FORMER SITE OF CANFORD MAGNA GOLF CLUB

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hile it is common for former golf courses to be given over to housing, Canford Magna Golf Club in Dorset has bucked that trend by being converted into a state-ofthe-art training facility for local Premiership football club AFC Bournemouth. The south coast side, currently lying 12th in the Premiership table, is to develop a multi-million pound training complex on the 57-acre site of what was Canford Magna Golf Club, which the football club acquired last year after it closed in March 2016. The plans for the state-of-the-art facility were unanimously approved by Borough of Poole's planning committee last month, giving the green llight to start work on the major scheme. The club is planning a phased development, which, upon completion, will see the first-team, development squad, academy and pre-academy training operations and facilities on one site. Premier League chief Richard Scudamore backed the plans with a written letter to Borough of Poole. The training ground will cost more than £10 million to complete, with more than a dozen outdoor pitches and an indoor pitch. “While it is important to provide Premier League facilities for Premier League players, we also want to give the region’s youngsters the best place to develop their talent, and we believe

■ CANFORD MAGNA WAS CLOSED IN 2016

this complex will be the perfect place to do that,” said chief executive Neill Blake. According to the club’s website, facilities at the complex will include ten full-size pitches; three junior pitches; an indoor artificial playing surface; state-of-the-art medical, fitness, sports science and rehabilitation facilities; and a press conference theatre. AFC Bournemouth is not the only football club looking to cash in on golf's falling popularity, as 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City bought Park Hill Golf Club in January, with a view to converting it into a training ground. The golf club closed on January 16, with all the staff made redundant without notice and members given just two hours to clear their lockers and remove personal posessions on January 20.

MIDDLESEX WINS COUNTY OF THE YEAR AWARD

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iddlesex Golf, which was only created last year following a merger of the men’s union and the women’s association, has won England Golf’s County of the Year Award. The newly formed body represents 33 golf clubs in the region and its creation is designed to offer a more efficient, streamlined and professional service for all golfers in the county. The pioneering merger looks set to be followed by other county associations and unions across the country, many of whom have already contact Middlesex Golf staff to learn about the process. County secretary Jason Mitchell, who attended the awards dinner held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London last month, said: “The merger involved a huge amount of work, but it was worth it. It is fantastic to gain recognition for what we have achieved in the last year, and we are very proud to win this award. During 2017, we demonstrated innovation, determination, a willingness to learn, and commitment to the cause. We understand our limitations, but strive to punch above our weight.” The judges commented: “Middlesex has adopted a modern and effective board and led the way for other counties which are merging. They have worked hard to modernise the county

structure and taken the opportunity to implement new initiatives to help grow the game in their county.” The merger was unanimously approved by both the men’s and women’s organisations and took place last April, after 18 months of preparation. “The men and women had worked together in lots of ways,” said Mitchell. “We had mixed officials at competitions and mixed coaching sessions at grass roots, so it was an ideal time to move forward. The feedback from the clubs has been superb.” Middlesex Golf has also just held its first awards night, which saw a sell-out crowd of 275 guests gathering at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington to celebrate the achievements of 2017. Pinner Hill won golf club of the year, Margarent Bedford from Strawberry Hill won junior organiser of the year and Sudbury’s John Billings picked up the award for the year’s best club steward. Jennifer Winn and Lloyd Millwood both won lifetime achievement awards.


[17]

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[18] MARCH 2018 | INTERVIEW

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

CALLUM SHINKWIN NOW IN HIS THIRD SEASON ON TOUR, THE HERTFORDSHIRE-BASED PLAYER IS HOPING FOR A BREAKTHROUGH WIN IN 2018, FOLLOWING HIS NEAR MISS AT LAST YEAR’S SCOTTISH OPEN INTERVIEW BY JEREMY ELLWOOD

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ast year was an interesting season for you, with one massive result making up a big chunk of your winnings. Would you have preferred to have been in the top 20 every week? I think most players would say they would rather have one or two wins a year and the rest missed cuts! It you have one or two good results a season, it earns you a lot of money and gets you noticed.

Yes - I bought my first property with it. It costs a lot of money to get in the housing market down south, where I live, so I’ve invested those winnings to get my first step on the ladder.

You had a great chance to win the Scottish Open last year - how disappointed were you that you didn’t managed to seal the deal? At the time I was very pleased just to have a top finish, but when you look back, a win out on tour is massive, with all that it brings you by way of exemptions and so on. Looking back now, I’m gutted, but at the time I was very pleased to do what I did that week.

You played quite well in Ireland too… Yes, I finished 30th in Ireland the week before at Portstewart, and eighth in the Scottish Open the year before, when it was up at Castle Stuart, so I seem to raise my game a level on links tracks.

Did the nerves get you at all on the 18th hole? Of course it was a pressured situation, but it was nothing like what everyone probably thinks. I hit a great second shot in and finished in a divot on a down slope of the bunker. I had no shot, really. But it's all a learning curve, and, obviously, if you win, you have to have luck on your side. It wasn't there for me. Did you blow any of your winnings on a treat?

Are you a big links fan or is there something about links golf that suits your game? I played a lot of links golf as an amateur, so I guess I just know how to get it round a links course.

So you should be all set to do quite well in the Open Championship at some stage… Well, you’d think so, but I’ve played in two Opens so far – at Troon two years ago and Birkdale last year – and missed the cut both times! Every year on tour so far you’ve managed to improve your ranking. Where are you in the mix in terms of where you thought you’d be? I’m very relaxed about it all really. Nowadays it’s much, much harder, and the competition is much stronger on tour than it was, say, ten years ago. So if you can progress every year, then I think you’re doing ok.

What do you most and least enjoy about tour life? I enjoy the weather. This sort of temperature [in Dubai] is perfect for me, but anything too hot is not nice. What I least enjoy is the travel. I think everyone would say that the travel is the most boring part, and is not fun at all. You catch a lot of germs on planes too, so you’re constantly battling with coughs and colds. So you wouldn’t go to somewhere like Malaysia? I went there last year, so I have experienced it, but I didn’t like it one bit – the long-haul flight and the heat. If I had to go, I’d go, of course, but if I’ve got a choice, then no. And also the schedule doesn't work very well to go to Malaysia either. Are you a goal-setter? No, I never set goals. You can always set them, but you risk failing if you set them too high. What do you see as your main strengths, and where would you say you need to improve most from watching other pros? I think everyone who looks at my game knows I’m a good ball-striker and have a solid long game. I’m pretty good around the greens, but from 100 yards and in is where I need to raise my game. It needs to be a lot sharper and stronger.

Seaford Head Golf Course

At this stage of your career, is the Ryder Cup even remotely on your radar? If it happens, it happens, but it’s not something I lie awake thinking about. If it happens this year, then I will have had an amazing season, and if it doesn’t, I’m still young and I’ve got a lot of time on my side. Let’s just get to the end of 2018 – when you look back then, what needs to have happened for you to be able to class it as a good season? I don’t know - it’s hard to say really. I’d like to get that first win – that would be great. But even just finishing high on the Race to Dubai would be great, and getting into the top 50 in the world.

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[20] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

WOKING TO COMBAT ‘SHRINKING’ GREENS

Lobb has been studying aerial footage of the course going back many decades to get a feel for how the course used to be set up. "We are using drone images and historic photography to do a comprehensive study on where the greens have shrunk over the years,” he said. “We can clearly see at least nine greens that have shrunk considerably - the 12th is obvious on the left side, and on the third we can recapture an excellent pin just by mowing out the right side of the top tier.” The greens have recently benefitted from a major drainage programme under the guidance of Ewence, who joined the club from The Buckinghamshire last year. There has also been continued major works with a focus on bringing the course back to its fast-running, heathland roots. Not only is the course changing, but the club has recently announced a trial break from the its traditional two-ball format. Three- and four-ball ball golf is now allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays, a move that societies and visitors have been asking for many years.

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oking Golf Club in Surrey is to begin a programme of greens expansion in order to restore the historic heathland course to its former glory. The club, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, has appointed local architect Tim Lobb, who was responsible for the redesign of the course’s new par-three 16th hole in 2014, to draw up a plan for the restoration work, which will focus on reversing the shrinkage of the club’s greens, many of which have reduced dramatically in size in recent decades. "Woking has a wonderful set of putting greens, so we felt it was essential to make the most of the contours and options available," said Woking’s general manager Richard Pennell. "With guidance from Tim, in collaboration with our new course manager, Andy Ewence,

we are revising and restoring mowing lines, and this work, together with an ongoing objective of faster and firmer surfaces, will ensure that the strategy and challenge that has held Woking in such high regard for the last 125 years will be maintained and enhanced for all our golfers."

8 Fa 01 ing

2 ill yF

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st

M E MO R A B L E G OL F DAY S

CHISLEHURST BECKONS FOR GOLFING BROTHERS

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olfing brothers are invited to take part in the Brothers Amateur Foursomes Open, which is once again being hosted at Chislehurst Golf Club in South East London from June 7-8. The unique tournament, which is now in its 40th year, attracts pairs of brothers from all over the country, with many returning year after year. The tournament is played over two days, beginning with an 18-hole qualifying foursomes Stableford played on the first morning. The top eight qualifying pairs then move into the quarter-finals of the match play knockout for the Brothers Open Trophies, with the next eight pairs qualifying for the Plate. Non-qualifiers play in a Stableford greensomes event on the first afternoon, followed by a Stableford foursomes competition the following morning, while the semi-finals proceed around them ahead of both finals on the Friday afternoon. The competition rules require that all competitors must be members of a club with an active handicap. Half-brothers and stepbrothers are ineligible, and the maximum handicap is 28. Chislehurst Golf Club captain Robert Finlay, who is former co-winner of the tournament, said: “We are really excited about the brothers’ competition this year. We’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces back for the contest and we know it’s going to be one to remember.” The tournament, conceived in 1979 under the then captain Peter Boult, has enjoyed a growing popularity throughout its history. While the support for this competition sees competitors from all over the country, some

Whether you are a small group, a society, corporate or charity golf day organiser, Hever Castle Golf Club has a selection of packages and bespoke golf days from

£42.00

per person.

GOLF DAY BENEFITS

• One FREE place for every 21 players [16+ in winter] • One FREE buggy for every 8 buggies hired • Preview round at reduced rate for every player* To enquire about possible dates and find out more please contact:- Sarah-jane Hardy, Golf Days Co-ordinator.

golfdays@hevercastle.co.uk 01732 701003 www.hever.co.uk/summer-golf-days

■ CHISLEHURST'S PARKLAND COURSE

of the keenest supporters of the event can be found among Chislehurst’s own members and staff. The entry fee of £120 per pair includes all golf, coffee and bacon rolls, and a buffet at the prize giving following the finals. One courtesy practice round is also available on either the preceding Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. For entry forms visit www.chislehurstgolf.co.uk, email enquiries@chislehurstgolfclub.co.uk, or call 0208 4672782. The closing date for entries is March 25.


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

COWDRAY PARK TO HOST PGA PRO-AM

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new major event will make its debut on the PGA South region schedule this summer with the aim of raising funds for St Wilfred’s Hospice in Eastbourne. Supported by Metro Bank, Greene King and Harwoods Group, the Cowdray Park Golf Club ProAm will take place on June 23. A total of 50 teams will compete for some fantastic prizes, with £1,000 going to the winning professional. Cowdray Park’s Director of Golf and PGA Professional, Tim Allen, said: “It’s one of our goals to hold a pro-am with the regional PGA here to showcase Cowdray as a terrific golfing experience.

NEWS | MARCH 2018

The event will hopefully further elevate our profile all over the region.” Golf has been played on the spectacular downland course at the evolving Cowdray Estate for well over a century, with the club celebrating its 100-year milestone back in 2004. Its combination of sandy soil with the latest irrigation systems, means superb conditions can be maintained even in wet weather making it a true all year-round course, with wonderful views of the unmatched South Downs. It’s not the only time the region’s leading professionals will be visiting Cowdray Park this year, as its has also been chosen to host the PGA in Sussex Autumn Meeting on October 17. To enter a team for the pro-am, call 01730 813599 or email golf@cowdray.co.uk.

■ COWDRAY PARK IS TO HOST TWO PGA TOURNAMENTS THIS SEASON

The best of both worlds ITALIAN STYLE BOTH ON AND OFF THE GOLF COURSE

HEREFORDSHIRE HITS NEW HEIGHTS UNDER RANK’S REIGN

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he future of Herefordshire Golf Club has never looked brighter after a New Year’s surge has seen the venue swell its membership ranks by 90, and increase its year-on-year visitor green fee income by 20 per cent. The upsurge in interest in the club, which boasts a James Braid-designed 18-hole course overlooking the Shropshire Hills, has coincided with the appointment of new general manager Stuart Rank (above), who has embarked on a major programme of improvements on and off the course to enhance the member and visitor experience. “Improving the experience for everyone that walks through the door has been a major influence on increasing participation,” said Rank, who joined the club 18 months ago, after leaving Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, where he was head of instruction. He also managed the club’s successful youth scholarship programme from inception, taking youngsters through to the England regional team and international levels. He added: “Since launching several new membership categories, we have seen much more interest. My next challenge is to engage with the local business community and offer attractive packages for corporate membership. “It’s such a wonderful location here, and not enough golfers know enough about The Herefordshire. It’s my job to realise all of the potential that we have here, to make it a real destination location. Once golfers are here, we’re going to make it a very easy decision for them to want to return.” Rank, who is only the third professional to hold the position at The Herefordshire in the last 50 years, has also outlined plans to renovate the club’s pro shop and create a new junior academy.

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[21]


[22] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

is hard enough as it is, so anything that makes it easier for the most number of players is fine by me.

TOM BRIDGER, HEAD PGA PROFESSIONAL, BETCHWORTH PARK GC, DORKING, SURREY

H

ow long have you been a PGA professional? I turned pro in 2003 and qualified in 2006. What has your career path been to date? I got my first full-time coaching job at Chessington Golf Centre in 2005. Four years later, I moved to Australia with my wife, where I continued to coach in Sydney. Upon my return to the UK several years later, I worked at Leatherhead Golf Club, and also got a coaching role with the Surrey Golf Union for the U14’s county academy programme. In 2016, I was made lead coach for the Surrey U12’s team, which I continue to do today. I joined Betchworth Park in 2012, and was promoted to head professional last year. What is your day-to-day role? I’m mainly involved with the coaching side of things – I teach for about 25-30 hours each week – but I also oversee the running of the pro shop, and get to play in captain and pro matches against the members, which is always a lot of fun.

to spend their leisure time. What three words would your colleagues use to describe you? Self-motivated; encouraging; prepared. Tell us something about the facilities… Betchworth boasts a beautiful, Harry Colt-designed parkland course that first opened in 1913. It measures 6,325 yards off the back tees, but has a par of 69 and an SSS of 71, so it’s no pushover, especially with just two par fives at the end of each nine. It places a real emphasis on good iron play, requiring accurate approaches to find the best landing spots on the sloping greens. It’s always kept in great condition, and the club continues to invest in its presentation with all the greens benefitting from new irrgation last year, while all the bunkers have also been recently refurbished. We also have excellent practice facilities, including

What’s the best thing about your job? I feel very lucky to go to work in such beautiful surroundings and at a place where people come

■ BETCHWORTH PARK GOLF CLUB

a 250-yards driving range with a grass teeing area as well as a 50m all-weather Huxley hitting mat. This year the club is renovating the clubhouse, and we are currently in the process of moving the pro shop. What is the club doing to attract juniors and female golfers? We work closely with the local schools, and with the funding we get from the Golf Foundation go into the schools to deliver PE lessons during half-terms. We also host a Tri Golf festival at the club for local schoolchildren to come along to. We also run kids camps during school holidays, and run a great junior academy. We currently have six kids on our books who have been selected for the Surrey coaching programme. For women, the club runs a beginners' academy which currently has over 50 members, all of whom get free practice balls on the range to hone their skills. We have introduced a short course onto the main course, where academy members can start from forward

tees to give them a proper taste of what golf is about. What’s selling well in the pro shop at the moment? Hand warmers have been flying out the door during the recent cold snap, and Motocaddy power trolleys have been selling really well over the past few years. What’s the best swing tip you’ve ever received? Learn to control your ball flight. It doesn’t matter what the swing looks like, as long as you learn to get the ball to do what you want it to do. What is your career highlight as a player? I had a hole-in-one at my first professional event. It doesn’t get better than that! If you could change one rule in golf, which would it be? For amateurs, I wouldn’t place any restrictions of driver distances, as most club golfers need to be able to hit it further in order to reach the green in regulation. The game

What’s your favourite course in the UK, and the world? Not very original, but I love the Old Course at St Andrew’s. It’s packed with history and every hole has a story to tell. Augusta National also has that same sense of history, and I feel like I know every hole – even though I’ve not had the pleasure of playing it. Who is your golfing hero and why? Tiger has done so many great things for the game. He was not only an unbelievably good player back in his heyday, but he has also inspired so many people to take up the game, which, in turn, has enabled me to make a career out of helping golfers to improve. Who inspired you to take up golf? I went along with a friend to a taster session and loved the challenge. My parents then encouraged me to follow the dream of turning professional. What would you have done if you hadn’t have been a pro? I would probably have like to have been a schoolteacher. I really enjoy working with kids and inspiring them to follow their dreams. I also enjoy a long holiday! To book a round at Betchworth Park, visit betchworthparkgc.co.uk or call 01306 882052.

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

COURSE REVIEW | MARCH 2018

[23]

LIVE THE DREAM AT

SHIRLEY PARK Boasting an historic and enjoyable parkland course and a charming clubhouse, Shirley Park Golf Club in Croydon is the epitome of relaxing, suburban golf, with a warm welcome guaranteed to all-comers

A

lthough located just a mile from East Croydon train station, Shirley Park Golf Club provides a 130-acre oasis of green tranquility set amid one of Surrey’s most populated and built-up areas. The club boasts a rich history that stretches back more than a century. Legendary golf course architects Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler – whose other courses include Walton Heath, The Berkshire and, most famously, Pebble Beach – laid out the 18-hole course in 1913, just before the outbreak of World War I. The official opening was carried out by the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Thomas Vansittart Bowater, in July 1914, after which two former Open Champions J H Taylor and Sandy Herd took part in a match, which Taylor won by four shots after shooting 73. Although measuring just under 6,200 yards, the par of 71, and the challenging nature of the design, ensure that all elements of your game are tested and birdies are well earned. There are three reachable par fives – the 4th, 9th and 18th – to tempt the longest straight hitters,

while a variety of dogleg par fours, including the 297-yard second, provide opportunities for red figures. The quartet of par threes is particularly strong, varying from 150 yards to 210, while there are a couple of potential card-wreckers for good measure, all of which add up to a varied and hugely enjoyable round. The club’s skilled team of green staff constantly strives to improve the year-round quality of the course, and in addition to the regular maintenance, special projects are undertaken every year to ensure standards are always on the up. Recent examples include the refurbishment of pathways, installation of new practice nets by the first tee, and the construction of a permanent storage room for members' electric trolleys. Maintaining and upgrading the superb clubhouse is another ongoing commitment, and, in the last year alone, the dining room and kitchen have been refurbished, benefitting everyone attending club events and functions of all kinds. The club boasts a wide membership across

■ THE MANICURED PRACTICE PUTTING GREEN IS ADJACENT TO THE RECENTLY-REFURBISHED CLUBHOUSE

■ SHIRLEY PARK’S STUNNING COURSE WAS DESIGNED BY TOM SIMPSON AND HERBERT FOWLER

all ages, genders, handicaps and backgrounds. There is an academy for assisting non-golfers to learn the game, while also introducing them to the rules, etiquette and, of course, the social side of the club. Many academy members go on to become full members, while every week there is an array of roll-ups to ensure that there is almost always a group to join in with at a time that fits in with individual work or family commitments. Members can also participate in a wide range of competitions, both midweek and at weekends. There are many individual stroke play events, four-ball and foursomes match play competitions for men and ladies, plus numerous mixed events. The club also offers an indoor tuition centre, where the club’s team of dedicated PGA professionals, led by head pro Mick Taylor, provide coaching and club fitting using the latest Trackman technology. There is an outside practice area and a

■ THE PAR 71 LAYOUT IS PRESENTED IN EXCELLENT CONDITION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

practice putting and chipping green. Shirley Park boasts an active and well supported social scene, with an event calendar featuring regular music evenings, quizzes and horse racing nights, as well as formal club occasions. Even when there is not a function in the diary, there is invariably a buzz in the clubhouse, with members and visitors enjoying the excellent range of food and drinks on offer, while an 80-inch TV ensures there’s always a lively atmosphere whenever there is sport to be watched. For non-golfers, social membership is available, includes all of the above except golf, and includes use of the club’s popular snooker tables. The recently redesigned website provides a wealth of information on the course and club, with hole by hole flyovers, booking forms for visitors/societies, and a special hospitality section highlighting the facilities available for groups, parties and conferences, which include a spacious dining room that can comfortably accommodate up to 120 guests.

For more information on how to join Shirley Park, or for society bookings and visitor green fees, visit www.shirleyparkgolfclub.co.uk, or contact the general manager, Steve Murphy, via email at steve.murphy@shirleyparkgolfclub.co.uk, or head professional Mick Taylor at professional@shirleyparkgolfclub.co.uk.

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Summer Society Packages available from 1st April 2018 Book a Society this summer at Stevenage Golf and Conference Centre and receive a free pair of FJ Shoes worth up to £50!*

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Par package: 18 holes golf only £35.00 Birdie package: 18 holes with tea/coffee & bacon roll on arrival £40.00 Eagle package: 18 holes with tea/coffee & bacon roll on arrival with a one course golfers meal after golf £48.00

Albatross package: 18 holes with tea/coffee & bacon roll on arrival with a two course golfers meal after golf £52.00 The “Hole” package 27/36 holes with tea/coffee & bacon roll on arrival, light lunch and a two course golfers meal £68.00

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Aston Lane, Stevenage, Herts SG2 7EL | enquiries.golf@sll.co.uk | www.sll.co.uk

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Tel: 01424 842040 Email: secretary@coodenbeachgc.com Web: www.coodenbeachgc.com


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

[24] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

PAISLEY EARNS HIS STRIPES Golf News catches up with Hexham’s CHRIS PAISLEY, who has rocketed into the Ryder Cup reckoning after winning the South African Open and bagging two top-five finishes on the European Tour’s recent Desert Swing

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It’s fair to say that Chris Paisley has turned around his golfing career in the last two months. After graduating to the European Tour in 2012, the 31-year-old from Northumberland had, by his own admission, not quite delivered on the promise that he showed in his youth. After finishing 108th in the money list in 2015, 71st in 2016, and 112th last season, Paisley desperately needed a change of luck. After missing five cuts in the last seven events of 2017, Paisley spent the off-season working hard on his game out in the warmth of Florida and hoped that the New Year would bring about a revival in his fortunes. And so it proved. Arriving in Gauteng for the South African Open, he had little belief that this was going to be the week where his life would change. And with his American wife Keri acting as his caddy – his regular caddy Sean Russell was on holiday – he could have been forgiven for treating it as a chance to enjoy a few days in the South African sunshine with his lady love by his side. But whether it was the comfort of having a familiar face accompanying him on the fairways, or feminine intuition for correct club selection, four days later the happy couple found themselves posing for

but really helped me relax. Coming up the last fairway with her next to me was just incredible. We were both in tears.” Paisley was adamant that his victory wasn’t going to be a flash in the pan, and rather than take his foot off the pedal, he was straight back into the heat of competition, and over the next three weeks racked up a fourth place finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship, fifth in the Dubai Desert Classic and 27th in Malaysia. Collectively, for the four events, he was 66 under par for 288 holes, earned €482,00 in prize money, and enjoyed a big move up world rankings, from 282 to 82. “I was determined to continue my good form after such a big result in South Africa,” said Paisley, whose win instantly secured his European Tour card for the next two seasons. “I made a concerted effort to kick on, because I didn’t want that to be the defining moment of the year, or my career.” Taking a well-earned rest after Malaysia, he returned home to catch up with friends and family, and celebrate a life-changing month. “It was great to celebrate with all the people who have stood by me,” said Paisley, who was welcomed like a conquering hero at Hexham Golf Club, where his brother Andy is the

GOING HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST BRANDEN, IN HIS HOME COUNTRY, WITH PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE IN THE CROWD ON HIS SIDE, WAS TOUGH, BUT I JUST PLAYED PRETTY FLAWLESS GOLF photographs on the 18th green with a trophy between them and a winner’s cheque for €198,000 on its way to the bank. After going toe-to-toe over the final round with local favourite Branden Stone, noone was more surprised than Paisley to finish the week at the top of the leaderboard. “Even I didn’t think I was capable of playing that well,” he says. “Going head-to-head against Branden, in his home country, with pretty much everyone on his side, was tough, but I just played pretty much flawless golf. “To come out on top was nothing short of amazing. I’m just so happy, not only for myself, but for Keri, and for everyone else that has supported me over the years,” adds Paisley, who met his American wife while on a golf scholarship at the University of Tennessee. Paisley is quick to pay tribute to his stand-in caddie. "I just can't say enough about how good a job Keri did that week, and how important she is to my life in general. She doesn’t know that much about golf, so I had to do all my own yardages,

head PGA professional, and his putting coach. “The reception I received from everybody has been amazing, and I’m so grateful for all the support.” Asked what led to the dramatic turn around in his fortunes, Paisley says: “There were a lot of contributing factors. Without consciously realising it, I had become happy with just keeping my card, and being a bit of a journeyman. This season I’ve made a conscious effort to change my mindset, and have more belief in my abilities. Apart from that, it was about bringing more pressure into my practice, which helped me feel sharp as soon as I turned up in South Africa. I spent

■ PAISLEY HAD HIS WIFE KERI ON THE BAG FOR HIS WIN IN SOUTH AFRICA

five weeks over the winter in Orlando working with my with my coach, Andrew Nicholson, on some big swing improvements, simplifying things and strengthening my impact position. The last piece in the jigsaw was putting 12 new clubs and a new ball from Callaway in the bag. The new Rogue driver is so straight and so easy to hit – it’s really improved my confidence off the tee.” Everything seems to have fallen into place at the right time, and rather than worrying about keeping his card, Paisley has now set his sights on much higher goals, including reaching the world’s top 50, which would earn him an invitation at the Masters in Augusta in April. He is currently eighth in the European Tour’s order of merit, and if his excellent form continues, he could even enter into Thomas Bjorn’s considerations for the European team in September’s Ryder Cup. But for now, he is concentrating on keeping the good form going and not getting too carried away with a run of results that has surprised him more than anyone. His new lofty ranking earned him a place in the WGC-Mexico Championship, by far the most high profile tournament he has ever played in – where he shared second place on day one with a 65, before dropping down to tie for 37th – while he’s also set to partner European No.1 Tommy Fleetwood in next month’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a new pairs event on the PGA Tour that comes with million dollar first prize. “My confidence has obviously gone up considerably over the last few weeks, and I know that when my game is on, I have what it takes to compete with the best. In the past I’ve almost been apologetic about being successful, but it’s time to push on and show the world what I can do – even something like getting into the Ryder Cup team feels achievable right now. Having got a taste of winning, I want to do it again. There’s no more looking over my shoulder.”


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To book please contact the Club on 01474 879 899. www.londongolf.co.uk London Golf Club, Stansted Lane, Ash, Kent, TN15 7EH


[26] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

“I’M A PASSIONATE PERSON. THAT’S JUST HOW IT IS” Nailed on for a Ryder Cup spot and enjoying a stunning climb up the world rankings, TYRRELL HATTON is ploughing his own furrow in the search for golfing greatness, but don’t ask him always to be happy about it, ok?

D

uring his rapid rise up the world’s rankings, Buckinghamshire’s Tyrrell Hatton has become well accustomed to TV commentators, members of the public, and even fellow professionals, occasionally giving him a hard time for how he goes about his work. Ever since he was a junior at Harleyford Golf Club, where he is still a member to this day, he has had a reputation for wearing his heart on his sleeve. This could be a polite way of saying he has a bit of a temper, but Hatton has always been his own biggest critic, and occasionally the frustration of his own frailties bubbles to the surface more than it might with your average tour pro. In a game that not even Tiger Woods in his pomp came close to mastering, let alone finding perfection, it’s easy to argue that Hatton’s outbursts, however rare, are miss-placed. But while his on-course behaviour may not always go down well with broadcasters, whose microphones are designed to pick up every muttered breath, the opprobrium aimed at Hatton in recent years has been out of sync with reality. As a consequence, every time he misses a putt, finds a bunker, or fluffs a chip, the cameras are ready to focus in on his reaction – hoping for an F-bomb, a snapped shaft, or both. All of it adds fuel to the fire that Hatton should take a chill pill, as it were, and smile through the pain. Part of the criticism stems from the fact that at just 26 years of age, Hatton hasn’t been around the block for long enough to justify his frustration when things don’t go his way. With three wins on the European Tour already to his name, who is he to play the role of the hard done by? One the most talked about Hatton ‘head-offs’ came at last October’s British Masters at Close House, where he was leading the field by three shots after 36 holes. Unfortunately his push for the win stalled over the weekend, resulting in some negative gestures about the quality of the greens, a few errant taps with his putter, and sulky body language that was hard to miss whether you were watching on TV or at the course in person. The reaction to his behaviour was somewhat negative, particularly on social media, with former tour pro Gary Evans launching into a Twitter tirade that included the message: ‘You’re a great talent with potential, but you need to grow up mate. Your on-course whingeing is a disgrace’. Other golf fans were also less than complimentary, with several calling him a ‘moaner’. In his defence, Hatton has often stated that he is trying to stay calmer, and understands that ranting and raving, or bashing his club into the turf, is neither big nor clever, but he also knows that he does not want to over-douse the fire,

WHAT’S IN TYRRELL’S BAG? DRIVER: PING G400 LST (8.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: PING G400 5-WOOD IRONS: PING 700 4-IRON (19), PING I200 (4-PW) WEDGES: PING GLIDE 2.0 STEALTH (50, 54, 60) PUTTER: PING VAULT OSLO BALL: TITLEIST PRO V1X

which he feels is central to his competitiveness. “I’m a passionate person, and I try my best to win tournaments,” Hatton says. “Occasionally that spills over. But I’m human, and I’m going to make mistakes from time to time. Nobody’s perfect, and everyone goes about their business differently. In the heat of battle, sometimes you can do the wrong thing. That’s just how it is.” Hatton, who finished eighth at Close House, was probably relieved that the criticism did not come via the Sky Sports commentary booth, where not everyone is a member of The Tyrrell Hatton Fan Club. “An awful lot is made of his temperament by certain commentators and it is frustrating,” said Jeff Hatton, Tyrrell’s father and long-time coach. “There were some shocking comments made a few years ago at the Scottish Open, and it all seems to have stemmed from then. I like passion in sport. Without it, sport would be boring.” Hatton Snr says that much of his son’s game and temperament comes from watching Colin Montgomerie when he was growing up. The young Hatton modelled his swing on the Scot’s almost effortless up-and-down movement, and although always a fierce competitor on the golf course, Monty’s temperament off the course was always far more relaxed and jokey, as is the case with Tyrrell. “Montgomerie was his role model and his swing was very simple, but beautifully effective,” Jeff says. “Tyrrell does not over-practice and, of course, neither did Monty. I also think Monty’s influence has a lot to do with how Tyrrell is on the course. If he hit a bad shot he would let you know it, and was very intense. But off the course he was a nice, friendly guy. Tyrrell is very much like that, although he wouldn’t bellow at anyone else. Just himself. I’ve never tried to discourage it. I was always telling him, ‘You can get annoyed on a bad shot, so long as you don’t get annoyed on the next one’. Tyrrell doesn’t.” The red mist is still clearly an issue for Hatton, though, as his putter found out during November’s Turkish Airlines Open, when he snapped it in two after a bogey during the third round. Still, such are his powers of recovery that he birdied the very next hole when using a wedge as a makeshift putter to hole out from 25 feet, but it was just another example of how the battle with his inner demons manifests itself. Whatever the rights and wrongs of his on-course

I’M A PASSIONATE PERSON, AND I TRY MY BEST TO WIN TOURNAMENTS. OCCASIONALLY THAT SPILLS OVER. I’M HUMAN, AND I’M GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES FROM TIME TO TIME attitude, Hatton is clearly enjoying his golf more than ever, and is one of the hottest talents in the game. Currently ranked 13th in the world, qualified for the all the big events, and a near certainty to be selected for Europe’s Ryder Cup team in Paris, his golfing stock has never been higher. Although not tall or physically imposing, Hatton hits a long ball, and has a game that is built on doing the simple things well. He is reaping rich rewards for his consistency, with over €7.5 million prize money banked over the last two seasons, which has brought three wins, including back-to-back Dunhill Links Championships and last year’s Italian Open, which was one of the lucrative new Rolex Series events. While he is a money-making machine on the European Tour, last season saw Hatton enjoy some solid results on the PGA Tour, with a three-month stint in America earning him fourth-placed finishes at the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and tenth at the WGC-Mexico Championship. Last month saw him finish tied third in Mexico, where he missed out on a play-off against Phil Mickelson and Justin Thomas after bogeying the final hole. With guaranteed slots in all the majors again in 2018, it will be in this arena that Hatton will hope to improve on his recent record. Of the ten majors he has contested over the last five years, he has missed the cut seven times, but a fifth-placed finish at The Open in 2016, and tenth at the PGA Championship in the same season, point to a player who is getting more comfortable competing on the game’s biggest stages. While he missed the cut in his first appearance at the Masters last year, after shooting rounds of 80 and 78, Hatton looks to have a game built for Augusta, and blessed with a good chipping technique and a putter that can blow red hot at times, this may well be the year when he lets his clubs do the talking, and shuts up his critics for good. Now that would bring a smile to his face.


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Ultimate

CLUB WHERE TO PLAY

GUIDE

WOOLSTON MANOR GC ESSEX

Designed by renowned course architect Neil Coles, the par-72 championship course is recognised as one of the most challenging in Essex. It measures 6,510 yards and offers a truly unforgettable experience. Only a stone's throw away from central London, with easy access from the M25 and M11, Woolston Manor prides itself on being much more than just a golf club. As host to several regional PGA Championships and Essex county amateur events, its location, quality course, and superb dining options, makes Woolston Manor a firm favourite for many. TEL: 020 8500 2549 | EMAIL: INFO@WOOLSTONMANOR.CO.UK WEB: WWW.WOOLSTONMANOR.CO.UK

LEWES GC EAST SUSSEX

Listed in Fine Golf's top 200 'running' golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland, and voted sixth best course in Sussex, you are assured of gorgeous scenery and top-class golf when you play at Lewes, which offesr bespoke packages for societies. Society Packages: (April-October 2018) 18 holes £25; 36 holes £40; weekend 18-holes £30. TEL: 01273 483474 | EMAIL: SECRETARY@LEWESGOLFCLUB.CO.UK WEB: WWW.LEWESGOLFCLUB.CO.UK

SALISBURY & SOUTH WILTS GC WILTSHIRE Laid out in the rolling Wiltshire countryside, close to the medieval city of Salisbury, the club's two downland courses offer great golf and magnificent views for miles around. The challenging, but fair, 18-hole Cathedral Course has been in play since 1991, carefully combining holes from the Old Course (1920) and a newer nine built in 1989. The easier-going Bibury nine-hole course is from an 1894 design by J H Taylor. 9 holes Bibury Course from £10, 18 holes Cathedral Course from £25 (twilight). Please enquire for society packages. TEL: 01722 742645 | EMAIL: MAIL@SALISBURYGOLF.CO.UK WEB: WWW.SALISBURYGOLF.CO.UK

THE BRADFORD GC WEST YORKSHIRE

Founded in 1891, at its present site since 1899, and redesigned by Herbert Fowler in 1923, The Bradford has embarked on a thoughtful rediscovery of its Fowler heritage, with the trees now forming more natural groups and five holes remodelled. One of the very best courses in the region, it offers a real challenge for all golfers. There is a range of packages tailored to meet the needs of individuals and visiting golfing parties.

PINNER HILL GC MIDDLESEX

Widely regarded as London’s friendliest and most soicalable golf club, Pinner Hill was formed in 1928. The course was designed in 1927 by J H Taylor and, apart from minor alterations since that time the layout of the course, is still that of the renowned golf architect. Pinner Hill society packages offer 18, 27 or 36 holes of golf, together with a wide range of catering options from just a bacon roll on arrival to the complete package of lunch and/or evening meal. TEL: 020 8866 0963 | EMAIL: PHGC@PINNERHILLGC.COM WEB: WWW.PINNERHILLGC.CO.UK

BURNHAM BEECHES GC BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

TEL: 01943 875570 | EMAIL: SECRETARY@BRADFORDGOLFCLUB.CO.UK WEB: WWW.BRADFORDGOLFCLUB.CO.UK

Established in 1891, Burnham Beeches is a private members' club that provides a challenging course in a beautiful setting on the edge of the historic Burnham Beeches. An England Golf Championship venue in 2016, and winner of the Championship Greenkeeping Team of the year. Societies and casual green fees enjoy the splendid facilities offered both on and off the course. Society Packages from £52pp Nov-Mar and £70 pp Apr-Oct Casual Green Fees : £65 per round Mon – Fri ( £35 County card ) TEL: 01628 661448 | EMAIL: ENQUIRIES@BBGC.CO.UK WEB: WWW.BBGC.CO.UK

TORWOODLEE GC SCOTTISH BORDERS

LONGNIDDRY GC EAST LOTHIAN

Torwoodlee Golf Club welcomes visitors from around the world to sample its majestic course and experience the warmest of Scottish Borders hospitality. Bronze Package: £36pp; Silver Package: £42pp; Gold Package: £50pp. Contact the club for further details.

TEL: 01896 752260 | EMAIL: TORWOODLEEGOLFCLUB@TORWOODLEEGOLFCLUB.COM WEB: WWW.TORWOODLEEGOLFCLUB.CO.UK

Longniddry is located on the south shore of the Firth of Forth at the start to what is arguably the finest stretch of golfing coastline in the world, Scotland’s Golf Coast. This Harry S Colt design offers a traditional test of golf over its unique combination of links and woodland, many holes having spectacular views towards Edinburgh City Centre. Winter packages (Nov-Mar) from £25pp. Summer packages (Apr-Sep) from £50pp. TEL: 01875 852141 | EMAIL: SECRETARY@LONGNIDDRYGOLFCLUB.CO.UK WEB: WWW.LONGNIDDRYGOLFCLUB.CO.UK

LOOKING TO BOOK A GOLF DAY IN 2018 F O R T H E B E S T S O C I E T Y & C O R P O R AT E D A Y V E N U E S

CADDIES REQUIRED Wentworth Club in the heart of beautiful Surrey is currently looking for 60 knowledgeable and experienced caddies for three prestigious golf days. With dates in May, June and July, this is a great opportunity for seasoned caddies to experience Wentworth’s iconic championship standard golf courses, including the newly renovated West.

To register your interest, please call the Caddie Master on 01344 846303.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION ON EACH CLUB • THE LATEST PACKAGES GREAT IMAGERY • VIDEO FOOTAGE (ON SELECTED CLUBS) EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

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NEWS | MARCH 2018 [29]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

GOLFING4LIFE PARTNERS WITH SWITCH THE PLAY

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olfing4Life, the not-for-profit organisation that supports the development of young golfers, has announced a new partnership with Switch the Play. Working together, the two organisations will develop a programme that supports the next generation of professional golfers, helping them reach their full potential both during their sporting career and beyond. This will include developing their non-athletic identities and highlighting the many valuable skills inherent in successful sportspeople that are transferable to a professional life off the golf course.

Leon Lloyd, CEO at Switch the Play, said: “Sport provides many exciting opportunities for a talented youngster, but it is important to prepare for life outside of sport. Only a small percentage of young golfers who show promise will go on to achieve a career in the sport that will sustain them financially for a lifetime, so it is important to prepare for a time when they exit the sport and seek alternative opportunities. We will enhance the excellent work G4L is already delivering through our programme of masterclasses and our Switched On membership.” Golfing4Life founder James Byers added:

Register now to start your Flying Club Swingers journey by visiting }www.flyingclubgolfleague.com.

PABLO LARRAZÁBAL CALLAWAY TOUR PROFESSIONAL

lying Club Swingers, Virgin Atlantic’s innovative loyalty golf programme, returns this spring for a 15th season and it looks to be the best yet. Long-term sponsors Cleveland Golf, Srixon, Trendy Golf, Stewart Golf, Explanar, Dirty Dog, SkyCaddie, Gleneagles, Hertz, Level 4 Golf and Virgin Holidays all return, providing amazing prizes and giveaways throughout the season. And this year they are joined by a new corporate partner, Blunt Umbrellas. This season’s highly anticipated final will take place in Las Vegas, and if the 2017 final at Streamsong in Florida is anything to go by, it’s once again going to be the hot ticket for amateur golfers in 2018. Each year, the lucky 24 qualifiers fly to a Virgin Atlantic destination for a Europe v Rest of the World Ryder Cup style contest. The final is, for most, unlike anything else they will have experienced in amateur golf, as finalists get to play foursomes, fourballs and singles matches to decide the overall winners. By the end of the week, the finalists have not only had a truly memorable experience but they will also have made new lifelong friendships through their passion for golf and the Virgin Atlantic brand. To whet the appetite in the run up to the final, there are a host of members’ days planned, with visits to Southport and Ainsdale in the North, Enville in the Midlands, and Walton Heath and Manor House in the South. Add to this all the competitions on the website, with regular monthly prizes, and it’s easy to see why so many amateur golfers have embraced the Flying Club Swingers programme.

“Providing direction and opportunity for young people brings responsibility. Leon Lloyd, Beth Tweedle and all the team at Switch The Play are complete professionals, with a real care for

transition and education within elite sport. Our partnership with such a unique and revered initiative will bring many benefits to our amateurs and young professionals.”

SPRING SUMMER 2018

VIRGIN ATLANTIC FLYING CLUB SWINGERS PROMISES ACTION-PACKED 15TH SEASON

F

■ THE GOLFING4LIFE TEAM WERE IN ACTION AT GOODWOOD LAST YEAR

FASHIONED FOR YOU.

#IWEARCALLAWAY @apparelcallaway www.callawayeuropeapparel.com © 2018 Callaway Golf Company. Callaway and the Chevron device are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Callaway Golf Company. Perry Ellis International is an oocial licensee of Callaway Golf Company.


[30] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

GOODWOOD WINS ‘MOST WELCOMING CLUB’ AT ENGLAND GOLF AWARDS G

olf At Goodwood has been awarded the title of ‘Most Welcoming Golf Club’ at the 2018 England Golf Awards. Celebrating clubs that go the extra mile for their members, players and guests, the Most Welcoming Golf

Club award was given to Goodwood for its forward-thinking approach to membership, desire to drive participation in the game, and for making the club a fun place to play. After receiving the award, Stuart Gillett, general manager for Golf and

■ GOODWOOD'S ACADEMY HAS SUCCEEDED IN ATTRACTING A GROWING NUMBER OF YOUNGSTERS INTO THE GAME

■ STUART GILLETT (PICTURED WITH AWARD) AND THE TEAM AT GOLF AT GOODWOOD

PENDULUM PROS SWING INTO ACTION WITH SHORT GAME GRIP BUSINESS

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wo entrepreneurial golf professionals from the South East have launched a new equipment company that specialises in golf club grips. PGA Professionals Kyle Potter and Jack Landauer, who are both attached to East Berkshire Golf Club, set up Pendulum Golf last year to launch an innovative range of wedge and putter grips that is designed to improve short game technique. Landauer said: “The top exponents of the short game agree it’s all about feel, and that’s encouraged by repeating the same grip every time. Putter grips encourage that, but we’ve taken things further with soft feel grips for both putters and wedges, both of which are designed to maximise feel, while ensuring consistent holding of the grip.” He added: “We call it the V-Line design: a central line for thumb placement and a V-Line for the finger placements. We developed the initial designs 18 months ago, had them made by a specialist manufacturer, tested them, got them patented and made them market ready. By creating grips for wedges as well as putters, we’ve achieved something that’s never been done before. We put our Pendulum Golf grips in the hands of the BB&O’s top coach, elite amateur players, and PGA professionals. Their feedback was amazing.” Potter, who works alongside Landauer at East Berkshire, said: “Our grips enhance short game feel by enabling lighter grip pressure. Each grip has the same design and material, with the wedge grips specifically designed for short game shots.” The putter grips are designed with two weightings: the lighter 45g grip for a slower tempo and a heavier head feel, and 90g for a faster tempo and a lighter head feel. Each putter grip comes in large and small sizes: large for those who want to control their hands, and small for those pursuing maximum feel. For more details, visit www.pendulumgolf.net, or call 07909 119 591.

Gripping stuff: East Berkshire PGA Pros Kyle Potter and Jack Landauer

Leisure at Goodwood, said: “I am over the moon that Golf At Goodwood has been given this prestigious England Golf Award. This achievement is down to our exceptional team, who every day make it their mission to ensure Goodwood is a fabulously fun and welcoming place to come and play golf. From the greenkeepers to those managing our social media channels, we pride ourselves on building a

community around the club. We are all extremely grateful to England Golf for this award and to all those involved in putting on this memorable evening.” Among Goodwood’s many golffriendly features is its flexible credit membership, which allows members to enjoy the full benefits of being part of the club, while only needing to pay when they play. Credit membership has been so successful that a waiting

list had to be introduced in 2017. Golf At Goodwood’s academy programme, which is specifically aimed at encouraging women and juniors to take up the game, has also been well received. The annual Academy Open Day has grown in popularity since its inception two years ago, and the junior golf camps and Level Up classes have benefitted over 200 children to date.

RESURFACING RUBBISH CAUSES BROADWATER'S TEMPORARY CLOSURE

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Surrey golf course built on a former landfill site has become a safety hazard to players and is being forced to close for up to two years. Glass, metal, plastic and concrete have been emerging on the nine-hole course at Broadwater Park Golf Centre in Godalming in recent years, but the situation has got so ■ RUBBISH IS MOVING UP TO THE SURFACE OF THE GOLF COURSE bad following recent storms that the club is set to close this summer in order to allow remedial work to take place. The planning application for the land owned by Waverley The privately-owned venue, which offers a nine-hole Borough Council is due to be discussed by Surrey County par-3 course, has submitted a planning application to re-cap Council on May 23. Adrian Michael-Johnson, who has been eight hectares of land, which was previously a landfill before running the business since it opened three decades ago, the 1980s. It is estimated the works will involve 70 lorry trips first approached the council about the landfill problem five a day to transport the 350,000 tonnes of material needed years ago. He said: “Over the years, we have had lots of trees to recap the land. It is thought that the entire project could blown over and beneath that you can see a lot of rubbish. take between 18 months and two years to complete. The land is becoming very corrugated and it’s been going on Along with the vast re-capping of the landfill site, the for a while. It has never been capped properly. club is intending to use the planned closure to carry out "We’ve got to take everything away, cap the landfill site a wide range of improvements to its facilities, including a then put the new buildings on top. We’re going to keep renovation of the golf course, the construction of a new the course open for as long as we can, and look forward to driving range building, the addition of an adventure golf seeing our customers when we re-open. The course is going facility, new putting green, and extra car parking space. to be much better, and much more interesting to play."

DELAPRE OFFERS GOLFING DELIGHTS

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f you’re looking for a great value golf break, or simply a round with a few friends, then Delapre Golf Course, located on picturesque parkland on the outskirts of Northampton, is well worth a visit. The John Jacobs-designed Oaks course enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the best publiclyfunded venues in the country, with its 5,967-yard layout proving a superb test of golf for all skill levels ever since it first opened in 1976. The 18-hole Oaks Course is a fitting venue for all golfers, with its beautifully mature design providing thrills and spills aplenty. Although not long by modern standards, its par of 69, combined with tree-lined fairways and plenty of streams, ditches and bunkers to negotiate, ensures

that birdies are hard to come by. The subject of significant investment since it came under new management in 2014, the Oaks is always presented in excellent condition, and is a delight to play at any time of year, and with society packages starting from £21pp, it’s also extremely good value. Delapre also boasts the ninehole Jack’s course, which is superb par-three layout, a further 9-hole

pitch-and-putt course, and a FootGolf course. Before a round, golfers can make use of the 40-bay floodlit driving range, as well as the practice putting and chipping greens, while the Lavazza Coffee Bar is open all day to serve a selection of hot meals, light bites and drinks. There is an American Golf store on site to meet all your equipment needs, while stay-and-play visitors can book overnight accommodation in the Northampton Marriott Hotel, which is just a short walk from the first tee. For society packages and green fee rates, and details on the Oaks Challenge, a charity event in aid of the Air Ambulance Service taking place on June 20, visit www.delapregolfcentre.co.uk or call 01604 764 036.


[32] MARCH 2018 | INTERVIEW

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

COVER INTERVIEW

MAJOR PLAYER With a green jacket hanging in the wardrobe, a ring on his finger, and a baby on the way, SERGIO GARCIA is entering the second phase of his career with renewed enthusiasm and the desire to win more majors

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inning the Masters, winning your home event at Valderamma, getting married, and now expecting your first child – 2017 must go down as a very special year, whichever way you look at it. It was a wonderful year, no question. I’ve had some great years before, but given what I’ve experienced on and off the golf course, it has to go down as one of the better ones, for sure. Given everything you achieved last year, how hard was it to sit down and set some new goals for 2018? The goals are still the same: try to keep improving, getting better in all aspects of the game. The goals never change from year to year. Obviously, I would like to put myself into a position to challenge for more wins, but the priority is to feel like I'm becoming a better player, not just technically, but the way I build my score and manage my game. Do you feel like it should be easier to win another major or two now that you've broken through? I don't know if it's easier or not. Obviously, it’s nice to have won one, but it doesn't mean that the next one is going to be easy, or easier, shall we say. It doesn't work like that. There is always huge pressure at any tournament, but hopefully, if I can get myself into contention to win another one, I might feel a little more comfortable with the situation, but it doesn't mean that it becomes easy. Having to change equipment can be a difficult thing, so how pleased are you

to have won as quickly as you did with the new gear at the Singapore Open? To be totally honest, it hasn't been difficult. Callaway has amazing equipment. So that makes it easy. When you look down at the clubhead, and you like what you see, it obviously helps. It is very exciting. I'm obviously very pleased with the move, and, you know, hopefully we can keep having more weeks like that. Some people would question why you felt the need to change your equipment after having such a brilliant year. What prompted the change? Well, it wasn't only my decision. You know, I spent 15 years with TaylorMade, but unfortunately things come to an end. There were, of course, a few consequences of TaylorMade and Adidas going their separate ways. When a company has so many top players it is always going to be difficult to keep them all, and unfortunately we couldn’t reach an agreement and the relationship kind of reached the end of the road. And now I’ve joined Callaway. I experimented with their equipment for a while towards the end of last season, and during the off-season, and what I tried felt great. Callaway is a great company and they make great equipment, so it’s hardly a leap into the unknown. The team at Callaway seems excited to have me on their team, and I'm excited about all their new gear, so it should be fun. It means a lot to have a company like Callaway put so much faith in me, and I hope I can repay them. Which part of the equipment change have you found it hardest to get to grips with?


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

I WOULD LIKE TO PUT MYSELF INTO A POSITION TO CHALLENGE FOR MORE WINS, BUT MY PRIORITY IS TO BECOME A BETTER PLAYER, NOT JUST TECHNICALLY, BUT THE WAY I BUILD MY SCORE AND MANAGE MY GAME

INTERVIEW | MARCH 2018

I would say the most difficult thing to change is the golf ball. When you play with one brand of golf ball for quite a while, it becomes second nature to know how it will react off certain shots and how it feels in certain situations. The numbers I was getting from Callaway’s new Chrome Soft ball were really good, and the fact that I was able to win with it on just my second outing on tour shows that I’m already pretty comfortable with how it performs. The rest of the new gear is also amazing – the Rogue woods are incredible, and the irons are great, the Mack Daddy wedges are very nice and the putter, they just made me a new one, the Azalea, which is really nice. Obviously, I’m really pleased with everything right now, and I still feel like I can get better. What would you say has been your main strength throughout your career that's kept you among the top players in the world? Well, for me, it’s all about consistency. You know, I've been fortunate to be healthy for pretty much my whole career. I've been very consistent. My long game is very consistent, and that's kept me always at a good level. So, you know, it's been a combination of those things. You had an outside chance of winning the Race to Dubai last season. Are there any regrets that you didn't change your schedule to chase a few more points? Not at all. Winning the Race to Dubai is a great achievement for any player, but I'm not going to change my whole life for it. I had some important things that I needed to take care of, and that's not going to change. I will always play a global schedule, and I will always be a member of the European Tour, but I’m not interested in money lists or chasing points – I want to win tournaments. How was your Masters' win received in Spain? I've received some nice trophies and awards from around the area where I live in Spain, but I haven’t had so much national recognition. We're fortunate that we have a lot of good sportsmen and women in Spain, so the competition is tough – especially from Rafa (Nadal). This year’s major schedule includes a return to Carnoustie for The Open. I know it's a little bit away, but how much are you looking forward to going back there, given how close you came in 2007? Yeah, I'm very excited, and I'm really looking forward to going back to Carnoustie. I love the place and I think it's one of the best links courses we play in The Open rotation. Hopefully I can play as well as I did in 2007, and perhaps just a little better, and give myself a solid shot at it. It would be nice to put myself

in that situation again. What in particular do you like about it? I think it's just a solid golf course. It's great. It's not the kind of links course that needs a lot of wind or very bad weather to play tough. You know, even with good weather, it's still very challenging. So I love that about it. With regards to your defence of the Masters, will you in any way be looking to replicate any of the routines that worked for you last year? Whether it be your practice, where you stay, what you eat? Are you at all superstitious? Absolute zero. I’m not really like that. I’ll be taking it as it comes. How impressed have you been with the progress of your fellow Spaniard, Jon Rahm? Would you fancy teaming up with him in a Ryder Cup foursomes? Yeah, he's a great player – we’ve known that for a long time – and he's been on a great run since he turned pro. He's won four tournaments in, I don't know, what is it, 16-17 months. Obviously, he's shown what he's capable of doing. He's got a great opportunity to achieve something, not only for himself, but for Spain – something we’ve not really seen since Seve. It would be nice to see it happen. We'll see. I'm sure Dustin [Johnson], and some of the other guys that are around, won’t make it easy for him. So we'll see what happens, but he’s a very exciting talent to have on tour, and I’m glad that he’s Spanish – and European. What have been your impressions of Tiger from what you’ve seen so far? Yeah, it has been interesting to see. I think that he’s looked pretty good, so far, but there's a big question mark over how he's going to be able to cope physically over the long term. So hopefully he'll get in a bit of a rhythm once he’s got a few more tournaments under his belt. But, in truth, nobody knows. Even he probably doesn't know how his body is going to cope with everything that goes on with playing lots of tournaments and practising, and everything that comes with it. So we'll see. How important do you think Tiger is to golf in 2018? If he's not there, will the game of golf fall apart? I don't think so. But, of course, we need him to be a part of the story. He's done so much for the game. Like I always say, the more sugar, the sweeter. So the more big-time players we have on Tour, the better it is for the game globally, and he's obviously one of those.

WHAT’S IN SERGIO’S BAG? DRIVER: CALLAWAY ROGUE SUB ZERO (9°) FAIRWAY WOODS: CALLAWAY ROGUE 3+ (13.5°), CALLAWAY ROGUE SUB ZERO (18°) IRONS: CALLAWAY APEX PRO ’16 (3-4), CALLAWAY APEX MB ’18 (5-9) WEDGES: CALLAWAY MACK DADDY 4 (48°, 54°, 60°) PUTTER: ODYSSEY TOULON DESIGN AZALEA BALL: CHROME SOFT X

[33]


[34] MARCH 2018 | FEATURE

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

STORY BEHIND THE PIC SANDY LYLE • THE MASTERS • AUGUSTA NATIONAL • APRIL 10, 1988

EUROPEAN GOLF was certainly in rude health during the 1980s, a fact reflected in one major tournament in particular: the Masters. From Seve Ballesteros's victory in 1980, through to Nick Faldo's win in 1989, the green jacket sat on the shoulders of a European golfer five times in a decade, as Augusta National became a home from home for the continent's finest players. By the time of the 1988 tournament, Ballesteros had won the Masters twice, and Bernhard Langer's first major in 1985 had marked the ideal start to a year in which Europe had won back the Ryder Cup after a 28-year hiatus. Despite this success, there was one thing was missing for British golf fans, namely a first winner from the home nations. Step forward Sandy Lyle. Lyle, who had won the Open in 1985, was in good form prior to arriving at Augusta, having beaten Ken Green in a play-off the Sunday before to win the Greater Greensboro Open in North Carolina and move to the top of the US money list. As the first round got under way in windy conditions, the early running was made by Larry Nelson and the unknown Robert Wrenn. Both men shot 69 and held a two-stroke lead over Lyle, Langer, Mark Calcavecchia and Don Pooley – the only players to break par on a testing Thursday. Friday would bring much better weather, and the scoring fell as a result. Lyle made the most decisive move, his 67 containing six birdies, including a run of five threes in six holes on the front nine, as he reached the turn in 33. His 36-hole total of 138 gave him a two-shot lead over Calcavecchia. On Saturday, Lyle reached the 13th tee holding a four-shot lead over Calcavecchia, with an ideal chance to stretch his lead further on the reachable par five. But his tee shot end up in a ditch, with the resulting bogey almost feeling like a double. Trading blows over the closing holes, both men shot level par 72s, with Lyle entering the final day with his two-shot lead intact, although the pack had closed, with Ben Crenshaw within three shots, and Fred Couples, Fuzzy Zoeller and Langer just four behind.

After ten holes of the final round, Lyle had stretched his lead to three, but the 30-year-old Scot was about to discover that back-nine feeling on the final day of the Masters, with Amen Corner - holes 11, 12 and 13 - proving particularly savage. A bogey on 11 was just an appetiser to the perils of the short 12th. As Lyle's tee shot found water, the ashen look on his face told the full story. His double-bogey five spelt danger, as up ahead first Craig Stadler made it a three-way tie at the top, before Calcavecchia's birdie on the 13th gave him the outright lead for the first time. And with Langer and Pooley also moving to four under, the scene was set for a shoot-out between the leaders over the remaining holes. Lyle needed a moment of inspiration, and it arrived at the parthree 16th. His 7-iron was struck sweetly, as was the 15-foot birdie putt that brought him level with Calcavecchia. And, after paring the 17th, Lyle stood on the last tee needing a par to force a play-off or a birdie to win the title outright. Unsurprisingly, Lyle erred on the side of caution, opting for a 1-iron off of the tee, but – perhaps understandably under the intense pressure – tugged his tee shot into a bunker. Holding his

hands behind his head and looking visibly deflated, Lyle's hopes now rested on the lie of his ball in the sand. Thankfully, it was sitting on the upslope, and although the situation was not ideal, it could have been a lot worse. Reaching for his trusty 7-iron once more, Lyle addressed his ball for the 160-yard shot that would arguably define his career. Picking the ball off the sand perfectly, Lyle watched on intently as the ball flew unerringly towards the target and landed 20 feet past the flag. BBC commentator Peter Alliss immediately assessed the situation: "That could spin. It could spin". He wasn't wrong; Lyle's ball began to check back towards the hole, the natural slope of the green and the inch-perfect approach combining to bring the Masters' title ever closer. Lyle, on hearing the huge cheers of the galleries, later admitted to hoping that he might be only two feet away; however, he was now faced with a 18-foot putt to become Britain's first Masters’ champion. As soon as hesent his ball on the way to the hole it never looked like missing. Lyle immediately raised his arms in the air, beginning his now infamous flat-footed jig of delight, and embracing his caddie Dave Musgrove. Returning to the UK a hero, Lyle appeared to have the golfing world at his feet, but such is the fickle nature of the game that he would never scale such heights again. His form dipped so dramatically that he missed the cut while defending his Masters' title in 1989, and he failed to even make the Ryder Cup team that retained the trophy at the Belfry. But Lyle, who turned 60 last month, and who will be playing his final Masters next month, will always have that green jacket to remind him that, for one week in April, 30 years ago, he was untouchable.

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COMPETITION | MARCH 2018

[35]

A 7-NIGHT GOLF HOLIDAY TO CYPRUS! Golf News has teamed up with the stunning Korineum Golf & Beach Resort in Northern Cyprus to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a summer golf break to this stunning tropical paradise.

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taying for seven nights in one of the resort’s twin or double rooms, the winner will enjoy half-board hospitality and four rounds of golf on the resort’s 18-hole championship layout, as well as full access to the resort’s wide range of leisure facilities.

Five tees give players of all abilities the opportunity to play to their handicap, while each hole enjoys stunning mountain and seas views. Golfers can take advantage of the large buggy fleet to save their energy for shotmaking and to better absorb the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area. Facilties at the resort include a 86-room hotel – including four junior suites – a choice of bars, three restaurants, swimming pool, live evening entertainment, and a spa and fitness centre, as well as a 70m private beach, which is 3km from the resort, but is free for hotel guests to use.

PARADISE FOUND AT CYPRUS KORINEUM

THE PRIZE The prize includes return flights from the UK, (including golf bag carriage), local transfers, seven nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast, and four rounds of golf with guaranteed tee times. The prize also incudes free use of the resort’s beach club, and a complimentary shuttle bus into the local town of Kyrenia.

Cyprus has always been a popular holiday destination with UK travellers, but an absence of world-class golf facilities prevented it from becoming a destination for British golfers – until, that is, the arrival of the Korineum Golf & Beach Resort in 2007. Located in the north of the island, in a lush green oasis on the way to Esentepe, Korineum is tucked away in the foothills of the Beşparmak Mountain Range and enjoys the prestige of being north Cyprus’s first championship-standard golf facility,is ranked 36th in Golf World’s Top 100 European Golf Resorts.

TO ENTER To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, simply answer the question below correctly, and email your name, address and contact details to info@golfnews.co.uk, with ‘Korineum Resort Competition’ in the subject line. Please include where you picked up your copy of Golf News.

The entire landscape has been shaped and sculpted to perfection and features an 18-hole, 6,232-metre championship layout, a three-hole academy course, and a 34-bay driving range. The course has been laid with a special type of geneticallyengineered grass called Seashore Paspalum, which is designed to withstand the hot Cyprus climate and ensures perfect year-round playing conditions.

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Normal competition rules apply, and no cash alternative is available. The closing date for entries is April 30, 2018. The booking must be for stays between June 1 and December 31, 2018. All bookings are subject to availability and cannot be used alongside any current bookings. For more information, visit www.cyprusparadise.com/golf or call 0203 1501705. For more details, visit www.korineumgolf.com.

QUESTION: In which year did Korineum Golf & Beach Resort open? A) 2003 B) 2005 C) 2007

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[36] MARCH 2018 | NEWS

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

TOURNEWS... MICKELSON’S THE MASTER IN MEXICO P

hil Mickelson ended a five-year losing streak stretching back to his Open triumph in 2013, when beating Justin Thomas in a play-off at the WGC–Mexico Championship. The American pair finished tied on 16 under par after an enthralling final round at Chapultepec Golf Club. Mickelson saw his birdie putt lip out at the first playoff hole – the par-three 17th – but when Thomas failed to get down in two from behind the green, the 47 year old became the oldest ever winner of a World Golf Championship. Mickelson said: “I can't put into words

how much this means to me, it’s been a long time. To come here to Mexico City, and finally come through against the best players in the world is so satisfying. I knew it was going to come soon, I was playing too well for it not to, but you never know until it happens.” Tyrrell Hatton, who missed out on extra holes after an untidy bogey at the last, and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello tied for third on 15 under. The Spaniard, Hatton and Mickelson all had spells in front, but Thomas, who carding a blistering third round 62, made six birdies in his first 15 holes

to edge ahead, and spun his 120-yard approach back into the cup at the 18th to set a daunting clubhouse

on holes three and four dropped the 33-year-old back into the chasing pack, but three birdies on the back nine, including one on the 18th, got him into the play-off against Thomas. Thomas carded a two-under-par 68 ,and also birdied the final hole to

force the playoff. The pair replayed the par-five 18th, and it was Thomas who took advantage, finding the green with his second shot. List drove his tee shot into the rough down the right and his second bounced off the spectator stands next to the green. He could only manage par after pitching on to the green and two-putting, while Thomas made two putts of his own to card a birdie to take the title. Sweden’s Alex Noren finished third on seven under par, while Tommy Fleetwood finished a further shot back in fourth with a closing 69.

NO DOUBTING THOMAS AT HONDA CLASSIC

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eigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic in Florida beating fellow American Luke List in a playoff. The pair were tied at eight under par after four rounds, but it was 2017 PGA Championship winner Thomas who came through after the first extra hole. List, who was chasing his first win on the PGA Tour, led going into the final round, but back-to-back bogeys

POTTER WINS AT PEBBLE

JOOST’S THE MAN IN OMAN

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utchman Joost Luiten got the better of Chris Wood in a final-day battle at the inaugural NBO Oman Open. Al Mouj Golf has played host to some dramatic scenes on the Challenge Tour, staging the season-ending NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, and did not disappoint on its European Tour debut. Perfect conditions greeted the players for the fourth day in a row, with Luiten going out in the final group and holding a share of the overnight lead. There were ten players within four shots of the lead as the final group reached the turn, but it turned into a straight shoot-out between Luiten and Wood on the back nine, with the experienced duo going toe-to-toe in the desert.

BUBBA BATTLES BACK FROM THE BRINK

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ubba Watson ended a two-year winless run on the PGA Tour with a hard-fought victory at the Genesis Open at Riviera County Club in Los Angeles. The 39-year-old lefthander’s last win came at the same event – when it was called the Northern Trust Open – in February 2016, and it was his third career victory in the tournament, following an earlier triumph in 2014.

But it was the Dutchman who prevailed, carding a 68 to get to 16 under and finish two shots ahead of his English rival. "This is why you play golf, to hold trophies," said Luiten, whose first win since the 2016 KLM Open earned him a

Following a jittery front nine, which saw the lead change several times – with Patrick Cantlay, Ryan Moore, Kevin Na and Tony Finau jostling for top spot – Watson held it together on the back nine, shooting a final round 69 to win by two shots from Na and Finau. After dropping shots at the third, sixth and ninth, Watson made a superb up-and-down from the bunker on 11 to save par, and then holed a bunker shot on 14 for a priceless birdie, before picking up another shot at the par-five 17th, leaving himself a two-shot cushion playing the last, which he parred for victory.

TOUR NEWS IN BRIEF

spot in the WGC-Mexico Championship. "It's always tough to win out here, all these guys are so good, and they keep putting pressure on you. I probably need to win another couple of tournaments to get into the Ryder Cup team, but it's a great start to the year for me."

target with a round of 64, which Mickelson matched with a birdie at the last hole to set up the playoff.

American Ted Potter Jr won his second PGA Tour title with a threeshot victory in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The 34-year-old from Florida – who won his previous title at the 2012 Greenbrier Classic during his first season on the PGA Tour – closed with a 69 for a 17-under-par winning total. Phil Mickelson birdied three of the last four holes to finish joint second with Chez Reavie, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. Rory McIlroy, playing his first tournament of the season in the States, missed the 54hole cut by two shots.

WOODS TO REPRISE RYDER CUP VICE ROLE

US OPEN DROPS 18-HOLE PLAYOFF FORMAT

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f the scores should be tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of this year’s US Open or Women’s US Open, the players will no longer be required to come back on Monday for an 18-hole playoff. The USGA has decided to call time on this drawn out format for all its open championships, and from this summer will introduce a new twohole aggregate playoff. If the scores are still tied, it will go to sudden death. There have been 33 playoffs in the US Open history, the most recent of which was in 2008, when Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. The two-hole aggregate is more in line with the Open Championship (four-hole aggregate) and the PGA Championship (three-hole aggregate), while the Masters employs a sudden-death playoff. The new playoff rule will also apply to the mens’ and women’s senior open championships.

Watson later admitted that he had seriously considered quitting the tour after suffering a severe slump in form in recent seasons, which had seen him drop out of the world’s top 100. "You never know if you're going to play well again, and you never know if you're going to lift a trophy again,” he said. “I thought about retirement, and I mentioned it about a dozen times to my wife, because physically I wasn't ready to play. So to have the chance to win again, and then pull it off, that's very special. My goal has always been to get 10 wins, so to achieve that is amazing.”

US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk has named Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker as vice-captains for September’s matches in Paris. Furyk had already named former captain Davis Love III as his first assistant, and will name additional vicecaptains at a later date. Woods, who has not played in the Ryder Cup since the 2012 matches at Medinah, will be making his second appearance as a vice-captain, having been an assistant to Love in the 2016 victory. Stricker will appear for the third time, having also served as an assistant in 2016, and again during the defeat at Gleneagles in 2014.

APHIBARNRAT SCOOPS PERTH SUPER 6’S TITLE Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat won his fourth European Tour title after a 2&1 victory over Australia’s James Nitties in the final of the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth. The 28-yearold arrived at Karrinyup Country Club having not played any practice rounds due to a late call up for the tournament. He needed four playoff to claim the last of the 24 spots in the Super 6, and then had to come through five rounds of match play – with wins over Ben Eccles, Yusaku Miyazato, Sean Crocker and Lucas Herbert, to beat Nitties in the final.

HAAS SURVIVES CAR CRASH American golfer Bill Haas was involved in a car crash last month that left one man dead and a woman injured. The 35-year-old former FedExCup champion was in a Ferrari that collided with a BMW in Los Angeles on February 13. The Ferrari's driver, Mark Gibello, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Haas, and an unnamed 50-year-old woman who was travelling in the BMW, were taken to hospital. Haas' father, Jay, said his son was in ‘a lot of pain’, had no broken bones and is expected to make a full recovery.


WEB: GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/EQUIPMENT

pply of A Years Su lls Volvik Ba

CONTENTS

EQUIPMENT & GEAR

MARCH 2018

INTERVIEW: NEIL HOWIE CALLAWAY GOLF'S EUROPEAN BOSS ON THE BRAND'S RETURN TO THE TOP TONY FINAU PGA TOUR'S BIGGEST HITTER ON HIS SWITCH TO PING TRIED AND TESTED TAYLORMADE M4 DRIVER & ECCO BIOM 3 HYBRID PRO SHOP NEWS ON ALL THE LATEST LAUNCHES SEVEN REASONS TO WEAR ECCO GOLF SHOES

DISCOVER YOUR INNER

ROGUE

DR ALAN HOCKNELL, CALLAWAY GOLF'S CHIEF DESIGNER, REVEALS THE POWER BEHIND ITS NEW RANGE OF WOODS


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

[38] MARCH 2018 | EQUIPMENT

JOHNSON’S ON THE PROWL WITH LYNX LYNX GOLF has added eight-time Solheim Cup player Trish Johnson to its team of staff tour players.

EQUIPMENT NEWS

Johnson, 51, is the reigning Senior LPGA Champion, and will defend her title on the Legends Tour this season, as well as competing in the first US Senior Women’s Open, which is being held at Chicago Golf Club in July.

for donkey’s years. But when I started testing the Lynx equipment I was so impressed.” She added: “I’ve been getting significant distance gains with the irons and the driver, and I’m hitting my fairway woods better than ever. The Prowler irons really suit my eye perfectly, they’re such a lovely shape, and the feel is fabulous, so I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Bristol-born Johnson has bagged 25 wins in her 30-year career to date, including 19 on the LET and three on the LPGA Tour. She has recorded 74 top-10 finishes in Europe, where she has played in over 280 tournaments since turning pro in 1987. Steve Elford, Lynx Golf’s co-owner, said: “Having a player like Trish representing Lynx in two senior majors this year is fantastic, especially at a time when we are re-introducing Lynx to the US market. Trish has a high profile there and, of course, in Europe, so she is a great addition to our team.” Johnson, who lines up alongside other LET stars Laura Davies, Becky Brewerton and Lydia Hall on Lynx’s tour staff, carried out extensive testing and custom fitting before deciding to put the new Lynx Prowler Forged CB irons and Parallax woods in her bag for 2018.

“The Lynx kit is fantastic,” said Johnson. “I’m not a player who chops and changes my equipment very often. In fact, I hadn’t been fitted for ages, and had played the same driver and woods

Elford said: “Trish is very particular about the equipment she uses, so having her playing with Lynx gear is a huge endorsement for what we are trying to achieve as a company. She was impressed by the quality and range of the equipment we are able to offer and we will be finalising what’s in her bag after she's been fitted at our custom fit centre in Weybridge. She also loves the fact we are a family-owned, British golf company, with a commitment to achieving outstanding quality across the board – from initial product development to customer service.”

TALON TRAINING AID OPENS UP A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF GOLF one of the country's finest practice facilities, and PGA senior teaching professional Sebastian Grobler has incorporated the Talon Mk2 into his coaching regime. Grobler, a South African former Tour player, has been hugely impressed by the digital Talon Mk2, which has been designed to perfect a golfer's posture. It uses patented technology to give real-time feedback on the four pivotal angles of address: the spine angle, club-shaft angle, Ojee angle - the difference between the two - and the angle of the clubface. It is suitable for use by golfers of all levels. WORLD OF GOLF IN SURREY, one of the South East’s most popular driving ranges, has upped its game in the coaching stakes with the purchase of a Talon Mk2 training aid.

"Every great golf swing starts with a consistent and repeatable set-up. By using the Talon Mk2, a golfer can finally see and feel how to make the correct set-up adjustments, whatever the club,” said Grobler. “This is a very powerful

The busy New Malden-based venue possesses

TRIED & TESTED:

TAYLORMADE M4 DRIVER £369, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU WHILE THE LAST FEW YEARS have seen the world of driver design focus on thinning out faces and crowns in the search for yet more yards off the tee, it seems that in 2018 we have reached ‘peak distance’, so the focus has now switched to finding more fairways. That’s certainly the message from TaylorMade’s new M3 and M4 drivers, whose main selling point is a new face design that encourages even your miss-hits to return to the centre cut more often. While distance is a given with all the latest drivers, thanks to lightweight materials and ergonomic head shapes, TaylorMade’s engineers believe that too many golfers – even the top pros – are being unfairly punished for their occasional off-centre strikes. While the traditional ‘bulge-and-roll’ shape found on the face of most drivers is intended to correct the effects of toe and heel strikes with what is known as the gear effect, TaylorMade has taken this theory to the next level by

‘twisting’ the face, so that the high-toe area features added loft, and is more open, while the low-heel area has been de-lofted to produce a slightly more closed clubface. The former is claimed to straighten out a hook, while the latter will reduce the effects of a weak slice, and help to draw the ball back into the fairway. That’s the theory, anyway. The twist is small enough to be barely noticeable at address, but it is noticeable, especially in the toe

training aid that takes guessing out of the equation. I use it in my own coaching and also encourage my students to do the same." Conceived and created by Teesside-based Ojee Golf, the Talon Mk2 features in World of Golf's state-of-the-art golf studio, the Performance Centre, which uses world-leading technology to give golfers the best possible assistance with their game. It will also be included in the venue's 'learn to play' programme.

area, and knowing its there may also provide some mental comfort for those who don’t always find the centre of the clubface. Twist aside, the M4 boasts several other performanceenhancing technologies, most notably the new Hammerhead slot. Positioned in the sole near the face, this update to the brand’s Speed Pocket has allowed engineers to decrease the thickness and weight of the face, making it more flexible and thus generating greater ball speeds. The new slot design has also freed up 8g of weight on the M4's clubface and pushed an additional 19g backwards to increase the driver's stability and MOI - a major factor in making the M4 more forgiving than its predecessor, the M2. While the 440cc M3 boasts all the adjustability bells and whistles, including a Y-shaped weight tracking mechanism that can be configured 1,000 different ways, the 460cc M4 features a much more straightforward, no frills head, with an adjustable hosel the only flight consideration. Having said that, it also incorporates what


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

EQUIPMENT | MARCH 2018 [39]

GREGORY SIGNS WITH COBRA PUMA

THE GEAR EFFECT

HAMPSHIRE TOUR PROFESSIONAL SCOTT GREGORY has signed a head-to-toe equipment contract with Cobra Puma Golf. The 23-year-old from Corhampton, who left the amateur ranks after competing in last September’s Walker Cup, will play with Cobra hardwear through the bag – barring his putter –including the company’s King F8+ driver and fairway woods, two King utility irons, a full set of King Pro irons, and three King wedges. He will also be wearing Puma clothing and shoes, and wearing a Puma branded hat. Gregory, who won the British Amateur in 2016, said: “The Cobra Puma Golf brand brings together athletes and golfers. I can pick outfits that suit my image from the Puma range for both on and off the course, and know the

INSIDES THE BAGS OF RECENT WINNERS ON TOUR TED POTTER

PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM Cobra equipment is going to perform when I need it most. Being part of the brand gets me incredibly excited. The clothing and equipment are going to perfectly compliment my career moving forwards.” Gregory will be teeing it up in the first event of the new Challenge Tour season, the Barclays Kenya Open, which begins on March 22.

LEADBETTER PARTNERS WITH TED BAKER WORLD-RENOWNED COACH DAVID LEADBETTER has become an ambassador for British fashion brand Ted Baker London for the upcoming season. Designed for the keen golfer who’s looking for something a little different on the links, the company’s golf collection, which is now in its second season, includes printed polos, water-repellent cotton blend trousers and jackets, soft chino shorts and easyto-layer jersey pieces, as well as a wide rangeo of accessories such as leather gloves. “Partnering with Ted Baker London was a no-brainer for me given their impeccable

DRIVER: Ping G400 (9˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G400 (14.5˚) HYBRIDS: Ping G400 (19˚, 22˚) IRONS: Ping iBlade (4-9) WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 (48˚), Cleveland RTX-3 (54˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot #2 BALL: Srixon Z Star XV

BUBBA WATSON GENESIS OPEN

DRIVER: Ping G400 LST (8.5˚) HYBRID: Ping G (19˚) IRONS: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW) WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 (52˚, 56˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Ping Prototype PLD Anser BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT ISPS HANDA WORLD SUPER 6 clothing and the connection to my homeland, said Leadbetter, 66. “Their new golf line is incredible; the style, the detail and the quality fabric is second-to-none.”

DRIVER: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (9˚) FAIRWAY: Callaway Rogue (15˚) IRONS: Callaway Epic Pro (2), Callaway X Forged 13 (3-5), Callaway Apex MB (6-PW) WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (52˚), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (58˚) PUTTER: Odyssey Versa #7 BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft X

SHUBHANKAR SHARMA MAYBANK CHAMPIONSHIP

DRIVER: Callaway GBB Epic (9˚) FAIRWAY: TaylorMade M2 (15˚) HYBRID: Callaway Epic (18˚) IRONS: Titleist 714 CB (4-PW) WEDGES: Cleveland RTX-3 (50˚, 56˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Red X BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

MINJEE LEE

WOMEN’S OATES VIC OPEN Matt Hulbert, who founded Ojee Golf with his father Paul in 2014, added: "It's a great feeling to see a product you've built and refined over last three years in the hands of the very best teaching professionals, in Europe's busiest training facility. We're passionate about improving golfers and World of Golf is the

perfect platform to increase awareness of the Talon Mk2 and what it can achieve." The Talon MK2 retails at £199 and can be purchased through Ojee Golf or through a club pro shop. Lessons with Grobler, using the Talon MK2, can be booked by emailing sebastian@worldofgolf.co.uk.

DRIVER: XXIO (9.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: XXI0 (15) HYBRID: Srixon ZH45 (19) IRONS: Srixon Z 745 (5-PW) WEDGES: Cleveland 588 RTX MB 2.0 (50, 54, 58) PUTTER: Odyssey Versa 2-Ball BALL: Srixon Z Star

JUSTIN THOMAS HONDA CLASSIC TaylorMade calls ‘geocoustic’ engineering, which combines a large head and a low centre of gravity with a more curved sole, creating a higher frequency and thus offering better feel and sound. After time spent hitting it on the range and out of the course, I can certainly testify that the sound is a much more pleasant ‘ting ‘than the dull thud that is a feature of many modern drivers. Looks-wise, some people will question why TaylorMade has moved away from the white-coloured crown that made its drivers so distinct on tour, but I’ve no problem with the split silver/black crown, which is classy without being distracting. It’s also less likely to get scratched and scraped so easily or show its age so quickly. Performance, is, of course, going to be the deciding factor in whether you’re prepared to shell out over £350, and the M4 is certainly no let down in that department. Testing it

■ THE M4 BOASTS A NEW CROWN DESIGN

on a Trackman launch monitor, it was impressive to see that the dispersion of my shots was tighter and that my worse shots were going further, which in turn makes the club more consistent and more forgiving. It doesn’t give up any distance over the M2, and the spin rates were comparable too. At 45.75 inches, the standard Fujikura Atmos Red shaft is long, but it needs to be in order to maximise clubhead speed, and yet it still feels controllable. All told, the M4 is a great driver for anyone who wants to hit the ball long and straight, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a cure-all for poor swingers – bad shots will still be punished, especially if you’re a habitual slicer. Those players would be better served by the M4 Draw version, which is weighted to encourage that right-to-left shot shape for right-handers. It’s a better value option than the M3 (which is £110 more expensive) providing you don’t mind giving up a bit of extra flight control, and it’s easy to see why it has found its way into the bags of many of TaylorMade’s tour staff, including world No.1 Dustin Johnson. If you already have previous generations of TaylorMade’s M2, I’m not sure the M4 is enough of an improvement to warrant an instant upgrade, but if you’re playing with something older than that, then it certainlymerits serious consideration. A fitting session with a pro at your local club will reveal whether you should take it further than that.

DRIVER: Titleist 917D2 (8.5˚) FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist 917F2 (15˚), Titleist 915Fd (18˚) IRONS: Titleist 718 AP2 (4); Titleist 718 MB (5-9) WEDGES: Titleist Vokey SM6 (48˚, 60˚), Titleist Vokey SM5 (52˚, 56˚) PUTTER: Scotty Cameron by Titleist Futura X5 BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

EDDIE PEPPERELL QATAR MASTERS

DRIVER: Titleist 917 D2 FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway XR UTILITY: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi IRONS: Mizuno JPX900 Tour (3-9) WEDGES: Mizuno T7 (46˚- 60˚) PUTTER: Bettinardi Studio Stock 8 BALL: Titleist Pro V1

JOOST LUITEN OMAN OPEN

DRIVER: TaylorMade M2 2017 (8.5˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15˚) HYBRID: TaylorMade R15 (17˚) IRONS: Titleist 718 CB (3-9) WEDGES: Titleist Vokey SM7(46˚, 54˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Tour Concept 2 BALL: Titleist Pro V1


[40] MARCH 2018 | EQUIPMENT

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

HOWIE’S WAY

GolfNews talks to NEIL HOWIE, President and Managing Director Callaway Golf EMEA, about the company’s recent run of success in the marketplace, and why Callaway’s R&D team is always on the lookout for the next best thing

G

iven the competitiveness of the golf equipment business, how pleasing is it that Callaway’s global net sales in 2017 were up 20% on the previous year’s figures, and what you do put those results down to? We’re obviously delighted by the growth we’ve experienced over the past three years. It’s down to great people and great products. It’s hard to drive growth unless both are the best they can be. I’m incredibly proud to represent the brands we do, but we are well aware that we must strive to improve every day if we are to sustain our momentum. Callaway Golf chief executive Chip Brewer has clearly invested heavily in the R&D side of the business since he came on board. Do you think that has been one of the main reasons for the turnaround in the company’s success with recent launches such as Epic? Ely Callaway coined a phrase that we use as a product gauge, which is ‘demonstrably superior and pleasingly different’. I think our product line up recently has certainly lived up to this mantra. Chip is similar to Ely, in that he is driven by great equipment. He gets very involved in the R&D side of things and is very technically savvy. If there is a way to make something better, he’ll invest in it. He’s also from a great US golfing dynasty – his father won the US Senior Amateur Championship twice – and is a good player himself. He understands what makes a great product and his restlessness has definitely energised the R&D team. Given the performance breakthroughs achieved with the Epic range, which launched just 12 months ago – do you think that it is

CALLAWAY BY NUMBERS IN 2017 NET GLOBAL SALES:

$1,049M (+20% ON 2016) EUROPEAN HARDGOODS & BALL MARKET SHARE:

24.3% (NO.1, +9% ON 2016) #1 DRIVER BRAND IN EUROPE 29.9% (+27% VS 2016) GOLF BALL MARKET SHARE:

18.7%

NO.1 GOLF BRAND IN EVERY EUROPEAN MARKET perhaps too soon to come out with a new product – Rogue – that claims to perform even better for certain players? Firstly, Epic remains in the line for 2018, so it will happily sit alongside Rogue for a second season. But, if we genuinely believe we have something even better, why wouldn’t we bring it to market? Our industry thrives on new product. It is the lifeblood. I believe the key is to ensure our retail partners know what’s coming and to help them manage their inventories. The problems tend to occur when there is a glut of existing product left to sell. I’d also add that our Apex iron franchise is three years old and still going strong so, when it makes sense, we’re happy to extend life cycles. I think it’s great to provide consumers with a choice, however. If they’re happy with what they have, there’s no real need to trade up to something new. If they’re looking for the latest, the industry should provide it for them. Having the world’s best golfers playing Callaway equipment clearly sends out an important message to consumers. How pleased are you to have Sergio

■ CALLAWAY CEO CHIP BREWER HAS INVESTED HEAVILY IN R&D

IF WE GENUINELY BELIEVE WE HAVE SOMETHING BETTER, WHY WOULDN’T WE BRING IT TO MARKET?

■ NEIL HOWIE HAS BEEN AT THE HELM OF CALLAWAY'S EUROPEAN AND MIDDLE EAST OPERATION SINCE 2002 ■ ELY CALLAWAY FOUNDED CALLAWAY GOLF IN 1983

Garcia join the tour staff? The Tour is a wonderful vehicle through which we are able to promote and validate the technology on offer, and Sergio is a fantastic addition to our Tour stable. He tested a lot of product from a wide array of manufacturers at the end of last year before determining that Callaway offered him the performance he was looking for. His early season stats - over last year – are much improved, and the fact he won the SMBC Singapore Open by five shots in his first event with the new Rogue equipment was particularly encouraging. Of course, it’s great to have players using your equipment, but it’s not a race we’re trying to win at all costs. We have always invested in the tours around the world, and will continue to do so, but we’re more focused on

■ NEW SIGNING SERGIO GARCIA IS PLAYING CALLAWAY'S ROGUE DRIVER

delivering products that differentiates itself from the market, and products that all players will want to use. The Epic driver has been a big success. Did you know it was going to be a winner, or were you a little nervous at launch time that it might not fly with golfers given its hefty price? Some of us were more nervous than others, let’s just say. Some people were worried whether the market was ready to stump up over £400 for a driver again, but thankfully it was, and that’s because it performs. People wouldn’t pay that kind of money if it didn’t make a noticeable difference to their game, so while it is a lot of money, people are telling us that it is money well spent, and that’s why it’s staying in our range this season. I’ve never been nervous about high prices. As long as the product performs, you shouldn’t worry.

■ THE EPIC DRIVER WAS A BIG SELLER AND REMAINS IN THE RANGE FOR 2018


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Callaway seems to have found a solid place in the ball market for the Chrome Soft, just below that very premium price point, but still being played on tour. Have you been surprised at its success among tour players and regular club golfers? The Chrome Soft ball has been a revelation. We knew we were onto something when we saw Tour usage and market shares start to grow so fast but the ’18 ball takes it to another level completely. Infusing it with Graphene, we are able to design a ball that is longer off the tee, but with enhanced control around the greens. I’m very excited by the year ahead for our golf ball business. You’ve been at the helm of Callaway’s European operations for just over 15 years now. What have been the main changes within the industry that you have seen from a retail perspective, and what do you see as the main challenges that lie ahead? So many things have changed. From technology developments to retail trends and from competitive brands to industry exits. I love golf. It has been my life from my early full time playing days to leading one of the greatest brands in the game across a broad geographical area. I genuinely hope it doesn’t change too much. I guess the biggest challenge will be to further encourage participation, whether that be through initiatives generated by the various governing bodies or through wonderful new activities like Topgolf, where literally anyone can get involved and have some fun. There are plenty of sporting alternatives for folk these days, and golf must continue to present opportunities for engagement. From an industry standpoint, I’m interested to see what part the internet has in the future retail environment. It’s here to stay, but I still like the fact that the modern golf retailer has such a strong advantage in that they are able to guide, advise and fit first hand. Callaway has bought a number of other golf companies in recent years, including Ben Hogan and TopFlite, and, more recently, Ogio, TravisMathew, and Toulon Putters. Are we likely to see more takeovers in the years to come as a way of growing the overall business? Chip [Brewer] is on record as saying that we are in acquisition mode if the appropriate circumstances present themselves. We must ensure that we don’t lose sight of our core business, but I believe there are plenty of areas that are tangential and where we can add value from a technological and/or distribution perspective. The recent purchases of Ogio and TravisMathew are already bearing fruit, so I look forward to further such opportunities. Given that you have the freedom of the Callaway store cupboard, what clubs are currently in your bag? I’m looking forward to putting the new Rogue woods in the bag – although it’s funny to think that I’ve already wielded clubs with this brand name before, as I once developed a brand bearing this name – and I also use the combination set of Apex CF long irons (4 and 5) and Apex Pro short irons, plus Mac Daddy Forged wedges. The putter is usually an Odyssey number 7, but is changed depending on its behaviour!

EQUIPMENT | MARCH 2018

[41]

GOING ROGUE

DR ALAN HOCKNELL, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Callaway, discusses the design of the new ROGUE DRIVERS, which are billed as the longest and most forgiving in the company’s history

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an you explain the design philosophy behind Rogue drivers? Rogue represents a different idea of optimising ball speed, aligned to maximising forgiveness, and to achieve this we had to dramatically break away from our own design protocols to effectively ‘re-invent’ the driver. Our first challenge was to design a driver that surpassed the Epic. Rogue has a lot of the same ingredients as Epic, but the development journey of Rogue is anything but evolutionary. Even when we were finalising the first Jailbreak technology that went into Epic, we had already started a number of experiments with Jailbreak and different arrangements of it – and not just two vertical titanium bars either. What we have in Rogue is the result of this research and a new ball-speed recipe the Callaway R&D team calls ‘Jailbreak Effect’ – specifically how the titanium rods work in tandem with the technology in the face to deliver even more performance than Epic. The synergy of fast face design, Jailbreak and extraordinary forgiveness is a giant leap forward from Epic to Rogue. What are the key benefits of this new design? What we have created in Rogue is a trio of drivers – Standard, Draw and Sub Zero – that all surpass Epic in generating more ball speed, without compromise. Rogue drivers are also some of our most forgiving ever, so every golfer can really see the benefits, and will quickly see which driver is the right fit for them.

swing at 100mph with Rogue, with no additional effort. If that were the case, your ball speed would roughly increase by 1.5 times that – about 3.5mph more ball speed – and that is very significant. In distance terms, that could increase a golfer’s yardage off the tee by five or six yards.

WHAT WE HAVE CREATED IN ROGUE IS A TRIO OF DRIVERS – STANDARD, DRAW AND SUB ZERO – THAT ALL SURPASS EPIC IN GENERATING MORE BALL SPEED, WITHOUT COMPROMISE

Looks-wise, Rogue drivers look bigger than Epic. Are they? Visually they look larger, but it is still 460cc. Rogue is stretched from the face-to-back dimension and also slightly from toe to heel. For this to happen, we had to create a slightly flatter crown shape, particularly when compared to Epic. We wanted to make sure that it was obvious to consumers that the Rogue driver family had more forgiveness than Epic, and that meant putting the weight further away and back from the centre of the head from a mass placement perspective. In terms of overall scale, as seen from the address position, the new Standard Rogue driver has similarities to the Epic Sub Zero, whereas the Rogue Sub Zero has more in common with the Epic Standard. Why is there no sliding weight track in Rogue? The use of a weight track adds a significant amount of fixed weight to a driver, so, by taking it away, we have much more flexibility in the design process. Primarily, we can make the forgiveness dimensions of the head much larger. Our research proved there is also a type of player out there that doesn’t necessarily want all the nuances of sliding weight technology, and we see a lot of golfers that have the sliding weight either fixed in the neutral position or pushed to the bottom to get maximum draw benefits. We wanted the standard Rogue driver to have the same characteristics as the standard Epic locked in its neutral position, but with much greater resistance to twisting. The Rogue Draw driver has much more draw bias, even compared to Epic with its adjustable weight locked in the full ‘draw’ position; while the Rogue Sub Zero can dial in more or less driver spin via interchangeable front/back weighting, which directly influences ball flight trajectory. Importantly, all three models are hugely forgiving. What difference will golfers notice in their clubhead speeds and distances? If you were swinging at 98mph with Epic, for example, you might now

How does the head design produce more distance? Jailbreak sits at the heart of the distance recipe. It is Jailbreak’s head-stiffening properties that allow us to have a more flexible face, create more energy in the direction of impact, and still conform to the Rules of Golf. We knew we had Jailbreak working well in the first generation of its design in Epic, and we were happy with the ball speed gains we were seeing, but the work with Rogue was focused on how we optimised the relationship between the second generation of hour glass-shaped Jailbreak and the face. Rather than focusing on the structural benefits of the cast titanium bars in isolation, we worked hard on the relationship between the bars and face, and what they collectively did to ball speed. Rogue drivers now have the most flexible face we have ever had in the ‘conforming driver’ era, with the most ball speed. Of course, Callaway has used variable face thicknesses for a long time, and had them with the ‘X’ shape in the middle before, but we have never had one that is this aggressive, in terms of its lightest overall weight, thinnest area around the perimeter and the outer reaches of the face, and slightly thicker middle. Can you categorise which Rogue driver will suit a certain type of player? The standard Rogue driver offers relatively low spin, high forgiveness, high ball speed from a large part of the face, and is probably the model most players will fit into. The Rogue Draw has all the advantages of the standard model, but with more right- to-left shot-shaping capability/correction bias, thanks to added internal heel weighting and a 5g external screw. The Rogue Sub Zero will suit players that generate too much backspin. The driver has a more neutral centre of gravity bias – it doesn’t have much draw capability – and that starts to point it in the direction of the better player who hits the centre of the face more often. However, we’ve found that a number of high-handicap players have what we call an ‘iron-dominated’ swing that hits down on the ball quite nicely with irons, but they also do that with a driver, which is not very efficient. This could be an average ability golfer that has too much driver spin. The Sub Zero still has lots of forgiveness, so it could help this type of player to counteract this fault.

The Callaway Rogue drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons on sale now. For more details visit www.callawaygolf.com.


[42] MARCH 2018 | EQUIPMENT

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ ECCO’S NEW BIOM HYBRID 3 SHOE ■ OVER 250 PAIRS OF HANDS TOUCH EACH EECCO SHOE DURING THE PRODUCTION PROCESS

■ ALL OF ECCO’S NEW SHOES FEATURE GORE-TEX WATERPROOF TECHNOLOGY ■ ECCO USES ITS UNIQUE FLUIDFORM TECHNOLOGY TO SEAMLESSLY BOND THE UPPER AND OUTSOLE UNIT

■ ECCO OWNS ITS LEATHER TANNERIES, ALLOWING IT TO CONTROL PRODUCTION ‘FROM COW TO SHOE

1. TOTAL PRODUCTION CONTROL ECCO is the only golf shoe brand that has complete control of its manufacturing processes, from raw hide to finished shoe. ECCO owns all its tanneries, where it makes the leather used in its shoes, ensuring that only the very best materials are used. The company also owns all its own manufacturing plants, enabling tight quality controls to be placed on every step of the construction process.

2. FINEST QUALITY LEATHERS ECCO is the only golf shoe company that uses yak leather uppers. Among its many properties are that it is much thinner than cow leather, yet boasts fibres that are three times stronger, making it lighter, more durable and abrasion resistant. Yak leather is also stretchable, breathable and water repellent – a perfect combination for golf shoes. ECCO also uses full-grain cow leather from the finest hides available, for a perfectly preserved, smooth surface.

REASONS TO WEAR

ECCO

GOLF SHOES

3. GORE-TEX WATERPROOFING Every new shoe in ECCO’s 2018 golf shoe collection – including the new BIOM HYBRID 3 – features GORE-TEX. The lining acts as an impermeable membrane, which prevents water passing through, but allows air and moisture to escape, making it breathable and improving in-shoe comfort no matter what the conditions.

Based on the knowledge gained from studying over 2,500 individual foot-scans, aiming for the most natural shaped last possible, ECCO’s Biom Natural Motion last shape was developed for extraordinary comfort. It allows the foot to move and flex in its natural way, a llowing proper torsion. The result is a shoe that feels great out of the box, and just as comfortable for its entire lifespan.

6. INNOVATIVE SOLE DESIGNS ECCO offers a complete range of hybrid and cleated golf shoes to suit all golfers in all types of conditions. ECCO’s latest innovation, TRI-FI-GRIP, debuted in the new Biom Hybrid 3, and features three zones that offer stability, durability and rotational support during the golf swing. Like all of ECCO’s hybrid shoes, it is constructed from ultra-durable TPU, meaning it can be used on or off the course without wearing down over time. ECCO pioneered the trend for hybrid golf shoes when it launched the Golf Street, a shoe that was brought to prominence by Fred Couples at the 2010 Masters.

7. WORN BY 2018 RYDER CUP CAPTAIN THOMAS BJORN As well as offering a comprehensive range for men and women, ECCO boasts a talented team of ambassadors that play across the world’s major professional tours, including Ernie Els, Fred Couples, and 2018 European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn, who has worn ECCO golf shoes since 2000. ECCO’s Scandinavian design philosophy is based on bringing old world craftsmanship together with innovative modern design to create shoes that perform to the highest standard and are trusted by icons of the game.

4. DIRECT-INJECTION TECHNOLOGY ECCO’s patented direct urethane injection technology, FLUIDFORM, bonds the upper to the sole unit without the need for stitching or glue. ECCO’s seamless chemical bonding process leads to a water-tight, one-piece shoe, which is not only extremely durable, but also flexible and lightweight, and offers integrated shock absorption for added comfort.

5. BIOM NATURAL MOTION

■ THOMAS BJORN IN HIS ECCO CLASSIC LUX SHOES

To check out the latest ECCO range, or find your nearest stockist, visit global.ecco.com/golf.


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

EQUIPMENT | MARCH 2018 [43]

FINAU FINDS HIS TOUCH

Two-time PGA Tour winner TONY FINAU talks about getting used to playing with a whole new set of equipment following his move to Ping 12 months ago

A YEARS SUPPLY OF VOLVIK BALLS

I FIRST TRIED PING EQUIPMENT in February last year, and have been playing it ever since. I had the opportunity to try a lot of different brands of clubs, but Ping’s gear was the best fit my game. Funnily enough, prior to 2017, I had never even hit a Ping club, not even when I was an amateur, and now I’m on its tour staff. I’m now kicking myself that I didn’t try their clubs before. I love my equipment, but I wouldn’t say that I’m all that techie about it. If I feel like something needs to be changed, I’m not scared to change it if I feel like it will make me better. I’ll trust the change and process. There’s no time that’s the right time. It just depends on how I’m feeling and the results I’m seeing on the course. If I feel like my wedges are a little off, I’ll adjust them, but generally speaking, I’m not too picky. The launch window is everything for me. I’m more of a feel player, and to be honest, I don’t really know a whole lot about TrackMan or Flightscope, because I don’t really use those things. I know enough to know where I need my numbers to be. For me, Ping clubs come out in a high window, with not a lot of spin, and I think that’s what a lot of guys on tour are looking for. I've just started using Ping’s new G400 Max driver. It looks really similar to the G driver I was using before. I didn’t use the G400 because it looked a little different, but the Max looked very similar to the G. For me, it has to look good from the start. It has to look like I’m going to hit it far and straight, and when I look down at the G400 Max, it looks like a driver I can hit. It comes out in a nice, high window and flies about 8-10 yards farther than the G. I average around 300-305 yards of carry, but that can go up when we’re playing at higher altitudes. I’m currently ranked No.1 for distance off the tee, averaging 327 yards, although I know I need to work on

WHAT’S IN TONY FINAU’S BAG? DRIVER: PING G400 MAX (8.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: PING G400 (14.5) IRONS: PING i200 (3), PING IBLADES (4-PW) WEDGES: TITLEIST SM7 (50, 56, 60) PUTTER: PIRETTI ELITE

my ‘fairways hit’ stats. As far as spin is concerned, I’m right in the 2,200-2,700rpm range. Anything lower than that and I know I’m not launching it high enough. My driver is fitted with an 85g Accra shaft with an extra-stiff flex. It’s not really tip-stiff, and is basically stiff throughout. I feel like it’s very stable through impact. I have a lot of speed and I don’t like to feel as if it’s whippy or just a complete board. It’s equal throughout the shaft. I carry a Ping G 3-iron because it offers the extra bit of forgiveness that I need at that end of the bag. It is a lot easier to get in the air than the iBlade irons that I use, and with my ball speed, I can launch that club nice and high. I hit it a lot off the tee, and with the musclepad in the cavity, it gives me an extra 8-10 yards over my iBlades. That makes it easier to bridge the gap between my 3-wood and my 4-iron. Ping’s iBlades feel great through the ground and at impact. They have the feel and workability of a normal blade, with even more forgiveness. My irons are a half-inch longer than standard and one-degree upright. I’m a little bit taller than most guys, and benefit from them being a bit more upright for consistent contact.

TRIED & TESTED:

ECCO BIOM HYBRID 3 £190, ECCO.COM ECCO GOLF SHOES have not always been the most fashionable things to put on your feet. There are no trendy swooshes or vertical stripes, nor anything much else in the form of overt branding to let your friends know what you’re stepping out in. While there has been no doubting their comfort, and the quality of the materials and high production values that go into making each pair, the Danish footwear behemoth has perhaps been a little guilty in the past of putting function over fashion when it comes shelf appeal in golf club pro shops. However, things have been shifting in the last few seasons, and slowly, but surely, Ecco is getting to grips – if you’ll pardon the inexcuseable pun – with its Scandi roots and coming very close to being considered ‘cool’. So much so that it even gave one of its recent shoes that very name. Judging from its most recent collection, Ecco has finally grasped the concept that a shoe not only needs to perform well, but it needs to look good too. Step forward the Biom Hybrid 3, Ecco’s next generation spikeless shoe, which to my eye, is a marked improvement, looks and performance-wise, over any of its previous incarnations. First up, it definitely looks more like a golf shoe, and less like a pair of trainers with nubbed soles. In that respect, while the Biom 3 can still be worn on and off the golf course, it feels and looks like is it

designed to perform best when you’re swinging a club and pounding the fairways, rather than heading out to the pub with your mates. Styling aside, the main upgrade from the previous Biom Hybrid 2 is a new sole, which boasts something called Tri-Fi-Grip. As the name none too subtly suggests, the sole feature three zones, which are designed to offer different performance benefits. The central section features a wavy design of different TPU grips that are all linked together. It looks like it should be softer to touch than it is, as the durable TPU is pretty robust, and you will almost here it ‘clack’ if you walk over concrete. The peaks are rectangular and a departure from diamond-shaped

square nubs that Ecco has used on Biom Hybrids in the past. The darker sections on the outside of the heel and toe of the sole are for lateral stability and these are larger diamond-shaped grips made of firmer TPU that have less give than the main sole. Finally, the third zone contains the rounded lugs on the front to help your foot rotate more easily through the swing. After walking to the first tee, it feels comfortable straight out of the box, with the extra padding around the tongue and the high heel giving a comfortable fit in a rounded style that will appeal to those with wider-than-average feet. The grip is very good for a spikeless shoe, with the firmer sections of the sole combining with the raised up parts of the outer sole in the inside of the toe and around the heel to give the feeling of greater stability during the swing. Despite wearing them in late winter, they picked up very little in the way of mud or grass, so traction remained excellent from the beginning to the end of the round. The upper is made from a soft, yet extremely durable yak leather, while a Gore-Tex lining offers 100% waterproof protection, while also enabling the feet to breathe to prevent over-heating or moisture build up. Overall, the Ecco Biom Hybrid 3 is a classy and very comfortable waterproof, spikeless shoe that looks sure to attract admiring looks from Ecco ingénues, and respectful nods of approval from fully paid-up fans of the brand. The Ecco Biom Hybrid 3 is available in black/silver; white/black; concrete/scarlet; white/kiwi; black/ blue, and white/silver, in sizes 6.5-12.5. It has an RRP of £190, or £200 for BOA closure. For more details, visit global.ecco.com/golf.

GOLF NEWS HAS TEAMED UP WITH VOLVIK, one of the fastest growing golf ball brands in the UK, to offer readers the chance to win SIX DOZEN of its top-selling golf ball – enough to see you through the 2018 season and beyond. Volvik has captured the imagination of the golfing public since its launch in the UK last year, with over one million of its brightly-coloured, high performance balls sold in the first six months alone. The Korean-based brand, which first launched into the golf ball market in the Far East in 2012, has taken the UK by storm with its comprehensive and eye-catching range. Over 80% of its sales have been accounted for by its three-piece Vivid ball (£39.99 per dozen), which is aimed at golfers with swing speeds of 70-90mph, and offers a combination of distance, stability, soft feel, spin and consistency. It comes in a choice of red, orange, pink, green, lime, blue, range and white. Distributed in the UK by

Surrey-based Brand Fusion, the multi-coloured, high-visibility balls are ideal for use in all playing conditions and come in a variety of matte and gloss finishes, making them unique in the premium ball market; while they back their eyecatching looks with impressive performance, with dual core technology encouraging the perfect blend of distance, spin and durability. The range also includes the three-piece Vibe and Crystal balls (£39/doz), which are lower compression models for slower swings; the Vivid XT, which is designed 100mph+ swings and offers enhanced distance and spin control; the S3, which features a urethane cover for control and soft feel; and the four-piece S4 (£49/doz), which is designed for those with 95120mph swing speeds looking for the ultimate shot control and tour-level trajectories. For more information about Volvik, and to find your nearest stockist, visit www.brandfusionltd.co.uk.

TO ENTER

To be in with a chance of winning six dozen Volvik Vivid golf balls, simply answer the question below correctly, and email your name, address and contact details to info@golfnews.co.uk with ‘Volvik Competition’ in the subject line. Please include where you picked up your copy of Golf News. Normal competition rules apply, and no cash alternative is available. The closing date for entries is April 30, 2018.

QUESTION WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE VOLVIK’S PREMIUM FOUR-PIECE GOLF BALL? 1) A3 2) M6 3) S4


[44] MARCH 2018 | EQUIPMENT

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

BIG MAX AQUA HYBRID £229.99, BIGMAXGOLF.COM The Aqua Hybrid bag straddles the market by being sturdy enough to be used as a cart or trolley bag, yet light enough to be carried around as a stand bag. Weighing 2.3kg without clubs, it features a robust automatic foot release mechanism and comfortable dual shoulder straps, while also boasting a square, flat base which slots neatly into a trolley or golf cart. It also offers seven waterproof pockets, a 14-way club divider, and a see-through rain hood, while the bag is made from a fabric with a waterproof rating of over 10,000mm, which, along with sealed seams and waterproof zips, ensures unrivalled protection from the elements. It is available in black/red, silver/black/red, lime/black/ silver, red/black/silver, petrol/black/orange, or white/black/orange.

ODYSSEY O-WORKS PUTTERS £189, ODYSSEYGOLF.COM Building on the success of the O-Works Red line that was launched last summer, Odyssey has unveiled a range of 12 all-new black putters, as well as six new red models. All 18 designs boast the company’s Microhinge insert technology, which creates almost instantaneous topspin for a more consistent and smoother roll. The new ranges also feature new ‘toe-down’ O-Works mallets. These models are designed to naturally rotate like a blade to appeal to golfers with arcing strokes who have historically struggled for consistency with face-balanced mallets. Odyssey says it results in better forgiveness and alignment, while retaining a similar stroke path to that offered by a blade. In addition, face-balanced models are also offered for players with straighter strokes. The new Black range includes the #1, #7, #1 Wide S, #7 Tank, #1 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, #2M CS, 330M, #2W, Jailbird Mini, #3T and Black Marxman. New to the Red range is the #1 Wide S, #1 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Jailbird Mini, #7 Tank and Marxman.

PRO SHOP

YOUR GUIDE TO THE LATEST GEAR PING G700 IRONS £149/£159 PER IRON (ST/GR), PING.COM Ping’s first set of irons to feature hollow heads is designed to help golfers with mid-to-slow swing speeds get more distance and height on their shots. The hollow-body construction of the head, which features a thin stainless steel face, creates a frame for driver-like flex to increase ball speed and enhance carry. Shots should also land more steeply than with traditional irons, leading to better stopping power on longer shots into greens. While the G700 irons do not have the custom-tuning port found in most Ping irons, there is a toe weight – either 1g or 6g – which can be added as the clubs are built to customise feel. A hydropearl finish – which also features on Ping’s Glide wedges and G400 irons – is designed to reduce friction with the turf by up to 40%, so more power is delivered to the ball through impact. The G700s are available in 4-SW in ten colour-coded lie angles. The stock steel shaft is Ping’s AWT 2.0, while standard graphite options include the Ping Alta CB, UST Recoil 760, and UST Recoil 780.

WILSON STAFF PMP RAW WEDGE

£89, WILSONSTAFF.COM Wilson has added a ‘rusty’ model to its latest range of Precision Milled Performance wedges, which is based on the soft carbon steel used on its FG Tour V6 irons. It incorporates the same head shape as the existing Oil Can and Tour Frosted PMP models, but, since the raw version is not plated, it will rust over time, which produces a softer feel and more spin, while reducing glare. The milled face includes maximum volume grooves for spin on full shots, while laser-etched micro-grooves increase spin and control on partial shots. Three sole designs – traditional, tour grind and wide – offer up to 97 loft, lie and bounce variables through custom fitting.

TAYLORMADE PROJECT (A) £39.99 FOR 12, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU The original Project (a) ball, which first launched in 2014, was designed to deliver Tour-level performance at a price just below the premium range. It was notable for featuring a cast urethane cover to provide more spin for the average golfer. The second generation ProJect (a) was made softer, with lower compression, while maintaining greenside spin. In this latest iteration, Project (a) takes the next step in its evolution with new technologies that make it significantly longer, including a new dualdistance core and seamless dimple pattern – which also features on the TP5 range – which increase driver and long iron distance, while maintaining excellent greenside control and feel. The dual core is comprised of a larger, softer inner core, which scrubs off unwanted spin while providing great feel. The stiffer outer core allows for increased rebound and velocity. and also aids in pinching the urethane cover between the clubface, creating more greenside spin. It is available in gloss white or yellow.


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

EQUIPMENT | MARCH 2018

[45]

CALLAWAY ROGUE STANDARD IRONS £849/£1,049 (ST/GR, 4-PW), CALLAWAYGOLF.COM The standard model in the Rogue iron range boasts a multimaterial construction to deliver the best combination of power, accuracy and playability ever offered in a Callaway iron. It has a large, confidence-inspiring head, a medium topline, medium sole-width and progressive offset. Headline features include a 360 Face Cup and Variable Face Thickness, Internal Standing Wave with tungsten weighting to control ball flight, and a new urethane insert to manage sound and feel. The variable thickness face cup expands the portion of the face that delivers fast ball speeds, giving more distance on off-centre hits. A shallow, flexible rim around the perimeter of the face flexes at impact to increase ball speed. The tungsten-infused Internal Standing Wave helps to pinpoint the centre of gravity of each head to promote optimum launch and spin. The weight is placed low in the long irons to promote high, long flight, and progressively higher as loft increases to encourage a lower flight in the short-irons for added control. The insert is infused with thousands of tiny air pockets called microspheres, which flatten to create room for the urethane to flex to prevent slowing the face, while also serving to reduce vibration. The combination promotes more ball speed and distance.

LYNX PROWLER IRONS

PING VAULT 2.0 PUTTERS

ECCO COOL PRO £210, ECCO.COM/GOLF Ecco Golf has combined several of its flagship technologies to create a highperforming golf shoe for all conditions – the Cool Pro. Combining its revolutionary Spydr-Grip outsole – which was first seen in the company’s Cage Pro – with GoreTex Surround technology, this new design represents the ultimate blend of form and function. The Spydr-Grip outsole utilises an organic structured design for outstanding grip, while a Gore-Tex membrane upper facilitates an advanced air-channeling system within a grid-shaped sole structure, providing breathability without compromising on waterproof protection. The Cool Pro’s upper is bonded to the outsole unit by Ecco’s unique direct injection process, creating a one-piece shoe that offers increased flexibility, durability, and a lightweight construction. Available in two upper variations – one of which is perforated for increased breathability – the Cool Pro also features Freedom Fit, which mixes a snug heel with a roomier forefoot area that allows toes to move naturally. They are available in a choice of twotone colours, including concrete/kiwi, black/red, and white/black.

£275, PING.COM The next generation of Ping’s 100%-milled putters is crafted to provide tour-calibre touch and performance through proven innovations like precision-milled, patented True Roll Technology, plus a new customweighting system. The new system offers sole weight options in differently weighted steel, tungsten and aluminium to match a golfer’s feel and balance preferences. Putters between 34" and 36" in length are built with steel sole weights; models 34" and shorter feature tungsten weighting; and putters built 36" and longer use aluminium weights. True Roll technology ensures full-face forgiveness for consistent speed off the face. The individually milled face pattern varies in depth and pitch across the face, which speeds up off-centre impacts, improving consistency and ultimately leading to fewer three-putts. Golfers can choose from three premium finishes (stealth, platinum or copper) in five models, including the new Dale Anser, which is inspired by one of the original Anser putter moulds; while the Ketsch mallet combines an aluminium body with a stainless steel sole plate for an extremely high MOI and offers exceptional alignment features.

£599/£675, LYNXGOLF.CO.UK Lynx Golf has unveiled two new players’ irons aimed at the lower end of the handicap spectrum. The Lynx Prowler Forged CB is a classically-styled cavity back iron forged from 1020 carbon steel and offers the better golfer an outstanding combination of a penetrating trajectory, feel and forgiveness. It combines a cavity back with a narrow sole and topline and minimal offset to offer the kind of workability and precision shot making that good players demand. Featuring U-shaped milled grooves for greater spin control from all lies, the Forged CB irons are available in a choice of satin chrome or gunmetal finishes, with Lamkin Crossline grips and KBS Tour steel shafts. Sitting alongside the Prowler Forged CB, the Lynx Prowler VT is a muscle-back iron which combines a hollow-headed design with a variable thickness forged face to deliver a combination of incredible ball speed, higher flight and playability. Both sets are available for full custom fitting and are offered in 5-PW sets as standard, although 3- and 4-irons are also available, along with a choice of graphite shafts.

POWAKADDY FW3/FW5 £499-£549.99, POWAKADDY.COM PowaKaddy has upgraded its Freeway range of power trolleys with new versions of the FW3 and FW5. The entry-level FW3 comes with a new 2.3-inch, full-colour widescreen display, plus a digital power gauge; on/off LED, power, pause and resume buttons, and a battery fuel indicator. Powered by a new whisper-quiet 230W motor, allied to Powakaddy’s plug ‘n’ play battery system, the FW3s is available with 18- and 36-hole lithium battery options that are backed by a five-year warranty. It icomes with either a black or white frame, The FW5 boasts a new 2.8-inch full colour display, which offers a digital power gauge, battery fuel indicator, odometer, digital clock, trip/time indicator, yards/metres selection, and an integrated USB charging port. It also has an automatic distance function, for when you want to send the trolley ahead for pre-set distances of 15, 30 and 45 yards. Also featuring a new 230W motor, the FW5 is offered in a choice of three coloured frames, including a new gunmetal grey option.


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

[46] MARCH 2018 | EQUIPMENT

COMFORT & SPEED

THE LATEST DRIVERS ARE AS FORGIVING AS THEY ARE FAST

CLEVELAND LAUNCHER HB £279, clevelandgolf.com Cleveland has focused on improve the flexing of the face to increase ball speed and distance withe the Launcher HB, introducing a wraparound cupface design, which increases the area of the face that flexes the most. It also includes a thin, slightly recessed HiBore crown and fins that fan out along the sole. That allows both the top and bottom of the club to give at impact to allow more face flexing around the perimeter. The saved weight from the thin crown and not having an adjustable hosel is pushed low, back and slightly towards the heel to provide a higher-flying, more draw-biased flight.

MIZUNO GT180

WILSON STAFF C300 £329, wilsonstaff.com

£469, callawaygolf.eu

£449, golf.mizunoeurope.com

The new Rogue drivers feature a re-designed version of Jailbreak Technology which sees the previously uniformly thick vertical bars located behind the face turned into a hour-glass shape. This reduces weight by 25% without affecting their ability to minimize crown and sole deflection at impact, which improves energy transfer to promote faster ball speed. Distance is further enhanced by a new X-Face VFT design, which thickens and thins areas of the face to promote higher ball speeds on slight miss-hits. The Standard model boasts a 460cc head, which is stretched from front to back and from heel to toe to offer a more forgiving look at address.

Mizuno’s latest driver is arguably one of the most adjustable models currently on the market, with not only loft and face angle customisation available, but also shot shape bias and centre of gravity location tuning. Two 7g sliding sole weights help with the latter, while heel and toe weight slots enable shot-shape correction. An adjustable hosel allows four degrees of loft adjustment and three degrees of lie adjustment. The GT180 features a forged multi-thickness face that promotes accelerated ball speeds. SP700 is ten per cent stronger than the titanium typically used in drivers, allowing for more varied thicknesses in the forged face, which leads to more consistent distances on off-centre strikes.

The new C300 driver features a new iteration of the company's ‘power hole’ technology, which incorporates four holes around the clubface to promote more flexing at impact for increased ball speed and distance. The two holes on the crown and the two on the sole are filled with a urethane material that enables the face to flex more towards the heel and toe of the club. Other new features include sole weight adjustability – two 6g and one 2g weight – to customise performance for neutral, draw, or fade tendency, and adjustable hosel technology for a variety of lofts. The pear-shaped head boasts a matte dark red finish, helping to reduce glare and avoid reflections.

HONMA BEZEAL 535

PING G400 MAX

VERTICAL GROOVE

£435, honmagolfeurope.com

£389, ping.com

£399.99, verticalgroove.co.uk

Honma’s BeZeal range is designed to provide ultimate distance and forgiveness for a wide range of golfers. The new 460cc 535 titanium driver features a channel in the sole that is wider and deeper in both heel and toe than its predecessor, the 525, to provide greater flex and less ball speed loss on slight miss-hits. A 7g weight in the heel aims to counteract slice tendencies, while the revised shape lowers the centre of gravity for a slightly higher launch. Honma’s 45.75-inch Vizard shaft, which boasts progressive kick point positions, and is stiffer on the gripside to increase power to the ball.

The G400 Max's forgiveness gains are attributable to the 460cc head and nearly four times the discretionary weight created by Dragonfly crown technology and the thin, forged face. A 15g tungsten backweight wraps around the back of the sole to help bring the combined MOI over 9,900g cm2. Its centre of gravity position is lower and further back than any other driver on the market. The forged face boasts a thinner, hotter impact area that is precision machined to elevate ball speed across the entire face, while Ping’s proven crown turbulators improve aerodynamics for faster clubhead speed.

The Vertical Groove driver features scorelines that run from crown to sole instead of from heel to toe. The theory is that the vertical grooves will reduce sidespin to produce shots that slice or hook less. The 17 grooves are deeper than traditional grooves and form part of an 450cc head design that aims to increase accuracy. The white crown features a large black oval section covered in raised hexagonal nubs to improve airflow, while a long green dotted line down the centre aims to improve alignment and encourage the correct swing path. It comes with a choice of five stock shafts, ranging from 45g to 65g in the Aldila NV2K.

CALLAWAY ROGUE STANDARD

SRIXON Z 565 £325, srixon.co.uk

TAYLORMADE M3

LYNX #BB

£479, taylormadegolf.eu

£329, lynxgolf.co.uk

The Z 565 is Srixon’s most forgiving driver, with the 460cc model aimed at a wide range of players looking for competitive distance and forgiveness with looks and feel. Dispensing with the moveable sole weights that featured in the Z 545 driver, key technologies include a multi-step Power Wave Sole for increased face deflection on shots hit low on the face; a stretch cup face that extends around the sole and crown to expand the sweetspot by up to 10%; and a lightweight crown for lower centre of gravity and increased forgiveness. The black gloss crown offers a clean look at address, with no alignment aids or markings.

The M3 boasts TaylorMade’s new Twist Face, which sees the low-heel area of the clubface twisted inwards to de-loft the face, while the high toe area has been opened to increase loft. This counteracts the worst effects of fades and slices and encourages straighter shots. Available with 440cc and 460cc heads, it features a Y-Track weight system that offers more precise adjustability. The heel-to-toe track and front-toback track are connected, allowing all 22g (two 11g weights) to be used to alter shot shape and trajectory. The front section of the crown features a matte silver finish, while a five-layer carbon composite crown – which is the thinnest, strongest and lightest in the industry – lowers CG even further.

The new #BB driver boats an adjustable hosel and sliding sole weights to enable golfers to fine tune trajectory and shot shape to suit swing patterns and prevailing conditions. The sole features two 3g weights in the toe and heel areas which can moved to manipulate spin rates and shot shape. Changes to the angle of loft can be made via the adjustable hosel, which can be cranked down to 8.5 degrees or raised to 12.5. The forgiving 460cc head is made from Bi Cast Titanium, which is not only very light, but is also very strong, encouraging faster swing speeds and more distance. The #BB driver is offered in right-hand only, with a UST Mamiya Recoil graphite shaft in lite, regular or stiff flexes,


YOUR GUIDE TO GOLFING TRIPS AT HOME AND ABROAD

ALSO ME AND MY TRAVELS WITH THEO WALCOTT THE LATEST TRAVEL AND GOLF BREAK DEALS

TRAVEL AND BREAKS

MARCH 2018 WEB: GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/TRAVEL

CREAM TEES YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF GOLF IN THE SOUTH WEST

INCLUDING GUEST EDITOR GRAHAM RUTH GOLF ON THE ENGLISH RIVIERA BEST OF THE WEST NICK BAYLY'S TOP COURSES DORSET DELIGHTS FOCUS ON MANOR HOUSE & ASHBURY HOTEL – ENGLAND'S BIGGEST GOLF RESORT THE BEST GOLF BREAKS IN BRISTOL


F E AT U R I N G • Teignmouth • Thurlestone • East Devon • Bovey Castle

SOUTH DEVON GOLF TOUR Book your South Devon golf tour using our experienced

night stay, we can offer packages to suit all requrements.

team. We have been creating golf holidays since the

In South Devon you will find a unique blend of links,

mid 1990s and being based in Devon we have an

parkland and heathland courses. Our standard package

unsurpassed knowledge of these courses and hotels

is based around three rounds of golf combined with

that are on our doorstep. With packages starting from

a two night stay, but we can tailor a holiday to your

just £135 per person for two rounds of golf and a one

personal requirements.

T E L 0 1 8 2 2 6 1 8 1 8 1 O R V I S I T W W W. S O U T H D E V O N G O L F T O U R . C O . U K


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SOUTH WEST | MARCH 2018

A WARM WEST COUNTRY

WELCOME!

S

peaking as someone who has played golf for coming up to five decades, and lived in the West Country all my life, I can, without any hint of regional bias, say that this hallowed corner of the United Kingdom – encompassing Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset – offers the complete package for the keen golfer.

Whether you’re lucky enough, like me, to be a permanent resident, or are among the many thousands who travel from further afield to get their regular South West fix, the quality and quantity of the clubs, courses and resorts on offer ensure that this beautiful and unspoilt part of the world should be on everyone’s golfing bucket list. It’s fair to say that the South West offers the complete cross-section of golfing experiences. Blessed with a handful of truly world-class links, from Saunton and Burnham & Berrow, to St Enodoc, Trevose and England’s oldest course, Royal North Devon, it also boasts cliff-top delights like Axe Cliff, Cape Cornwall and Carlyon Bay; moorland links such as Tavistock and Yelverton; while heathland gems such as East Dorset’s Broadstone and Parkstone. Throw in some upmarket resorts, such as St Mellion, Bowood, The Manor House at Castle Combe, and the luxurious five-star Bovey Castle, and you have a cornucopia of venues on which to create a lifetime of golfing memories.

IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT THE SOUTH WEST OFFERS THE COMPLETE CROSS-SECTION OF GOLFING EXPERIENCES

With great value green fees, outstanding accommodation, world-class cuisine, and the guarantee of a warm West Country welcome, it’s little surprise that golfers from all over the UK are choosing to beat a path to the great South West – and with excellent transport links via regular ferry crossings and local airports, the region is also enjoying growing interest from our continental neighbours. So pack up your golf bags – and your bucket and spade – and head out West for your next golfing break. And who knows, you might end up staying for good – I can thoroughly recommend it!

GRAHAM RUTH

ST AUSTELL GOLF CLUB W H E N V I S I T I N G C O R N WA L L C O M E A N D P L AY T H I S A B S O LU T E G E M

Golf Day Packages £19-£55 Green Fees £20-£50 G O L F B R E A K S AVA I L A B L E , C O N TA C T T H E C LU B F O R D E TA I L S

Our 18 hole, 6,042 yard par 69 parkland course has wonderful countryside views – a challenge to golfers of all levels Designed by legendary golf course architect James Braid our friendly club is located just outside St. Austell in Cornwall

• T E L : 0 1 7 2 6 74 7 5 6 • E M A I L : O F F I C E @ S TA U S T E L LG O L F. C O . U K • W E B : W W W. S TA U S T E L LG O L F. C O . U K T R E G O N G E E V E S L A N E , S T. A U S T E L L , C O R N WA L L , P L 2 6 7 D S

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[50] MARCH 2018 | SOUTH WEST

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ PARKSTONE GC

DORSET DELIGHTS

JEREMY ELLWOOD TOURS HARDY COUNTRY, TAKING IN SOME HEATHLAND GEMS AND CLIFF-TOP CLASSICS

D

orset may get a little overlooked as a golfing county in the eagerness to head further west, but it most definitely shouldn’t, for the county is blessed with a fine collection of courses taking in the complete spectrum of architectural styles. Ferndown, Parkstone and Broadstone are all top 100-ranked heathland classics that bear both similarities and differences, making them a delight to incorporate into any golfing visit to the county. And, perhaps spurred on by each other, all three have taken great strides in recent years to up the quality of both the presentation and conditioning of their courses. Ferndown, Parkstone and Broadstone are all top 100-ranked heathland classics that bear both similarities and differences, making them a delight to incorporate into any golfing

visit to the county. And, perhaps spurred on by each other, all three have taken great strides in recent years to up the quality of both the presentation and conditioning of their courses. The first at Ferndown sets the scene beautifully for the round ahead, dropping gently down to a well-bunkered, yet fairly generous green. The fifth is then a really pretty par three flanked by pines, bunkers and rhododendrons, before you climb back to the clubhouse via the demanding sixth. Coming home, the 16th reprises the risk-reward role, but only the bravest will take it on. The finish boasts two suitably challenging par fours that make you work hard for pars. Parkstone also opens with a visually attractive par four, then plays on through pine and heather, with consecutive holes rarely playing in the same direction. The par

■ FERNDOWN

■ LYME REGIS

threes are strong, among them the 7th, 16th and 18th, with the drop-hole 16th also serving up wonderful views out to Poole Harbour, as does the 8th, a mischievous short dogleg par four. The 15th may just be the toughest test, a magnificent longish par four where you must successfully negotiate the narrow sloping fairway and plateau green. If Parkstone is blessed with more elevation changes than Ferndown, then Broadstone eclipses both. You must cross the same stream twice if you’re to open up with a par, before climbing steeply and descending just as sharply over the next two holes. Six and seven are two splendid holes, the former a modest-length uphill par three with a backdrop of pines and a treacherously steep-fronted green; the latter a demanding par four where your long approach must traverse a heather-clad valley that’s home to a vast bunker. Isle of Purbeck, another course blessed with wonderful views, is best accessed via the Sandbanks ferry to avoid the long drive round. This moorland/ heathland layout overlooks beautiful countryside, and the view from the fifth tee out over Poole Harbour is one to savour. This excellent downhiller doglegs right to a long green that angles across the line of play. The 6th, which plays back up, has a similarly long green,

and then it’s back to a classic heathland feel, where plenty of short par fours will raise your birdie hopes, especially on the closing trio. The Dorset Resort, midway between Bere Regis and Wareham, has three loops of nine - Lakeland, Parkland and the slightly shorter Woodland. The biggest lake is most in play on the daunting 12th on the Parkland nine, rather than on the Lakeland loop. These essentially heathland layouts feature large greens and wellplaced bunkers. The Woodland nine requires a greater degree of accuracy, but is a visual delight when the vast swathes of flowering rhododendrons are in bloom. You can stay here too in the four-star Dorset Golf Hotel or one of the picturesque Scandinavian-style log cabins. For two final lovely Dorset golfing experiences, drop down to the Jurassic Coast to take on Bridport & West Dorset and then Lyme Regis. The former cliff-top beauty serves up wonderful views across Lyme Bay and along the famous Chesil Beach, with the dramatic parthree 6th, where the green is set nearly 100ft below the tee, lingering long in the memory. Lyme Regis also enjoys an enviable coastal setting, with many enjoyable holes playing over mostly easy-walking terrain, and views to die for out towards Portland Bill and down to the delightful seaside town.

WHERE TO PLAY IN DORSET Broadstone GC

broadstonegolfclub.com £55/£90 (winter/summer)

The Dorset Resort dorsetresort.com

ferndowngolfclub.co.uk £60/£110

Parkstone GC

parkstonegolfclub.com £65/£100

Isle of Purbeck GC purbeckgolf.co.uk ■ BROADSTONE 7TH

£49

Ferndown GC

£52/£60

Bridport GC

bridportgolfclub.co.uk £22/£44

Lyme Regis GC

lymeregisgolfclub.co.uk £55

Bowood Park Hotel and Golf Club “This Cornish cracker is a must visit – superb” John E. Morgan , Former PGA & European Tour Professional and Sky Sports Golf Commentator

Hotel | Golf | Events | Hospitality 2 DAY GOLF BREAK

3 DAY GOLF BREAK

4 DAY GOLF BREAK

1 Night; to include dinner, bed, breakfast & 2 rounds of golf – from £80 per person

2 Nights; to include dinner, bed, breakfast & 3 rounds of golf – from £130 per person

3 Nights; to include dinner, bed, breakfast & 4 rounds of golf – from £180 per person

For all enquiries, to check availability or make a reservation, please call the reservations team on 01840 213017.

BOWOOD PARK HOTEL AND GOLF CLUB, LANTEGLOS, CORNWALL, PL32 9RF. TEL: 01840 213017. EMAIL: GOLF@BOWOODPARK.COM. WEB: WWW.BOWOODPARK.COM


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SOUTH WEST | MARCH 2018

[51]

SWING TIME ON THE

RIVIERA CHARLES BRISCOE-KNIGHT PAYS A VISIT TO DEVON’S SOUTH COAST, WHERE HE PLAYS A TRIO OF DELIGHTFUL COURSES IN AND AROUND TORBAY

W

hile the English Riviera’s charms as a holiday destination are all too obvious, the attractions of the stretch of south Devon coastline between Torquay and Brixham as a venue for a golf break are less well touted, with the courses in the area somewhat living in the shadows of the more famous links to be found to the north of the county. My golfing itinerary took in three courses that offered a unique combination of tests – taking in parkland, heathland and links layouts. Aficionados of parkland courses will delight in the beautiful layout at Torquay Golf Club. Set among the residential area of Babbacombe. Although parkland by design, its topography is far from flat, and the walks up the 6th and 7th fairways are quite a hike

– although the weary golfer is rewarded with great views once they reach the top. The 8th is a tad quirky, with an easy drive followed by a blind second to a green hidden way below the fairway, while the 9th is a short par four, whose green demands to be reached with a well-struck driver. Although short by modern standards – 6,138 yards off the whites – the lack of par fives – there is only one – ensures that the par of 69 is hard to match. All in all, it makes for an entertaining holiday round, especially when you throw in lunch at the clubhouse that overlooks the opening and closing holes. Moving on to Dawlish Warren, first-time visitors will be somewhat surprised to find themselves in the firing line as they enter through the club’s gates, as the 18th green is directly to the left of the road alongside the

■ TEIGNMOUTH

■ TORQUAY GOLF CLUB

railway station, while the fairway doglegs along the front of the clubhouse. It’s an intimidating sight. On the other 17 holes, linksland on the ‘inner warren’ behind the beach and alongside the estuary to the River Exe, embrace a design pretty well unaltered over a century. A traditional out-and-back links, around the turn at the far ‘spit’ end are some testing, undulating holes, including the 9th, which is 460-yard par 4, while if you’re golf is going sideways there are lovely views to had off many of holes all around the estuary – which is a bird and plane spotters paradise, thanks to the nearby airfield. At £20, it’s a good value green fee, and the very epitome of what seaside holiday golf is all about. Teignmouth Golf Club, situated 800 feet above the town, boasts an historic heathland layout some of whose holes would not be out of place at Sunningdale or Walton Heath. Indeed, the ceremonial stone greeting arriving golfers announces the design was crafted by no less a genius than Dr Alistair McKenzie of Augusta and Cypress Point fame. Dr MacKenzie's signature of sloping, multi-tiered greens are much in evidence at Teignmouth, in fact, little has changed since the 1920s, including the course’s length, which is still only 6,082 yards from the back tees. The yardage may be modest, but par is a lowly 69 from the whites and this is a windy, exposed plateau, so do not expect a card full

Launceston Golf Club Spectacular views over the Devon and Cornwall border

GREAT DEALS FOR GREEN FEES AND SOCIETIES

Country House Hotel

Country House Hotel

Call us on 01566 773442 or e-mail secretary@launcestongolfclub.co.uk

www.launcestongolfclub.co.uk

Country House Hotel

Country House Hotel

of birdies. Negotiating the six par threes is key to a good score, but none of these one-shotters yield an easy par. If forced to choose, my favourite hole is the eighth, a beautifullycrafted par four, which sets up off the tee with bunkers all about, a tree in the middle of a sloping fairway, culminating in a green high above your second shot. All in all, Teignmouth is a great test, and was presented in superb condition following recent investment. And, like the other courses on this trip, represents great value when compared to the more championed layouts in other parts of the region.

■ TORQUAY

WHERE TO PLAY IN DEVON Torquay GC

torquaygolfclub.co.uk

The Warren GC dwgc.co.uk

£35/£40 (wday, w/e) £20 (after 2pm)

Teignmouth GC teignmouthgolfclub.co.uk £40/£50


[52] MARCH 2018 | TRAVEL

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

FIVE FOR FUN THE SOUTH WEST IS FULL OF FAMOUS COURSES WITH BEAUTIFUL HOLES, BUT HERE ARE FIVE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE PLAYED THAT STAND OUT IN THE MEMORY FOR DIFFERENT REASONS ■ MANOR HOUSE

MANOR HOUSE, WILTSHIRE 17TH HOLE, PAR 3, 154 YARDS The penultimate hole on this very pretty Peter Alliss/Clive Clarke layout in the chocolate-box Cotswolds village of Castle Combe is both memorable and unique. In many ways a reprise of the course’s second hole, the 17th is perhaps even more dramatic, as it drops precipitously some 120ft to a choice of two greens. Even though it’s probably only wedge distance, on account of the drop, the right-hand green, almost encircled by the pretty River Bybrook, is still particularly intimidating.

ILFRACOMBE, DEVON 8TH HOLE, PAR 5, 493 YARDS You’ll enjoy sea views from every tee at this highly enjoyable course perched above the North Devon coast, with vistas out to Lundy Island and across to The Gower in Wales. This short par five bears gently round to the right, while the land slopes towards the coast away to your left, so those who slice or fade can drive with confidence, letting the ball cut back into the slope. The green is then built up on the left, where many balls will end up. Getting up and down from below the level of the green here can be testing if the pin is also on the left.

OGBOURNE DOWNS, WILTSHIRE 14TH, PAR 5, 558 YARDS

ride. Having reached the course’s most northerly point on 13, you turn back to take on this memorable par five, which sweeps down and round to the left, with many a ball magnetically drawn to the left-hand scrub, despite there being no future in such a line and adequate room further right. An upturned-saucer green completes the test.

LONG ASHTON, SOMERSET 2ND HOLE PAR 3, 126 YARDS Ryder Cup player Chris Wood’s home course on the outskirts of Bristol is a pleasant parkland layout with great variety to its holes, especially over much of the front nine, and again later on. After a tempting short par-four opener, which may be in range some days, the downhill par-three second is a visual treat. It may be a mere wedge or 9-iron for most, but with an exposed rock face hugging the left side of the green, anything pulled could lead to a highly unpredictable ricochet.

THURLESTONE, DEVON 11TH HOLE, PAR 4, 361 YARDS We could have picked any of a number of holes at this clifftop stunner near Salcombe on the South Devon coast, which was once likened to Pebble Beach by Peter Alliss. But we’ve plumped for this modest-length par four that hugs the clifftop, with the fairway gently sloping towards the sea on your left. The views are immense, and as you get closer to the green, there’s a simply splendid backdrop looking across towards Bigbury and Burgh Island. Play well here and you’ll love it; play badly and you’ll… well, love it!

Travel south from Swindon to Marlborough and you may notice some eye-catching fairways up on the Downs to your left, near the pretty village of Ogbourne St George. They belong to Ogbourne Downs Golf Club, and a round here is a real roller coaster

Play James Braid’s rural delight and the the most historic course in Herefordshire. Enjoy dramatic and far reaching views of the Shropshire Hills, the Malverns and the Black Mountains whilst experiencing a golf course that follows the natural contours of the countryside, with no hole the same. Join us for a memorable society day in 2018.

Societies made very welcome 7 days a week, subject to availability.

The Herefordshire Golf Club April and October Society Packages

May through to September Society Packages

18 holes with coffee/bacon roll on arrival from £25 18 holes with a one course chef’s special from £28

18 holes with coffee/bacon roll on arrival from £30 18 holes with a two course meal from £37

Contact New Director of Golf, Stuart on 01432 830219 www.herefordshiregolfclub.co.uk

email: pro@herefordshiregolfclub.co.uk Raven’s Causeway, Wormsley, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR4 8LY.

Perranporth Golf Club

Golf breaks from only £145 per person www.PerranporthGolfClub.co.uk Fairways@perranporthgolfclub.co.uk 01872 572454 (option 1)


AT L A N T I C L I N K S A TANTALIZING TRAIL OF ANCIENT LINKS IN SOUTH WEST ENGLAND England’s Atlantic Links, a collection

E X A M P L E PA C K A G E :

F E AT U R I N G

of six ancient championship links

from £275.00 per person*

• Burnham & Berrow

2 Nights - 3 Rounds of Golf at Saunton East, Saunton West and Royal North Devon

• Saunton East &

courses in South West England, is a tantalizing trail set against the dramatic backdrop of the north Atlantic Coast. Together these legendary, awardwinning links have firmly established

*Prices correct as of 1st January 2018, any increases by the courses or hotels could alter these prices. Based on twin/double rooms & travel during April to September.

themselves as one of England’s premier

We can offer any combination of courses and number of nights

golfing destinations.

so please just request, we will be delighted to assist.

• Royal North Devon Saunton West • St Enodoc • Trevose

C O N TA C T U S T O D AY | 0 1 8 2 2 6 1 8 1 8 1 | W W W. AT L A N T I C L I N K S G O L F T O U R . C O M


[54] MARCH 2018 | SOUTH WEST

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

BANK ON

BRISTOL

FOR A MEMORABLE BREAK FOR GOLFERS WHO LIKE TO MIX A BIT OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE WITH THEIR FUN ON THE FAIRWAYS, THE BUSTLING HARBOUR CITY OF BRISTOL, WITH ITS BANKSY-INSPIRED ART SCENE AND HIPSTER FOOD CULTURE, HAS MUCH TO OFFER

L

ocated in one of the most picturesque parts of the country, the thriving city of Bristol has long been a popular destination for weekend breaks, with its vibrant restaurant and bar culture, active music scene, independent food markets, Banksyinspired street art, and student-led nightlife, all interwoven with its beguiling mercantile and industrial heritage. Less genteel than near neighbour Bath, but also boasting a successful rugby club, Bristol is small enough to explore on foot, yet large enough to get lost in the melée. And with a choice of excellent hotels, both chain and boutique, and the countryside right on the doorstep, it’s also a great place to base yourself for a tour of the region’s top golf clubs. Golfers are spoilt for choice in this beautiful neck of the woods, with a superb variety of courses on offer, from the stunning links layouts at Burnham & Berrow and Weston-Super-Mare, to the pleasant inland tracks offered at venues such as Cumberwell, Enmore and The Kendleshire, all played out against the backdrop of the rolling Mendip Hills, the Quantocks and the Cotswolds. For those who like to give the driver a mighty thrash, the Codrington Course at The Players Club seems like a solid place

■ ENMORE

■ CHIPPING NORTON

■ KINGSDOWN

to start a Bristol golf break. Stretching to over 7,600 yards from the back tees, with a front nine of over 4,000 yards, it’s one of the longest tracks in the UK, with the 621yard closing hole a suitably monster finish. But shorter hitters fear not, no fewer than five sets of tees make this course manageable for all handicaps, so power is not the only way to tackle this excellent course. If you’re looking for something slightly less intimidating, then call in on the Kendleshire, which boasts 27 holes of top quality golf. Designed by Adrian Stiff, the club’s original 18 holes opened for play in 1997 to widespread acclaim. Then, in 2002, Peter McEvoy added a further nine, offering golfers increased variety. Whichever combination you play, all three nines provide an excellent challenge, with water a prominent feature throughout. The longest combination of nines gives a 6,507-yard, par-70 layout. Renowned for its high quality putting surfaces, the standout hole for many will be the par-3 11th, which features an island green, which will test your nerve and your club selection. If you’re looking for world-class links action – and frankly, who isn’t – then look no further than B&B – Burnham & Berrow. One of the most underrated of all of England’s fabled seaside designs,

■ BURNHAM & BERROW

■ MINCHINHAMPTON

■ THE PLAYERS CLUB

it occupies a stunning stretch of rolling sandhills overlooking the Bristol Channel. With tumbling fairways, deep pot bunkers, thick rough and small greens, it’s a supreme test of stroke play, with almost ever-present breezes sure to test your ability to shape the ball. With slick putting surfaces, and numerous swales and hollows to draw your ball away from its intended target, you need to bring your ‘A’ game her to score well. There are too many good holes to mention – but the opening six combine to offer one of the best opening stretches you’ll ever find, while the four par-

threes are all uniquely excellent, getting progressively longer, with the ninth being a highlight. If you’ve got enough ammo left, the slightly less challenging, but no less interesting, inland Cumberwell Park Golf Club in Bradford on Avon, is well worth the trip south from Bristol. Boasting 45 holes, divided into five 9-hole loops, Cumberwell occupies 400 acres, with woods, lakes and rolling countryside giving it a relaxed feel. The original 18 holes, comprising the Red and Yellow, opened in 1994, with the Blue and Orange following in 1999 and 2007 respectively, while the most recent addition is a superb par-three course. The Red has a parkland feel, with wide fairways and large greens, while the Yellow loop plays through and around ancient woodland. The Blue boasts numerous holes that bring the Cumberwell’s famous lake into play, while the Orange has more of a linksy feel. Whichever combination you choose to play, the course conditions are superb, and the after-round experience in the impressive clubhouse will be sure to complete a great day’s golf in style. Specialist tour operator Bristol Golf Breaks has put together a great selection of two-, three- and four-round breaks that take in some of the region’s top tracks, including those mentioned, along with others, such as Henbury, Filton, Kingsdown and Minchinhampton, all of which offer superb tests for the holiday golfer. And golfers can choose to stay in city centre hotels in Bristol, such as the Marriott at Cabot Circus, or base themselves outside, in more peaceful locations, such as The Ormond in Tetbury, or the Royal Hotel at Weston. With one-night, two round breaks starting from just £90pp, and three-night, four-round breaks offered around £250, there is a wide choice of breaks to suit every budget. To find the latest offers and bookings for golf holidays in the Bristol area, visit www.bristolgolfbreaks.com, or call 01822 618181 for friendly advice on where to play and stay.


TheManor House

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Set in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. The Ashbury Hotel is the ideal venue for your golf break.

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We are already talking about returning for our next tour and we’ve not been home for 24hrs!! Bakes71 - Trip Advisor

• FREE Sport, Craft, Leisure & Spa Facilities Pines 17th 442 yards, Par 2

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[56] MARCH 2018 | SOUTH WEST

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

THE BEST OF THE

WEST GOLF NEWS EDITOR NICK BAYLY, WHO WAS BORN IN CORNWALL, SCHOOLED IN DEVON AND GREW UP IN DORSET, GIVES HIS TOP TRACKS TO PLAY IN THE SOUTH WEST BEFORE YOU KICK THE BUCKET (AND SPADE)

ST ENODOC CORNWALL Overlooking the Camel Estuary and the famous fishing town of Padstow, you will be genuinely hard pushed to find a layout presented in better year round condition than St Enodoc’s Church Course. The 6,299-yard James Braid designed links winds its way around, through and over a series of majestic dunes. Wispy rough and deep bunkers are ready to gobble up any errant shots, while fastrunning fairways ensure that anything hit slightly off line will find trouble. Many would argue that there isn't sufficient length for St Enodoc to be considered a proper test, but, like any links course worth its salt, the weather that batters this exposed coastline can take any number and double it at the drop of a hat, while the par of 69 also mitigates against red figures. The signature hole is the 386-yard, par-four 6th, which features the famous Himalaya bunker, from which forward progress is almost impossible once entered into, although there are any number of other holes that will live long in the memory, most notably the brutal 10th, a devilish 458-yard par four that has but a ribbon of fairway and trouble either side. st-enodoc.co.uk, green fees: £45-£75

SAUNTON EAST DEVON If the Open Championship was ever to head to the south west, it is widely accepted that Saunton Golf Club’s East Course would be the R&A’s No.1 choice. This wonderful Herbert Fowler designed links, set on the North Devon coast, boasts a fine tournament history, having hosted

■ ST ENODOC

the Amateur Championship and Ladies Amateur, and, although it enjoys lofty status in all the Top 100 lists (between 30-40), it’s location has perhaps prevented it from gaining wider appreciation, and certainly from being considered as a potential Open venue. From the opening shot off the elevated tee on the 470-yard, par-four first, to the approach up the hill towards the clubhouse, the East provides 18 memorable holes. There are few tricks or gimmicks, just a number of testing holes that demand accurate, and occasionally long, ball striking. Even the shorter holes are a test. 'Tiddler', the aptly-named fifth, won’t roll over willingly should you err long, while the seemingly innocuous par-4 10th not only presents challenges beyond its raised green, but also short of it in the form of two bunkers. Throw in the equally entertaining West Course (see below), and you have two of the best links courses anywhere in the UK to make a great day’s golf. sauntongolf.co.uk, £60-£90

■ ST MELLION

ONE OF THE FINEST GOLF RESORTS IN THE UK, ST MELLION HAS PLAYED HOST TO NUMEROUS TOUR EVENTS SINCE OPENING IN 1976

BURNHAM & BERROW SOMERSET Burnham is the gateway to England’s Atlantic Links – a tantalising trail of the six premier links courses in the south

■ BURNHAM & BERROW

west. Set among towering sand dunes on the Bristol Channel coast, the 6,695-yard, par-71 Championship course presents a classic out-and-back test, with the front nine skirting the sand dunes and coastline northwards, while the back nine turns inland and southwards and then follows the coast road through Berrow, past the church and back into Burnham. It’s a challenging layout, with tumbling fairways laid out in narrow valleys, protected by deep bunkers and thick rough. The greens are small, fast and notoriously undulating, requiring precision approach shots to score well. The par threes are particularly memorable, while the 18th, a dogleg parfour, is one the strongest finishing holes you’ll ever come across. The course has recently benefitted from a major renovation programme, which has seen new raised tees installed on the sixth, ninth and 11th, which has not only extended the length of the course, but created spectacular panoramic views of the course and the north Atlantic coast. burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk, £115

ST MELLION CORNWALL

■ SAUNTON EAST

One of the finest golf resorts in the UK, St Mellion has played host to numerous Tour events since opening in 1976, with Ballesteros, Olazabal and Langer all having triumphed here during their heydays. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course didn’t open until 1988, but it is no doubt one of the Golden Bear’s best pieces of design work outside of the US, and quickly earned a high ranking in the Top 100 lists. An American-style layout, the course occupies a rolling stretch of Cornish countryside, and boasts manicured fairways and multi-tiered greens, with lots of other Nicklaus hallmark design elements. Accuracy is essential off the tee, and there are numerous well-placed


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SOUTH WEST | MARCH 2018

[57]

■ ROYAL NORTH DEVON

SAUNTON WEST DEVON Opened for play in its current incarnation in 1973, and renovated in the 1980s, Saunton West is certainly no poor relation to the East, and in many respects enjoys better views. With many of the holes set between the dunes, the challenge is further enhanced by numerous crossditches, grassy mounds and hollows, while clever bunkering and raised greens combine to produce a course that will test all parts of your game, including course management. Holding the fairways on the numerous doglegs is always hard when they are running firm and fast, while a fine quintet of par threes – four of which measure over 190 yards – further ramps up the challenge on this tricky, yet visually appealing layout. sauntongolf.co.uk, £60-£90

ROYAL NORTH DEVON DEVON

■ SAUNTON WEST

bunkers, water features, and runoffs to punish misplaced tee shots and approaches. The par-three 11th, a 200-yarder played from an elevated tee over a stream, is a fan favourite, while the parfive 12th, which threads its way through a tree-lined valley is also memorable. The same can be said of the final hole, a dogleg par four where your second shot, into a undulating and water protected green, is played in the shadow of the grandstand-style hotel, which provides a luxurious and welcome retreat after a round. st-mellion.co.uk, £40-£45

TREVOSE CORNWALL From the moment you stand on the first tee, and thread your opening tee shot ■ TREVOSE

down the hill and hopefully past the bunkers, there is a sense that you are facing something special at Trevose. Played against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, Constantine and Booby’s Bay, Trevose is the westernmost course on the Atlantic Trail, and arguably provides the most dramatic settings of all the venues on this stunning coastal stretch. The course boasts a classic Harry Colt configuration, with two loops of nine. The front nine hugs the sand dunes, offering stunning sea views and great bunkering, while the back nine features a meandering stream and some more truly classic holes, before heading towards the tricky 18th. The wind plays a big part in its difficulty, serving up a different course almost every day, and requiring creative shot making and the use of most of the clubs in your bag. As well offering two further layouts, the nine-hole Headland and the Short Course, Trevose provides an array of leisure facilities and accommodation options, including self-catering apartments and luxury lodges, tennis courts, swimming pool, games room, and the Constantine Restaurant. trevose-gc.co.uk, £40-£75

Royal North Devon, otherwise know as Westward Ho!, is where it all began for English golf. ‘The St Andrews of England’ opened for play in 1868 and is the oldest links course in the UK outside of Scotland. Laid out between the estuary, the Atlantic and Westward Ho, this most traditional of links is built on common land and is still grazed by sheep, with balls landing in hoofprints being allowed a free drop. With no trees or hedges, and little in the way of man-made interferences, it’s hard to make out the individual holes from a distance, but, on closer inspection, there is definitely a 7,000-yard course to be played amid the dunes and the rough. The course is relatively flat and open to the elements, and is so close to the sea that is gradually being eroded by the waves. Those who can keep their ball flight low will fair best against the prevailing winds. The stretch of holes from the fifth to the 11th hare the strongest on the card, with a fabulous variety of risk-and-reward shots and stunning greens complexes.

■ PERRANPORTH

Water must be navigated on the final two holes before you return to the shelter of the charming clubhouse, which boasts an interesting museum packed with a valuable collection of golfing memorabilia. royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk, £50/£75

PERRANPORTH CORNWALL Perranporth occupies a stunning spot on Cornwall’s North Atlantic coast, offering enchanting views – most notably from the fifth and 14th holes – across the sand to Perran Bay. The James Braid-designed course measures just 6,252 yards off the white tees, but its par of 72 is a tough target given that 16 of the 18 holes feature marker posts to tell you where to hit your next shot. A 3-wood or long iron is advisable off most tees, just to avoid the punitive rough and keep the ball in play as you cross the rolling dunes and plunging valleys, while a course planner is all but essential. Blind shots and side slopes aside, many of the greens are located on raised plateau, making approaches even more testing, while the greens are firm and fast. With quick-draining soil, you’re guaranteed fantastic year-round playing conditions on the springy links turf, while, for those in a hurry, a two-ball should easily skip round in three hours, providing you don’t lose too many balls. perranporthgolfclub.co.uk, £40/£47

PERRANPORTH OCCUPIES A STUNNING SPOT ON CORNWALL’S NORTH ATLANTIC COAST, OFFERING ENCHANTING VIEWS – MOST NOTABLY FROM THE FIFTH AND 14TH HOLES – ACROSS THE SAND TO PERRAN BAY


FOR ALL YOUR SOUTH WEST GOLF BREAKS… PLAY SAUNTON AS PART OF OUR ATLANTIC LINKS TOUR... THREE ROUNDS, TWO NIGHTS... FROM £279PP

The South West of England offers an amazing choice of golf courses to visit, if you wish to play any of the courses featured in this supplement call the Golf Desk on 01822 618181. Whether a large group or small, Exclusive Golf Breaks have over 20 years experience in arranging and organising Golf Tours and Breaks for our clients. Exclusive Golf Breaks can cater for your requirements and provide a first class efficient service, we take pride in our attention to detail and our aim is to ensure our clients get the very best value and experience. Visit our bespoke sites to golf in the South West www.atlanticlinksgolftour.com www.southdevongolftour.co.uk www.cornwallgolflinks.co.uk www.somersetgolftour.co.uk

www.dorsetheathlandgolftour.co.uk www.stonehengegolftour.co.uk www.dartmoorgolftour.co.uk www.bristolgolftour.co.uk

Tel: 01822 618181 Email: info@exclusivegolfbreaks.com Web: exclusivegolfbreaks.com


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SOUTH WEST | MARCH 2018

[59]

TO THE

MANOR BORN

SET IN THE FOOTHILLS OF THE DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK, THE MANOR HOUSE AND ASHBURY GOLF HOTELS IN OKEHAMPTON FORM ONE OF THE LARGEST GOLF RESORTS IN THE UK, AND ARE THE IDEAL PLACE FOR GREAT VALUE GOLF BREAKS AT ANY TIME OF YEAR

I

f you’re looking for living proof that not all good things come in small packages, then you need only to pay a visit to the Manor House & Ashbury Golf Hotel in Devon, which lays claim to being Europe’s biggest golf resort. Spanning two spacious sites, which combine to cover over 800 acres of breathtaking Dartmoor countryside, you would be wise to consider hiring out one of the resort’s golf buggies for the duration of your stay just to get around the place. Starting out life in 1978 as a humble bed & breakfast offering just 10 bedrooms, the Manor House Hotel has expanded and diversified from a conference and meetings hotel to the impressive multi-activity resort that it is today. The Ashbury Golf Hotel was purchased in 1991 to create a dual-site resort that currently offers 426 rooms and no fewer than seven 18-hole courses. The golf courses are all located at the Ashbury site, with layouts including the 6,528-yard Kigbeare; 6,400-yard Pines; 5,803-yard Beeches; 5,502-yard Oakwood; 2,743-yard Ashbury, and the 18-hole par-three Willows Course. There are 99 holes in total, with differing combinations of nines creating even greater variety of playing options. The courses all offer stunning views of Dartmoor and across the rolling Devon countryside, and utilise the natural features of the landscape, making the most of mature trees, hedgerows and ponds to provide truly breathtaking holiday golf. The Kigbeare Course, which is the longest of the layouts on offer, has matured into a quite stunning test, offering a delightful blend of challenging par 3s, with some over 200 yards. Many of the testing par 4s and 5s have rolling fairways, large undulating greens and well placed hazards providing a true test for even the most proficient of golfers. Among the signature holes include the

■ KINGSDOWN

■ THE RESORT BOASTS 99 HOLES OF GOLF SPREAD ACROSS SEVEN EXCELLENT COURSES

par-three third, a 205-yard hole which drops 50 feet from tee to green, with a brook protecting the front edge of the putting surface. The par-five 16th is another showstopper, with the 550yard hole swooping downhill like a rollercoaster from tee to green. The Pines Course, the second longest track, has also matured into a very attractive and challenging test following its opening in 1999. The front nine, with its wide fairways and gentle slopes, offers the opportunity for early red numbers, while the back 9, with its tall mature tree lined fairways, is a much tougher prospect that require respect and accuracy to maintain a strong score. The signature hole is arguably the short par-four 4th, requiring an uphill tee shot to a narrow fairway, protected by three ponds on the right. The safer option is to take an iron or a hybrid off the tee,

■ AN 18-HOLE ADVENTURE PUTTING COURSE AND AN INDOOR POOL ARE AMONG THE MANY GREAT FACILTIES ON SITE

leaving a short iron to the long, narrow three-tiered green. Built-on fast-draining soil, and with excellent drainage systems, all the courses are presented in superb condition all year round. There are no temporary greens, even after the heaviest downpours, while purpose-built cart paths enablie the fleet of 450 buggies – including 100 enclosed buggies – to be hired throughout the year. All golf breaks include a minimum of 27 free holes of golf per night of stay, so there are no extra costs involved above the all-inclusive package. Every resident also enjoys free, unlimited use of the extensive sports and leisure facilities There is a wide variety of practice facilities, including an eight-bay covered driving range, where a bucket of 50 balls costs just £1, a 150-yard par-3 practice hole, six practice nets, four practice greens, a chipping green, and an indoor golf simulator. There is a total of 426 rooms available for guests to stay in across the two sites (Ashbury 222, Manor 204), all of which feature TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, hair dryers, free Wi-Fi and telephones. Full board catering is offered, ensuring three square meals a day, including a buffet breakfast with cooked and continental options, hot and cold lunch options, and a four-course evening buffet meal with additional a la carte choices. Guests receive a complimentary bottle with dinner on Sundays and Thursdays. Elsewhere, there is a choice of bars and lounge areas, including the Coach

House Bar, which offers Sky TV for watching live sporting events, while evening entertainment is also offered every night, with tribute bands and cabaret acts. Children’s entertainers are also part of an extensive programme designed to keep all members of the family amused. Other facilities available to all residents free of charge include three swimming pools with water slides; 10 lanes of ten-pin bowling; 28 snooker tables; 11 tennis courts; 12 badminton courts; and five target ranges featuring archery, air pistols, air rifles and laser shooting. Free spa facilities include saunas, steam rooms and hydro pools, while there is a choice of over 20 health and beauty treatments, including hot stone massages, facials and manicures. There are also two extensive craft centres offering 17 tutored crafts, including pottery, glass engraving, jewelry making, ceramic painting, fabric printing, candle making and woodwork. Guests only pay for materials and there are experienced tutors on hand to offer advice and guidance. For younger guests there are a number of play areas, including a three-level soft adventure zone, two games rooms (featuring pool, table football, air hockey and games consoles), an artificial iceskating rink and pedal carts. Outdoors, there is an 18-hole adventure golf course, the holes of which have been modelled on the real golf courses at the resort, and a 9-hole mini golf course. All told, the Manor and Ashbury Hotels combine to offer the ultimate multi-generational, multi-functional leisure destination, where value for money and great service comes in handin-hand. For the latest golf break packages, bookings and enquiries, call 01837 53053, email enquiries@ manorhousehotel.co.uk or visit www. ashburygolfhotel.com.


FREE BUGGIES THIS SPRING to say thanks for voting us ‘Wales’ Best Golf Hotel’

There are few places in the UK that offer golfers the range of facilities and as many inspiring golf holes as the Vale Resort.

GOLF DAYS AND BREAKS n

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143 bedroom hotel 2 championship golf courses Wales’ largest spa AA Rosette restaurant Floodlit driving range Clubhouse and Pro-Shop Short play practice areas

Hensol Park, Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, CF72 8JY *Terms & conditions apply. Subject to availability on dates in April - June. #Free buggy applies to first round.

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Tel: 01443 667800 | www.valeresort.com


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

TRAVEL | MARCH 2018

[61]

LIFE’S A BEACH AT SOTOGRANDE’S LUXURIOUS

LA RESERVA CLUB

for families to enjoy. The sandy pool is the first of its kind to be designed in Southern Europe, and we look forward to its opening this summer.” In addition to its excellent leisure facilities, La Reserva Club is also known for its stunning the Cabell B. Robinsondesigned championship golf course, which first opened in 2003. The 7,400-yard course has benefitted from significant investment in recent season, and that is reflected in its most recent rise up the ranking of respected website

top100golfcourses.com. In the latest re-ranking, which was announced in January, the course has risen 20 places, and now sits at 63rd in the Continental Europe Top 100. A European Tour tournament host, La Reserva is widely acclaimed for its stunning vistas of the Mediterranean Sea and sweeping fairways carved into the Sotogrande hillside.

■ LA RESERVA CLUB

For further information and reservations, e-mail lareserva. booking@sotogrande.com or call +34 956 785 252.

2018 01 Golf News - Golf Breaks QP.qxp_166mm h x 145mm w 08/02/2018 10:39 Page 1

Wish you were here

Ufford Park Woodbridge

1 night Golf & Spa Breaks from only £98* per person includes complimentary use of the swimming pool and gym.

Looking for the perfect all year round venue for your golf break? Set in the heart of Suffolk and located just off the A12, our 18 hole, par 71 course is ideal for the beginner or the experienced player. Book your tee time online, visit the on-site AmericanGolf superstore and practice your swing on our 2 tier floodlit driving range, all before you even set foot on the lovingly cared for, award-winning, top winter course. *Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.

t 0844 847 9408 (local rate) w www.uffordpark.co.uk Yarmouth Road| Woodbridge | Suffolk | IP12 1QW

CELEBRATING

YEARS 17

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olfers visiting the luxury Spanish golfing resort at La Reserva can look forward to enjoying a host of new leisure facilities when its state-of-the-art beach development opens this summer. Activities at The Beach at La Reserva Club will focus on various water-based amenities all set around a beach club located within the hills of La Reserva, Sotogrande’s latest luxury and gated residential community. The Beach Club will include Europe’s first full sandy pool, which will weave its way through the relaxation areas to provide an authentic seaside feel, as well as a full-service restaurant. A sports lagoon, contained in a landscaped park, will host a variety of water sports and activities, and a new boathouse, featuring its own slipway and jetty, lagoon island and beach, and summer café will surround the 17,000 square metres of lagoon. In addition, a new tennis pavilion will complement the existing courts, as well as a lap pool for swimmers, which for now will be dedicated as an adult-only area for those seeking calm and privacy. Marc Topiol, Sotogrande SA CEO, said: “The Beach will provide members, guests and residents with a truly worldclass leisure experience. Our vision for La Reserva Club is to provide a deluxe facility offering a unique set of amenities

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EXCLUSIVE GOLF PARTNER

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golf holiday experts for 22 years www.chakatravel.com travel

SRI LANKA

from £2,745 PP

MAURITIUS

Luxury Golf & Safari Holiday

5* C Palmar by Constance

Incl. flights, car & driver throughout with 9 excursions

(Winter 2017 / 2018 from £2,595 pp)

13 nights Bed & Breakfast 6 rounds of golf on 6 courses

ITALY

from £1,395 PP

4* Golf & Gastronomy in Emilia Romagna

7 nights Bed & Breakfast with 5 rounds of golf on 5 courses Incl. business class flights, car hire, spa & wine tasting

ABU DHABI

from £1,695 PP

5* Crowne Plaza, Yas Island

7 nights Bed & Breakfast with 4 rounds golf Incl. flights, transfers & municipality fees

from £1,995 PP

12 nights All Inclusive - Newly opened! Free green fees + golf buggies, incl. flights & transfers

SOUTH AFRICA Cape Town & Fancourt

from £2,695 PP

10 nights Bed & Breakfast with 6 rounds of golf on 6 courses Incl. flights & hire car

THAILAND

Bangkok & Chang Mai

from £2,625 PP

14 nights Bed & Breakfast with 5 rounds of golf Incl. flights, transfers & selected excursions

ESCORTED GOLF TOURS AND NEW GOLF CRUISES ROMANTIC DANUBE GOLF RIVER TOUR

10 NIGHTS FROM £4,543 PP Includes: • 3 nights Prague • 7 nights cruise • 5 rounds of golf • Chauffeur & luxury van transfers • Welcome packet • Club cleaning

A winning combination...

ESCORTED GOLF TOURS

PGA PRO GUIDE WITH TUITION Join us on one of our popular escorted tours. Suitable for golfers and non-golfers alike, our PGA pro will be your guide throughout.

South Africa, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Turkey...

TO SEE OUR RANGE OF GOLF HOLIDAYS, ESCORTED TOURS AND GOLF CRUISES PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE


TRAVEL | MARCH 2018 [63]

ME&MY

THEO WALCOTT

New Everton signing Theo Walcott still finds time for a golf holiday with his mates, as well as chilling with his young family by the pool

TRAVELS

My favourite holiday destination is… anywhere with a nice beach, a pool and a good gym. I travel pretty regularly throughout the season, but we don't really get to explore. In the summer months, I get about four or five weeks off and then we’ll jet away to either the south of France, Dubai or Italy. When I have time off, especially during the two weeks leading up to the football season, it's important for me to have access to a good gym, so that I don't go back with a beer belly. A golf holiday with the guys is always nice. I'm a bit of a bandit really, as although I play off 10, I should probably be a bit lower than that. My favourite golf course… is the West Course at Wentworth. It’s just a great experience from start to finish. From the breakfast in the clubhouse to the actual golf course itself, and the way you're looked after – it's right up there. I played alongside Justin Rose in the pro-am for the BMW PGA Championship in 2013, and I was as nervous on the first tee as I’ve ever been on a football pitch! I played golf in Dubai a few years ago with my cousin and brother, but was dripping with sweat in the heat and wasn't able to last the whole round. Night golf is a much better option, and I played a few rounds under

Rihanna working out in there. I wasn't brave enough to speak to her. I was like a nervous schoolboy in her presence. My most memorable holiday meal was at… the Harbour Grand Hotel in Hong Kong. I was there with the Arsenal team a few years ago and the view out over the harbour of the boats was quite special. It was pre-season, so

■ WALCOTT BECAME A BIG FAN OF WENTWORTH'S WEST COURSE AFTER TAKING PART IN THE BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP PRO-AM A FEW YEARS AGO

■ WALCOTT ENJOYED A SPOT OF NIGHT GOLF ON A RECENT TRIP TO DUBAI

lights there during a recent mid-season break with Everton. When I’m on holiday… I like to relax. We can’t be too adventurous, because of the potential for injuries, so things like skiing and rock climbing will have to wait until I retire. I also want to learn to scuba dive, and I’m a big animal lover, so a safari is also definitely on my bucket list. My favourite city is… New York. It's got such a great buzz. I first went when I was 18 and then again when I was 19, and I just felt really comfortable there. London is great, but there's something about New York that really stands out for me. I'd like to live there at some point. My favourite hotel is… the Mandarin Oriental in New York. It's on Columbus Circle and has great views looking out over Central Park. I was ill for about four days when I was staying there, but actually having that time in the hotel was great. The service is fantastic and the rooms are quite modern and neutral, but for me it's all about the amazing views. They also have a great gym, and I saw

■ HARBOUR GRAND HOTEL

there was a lot of banter going around the table, and it was just a great buzz. Afterwards, I went up to the hotel's rooftop pool, which has glass side, so you can swim right up to the edge and look out at the incredible view. The thing I hate about holidays is… getting on a plane. I have a bit of a fear of flying, so I don’t like to travel too far. My grandad used to take me out in his two-seater propeller plane when I was younger, and although he was a good pilot, the memories have scarred me for life. I’ve had a few bad flights since then – I really don’t like turbulence. My best piece of travel advice… is to fully research where you're going before you commit to booking anything. I go online or ask friends for recommendations. Also, don't pack too much – especially if you're going on a shopping holiday. I always do a lot of shopping in New York, so I take a few empty bags.

Caledonia Golf and Fish Club, Pawleys Island

Travel to a place where there’s always something new to discover. Bask in Southern sunshine all year long, wander through a picturesque tea plantation or tee off amid mountaintops and rolling sand dunes all in the same day. Start planning your trip today and find out why South Carolina is Just Right for holidays.

SouthCarolinaGolf.co.uk


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Golf News March 2018  
Golf News March 2018