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THE UK’S NO.1 GOLF NEWSPAPER

ISSUE 277 | SUMMER 2018 | TWITTER: @GOLFNEWSMAG | WEB: GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

INTERVIEWS Bubba Watson Matt Wallace

SEOUL SISTERS How South Koreans came to dominate the women’s game

The hard work has paid off

OPEN CHAMPION FRANCESCO MOLINARI REVEALS HIS ROUTE TO CLARET JUG GLORY

EQUIPMENT Ping’s new performance irons Focus on distance devices Honma irons tested

TRAVEL Arabella Mallorca Praia D’El Rey Sarah Stirk in Ireland Anton du Beke

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Untouched, Unspoilt, Tranquil

BY

NICK BAYLY

North Cyprus Golf Holidays

MAESTRO MOLINARI CALLS THE TUNE AT CARNOUSTIE

7N

GOLF IGHTS HOLI DAYS FROM

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hile as a Englishman it was hugely disappointing not to see the St George’s flag being vigorously waved in the grandstands around the 18th green at Carnoustie at the end of the 147th Open Championship, as we celebrated the first English winner since Nick Faldo’s triumph at Muirfield in 1992, it was something of a consolation that it was a European player – and one of our former Ryder Cup heroes at that – that walked off with the Claret Jug after four gruelling days on the links. Francesco Molinari may hail from Turin, and fly the flag so brilliantly and so modestly for Italy, but he has made his family home in London, and practises his golf at The Wisley in Surrey, so we can, at least partially, call him one of our own. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. With his place in golfing history secured, the mildmannered 36-year-old deserves to enjoy the munificent fruits of a career that has so far been largely lived in the shadows. From an unfashionable golfing nation – albeit one that is hosting the Ryder Cup in 2022 – and often rather disparagingly described as a ‘plodder’, Molinari has squeezed every ounce of talent he has in his stocky 5ft 8in frame. He has worked tirelessly over the last few years with his long-time coach Denis Pugh to get a vital few extra yards into his long game, and, with his stunning iron play, and increasingly deadly aim from inside ten feet, he has turned himself into one of the most consistent performers in world golf. Although a fierce competitor, Molinari is naturally shy, and will not relish the prospect of being the new focus of media attention as he quietly continues going about the business of winning tournaments – he now has six European Tour titles and one PGA Tour win to his name – and accumulating vast sums of cash. Having dedicated himself to the US tour for much of this season, in a bid to get into the FedEx Cup, the new world no.6 can at least now enjoy teeing it up wherever he chooses for many years to come. Italian fans will certainly be praying that he holds on to his powers long enough to play a part in festivities when the Ryder Cup rolls into Rome in four years time, but, one way or another, his achievements deserve to be celebrated in his home country. A statue in the Forum, perhaps? Although stroke play tournaments have little bearing on match play form, at least having stopped the run of five consecutive majors won by Americans, I think we can

499

INCL U FLIGH DES 4 RO TS + U OF G NDS OLF

MOLINARI MAY WAY HAIL FROM TURIN, AND FLY THE FLAG SO BRILLIANTLY AND SO MODESTLY FOR ITALY, BUT HE HAS MADE HIS FAMILY HOME IN LONDON, AND PRACTICES HIS GOLF AT THE WISLEY IN SURREY, SO WE CAN, AT LEAST PARTIALLY, CALL HIM ONE OF OUR OWN

PP

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enter Ryder Cup season with a good deal of confidence that Europe can ‘bring golf home’. With Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Noren, Jon Rahm, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton all currently in the automatic selection spots – and recent winners Russell Knox, Thorbjørn Olesen, Ian ‘Mr Ryder Cup’ Poulter waiting in the wings alongside Henrik Stenson – Thomas Bjørn’s team is shaping up nicely. But, as America’s top players so ably showed at Carnoustie, they travel a whole lot better than they used to, so we can expect another typically closely contested battle when they finally lock putters in Paris in September. Of course, there’s a whole lot more golf to be played between now and then, but, as ever, there’s as much fun to be had in the expectation and anticipation as there is in the event itself. So roll on September 25, but not too fast!

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TEL: 01273 381794 EMAIL: info@golfnews.co.uk WEBSITE: golfnews.co.uk FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @golfnewsmag INSTAGRAM: golfnewsmagazine MANAGING DIRECTOR Matt Nicholson matt@golfnews.co.uk EDITOR Nick Bayly editor@golfnews.co.uk ART DIRECTOR Darren Kirk dkirk@sky.com

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020 3150 1017 CyprusParadise.com/golfnews 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. ^Hold Luggage is included in the price on selected airlines only. **Fly, stay & play for free offer applies to Ercan airport arrivals only. All offers are subject to availability. Terms & Condiions apply.


[4]

SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief ESN TO HOST EUROPRO TOUR ★ East Sussex National is hosting

the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Fore Business Championship from August 15-17. The tournament is being held on the Uckfieldbased resort’s East Course, with tickets to watch the action free for spectators. Highlights of the event will be televised on Sky Sports. Anyone interested in helping out with marshalling or scoring should email Steve Graham at golf@eastsussexnational.co.uk.

WOODMAN WINS AT NORTH HANTS ★ Guy Woodman won the

inaugural North Hants Invitational Pro-Am by two strokes with a two-under-par 67. The Surrey player dropped just one shot, birdied the eighth, and eagled the 17th on his way victory over Purley Downs’s Matt Rice, who was two-under after 12, but dropped two shots over the closing stretch to finish on level par. Woodman also led his group to a clear victory in the team event.

The Grove Unveils Tour Truck Experience

T

he Grove has launched a new custom-fitting facility that introduces regular golfers to tour-inspired game analysis and equipment recommendations. Permanently on site at the Watford-based resort, the Tour Truck sits at the end of the Grove’s driving range and ■ EUROPEAN TOUR PLAYER DAVID HOWELL WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO ENJOY THE NEW TOUR TRUCK EXPERIENCE offers amateur golfers the opportunity to feel like a pro for the day, as they enjoy a one-tothem to the next level, and having our very own Tour Truck gives one custom fit from a PGA-qualified technician. our customers a very special experience." The 11-metre long truck, which has a sidewall that opens out She added: "Whether customers come for a bespoke club-fitting to provide a hitting platform onto the Grove's full-length driving service, a golf lesson or as part of a corporate event, the Tour Truck range, features cutting-edge technologies such as TrackMan, as will add to our first-class service and facilities to ensure we deliver well as hardware an outstanding all-round experience, on and off our championship support from leading golf course." brands including Head PGA Professional, Mike Shrieve, will manage the Tour Truck TaylorMade, Titleist Experience at The Grove, while one of the first VIP visitors was the and Mizuno. resort's golf ambassador and European Tour star, David Howell. Anna Darnell, Howell commented: "This is a fabulous new facility for customers Director of Golf and of The Grove to fine-tune their games and their equipment Leisure at The Grove, choices. For this level of technology and analysis to be accessible commented: "We in this way creates a memorable and enjoyable experience for all have always had the levels of player." desire to improve To book a custom fitting, email mike.shrieve@thegrove.co.uk our custom fitting or call 01923 296129. services and take

BLACKHEATH PRO RAISES £10K FOR LONGEST DAY CHALLENGE

Hatton

Lowers Course Record At Harleyford’s Monthly Medal

★ Royal Blackheath head

professional Matthew Johns played 100 holes with fellow professional Chris Brown and club golfer Martyn Rodden on June 21 to raise funds for a charity set up in memory of Chris Aked, Royal Blackheath’s former head professional, who died from bowel cancer last year aged 33. With support from members and friends, the three players succeeded in raising £10,000 for the Chris Aked Foundation, which offers counselling and support services for children with parents diagnosed with cancer.

PEERLESS PIERLEONI CAPTURES HERTS COLTS' TITLE ★ England squad member

Benjamin Pierleoni ran away with Hertfordshire Golf’s Colts Championship after shooting rounds of 68 and 67 for a fiveunder-par total at Harpenden Golf Club. The 15-year-old from Berkhamsted was the only player to break par in the 65-strong field and pulled an impressive eight shots clear of second-placed Reis Stuart (Welwyn Garden City), with Jack Slater (Letchworth) a further shot back in third.

Davies Delights In US Senior Open Win

LAURA DAVIES WON the inaugural US Senior Women's Open after a dominant display at Chicago Golf Club in Illinois. The 54-year-old from Surrey held a five-shot lead heading into the final round, and her advantage was never threatened, as she extended it to ten with a five-under-par closing round of 68. Davies avoided the trouble her main rivals found during the final round, making five birdies in a bogey-free round to close on 16 under, well clear of nearest challenger Juli Inkster, with Davies's former Solheim Cup team-mate Trish Johnson taking third. "It's great to be the first person to get my name on this trophy,” Davis said. “This

championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner – it’s a very proud moment for me.” Davies has kept up her competitive schedule on the LPGA Tour this season, playing in 12 events, with a best-placed finish of tied second at the Founders Cup. She has now won 85 professional tournaments around the world, but this was her first since 2010. She said: "I haven't won for eight years, and every year the pressure grows to prove to yourself that you still have what it takes to win. It's hard to compare tournament wins, but this victory ranks very high on my list of career achievements."

■ HOT SHOT: HATTON SHOT 62 IN HARLEYFORD’S MONTHLY MEDAL AFTER MISSING THE CUT AT THE ITALIAN OPEN

WINNING THE MONTHLY MEDAL at your home club is a tall order at the best of times, but it’s a few notches harder when a threetime European Tour winner happens to tee it up on a Saturday morning. That’s precisely what happened at Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow last month, when world No.23 Tyrrell Hatton put his name down for the monthly medal at his home club after missing the cut at the Italian Open, where he was the defending champion. Hatton nipped round Harleyford’s 6,903yard, par 72 course in an ‘unofficial’ course record of 62. He covered the front nine in 32 shots after four birdies, and came home in 30 with an eagle on the 10th, bagging four birdies to finish. Harleyford had hosted the EuroPro Tour’s Matchroom Sport Championship earlier that week, and that Saturday’s Medal was contested using the final round pins. England’s Billy Spooner won the EuroPro event with rounds of 69, 64 and 68 for a 15-under-par total. Hatton, who won the Dunhill Links title in 2016 and 2017, as well as the 2017 Italian Open, is currently top of the European Ryder Cup points list, and will likely make his Ryder Cup debut in September at Le Golf National.


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[6]

SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief

Cottesmore

■ GOLFERS WALKED IN FROM THE COURSE AFTER THE BLAZE TOOK HOLD OF THE CLUBHOUSE

Plans ‘Bright New Future’ After Being Hit By Fire YOUNG LIFTS HANTS MID AMATEUR ★ Justin Rose made a surprise

■ TEN FIRE ENGINES TACKLED THE FIRE

appearance at the tournament that bears his own name, when giving away the prizes at the Justin Rose Mid Amateur held at North Hants Golf Club on June 20. Martin Young (Brockenhurst Manor) took the title by an impressive six shots with rounds of 70 and 71. D Cook (Parkstone) took a distant second with scores of 76 and 71, with Colin Roope (Blackmoor) a further shot back in third.

LOWE ON A HIGH AT SENIOR STROKE PLAY ★ Leicestershire’s Helen Lowe

overcame a six-shot final round deficit to win the English Senior Stroke Play title at Belton Park in Lincolnshire. The England international from Scraptoft finished four shots clear of Norfolk’s Tracey Williamson (Royal Cromer) after closing with a one-under-par 71.

IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR AT ENMORE PARK ★ Enmore Park Golf Club has

C

ottesmore Golf and Country Club in West Sussex is looking to build a ‘bright new future’ after being badly damaged in a fire. Over 60 firefighters were called out to tackle the blaze, which broke out at the Pease Pottage-based club on the night of June 11. Dozens of people were evacuated as ten fire engines helped fight the flames, which engulfed the ground floor, first floor and the roof of the clubhouse. The fire destroyed half of the 19th century building, but thankfully no-one was injured. The pro shop and club offices, which occupy a separate building, were not damaged, nor were seven self-catering lodges that are located around the estate. The West Sussex ■ COTTESMORE'S GOLF Fire Service COURSES ARE OPEN FOR PLAY is currently conducting an investigation to discover the cause of the fire, but early attempts to survey the site were hampered by the dangerous nature of the structure.

Johnny Porter, Cottesmore’s general manager, said: “The family and I are devastated, but we feel so relieved that no one was hurt. We have had overwhelming support from members, guests, friends and family and rhave eceived hundreds of emails and messages. We can’t thank everyone enough for this incredible support.” The popular venue was due to host a number of weddings, receptions and golf functions this summer, including a wedding for a firefighter who helped put out the blaze. However, the damage has meant the club has been forced to cancel many of these and refund all deposits. For golfers, at least, it remains business as usual though, with the 27 holes open for play, with catering and clubhouse facilities offered in a range of temporary buildings. Porter added: “The golf course is in superb condition and we want to let golfers know that we are very much open for business. We are committed to rebuilding a bright new future at Cottesmore, and hope to have the clubhouse and hotel rebuilt over the next 18 months. But in the meantime, we are welcoming visiting golfers and societies to come and play.” The timing and seriousness of the fire comes as a bitter blow, as the family-owned venue had undergone a total refurbishment of the hotel, health club and function rooms over the last five years, while the golf courses have been reconfigured into a superb 27-hole facility.

appointed former assistant manager Simon Rendell as its new general manager, following the retirement of his father-inlaw Steve Varcoe. Varcoe, who joined the Somerset-based club

Gaunt

Seeks Sponsors To Get Tour Career Back On Track

as a member in 1994, and was appointed general manager in 2007, said: “I am sad to be retiring from a job that I have enjoyed doing very much, and will miss my daily involvement with everyone at Enmore. However I feel that Simon is the ideal person to take over the role. He has worked here for the past five years and knows the club and members very well. He has a variety of skills which relate to almost every aspect of the manager's role."

DORMER’S DELIGHT AT HANBURY ★ Phil Dormer captured the

Herts Mid Age Championship after compiling rounds of 71 and 70 at Hanbury Manor. The plus-two handicapper from Old Fold Manor was the only player to break par at the testing tour venue, and finished three shots clear of James Surridge (Centurion), with Tony Wilkins (Harpenden) a further six shots back in third.

SURREY-BASED former European Tour professional Daniel Gaunt is on the lookout for potential sponsors as he attempts to get his playing career back on track. The 39-year-old Australian, who lives in New Malden with his wife and four children, was a contemporary of Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy when he was competing back in his native country as a youngster, but while they went on to win major championships, Gaunt’s career has been successful, but somewhat less meteoric. Since turning professional in 1999, and qualifying for the European Tour in 2003, the Melbourne-born player has won almost €500,000 in prize money, but his four wins to date have come on the Euro Pro tour, which offers just £10,000 to the winner. After losing his European Tour card at the end of the 2011 season, Gaunt has been competing on the Challenge

and EuroPro Tours, and latterly the TP Tour, but now, as he prepares to turn 40, he is keen to get his career back on track. With few competitive opportunities, he has taken a greenkeeper’s job at Burhill Golf Club to help make ends meet, and is eager to find some a sponsor to help him rededicate himself to practising on the greens, rather than cutting them. Speaking exclusively to Golf News, Gaunt, who is also a member at Burhill, said: “Realistically, I need between

£20,000-£30,000 to get my playing career off the ground again. I’m currently working as a greenkeeper, but I need to be spending all of my time practicing if I’m to be able to concentrate 100 per cent on getting my game in shape to compete.” He added: “I’m looking for potential sponsors, either one person or a group of individuals, or perhaps a local company, that is willing to invest in me. In return, I can offer a percentage of my winnings, offer branding on my clothing, bag and hat, and help promote businesses through my various social media channels. I am also happy to host corporate golf days, swing clinics, or play one-to-one games, and generally make myself available to those that are willing to support me.” He added: “I work seriously hard, and genuinely believe that if I can get the right level of financial backing, I can get myself back to the elite level.” If you would like to get in touch with Daniel, drop him an email at dangauntgolf@yahoo.co.uk, or call 07725 893598.

Sweetwoods Up For Sale

SWEETWOODS Park Golf Club in East Sussex has been put up for sale with a guide price of £2.95 million. The club, which occupies a 172-acre estate between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells on the Surrey/Kent border, boasts an 18-hole golf course, a detached clubhouse, professional shop and greenkeepers’ complex, and a 16thcentury six-bedroom farmhouse. Ian Simpson, director in the leisure property department at Savills, which is handling the sale of the club, commented: “Sweetwoods Park is an attractive lifestyle ownership proposition, combining a substantial period house with a golf business which generates significant income. A compact, well located country estate of this nature in an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty is likely to attract a broad range of purchasers with diverse range of ideas for its future.”


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2nd August – 5th August 2018

Free course entry Parking £10 per car, in aid of charity

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INTERVIEW | SUMMER 2018 [9] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

HOME TO THE FOREST COURSE HAMPSHIRE’S OLDEST COURSE

5 MINUTES WITH…

MATT WALLACE

Three-time European Tour winner Matt Wallace answers our quick questions about all the important things in life, from putting tips to favourite condiments

Have you had to reassess your goals for this season after winning the Indian Open and the BMW International? I had planned on setting some goals at the start of the year, but quickly scrapped them and just set out to play as well as possible. It’s been incredible to win twice already this season, and hopefully I can carry this form into some of the bigger events and really make a move. It’s certainly given me the confidence to do that.

Mid-round snack? I generally eat bananas, apples and energy bars, and drink lots of water. What’s your nickname on Tour? Wally. By name and nature!

Family-owned and set within the stunning surroundings of the New Forest, Bramshaw Golf Club is home to not just one, but two 18-hole courses – including the oldest golf course in Hampshire.

Winter Society Golf Green fees from £23 (Forest Course) or £33 (Manor Course)

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and We offer host of membership Wetooffer suit aallhost needs of membership and pockets lunch options todinner suit all needs and pockets Whos'athe biggest laugh on tour? options Have you allowed yourself to even think about It’s got to be Beef – Andrew Johnson. I played with qualifying for the Ryder Cup? including our NEW membership categories including from ourApril NEW 2018 membership categories from April • Easy to reach – just 1 mile from M27 (J1) 2018 him during the final round at the Indian Open, so It wasn’t a realistic goal at the start of the year, but I’ll it was pretty serious in that play off, but he’s such a keep on pushing and see where it takes me. I had a • FirstAnnual class facilities – Pro shop and Clubhouse New membership New membership Annual great character and has really opened up the game tweet from Thomas Bjorn last month congratulating me Play Play categories categories subscription subscription to new audiences. on the BMW win, so who knows? It would be a dream come true to play in it – even it’s not to be this year. Unlimited play on Unlimited play on What’s your favourite tour stop? Forest Course plus ability to Forest Course plus ability to Forest Legacy membership* Legacy membership* Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship. It’sForest a What advice would you pass on to a wannabe Matt play in club competitions and £295 play in club competitions and £295 (fortournament ages 22-35) local for me, so there are lots of family (for ages 22-35) Wallace? gain or maintain a recognised gain or maintain a recognised and friends out there supporting me. On top of that, Make sure you play against players that are older and England Golf handicap England Golf handicap the crowds are amazing, and the condition of the better than you. It really helped my game and my course is always top notch. attitude when I was starting out in the amateur ranks. Forest Course only Unlimited play Forest on Course the only Unlimited play on the £425 £425 And don’t be afraid to lose. What doesn’t kill you makes (age 36 years +) Forest Course, 365(age days36 peryears year+) Forest Course, 365 days per year you stronger.

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What does your practice routine entail? It’s hard to recreate the pressures of playing on tour when you are hitting balls on the range or practising your putting, so I try to introduce as much pressure as I can into my drills. For instance, I’ll have to hole ten six-foot putts in a row, or hit five fairways in a row, or whatever. I also focus on working on my weaknesses, not my strengths.

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JUG Unlimited play on both Unlimited play on both DRAW OR FADE? Emergency Services &FADE Emergency Services & the Manor & Forest Courses, £895 the Manor & Forest Courses, £895 OR STROKEPLAY? ArmedMATCHPLAY Forces membership Armed Forces membership 365 days per year 365 days per year STROKEPLAY DRIVE OR PUTT? PUTT Stay & Play packages available at our sister-hotel, LINKS COURSE OR PARKLAND? Discover Bramshaw Discover Bramshaw situated across the carFirst-class park from the Golf Club PARKLAND No joining feeBACON OR SAUSAGE SANDWICH? First-class No joining Clubhouse fee facilities and Clubhouse facilities and Top tip for amateurs? extensively stocked Pro-Shop extensively stocked Pro-Shop Concentrate on your fundamentals – ball Two distinct 18-hole Two distinct 18-hole courses including BACONcourses including position, grip and alignment – and hopefully the oldest golfRED course Hampshire the oldest golfone course Hampshire to reach, mileinfrom M27 (J1) Easy to reach, one mile from M27 (J1) ORin BROWN SAUCE: RED Easy everything will fall into place from there. SMART OR SPORTS CASUAL? T: 02380 813433 SHIRT AND TIE T: 02380 813433 E: golf@bramshaw.co.uk www.bramshaw.co.uk T: 02380 813433 E: golf@bramshaw.co.uk www.bramshaw.co.uk E: golf@bramshaw.co.uk Favourite post-round meal on tour? COFFEE OR TEA? TEA Golf Club, New Forest, Hampshire Bramshaw SO43 7HE Golf Club, Bramshaw, New Forest, Hampshire SO43 7HE I like to eat the local food where possible. I had a curry Bramshaw NIGHT IN Bramshaw, OR NIGHT OUT? NIGHT OUT www.bramshaw.co.uk

every night at the Indian Open!

Bramshaw Golf Club, Bramshaw, New Forest, Hampshire SO43 7HE


[10] JULY 2018 | COMPETITION GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

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NEWS | SUMMER 2018

[11]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Old Thorns Date For

Peter Alliss Masters T

he Peter Alliss Masters, one of the best supported charity events of the season, returns to Old Thorns Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort in September, with teams invited to take part to help raise funds to buy powered wheelchairs for disabled children. The tournament, which was first launched in 1975, and became the Peter Alliss Masters in 1988, has raised over £1.5m over the last three decades, and last year alone raised £10,000 – enough to fund 10 bespoke wheelchairs, which were donated to children with limited mobility. As well as the 100 or so players that take part

Caddington Reopens After Major Transformation

in the tournament, the charity has also been supported by a wide range of golf clubs and professional golfers over the years, with Lee Trevino and Fuzzy Zoeller among many tour players to have personally donated wheelchairs, while Seve Ballesteros provided funds to give away 17 wheelchairs.

CADDINGTON GOLF CLUB in Bedfordshire reopened to the public on July 9 following several years of extensive redevelopment work. Located minutes from the M1, near Luton, the previous club has been completely transformed, resulting in a remodelled 6,011-yard, 18-hole course and a nine-hole,

1,424-yard academy course. Extended to USGA standard, the 18hole course has newly constructed greens, tees, fairways, bunkers and water hazards. The mammoth project at the Chiltern Hills venue was overseen by golf course architect Jonathan Gaunt and golf course shaper Ian Futcher. The original nine-hole course, which was formerly known as the Griffin Golf Club, was owned by Vauxhall Motors, and served employees of the nearby Luton car plant. Extended to 18 holes in the early 1990s, the 140-acre site was bought by McGee Construction Group in 2008, with

This year’s event, which takes place on September 20, will be an 18-hole Stableford competition. After golf, chairs purchased by the charity will be handed over to their families. Following the presentation, there will be pre-dinner drinks and a gala dinner, followed by celebrity speakers and the presentation of the green jacket for the winning man, and the green pashmina for the winning lady. If you or your club would like to take part or sponsor the event, please email Jackie@ alliss-promotions.co.uk.

the aim of making a substantial investment to upgrade facilities, bringing the club in line with recognised standards for golf, and enabling it to compete with other venues in the area. The redevelopment has included providing wildlife habitats, and the planting of more than 6,000 trees, including oak, hornbeam, hazel and wild cherry, along with other plants and wildflowers as part of McGee’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. Gaunt said: “Around two thirds of the site is brand new, while the remaining third has been tweaked. The result is a full-size 18-hole course, plus a

nine-hole academy loop comprised of one par four and eight par threes. Eight holes on the main course are entirely new, while three more have been substantially altered. On the academy course, six holes are new, while three have been rebuilt.” The site will soon include a nine-hole FootGolf course and a new chipping area. Head greenkeeper Adam Henderson said: “The FootGolf course adds another dimension – if parents want to play golf, children can enjoy FootGolf, which combines football and golf skills, using your feet to get a football into holes the size of a bucket using only your feet.”

SOCIETY GOLF AT MOOR PARK 36 hole championship venue Winter packages from £55 Summer packages from £85 For more information, please call 01923 773146 or email enquiries@moorparkgc.co.uk

InBrief CROCKETTS STAR AT ENGLISH SCHOOLS' CHAMPS ★ Charlie Crockett and his younger brother Harry, both students at Oxted School in Surrey, finished first and third respectively at English Schools' National Golf Championships held at The Shire London. Charlie shot two rounds of 72 to win the Boys’ Championship by one shot from Ben Schmidt of Penistone Grammar in Yorkshire, with 16-year-old brother Harry a further shot behind in third with rounds of 72 and 74. Charlie had a stunning start to his morning round, achieving a hole-inone with his opening shot of the day at the 175-yard first hole. The brothers, who are members at Addington Palace in Surrey, have now qualified to represent English Schools in the international matches against Scotland and Wales being held in August and September.

WOLDHAM PAIR WIN LOMBARD QUALIFIER ★ Worldham Golf Club PGA pro Steve Cowle and amateur partner Ben Homewood booked a place in the Lombard Trophy final in Portugal after winning the qualifier held at Walton Heath. The Hampshire pair’s 10-underpar 62, saw them finish one shot clear of four other teams and secure a place in the National Pro-Am grand final, which will be played at Vila Sol in the Algarve from September 20-21.


[12] SUMMER 2018 | FEATURE GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

swing studio, which boasts advanced swing analysis technology, including Foresight Sports’ GCQuad launch monitor, to create a top quality teaching and practice facility. The studio is mainly used for lessons and club fittings, but is also available to hire by the hour for individual practice or group games on a simulator with a 5m x 3m screen. The club offers a wide range of membership options, with seven-day membership offered in five different age groups, starting from an eminently affordable £445 for those aged 18-23, rising on a sliding scale to £1,625 for 35s and over. In addition to the 1895 Club, Bush Hill members can also enjoy reduced rates at more than 300 other Braid-designed courses, while the Middlesex County Golf card also offers up to a 50% discount on green fees at over 700 courses in the UK, making membership an even more attractive proposition.

■ 17TH HOLE AT BUSH HILL PARK

■ A NEW SPRINKER SYSTEM HAS HELPED TO MAINTAIN QUALITY PLAYING SURFACES

■ BUSH HILL PARK WELCOMES VISITORS

■ A VIEW OF THE 17TH HOLE FROM BEHIND THE GREEN

course as they are, while jeans are allowed throughout the clubhouse. Although the golf course itself is not long by modern standards, measuring 5,776-yards from the competition tees, its par of 70, and a sextet of tricky par threes and four lengthy par fives, all ensure that players must bring their ‘A game’ to score well here. Some of the fairways are narrow, tree-lined affairs, although it broadens out in places to enable big hitters to open their shoulders on the par fives, three of which are well over 500 yards long. The closing stretch of holes – 13-18 – is especially memorable, with water coming into play on the par-four 17th. All in all, it’s an entertaining mix that will provide a challenge to all elements of your game in delightfully peaceful surroundings. For those looking to raise their game, whether it be through coaching and/or new equipment, the pro shop is run by experienced PGA Professional Danny Hill, who joined the club last year, ably assisted by PGA professional Nicola Bennett. Both are experienced coaches, and can offer lessons to all levels of player. The club has recently opened a state-of-the-art

Five-day membership costs a flat rate of £1,295 for weekday play and bank holidays, while a new credit-based Lifestyle membership was launched earlier this year, which provides a more flexible way to enjoy Bush Hill Park. Offering seven-day access to the course and full member benefits, an initial payment of £650 provides 260 credits, which can be used to book tee times and play in all club competitions. Credits can be topped up as and when required and have no time limit for use. The club also has a very active junior section, and currently offers free membership for the first year, along with a structured coaching programme of group and individual lessons. All told, Bush Hill Park has all the right ingredients for a very special golf club and a very happy membership, and with the sprinklers continuing to work their magic, looks set to do so for many years to come.

COURSE REVIEW COURSE REVIEW

BUSH HILL PARK GOLF CLUB, LONDON N21 Boasting a classic James Braid-designed parkland course and a stunning clubhouse, Bush Hill Park Golf Club is just 11 miles from central London and has been providing the citizens of North London with a golfing home from home for over 120 years and counting

T

he members at Bush Hill Park are lucky blighters. Not only do they get to play their delightful parkland course as often as they like, but they’re also allowed to take their pick from the other 46 clubs around the world that are signed up to the 1895 Club, a collection of golfing venues that were also founded 123 years ago. Close to home, that includes the likes of Goring & Streatley in Oxfordshire; Crowborough Beacon in East Sussex; Reigate Heath in Surrey; and Frinton in Essex; while those willing to jump on a plane for 24 hours can also enjoy a courtesy round at Royal Perth in Australia, should the fancy take them. While the big party is being saved for 2020, when the club reaches its quasquicentennial anniversary (that’s 125th, in case you were wondering) there is plenty for the members to celebrate in 2018 – most significantly the installation of a brand new irrigation system, the 300 sprinklers for which came online just a few weeks before the summer heat wave hit the UK last month. Talk about timely. This £300,000 investment has already payed dividends, with course conditions kept playable, and the greens saved from being turned into browns, thanks to the state-of-theart system, which can be micro-managed by head greenkeeper Graham Careford from an iPad in the comfort of his office. All this high-tech wizardry would probably make Harry Vardon and James Braid, the golf

course’s original designers, feel more than a tinge of envy, and its certainly helped Bush Hill Park ensure that quality playing conditions are maintained throughout the season. The 18-hole course is neatly contained in just under 100 acres of suburban parkland, which is only a few minutes’ walk from Enfield town centre and a short drive from the M25. On reaching the club’s gates, the first-time visitor can’t fail to be impressed by the sweeping driveway that leads through beautiful grounds to the majestic clubhouse, the Old Park Mansion, a listed building that has been home to its members since 1922. The clubhouse provides an impressive venue for all occasions, with function rooms of various sizes, three bars, a restaurant and spacious changing rooms. There is a large patio at the front of the building, overlooking the 18th green, and a veranda at the rear overlooking the first tee, both of which provide great places to sit outside with a drink in the sunshine, and make the club the perfect place to spend time, whether or not you’re playing golf. Although the club upholds the traditions of a private members’ club, it also welcomes visitors and societies to enjoy its fantastic facilities, with pre-bookable tee times available for £30 during the week and £40 at weekends, while society packages start from £45pp. The dress code is very relaxed, with a spike bar where golfers are able to come in off the

To discuss membership opportunities, please call Jenny Benge on 020 3146 9892 or visit www.bhpgc.com.

■ THE PAR-3 13TH HOLE


[14] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief

Kings Hill

SLATER PIPS FULLER TO MATCH PLAY TITLE ★ Yorkshire teenager Nicola Slater won the English Women’s Open Match Play Championship after beating Surrey’s Annabel Fuller in the final held at Kirby Muxloe Golf Club in Leicestershire. Salter, from Lindrick, was three under par after 12 holes, and eased to a comfortable 3&2 win over her rival from Roehampton when making a birdie at the 16th. In the semi-final against Trentham’s Emily Brennan, Slater was two holes down after 12, but battled back to close out the game on the 17th. It was Slater’s first individual national title and she adds it to the prestigious Bridget Jackson Bowl, which she won by five shots a week earlier.

Female Golfers Find Their Feet At

oxhills Club & Resort in Surrey opened its doors to a cross-section of women golfers at a special introductory women's golf day last month. The Surrey resort welcomed more than 30 women – ranging from teenagers to grandmothers – to learn the basic techniques and take their first steps in the game. While some had limited experience of golf, most had never even swung a club before. But the event proved a huge success, with several participants signing up for more coaching sessions, and some keen to take up membership at the Chobham-based venue. Foxhills assistant professional Lauren Blease said: "It was fantastic to see women genuinely engaged in golf, especially as many of them had never really thought about playing before. Most of the women had never played at all, while some had had a little experience a few years ago, but never really taken up the sport properly.” She added: "We already have ten women signed up for group coaching sessions, and several have enquired about memberships. We saw plenty of raw talent on the day, and hopefully they will go on to become regular golfers in the future. Like anyone who decides to take up the sport, they just need some encouragement and some coaching, and they will flourish." As part of the experience, there was a one-hour ‘Pilates for Golf’ session hosted by Linda Segerstam of The Intelligent Core, which underlined the health benefits of improving core stability and flexibility, while the women also indulged in Foxhills' award-wining spa facilities. Blease said: "We just want to break down a few of those barriers when it comes to encouraging women to take up golf, and they will have seen that it's fun, good exercise and a challenging sport. There's also the great social side of it too." Foxhills is planning a second women's golf day later in the year, but spaces are currently available to join women-only group coaching sessions for beginners. To book a place, call 01932 704465 or email lblease@foxhills.co.uk.

Foxhills

HARM LIFTS LADIES AMATEUR TITLE ★ Leonie Harm restored some German national sporting pride at Hillside Golf Club, as she became the first player from her country to lift the Ladies Amateur Championship trophy. The 20-year-old from Stuttgart defeated American Stephanie Lau 3&2 at the Lancashire links to win the 18-hole final in hot and sunny conditions at Southport, and book a spot in the starting field of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in August. As a result of her victory she also gains exemptions into the 2018 Evian Championship, next year’s US Women’s Open, and the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019. Harm also helped Germany to win the international team award with an aggregate team score of 290.

F

GOLFERS had to be evacuated from Kings Hill Course Hit By Fire Golf Club in Kent on July 9 after a fire broke out on the course during the middle of the day. Eagle-eyed staff saw smoke rising next to the ninth tee after the smell of burning filled the course. The blaze came just days after the club issued a smoking ban on the course due to dry grass caused by the ongoing hot weather. Golf club spokesperson Karen Kelso said: “Our staff were watching from the clubhouse through binoculars to make sure no one was smoking – that's when they saw it. The smoke was horrendous. The only reason it was controlled so quickly was thanks to our staff – it could have been so much worse. It was quite windy, and as we have homes near our boundary, the danger factor was huge." The club fears the fire may have been started intentionally after four youths were spotted leaving the scene on bikes. Although a sizeable area was damaged, the course was able to reopen the following day. A spokesperson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service said: "Every year we are called to fires that destroy acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. The dry weather that Kent is experiencing at the moment means it is especially important to take extra care. Grass fires can travel very quickly and change direction without warning. They can get out of hand fast and lead to extensive damage.”

EPSOM GOLF CLUB Experience Golf ’s Heritage, founded 1889

The Perfect Venue for Golf Days & Societies, set in the Surrey Countryside

Our impeccable 18 hole golf course, with stunning countryside views, is an ideal venue to host a golf day. From golf societies and corporate hospitality to team building and personal celebrations, we love nothing more than laying on a golf day to remember and offer a range of flexible options.

Summer Packages from £30.00 Sutton Green Golf Club, New Lane, Sutton Green, Nr Guildford, Surrey GU4 7QF. Telephone: 01483 747898 Email: admin@suttongreengc.co.uk

Play a unique downland course in Surrey, with excellent year-round greens and stunning panoramic views.

Full English Breakfast, Coffee & Golf Tuesday-Thursday £35 Friday-Sunday £40

Bacon Rolls, Coffee, Golf & Light Lunch Tuesday-Thursday £40 Friday-Sunday £45

Golf & 2 Course Dinner Tuesday-Thursday £43 Friday-Sunday £48

All Society bookings include a FREE nearest-the-pin golf simulator competition. Special rates from £22.50 available Mondays after 11am, excludes Bank Holidays. Organisers of societies with 16 or more players plays free on the day and receives a complimentary 2 ball voucher.

www.epsomgolfclub.co.uk - 01372 741867

EPSOM GOLF CLUB

www.suttongreengc.co.uk

Longdown Lane South, Epsom Downs, Surrey KT17 4JR T: 01372 741867 E: stuartwalker@epsomgolfclub.co.uk


COMPETITION | SUMMER 2018

[15]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

WIN A FOUR-BALL AT WOBURN AND TICKETS TO SEE THE 2018 TRAVIS PERKINS MASTERS

W

oburn Golf Club has long been acclaimed as an inland golfing paradise, straddling the Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire border, and just a stone’s throw from the famous Woburn Abbey and renowned Safari Park. The original lay-out at Woburn, the highly regarded Duke’s Course, will stage the Travis Perkins Masters for the 11th consecutive year from August 31-September 2, and Golf News has teamed up with the Staysure Tour and Woburn Golf Club to offer readers the chance to win a free fourball on this superb course. It’s a great day out in surroundings that are second to none, and you can enjoy this experience with three friends, courtesy of Golf News and the organisers. And no matter when you book your tee time to play the Duke’s, we are offering the winner four free tickets to attend the final day’s action on Sunday, September 2. Additionally, we have five pairs of tickets for September 2 to give away to five lucky runners-up.

THE TRAVIS PERKINS MASTERS AT WOBURN The Travis Perkins Masters at Woburn Golf Club is one of the most popular and long-running events on the Staysure Tour – the perfect occasion to experience first-hand the course where the leading senior professionals will be competing for the £57,000 first prize from August 3-September 2. This year is the 11th consecutive time that the £380,000 tournament, sponsored by the UK’s largest builders merchant, has been played over the acclaimed Duke’s Course. Among the list of champions is 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, who completed a hat-trick of successes between 2013 and 2015, along with Des Smyth of Ireland and England’s Carl Mason, with two wins apiece.

■ WOBURN GOLF CLUB

England’s Philip Golding produced a stunning comeback from seven shots behind in the final round last year to win his fourth title on the Staysure Tour, and the former French Open champion from Bushey in Hertfordshire will return to defend his crown this year. The Duke’s Course is flanked by pine, birch and chestnut trees and has a reassuring, intimate feel, with each hole secluded from the others. It is pleasing on the eye but represents a fine challenge which has brought numerous men’s and women’s tournaments to the Club. The picturesque inland location of Woburn attracts large and

■ PHIL GOLDING WON THE TP MASTERS IN 2017

enthusiastic galleries to the Travis Perkins Masters, with a total of around 250,000 spectators enjoying the spectacle down the years. The ambience is enhanced by the fact that the compact tented village is ideally situated close to the clubhouse, putting green, first tee and 18th green, affording the crowds the opportunity to experience all that the village has to offer.

ORDER YOUR TICKETS NOW To celebrate Travis Perkins’ 11 consecutive years at Woburn – and 15 years in total as a title sponsor - entry to the public will be free of charge for one day only on Friday, August 31. Following ‘Free Friday’, the advance daily admission will be £10 on Saturday and Sunday, compared to the gate price of £15. Preferential parking close to the tented village and 1st and 18th holes – which must be booked in advance – is charged at £10 per car on all three tournament days. All other public parking is free of charge all week. To book, visit www.europeantour.com/tickets.

TO ENTER

QUESTION

For the chance to win a midweek fourball on the Duke’s Course with lunch (excluding alcoholic drinks) and tickets to the final day of the Travis Perkins Masters, answer the question below and email your answer to info@golfnews.co.uk, with ‘Travis Perkins Masters Competition’ in the subject line. Please include a contact telephone number, address and details of where you picked up your copy of Golf News. The closing date for entries is August 20, 2018.

How many years has the Travis Perkins Masters been played over the Duke’s Course at Woburn? a) 5 b) 11 c) 8

Golf breaks of any size and ability are very much welcome here at Heythrop Park. Our challenging course and spectacular scenery makes playing the Bainbridge Course a true delight and discovery. We offer a choice of two hotels for you to stay in, together with a choice of three bars and three restaurants to enjoy after a great game.

Stay and Play the course at Heythrop Park on a Sunday and pay from just £99pp The Sunday Driver rate is applicable all year round and includes a 3 course set menu in our restaurant, overnight accommodation with full English breakfast and 2 rounds of golf! Accommodation is provided in either the 4* Crowne Plaza hotel or Heythrop Park hotel’s 4* Archer bedrooms

To book call Reservations 01608 673 333 or email reservations@heythroppark.co.uk Heythrop Park Resort, Enstone, Chipping Norton OX7 5UF www.heythroppark.co.uk

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Entrants must be 18 or over. The winner will be notified immediately after the closing date of the competition. The midweek fourball must be booked in advance with the club.


[16] SUMMER 2018 FEATURE GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

1. Superb Course Opened in 1914, and designed by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler of Walton Heath and Pebble Beach fame, the 6,200-yard parkland course is not long, but the undulating nature of the topography, clever bunkering, narrow fairways, several dog-legs, and testing approaches, ensure that all elements of your game are examined and birdies are well earned. There is a fabulous quartet of par threes, including the 170-yard seventh, which is played across a valley to a raised green. The short holes all offer an opportunity for good scoring, although getting four pars is easier said than done. The greens are presented in excellent condition all year round, even during the recent heatwave and the wettest of winters. A tip for visitors is to remember that many of the straightest-looking putts may not be quite as simple as they seem! And with no two holes alike, and some interesting changes in elevation, it’s a course that you’ll want to come back to again and again.

REASONS

SHIRLEY PARK

2. Handy Location Located just 12 miles from central London, and one mile from East Croydon train station, the club boasts excellent transports links, with the A232 right on the doorstep. Despite its urban location, the protection provided by mature trees from all sides ensures the 130-acre site offers an oasis of green tranquillity.

3 First-Class Hospitality The club 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

TO PLAY

GOLF CLUB Boasting a historic parkland course and a charming clubhouse, there are plenty of reasons to visit Shirley Park Golf Club in Croydon

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 dropdown screen ensures there’s always a lively atmosphere whenever there is sport to be watched on TV.

4. Visitors Welcome

Whether your first contact is with the club’s general manager, Steve Murphy, and his team, or via the Pro Shop run by Head PGA Professional Mick Taylor, every effort will be made to ensure that your visit is an enjoyable and memorable one. The friendliness of the members contributes to the feel-good factor, both on the course and in the clubhouse. The club does not operate a tee booking system for members, but visitors can book online, and are welcome throughout the week, and after 2pm at weekends, with green fees starting from £38 for 18 holes.

5. Special Membership Offers There is currently no joining fee, with seven-day membership (which includes a free 12-month membership for a partner) costing £1504 and five-day from £1158 Those aged under 33 receive a special discount. The club accepts memberships all year round, with new members paying pro-rata for the months of membership based on a golf year of June 1 to May 31. The current offer for new members includes a £150 pro shop voucher, plus a free golf lesson.

INFORMATION EMAIL STEVE.MURPHY@SHIRLEYPARKGOLFCLUB.CO.UK OR CALL 020 8654 1143. FOR VISITOR GREEN FEE BOOKINGS, CALL 020 8654 8767 OR BOOK ONLINE AT WWW.SHIRLEYPARKGOLFCLUB.CO.UK.


NEWS | SUMMER 2018

[17]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Raitt Lifts Kingswood Pro-Am Crown

Kim Wins Surrey Junior Titles

TEN-YEAR-OLD Kris Kim became the youngest ever winner of the Surrey U14 and U13 titles when shooting a seven-over-par 78 at Leatherhead Golf Club. The Cuddington youngster, who could only finish second in last month’s Surrey U12s Championship, went one better in the two older age categories, beating David Razinskas (Windlesham) by two shots, with the U12s champion Leo Vorobyev, also from Widlesham, a further shot back in third. Kris’s score was also good enough to win the U14s age group, with Wentworth’s Rocky Chapman taking second spot on countback from David Razinskas after the pair both shot 79. The handicap competition saw a three-way tie with Thierry Boucher (Horton Park), Harvey Skelly (Betchworth Park) and Max Saunders (Walton Heath), after all three players shots nett 67s. Boucher won on countback, with Skelly taking second place.

PGA SURREY champion Andy Raitt showed a clean pair of heels to his colleagues as he delivered a five-under-par 67 to claim the Kingswood Charity Pro-Am on July 6. Finishing two strokes ahead of James Ablett and Chris Gane, the St George’s Hill man took home £800

after pipping the two lefthanders to the title. Raitt commented: “It’s turning into a nice season for me so far, and June was particularly good. I played well at the English PGA Championship at Saunton, finishing third, and had a couple of 66s at Betchworth and Surbiton. The 67 here at Kingswood should have been better, as I double bogeyed the fourth, but seven birdies elsewhere more than made up for that!”

This year’s Kingswood Pro-Am was particularly poignant, as it came just two months after the death of one of the region’s great golf supporters, Tom Hilliard, the original driving force behind the group that owns Kingswood and Silvermere. It was largely thanks to him that Kingswood saw a renaissance over the past 30 years, crowned by the addition of bedrooms in The Lodge at Kingswood three years ago.

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Surrey Ladies Scoop South Region Championship

SURREY’S COUNTY LADIES’ TEAM County Week at Hockley Golf Club in Hampshire to become the 2018 South Region champions and earn in their place in the national finals at Royal North Devon Golf Club in September. The team of 12 players were drawn from nine different clubs in Surrey and consisted of Tana Churchill, Katie Laud, Kim Munro, Debbie Richards, Alice Spani-Molella, Nicola Taylor, together with six under 18’s - Jess Adams, Rafiah Banday, Lauren Gooding, Ellie Lace, Martha Lewis and Canice Screene. They all played their part, showing determination and strength in all the matches. They beat Middlesex 51/2-31/2, Sussex 6-3 and Hampshire 6-3 to win the championship with a day to spare, and went out on a high after beating Kent 5 -4 on the final day. Laud, Adams and Gooding finished the week unbeaten.

LADIES STYLE: WESTCLIFF 115182-09

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[18] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Releasing Equity

InBrief DEVEN’S IN SEVENTH HEAVEN ★ Reigate Hill’s Deven Gungaloo

won the Surrey Schools Boys’ Championship after shooting a nett 66 at Bletchingley Golf Club on July 2. The ten-handicapper finished six shots in front of Jack Holmwood (Mannings Heath), with Edward Dimayuga (Walton Heath) a further two shots back in third. Gungaloo also won the gross prize, as his total of 76 was one better than Holmwood, who plays off five. The tournament attracted a field of 51 players, with handicaps ranging from plus-two to nineteen.

VANDYKE HAS THE UPPER HAND AT NATIONAL SCHOOLS’ FINALS

Could Be A Hole-In-One For You

G

olf remains one of Britain’s most beloved pastimes, and many over-55s dream of a retirement filled with leisurely afternoons spent on the course. However, scores of retirees are finding that, due to an unfortunate combination of rising costs of living and low-interest rates, their incomes are under-delivering. Through no fault of their own, they find their budget is stretched and there is less money to go around in general, let alone for their favourite pursuit. If this sounds like at an all too familiar story, then regulated equity release plans could be an innovative way of boosting your finances. Long-term house price growth across the nation means that many are finding their homes represent particularly shrewd investments and are looking to leverage their property wealth. This has seen the popularity of a specialist mortgage, known as a lifetime mortgage, soar. If you are a UK homeowner, aged 55 or over, then a lifetime mortgage could allow you regulated access to a portion of your home’s value tax-free. The loan is secured against the value of your property, and you and your partner remain the full and legal owners for life. There are no required monthly payments – the interest simply builds up over time

and is repaid, along with the outstanding balance, through the sale of your home once it is no longer your primary residence. Lifetime plans provided by Equity Release Council-approved lenders feature multiple customer safeguards to give you complete peace of mind. There is the no negative equity guarantee, which ensures that you will never owe more than the value of your home, and that you will never be able to pass on lifetime mortgage debt. Accessing a portion of your home’s value now, naturally means there may be less available in the future, therefore this may reduce the value of your estate. An adviser can provide you with a personalised illustration, so you can explore plans, which allow you to control the impact of a lifetime mortgage on your estate. These can help you alleviate the build-up of interest and assist you in understanding how releasing equity could potentially affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. The tax-free funds you release from a lifetime mortgage are yours to spend as you see fit. They are commonly used to deal with a range of financial hurdles, including clearing an existing mortgage, gifting an early inheritance, renovating your home, or simply boosting your retirement income. Free of financial concerns and restricting monthly payments, you could find yourself with both the time and money to work on your handicap or travel to far-flung golf getaways the world over. For a free, no-obligation chat about what a lifetime mortgage can do for your unique situation, call equity release specialist Jeff Harris on 0800 062 2141.

★ Vandyke Upper School

in Bedfordshire won the English Schools National Championships after compiling a team score of 76 over the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa. The Leighton Buzzard-based college beat Gravesend Grammar in Kent by three shots, with Thomas Telford School in Shropshire taking third on countback with 72. Vandyke’s winning team comprised Brandon Waddington, Edward Stephenson and Andres Valentine.

Corfield Captures Assistant’s Title At Fiery Farleigh

BURNHAM & BERROW’S Lee Corfield remained cool at sun-baked Farleigh Golf Club to join the likes of Tony Jacklin and Peter Alliss as winner of the PGA’s Assistants’ Championship. The Somerset player’s margin of victory in the £32,000 Birdietimesupported competition was two shots, but that did not reflect the intensity of a duel with Hertfordshire’s James Watts, which lasted

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until the 17th hole. Watts set off on the third and final round two pairings ahead of Corfield, and four shots adrift of him, but chipped away at the tournament leader’s advantage. By the time Corfield reached the turn, Watts had trimmed his lead to one, and when the pursuer birdied the 16th, the pair were level. But then a triple bogey by the challenger at the par-four 17th left Corfield

knowing what he had to do to claim the £5,000 first prize. Having opted for caution off the tee, to avoid dunking his ball in the penal rough, he arrived at the 18th green with the comfort of having four putts for victory. He needed three, but the ball defiantly perched on the hole’s rim following the second, forcing him to tap it home for the win. All of which added up

to a one-under-par 71 and a 54-hole sevenunder-par score of 209 for the assistant pro who is yet to embark on his PGA training. Reflecting on his victory, he said: “I’m very proud to win this trophy – there are some famous names on there. This was my first Assistants’ event, so I’m delighted to win it. I start my PGA course in October, so I’ve got another three goes at this!”

Waterlooville GOLF CLUB

“If you haven’t played it, put it on your bucket list! The friendliness of the welcome, the presentation of the course and the quality of the greens were all outstanding.” – ANDRA, GLOUCESTERSHIRE TEAM CAPTAIN

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Waterlooville Golf Club has continued to receive similar feedback all year and was very proud to host the English Women’s County Finals in September 2016. We would be delighted towelcome your golf societyto Waterlooville Golf Club in 2018. Contact us today to book your next golf day.

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NEWS | SUMMER 2018

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Golding

InBrief

Eyes Up Travis Perkins Defence

FULLBROOK FLIES HOMES AT ESSENDON

H

Heath

Charges Home At Sir Henry Cooper Masters

ENGLAND TEENAGER Charlotte Heath saved her best until last to record a four-shot win in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters at Nizels Golf Club in Kent. The 16-year-old from Huddersfield shot a five-under-par 67 – her best competitive round to date – to win the girls’ title, ahead of Amy Taylor and Darcey Harry. It was an impressive achievement by Heath, who just made the cut following rounds of 74 and 82, but then powered up the leaderboard with closing rounds of 77 and 67. She finished on 12 over par and was joined in the winners’ circle by her fellow England team members Enrique Dimayuga (Walton Heath), Max Hopkins (Bishops Stortford) and Hannah Screen (Berkhamsted) who snatched victory in the Nations Trophy, besating Wales on countback by virtue of the better second round. The boys’ title was won in impressive fashion by Laurenz Schiergen of Germany, who shot rounds of 71, 65, 67 and 71 to finish on 14 under par – ten shots clear of his nearest rival, Scotland’s Conor McKinney.

ertfordshire senior tour pro Phil Golding has set his sights on retaining the Travis Perkins Masters title he in won in style at Woburn last year, with the 55-yearold from Bushey looking forward to teeing it up in what is almost a home draw. The tournament, which is one of the highlights of the Staysure Tour’s summer schedule, returns to the Duke’s Course at Woburn from August 31- September 2, where Golding will be looking to bag his fifth senior tour title after edging out American Clark Dennis and Ireland’s Brendan McGovern in a dramatic finish at the same venue 12 months ago. Golding recalled the drama of last year’s tournament, when he found himself seven shots behind Dennis with 11 holes remaining, but managed to get the job done by a combination of some fine play and a disappointing finish by the American. He said: “I was four strokes behind going into the final round, and I thought I was playing for second place after dropping seven behind, despite birdieing two of the first five holes. However, for some reason, things didn’t go well for Clark and I just kept going. You never know what can happen in golf and, sure enough, the cards fell my way when I birdied the 16th and Clark had a third double bogey at the same hole.” Golding, who finished tied 28th in last month’s US Senior Open in Colorado, added: “I am really looking forward to defending my title. The Duke’s Course is a perfect venue for senior golf; the weather has tended to be kind to us and the public have turned out in large numbers to spectate. There is nothing better than playing in a top-class tournament with a good ambience and lots of people watching at a world-class venue steeped in tournament history.” The winner of this year’s event will pocket

★ Sophia Fullbrook won Hertfordshire Golf’s Girls' Championship after shooting a gross 76 (nett 65) at Essendon on July 1. The 11-handicapper from Redbourn Golf Club finished two shots ahead of Riya Chandaria, and five clear of Jessica Brown, both of whom play at The Shire London. Six-handicapper Chiara Noja (Sandy Lodge) took second behind Fullbrook in the gross section with a 79.

HOT-SHOT KNIPES RETAINS ESSEX AMATEUR

£57,000 – £3,000 more than Golding picked up for his victory last year, and the champion will again receive a bonus of £10,000 thanks to the generosity of the Duke of Bedford, the president of Woburn Golf Club. Visiting golf fans can enjoy ‘Free Friday’ on August 31, with no admission charge for the first round to mark 15 years of sponsorship by Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest builders’ merchant. Tickets for the final two days are priced £10 in advance and £15 on the gate. Priority parking is available in advance for £10 daily, including a free programme and draw sheet, while general public parking is free of charge. Under-16s are also admitted free. For tickets, visit www.europeantour.com/tickets.

★ Abridge ace Curtis Knipes retained the Essex Amateur Championship after shooting a 72-hole total of 271 at Upminster Golf Club. The 17-year-old, who won the title at Stoke-by-Nayland last season, lowered the course record at Upminster in the first round when he fired a six-underpar 63, and kept his foot down over the next three rounds to finish on five under par, three shots ahead of Harry Butler (Chigwell). The tournament attracted a field of 78 players, with 42 making the 36-hole cut.

THURLOWAY WINS SUSSEX AMATEUR ★ Chartham Park’s Tom Thurloway won the Sussex Amateur Championship after beating Sedlescombe’s Josh Davis 1up in a closely fought final held at Bognor Regis Golf Club. Thurlow beat Ashley Rees (ESN) 2up in his semi-final, while Davis overcame Lew Drew (The Nevill) by the margin of 3&2.

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[20] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief PETTET CLAIMS CECIL LEITCH ★ Ben Pettet made the most of home advantage when winning the 61st Cecil Leitch 5 Club Challenge held at Redibbets in Kent. Despite amassing 41 Stableford points, the 17-handicapper only won on countback from David Britton (Tudor Park) with Barry Thompson (Lydd) taking third with 38. Over £11,000 was raised for the Kent County Playing Fields Association on the day.

HAYWARDS HEATH TO RELOCATE TO LINDFIELD ★ Haywards Heath Golf Club in West Sussex is to relocate to nearby Lindfield Golf Club, after members voted in favour of selling the land to a local housing developer. Bolney-based company Fairfax Properties has agreed to acquire 100 acres of land on which Haywards Heath’s 18-hole course is currently situated and relocate the club to nearby Lindfield, which is to be extensively renovated. An outline planning application to build 1,100 new homes has been submitted, with the aim of gaining assent early next year.

Sandwich Station Upgrade Secures Open’s Future At Royal St George’s

ROYAL ST GEORGE’S GOLF CLUB’S future as an Open Championship venue has been secured following an announcement that its local train station at Sandwich is to receive a major upgrade in time for the tournament’s return in 2020. The R&A had said that it would have to give serious consideration to finding an alternative venue for the championship if the station that is nearest to the Kent links had been left as it was, but the South East Local Enterprise Partnership has announced that it will contribute more than £1.9m to upgrade the facilities, in order to cope with the expected influx of more than 200,000 golf fans to the town in two years’ time. The project will extend the platform at Sandwich station to allow 12 carriage highspeed rail services in and will provide a further footbridge for passengers. Currently, the station can only support trains with eight carriages, with longer trains blocking the nearby level crossing and causing delays for vehicles including park and ride buses, as happened when The Open

Kellock

Plays The Long Game At Pennard

KENT WIN SE BOYS’ CHAMPS ★ Kent won the England Golf South East Boys’ Championship at Blackmoor in Hampshire. Trailing BB&O by seven shots after the first round, the team of Jensen Hull, Ollie Sly, Connor Bell, Jacob Kelso, James Wright and George Young fought back to claim a one-shot victory, with a winning score of 711 to BB&O’s 712. Sussex finished four shots further back in third.

BERKSHIRE’S RUPERT KELLOCK claimed his first big win on the national over-55s circuit with a fourshot victory in the Welsh Seniors Open in Pennard. The 57-year-old from Sunningdale was the only player to beat par over 54 holes on the hard and bouncy links course near Swansea,

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was last held at Sandwich in 2011. Christian Brodie, chairman of SELEP, said: “The R&A has made it very clear that the Open cannot return to Sandwich without the current transport problems being fully addressed and brought up to par. The 2020 event is expected to bring more than 200,000 people to the county. The economic impact is forecast to

finishing on one-under par, despite a triple bogey on the third in the final round, which resulted in a 71 to go with earlier rounds of 72 and 69. His closest challengers were English senior champion Ian Attoe (Worplesdon), fellow Englishman Tim Whittaker (Beaconsfield) and Nigel Evans of Wales.

exceed £85m, with at least £26m expected to be direct additional spend. This means that the investment case to upgrade the station at Sandwich is a very strong one. He added: “Kent County Council, Dover District Council and neighbouring districts have campaigned tirelessly to secure this funding and commitment from the R&A, Network Rail and DfT to ensure the Open remains on Kent’s sporting calendar.” The decision of SELEP’s board to award the money from the local growth fund followed the decision of the R&A that the Royal St George’s course will host the Open on three occasions between 2020 and 2036.

This was Kellock’s first win outside of club competitions, but he finished fifth in the British Seniors last year, and fourth in the English Seniors this year to show good form coming into the event. “I took the view that the secret to playing Pennard – which I think took everybody two days to work out – was

that you are better off being 100 yards from the green in the rough than 150 yards away in the rough, so I took driver on most holes. That made it easier than trying to hit rescue clubs off the tee. I just belted it as hard as I could. The greens are quite small, so if you could get on them, you were never too far from the pin.”

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NEWS | SUMMER 2018

[21]

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InBrief

Gane

KENT PROFESSIONAL Chris Gane added the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Swoops To Eagle Orchid Scottish Euro Pro Glory Masters to his already glowing list of career wins after battling high winds at Montrose Golf Club. The former PGA Southern Region champion led the field by two shots heading into the final round of the 54-hole tournament, after carding consecutive 66s, but high winds forced the final 18 holes to be cancelled, gifting the 44-year-old his second EuroPro Tour victory without having to hit another shot. Gane’s ten-under-par total for 36 holes saw him finish two shots ahead of four players – James Ruth, Jack Yule, Joe Brooks and Gary King. “It was a long wait to see if we were going out or not, but when the news broke that I was the winner, it was brilliant,” said Gane, who is currently ranked fifth in the EuroPro Tour’s order of merit. “I spent most of the morning watching the weather forecast, and trying not to let my mind run away with idea of not going out before it was confirmed.” Gane will be hoping to hold on to his position in the rankings, with the top five all earning their cards for next season’s Challenge Tour.

FRASER-LAWRENCE WINS FALDO SERIES QUALIFIER

S Stars On Show

ome of the biggest names in the senior game will be on show at London Golf Club in Kent next month, when the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship returns to the schedule after a threeyear absence. Among the headline acts on display at the At London Club For PGA Seniors Brands hatch-based venue will be three-time senior major champion Colin Montgomerie, dual senior Championship Return major winner Paul Broadhurst, past PGA Senior Championship winner Sam Torrance, and the latest recruit to the over-50s circuit, former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. The field of 90 players, which will also include a number of club PGA professionals, will compete for the £400,000 prize fund, with the winner taking home a cheque for £60,000. Australian Peter Fowler, who won the tournament in 2015 at Close House, will effectively be the defending champion, and he will have a chance to become the eighth to win back-to-back PGA Seniors titles, a feat accomplished most recently by Paul Wesselingh, when he defended his 2012 triumph. They will all feature in the inaugural edition of the PGA Seniors Championship under the new title sponsorship of insurance company Staysure, which also became the headline sponsors of the European Senior Tour at the start of the season. Montgomerie, who will be making his first ever appearance in the tournament, said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to playing in the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship,,” said Montgomerie. “I only managed to play once on European soil last season, so to get the chance to compete several times in the UK is exciting." Stephen Follet, chief executive of London Golf Club, said: “The team at London Golf Club has been working hard to prepare not only the International Course, but all aspects related to the tournament hospitality, as we pride ourselves on our ability to offer members and guests an unrivalled level of service and attention to detail. We are now all looking forward to hosting everyone at the club in August.”

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★ Hendon’s Nya Fraser-Lawrence won the Faldo Series England South Championship held at Old Fold Manor in Essex after beating James Crabb in a play-off. FraserLawrence, 17, held a two-shot lead after opening rounds of 74 and 70, and closed out with a 74 to force a play-off with Crabb (Chesworth Downs). He then birdied the first extra hole to book his place in the 22nd Faldo Series Grand Final, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates later this year. Crabb had consolation of winning the U21 category by two shots from Ryan Tatton, to book his place in the grand final.

DAY RUNS AWAY WITH LOGAN TROPHY ★ Gloucestershire’s Nick Day claimed his first national title with a nine-shot victory at the English men’s open midamateur championship. The 38-year-old tamed the fiery fairways at Long Ashton to finish the 54-hole tournament on nine under par. Day opened up with a 73 in windy conditions, but bounced back with rounds 65 and 66 to take the Logan Trophy. The plusthree handicapper has won four Gloucestershire county championships and topped the county’s order of merit for the last seven years.

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[22] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

PETER THOMSON 1929-2018

Following the death of Peter Thomson last month, Nick Bayly pays tribute to one of the greatest golfers of the post-war error, who never fully received the recognition he deserved for his magnificent Open record

B

y anyone’s standards Peter Thomson was truly a giant of the game. So why is it that this five-time Open champion is so rarely mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods? The answer is not a simple one, but can be succinctly explained by him a) Being Australian b) Only playing two seasons on the PGA Tour c) Not winning any other Majors outside of the Open. Growing up in Melbourne in the 1930s, the young Thomson honed his golfing skills on the sandbelt courses that were liberally dotted around the city, which are as close as you’ll get to a British links. With pictures of St Andrews on the wall of the clubhouse at his local municipal course, Thomson dreamed one day that he would get a chance to play it, and, more importantly, compete in the Open Championship. That dream turned into a reality in 1951, when, aged just 22, he travelled to Northern Ireland and qualified for the championship, which was held at Portrush. Despite his inexperience, Thomson was in his element on fast-running courses, where judging the bounce and run of the ball was more important than long hitting. His low, running game was ideally suited to the hard links, and he played well enough to finish sixth on his debut – and thus began the start of a quite brilliant Open record.

■ THOMSON WON THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FIVE TIMES BETWEEN 1954 AND 1965

■ THOMSON HONED HIS LINKS SKILLS AROUND THE SANDBELT COURSES IN MELBOURNE

His stunning streak commenced the following year with a second place finish at Royal Lytham behind South Africa's Bobby Locke, the only other player that could live with Thomson in his Open pomp. A four-way tie for second at Carnoustie the following year behind the legendary America Ben Hogan prepared Thomson for his reign. With a brand new set of borrowed John Letters irons, the 24-year-old Thomson carded a final-round 71 at Royal Birkdale in 1954 to win by one from Locke, Syd Scott and Dai Rees, and in doing so became the first Australian to claim the Claret Jug. The following year he beat Johnny Fallon by two shots to win at St Andrews, and he completed his hat-trick with victory by three strokes over Belgium's Flory van Donck at Hoylake in 1956. Having succeeded Locke as pre-tournament favourite, he lost by three to his arch-rival back at St Andrews in 1957, but he hit back with victory in a 36-hole play off to beat 23-year-old Dave Thomas at Royal Lytham in 1958. Throughout his period of success, Thomson was dogged by critics who suggested he was winning in an era when the world's best players avoided the Open because there wasn’t enough prize money on offer; but Thomson silenced these claims 11 years after his first win when he landed the 1965 Open at Royal Birkdale, when Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were all in the starting line up. This final victory saw him join JH Taylor, James Braid and Tom Watson, as the only players to have won five Claret Jugs in their careers, while the only six-time champion is Harry Vardon. Thomson played in every Open up until 1981, and ended his tournament career with 89 wins. After a brief, but extremely successful, dalliance with the Senior Tour – he won a record nine events in 1985 – he moved into the golf course design business, helping to develop more than 180 courses in over 30 countries. He also captained the international team at the Presidents Cup in 2000. Due to declining health – he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014 – he announced his retirement from his practices in 2016, including his partnership with architects Ross Perrett and Tim Lobb in London, whose most recent work has included renovations at The Buckinghamshire, Wimbledon Park, Richmond and Woking. When once asked what made him made him so successful at The Open, Thomson replied: “I just didn’t find links golf a mystery. It all looked very logical to me. I just felt ‘this is it’. I suppose I was unusual, because so many players did, and still do, look at Open courses and feel uncomfortable. I was the opposite. It felt like the most natural thing in the world.”


NEWS | SUMMER 2018

[23]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Surrey National To Host Ron Noades Golf Day

Rodgers

AFTER NOTCHING four wins in Continues Rich June, new PGA Form At Kings Hill Southern Open champion Chris Rodgers made a great start to July by winning the Kings Hill ProAm. In firm and fast conditions at the Kent venue, the Richings Park pro’s three-underpar 69 was enough to beat a field full of winners, past and present. Rodgers commented: “Instead of chasing scores, and tending to get into the odd bit of trouble, I’m now thinking clearly, finding the fairways, and letting the scores build as the opportunities arise.” He added: “I also know the courses better now, and know what to hit off the tee to finish in the right place. The Kings Hill greens were a nice pace, but the fairways are fast at the moment, so the par fives were reachable even for me!” Taking home the winner’s cheque for £600, Rodgers dropped just one shot in his round, finishing four strokes ahead of the runner up, Langley Park’s Paul Sherman. Sian Evans’s Kings Hill team pipped Ryan Salliss’s Hever Castle team on countback for the team event on 15 under, while Pentland Golf’s Benn Barham took the nearest-the-pin prize with the shot of the day on the eighth hole.

Benson

GOLFERS ARE BEING invited to take part in the 5th Ron Noades Memorial

Charity Day, which is being held at Surrey National Golf Club on September 14. Organised and hosted by Novello Noades, this popular annual event helps to raise funds and awareness for a variety of charities, which this year includes the Motor Neurone

Disease Association and Parkinson’s UK. Teams of four are invited to take part in the day, which begins with an 18-hole Stableford competition followed by evening entertainment, including a gala dinner, auction and raffle. There will be live jazz from the Greg Davis Quintet, while professional dancers Nuno and Rebecca Fernandez, and magician David Redfearn, will also

■ RON NOADES

be in action on the night. It costs £30pp to enter the golf tournament, and £35pp for the postgolf entertainment. To

book your place, contact Louise Holloway on 01883 344 555 or email events@surreynational. co.uk.

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HERTFORDSHIRE’S OWEN BENSON won the Tillman Trophy after beating David Langley in a play-off at Moor Park Golf Club on July 19. The pair tied on a 10-under-par total of 278 after 72 holes, with Benson, from Redbourne Golf Club, firing a closing 66 to reel in his rival, before winning the playoff. The pair finished three shots clear of Habeul Islam (Ipswich), with Mason Essam a further stroke back in fourth. Nine players in the 131-strong field finished under par in the tournament, with runner up Langley, from Castle Royle, being the only player to secure red figures in all four rounds.

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[24] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Dale Hill

Team Complete Leaderboard Marathon

DALE HILL HOTEL & GOLF CLUB head professional John Tolliday made the most of the longest day on June 21 to play all three venues in the Leaderboard Group’s portfolio of clubs in the South East.

Blackman

Playing a greensomes match with PGA assistant Sam Durling against Dale Hill captain Bill Milford and vice-captain Ian Pether, the group teed off for 18 holes at The Oxfordshire at 5.15am, then drove to Sandford Springs in Reading for 27 more holes, and then dashed to Dale Hill for the final 36 holes, teeing off at just after 3pm. Tolliday said: “The golf was great to begin with, but fatigue hit Sam and I by the time we were playing Dale Hill. It was still a tremendous result for a greensome to play 81 holes over these courses in one day, raising over £1,000 for the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust and our Dale Hill junior section.”

Wins English Women’s Amateur

GEORGINA BLACKMAN showed nerves of steel to win the English women’s amateur championship in a tense showdown at Wilmslow Golf Club in Cheshire. The 22-year-old from Chelmsford in Essex, who graduated from Western Kentucky University in May, held off the challenge of two Curtis Cup players and proven champions to take the title by a shot. Blackman finished on eight-under par, helped by a crucial birdie two on the 17th where she holed out from 30ft. It edged her ahead of her challengers and after a solid par on the last the title was hers. The runners-up were the Curtis Cup players Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and Annabell Fuller (Roehampton), who finished on seven under. Nicola Slater (Lindrick), the English women’ matchplay champion, and Emily Toy (Carlyon Bay), a star of the university circuit, tied fourth on six under. “I’m still shaking,” said Blackman after claiming the trophy. “If you had told me at the beginning of the week that I would win, I would never have believed you. It feels really good, and it means I can start believing in myself, especially as so many good players were involved.”

Gough Captures McGregor Trophy

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HERTFORDSHIRE ACE CONOR GOUGH cemented his reputation as one of England’s finest young amateur talents when adding the McGregor Trophy to his fast-growing haul of top junior titles. Following an impressive showing at the recent European Boys Team Championship, and victory in the Fairhaven Trophy, the 15-year-old from Stoke Park continued his hot form at Kendleston Park in Derbyshire, where he fired rounds of 72, 71, 70 and 68, for a seven-under-par total to win the U16s national title from Yorkshire’s Ben Schmidt. After trailing Schmidt by five shots after the 12th hole, Gough bagged four birdies in the last six holes, including a chip-in at the 17th and a 25-foot birdie putt at the last, and then had to endure an anxious wait in the clubhouse while Schmidt was still out on the course. However, a final-hole bogey from the Rotherham player saw Gough win by the minimum margin. “I knew I had to do something special,” Gough said. “I hit good shots, and the right shots at the right time, and I played really well under the pressure.” Gough, who has previously won the U14 Reid Trophy, is now eyeing the U18 Carris Trophy, added: “I’m really pleased with this win, as it gives me a chance to go for the treble.”


NEWS | SUMMER 2018 [25] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Cowdray Hosts Barbuda Cup To Support Hurricane Victims

■ RICHIE RICHARDSON WITH THE WINNERS OF THE BARBUDA CUP (AND DONALD TRUMP!)

Long Drive Champions Run Away With New World Records

WHILE THE UK was sweltering in record temperatures, there was also some pretty hot driving taking place at RAF Honington in Suffolk, where some of the stars of the UK Long Driving scene took part in a special attempt to break some long-standing records with the benefit of the airbase’s 900-yard runway. American Golf challenged some of the Long Drive stars who’ll be appearing at its 2018 UK Long Drive Final this August to set various Long Drive World records, and in doing so help celebrate the anniversaries of On Course Foundation and the RAF.

First up on the temporary tee positioned at the end of the 900-yard main runway at RAF Honington was On Course Foundation beneficiary and Gecko Tour player, Mike Browne. Despite never taking part in Long Drive before, Mike, who is a single leg amputee, belted a staggering 564yard drive using a Callaway Epic Driver to record the longest ever golf drive by a single leg amputee. Using her Callaway Rogue Driver, current American Golf UK Long Drive champion Ilona Stubley (pictured above) hit an impressive 460-yard drive to set a new – unofficial – Long Drive world record for women. The biggest hitter of the day was Long Drive European Tour champion and American Golf staff member Matt Nicolle. He smashed his Callaway ball 657 yards, which will be submitted to Guinness for its consideration alongside the other two records.

COWDRAY PARK Golf Club’s staging of the inaugural Barbuda Cup succeeded in raising close to £18,000 for the relief effort following the hurricane that hit Caribbean island last autumn. The event at the West

Sussex venue, which was hosted by former West Indian cricket captain Sir Richie Richardson, saw 72 players take part in a golf tournament and 160 people attend a Caribbean BBQ held in the evening, with all funds raised being presented to provide materials to help Barbuda rebuild following Hurricane Irma. The day was attended by Antigua & Barbuda

High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill and head of tourism Cherrie Osborne, along with a smattering of local sporting celebrities, including former footballers Guy Butters, Jason Dodd and Kerry Mayo, while there was also a good turnout from many of the south region’s PGA Professionals, including Maria Tulley, Adam Harnett, George Hannah, Steve Hall, Obi Ayton and

Craig Gardene. There was a guest appearance by comedian Mike Osman, who did a star turn as Donald Trump, arriving in full character being driven down the course in a golf buggy with flowing ‘Stars and Stripes’ flags. The prizes were hard fought, with the nearestthe-pins going to team NGD, Matt Hills and Craig Gardner, while the longest drive was won by Chris Edwards.


[26] SUMMER 2018 FEATURE GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

STORY BEHIND THE PIC TOM WATSON • THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP • CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS, SCOTLAND • JULY 13, 1975

AS CARNOUSTIE TIDIES up after hosting the Open Championship for the eighth time in its illustrious history, it is timely to return to the scene of one of the legends of the modern game’s major breakthroughs. A fresh-faced, gap-toothed, 25-year-old Tom Watson arrived on the Angus coast as a complete beginner when it came to links golf, but left a champion, having tamed the famous course, and the worst of the Scottish weather, over what turned out to be five tempestuous days. Links golf can take a lifetime to learn, and even longer to truly master, yet despite his inexperience in this version of the game, Watson bravely battled around Carnoustie’s twists and turns to record an opening levelpar 71. Three shots off the lead, Watson carded an impressive 67 in round two, which moved him into second alongside Jack Nicklaus. David Huish, the club professional from North Berwick, held the halfway lead with rounds of 69 and 67, but a third-round 76 was to put him out of contention. South Africa’s Bobby Cole shot a course record 66 on both the second and third rounds to take the 54-hole lead, although Jack Newton broke it immediately with a 65 in the third round to lie one behind Cole, with Watson two shots further back. After three days of breathless conditions and constant sunshine at Carnoustie, the fierce Scottish wind swept across the course in the final round, creating very different scoring conditions and playing havoc with the leaderboard. In one of the tightest finishes in Open

history, five players were in contention on the final day. Nicklaus set the target with a closing 72, before Newton and Cole both missed putts on the 17th to save par and keep their lead going down the last. On the 18th green ahead, Watson managed an even-par 72 with a 20-foot birdie putt, meaning Newton had to birdie the last to win and Cole had to birdie to stay in contention for a play-off. Newton couldn’t hole his long effort, but duly tapped in his par putt to set up a play-off, whilst Cole left his birdie putt short to miss out. This was the final time an Open play-off would be fought in an 18-hole format – it changed to a four-hole aggregate in 1985 – and both players went toe-to-toe throughout the next day in testing conditions as the rain came hammering down. Newton looked to have taken the lead with an excellent chip at the 14th, stopping it inches short and

tapping in for birdie, but Watson responded with an incredible chip-in eagle to take the lead. The two challengers were level at the 18th and Watson made the green in two, whereas Newton hit the front of the bunker with his approach, costing him dearly. Watson holed out with a par, leaving Newton a 10-foot putt to tie once more after successfully escaping the sand. Yet it wasn’t to be, as the ball rolled agonisingly past the left lip, giving Watson his first major victory at his first attempt. Following Watson’s success at Carnoustie, the major floodgates were thrown open, and the Kansas man went onto win four more Open Championships in eight years, and three other major titles, before his career was run. His chance at Open glory came again in 2009 at Turnberry, when, aged 59, he ‘just’ needed to birdie the last hole to become the oldest major champion in history. But the golfing gods weren’t smiling as they had been at Carnoustie in 1975, with his stunning approach to the 18th hole taking a hard bounce to the back of the green, from where he was unable to get up and down to force a play-off with Stewart Cink. Tom Watson waved a tear-filled farewell to the Open at St Andrews in 2015, but his name will be forever associated with a championship that brought his unique skills and easy affability to a global audience.

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Rebula Wins 123rd Amateur Championship

S ■ MARATHON MEN: LEO WILSON, OLIVER LAMBOLL, ALEX CHEESEMAN AND JAMES CARLISLE

Cranleigh Juniors Complete Golfing Marathon

FOUR TEENAGERS from Cranleigh Golf & Country Club in Surrey successfully played their part in golf's

version of an ultra-marathon. Junior captain Leo Wilson, Oliver Lamboll, James Carlisle, all students at Glebelands School in Cranleigh, and Alex Cheeseman, who is set to attend Godalming College in September, clocked up a staggering 326 holes of golf between them in a gruelling golfing marathon to raise more than £2,000 for the Jigsaw Trust charity. Wilson and Lamboll, aged 15 and 14 respectively, both played 109 holes, after adding one extra bonus hole after completing six full rounds. The incredible journey started with the group hitting their first tee shots at 5.50am, and ended when holing their final putts 14 hours later at 8.10pm. They were joined in their quest by 24-handicapper Carlisle, who completed 72 holes, while 22-handicapper Cheeseman defied injury to add 36 holes to the marathon team effort. Junior organiser, Rita Elliott, said: "It was an inset day at school, so I suggested they might like to give it a go. They all agreed and put in an amazing effort on the day.” She added: "I think they were all pretty exhausted by the end of it because it was such a hot day. But we all got together for a celebratory barbecue the following evening. When you're young, you don't feel those aches and pains. The Jigsaw Trust is a great cause, and we're already thinking about another challenge next year – although I haven't told them yet!" The Surrey-based Jigsaw Trust provides educational, vocational and wellbeing services for children and adults with autism and has been adopted as Cranleigh’s chosen charity for 2018.

outh Africa’s Jovan Rebula won the 123rd Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland after defeating Ireland’s Robin Dawson 3&2 in the final. Rebula, who is Ernie Els’s nephew, became the first South African to lift the trophy since Bobby Cole in 1966. He secured a place in The Open Championship at Carnoustie, next year’s US Open at Pebble Beach and an invitation to the Masters in 2019. Arriving at the tournament a lowly 192nd in the world amateur ranking, Rebula took command of the final early on, striking the first blow to go one-up with a birdie at the par-five sixth. The South African held that slender lead going into lunch, and extended that advantage to three-up in the early stages of the second round. But Dawson, who won the Irish Amateur earlier in the year, claimed two holes back on the back nine, and it took Rebula until the 16th, where he made a clinical

Cort Pips Ruth At Pebble Beach Pro-Am FORMER MIDLANDS Region No.1 Matt Cort recorded a thrilling win in

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save from the sand to win the championship and etch his name in history. “I’m shattered,” were the winner’s first words. “It’s been a long week. I should have finished off the final a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. Winning tournaments is what all of us dream of, and being able to stand here with trophy is what we play and work for.”

Monterey Peninsula, which fully lived up to its billing of the greatest meeting of land and sea, as well as golf, in the world. Former European Tour Professional James Ruth, who represents China Fleet Country Club, took the first round lead with a superb 70 at Spyglass Hill, with Cort lurking just two shots off the pace. A superb second round 68 at Spanish Bay saw Cort tie Ruth for the lead, and set up an exciting finish at Pebble Beach, venue for next year's US Open. In a thrilling final round duel, both players went under par, with only a birdie at the par-five 18th hole separating the two. Cort’s final round

Strike it Rite! ®

68 took him to a winning score of eight under for the week. In the team event, South African PGA member Mick Hough led his team of Trevor Stead, Warren Stirrat and Phillip Hutchison to a seven-shot victory. In addition to the 54-hole Pro-Am, a separate challenge day was held at Pebble Beach, where Ruth shot a fourunder-par 68 to take the money. Next year’s Pro-Am Tour at Pebble Beach will be held just two weeks before the US Open, so early booking is highly recommended to secure a place. For details, call 023 8046 5885 or visit www. pro-amtour.com.

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[28] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

LOOKING TO BOO

20 FOR THE BEST SOCIETY & D E TA I L E D D E S C R I P T I O N O N E A C H C L U B • T H E L AT E S T P A C K A G E S • G R E AT I M A G E


NEWS | SUMMER 2018 [29] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

O K A G O L F DAY I N

18 C O R P O R AT E D A Y V E N U E S R Y • V I D E O F O O TA G E ( O N S E L E C T E D C L U B S ) • E V E R Y T H I N G Y O U N E E D T O K N O W


[30] SUMMER 2018 | INTERVIEW

After capturing his – and Italy’s – first major championship, the world is at the feet of the softly-spoken FRANCESCO MOLINARI, who tamed golf’s toughest links course, and a Tiger, en route to Claret Jug glory at Carnoustie WORDS NICK BAYLY MAIN IMAGE GETTY

THE QUIET ASSASSIN


INTERVIEW | SUMMER 2018

[31]

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ou arrived at the Open in great form, how confident were you that you could translate that to a major championship, and at a course like Carnoustie? I knew I was coming into the tournament having played some good golf this summer, but my record around Carnoustie was terrible, so that didn't make me too optimistic about my chances of winning. But I just tried to not think about that and focus on hitting good shots hole-byhole and day-by-day. I felt ready for the challenge and that I had the mental strength to cope with whatever the week threw at me. What is your overriding emotion at having won the Open and become the first Italian to win a major? Amazement and relief. When you look at the names on the Claret Jug, it's just amazing to stand here and see my name up alongside them. What can I say? I'm so proud to be the first man from Italy to win a major. And being called ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ sounds pretty cool, too.

■ WITH THE HELP OF LONGTIME CADDIE PELLO IGUARAN VALLE, MOLINARI PLOTTED A PERFECT COURSE AROUND CARNOUSTIE EN ROUTE TO WINNING HIS FIRST MAJOR TITLE

you describe what the impact of working with him has been on your game? Dave has been a great addition to the team. He's probably a personality and a figure that I was missing, and the whole team was missing. So I think he has pushed us all a little bit more. You can see the results, the difference that he's made. He's worked on a lot of things mentally, on my game, on my short game, on my long game. Before he came in, I felt my practice lacked a bit of direction. I have a really good swing coach in Denis Pugh, a great fitness guy in Rob [Goldup] and Pello [Iguaran Valle] my caddie, but there was probably a missing link between swinging well and scoring well. Dave filled that gap and I can’t really thank him enough.

How do you think your success will be received in Italy? I’m not sure me winning the Open will make up for Italy failing to qualify for the World Cup, to be honest, but hopefully it will raise my profile a little bit. My recent run of form has been big news back What else do you think has been the key to your home in Italy, but to achieve something like this is success in recent months? on another level. I worked out a long time ago that I needed to play to Hopefully, there will have been a lot of young my strengths to succeed on tour. Although I’m not a kids watching on TV, like I was watching Costantino short hitter off the tee, [Rocca] in 1995, when he I’ve never been that came so close to winning long, so if you can’t be against John Daly at St IT WAS NEVER GOING long, you need to be Andrews. And hopefully TO BE A DAY ABOUT accurate, and have good it will inspire them to MAKING LOTS OF course management. So take up the game, or BIRDIES AND EAGLES I don’t try to hit the ball believe that through too hard. It is better for hard work they can also FOR ME; IT WAS ALL me to be further back in achieve great things in ABOUT CUTTING OUT the fairway than further whatever sport, be it golf BOGEYS AND MAKING up in the rough, so I or whatever, or any other LOTS OF PARS work hard on finding line of work that they the right line from chose to follow. each tee. I try to focus on a really small target. In golf, you need to make Given the windy conditions during the final round, the margin of error as wide as you possibly can, and what was your game plan? the best way of doing this is to aim for a specific spot, Having looked at the forecast the night before I knew rather than a general area. Other than that, like I said, it was going to be blowy and that I’d need to adapt to I’ve worked really hard on my short game, and that the changing conditions. It was never going to be a day seems to have paid off. about making lots of birdies and eagles for me it was all about cutting out bogeys and making lots of pars. How good does it feel to have nailed down your I was obviously three shots behind the leaders Ryder Cup qualification? starting out on the final round, so I knew that it was Just a few months ago I was too far back in the going to be tough to catch so many players, but I just standings to be seriously thinking about it, so now tried to do my own thing, and not focus too much on it feels great to potentially be in the team. Paris what others were doing behind or ahead of me. National is a course I love, and where I have a pretty I was conscious of trying not be too aggressive, and good record, so I'd love to be there, and hope I can play the percentages, but to go the whole weekend bring something to the team. bogey-free was unthinkable, to be honest. I think I managed my game pretty well, hitting the fairways You’re going to be 40 when Italy hosts the and the right spots on the greens, and staying out of Ryder Cup in 2022. How hopeful are you the bunkers. That really was the key, as those bunkers that you might be there as a player rather were very punishing. I’m proud of the way my game than in some other capacity? stood up under the pressure. I would say having Italy as the host nation almost doubles my motivation to What effect did playing with Tiger Woods in the last be there. I need to make sure I stay in round have on you? good shape, and keep my game in Playing with Tiger was another challenge because good order, then you never know, of the crowds and everything, but I felt really calm I might surprise a few people! It before we teed off, and tried not to get caught up in all would be obviously amazing to be the excitement around him. part of it as a player, but otherwise It wasn’t like it was a match play situation, as it would be incredible to be part of there were so many other players in contention, so it in any other capacity. I played the I wasn’t trying to match him shot for shot. Whereas course at Marco Simone a fair few in the past I have been guilty of focusing too much years ago now, but it's a really good on what the other guys are doing, this week I really design, a parkland course. It's a felt in control of my own game and kind of blocked solid track and I'm sure it'll be a out what was going on around me. That comes with great challenge for all of the players experience, I guess. once the redesign is complete. It's a great chance for Italy and for the Ryder Cup to showcase You’ve been working with Dave Aldred, one of the Rome as one of the great European cities. UK’s foremost sports coaches, in recent years. Can

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[32] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

THE BIGGER PICTURE

SUN SHINES ON CARNOUSTIE CROWDS Golf fans came flocking to Carnoustie to attend the 147th renewal of golf’s oldest major. A record-breaking crowd of 172,000 made their way to the remote links on Scotland’s Angus coast, breaking the previous record of 157,000 by some way. Over 20,000 fans under the age of 25 attended the championship, with the R&A’s ‘kid go free campaign’ helping to attract a younger audience, while over 4,000 fans took advantage of the low-cost accommodation offered at the Open campsite.


NEWS | SUMMER 2018 GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

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[34] SUMMER 2018 FEATURE GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

I

s it possible to have too much of a good thing? Not if you happen to be a Korean-born woman who’s handy with a set of golf clubs. A brief glance at this month’s Rolex women’s world rankings shows that no fewer than 21 players of South Korean descent were ranked inside the world’s top 50. This bare fact alone provides hard evidence, if any were needed, that South Korea is the dominant force in the world of women’s professional golf in 2018. In fact, a quick look back through the record books reveals that this has been the case for well over a decade now. In 2006, 17 of the world’s top 50 were Korean. But these days it’s the sheer strength in depth that is so astounding, with 39 of the top-100 ranked women in the world hailing from this East Asian country that boasts a population of 50 million and rising. The pace of South Korea’s rise up the golfing charts has been similarly startling. Rewind just 20 years and you would have struggled to find a name containing a Jang, Yung or Kim on any leaderboard across the ladies professional circuit in America. But all that changed in 1998, when 21-year-old rookie Si Re Pak burst onto the scene by becoming the youngest player to win the

KOREA GIRLS BY NUMBERS WORLD TOP 50: 21 (42%) WORLD TOP 100: 39 (39%) WORLD TOP 150: 58 (38%) WORLD TOP 200: 76 (38%) KOREAN MAJOR WINNERS (1998-2012): 13 (21%) KOREAN MAJOR WINNERS (2013-2017): 11 (44%) MULTIPLE MAJOR WINNERS: INBEE PARK (7), SI RE PAK (5) (PICTURED ABOVE), RYU SO-YEON (2), JIYAI SHIN (2) LPGA TOUR WINS (2012-2017): 74 (35%)

LPGA Championship and the Women's US Open in the same year. The Seoul-born youngster went on to win three further majors, amass 39 tour titles, and be enrolled into the World Golf Hall of Fame, before she retired in 2016 at the age of 39. The current crop of Korean stars all owe a large debt to Pak, who paved the way for her fellow countrywomen to make it on the international stage. Before she broke through, South Korean players were largely restricted to playing within their national borders, and America was seen as off limits. "Every question that relates to why Koreans are playing on the LPGA Tour in such numbers has to begin and end with Se Ri Pak," says Ty Votaw, who served as LPGA commissioner from 2004-2005, and is now chief marketing officer for the PGA Tour. "Her rookie year gave the entire country of Korea the motivation and inspiration for fathers and their daughters to say, 'Hey, if she can do it, we can do it.'” Inspired by Pak’s performances, several generations of Korean girls have followed her path to LPGA Tour riches. No fewer than ten have won the tour’s rookie of the year title since 2000 – including Mi Hyun Han Hee-won (2001), Ahn Shi-hyun (2004), Jiyai Shin (2009), In Gee Chun (2016), and last year’s winner, Sung Hyun Park, who also shared the player of the year award with fellow countrywoman So Yeon Ryu. The current world No.1 is 29-year-old Inbee Park, arguably Korea’s most successful golfer to date, with seven major championships and 26 other titles on her CV already. Those looking for other forces behind Korea’s golfing rise also cite the Seoul Olympics in 1988, which played a significant part in opening up sporting opportunities to women in South Korea, as did the joint hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2000. Korea now boasts elite world status in numerous sports, including handball, archery and table tennis. And now golf. The common thread between these activities appears to be technical precision and superb hand-eye co-ordination, attributes which some cultural observers

SEOUL SI Nick Bayly charts the rise and rise of South Korea’s women golfers, from Si Re Pak to Inbee Park, and looks at ■ LEADER OF THE PAK: SI RE PAK SPARKED A TIDAL WAVE OF INTEREST IN GOLF IN SOUTH KOREA FOLLOWING HER VICTORIES IN AMERICA AND EUROPE

■ IK KIM WON THE BRITISH OPEN IN 2017

■ JIN YOUNG KO POSES WITH THE UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN


FEATURE | SUMMER 2018

[35]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ HA-NEUL KIM (L) AND BO-MEE LEE ARE AMONG THE NEXT GENERATION OF SOUTH KOREANS ENJOYING SUCCESS ON THE LPGA TOUR

■ GRACE PARK PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN HELPING HER FELLOW KOREAN PLAYERS MAKE A SMOOTH TRANSITION INTO LIFE ON THE LPGA TOUR

Korean players practice as much as eight or nine hours a day, sometimes for even longer. They think golf 24-7," she said. "From a very young age, parents are heavily involved in each child's game. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad, but that parenting keeps them on the right track. In Korean culture, there is a trend for parental sacrifice; for children to lead a better life than the one their parents had." BBC golf commentator Maureen Madill, who was the coach of the GB & Ireland team that competed in the Women's World Amateur Team Championships in Berlin in 2005, remembers being impressed with the way the Korean team went about the game. "They were very controlled and focused, showed great maturity, and were technically superb and incredibly fit," she said. "I spoke to their coach during the event, and he believed that the game of golf suited their national psyche." Calmness under pressure, and a certain air of unflappability, also seems to be a trait that Korean players possess. As world No.12 So Yeon Ryu explains, on the rare occasion a bad shot occurs, South Korean player are well equipped to deal with it. "From a very early age, we learn

STERS

statistics centered around the performance of Korean golfers are staggering, but the results seem to have inspired as much fear and mistrust as they have praise and respect. In America, where home-grown talent is the only kind that is recognised, the rise and rise of the ‘Seoul Sisters’, as they have been dubbed by some observers, has long been a cause for concern, and not just for the local players who are on the receiving end of Korean beatings, week in, week out. Last year saw Korean players win 16 of the season’s 35 events, with the honours shared among 12 different players, while three of the five major championships in 2017 went to Korean players, with IK Kim winning the British Open, Ryu-So-yeon capturing the ANA Inspiration, and Park Sunghyun taking the US Women’s Open. It’s clearly a rosy picture for Korea, but it has been another story for the LPGA Tour, which has seen TV viewing figures for its tournaments plummet on the back of so little home-grown talent to watch. In what was an extraordinarily ill-conceived attempt to make the tour more palatable to domestic fans, Carolyn Bivens, the Tour’s commissioner from 2005-2009, issued a diktat at the beginning of the 2009 season that all LPGA Tour players should be able to speak English. Not surprisingly, this drew sharp criticism from all quarters, and resulted in a committee representing players demanding her resignation, which duly followed in July 2009. The PGA Tour and the European Tour have long had to deal with leading players not being able to speak fluent, if any, English. And while post-tournament interviews may lose some of their immediacy when delivered via a third party, it is something that fans and television viewers have long since got used to in this era of global sport. "The face of the LPGA Tour has changed," says Michael Whan, who took over as LPGA Commissioner in 2010. "The days when all of our members looked the same, talked the same, and all came from colleges in towns from across the United States, or came from similar

CALL THE TUNE

the wider impact of the country’s dominance of the women’s professional circuit

KOREA’S LEADING WORLD RANKED PLAYERS 1. INBEE PARK 5. SO YEON RYU 6. SUNG HYUN PARK 7. HYE JIN CHOI 8. IK KIM 15. IN GEE CHUN 16. JIN-YOUNG KO 21. EUN-HEE JI 23. SEI YOUNG KIM 26. JIYAI SHIN

have recognised as being a core skills historically required for Korean women to flourish in workplace environments. A fiercely competitive society, married with an intrinsic dedication to getting better, has fostered a generation of women that has transformed and revolutionised the game. "Koreans are the most disciplined people on earth," PGA coach Brian Mogg, who has an academy in Seoul, told CNN's Living Golf show. "If you tell them to do something, they don't just do it, they do it to the nth degree. And when you put hard work and discipline together, you're going to create some success." Si Re Pak, whose parents travelled with her for much of the early part of her career, also cites work ethic, along with solid parental support, as reasons for her country’s success in golf. "A lot of

how to control our minds, especially when we're upset or when we're happy, so Koreans just naturally know how to manage their emotions, because it's our culture," she says. Despite the huge number of Korean players coming through, Madill says they still maintain their individuality and are far from the identikit players that their critics claim them to be. "Although they are all very powerful and outstanding technically, there is still room for idiosyncrasies in their game," she says. "They certainly aren't coming off a production line. Their course management is also superb, as well as their thinking on the course. Their whole mentality is to win. They are very serious and their work ethic, not surprisingly, is strong. Nothing seems to faze them on the course." In a game dominated by numbers, the

experiences in American junior golf, are over – and we're not going to go back." In fact Whan has been a key figure in making the LPGA Tour significantly less UScentric than it has ever been, with this season’s schedule featuring an extensive ‘Asian Swing’ in the autumn, taking in two events in Korea, two in China, and one in Taiwan and Japan. The first event in Korea is the International Crown, a biennial team event that is being held outside of America for the first time, and being staged at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon. Interestingly, the USA are the defending champions following their narrow one-point win over South Korea in 2016. The stage is set for a battle of golf’s superpowers, although it’s not hard to see in which direction the power is shifting.


[36] SUMMER 2018 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

BJORN COMPLETES RYDER CUP VICE SQUAD

E

uropean Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn has announced that Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood will join Robert Karlsson to complete his vice-captain line-up for the matches in Paris from September 28-30. Westwood is a seven-time winner as a player in the contest against the US. Harrington has been a vice-captain twice, while McDowell, who claimed the winning point in 2010, and Donald will be performing the role for the first time. The quintet have 26 Ryder Cup appearances between them, and have amassed 56 points over a 19-year spell from 1997 to 2016. The qualification campaign for the European team concludes at the Made in Denmark tournament on September 2.

JIMENEZ RIDES OFF WITH FIRST SENIOR MAJOR

ITERRANEAN JOURNEY.

M

iguel Angel Jimenez secured his first senior major with a threeshot victory at the Regions Tradition in Alabama. The Spaniard birdied two of the last three holes to post a final round 70 at Greystone Golf & Country Club, and pull clear of Steve Stricker,

Joe Durant and Gene Sauers. Beginning the final day with a three-shot lead, Jimenez bogeyed the first, but bounced back with birdies at the fifth and seventh to post a front-nine 35. He lost his outright advantage with a bogey at the 10th, as Durant moved alongside him with three birdies in a four-hole stretch around the turn. Taking a two-shot cushion to the last, Jimenez found the par-five green in two and two-putted for birdie to finish the week on 19 under par, and secure a fifth career victory on the Champions Tour.

WATSON OVERHAULS CASEY TO CLAIM TRAVELERS’ TITLE

B

ubba Watson stormed from six shots behind in the final round to overhaul Paul Casey and win the Travelers Championship by three strokes. The American carded a seven-

under-par 63, capping a dominant performance with a three-foot birdie at the final hole at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut after almost holing his approach with a


NEWS | SUMMER 2018

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TOUR NEWS IN BRIEF

NOREN EYES UP RYDER CUP SPOT AFTER PARIS TRIUMPH

A

lex Noren overturned a seven-shot deficit to win the French Open at Le Golf National, venue for September’s Ryder Cup. The 35-year-old Swede started the final round in a share of seventh, but powered through the field with a closing 67 to finish one shot in front of Julian Suri, Russell Knox and Chris Wood. Noren’s compatriot Marcus Kinhult had held a two shot overnight advantage from Chris Wood, but the former’s challenge gradually faded as the lead changed hands several times, with the 21 year old carding a triple bogey on the fourth and double bogey on the 15th in his round of 76. Wood and Suri, as well as Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, had their chances to force a play-off, but each gradually succumbed to the notoriously unforgiving Albatross Course, with Noren’s sevenunder-par clubhouse target proving enough for his

tenth European Tour title. Garcia’s round of 74 was bookended by double bogeys, after the 2017 Masters champion found the water on the first and 18th holes. He had to settle for a share of eighth place alongside Justin Thomas on four under par. Rahm triple-bogeyed the 12th en route to a 72 as he finished tied fifth with Kinhult and Matthew Southgate, who matched Knox’s 65. Noren said: “This golf course is very tough, but there are also birdies out there if you hit the greens and if you hit the fairways. If there's any golf course that's tough to be in the lead, it's probably this one, and coming from behind, I thought I needed to get to eight under to have a chance for a play-off. It

OPPORTUNITY KNOX FOR RUSSELL AT IRISH OPEN

wedge. He finished on 17 under par to become the first three-time winner on the PGA Tour this year. "It's been an amazing ride, my whole career, but this year has been outstanding," said Watson after securing his 12th PGA Tour title. He previously won in February at Riviera in Los Angeles, also for the third time, and

feels amazing to have won, as I've been close a few times this year.” Speaking about his chances of returning to Paris for the Ryder Cup, he added: “It would mean a lot if I could make the team. I’ve got some good memories from Paris National and I've had some good results in recent years."

MOLINARI SECURES FIRST PGA TOUR WIN

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cotland’s Russell Knox provided one of the most dramatic finishes of the European Tour season when holing two 40-foot putts at the 18th hole at Ballyliffin Golf Club to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The 33-year-old Scot, who is largely based on the PGA Tour, began the final day at the County Donegal links six shots off the lead, but an eagle at the par-five fourth, followed by four more birdies, meant he stepped onto the 18th tee with his score on 13 under par – the clubhouse target which had already been set by Spain’s Jorge Campillo. It looked like Knox might have to settle for a tie with Campillo at best, after his approach finished 35 feet from the hole on the edge of the green, but he proceeded to roll it into the cup to rapturous cheers, moving him to 14 under. New Zealander Grant Fox could only watch from the fairway as the drama unfolded,

JKIM LOWERS LPGA SCORING RECORD

but he looked set to rain on Knox’s parade moments later after a stunning approach to the final green. But his 10-foot putt slipped by, meaning extra holes were required to separate the two. Playing the 452-yard 18th hole again, Knox found the rough off the tee, and it looked like advantage to Fox after he smashed another huge drive down the fairway, leaving himself just a gap wedge to the green. Knox bravely found the putting surface with his bumped approach, after which Fox hit his wedge to no more than 10 feet. Putting from an almost identical position to his final putt in regulation, Knox drained another incredible

in March at the World Golf ChampionshipsMatch Play in Texas. Casey started the day with a four-shot lead over his closest rival, American Russell Henley, but a birdie at the first hole was his only one the entire day, as his swing deserted him. He carded 72 to tie for second at 14 under with Americans J.B. Holmes, Beau Hossler and Stewart Cink, who

40-foot effort to claim the title, and move to fifth in the Race to Dubai rankings. Fox had the consolation of earning a spot in the Open Championship, while Campillo finished in outright third place. Last year’s Irish Open champion Jon Rahm finished with a 66 to claim a share of fourth alongside the third round leader Erik Van Rooyen of South Africa. Following a runner-up finish in the French Open at Paris National, Knox’s win in Ireland catapulted him to eighth in the European Ryder Cup standings, and with a live chance of making the team, after being controversially overlooked by Darren Calrke for a wildcard spot in 2016.

fired a closing 62. Watson took his time to reel in Casey, finally doing so with

a 10-foot birdie at the 15th hole. "That's when I really started thinking, OK, we can

rancesco Molinari shot a stunning final-round 62 to win his first PGA Tour title by eight shots at the Quicken Loans National in Maryland. The 35-year-old Italian began the final round level with Mexico's Abraham Ancer on 13 under, but carded six birdies and an eagle to win from American Ryan Armour and become the first Italian to win on US soil since Toney Penna in 1954. Molinari ensured those chasing him were of little threat, as after making two birdies on the front nine, he made a 50-foot eagle putt on the 10th hole and followed it with four consecutive birdies. The two-time European Ryder Cup team member moved from 123rd to 42nd in the FedEx Cup standings, and justified his decision to play at the tournament rather than take part in the European Tour's French Open, which was held at Paris National, venue for September’s Ryder Cup. "It wasn't an easy decision," said Molinari, who is currently fourth in the European Ryder Cup points list and seventh in the world points list. "I thought until the last minute whether to go to France or to play in the States, but it seems like it was the right choice in the end. It was a big risk not playing in France, but the risk on the other side was that I would miss out on qualifying for the FedEx Cup, but I’ve taken care of that now, so job done.”

win this thing," said Watson, who also beat Casey in the same event in 2015 via a playoff. Sunday's performance all but ensures Watson a place on the United States Ryder Cup team. He failed to make the 2016 team. Casey described his day as ‘terribly frustrating’, after posting his eighth

runner-up finish on the PGA Tour. He hit some poor drives, not least at the par-five 13th, which leaked right into a hazard, but his putter saved him for most of the day, until the 16th, where his missed a four-footer for par. He then found water off the tee at the par-four 17th, and slipped back into the back on 14 under.

South Korea’s Sei Young Kim broke the 72-hole scoring record on the LPGA Tour after winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic with a total of 31 under par. The 25-year-old took just 257 shots over the four days, compiling rounds of 63, 65, 64 and 65 to win by nine strokes from Spain’s Carlota Ciganda. Kim beat her own previous low-scoring record of 27 under, which she shared with Annika Sorenstam, who matched that score in 2001. Kim is sixth different player from Korea to win on the LPGA Tour season and it was her seventh career victory.

LAHINCH TO HOST 2019 IRISH OPEN Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare will stage the Irish Open for the first time next year. Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will host the event at the links course on July 4-7. There will be a prize fund of $7m and it will be part of the European Tour’s Rolex Series. The hosting role will be rotated each year between McGinley, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell. They are taking over from Rory McIlroy, who has been tournament host since 2015.

OTAEGUI WINS BELGIAN KNOCKOUT Adrian Otaegui claimed a second European Tour title after defeating Benjamin Hebert in the final of the inaugural Belgian Knockout held at Rinkven International Golf Club. The 25-year-old Spaniard despatched Jorge Campillo and David Drysdale to reach the final of the nine-hole stroke play format, where he posted a score of three under to secure a two-shot victory.

WISE CLINCHES FIRST PGA TOUR WIN Aaron Wise clinched his first PGA Tour title in only his 26th start after claiming a three-shot win at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas. Two weeks after finishing second at the Wells Fargo Championship, the 21-year-old went one better when carding a closing six-under 65 at Trinity Forest in Dallas. Wise started the final round tied with Marc Leishman, but pulled away after bagging six birdies in a sevenhole stretch from the fourth, and was never challenged thereafter, finishing at 23-under-par for the tournament.


[38] SUMMER 2018 FEATURE GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

BACK IN THE PINK

With three wins already this season, and a Ryder Cup place all but nailed down, life is good again for twotime Masters champion Bubba Watson, after overcoming a massive slump in form in 2017

W

ith three wins in the bag before the end of June, do you feel like you’re playing the best golf of your career right now? I’m not sure. I think 2015 was pretty special, wasn't it? I won the Northern Trust and then I won the Masters, and I also won in China towards the end of the year. So that was probably my best calendar year to date. I hate to say it, but I'd be really happy to have just one win a year as long as it was a major. How does it feel to pretty much have your place in the US Ryder Cup team locked down already? Jim [Furyk] hasn't texted me yet, but I'd really like him to say he’s going to pick me no matter what. It would mean a lot to get back in the team. That's always been the goal. To win a golf tournament, and to make the Ryder Cup team. Being American, there is always a team to play for every year, but Ryder Cup years are extra special. It's a thrilling time. I've never won a Ryder Cup, so making the team and trying to win the cup as a player, rather than as a vice captain, would be incredible. It would be even better if it was on home soil, but it will be fun anywhere you can get a victory. You were left out of the team in 2016, despite being ranked ninth in the points list and no.7 in the world. Davis Love made you a vicecaptain, but why did you feel you weren’t included as a player? Davis basically told me it was all about team strategies, and about who matches up well with who. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if it was about partners, or who matches up better with three people. It wasn’t about my play. But any time you’re not in the top eight automatic slots you leave yourself open to the

discretion of the captain. It happened before with Hunter Mahan in 2012, and it will probably happen again in the future. But once Davis had made that call, I still told him that I wanted to help the team in any way I could, and, to be honest, being there to support our players at Hazeltine was one of the best things I’ve ever done in golf. You said earlier in the year that you’d set a goal of getting ten wins on tour. Now you have 12. How does that feel? My dream has always been to get ten wins on Tour. I didn't think it was possible, but then I got to that mark, and now I've got two more. It’s unbelievable. My whole career has been an amazing ride, but this year has been outstanding. After last year, who knows what to expect? It's amazing what some good energy will do. It’s been said that you were on the verge of quitting the game last season. How did you get to that point and how did you talk yourself out of it? Quitting the game is always a possibility, but I’ve got to keep paying the bills somehow, and I don’t know any other way of doing that apart from playing golf. But last year was one of the lowest points in my life. I was tired, both emotionally and physically, and was kind of running on empty. I lost 25lbs in the space of three months, and lost all my energy and focus, and just wanted to take a step back. I’ve got a wife and two young kids who I want to see more of, and I was being pushed and pulled in lots of directions. But I had lots of good advice from people I trust. My wife, Angie; my caddy, Teddy Scott; my manager at Pro Sport Management; and John Solheim at Ping, who is like a father and a grandfather to me – I spoke to them all, and they kind of reminded me where my passions lay. So I got off the sofa, stopped eating chips, and decided to go out and play golf again. The quality of your golf seems to mirror how you’re feeling. Are you in a happy place right now? Well, yeah, I have never been in a bad mood and won a golf tournament, if that’s what you mean. When I first came out on Tour, I thought I was a world-beater, and would win everything, but then I found out pretty quickly how great everybody else was, so I had to change attitude and the way I went about my business. As I've got older, I’ve learned to try and focus on the most important things in my life. We all go through stages of life that affect us – getting married, moving house, having kids, parents passing away – there are things that we don't ever talk about that cause somebody not to play well or somebody to play great. So, yeah, I've been in a good frame of mind whenever I’ve won, but I’ve never been in a bad frame of mind and still beat everybody else. You’re very much a ‘horses for courses’ player, with three wins at the Travelers, two at Augusta. How much has being a left-hander, and your style play, dictated where you play and where you have had most success? Well, we all pick our schedules based on what courses we like, what events we like, because that course fits us. I really like Hilton Head, but I haven't played there in years because of how difficult it is, with its small green –, and given the way I shape the ball, it would be really close to luck if I won that tournament. So we've seen players throughout the years follow a particular schedule because the golf courses fit the way they play. I’m no different; I feel comfortable on some courses and not on others, so it’s no real surprise that there are some on which I perform better. With two majors under your belt, and lots of wins, what motivates you in the long term? Having been lucky enough to play at the Olympics in Rio, I’d say that I’m really motivated about getting to Tokyo in 2020. It was the best experience of my life to watch all the other events in Rio, and to get the chance to play golf as well. I know it's a couple years away, and I’ll be 41 by then, but I'd love to have a chance to make the Olympic team again.

■ WATSON WON THE WGC WORLD MATCH PLAY EARLIER THIS SEASON

I WAS TIRED, BOTH EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY, AND WAS KIND OF RUNNING ON EMPTY. I LOST 25LBS IN THE SPACE OF THREE MONTHS, AND LOST ALL OF MY ENERGY AND FOCUS

BUBBA BY NUMBERS AGE: 39 TURNED PRO: 2002 WORLD RANKING: 12 FEDEX CUP RANKING: 3 TOUR APPEARANCES: 288 CUTS MADE: 210 MAJOR WINS: 2 (MASTERS 2012, 2014) OTHER CAREER WINS: 10 TOP 10S: 61 PRIZE MONEY: $41.6M TEAM APPEARANCES: RYDER CUP (’12, ’14, ’16), PRESIDENTS CUP (‘11, ’12), OLYMPICS 2016

WHAT’S IN BUBBA’S BAG? DRIVER: PING G400 LST 7.6° FAIRWAY WOOD: PING G 13.2° IRONS: PING IBLADE (2), PING S55 (4-PW) WEDGES: PING GLIDE 2.0 (52°, 56°, 60°) PUTTER: PING ANSER PLD BALL: TITLEIST PRO V1X GLOVE AND SHOES: G/FORE


EQUIPMENT & GEAR SUMMER 2018 [39] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SUMMER 2018 | WWW.GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/EQUIPMENT

CONTENTS GPS SHOWCASE HIT IT CLOSER WITH THE LATEST DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES ON TEST HONMA TW737P IRONS PRO SHOP PING FORGED WEDGES, TAYLORMADE GAPR, ODYSSEY RED PUTTERS THE GEAR EFFECT INSIDE THE BAGS OF WINNERS ON TOUR

POWER & PRECISION

GOLF NEWS TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT PING'S NEW i210 & i500 IRONS


[40] SUMMER 2018

EQUIPMENT & GEAR GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

iNSPiRiNG iRONS Meet the all-new PING i500 and i210 irons – where power meets precision

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ING has met the challenge of creating irons that meet the better player’s demands for a combination of precision and power with the launch of the new i210 and i500 irons, both of which meet those requirement

with slightly different approaches. The new cavity back i210 and hollow-headed i500 neatly balance the requirements for workability and distance with clubheads that are designed to inspire and

empower. With the i500 being the more distance-orientated iron of the two, Ping expects to see good players put more of the lower-lofted models into the bag, making the i210 the preferred option in the

mid-to-high lofts, although many may prefer complete sets of one or the other. Paul Wood, Ping’s vice president of engineering, said: “The i210 is a more forgiving iron than its predecessor, and, like i500, may help that level of

PING i500 BOASTING POWER-PACKED PERFORMANCE with a heavy dose of precision, the Ping i500 offers a more compact version of the flexible face-insert, hollow-body technology first seen in Ping’s Crossover hybrid irons. The Crossover led to the development of the game-improvement G700 irons, which featured a maraging steel face insert made of the same face material found in Ping’s G400 fairway woods and hybrids. The i500 represents the next generation of this technology, offering the best elements of the G700 and i200 combined in a clubhead and styling that will suit the eye of the better player. “You could say G700 and i200 had a baby and that’s i500,” said Paul Woo. “The big challenge with this iron was to take all the things that make the G700 work so well and put them in a smaller package. It’s actually more difficult the smaller you get. There’s less room for the pocket, less room to have things flexing, and still get the weight right. That’s why we’ve gone from Crossover to G700 to i500. This one’s the most challenging to pack it all in, but the benefits are pretty substantial.” The i500 iron’s hollow structure and high-strength maraging steel face allows for five times the bending of the face at impact compared to a standard cast iron. That bending leads to distance increases, because not only does

player consider bringing more long irons back into the bag. Loft for loft, the i500 launches the ball higher than the i210, but they end up launching almost the same, as the lofts on the i210s are 2.5 degrees weaker. The

7-iron i500 is going to go significantly further, but our stats would say your precision might be a little better with the i210, so that’s the trade-off. Would you rather give up a little distance or a little precision?”

■ THE COMPACT HEAD SIZE WILL MAKE IT APPEAL TO BETTER PLAYERS

the ball launch faster off the face, but the face also bends in a way that launches shots higher. “Players are experiencing significant ball speed gains, which translates to more distance, and a higher overall ball flight, so the ball holds the green. In our testing, some players gained as much as 15 yards,” said Wood. “The trajectory is unlike anything we’ve seen in an iron its size before. Players can expect to hit one less club into the green when properly fitted. They’ll be amazed at the power and performance engineered into an iron this size. On top of that, it has a blade-style look at address, with less offset, which a lot of good players prefer.” The i500, which has lofts 2.5 degrees stronger than the i210, launches the ball similarly and reaches a similar height, but


EQUIPMENT & GEAR SUMMER 2018

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

PING i210 ■ A LARGER ELASTOMER INSERT MAKES THE I210 IRONS FEEL SOFTER THAN THEIR PREDECSSORS

■ TIGHTER GROOVES PRODUCE MORE SPIN CONTROL THROUGH THE BAG

CONTINUING THE EVOLUTIONARY THEME is the i210, which, as the name suggests, takes the precise distance consistency established by the i200 irons, which were launched just over 18 months ago, to the next level. The i200 went straight into the bags of many tour players, and the i210 is doing just the same, with Brandon Stone using the 3, 4 and 5 irons to capture the Scottish Open, where he shot a European Tour record-equalling 60 to win by four shots. With a compact shape and narrow topline, the i210 is all about shot-making, precision and feel – the latter the result of a larger and softer elastomer insert located in the back cavity. The 30% larger insert increases perimeter weighting, but it also results in 25% more of the face being supported by the softer material to improve feel. The cast clubheads are made from a softer steel than found in the i200 irons, while a new hydropearl chrome finish repels water to improve consistency from the rough and in wet conditions. Additionally, a new milled groove configuration on the faces creates tighter grooves on the higher lofted clubs for increased spin control. Ping president John K

Solheim said: “In the i210 iron, we focused on designing a club that ensures a soft, buttery feel with the distance precision to attack flagsticks. The soft feel of the i210 irons is unlike any we’ve ever offered. We know players who rely on precise iron play also require exceptional feel to control their ball flight and trajectories. The improvements to the tuning port and elastomer insert, along with the exacting, refined details of the i210 iron, offer a new level of performance for this style of iron.” Ping i210 irons are available 3-UW at an RRP of £126/£136 per club (st/gr). The standard shaft is a True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 steel or Alta CB graphite, plus a range of premium aftermarket shafts at no extra cost.

NEW PING IRONS ENJOY INSTANT IMPACT ON TOUR While many tour players are reluctant to put new clubs in the bag during what is one of the most busy and important ■ TYRRELL HATTON PUT THE I210 IRONS STRAIGHT INTO HIS BAG, AS HAS RECENT SCOTTISH OPEN WINNER BRANDON STONE

parts of the season, a number of Ping staff players have wasted no time in transitioning into the new i500 and i210 irons in the middle of the summer schedule. US tour player Tony Finau had an i500 3-iron in the bag at the US Open in June, where he finished fifth, while Hunter Mahan, Tyrrell Hatton, Lee Westwood

■ THE HOLLOW HEAD CREATES A HOT FACE FOR LONGER DISTANCE AND GREATER FORGIVENESS

and Brandon Stone all made the instant switch into the i210 irons, with Stone using them to particularly good effect during the final round of the Scottish Open, where he fired a closing 10-underpar 60 to win his third European Tour victory in as many seasons.

gets to that point farther down range for more distance. “Because that material is so strong, you can go really thin,” Wood said. “You can use the whole face to distribute the stress and get movement in the face. As you get thinner in the face you’re taking more mass that you can redistribute, so you’re also getting an increase in moment of inertia, making it a much more stable clubhead.” Ping i500 irons are available in 3-UW at an RRP of £149/£159 per club (st/gr). The standard steel shaft is True Temper's Dynamic Gold 120, while th egraphite option is UST's Mamiya Recoil ES SMAC. A range of premium aftermarket shafts at are also avaiable at no extra cost.


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TAYLORMADE P790 BLACK IRONS

CALLAWAY SUPERHOT BOLD

£259, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU TaylorMade has joined a select number of premium brands that are turning to the dark side in order to inject new life into their irons sales, with the launch of its new P790 Black irons. The black coating is a high-gloss PVD finish, while the black theme through to a new all-black True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 shaft and black/orange Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. Colour aside, the P790 Black is an exact replica of the original chrome-finished P790, a forged, distanceorientated iron that combines a hollow-body construction with a thin face, and a new sound-dampening polyurethane filling called SpeedFoam, all wrapped up in a compact, player-oriented package. The 3-7 irons feature a speed slot to help increase ball speed on shots hit low on the face, while the short irons dispense with the speed slot, but feature slightly thicker faces and a longer hosel to raise the centre of gravity and provide more control over trajectory and shot shape.

£30 FOR 15, CALLAWAYGOLF.EU Callaway’s Superhot Bold family comprises three matt colour finishes - orange, yellow and red – which will add a touch of colour to a golfer’s arsenal without compromising on performance. Designed for straight distance, the ball features a three-piece construction and combines a large, high energy core for fast ball speed with an ultra-soft thin cover, creating a distance ball with soft feel that also delivers additional spin control on shots around the green.

BIOFREEZE SPRAY

PRO SHOP

YOUR GUIDE TO THE LATEST GEAR

£9.99, BOOTS.COM Most golfers will suffer from aches and pains during the course of their lives, much of them as direct result of playing golf. Biofreeze is designed to relieve the symptoms of muscle aches and spasms, soreness, sprains, strains, bumps, pulls and bruises by simply applying the product directly to the affected area. Available as a gel, spray or roll-on, Biofreeze is a topical analgesic that uses the cooling effect of menthol, a natural pain reliever, to soothe minor muscle and joint pain. It penetrates quickly, offering relief through cold therapy, much in the same way that ice does, reducing inflammation to allow the body to repair itself quickly. For this reason, it’s especially effective for use in conjunction with hands-on health care such as chiropractic, massage and physical therapies, and podiatry.

LUCAS GOLF TROLLEY BATTERIES WWW.ECOBAT.TECH, £44.75 While Lucas has been a huge brand in the automotive industry for many years, it also has a growing slice of the leisure market, with its battery technology being used to supply all manner of products, including golf buggies and golf trolleys. Working in partnership with ECOBAT Battery Technologies, Lucas supplies a comprehensive golf battery range, including a 12-volt rechargeable golf battery that is designed to work with all major brands of power trolleys. Available with a 12-month guarantee, it offers increased power and longevity, as well as reliability, and comes in black, grey or green cases.

ODYSSEY RED BALL PUTTER £169, ODYSSEYGOLF.COM If you have trouble finding the correct alignment and set-up with your putter, then Odyssey’s new Red Ball could be just the ticket. It’s a face-balanced mallet that features the brand’s Versa whiteblack-white head with an innovative red dot alignment aid. Looking down at address, if the red dot is high in the scope your eyes are too far outside the ball; if it the dot is low, your eyes are too far inside the line; while if it is too far left or too far right, your eyes are too far in front and behind, respectively. Get the dot bang in the middle of the sight, and you’re on the money. Boasting a White Hot insert for responsive feel and feedback, it is available in right and lefthanded models, and comes with a DFX grip and shaft length options of 33, 34 and 35 inches.


EQUIPMENT & GEAR SUMMER 2018 [43] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

OSCAR JACOBSON CHAP £55, WWW.OSCARJACOBSON.COM Bamboo charcoal fibres feature in the Chap polo shirt, which is knitted from a polyester/elastane mix for added stretch and fit. The fibre is mixed in with the yarn to create a fabric that offers the same feel and durability as many synthetic fabrics, but is kinder on the environment thanks to nanotechnology. The process allows the physical and biological properties of a material to be modified by engineering, synthesising and adding elements to develop the next generation of improved fabrics and materials.

CLEVELAND TFI 2135 SATIN PUTTERS

CALLAWAY ROGUE HYBRIDS £229, CALLAWAYGOLF.EU Billed as Callaway’s most powerful ever hybrids, the Rogue hybrid is the first to feature the Jailbreak Technology that first appeared in last year’s Epic driver, and a newer version of which is offered in the new Rogue range. While the stiffening effect of the two vertical ‘Jailbreak bars’ behind the face is less pronounced in the smaller head of a hybrid than in a driver or fairway woods, when combined with a hyper speed cup face, they place more impact load on the face to promote faster ball speed and more distance. The heads also feature a forward Internal Standing Wave to precisely locate the centre of gravity and promote easy launch. The standard model (17°, 19°, 21°, 24° and 27°) derives its shape from Callaway’s popular Apex Hybrid, but boasts a slightly enlarged head to appeal to a wider cross-section of players. It is relatively low spinning; offers enough forgiveness to easily get the ball airborne; and provides a certain degree of workability, and is versatile from different lies. The Rogue X (18°, 20°, 23°, 26°, 29° and 32°) is shaped more like a miniature fairway wood than a traditional hybrid. It has a larger head and offers a larger surface area to hit from, while the centre of gravity is placed in a different location to the standard Rogue hybrid. Designed for maximum distance, it boasts one-degree stronger lofts than the standard model, and is offered with a slightly longer shaft.

£119-£149, CLEVELANDGOLF.CO.UK Available in six different models, Cleveland’s TFi 2135 Satin putters offer a host of technologies that aid speed control and alignment. Among the new design features is the variable-depth milled face, which boasts different groove thicknesses that adjust ball speed so that every putt rolls the same distance regardless of where it is struck on the face. The heel and toe area has fewer grooves than the centre, so off-centre hits will come off faster to make up for the speed lost from there being less weight behind the ball at impact. The heads also boast a polymer insert behind the face that dampens vibrations and enhances soft feel, while colour-contrasting sightlines are raised 21.35mm off the ground – the exact radius of a golf ball – to encourage accurate alignment. The range, which comes with a choice of a mid-sized pistol grip or a 63g oversized flat front grip, comprises the Blade 1.0 (£119); Blade 8.0 Counter Balanced (£139); Mallet – Rho, Cero, Elevado (£139); and Mallet Elevado Counter Balanced (£149).

TAYLORMADE GAPR PING GLIDE FORGED WEDGES £200/210 (ST/GR), PING.COM Ping's new Glide Forged range of wedges is designed for players that look for a soft-feeling, sleek-looking, high-spinning blade-style design in their scoring clubs. A sole design with a rounded lead edge and more heel-toe camber allows for greater shot-making and creativity around the green, while a goosenecktapered hosel ensures a smooth transition through grass and sand. Precision-milled grooves, first seen in the Glide 2.0 wedges, features a sharper edge radius, which increases interaction with the ball at impact, creating more friction for improved spin and trajectory control. Available for custom and pre-orders, they come in 50⁰, 52⁰, 54⁰, 56⁰, 58⁰, 60⁰lofts, with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 steel shafts, and Alta CB graphite shafts as standard.

£259, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU TaylorMade’s new GAPR clubs are designed to fill the gaps between long irons and fairway woods. Each of the three different models – Lo, Mid and Hi – feature SpeedFoam technology, which increases face support and generate faster ball speeds, while softening the feel at impact and dampening vibrations. Each also boasts a slightly different centre of gravity to produce a different trajectory. GAPR Lo (17°, 19°, and 22°) is the smallest of the three heads, and is designed for players with fast clubhead speeds. It features an ultra-low and forward centre of gravity for a mid-to-low trajectory, while its driving irontype shape and thinner sole width allows for workability. It is available in 17°, 19°, and 22° lofts. The Mid model (18°, 21°, and 24°) boasts an iron-like face profile and features a low-and-forward centre of gravity for a mid-high trajectory, and a medium-wide sole width for ease of play and versatility. The GAPR Hi (19°, 22°, 25° and 28°) is more like a traditional hybrid and features a low-and-back centre of gravity for maximum distance and a high, penetrating trajectory. It features a high toe and a more bulbous clubhead, while s dropped crown also serves to lower the centre of gravity to help get the ball up in the air.


[44] SUMMER 2018

EQUIPMENT & GEAR GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

EQUIPMENT NEWS ATTENTION TEACHING PROS ATTRACT MORE CLIENTS, add value & more profits using the latest technology for your teaching. Heard the expression ‘If you’re not measuring you’re just guessing !’ Even the best pros cant always tell whats going on & what to work on. Unique opportunity to acquire the latest 3D technology at a fraction of the new price. ‘4D Motion Golf’ is a system designed for the advanced teaching professional utilizing the latest technology sensors. Simply attach

the sensors (size of a poker chip) to the student and their club. They make a swing, with or without a ball then you can view their avatar, how they swung and all the stats for that swing….from all kinds of angles and the plane and so much more! The system includes 6 x gen 2 sensors, 1 charging station, 18 velcro straps varying lengths for chest, hips, arm, leg etc 2x clip mounts for cap, belt, glove1x club mount. Neat carrying case. The free 4D Motion Golf app is compatible with all Apple and Android devices. A pro can register an unlimited number of students and all students can view their swings on the free app. You can use their standard templates such as club, torso and arms or measure absolutely any body part to see what you are doing and how much/little it turns through

the swing. The system effectively does the same as a KVest but at a fraction of the cost and is more portable to quickly and easily set up at the range or at home. More info here: www.4dmotionsports. com www.4dmotionsports.eu. Using video is fine but you are still guessing! 4D Motion support is first class and you can join their Facebook support group which is a great community for sharing ideas and the latest teaching ideas and methods (50 dollar registration charge). So I paid the new price which is £1599 just a short while ago but now need to sell this… closing my home simulator in favour of a gym. It is hardly used and like new in every way. Any reasonable offer will be considered! Call now… Rob Kedgley 07970 161270 or robkedgley@gmail.com

TITLEIST OFF TO FAST START WITH TS DRIVERS TITLEIST’S NEW TS DRIVERS, which are currently being seeded on tour, proved a popular choice among its loyal group of pros at the US Open, with 17 players, including major champions Justin Thomas and Jimmy Walker, putting either the TS2 or TS3 driver into play at Shinnecock Hills. Seven players put the 460cc TS2 straight into the bag for what is one of toughest driving courses in the world, while ten players opted for the slightly smaller headed TS3. A matching set of fairway woods and hybrids will accompany the drivers, all of which are set to be launched later this year.

FORESIGHT GCQUAD HITS THE RANGE AT WENTWORTH FORESIGHT SPORTS’ GCQUAD launch monitors played a key part in the recent staging of the annual men’s guest event held over two days at the Wentworth Club in Surrey last month. The award-winning launch monitors were made available for guests to check their shot striking performance in five bays on the driving range at the prestigious Surrey club. The players taking part in the exclusive event were also given the opportunity to win prizes, including a golf trip to Bermuda and a brand new BMW car. On the first day, players were also treated to a complimentary seminar by former European Tour player and current Sky Sports presenter Nick Dougherty, in which he utilised the GCQuad’s ability to track both ball and clubface data to the full and provide the most accurate feedback on shot outcomes. “Foresight Sports was delighted to be part of such a successful event at the exclusive Wentworth Club, and we look to continue to assist

the facility in its drive to offer golfers the best possible experience,” said the brand’s Marketing Manager Tom Davies. Wentworth has recently had a retractable overhead impact screen designed and installed by Foresight, which was placed into one of its covered hitting bays – the first of its kind in the UK. The fully-tensioned, powered design means that the bay can be weatherproofed in minutes, ensuring lessons and fittings can continue when conditions outside take a turn for the worse. Coupled with a GCQuad launch monitor, the coaches and fitters at Wentworth Club are able to gather pure data which remains the same, whether hitting into the screen or out onto the driving range. For more information about Foresight Sports, visit www.foresightsports.eu or call 01483 779222 or email info@foresightsports.eu.

INSIST ON THE BEST. INSIST ON FORESIGHT. Trusted by golf professionals worldwide, Foresight technology delivers the most accurate and reliable data on the market. Take away the guesswork – insist on Foresight for your next custom fitting or lesson.

Locate your nearest Foresight professional. Contact us today on venues@foresightsports.eu

Lessons Measure Everything. Assume Nothing.

Custom Fitting

Gapping

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Competitions +44 (0) 1483 779222 www.foresightsports.eu | venues@foresightsports.eu


EQUIPMENT & GEAR SUMMER 2018 [45] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

TESTED:

HONMA TOUR WORLD 737P IRONS

Nick Bayly puts Honma’s most forgiving players’ irons through their paces at a custom-fitting session held at The Grove

H ■ A FULL CUSTOM-FITTING SERVICE IS OFFERED AT HONMA'S DEMO DAY PROGRAMME

onma has been one of the most popular golf brands in Asia and the Far East for many years, with its focus on the premium end of the market proving a big hit with golfers from that part of the world who like to flash the cash in order to elevate their status amongst their peers. Honma has also being making its presence felt over here of late, and thanks to a summer-long demo tour around the UK, more and more golfers in this country are being given the chance to find out what this high quality brand has offer. And ‘quality’ is the keyword for Honma, which prides itself on a meticulous approach to manufacturing, with at least 100 craftsmen handling every club before it finds its way into a golfer’s hands. The use of premium materials and expensive production methods doesn’t come cheap, but Honma sets out to design the best performing products that its research, technology and craftsmanship allow, with the price being a secondary factor. However, while Honma has grabbed many headlines in the past with its £10,000 sets of gold-plated irons, it also does a very decent job of manufacturing more affordable clubs, and nowhere is this more obvious than its range of Tour World 737 irons. Boasting five models, the four forged designs (BM, V, Vn and Vs) are all made for low-handicap

players that appreciate compact heads, precise shot-shaping control and powerful trajectories, while the solitary cast model, the 737P, is the most forgiving of the range, but still features many of the characteristics of a players’ iron. I went along to a demo day at The Grove last month to try out the 737P, and undergo a testing session with the help of one of Honma’s experienced customer fitters. My current set of irons feature a small cavity and a medium-width topline, so the P irons were probably about as high up on the players' iron spectrum that I would comfortably use, but the 7-iron set up beautifully behind the ball, and the clubhead proportions felt compact, without being too intimidating. The 737P features a progressive cavity design, which lowers the centre of gravity to make it easier to get

IF YOU’RE IN THE MARKET FOR AN IRON THAN LOOKS LIKE A TOUR IRON, FEELS LIKE A TOUR IRON, YET HAS ALL THE BENEFITS OF A GAME IMPROVEMENT IRON, THEN THE 737P WARRANTS SERIOUS CONSIDERATION

the ball airborne as you move through the set. The lofts are at least one degree stronger than the industry standard, with the 7-iron coming in at 30 degrees, so it was not surprising to see the ball fly with a more penetrating flight (26 degrees launch angle) than my current irons, and with lower spin (averaging around 3,000rpm), while the hotter face ensured distances were not reduced. In fact, with the combination of the Nippon N.S PRO950GH shaft, which is a bit lighter than the shafts in my current set, it served to add 2mph to my swing speed (80 to 82mph) to produce more distance – up from an average 150 yards of carry to 155 with the 7-iron. Moving through the set, the 5-iron also produced excellent results – especially when I caught one out of the middle – and even those struck slightly off centre got plenty of distance, while the higher-lofted clubs – the set goes up to an 11-iron because of the stronger lofts – felt really responsive, and moved through the turf with ease. Although the 737P isn’t forged, it offered plenty of feedback and feel, but with none of the jarring you get from a miss-hit blade. All in all, if you’re in the market for an iron than looks like a tour iron, feels like a tour iron, yet has all the benefits of a cavity back, game improvement iron, then the 737P’s warrant serious consideration. The Honma Tour World 737P irons have an RRP of £219 per club with steel shafts. To find your nearest Honma demo day, visit honmagolfeurope.com.


[46] SUMMER 2018

EQUIPMENT & GEAR GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SHOT SAVERS

There’s no excuse for leaving it short – or going long – with the latest range of Distance Measuring Devices

NIKON COOLSHOT PRO STABILIZED

GOLFBUDDY LR7

£499.99, NIKON.COM Nikon’s latest rangefinder will prove a boon for golfers afflicted with shaky hands, thanks to a feature which reduces the effects of external vibration by 80%, which results in a clearer picture and increased accuracy. A ‘distance-priority mode’ shows a green circle when the rangefinder is locked on to the correct target and isn’t taking a reading from something further away. It has a switch for slope-adjusted distances when competition rules allow, while the red LED display adjusts its brightness according to the ambient light. The lens offers x6 magnification and is capable of measuring distance of up to 1,200 yards. The VTX also has a voice mode and a digital scorecard.

£249.99, EU.GOLFBUDDYGLOBAL.COM The LR7 provides x6 magnification and boasts four modes – standard, scan, pin and pin finder. Scan continuously measures for ten seconds, showing distances to varying targets; pin mode scans for ten seconds, before displaying the distance to the closest target, while pin finder mode repeats the function of pin mode, but adds in a vibration function for confirmation of an acquired target. Practical features such as automatic shut off, water resistance, default to last used settings, an eyepiece adjustment for varying visual requirements, and a battery indicator, are also offered.

TOMTOM GOLFER 2

SKYCADDIE LINX GT

SHOT SCOPE V2

£169.99, TOMTOM.COM Tom Tom’s latest GPS watch features a slimmer design and a number of new features. Offering measurements to greens and hazards on over 40,000 courses, it boasts a shot detection function, which allows distances to be measured via a built-in motion sensor. After the round, the wearer can wirelessly connect to TomTom’s MySports app to check stats. An ‘ultimate round’ feature combines the best holes from a course to demonstrate what a best potential round could look like, and there’s also an automatic scorecard feature that works with the shot detection to keep score, although putts have to be entered manually.

£249.95, SKYGOLF.COM Pre-loaded with 35,000 ground-mapped courses, the GT provides distances to the front, centre and back of the green. It can also be paired with SkyCaddie’s mobile app to provide expanded views of the hole on a smartphone. Users can tap the screen to get information needed for lay ups or up to 40 referenced targets. A built-in shot tracking system which, when combined with SkyCaddie SmartTags (£295.95), allows golfers to track the club, location and distance of each shot, which can be synchronised in real time with the SkyGolf 360 Cloud.

£225, SHOTSCOPE.COM Shot Scope’s V2 watch combines advanced GPS technology with automatic performance tracking. It three has modes – GPS, Pro and GPS+Track. In both GPS and GPS+Track modes, the LCD screen displays distances to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as to hazards, from the golfer’s real-time position. In Pro and GPS+Track modes, the device works in the background to collect over 100 Tour-level statistics, broken down into five areas: clubs, tee shots, approaches, short game and putting. Data chips screwed into the top of each club record shot data automatically, while putts need to be recorded manually. Battery life in full tracking mode is one round.


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SKYCADDIE TOUCH £329.95, SKYGOLF.COM Pre-loaded with 35,000 ground-mapped courses, the Touch offers glove-friendly, touchscreen navigation with a colour display. Features include IntelliGreen, which gives yardages from the angle of attack and highlights major contours on the green; Target List (listing hazards and carries); HoleVue (full hole views); RangeVue (shows yardage arcs); PinPoint (add pin positions); plus scoring and stats. It can measure club distances and steps taken, and can be Bluetoothed to the SkyGolf 360 app on a smartphone to download the latest course maps.

GOLFBUDDY VTX £249.99, EU.GOLFBUDDYGLOBAL.COM The GolfBuddy VTX’s compact design – 9.5cm x 5.6cm, and 1.5cm deep – means that it can easily slip into a pocket, but is still large enough to convey all the necessary information on a given hole. Boasting a full-colour touchscreen, it offers access to over 38,000 pre-loaded courses, and will auto update courses via Bluetooth to a smartphone. It provides distances to the front, centre and back of greens, all hazards, and a dynamic golfer’s view, so if you stray off course it will give distances from your angle of attack, even if it’s from the wrong fairway. Water resistant and boasting a 15-hour battery life, the VTX also has a voice mode and a digital scorecard.

BUSHNELL EXCEL

GOLFBUDDY WTX+

GARMIN APPROACH S10

£199, BUSHNELLGOLF.CO.UK Pre-loaded with 35,000 courses, the Excel offers front/centre/back distances, plus up to four hazards per hole. Bluetooth integration to a smartphone enables call alerts and messages to be sent straight to the watch. This technology also hooks it up to the Golf App, which enables users to book and pay for tee times, and also gives the option for 3D course flyovers. A Swing Pro function monitors swing speed and tempo, and it also features a pedometer and odometer. The colour display automatically adjusts for brightness, while the battery will last over three rounds in GPS mode. It is available in a choice of black, charcoal or white.

£219.99, GOLFBUDDY.CO.UK U The WTX+ delivers all the functionality of a handheld unit in a stylish, compact watch. Its touchscreen shows distances to the front, centre and back of greens, as well as hazards, while it also offers complete hole view, distances from angle of approach and pin position selection. The all-new model boasts improved antenna strength, which speeds up data transfer, and offers smart phone compatibility with course updates available for download via Bluetooth. It also features a new strap and a new metallic finish for the bezel.

£139.99, GARMIN.COM/GOLF Garmin’s entry-level GPS watch shows distances to the front, back and middle of the green for over 41,000 worldwide courses. Boasting a 1.3-inch screen, the S10 will automatically select the course and the hole, and, in addition to yardages to the green, will also display distances to hazards, doglegs and layups. It also has a shot measuring function. After every game it shows the distance travelled, time played, and the score for that round, which can be uploaded to a weekly leaderboard on the Garmin Golf App. It has a battery life of up to 12 hours between charges in GPS mode.

POWAKADDY FW7S GPS

MOTOCADDY S5 CONNECT

£799.99, POWAKADDY.CO.UK The FW7s GPS, Powakaddy’s top-of-the-range electric trolley, features bult-in GPS that offers distances to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as distances to hazards, at over 30,000 golf courses worldwide, displayed on a 3.5-inch digital screen. The GPS automatically locates the course and hole, while course updates can be made by connecting the unit to PowaKaddy’s website via a USP port located on the handle. Other features include a built-in digital scorecard, with every round saved to build a performance history.

£549.99, MOTOCADDY.COM The display unit built into the electric S5 Connect trolley offers front, middle and back distances to the green, along with the par of the hole, clock, and round timer. When connected to the free Motocaddy App, over 36,000 courses worldwide are accessible, with overhead maps and detailed yardages, distance of the last shot, and dedicated greenside information, while ‘Shot Planning Control’ enables users to pinpoint how far any target is on the course.


[48] SUMMER 2018

EQUIPMENT & GEAR GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

EQUIPMENT NEWS

THE GEAR EFFECT INSIDES THE BAGS OF RECENT WINNERS ON TOUR DUSTIN JOHNSON

LOWER YOUR SCORES WITH FAIRWEATHER GOLF GOLFERS LOOKING to improve their technique and lower their scores should book up a course of lessons with Fairweather Golf, one of the South East’s foremost teaching academies, which has venues in Surrey and East London. Run by Academy Director and PGA Professional Matt Edwards, FairWeather Golf’s two venues

in Camberley and Greenwich Peninsula are kitted out with all the latest swing analysis technology, including the only two RoboGolfPro units currently available in the UK. Developed in the US, and costing around $150,000, the RoboGolfPro boasts PGA Tour players Bryson DeChambeau and Vaughan Taylor as

committed users, while a growing number of swing studios and top level coaches have quickly come around to its benefits as a coaching tool and a training aid. “RoboGolfPro is the only machine that allows the golfer to learn through feel, says Edwards. “Each swing is customised to the player’s height, flexibility and range

of motion, resulting in a consistent, efficient swing, helping build muscle memory. This allows for perfect practice leading to quicker more sustainable results.” Edwards added: “Ultimately, RoboGolfPro will create a more effective, consistent swing, helping achieve longer, straighter shots. Data collected from users

ST JUDE CLASSIC DRIVER: TaylorMade M4 (10.5˚)

over the years shows that players can gain between 15 and 45 yards after just one lesson on the robot. Who doesn’t want that?” In addition to RoboGolfPro, FairWeather Golf has an array of gameenhancing technology, including BodiTrak, K-Vest and Trackman. And with six indoor golf simulators, boasting a

choice of 63 world-class golf courses, plus a bar and café, FairWeather Golf also provides a relaxed, social experience for groups who want to come along and have some fun with friends.

FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade M4 HL (16.5˚) IRONS: TaylorMade P730 (3-PW) WEDGES: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52˚, 60˚, Hi Toe 64˚) PUTTER: TaylorMade Spider Tour Black BALL: TaylorMade TP5x

MATT WALLACE BMW INTERNATIONAL DRIVER: Ping G400 LST (8.5) FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G400 (14.5)

For bookings and further enquiries, call 01276 889 231 email enquiries@fairweather. golf or visit www. fairweather.golf.

IRONS: Ping i200 (2), Ping Prototype (3-5), Ping iBlade (6-9) WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (46), Ping Prototype (52, 58) PUTTER: Ping Sigma G Darby BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

ALEX NOREN OPEN DE FRANCE

ARCCOS UPDATE PUTS A CADDIE ON YOUR BAG ARCCOS GOLF has released a new version of its game-tracking app which offers real-time course management advice built on previous successful ways of playing a given hole. The Arccos Caddie app combines sensors in the clubs with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, to produce instant guidance on strategy and club selection. More than one million rounds have been played using Arccos since its introduction. This has resulted in 418 million GPS course mapping data points on over 40,000 courses, as well as 26 billion geo-tagged data points. Originally introduced last year, the Caddie feature player-specific advice on tee shots. That system was expanded to include advice on ‘plays

like’ distances last summer, and now its latest version combines all that data into direct advice on every shot that takes into account not only a player’s past statistical record, the hole’s playing tendencies, but also the topography, the forecast weather, and wind conditions. The updated app will also allow players to adjust the flag location to ensure recommendations are based on the actual course setup. Using this data, players can make informed decisions on the best way to play a hole, including routes into greens, hazard avoidance, and the most successful lay-up points. It is ideal for golfers playing a new course, as well as those looking to avoid making the same mistakes on more familar courses. For Arccos 360 users, the upgrade to Arccos

DRIVER: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9°) FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Rogue 3-wood (13.5°) HYBRID: Callaway Apex (18°) IRONS: Callaway Apex Pro 16 (4-9) WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (46°, 50°, 60°) PUTTER: Odyssey O-Works #1 BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft

BUBBA WATSON Caddie 2.0 is free and is automatically upgraded within the app. A set of Arccos Smart Grips (14 Lamkin Crossline 360 grips with embedded sensors and a screw-in putter sensor) costs £149.99, including a free 30-day trial to all Arccos features. Arccos is also available in all Cobra Golf’s club fitted with sensor-embedded Smart Grips.

BOSS UNVEILS OPEN CAPSULE COLLECTION

TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVER: Ping G400 LST (8°) FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G (13°) IRONS: Ping iBlade (2), Ping S55 (4-PW) WEDGES: Ping Glide 2.0 (52°, 56°, 60°) PUTTER: Ping Anser PLD BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

FRANCESCO MOLINARI QUICK LOANS NATIONAL DRIVER: TaylorMade M4 (8.5)

PREMIUM CLOTHING BRAND Hugo Boss unveiled a limited edition four-piece capsule collection for The Open Championship. Featuring the iconic Claret Jug logo, the collection combines active performance-wear with a high standard of quality and functionality. A polo shirt (£99) is available in two colours in a cotton-mix fabric that blends coffee grounds into the surface of the material for quick-drying functionality, odour control, and

UV ray reflection. The relaxed-fit knitted sweater (£139) and the sporty cotton twill cap (£45) both come in black with the contrasting white Open logos. Boss ambassadors Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Sean Crocker – all of whom were playing at the Open this year – have been photographed wearing in the collection, which can be bought online at www.boss.com and in select Boss Stores.

FAIRWAY WOODS: TaylorMade M3 (13˚), TaylorMade M4 (18˚) IRONS: TaylorMade P790 (4), TaylorMade P750 (5-PW) WEDGES: TaylorMade Milled Grind (50˚, 56˚, Hi-Toe 60˚) PUTTER: Bettinardi Dass BB Zero BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

RUSSELL KNOX IRISH OPEN DRIVER: Ping G400 LST (10)

WOODS PUTS 14 TAYLORMADE CLUBS IN PLAY TIGER WOODS played with a full set of TaylorMade clubs for the first time at the Quicken Loans National, where he finished tied fourth. The former world No.1 swapped his Nike VR Forged wedges for a new set of custom-built TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges, and replaced his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter with TaylorMade’s TP Ardmore 3 mallet. Woods put a TaylorMade driver and fairway woods into play as soon as he signed a staff contract with the brand last year, and since then he has slowly, but surely been gravitating towards a full set. He put a set of TaylorMade-made irons into his bag earlier this season, although his ‘TW Phase 1’ irons are not on sale to the general public. The new Milled Grind wedges are also far from

being off-the-shelf numbers, with the 56° and 60° models having been hand finished by TaylorMade’s master craftsman Mike Taylor in order to meet Woods’s precise demands for spin, launch, turf interaction and bounce. The Milled Grind wedges boast a raw finish that will rust over time – just like his old Nike wedges – in order to increase spin. Paul Demkowski, TaylorMade’s manager of product development, said: “ Creating new wedges for Tiger was especially challenging considering how comfortable he was with his previous set. Tiger has a lot of bounce in the leading edge – about 24 degrees in the 56° and 34 degrees in the 60° leading edge. This, combined with a C-grind and heavy heel relief, makes his wedges unique.”

FAIRWAY WOODS: Ping G400 (14.5), Cleveland Launcher FL (19) IRONS: Sirxon Z 745 (4-9) WEDGES: Cleveland RTX-3 (48, 54, 60) PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 NB BALL: Srixon Z Star XV

BRANDON STONE SCOTTISH OPEN DRIVER: Ping G400 Max (9) FAIRWAY WOODS: Ping G400 (14.5), UTILITY: Ping Rapture driving iron IRONS: Ping i210 (3-5), Ping iBlade (6PW) WEDGES: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52, 58) PUTTER: Ping Vault 2.0 Anser Dale BALL: Titleist Pro V1x


TRAVEL & BREAKS

SUMMER 2018 [49]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

SUMMER 2018 | WWW.GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/TRAVEL

PORTUGAL’S FINEST 7 REASONS TO PLAY AND STAY AT PRAIA D’EL REY SARAH STIRK HOLES UP ON IRELAND’S NORTH COAST ON THE DANCEFLOOR ME & MY TRAVELS WITH ANTON DU BEKE

PUTTING IN PALMA

GOLF NEWS HITS THE LINKS AT MALLORCA’S ARABELLA RESORT


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TRAVEL & BREAKS

SUMMER 2018

[51]

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TRAVEL BREAKS WAKE UP TO THE NEW-LOOK WOKEFIELD THE DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE in Berkshire has launched a special summer golf package for those looking to sample its championship course and stay in its recently refurbished hotel. The Reading-based resort has benefitted from a £20m investment, which has resulted in the renovation of its restaurant, bar and bedrooms. The new Whiskey Lounge is the perfect place to toast the day before retiring to the renovated bedrooms, which have been finished with relaxing neutral colours. Wokefield’s 6,996-yard, par-72 championship course boasts elevated tees,

mature trees, numerous streams, lakes and clever bunkering that will test every element of your game. Other facilities include a 13-bay driving range, a shortgame area and a practice putting green. The summer stay-and-play package starts from £129 (£64.50pp based on two guests sharing) for a standard room, dinner, breakfast and a round of golf, and £159 for the same offer in a superior room. To redeem the offer, enter the code ‘SFG2018’ when booking online at www. phcompany.com/offer-detail/time-tee. The offer is valid until August 31, 2018.

■ DE VERE WOKEFIELD PARK

SOUTH DEVON B&B PROMISES PEACEFUL GOLFING BOLTHOLE WHILE THE ENGLISH Riviera’s charms as a seaside holiday destination are all too obvious, the attractions of the stretch of South Devon coastline between Torquay and Plymouth as a venue for a golf break are less well touted, with the courses in the area somewhat overshadowed by the more famous links to be found to the north of the county. Thankfully, that leaves superb coastal courses such as Dartmouth, Teignmouth (pictured), Churston and Dawlish Warren delightfully free for those in the know to enjoy, while further inland, layouts like

ICONIC HOLES AND SO MUCH MORE AT GWEL AN MOR GOLFERS LOOKING to enjoy superb year-round playing conditions, stay in luxury accommodation, and experience the best that the West Country has to offer, should book a golf break at Landal Gwel an Mor, an awardwinning resort located on Cornwall’s stunning north coast. Meaning ‘view of the sea’ in Cornish, Gwel an Mor is situated near the beach town of Portreath, and offers a selection of 90 luxury lodges and extensive leisure facilities, including the Famous Nine par-three golf course, which was officially opened by three-time Ryder Cup Bernard Gallacher last autumn. The Famous Nine course, which boasts spectacular coastal views, is the largest course in the country to be fitted out with all-weather greens and tees, ensuring consistent year-round playing conditions. The course, which costs £15 a round to play, pays tribute to some of the

■ THE 18TH HOLE GWEL AN MOR IS MODELLED ON THE 17TH AT TPC SAWGRASS

best holes from around the world, taking inspiration from St Andrews, Augusta, Royal Troon, Sawgrass, Pebble Beach and Carnoustie. Designed by Remedy Oak PGA Professional David Cooper, the four-year project required 250,000 tons of earth to create the course’s undulations, with a further 25,000 tons dug out to complete the numerous water features. With a range of five-star accommodation options, visitors can choose to stay in a contemporary Residence retreat or a classic Scandinavian-style lodges. With a relaxed, but high-end style, the two- and three-bedroom lodges boast open plan living areas, with wood burners for cosy nights in and private patios with hot tubs for outdoor living. Guests can also stay in the new studio lodges, which are located on the edge of the resort’s fishing lake. Sleeping two people, and bookable for one-night stays, the studios are ideal for golfing couples on short breaks. Besides golf, there are lots of other activities to keep everyone happy. The

on-site Terrace Restaurant is available for those who don’t fancy self-catering, while there’s also a swimming pool and spa. Kids will love the indoor play area and climbing walls, as well as guided visits to the resort’s own wildlife centre where they can meet tame foxes, friendly snakes and birds of prey. The resort is also just a short walk to the beach for swimming and surfing. Prices start at £465 for a three-night stay in a lodge sleeping five in low season, through to £3,175 for a deluxe lodge sleeping six for a week in high season. The Lakeside Studios cost from £105 per night. For the latest packages, visit www.gwelanmor.com.

Wrangaton and Dinnaton present an altogether different challenge. Indeed, Wrangaton has the distinction of being that rarest of golf course hybrids – combining, ■ LOWER COBBERTON FARMHOUSE as it does, nine holes of moorland golf with nine its rooms feature comfortable holes of parkland golf. beds, TVs, modern bathrooms, While the guest houses tea and coffee-making facilities. that line the seafront of the Guests can choose to selfcoastal towns are perfect for cater or enjoy the hospitality the bucket-and-spade brigade, of their welcoming hosts, discerning golfers looking for with delicious home-cooked more relaxing surroundings for breakfasts featuring homemade their accommodation should bread, marmalade, jam and the consider booking rooms at farm’s own eggs guaranteed Lower Cobberton Farmhouse, a to get your golfing day off to charming 300-year-old detached the right start. Located a mile cottage located several miles from the local pub, and with west of Totness, which is ideally plenty of parking on site, Lower placed to explore the golfing Cobberton is a little piece of delights and other attractions heaven in south Devon. To enquire about the latest B&B that South Devon has to offer. rates or long lets, call 01803 Boasting two double en 866983 or visit www.southsuites, a twin en-suite, and a devon-bed-breakfast.co.uk. separate self-catering annex, all


[52] SUMMER2018 COMPETITION GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

WIN A GOLF HOLIDAY TO VIETNAM! Golf News has teamed up with Laguna Golf Lăng Cô and Angsana Lăng Cô’, a five-star luxury golf resort in Central Vietnam, to offer one lucky couple a golf holiday to remember TRAVELLING 60 MINUTES NORTH OF DA NANG, on Vietnam’s stunning central coast, the winners will stay at Angsana Lăng Cô, a luxury resort located by the East Sea, which boasts views to the Truong Son mountain range and the longest private beach in Lăng Cô, and will play at the resort’s stunning Nick Faldo-designed golf course. Winner of IAGTO’s Golf Resort of the Year Award in 2017, Angsana Lăng Cô features 229 stylish suites – more than 100 of which come with their own private swimming pools – and enjoy sea views. The resort offers a luxury spa and a range of restaurants and bars, and guests can also dine at the restaurants of Banyan Tree Lăng Cô located just next door including Azura, a beachfront seafood and Mediterranean dining; The Water Court featuring authentic Vietnamese cuisine at its best and Saffron, a signature restaurant with Thai cuisine in a modern twist. Other leisure facilities include a luxury spa, tennis courts, a kids club, and a wide range of water-based activities, from water-skiiing and jet skis, to paddle boarding and Vietnamese basket boats. For golf enthusiasts, the Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club’s championship course, which was designed by Sir Nick Faldo, is located just a short shuttle bus from the hotel. Opened in 2013, the award-winning 18-hole course presents a suitable challenge for all levels of players. Huge waste bunkers and plenty of water features

add to the intriguing mix of holes on the links-style out-and-back course, which plays over 7,000 yards from the back tees, and a far more friendly 5,263 from the reds. With views of the sea from many holes, and a mountainous backdrop for all, the course weaves between trees, natural streams, over rice paddies and through

impressive rock features, and will leave a lasting impression on all who play it. For more details, and the latest golf break packages, visit www.angsana.com/en/vietnam/lang-co-central-vietnam, or www.banyantree.com/en/vietnam/lang-co

THE PRIZE

TO ENTER

The prize comprises three nights at Angsana Lang Co for two people sharing a twin or double suite, with two complimentary rounds of golf at Laguna Lang Co’s 18hole championship course. The prize also includes daily breakfast for two at the The Market Place restaurant; round trip airport transfer by shuttle bus; and a free daily shuttle service to Hoi An ancient town and Hue. Please note, flights to Vietnam are not included in this prize.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the question below correctly, and email your name and contact details, to info@ golfnews.co.uk, with ‘Laguna Competition’ in the subject line. Please also include details of 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 August 30, 2018, and the holiday must be taken before July 30, 2019. Bookings depend on availability, and cannot include Christmas or New Year, or Chinese New Year (first week of February).

QUESTION How many major championships did Nick Faldo win? a) 4 b) 5 c) 6

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

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SUMMER 2018

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BOWLED OVER BY

BALLYLIFFIN

Following a trip to cover the Irish Open, Sarah Stirk returns entranced by the wild links of Ireland’s beautiful northern coastline I’VE JUST SPENT THE MOST SPECTACULAR WEEK at Ballyliffin in County Donegal for the Irish Open. Now, I’d never covered this event for Sky before, and my overriding thought when I was excitedly packing for the trip was don’t forget your waterproofs! What was all the fuss about? Apart from a brief misty shower on Saturday, the most northerly golf course in Ireland was bathed in sunshine all week, with tropical temperatures to match. Chosen by Rory McIlroy as the host venue, Ballyliffin proved a big hit with players and fans alike, and it’s not hard to see why. Located off Tullagh Point on the Atlantic edge of the Inishowen Peninsula, the course hugs the shoreline overlooking the beach of Pollan Strand and Glashedy Rock (Ballyliffin’s answer to Turnberry’s Ailsa Craig). The television images looked incredible, and there’s no doubt this glorious part of the world will see a dramatic boost in tourism given what golf fans saw on their screens over the week. My Sky colleague, and host of the 2019 Irish Open, Paul McGinley, spent his childhood summers in Donegal, and said he was delighted that its beauty was finally being showcased on the global stage. American actress Sarah Jessica Parker has a home in Kilcar, and many others know and appreciate its dramatic coastline – but for those of ‘yous’ who haven’t yet been, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you make the trip. Ballyliffin boasts two courses, Glashedy Links and the Old Links, with the former, which only opened in 1995, staging the Irish Open. Whilst the two courses actually run in and out of one another, the dunes and vast acreage mean that every hole is separate. Although visually breathtaking, with beautiful ocean views all around, the Glashedy proved a real test for the players, and made for compelling viewing. Playing firm and fast, and with light winds all week, some players, including Graeme McDowell, thought the winning total could be more than 20 under par, although Russell Knox and Ryan Fox both eventually finished 14 under the card. GMac, who finished tied 40th, latter admitted that the course had frustrated him – but in a good way, as it was such a challenge. With holes weaving their way through the wild dunes, the 7,200-yard layout features nine brutal par fours in excess of 400 yards, and just three short holes, while the huge greens, some with frightening undulations, are well protected by bunkers and threeputting can be alarmingly frequent. When you come here to play – which you must – ■ NARIN & PORTNOO

■ THE PAR-THREE 7TH ON BALLYLIFFIN'S GLASHEDY LINKS

rule number one is to find the fairway. Statistically, the fairways were the toughest to hit on the European Tour all year. Deceptively narrow, and with the ground as lively as it was, it was easy to find one of the 80 penal pot bunkers dotted around this layout – and they’re not the kind that you can make much progress from. A chip out, and a shot dropped, is the best you can expect from many of them. Ballyliffin’s second course, the Old, is a classic links and every bit as good as the Glashedy. It was redesigned by Sir Nick Faldo in the early 1990s, after he played the course and described it as one of the most natural links he had ever come across. It hosted the Irish Seniors Open in 2008, and it might not be too long before it gets another chance. With Ballyliffin having captured my imagination, I went about finding some other hidden gems in the beautiful county of Donegal. First up is Rosapenna, located between four miles of golden sandy beaches in the scenic fishing village of Downings. The original course was laid out by the great Old Tom Morris and has remained very much the same for the past century. A second course opened in 2003, the Sandy Hills Links, shares the same wild coastline as the original. It was designed by Pat Ruddy, the architect

■ DONEGAL GOLF CLUB

■ BALLYLIFFIN'S 18TH HOLE

ALTHOUGH VISUALLY BREATHTAKING, WITH BEAUTIFUL OCEAN VIEWS ALL AROUND, THE GLASHEDY PROVED A REAL TEST FOR THE PLAYERS, AND MADE FOR COMPELLING VIEWING

behind Ballyliffin, and the man behind one of my favourite courses in Ireland, the European Club, just south of Dublin. Rosapenna is a resort with a hotel on site, as well as extensive practice facilities. Portsalon is worth visiting for the beaches alone, voted some of the best in the world. On a sunny day, you could feel like you’re in the Caribbean – although maybe not if you went for a dip in the sea! The golf course is a highly rated links, with spectacular vistas and allegedly very good Guinness. To complete a memorable golfing tour around Donegal, do also check out Narin & Portnoo, an oldfashioned links with sweeping views of Gweebarra Bay, and Donegal Golf Club, often referred to as the ‘Muirfield of Ireland’. I’m also giving a special mention to a wonderful hidden gem, Greencastle, a membersowned golf club on the banks of Lough Foyle. We stayed in Greencastle, and it’s a cute little fishing port with a renowned seafood restaurant called Kealy’s. You can catch the ferry from Greencastle to Magilligan in County Londonderry, and from there Portrush and Portstewart are within easy reach. With so many great courses in Ireland, it’s easy to see why this northerly county sometimes gets overlooked, but as John McLaughlin, chief executive of North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland, told me – "The hard part is getting people here, once they come they won’t want to leave, and they’ll end up visiting time and time again.”


[54] SUMMER 2018

TRAVEL & BREAKS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ THE SHERATON MALLORCA ARABELLA HOTEL OVERLOOKS THE GOLF COURSES

BELLA ARABELLA! Matt Nicholson makes a long overdue return to island of Mallorca to check out the Arabella Resort and its three 18-hole courses – Son Mutaneer, Son Vida and Son Quint

W

hen I received a welcome invitation to visit Mallorca last month, I was quite shocked to look through back issues of Golf News to discover that it had been over a decade since my last visit to the largest of the Spanish Balearic Islands. Back then I was on a trip to play Santa Ponsa and a few other courses in the area. I had a great time then, so I was genuinely surprised that I hadn’t been back since – thus it was with more than a hint of excitement that I boarded my BA flight from Gatwick to Palma with my clubs in tow and the prospect of playing a few more of the island’s superb courses. Just under two hours later, we

landed at Palma, picked up our baggage and clubs, and boarded a VIP transfer coach to the Arabella Resort. This handy service is offered to all guests staying at the resort, which is a nice way to start your holiday. Just 20 minutes later, we drove through the entrance gates at the resort, and were soon deposited at the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella, a five-star hotel that is located right next to the golf course at Son Vida. On reaching my spacious room, which featured a walk-in shower, I was delighted to find it came with a prime view overlooking the 18th green. Things were looking up – figuratively speaking. With the World Cup still in its early stages, after dinner we felt it only right to watch Spain’s final group match, a

■ SON MUNTANER OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST PLAYING CONDITIONS IN EUROPE FOLLOWING ITS RECENT RENOVATION

■ SON MUNTANER HAS BEEN COMPLETELY RE-SEEDED WITH A NEW STRAIN OF GRASS

SON MUNTANER IS AN IMPRESSIVE LAYOUT, WITH MANY OF THE HOLES ON THE 6,445-YARD COURSE REMINDING ME OF VALDERAMMA, WHILE MY PLAYING PARTER FELT THAT IT ALSO HAD A HINT OF AUGUSTA NATIONAL ABOUT IT dead rubber against Morocco, which resulted in a 2-2 draw. Sadly, the Spanish side failed to live up to its star billing, and suffered the ignominy of losing to hosts Russia in a penalty shootout in the round of 16. Sadly, we

England fans knew all too well what that feels like. Still, we were here to chase a much smaller ball around a much larger pitch, so it was with a good deal of anticipation that, after a suitably good night’s sleep and a relaxed buffet breakfast – and a few putts on the vast practice green – we made the short walk from the hotel to the first tee at Son Vida, which is one of three 18-hole courses on the Arabella Estate, with Son Muntaner and Son Quinta completing the 54-hole offering. Son Vida is not only Mallorca’s oldest course – having first opened in 1964 – but is also one of its most prestigious, certainly in tournament terms, having hosted the Balearic Open in 1990 and 1994, with Seve Ballesteros winning the former and Barry Lane the latter. Designed by Fred Hawtree, who was responsible for some of the best courses in Spain and Portugal, Son Vida was remodelled in 2001 by a German architect called Kurt Rossknect, who made the most significant changes to the last six holes, as their open nature gave them most scope for alteration. The first dozen holes on this 6,100yard course present a much tighter affair, certainly from the tee, but once


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■ A SPACIOUS ROOM IN THE SHERATON MALLORCA ARABELLA HOTEL

■ SON VIDA IS PEPPERED WITH KNARLY OLIVE TREES

you reach the landing areas, the fairways are more generous than they first appear. Keeping your ball in play is still a challenge, however, and straight hitters will certainly be rewarded, while putting the ball in right places will certainly give a chance of reaching the small greens on the numerous doglegs. The pick of the holes on the front nine is undoubtedly the par-five 6th, which started out life as the opening hole. Nicknamed ‘San Francisco’, it features an elevated tee that plays down to a tree-lined fairway, with the Bay of Palma providing a stunning backdrop. The four par threes are particularly strong, with three playing sharply downhill from elevated tees requiring accurate club selection to

find the dancefloor. After the 11th, the course noticeably opens up, although the closing stretch, with the par-three 16th playing over a lake, while the par-five 18th provides a suitably stirring finish, with players presented with a double dogleg, two lakes, and a stream before they reach the safety of the clubhouse. If you’re having a bad day on the course, you can take in the amazing architecture of the homes around it, many of which would qualify to feature in an episode of Mallorca’s version of Grand Designs. After our round, we reflected on the morning’s adventures on the first floor of the balcony of the stunning clubhouse – which was renovated in 2016 – where we dined on a superb

selection of tapas, which included some of the best calamari I’ve ever eaten. After an afternoon relaxing by the pool – it’s a tough job – our group met for the short journey in the free shuttle service to Hotel Castillo Son Vida, where we had a cocktail on the terrace and took in one of the finest views on the island. Suitably revived, we headed into downtown Palma, where we had a superb meal at Tast Club, an authentically Mallorcan wine bar and restaurant with cellar-like vaulted ceilings, where we dined on a range of local seafood and aged steaks. The next day, we were up early to play Son Vida’s sister course, and arguably Arabella’s flagship venue, Son Muntaner. The course has recently re-opened following an extensive renovation designed to elevate the condition of the course to world-class level. The ambitious project – which took five months and an untold amount of money to complete – has seen every blade of grass on the course replaced with a new strain of Bermuda grass that makes more efficient use of water and is more tolerant to hot weather. The results are certainly impressive, setting a new standard on the island, and in Europe – it’s the first course on the continent to go down this route – allowing members and visitors to enjoy immaculate playing conditions all year round. The resort also took the opportunity to carry out renovations to all 18 greens, seeding in a new creeping bent grass, which is renowned for its ability to provide lightning-fast putting surfaces. Condition aside, Son Muntaner is also an impressive layout from a design point of view, with many of the holes on the 6,645-yard course reminding me of Valderamma, while my well-travelled playing partner also mentioned that it had more than a hint of Augusta National about it – high praise indeed. The par-72 layout – which plays to almost 7,000 yards off the very back tees – gets into its stride from the off, with the 385-yard par-four

first featuring a dogleg from an elevated tee, while the second shot is to a green guarded by water long and left. Other front-nine highlights include the 4th, a 410-yard par four that features cleverly-placed fairway bunkers and a gully 70 yards short of a tiered green surround by trees. The 140-yard 7th is the first of the par threes, and plays downhill to a small green which features no bunkers, but is surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of trees to make hitting the target no mean feat. The 8th is a strong par five, with an elevated tee playing to a right-hand dogleg which features out of bounds all down the left. Once you’ve navigated the gully at 150 yards in, you have a shot into a kidney-shaped green surrounded by sand. Back-nine standouts include the 11th, a 200-yard par three that requires a hefty blow with a slight draw to find the putting surface, while the 18th is a demanding par four that features an intimidating tee shot to a narrow fairway, before rising up to an equally narrow green protected by bunkers on either side. All told, Son Muntaner is a superb resort course, with no two holes alike, a smattering of water, some interesting changes in elevation, and well-thought out bunkering. The playing surfaces are excellent, and can will only improve as the new grass beds in. Sadly, our short stay didn’t give us enough time to play the 18 holes on offer at the resort’s third course, Son Quinta – which is shorter and easier than the other two – or the executive nine-hole course, but it’s safe to say I won’t be leaving it another ten years before I come back to finish off what I started. A three-day trip would only just be long enough to play all the golf on offer here, while a five-day visit would allow you to get to grips with some of the subtler demands of this superb collection of courses. However long you choose to stay, don’t hang about, as this stunning resort will surely be rising up the rankings before too long.

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■ SON VIDA BOASTS A STUNNING COLLECTION OF PAR THREES


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1. The location Situated on Portugal’s magnificent Silver Coast and less than one hour from Lisbon, one of Europe’s most fashionable cities, Praia D’El Rey has a setting to die for with the seemingly endless waters of the Atlantic virtually on its doorstep. Offering easy access from the UK with a flight time of barely two hours, guests can enjoy miles of uncrowded beaches and marvel at the dazzling sunsets, while the medieval town of Óbidos and traditional fishing village of Peniche – famed for its perfect surf conditions – are just 20 minutes away.

2. The hotel

5. Watersports

REASONS

PRAIA D’EL REY

When it comes to luxury accommodation in a breathtaking setting, you’ll struggle to match Praia D’El Rey’s oceanfront Marriott Hotel. All 177 rooms feature private terraces or balconies offering views of either the Atlantic or the resort’s pristine 18-hole championship golf course and gardens, while the hotel has benefitted from a major upgrade over the last year with its rooms and bars being refurbished and receiving a modern makeover. There’s plenty to like, too, about the great range of premium self-catering accommodation that is available at The Beachfront or in The Village.

3. The golf course Designed by American Cabell Robinson, Praia D’El Rey’s 18-hole championship course winds its way through a combination of extensive pine forests and undulating dunes, and deserves its place among Europe’s top 30. Featuring spectacular views over the Atlantic and the Berlengas Islands beyond, the par-73 layout’s front nine is very good and the back nine is exceptional, with the inviting par-five 10th hole providing the gateway to a magnificent stretch of coastal holes to rival any to be found on more traditional links venues closer to home. Complementing the course are outstanding practice facilities, following a recent upgrade of its golf academy, which all adds up to one of the most enjoyable golf experiences to be found anywhere on the continent.

4. Family time It’s not all about golf at Praia D’El Rey, with the award-winning venue offering an array of world-class sports and leisure facilities for couples and families. Adults and children can hone their tennis techniques at the tennis academy, with private coaching and clinics for juniors during the Easter and summer seasons. Cycle tours and a multi-purpose court for fivea-side football and basketball are also available, while guests have the chance to unwind with a visit to the luxury spa and health club, where the comprehensive range of therapies and treatments on offer at the Kalyan Spa promises to restore energy and balance to the body after a day at the beach.

TO PLAY

The jewel of Lisbon’s Silver Coast, Praia D’El Rey has everything you need for a perfect golfing break

In addition to the attractions available at the resort, guests are also guaranteed a splashing good time by trying out one of the many watersports on offer. Surfing, paddle boarding and sea kayaking are just some of the activities that are bookable during a visit, with all watersports taking place at the Óbidos Lagoon or in and around Peniche, one of the coolest places to hang out in Portugal and a surfers’ paradise. Tuition can be booked for surfing, bodyboarding, paddle boarding, canoeing, snorkelling and diving, with lessons starting from €35 per person.

6. “It’s The Taste”

Praia D’El Rey has plenty to tickle the tastebuds of food lovers, with the resort having launched a new array of five-star dining experiences this summer. A new ‘bistrology’ concept at the rebranded Emprata restaurant – one of five restaurant options to choose from – heads the mouth-watering choice of culinary options available. The menu is inspired by food offering authentic local flavours, and guests can feast on an array of regional and seasonal products on a menu that is updated several times a year. Lavish cuisine is also on offer in abundance at the recently renovated Oceano restaurant and at Mare, where visitors can sample fresh seafood accompanied by the best wines and breath-taking views of the Atlantic, while an a range of mouth-watering Portuguese and international high-quality meats await on the steakhouse-based menu at the nearby West Cliffs’ clubhouse.

7. West Cliffs As well as its own golf layout, Praia D’El Rey also offers preferred access and rates at its sister course, West Cliffs Golf Links, one of the new stars of world golf. Named as the ‘World’s Best New Golf Course’ at the 2017 World Golf Awards, Cynthia Dye’s acclaimed design only opened last summer but has earned widespread global praise and is already seen as a contender for the number one spot in Portugal. A ten-minute drive from Praia D’El Rey, West Cliffs has been created over 200 hectares of natural landscape and rolling sand dunes, and the spectacular seaside links offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from each hole. The course has already welcomed golfers from no fewer than six continents and 34 different countries since opening, so don’t miss out on the chance to join them.

INFORMATION GOLFERS CAN ENJOY OUTSTANDING VALUE WHEN VISITING PRAIA D’EL REY MARRIOTT GOLF & BEACH RESORT THIS AUTUMN, WITH THREE-NIGHT, TWOROUND HOTEL BREAKS STARTING FROM €285 PER PERSON. WWW.PRAIA-DEL-REY.COM


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Anton Du Beke The 50-year-old Strictly Coming Dancing star is never happier than when he is able to swap his dancing shoes for a pair of spikes, whether at home or abroad

My earliest holiday memory is... going on long car journeys to Europe. My mum is Spanish and my father is Hungarian, so when we were young, we would take it in turns to visit their parents – one year to Galicia and the next to Budapest. The downside was the journey, in Dad’s Vauxhall Viva, which could last for two days; on the plus side, we were staying in a foreign country with family. In those days not many people went to Hungary, which made it really exciting. My first holiday without my parents… was when I was 17. I went with a mate on my one and only package holiday. We went to the Costa Blanca, not far from Benidorm. I just didn’t get it. In the hotel, by the pool, in the restaurants, on the beach, and especially in the bars, we

It always seems a bit naughty to be strolling the greens and breathing in all that fresh air on a weekday, but everything else I do is indoors, whether it is working in theatres or in rehearsal studios, and the great thing about golf is you are outside for four hours. Golf is an incredibly sociable game, and I really miss the regular rounds I used to enjoy with Bruce Forsyth at Wentworth – we always used to have such competitive matches.

seemed to be surrounded by people who wanted everything to be as English as possible. Why not stay at home and go to Blackpool instead?

■ ANTON NIPS OUT FOR A GAME AT HIS HOME CLUB, WENTWORTH, WHENEVER HIS BUSY SCHEDULE ALLOWS

The best hotel I’ve stayed in is… The Ritz (left) in London. It has an old-fashioned charm, with waiters wearing tails and white gloves. The dining room is exquisite, with immaculate service and ornate details. You can't have dinner unless you're wearing a shirt, tie and jacket, but that suits me. My favourite golf course in the UK is… Wentworth’s West Course. It’s like a little piece of heaven. I play off five and I like to get out on the West Course as often as I can, especially in the middle of the week. Playing in the BMW Pro-Am is the highlight of my golfing year. I also use the gym there, and play a lot of tennis, so it’s got everything I need.

My favourite golf course in the world… has to be Pebble Beach Golf Links in California, which is breathtaking. My partner Hannah and I played there together a couple of years ago when we were doing a tour of California, and we’d both love to go back one day. My ideal holiday involves… immaculate service, a wonderful hotel, sun and a fabulous golf course. In contrast, I once spent New Year in the Arctic Circle, which was remarkable. We stayed in a log cabin and we went dog sledging, ice fishing and skidooing. It was wonderful. I always take… lots of books. I like good oldfashioned thriller writers like Robert Harris and Dan Brown. I also take a shirt and tie – I'm never knowingly under-dressed. My top travel tip is to… embrace the culture of the country you are visiting. I hate people who moan about not being able to get a decent cup of tea. If that's what you're after, stay at home.

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PURE. DISTANCE .

TRUE INNOVATION. The new i500 iron. Its exceptional distance and towering ball flight come from a forged face and metal-wood like construction. Its look appeals to players who put a premium on performance. Get fit today or visit ping.com. ©2018 PING

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Profile for Golf News

Golf News Summer 2018