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THE UK’S NO.1 GOLF NEWSPAPER

ISSUE 279 | WINTER 2018/2019

INTERVIEWS Eddie Pepperell Tom Lewis

EQUIPMENT Iron Showcase Winter Gear Pro Shop

TRAVEL ANANTARA VILAMOURA The Algarve's luxury address TEWKESBURY PARK Gloucestershire’s stylish retreat ME & MY TRAVELS with Chris Hollins

MR

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COMPETITION Win a set of Wilson’s new D7 Irons and Bag worth £600!

COURSE REVIEW The Links of Littlestone Golf Club

LEARN FROM THE BEST World-renowned coaches launch Master Class Golf Schools

LEGAL EAGLES Do you know the new Rules of Golf?

Exclusive Interview With Tour Hotshot Oliver Fisher COMPLIMENTARY COPY Est 1994


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NEW


GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

BY

NICK BAYLY

HOME TO THE FOREST COURSE HAMPSHIRE’S OLDEST COURSE

NEW YEAR, NEW RULES B

rexit aside, 2019 represents a Brave New World – at least it does for golfers. From midnight on January 1 – I know you lot are keen – those who like to knock a small white ball around a large field into even smaller holes will have a new code of conduct to adhere to. Pros will no longer be allowed to have a caddie stand behind them when they prepare to putt; all of us will have two minutes less in which to hunt for a lost ball; and there will be no more of that three-off-the-tee nonsense, either. Just take a drop where it crossed the out-of-bounds markers or that irritating lake and crack on. Hit the ball twice by accident? Let’s just count it as one stroke and call it bad luck. Discovered a massive worm cast between your ball and the hole? Tap that sucker down with your putter and bag that birdie. I won’t list the myriad of changes here – we’ve done some of that on page 22 – but, needless to say, the reduction in the number of rules, and the simplification of the ones that remain, has been long overdue, and

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.

Spring and Summer 2019 Society Golf

but I’d strongly advise picking up a free copy of the Rules of Golf that are currently being circulated around golf clubs, and even asking Santa to put a copy of the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf (what other sport requires a book about the rules to explain the rules?) into your stocking (no more than two inches below the knee, please), so that you have time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to gen up, and can hit the ground running, so to speak, on January 1. I’m not sure I want to be the first one to tell one of my regular playing partners that he’s got no more than will go some way to making golf appear slightly less 180 seconds in which to find his favourite Pro V1 after complicated than Quidditch. he’s carted it off into the clag again, but I’ll certainly be Having said that, golf still remains a pretty complex telling him to leave the flag in when he’s putting from game, and one whose petty rules and regulations, on 90 feet and has got two types of hope of finding the and off the course, continue to put many people off cup. The new rules are said to be all about honesty and from even picking up a club for the first time, let alone integrity, but since when has telling the truth won you joining one. We offer a host of membership options Wetooffer suit aallhost needs of membership and pockets options to suit all needs and pockets any friends? Thankfully, the long-socks-before-midday and What I’m not expecting from the new rules is for women-and dogs-only-during-a-waxing-full-moon laws including our NEW membership categories including from ourApril NEW 2018 membership categories from April 2018 1-in-12 plays for FREE” them to single-handedly speed up the game. That can are also on the way out at most clubs, and the relaxing only come from golfers themselves. So if you’re making of draconian dress codes have also given golfers the GroupsAnnual of 36+ receive “1-in-12 plays for FREEAnnual and New membership New membership any golfing resolutions in 2019, why not let’s try and Play impression that they are enjoying a relaxing hobby away Play £2.00 discount per paying green fee.subscription categories categories subscription walk a bit faster, be ready to play (out of turn, if need be from the world of work, rather than having signed up Note: 1-in-12 plays for FREE” incentive does not include catering. – it’s allowed now), and not mark our card on the green. to some quasi-religious cult, where the length of one's

DISCOVERED A MASSIVE WORM CAST BETWEEN YOUR BALL AND THE HOLE? TAP THAT SUCKER DOWN WITH YOUR PUTTER AND BAG THAT BIRDIE.

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hosiery or the width of a collar represents an unspoken password into the inner sanctum. It’s clearly going to take some time for the revised rules to sink in and be fully assimilated into the game,

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Oh, and playing fewer shots might helpForest too, but heavenplus ability to Course Forest membership* forbidLegacy we should want to take a few lessons and getForest Legacy membership* play in club competitions and £295 (forAfter agesall,22-35) (for ages 22-35) better. what else is the handicap system for? gain or maintain a recognised Here’s to happy golfing and happy learning!

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[4]

WINTER 2018/19 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief

Hall

Wins Young Sportswoman Of The Year Award

WINTER SERIES TEES OFF WITH FOUR-WAY TIE AT HANKLEY ★ There was nothing to separate Tom Neve, James Ablett, Paul Schunter and Jon Barnes at the first event of the 2018-2019 Titleist & FootJoy PGA South Winter Series held at Hankley Common Golf Club. Playing in mild and sunny conditions, each player bagged 38 points around one of Surrey’s top heathland courses to share the spoils. Neve took home the leading trainee’s prize of a ball, glove and shoe contract from the sponsor, with his two-under-par round including two birdies and an eagle.

JAMES IN CHARGE AT KINGSWOOD ★ Pycombe professional Mark James outclassed the opposition around Kingswood Golf Club, shooting an eight-under-par 64 to win the RG Group Charity Pro-Am by two strokes. James made nine threes for his 64. Starting at the sixth, his first birdie came at the 11th, followed by an eagle at the 14th. Another birdie up the 18th put him on four under, but, with only five holes left to make a score, James went into overdrive, making birdies at the first, second, fourth and fifth to post his winning total and his second victory in 2018. With six birdies of his own, Royal Mid Surrey’s Oscar Granstrom-Livesey edged out no fewer than nine other players to take second place.

RICKI NEIL-JONES ★ Kent Golf lost one of its most popular figures in October following the death of former Challenge Tour player Ricki NeilJones at the age of 35. The former Kent County player, who was a member at Rochester & Cobham Golf Club, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer earlier this year and died on October 20. Rickie, who played on the Challenge and Alps Tours for six years, moved to the United Arab Emirates in January to take up a coaching role at The Address in Dubai. He was close friends with many Kent-based tour pros, including Steve Tiley, Matt Wallace and Alfie Plant, with many dedicating their recent performances to him following the news of his illness.

GUN WINS VAN PHILLIPS TROPHY ★ The 2018 Van Phillips Trophy was won by Duran Gun from George Washington Golf Club. The two-handicapper fired six birdies in a gross 67 to beat Oliver Dickman (Cuckfield Golf Centre) by a single shot at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire. Ben Loveard (Woburn) three strokes further back in third. The tournament is open to the UK’s best players aged under 16.

Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall has added another trophy to her burgeoning collection after winning the 2018 Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year Award. Hall has had an incredible year, finishing top of the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and moving up to sixth in the world rankings. But her biggest success was winning the Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham in August, a victory – the first major win by a Briton since 2009 – which launched the 22-year-old from Bournemouth into the wider public conscious. Following the announcement, she Tweeted: “So proud to win the Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year Award! But more importantly, the recognition it will give women’s golf.” Hall, who is attached to Golf At Goodwood in West Sussex, said: “It means so much. I was very nervous when the category was announced, but it’s really nice for people to recognise my achievements this year – all the nominees had a fantastic year.” She added: “I think women’s sport is in such a great place at the moment, and it was so special to be in a room full of so many great athletes.” When asked about what attributes contributed to her success, Hall said: “I listen to myself a lot on the golf course. I really like the person I am on the course – calm, confident and brave. It’s a bit like looking at myself in the mirror. Off the course, I’m trying to be that person as well.”

Arora

Hotels

A

rora Hotels, one of the UK’s largest private hotel operators, has bought The Buckinghamshire Buys The Buckinghamshire Golf Club. The luxury hotel group, which is owned by multi-millionaire businessman Surinda Arora, has pledged to use its high-end hospitality experience to reinvigorate the club, providing a ‘new and enhanced experience’. The club’s Grade II clubhouse is also the headquarters of the Ladies European Tour, which will remain on site following the sale. The Buckinghamshire first opened in 1992 under the ownership of Japanese brewing company Asahi. It was subsequently sold in 2016 to Eagle Resorts, which operates a portfolio of golf clubs in the UK, including Old Thorns in Hampshire, Tracy Park in Bath, Chart Hills in Kent and Castlemartyr Resort in Ireland. It was not disclosed how much Eagle Resorts received from the sale to Arora. Commenting on the acquisition, Sanjay Arora, Director of the Arora Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the addition of The Buckinghamshire Golf Club to Arora Hotels’ portfolio of luxury properties. It is a stunning golf course, with fantastic potential for future development, and, as a keen golfer myself, I will take great pleasure and pride in having this as part of our portfolio, and welcome our new colleagues to the group." He added: "Our team is hugely skilled in running luxury global brands and providing premium customer experiences, and we look forward to extending this expertise to the world of leisure and sports hospitality.” Arora Hotels operates multiple global hotel chains, including InterContinental Hotel Group, Accor, Marriot and Hilton. The group is currently redeveloping a luxury country house hotel and spa nearby in Windsor, and it has recently opened the UK’s largest hotel of 2018, the Crowne Plaza London and Holiday Inn Express London at Heathrow's Terminal 4.

PGA Seniors Championship Returns To London Club

THE STAYSURE TOUR has announced that the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will return to London Golf Club next year following its successful return to the over-50s circuit’s schedule this summer.

Wentworth Showpiece Moves To Autumn Date

GOLF FANS LOOKING to enjoy a slice of European Tour action in the Home Counties next year will have to wait until the autumn, after it was announced that the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth – which has traditionally enjoyed a Spring outing in midMay – is to be moved to a new date towards the tail end of September. As part of a major shake up of the European Tour’s 2019 schedule, the PGA, which was once viewed as the tour’s flagship event, will be held on

The inaugural edition of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship took place in August with the support of the Tour’s new umbrella sponsor Staysure, allowing the longrunning event to return to the schedule for the first time since 2015. London Golf Club hosted the 72-hole tournament for the first time in 2018, and it attracted a strong field, including Colin Montgomerie and Paul McGinley. However, it was Hertfordshire’s Philip Golding who

came from six shots off the pace to take the title with a two-shot victory over Magnus Atlevi. The event was played in an Alliance format over the first 36 holes, where amateurs teed it up alongside professionals in tournament play. David MacLaren, Head of the Staysure Tour, believes the tournament will go from strength to strength in the future. “This tournament has been a magnificent event since our Tour’s inception and with Staysure’s backing, it has

September 19-22, sandwiched between the KLM Open in Holland and the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. The BMW PGA Championship will remain part of the Rolex Series, and the tour will be hopeful of attracting a strong field thanks to its boosted prize fund and the fact that it won’t be so close to clashing with the second Major of the season, the US PGA Championship, which now takes place in May. The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup series will also be finishing at the end of August next year, so that European Tour players involved in the end-of-season showpiece event in the States should also have a clear space in the diary to make the trip to Surrey.

now become even more prestigious. We will work together closely over the coming months to ensure the 2019 Staysure PGA Seniors Championship will be the best one yet.” Stephen Follett, chief executive of London Golf Club, added: “We are incredibly happy to be confirmed as the host venue for the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship for the second year running. It’s credit to the whole London Golf Club team that the Staysure Tour will return next year.”

Despite the shift forward into the autumn, BMW, which has sponsored the PGA Championship for the past 14 years, has decided to extend its support of the event for four more years, taking the car company’s commitment up until 2022.


[6]

WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Wimbledon W Park Finalises £63M Sell-Off Deal

imbledon Park Golf Club took a step closer to enjoying a substantial financial windfall after members voted to share equally

■ WIMBLEDON PARK GOLF CLUB

the £63.75 million currently being offered to purchase the club by the neighbouring All England Lawn Tennis Club. The 73-acre site on which the golf club sits is already owned by the All England Club, but the lease extends until 2041. If the offer to sell – which will go to a vote in December – is accepted, then the land will revert to the AELTC much faster, so that development to expand the tennis club, home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, can begin as early as 2021.

The vote to share, which got more than the required 75% majority, marks a significant stage in a complex process, which has already lasted several years. Previously, the obstacle was a clause in the club’s articles of association that prevented members of less than ten years’ standing from benefiting from any payout from the sale. The vote held on October 10 saw members agree to remove that clause so that all its 750 members will stand to benefit from the payment,

which will amount to around £85,000 for each member. Annual membership at Wimbledon Park, after a joining fee of £3,000, costs £1,450 for a seven-day adult, so recent members stand to enjoy a significant return on their outlay. The club is expected to retain a portion of the land on which a smaller nine-hole course will be available for members that choose to remain to use. The last time the club voted on a similar – though smaller – offer was in 2015, when the

established members rejected a proposed compensation package of £25m, or just under £50,000 each. Philip Brook, the All England Club chairman, said: “We are encouraged that the members of Wimbledon Park Golf Club have taken a decision which enables them to consider the AELTC’s offer for the early release of the land at a vote later this year.” He added: “We’ve been very clear about with the golf club that this is a one-time offer. We’ve really pushed

Dame Laura Completes Senior Grand Slam

STAY | PLAY | DINE Available from 01 May 2019 to 31 October 2019

LAURA DAVIES claimed her second women’s senior major title of the season with a wire-to-wire win at the Senior LPGA Championship in Indiana. The sun was shining at French Lick Resort, but, with wind gusts of up to 25mph, the Pete Dye Course proved to be challenging for the field. Only four players finished at even par or better, and only Dame Laura carded three under-par rounds, making her victory even more impressive. Helen Alfredsson put pressure on Davies early in the final round as she went out in 32, but a double bogey on 11 handed back the advantage to her fellow European rival, which she never let go. Davies birdied the 18th to post a new 54-hole tournament record and put the seal on a four-stroke victory over Alfredsson and Silvia Cavalleri. “This is fantastic,” said Davies, who has just celebrated her 55th birthday. “Winning the US [Senior] Women’s Open was a real thrill, and this is a golf course that I didn’t think I could win on. So for me, this is a real victory. I’ve always played okay around here, but I’ve never strung three rounds together, so this is especially rewarding.” Davies won the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open in July, the only other professional women’s major, which meant that she completed a clean sweep of her age group’s top championships in 2018. While most of her fellow competitors have long since stopped playing on the regular tours, Davies is still competing against her much younger peers. She made seven out of 15 cuts on the LPGA this season, and four cuts from seven on the Ladies European Tour. She also partnered Georgia Hall in this year’s European Golf Team Championships, and teamed up with Trish Johnson to win the BJ’s Charity Championship on the Legends Tour.

• •

Prince’s Golf Club boasts 27 holes of Championship Links Golf featuring the new re-imagined Himalayas 9. Extensive practice facilities. Stay overnight at the Lodge, overlooking the course and Sandwich Bay. Includes breakfast in our 2AA rosette restaurant and 1 round of Championship Links Golf.

@Princesgolfclub


NEWS | WINTER 2018/2019

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

ourselves financially. There’s a lot of money on the table. It’s a declining asset, because in 2041 the land reverts to the All England Club for free. This is money to accelerate the process by 20 years.” Mick Desmond, AELTC’s commercial director, said: “We have a fantastic site, but we would like to create a bigger one. We believe we would become a more prestigious event by getting that land, but also giving something back to the community. We think it’s a very fair bid.”

■ NORTH DOWNS IS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

North Downs

Sold To Secure Golfing Future

NORTH DOWNS GOLF CLUB in Surrey has been sold to Deepdale Properties Ltd for an undisclosed sum. The sale, which was

completed on October 31, has ensured the continued operation of the 120-yearold Caterham-based venue as a private golf club for the foreseeable future, with the new owners having outlined plans for future investment in the parkland course and its facilities.

Keith Robinson, financial director of outgoing owners North Downs Golf Club Ltd, said: “We were very pleasantly surprised by the level of interest that we received in our club, and are delighted that its future has been secured for the benefit of the members, visitors and the local community.” Larry Lipman of Deepdale Properties commented: “We are delighted with our purchase of this prestigious course, and have big plans for the future. Our aim is to build a portfolio of clubs in the coming years and to bring our own unique style to the golf sector.”

from £140.00pp

Raitt & Shadbolt Share The Spoils In Desert Duel

DESPITE PLAYING 72 holes over four different courses there was no separating the top two players at this year’s American Golf Holiday’s Arizona Classic Pro-Am. After dueling for four days over some of America’s finest desert tracks, Surrey PGA professional Andy Raitt and Hertfordshire pro Tom Shadbolt were tied at the top on 16 under par. It was a fitting result for the 23rd renewal of one of the PGA's longest-running events, with neither player deserving to lose after such consistent and impressive performances. The Arizona Classic Pro-Am once again attracted a strong field of former European Tour players and top regional PGA Professionals to take on the stunning layouts at Desert Highlands, Blackstone Country Club, Grayhawk Raptor and We-Ko-Pa Saguaro. The first tournament round, staged at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Desert Highlands Golf Club, saw Shadbolt set the early pace with a four-under-par 68. The 30-year-old EuroPro Tour player was joined at head of the leaderboard Pro-Am Tour veteran Darren Prosser. Round two saw the players tee it up at another magnificent private club, Blackstone, where Staverton Park’s Simon Lilly, another Pro-Am Tour regular, shot an outstanding 63 to stake his claim at glory. James Ford, from Left Handed Golf at Silvermrere, also had a superb day with a 65, however Shadbolt followed his 68 with a 66 to take the lead by two shots from Lilly, and by five over Raitt, who moved up the leaderboard with a 67.

■ ANDY RAITT, CRAIG TROWER AND TOM SHADBOLT

Please contact Caroline or Jordan:

T: 01304 611118 E: office@princesgolfclub.co.uk W: www.princesgolfclub.co.uk Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich Bay, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9QB

In round three, held over Grayhawk Golf Club’s magnificent Raptor Course, scoring was more difficult, but Raitt and Guy Woodman’s 67s around the former PGA Tour venue proved to be the best of the day. Shadbolt continued his impressive form, however, with a 69 giving him a three-shot lead going into the final round. The scenic We-Ko-Pa staged the final round on the Saguaro Course, where Prosser returned to form with a closing 66 to end the week on 14 under. Then came Shadbolt with a 68 to take his total to 16 under. However, Raitt’s superb 65 saw him close the gap on Shadbolt and share the title as winners of the 23rd Arizona Classic Pro-Am. In the team event, Raitt’s combined with Andrew Bernard, Ben Haynes and Joshua Haynes to claim victory after an exciting competition that saw the lead changing several times. James Ablett’s team finished second and Guy Woodman's team third.


[8]

WINTER 2018/19 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief ORDER OF MERIT WINNERS FUTURES TOUR FRILFORD HEATH ★ The winners of the 2018 BB&O Futures Tour were decided at the final event of season held at Frilford Heath Golf Club. The U12 section was won by Simon Mead (Newbury & Crookham) with a gross score of 86. Mead secured the OOM title after recording nine wins during the season. The U14 section was won by Ben McFaden (Stoke Park) after carding a 76, while the U14 OOM was won by Tom Stephenson-Green (Frilford Heath), who won three events during the season. The U15 age group was won by Ben Loveard (Woburn) after recording the best gross score of the day, 72. The U15 OOM was won by Charlie Roper (The Berkshire) who also won three tournaments.

BURHILL WIN SURREY CAPTAINS JUNIOR LEAGUE CUP ★ Burhill’s junior team won the Surrey Captain’s Junior League Cup after beating teams from Kingswood, Horne Park, Windlesham, Cuddington and Redhill & Reigate in the final held at Burhill Golf Club. The winning team of three boys and three girls comprised Herry Ji, Eliot MacGregor, James Pritchard, David Gurr, Ben Wilson and Harley Yates. The team’s best five scores yielded an impressive 196 points, putting them 39 points ahead of second-placed Cuddington.

Ham Manor

hole now finishes right in front of the clubhouse.” He continued: “Our special thanks go to course architect James Edwards for his innovative design, and to the construction team led by Tees Up Major Conor Walsh for delivering Investment Programme James’s vision.” The new lake is supplied by a clean olfers will now face a much tougher water bore hole, which finish to a round at Ham Manor will enable a new course Golf Club following the unveiling of a irrigation system to redesigned 18th hole at the popular West ensure top quality yearSussex venue. round playing conditions. The Rustington-based club is currently By integrating the lake in the middle of a major programme of into the water collection ■ HAM MANOR'S NEW-LOOK 18TH HOLE FEATURES A LAKE renovations, with the changes to the 18th and supply system, in the hole, the reconfiguration of the course, and the opening of a new short game future it will be able to harvest rainwater from the clubhouse roof. practice, the first stages in what will be a multi-million pound investment in the The new coaching facility boasts a large remodelled putting green and a short club’s on- and off-course facilities. game zone with a target green and bunker. These are in addition to the club’s The new par-four 18th hole boasts a new lake alongside and around the back two existing practice grounds and a simulator system, making Ham Manor an of the green, all in full view of the Grade II-listed clubhouse. Aimed at creating unrivalled centre for professional coaching and practice. a new and higher standard of golfing experience for members and visitors, this PGA Head Professional Jonathan Nicholas said: “Ham Manor now has not only represents the first stage of a multi-million pound investment programme that a fantastic finishing hole, but a seriously impressive short game coaching facility will also include interior modernisation of the Georgian-style clubhouse and a as well. It’s designed to encourage any short game shot you can play or imagine, new course irrigation system. so we can now offer an unmatched opportunity for any golfer to improve this Ham Manor chairman David Parkinson commented: “This is our first step to critical aspect of their game.” re-building Ham Manor’s reputation as a premier golfing experience. It’s taken The design of the new 18th hole was put to the test at the Ham Manor a concerted effort from our management and greens teams to create this new Pro-Am, which was won by the new CK Group PGA Southern Professionals hole. By changing the two loops of nine holes around, the very challenging 18th champion Michael Bullen from Rustington Golf Centre.

G

Ablett & Watts Share Royal Links Crown

LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT’S James Ablett and Kingsway Golf Centre’s James Watts both shot four-under-par totals to win the three-round PGA Royal Links Championship Pro-Am.

PARKER TAKES ROUTE 66 AT LITTLEHAMPTON ★ Littlehampton professional Lewis Parker racked up an impressive 42 points at Littlestone Golf Club to win the second Titleist & FootJoy PGA South Winter Series event. His sixunder-par round edged out West Hove’s new Assistant Professional Peter Tarver-Jones, whose 68 included two twos and an eagle on the back nine nine. That earned the Sussex player the leading trainee’s prize of a Titleist & FootJoy ball, glove and shoe contract.

SALESIAN AND GORDON'S SCOOP SCHOOL TITLES ★ The third renewal of the Southern Schools Invitational Championship saw the boys team from Salesian College and the girls team from Gordon’s School take the two main titles at Reigate Heath Golf Club in Surrey. The tournament attracted 40 young golfers that were paired into 20 teams, representing 12 schools in the region. Each pair played nine holes with their combined Stableford scores counting towards a team total.

■ JAMES ABLETT

Tying one of the last events of the PGA South Region’s season left both players on five wins apiece to date, and their performances edged Canterbury’s Richard Wallis into the runner-up spot. The first round at Royal St George’s saw Watts and Wallis tie on two under, the only other player under

par being Prince’s Anthony Tarchetti. The second round at Prince’s saw both Watts and Wallis nudged into third spot, this time by new Prince’s Jordan Loft, who shot a superb 67, while Ablett delivered a fine 68. Day three at Deal’s Royal Cinque Ports saw three players sharing the best round of the day - Ablett, Tom Fleming , and Daniel Field, each shooting even-par 71s. In a strange twist of fate, both Watts and Ablett dropped three strokes on the same holes, the 15th and 16th, but with Wallis only managing a 74, they still had enough strokes in hand for the win. “After a long season this event is such good fun, but these three courses are among the toughest links in the UK, so you’re not really allowed to relax! Each course was in amazing condition, and it’s great to finish up 2018 on a high.” In the team event, Lofty’s Loafers romped home over the three rounds with a score of 33 under par, finishing two strokes ahead of the East Herts II team.

Benians Takes Third At World Speedgolf Champs

Pine Ridge Unveils Plans For Course Redevelopment

PINE RIDGE GOLF CLUB in Surrey is drawing up plans for a major redevelopment of its 18-hole course, after it announced that it has been approached by a property company to sell its tenth hole for a new housing development. No formal planning application has been submitted yet, but a public consultation held at the club

■ PINE RIDGE GOLF COURSE

earlier this year has outlined the initial proposals, which feature plans for 80 new homes to be built by Persimmon in the area currently occupied by the

course’s 10th green and fairway. Crown Golf, which owns and operates Pine Ridge, but leases the land from a third party, has outlined

REIGNING BRITISH MEN’S SpeedGolf champion Chris Benians finished third in the SpeedGolf World Championship held in New York. The 43-year-old from Stoke Park covered the 18-hole Shenendoah Golf Course at the Turning Stone Resort in 54.19 seconds and fired a five-over-par 76 for a SpeedGolf score of 130.19. The winner, and the new world champion, was Finland’s Mikko Rantanen, who shot a one-under-par 71 in a time of 55.28 minutes for a total score of 126.28. The fastest round of the championship came from runner-up Jamie Reid from New Zealand, who sprinted round the 5.3-mile course in 47.29 minutes, but took 79 shots, resulting in an overall score of 126.29 – just 0.1 points behind the winner. The ladies title was won by America’s Lauren Cupp, who carded a 14-over-par score in 66.34 minutes for a SpeedGolf score of 152.34. Benians retained his British Men’s SpeedGolf Championship title in July after sprinting around Piltdown Golf Club’s 18 holes in just over 43 and scoring an eight-overpar 80. His combined score of 123.21 saw him finish ahead of Australian PGA Professional James McMaster, who took the same number of shots, but took just over 46 minutes to complete the course.

plans to re-design the golf course to accommodate the loss of the hole. These include the renovation of eight holes and reconfiguring the course to take it back to 18 holes before any building work is started on the tenth. A spokesman for the club said: “The proposal to develop the tenth hole will allow for investment in the course to ensure it is maintained as a firstclass golfing facility for many years to come. The improvements will include new 13th and 14th holes,

new tees, the reshaping of several holes, and the addition of a new water feature on the 18th hole.” He added: “We will have to re-order the existing holes to ensure pace of play is optimised across the course, but only when all these improvements are completed will the old tenth hole be passed across for development.” First opened in 1992, Pine Ridge is among the most popular proprietary courses in the country, with over 40,000 rounds played on it a year.


[10] WINTER 2018/19 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief

Golf Show

To Tee Off At Wycombe Park

LONDON CLUB APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF GOLF ★ The London Golf Club has appointed PGA Professional Callum Nicoll as its new Director of Golf. Boasting 15 years experience in the industry, Nicoll’s previous role was Director of Golf at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the UAE. He joined the Brands Hatch-based venue at the start of October, following a couple of months on a temporary assignment, after which he was offered the position full time. He said: “Our plans for 2019 will focus on increasing the number and the range of golf and social events on offer, and further enhancing the service levels at the club for our members and visitor golf. I’m also looking forward to working on the 2019 Staysure PGA Seniors Championship, which returns to the club next August after its successful 2018 debut.”

TATE CLAIMS TYRRELL HATTON MASTERS ★ Will Tate won the 2018 Tyrrell Hatton Junior Masters held at Harleyford Golf Club, beating 75 other aspiring golfers to the trophy. The Bearwood Lakes golfer shot a gross 71 (net 69) to beat Ben Loveard, from Woburn, who shot 73. Loveard won the 14-15 age group, just ahead of Kian Patel (76), while the under-14 category was claimed by Ben McFadden (78) from Oliver Gouldby (81). Stoke Park’s Taylor Paul won the over-16 section with a 74 on countback from Jack Drury.

■ STOKE PARK HAS BEEN OWNED BY THE KING FAMILY FOR 25 YEARS

Stoke Park

S

toke Park Country Club, Spa & Resort in Buckinghamshire, one of the UK’s most iconic golf venues, has been put up for sale by the King family. The International Group, which is run by King brothers Hertford, Witney and Chester, has instructed property management company CBRE to bring the luxury Stoke Poges-based resort to market. Put Up For Sale Hertford King, the eldest of the three brothers, and chief executive of the International Group, said that after 25 years of ownership the family had decided to focus on other business interests. “We have been very fortunate to be one of the owners of Stoke Park during its 1,000 years of recorded history. After a quarter of a century as the privileged custodians of this unique estate and club, our family has decided that it is time to focus on our other business interests,” he said. “The opportunity to work for three decades with a talented group of people on the conservation of the historic landscape, gardens, monuments and buildings at Stoke Park and to build on the club’s magnificent legacy with new facilities and services, fit for the 21st century, for the benefit of its members and guests has been a great privilege and we look forward to handing it to new owners with a shared vision for the future of this magnificent estate.” The International Group’s other business interests are spread across six different sectors from sports hospitality and motorsport to hospitals and healthcare, and it operates in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Far East, as well as the UK. Stoke Park was initially built as a private home by George III’s architect James Wyatt between 1790 and 1813. After several changes of ownership, it was transformed from a private residence into the UK’s first country club in 1908, and was bought by Roger King in 1993. The resort now features 49 bedrooms, a health and wellbeing centre, indoor swimming pool, three restaurants and bars, two 18-hole golf courses, a driving range, a David Leadbetter golf academy and a wide range of grass, clay and indoor tennis courts. Tom King, senior director at CBRE, added: “Stoke Park is a highly regarded country club and resort and presents a fantastic opportunity to invest in an impressive hotel and estate and we are anticipating high levels of interest.”

WYCOMBE AIR PARK is to be the location for a new consumer golf show which is being held next year. The British Golf Show is to be staged at the Buckinghamshire venue from May 17-18, and will form part of a multi-event weekend that will also feature the Luxury Brand Show, the Supercar Showcase, the Shooting & Country Show, and the Marine Showcase. Marketed under the collective banner of ‘The Elite Events – London’, the show’s organisers Elite Events has said that the British Golf Show ‘will aim to strengthen the profile of the sport to a new audience, while also showcasing the best products and services from the leading golf suppliers’. Elite Events is targeting golf equipment, technology and travel companies as potential exhibitors, and plans to offer a driving range and simulators for visitors to test out clubs. Equipment brand Vertical Groove was one of the first to sign up as an exhibitor, while the EuroPro Tour is also on board. Alex Ayling, managing director of Elite Luxury Events Ltd, said: “We have a wide range of brands and organisations that we are currently in discussions with. The British Golf Show will have its own dedicated hall for indoor brands, while visitors will also be able to ‘see, try and buy’ with our indoor short game area, putting section and simulators. Outdoors we are working with the Air Park and EGM Group (Range Ball) to host an outdoor driving range to enable visitors to try out the latest equipment.” He added: “As part of their entrance ticket, visitors to The British Golf Show will also gain free to the other five events taking place at the weekend, which include further 30 on-the-day event experiences and access to 150 high-end lifestyle brands.”

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36 hole championship venue West Course packages from £55 High Course packages from £65 Includes breakfast roll with tea or coffee, practice balls on the driving range, 18 holes of golf and use of the bar facilities for a post round drink and bite to eat. For pleasecall call01923 01923773146 773146 Formore moreinformation, information, please or visit moorparkgc.co.uk or email enquiries@moorparkgc.co.uk Or email enquiries@moorparkgc.co.uk


NEWS | WINTER 2018/19

[11]

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Fairleigh Hits The Target With Range Investment

GOLFERS AT Farleigh Golf Club can now hone their skills throughout the year, thanks to a significant investment in the Surrey venue’s practice facilities. The 280-yard driving

■ THE NEW RANGE ATFARELIGH

range has undergone major improvements in recent months, which have transformed it into a truly all-weather facility. Before the upgrade, practice sessions or lessons in wetter weather were often hampered by sodden turf and muddy footwear. But it’s a different story now, with a new hardstanding areas, teeing mats, bay dividers and targets to aim at, which has made a big

difference to the quality of practice on offer. Farleigh general manager Adam Walsh said: “It’s a year-round facility now. Winter practice has been an issue in the past and the practice facilities needed investment. It was in need of some love, but now it looks fresh, tidy and inviting." He added: “Since the upgrade we have seen a definite upturn in people using it." The new short-game area includes two

USGA-specification greens for putting and chipping, and a new practice bunker, while investment in greenkeeping machinery has further raised the standards on the course. Walsh added: “They might be seen as small touches, but they make a big difference to the overall feel of the place, and we are sure people will notice the difference as we continue to make these improvements.”

InBrief FIVE LAKES DUO RISE TO SKYCADDIE CHALLENGE ★ Five Lakes professional

Gary Carter and club captain Nigel Popper proved there’s no substitute for experience when winning the 2018 SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge held at Son Muntaner course at Golf Arabella in Mallorca. Despite a combined age of 110 years, the duo from the Essex club left a more youthful field in their wake

Goodwood Earns Environmental Award

GOLF AT GOODWOOD has earned Golf Environment Organisation Certification in recognition of its commitment to sustainability across both of its two golf courses, the Park and the Downs. GEO Certified is a worldwide measure that is awarded to golf facilities that have met a credible standard in sustainability across six key areas. To be eligible for certification, Goodwood’s greenkeeping team had to submit an extensive application that evidenced work in nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community. Led by grounds general manager Phil Helmn, and assisted by Russell Carr, deputy head greenkeeper, the entire greenkeeping team at Goodwood set out to achieve the GEO Certification, knowing that it would not just safeguard the environmental future of the courses, but also be of benefit to members and customers and the local community.

After independent verification, the GEO concluded that Golf At Goodwood should receive certification because of its ‘outstanding work to minimise impact on the environment through the introduction of biomass heating, solar panels, and enhanced monitoring on water consumption’. The report also stated that the club had undertaken ‘numerous natural environment projects, providing enhancements to habitat in line with the surveys and advice commissioned by the facility’. The application took 12 months to complete, with the greenkeeping team working with different departments across the Goodwood Estate, such as forestry, finance, repairs and maintenance, Home Farm and parks and gardens. Helmn said: “Work towards this certification started four-and-a-half years ago. It’s about

to claim the prestigious trophy and the £5,000 first prize after amassing 77 Stableford points over two rounds.

PYFORD CAPTURE TRAVELBAG TITLE ★ Golfers from Surrey

swept up the prizes on a dream trip to Florida for the Travelbag Invitational, run in partnership with England Golf. Peter Smart, John Hennessy, Jacqui Smiter-

protecting the planet, looking after our local community, and working with the supply chain to broaden this thinking. We look after an awful lot of greenery, and feel personally responsible for protecting theses spaces for the good of our planet and for the benefit of future generations. We’ve been proud to see the team working towards certification, and they have almost become competitive, bringing back photos of the wild flowers and animals that they spot while out on course. The entire team has done – and is continuing to do – a wonderful job.”

Green and Rob Pountney from Pyrford Golf Club, near Woking, won the team prize by eight points. With their best three scores counting on each hole, they amassed 214 points after 36 holes at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando. Pountney also won the men’s individual prize with 75 points.

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[12] WINTER 2018/19 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

InBrief

Jenahura

READING VOTES TO RELOCATE

G

Launches Academy For Aspiring Tour Pros

★ Members of Reading Golf Club have voted to sell the land on which the club is located to make way for up to 700 residential properties. An overwhelming 83 per cent of members backed the Berkshire-based club’s plan to sell its land to Wates Residential Developments Group. The initial plan is to sell of part of the course to build up to 130 houses, which will fund the club’s relocation, before the rest of the golf course is developed to make way for a further 500-600 properties. Profits from the proposed sale of the remainder of the land would be given to members as shareholders, who have been promised ‘six figure sums’ if the plans go ahead. No decision has been made on potential sites for the golf club to relocate to?

DAVIES TAKES ON SOLHEIM VICECAPTAIN’S ROLE ★ Dame Laura Davies has accepted the role of vice-captain for next year’s Solheim Cup, which is being held at Gleneagles in September. With a record dozen caps and 25 points, Davies brings a wealth of experience to the European backroom team, and she will join Suzann Pettersen and Kathryn Imrie as one of three vice-captains who will be supporting captain Catriona Matthew. Davies said: “The Solheim Cup has always held a very special place in my heart, right from the first one in 1990. Many of my fondest memories have been made during the matches and I’m hoping that this one will be the best yet. Hopefully, we’ll have a really strong team, because we have some great players now. I can’t wait to get started and am looking forward to the challenge.”

olf management company Jenahura Group has unveiled plans to launch a new academy focusing on preparing elite amateurs and young professionals for a career on tour. The Jenahura Tour Academy will be an educational platform for aspiring tour professionals created by tournament professionals and supported by highly respected industry experts which will include Ryder Cup players, European Tour winners, Tour caddies and several of the best specialist coaches in the business. The Jenhaura Group, which was founded in 2004 and is run by former PGA Professional Martyn Norris, currently manages a stable of players, including Richard McEvoy, Jamie Elson, James Heath, Ben Amor and Josh White. McEvoy grabbed the headlines this summer when winning his first European Tour title at the European Open. That came just seven days after he had lifted the Le Vaudreuil Challenge trophy on the Challenge Tour. Two weeks later and it was the turn of Jenahura’s most recent signing, Pedro Oriol, who captured the European Team Championship trophy for Spain with compatriot Scott Fernandez. The Jenahura Tour Academy is aimed at men and ladies, amateurs and professionals who are

Frilford All-Weather Course Comes Into Its Own

£10,000 for the following season. Tour Academy Director Jamie Elson said: “At Jenahura we have thought long and hard about tournament professional’s needs. Golf is a multifaceted sport and we have been fortunate to establish an incredible group of experts to provide priceless advice at the Tour Academy. “Every successful sportsman has a team of specialists surrounding them and Jenahura is committed to providing ■ TEAM JENAHURA: JAMIE ELSON, RICHARD MCEVOY AND MARTYN NORRIS such expertise to aspiring aspiring tour players looking to invest in their professionals from the outset. The academy will careers from the outset. Students must be 18 or play an important role in helping young people over and have a handicap of scratch or better. to learn more about the business they are in, and JTA Seminars will consist of an intensive how to succeed in it.” two-day training camp enabling its students to Norris added: “We see a lot of extremely learn about all aspects of what it takes to be a talented young players who have enormous successful tournament professional. Each seminar potential, but in reality are under prepared to will have a maximum of 16 students, with followtake the giant step up to becoming a successful up workshops covering individual specialist Tour Pro. The Jenahura Tour Academy aims to subjects held throughout the year. In December bridge the knowledge gap and provide the 2019, at least one JTA student will be offered tools to advance their careers from the very a management contract with Jenahura worth beginning."

FRILFORD HEATH Golf Club members are reaping the benefits of having an all-weather course to play on as the temperatures begin to drop across the UK. Frilford Heath’s sixhole, par-three Yellow Course boasts allweather tees and greens, enabling it to stay open without members having to worry about

damaging the greens or getting a hard bounce. Divided into two loops of three holes, the Yellow Course’s six greens all measure 1,350 square feet, but all feature shapes and undulations. There are 12 Huxley Golf nylon tee mats, two for each hole, creating a variety of different angles and length shots. Frilford Heath

executive chairman Alistair Booth said: “When we opened this course last year, I said how proud I was to have such a high-quality facility that could be used by all of our members, and encourage people who wouldn’t normally play golf to give it a go. “One year on, I’m delighted that we are achieving these goals.

This summer, the course enabled us to introduce golf to more than 30 juniors in the Eddie Pepperell Academy. And, just a few weeks ago, I was delighted to see three generations of one family playing the Yellow Course together. That, for me, demonstrated that our unique allweather course achieved all it set out to do.”

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COMPETITION | WINTER 2018/2019

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WIN A SET OF WILSON STAFF D7 IRONS & EXO BAG Golf News has teamed up with Wilson Staff, the brand with more Major victories than any other club manufacturer (61), to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a set of the latest D7 distance irons, plus an Exo bag to carry them in, worth a total of more than £600.

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BALL SPEED WHERE IT’S NEEDED MOST The result of the varied Power Holes approach increases the ball speed where needed most on longer irons, while controlling the energy returned to the ball on shorter irons where precision and feel is required. New design aesthetics include straighter lines, a cleaner top line and optimum weighting that delivers a 10% increase in MOI

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[14] WINTER 2018/19 | INTERVIEW GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

MISTER

COMES OF AGE Oliver Fisher hit the headlines this autumn when becoming the first player to break the magic 60 barrier on the European Tour, but life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the young man who was tipped for greatness when he turned pro 13 years ago WORDS BY NICK BAYLY PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES

A ■ OLIVER FISHER WITH HIS FIANCÉ PAIGE

fter 46 years, and over 690,000 rounds of golf, the European Tour finally has its Mr 59 - Oliver James Fisher. The 30-year-old from Essex broke the barrier in the second round of September’s Portugal Masters, carding ten birdies and an eagle in a stunning 12-under-par effort that will go down in European Tour folklore. There had previously been 19 rounds of 60 on the European Tour, starting with David Llewellyn in 1988, and with the most recent coming from Brandon Stone at this year’s Scottish Open, but none had managed to break through to the magical fifties. That the heroic feat should have fallen to Fisher, who, aged 30, with just one tour win to his name – and a current world ranking of 265 – shows the fine line that divides those who toil away in the middivision of professional golf and those who float along in the rarefied atmosphere of the world’s top 50. Although blessed with a rare talent, Fisher has certainly had to toil to earn his spot in golfing history. When he turned pro in 2006, at the almost ridiculously young age of 17, he seemed to have the golfing world at his feet. In claiming fifth place at that year’s European Tour Qualifying School – where he played as an amateur – he became the youngest British player to ever win a card to play on Europe’s elite tour. Unable to buy a beer and probably not in possession of a razor, let alone a driving licence, Fisher was precociousness personified. Coached by Crowlands Heath’s club professional Chris Jenkins since the age of nine, Fisher had star quality stamped on him from the moment he lifted his first cutdown driver. Representing his club (West Essex), county (Essex), and country (England) at all levels, the Chingford-born youngster rose to wider fame when winning the Faldo Series Final in three consecutive years from 2003-2005, bringing himself to the attention of the six-time major winner in no uncertain fashion, and in the process cementing a relationship that has carried on to this day. After winning the Essex Men’s Amateur in 2004, aged

15, the following year Fisher became the youngest ever Walker Cup player, where he went unbeaten in his two singles matches in a narrow 12.5-11.5 defeat for GB&I. As soon as he walked off the course at THERE HAD Chicago Golf Club, the battle between the equipment PREVIOUSLY BEEN companies to sign him to a professional contract began. That particular race was won by Nike, which, 19 ROUNDS OF 60 ON THE EUROPEAN like Fisher, was only just establishing itself in the golfing world. Having a young and talented British TOUR, STARTING player on its books was a key part of its marketing WITH DAVID drive in Europe. Little did he, or Nike, know that it LLEWELLYN IN would be a full five years before his immense ability 1988, AND WITH would turn itself into a winning formula. THE MOST RECENT Fisher’s first full season on tour in 2007 was a COMING FROM tough challenge, but one he rose to admirably, BRANDON STONE finishing a respectable 76th in the Order of Merit. Jetting all over the world in search of starts took its AT THIS YEAR’S toll, but it was all money in the mental bank, if not SCOTTISH OPEN the one on the high street. The following season he began to turn that promise into results, and came agonisingly close to claiming his first victory at the Open de Andalucia. After tying the lead with Thomas Levet over 72 holes, the pair went into a sudden play-off. Fisher chose to hit what he hoped would be a conservative 3-iron off the tee on the dangerous 18th hole, which featured water down the right-hand side – but the adrenalin coursing through his veins led him to flush it off the middle, and he watched in horror as the ball bounced through the fairway and into the lake. The wily Levet took advantage to claim his umpteenth career title, while


INTERVIEW | WINTER 2018/19

[15]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Fisher was left to rue a missed opportunity. Unbowed, he finished 51st in the money list in 2008, and looked set to solidify his place as a regular on tour. But then, in 2009, he inexplicably crashed. A total of 21 missed cuts saw him lose his card in a flash, and, after struggling at Tour School, he fell back to earth, and the Challenge Tour, with a bang. It was a lesson – if it needed learning – that nothing in golf is guaranteed. “There are players like Rory [McIlroy] who have glittering amateur careers and move straight into glittering professional careers, but you have to be realisitic,” says Fisher, whom I caught up with ahead of this year’s British Masters at Walton Heath. “It’s not something that happens very often. Myself, I have my share of hiccups." The reason for Fisher’s ‘hiccup’ back in 2009 was actually rather straightforward. Respected coach Pete Cowen was approached at The Open that year to have a look at Fisher’s swing, and was shocked at how bad the young man’s technique had become. "He's a tremendous player, but unfortunately he was going down the wrong road, and the harder he worked the worse he was getting,” Cowen said at the time. “There's nothing more soul-destroying than that, but I think it was a case of misinterpreting information, rather than getting wrong information, and he had to understand what he was trying to achieve." Most of the re-building of Fisher’s swing was done by Mike Walker, one of Cowen's assistants, and a rise of 170 places on the world rankings in the following six months told its own story. He bounced back in 2010 by finishing 81st in the money list.

■ FISHER WON THE FALDO SERIES FINAL ACROSS THREE DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS

But then the wheels fell off again. He missed another 20 consecutive cuts from the end of 2010 until August, until, from completely out of the blue, he popped up to win the Czech Open – making only his fourth cut of the year in the process. With €250,000 in the bank and a two-year exemption secured, Fisher could set about getting his career back on track. It’s a measure of Fisher’s popularity that there wasn’t a more celebrated winner on the European Tour that year. His victory was greeted with a good deal of backslapping from players and caddies alike, and the Champagne that doused him on the final green was drunk in even more quantities in the bars of Prague later that night, as the tour made its way back to the airport. Some even missed their flights home as the celebrations ran long into the night. Fisher’s popularity is as much to do with his refusal to moan about his misfortune during those dark days and the positive attitude he has shown in the face of such adversity. “Having got my card at the age of 18, it’s fair to say I had very different expectations to what I have subsequently achieved,” he says. “I would certainly have hoped to won more than one tournament, but it’s a tough school out here. Every week there are 150-odd losers, and you quickly realise there’s an awful lot more goes into doing well out here than simply hitting the ball. “It took me a while to get to grips with all that’s involved in becoming a good player. There were times when I was way too hard on myself, always looking to change things in the search for perfection, and it only made things worse. So these days I’m working on some different things to try to make myself better, AFTER WINNING and to score better – that’s the main thing.” THE ESSEX MEN’S Although he confesses to having AMATEUR IN thought about giving it all up during 2004, AGED 15, his lowest ebb, golf is pretty much THE FOLLOWING all he knows, so there was nothing YEAR HE BECAME to fall back on – there was no Plan THE YOUNGEST B. “The more I thought about it, the EVER WALKER CUP more I realised there was nothing PLAYER, WHERE HE else I could do,” he says. “It was a terrible time. There I was, working WENT UNBEATEN my butt off, and asking myself IN HIS TWO over and over, 'Why isn’t anything SINGLES happening?'” The answer was to believe in his abilities, and to trust that the spark that Nick Faldo, and so many other knowledgeable observers had seen during his early career, was still there. After retaining his card through 2014 and 2015, he kept it by the skin of his teeth at the end of 2016, bagging a top-ten finish at the season-ending Portugal Masters to secure his playing rights for 2017 at the very last gasp. Last year was a much more consistent season, with 21 cuts made form 27 events and a respectable 84th on the money list. This season has seen more of a struggle, with 15 missed cuts from 28 events, but a runner-up finish in the Qatar Masters in March, where he was pipped to the title by Eddie Pepperell, all but sealed his card for the season in a single week. After a disappointing summer, Fisher returned to the Victoria Course for the Portugal Masters in late September with no recent form to speak of, having missed the cut in three of his previous four events, and certainly no expectations of ripping up any records. Starting with a steady level-par 71, he began the second round eight shots off the lead, and needing a good round to make the cut. “I knew I needed to get off to a fast start to try and make the cut, so I was chuffed when we managed to birdie the first three holes,” he recalls. “Then I managed to hole a bunker shot on the fifth for eagle, so I was five under through five. I missed a couple of chances on seven and nine, so I could have quite easily been out in nine under. I got on to a run around ten, 11, 12, so then I was thinking 59 was very much on the cards, especially with the par fives at 15 and 17 still ahead of me.” He adds: “The big hole for me was 16. I hit a poor shot into the green, and had a tough decision to make whether I chipped it or putted it. I went with the putter and left it a long way short, but managed to hole a 20-footer for par. After that it was just about hitting a couple of good drives on 17 and 18, which I did, and I just tried to enjoy it really. My caddie Guy [Tilston] did a great job, and it was really satisfying to become the first player to get that 59. Asked whether he would swap that record score for winning the tournament – he finished seventh behind good friend Tom Lewis, Fisher flashes back: “Definitely not. Not many people are going to remember who won the 2018 Portugal Masters next year, let alone in ten years’ time, but hopefully a few will remember who shot the first 59 on tour.” Having been knocking around the circuit for a dozen years now, Fisher is hoping that his time at the coalface will soon start to pay off. “I feel like I’ve got an awful lot to look forward to, as I’ve built up all this experience and I’m still only 30. The most important thing is where I want to go, not what’s in the past. This is a great time to be on tour, with all the exciting English talents around, and I definitely want to be part of that conversation.” Few would deny him that chance. Certainly not the man they now call ‘Mr 59’.


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■ LITTLESTONE'S PAR-4 18TH HOLE COURSE REVIEW COURSE REVIEW

BIGGING UP LITTLESTONE

Nick Bayly makes the pilgrimage to Kent’s Golf Coast to visit Littlestone Golf Club, home of one of England’s most underrated championship links and a charming members’ club that is moving with the times

I

t’s fair to say that you don’t stumble on Littlestone Golf Club by chance. It’s just not the kind of place where you accidently happen to be driving past its unassuming entrance and exclaim, “Oh, I didn’t know this was here, I must get a game in some time." For a course that sits well inside the top 100 in most course rankings, Littlestone’s Championship layout could certainly be accused of hiding its lamp under a particularly well-hidden bushel compared to other more celebrated links in the region, but that’s the way they like it down here. Adopting the ‘build it, they will come’ mentality certainly worked for the club in 1888, when the course first opened. The high and mighty of late 19th century society wasted no time in beating the long and winding path to its door, with British Prime Ministers Herbert Asquith and Arthur Balfour both being members during the early 1900s – and also serving as captains. While members of the political elite are somewhat thinner on the ground these days, the club currently enjoys a healthy membership in excess of 650, made up of the great and the good men, women and children of East Kent and environs, along with a fair smattering of country members who travel down from London and all corners of the south east to get their links fix on the free-draining courses. The welcoming nature of the club is reflected in its charming clubhouse, which has the look of a weather-beaten Victorian schoolhouse both outside and in, with history oozing from every pore of its white-washed walls. The upstairs bar provides a superb vantage point to watch golfers teeing off from the first, and enjoy a hearty home-cooked breakfast or lunch, while a spacious first floor patio allows weary golfers to soak up the rays as the sun dips into the English Channel, whose choppy waters lie just beyond the boundaries of the course. Next to the clubhouse is a stylish new pro shop, which opened in September, where Head PGA Professional James Cunliffe and his team enjoy the luxury offered by the new building from which they can sell their services and a wide range of equipment and accessories. The Championship Course, which hosts

Final Qualifying whenever The Open comes to St George’s, has recently been selected by the R&A to stage the Junior Open in 2020, an accolade which can only serve to enhance its reputation as a high-profile tournament venue that stretches all the way back to 1894, when it held the first British Ladies Amateur Championship. In many ways, it’s easy to see why the R&A has chosen Littlestone to host the Junior Open, as the par-71 layout serves as a superb introduction to the joys of links golf. With its largely flat landscape and an absence of towering dunes precluding too many blind shots, coupled with fairly generous fairways, it’s not the ‘steroid’ links experience on offer at Royal St George’s. And while playing off the 6,600-yard tips in a howling wind will test the very best, the forward tees on a calm, sunny day will give young golfers, and those new to the idiosyncrasies of links golf, a chance to revel in the glories of the bump-and-run approach, the joy of hitting a crisp iron off a tight lie, and the pleasure to be had from putting on superbly even-paced greens. All those familiar with Littlestone will know that you need to make your score on the front nine, as the second half presents the tougher holes and generally plays into the prevailing wind. After teeing off in the shadow of the clubhouse to a straightforward 300-yard par four, the course quickly gets into its stride

at the second, a much more challenging two-shotter where the drive must avoid three bunkers to leave a mid-iron to a green whose entrance is guarded by two huge mounds with a gap no more than ten yards wide in between to reach the green. Moving on, the par-three sixth, at 158 yards, is the shortest of the four testing short holes, but trouble lurks everywhere. The green is raised and very hard to hold, especially if the pin is tucked behind a huge bunker protecting the left hand side of the green – and, if you miss the putting surface left and run down the steep bank, an up-and-down is nigh on impossible. Length is the key at the next hole, the 507-

All in all, it’s a challenging and engaging 18 holes, with precision being just as important as power in order to put a decent score together. The course record of 64, achieved by Paul Wesselingh during Open Qualifying in 2003, will take some beating, but it’s not a course that will punish you unnecessarily. Blessed with its own microclimate, conditions are almost always dry, making for a great winter venue, while summer conditions, with fast-running fairways, will flatter your drives, and some. The course is always presented in superb nick throughout out the year by the greenkeeping team, which is headed up

■ THE STUNNING PAR-3 17TH

yard seventh, arguably the best of the three par fives on the card. Drives are hit from an exposed tee to a fairway that turns slightly left at the 200-yard mark. Anything hit too straight will find lengthy rough, while anything left will find sand or a series of grassy mounds. After a good tee shot, you are faced with the option to take on a ditch that dissects the fairway some 130 yards short of the green. Approaches should ideally be worked in from right to left, using the contours, but must be perfectly executed to find an undulating green. After a run of testing par fours after the turn, Littlestone’s layout really shows its teeth just when the safety of the clubhouse is beckoning. The 16th is a 464-yard beast of a par four that plays directly uphill and into the wind. The hole doglegs to the left at 250 yards, and unless you get around the corner, the green is out of reach. Sitting some 50 yards above the fairway, the green is one of the smallest targets on the course. If you walk off the green with a par on your card, take a bow. However, the smile will soon be wiped off your face when you stand on the elevated tee at the par-three 17th and look at the green some 180 yards into the distance. Anything hit less than perfectly will find trouble, most likely in the two front bunkers, while the green itself slopes heavily from back to front and is protected on all sides by thick rough. The finishing hole is a suitably demanding, yet fair, par five, where drives are hit from an elevated tee to a fairway that turns gently from right to left. Numerous fairway bunkers litter the landing and lay up areas, but you should have no more than a wedge for your third if you hit two solid shots. The green, though, slopes significantly from back to front, and is protected by two pot bunkers and numerous run-offs.

by Malcolm Grand, who will sadly hanging up his boots after the Junior Open after 40 years in the job. With full membership starting from just £1,500, Littlestone represents excellent value for those that want to make the club their home, while for those that want to use it as a second club, Associate membership is a steal at £600, offering 20 rounds of golf at any time of the year. For keen winter golfers, the club also offers a Fairway membership for £725, which offers unlimited golf between November and February and 15 rounds during the remainder of the year. The club also boasts an active junior membership, which costs just £100 a year, while those aged between 18-24 pay only £299. With online tee bookings ensuring no hanging around during busy periods, and two-balls able to whizz round in a little over three hours, Littlestone is a great little club for those that simply want to turn up and play in this time-pressured age. With a £50 green fee – £90 during the summer – it also represents great value for the visiting golfer, while winter society packages start from just £55 for 18 holes and a one-course meal. For membership enquiries and society bookings, email sarah@littlestonegolfclub. org.uk or call 01797 363355. For more details, visit www.littlestonegolfclub.org.uk.

GOLF NEWS READER OFFER Book a two-ball before February 28 and enjoy a free Full English Breakfast with your green fee for just £45pp. Bookings, for mid-week rounds only, can be made online at www.littlestonegolfclub.org.uk/ visitorbooking, quoting ‘Golf News’, or by calling 01797 363355.


[18] WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

GOLF IN SOCIETY: TACKLING DEMENTIA HEAD ON In this special report, Andrew Tremlett talks to Anthony Blackburn, founder of Golf in Society, to find out how golf is making a difference to the lives of people suffering from, and living with, dementia and Alzheimer's

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very Thursday morning for the last three years, light permitting, Anthony Blackburn has headed out first thing to play nine holes at Lincoln Golf Centre. After his round, he goes to his car office and prepares another day of development for his social enterprise - Golf in Society. Later on that morning, he and his team will welcome a bunch of eager recipients to one of his dementia-focused golf sessions. He has approximately two hours – depending on how he has played his round – to make early contact with the ever-growing myriad of partners and stakeholders involved in his project, and is also mindful of who his attendees are that morning and what he needs to do to make their day special. Lincoln is just one of his centres of excellence. With an impressive care background, and an equally inspirational approach to people living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease, Blackburn has no truck with people who have to live with these conditions being told that their golfing lives are over. He believes that too many golf clubs have turned their backs on members who have spent a lifetime supporting them and that it’s an attitude that has to change. "Gone are the days of waiting lists for most clubs, and if clubs realised their investments in these lapsed members, they would be contributing to the social good for their locality,” says Blackburn. He has many examples of clients who had never hit a golf ball before. Put simply, we golfers are all aware of those precious moments when we are playing golf, and we fool ourselves into thinking we know exactly what we are doing with body, club and ball and it feels great, but we also know it won't last too long. Blackburn decided that by using golf, he was going to help people feel that moment when perhaps they had forgotten it was possible. As a carer, he has always looked for ways of providing mental and physical stimulation to make his clients' days better, and while he still uses golf to unwind, he realised

THERE IS A GROWING BODY OF CLINICAL EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS THAT THE EARLY LONGER GESTATION PERIODS OF DEMENTIA CAN BE INCREASED BY GOOD DIET, A LEVEL OF REGULAR EXERCISE, AND PLENTY OF MENTAL STIMULATION

Alzheimer's Society that 45% of people who are likely to have the condition, haven't been diagnosed yet for reasons that range from guilt, denial, ignorance and other circumstances. There are no grey areas with dementia. If it is part of your life either as somebody living with it, or as a carer, it dominates every aspect of your daily living. The chances are that if you haven't come across the condition on a personal or professional

that there was absolutely no reason why people with so-called limited cognitive skills couldn't be helped to maintain them or even get them back. It wasn't exactly a lightbulb moment, but certainly it was akin to finding not one, but maybe two brand new ProV1's nestling together in the rough. Current statistics are that there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. In addition, it is estimated by the

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NEWS | WINTER 2018/2019

[19]

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■ A GOLF & HEALTH CONFERENCE WAS HELD IN LONDON IN OCTOBER IDENTIFIED THE BENEFITS OF GOLF ON PHYISCAL AND MENTAL WELLBEING; A GOLF IN SOCIETY GOLF DAY; ANTHONY BLACKBURN (CENTRE)

level, you have no idea what that entails. For every one of those 850,000 people, there are at least another six – family members and professionals – involved in their care programmes either directly or indirectly. Add in the undiagnosed, and you have at least nine million people in the UK trying to get on the first tee. With 15% of the population dedicated to dealing with dementia, it's a fair assumption that a similar percentage are members of golf clubs, or used to be. Given the age profiles for a lot of clubs, the chances are that they are higher. There is a growing body of clinical evidence that shows that the early gestation periods of dementia – stages one to four – can be increased by good diet, a level of regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation. Golf and Health's outstanding installations at this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie showed how the medical industry is beginning to approach the situation for our elder citizens. But it's not just the medical industry that buys into what Golf in Society is doing. Over the last two years, Blackburn has developed working relationships with the European Tour, England Golf, Rudding Park, Lincoln Golf Centre, Mearns Castle Golf Academy near Glasgow, the Golf & Health project, Life Changes Trust, UnLtd, Howard Swann at Golf Business International, and the Alzheimer's Society. All these organisations recognise the opportunities that exist to make lives better for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s and also that there are business benefits to be had for all if the 14 clubs in the bag are clean and ready for use. In an encouraging development recently, the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Holland, has pledged £4.5m to the concept of social prescribing by general practitioners. This idea has been around for a number

of years now, and GPs recognise the benefits of using social prescribing in dealing with their workload and helping their patients. The media announced the news with main headlines of people getting involved in gardening and cookery courses to help avoid being prescribed drugs to alleviate their symptoms and in general, just using common sense to 'feel better'. Many of these sorts of courses take time – and money – to set up, but with golf and the available facilities all over the UK, all you have to do is just pitch up and hit the ball. Blackburn sees golf as a perfect addition to these various activities and is passionate about the effects he sees day in day out with his Golf in Society Golf Days Out sessions.

respite. A policy of adult safeguarding is being prepared to help clubs instigate his programmes, and Blackburn is well aware of the potential financial implications for clubs that adopt Golf in Society policies. The blueprint that can be created to facilitate a network of ‘age-friendly’ golf clubs throughout the UK already exists, and surely it's just a matter of time before we see his concept at clubs everywhere. Throughout his caring career, Blackburn has always believed in the old notion of treating people as you would expect to be treated. His team are reminded regularly to treat their clients as if they were helping their own fathers or grandfathers and he believes it's an approach that pays off in all his sessions. As he says: "I see golf leading the way in personcentred sports coaching for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s and from what I have experienced in the growth of the concept, it's the utter joy of not only the participants, but also their carers, many of whom rely on our sessions to keep them sane.” This is not an understatement. The cathartic nature of getting involved in the fearful world of dementia is demonstrated by the thousands of people worldwide who have had personal experience of it and are now leaders in social care. Armed with their research and knowledge on the subject, they are keen to make sure their stories are told to help others. Blackburn’s father was a great judge of pace and direction when it came to his putting, and his son uses his dad's putter all the time, because he knows it gives him inspiration in his own game. It's no accident that he is a very good putter.

IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THERE ARE 850,000 PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA IN THE UK Blackburn's plans are ambitious and he is currently applying through the relevant government departments to start a trial of local GPs near his assigned centres of excellence to encourage social prescribing. Training programmes are being prepared for golf clubs to not only be dementia-friendly, but run Blackburn's courses on a regular basis for lapsed members or any local residents who fancy some easy, cost-effective

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT GOLF IN SOCIETY, VISIT WWW.GOLFINSOCIETY.COM OR CALL ANTHONY BLACKBURN ON 07491 694938.

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[20] WINTER 2018/19 | INTERVIEW GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

PEPP TALK

With a breakthrough win in Qatar, and a second career title at the British Masters, Oxfordshire’s Eddie Pepperell has finally reached golf’s top table – and he’s quite enjoying the view I N T E R V I E W B Y N I C K B AY LY. P H O T O G R A P H Y G E T T Y I M A G E S

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fter six years on the European Tour, and plenty of excellent results, it’s hard to describe this season as a breakthrough, but do you feel that this year has marked a significant turning point in your career? Yes, of course. Breakthroughs don’t necessarily have to involve a win, but in a game where you are often really only judged on your victories, it was definitely a breakthrough to win my first European Tour event in Qatar. And then winning again at the British Masters was another breakthrough of sorts. That moved me into the world’s top 50, and the opportunities that comes with that, so yeah, it’s definitely been a breakthrough season in terms of the level of my play and the results that have followed. Finishing second in the Scottish Open and sixth at The Open were also breakthroughs in my mind, given the quality of the fields, so it’s been a very consistent season, as well as a winning one. You’ve had a few chances to win since you joined the tour in 2011, but did you ever think that it would take this long to get your head in front? To be honest, I didn't really have any expectations of how long it might or might not take. Obviously I had some good opportunities to win in 2014 and 2015, and then 2016 was a bit more of a struggle, but I’ve had some chances, but I wouldn't say I had a lot of great chances. So to actually go out to Qatar and

win, going into the final round with a lead, was great. Sometimes the margins are so fine between second, third and a win. It's tough to win out here, but it's also tough to be consistently a top-ten or top-five player. By and large I've achieved that quite well in my career, but I'd just never managed to win. In my mind, it didn't show that I wasn't a winner or I needed a breakthrough win. I'm just a consistent golfer and I knew my time would hopefully come, and now it has – twice.

win again. To lead from the front for pretty much 72 holes was mentally very tough, and I was really pleased with the way I coped with that pressure. The final round was a real grind, with the wind and the rain, but I had just enough in the locker to see me home. The crowds were great, and I certainly had a lot of support out there. I knew Walton Heath well from my junior days, and have twice qualified for the US Open there, so the course had good memories for me – and even better ones now.

What was your overriding emotion when the winning putt dropped in Qatar? Pure relief was the main emotion, and I think that came across by my reaction. I certainly wasn’t dancing around the green. When Ollie [Fisher] was over his putt, it ran through my mind that I had a play-off before and lost it. I won one on the Challenge Tour when Jeppe Huldahl holed a good putt on the last to force a play-off and I thought, 'this is going to a play-off here'. And then when Oli missed I thought 'my parents are going to be going metal', so there was a lot going on mentally before that tap-in. I didn't feel totally comfortable with my swing during the final round, so it was a bit of an ugly win and I'm quite proud of that.

Do you feel like you’ve done anything different this year? Not really, it’s just been about consistency. I changed my coach the week before Qatar – I’m working with a guy called Simon Shanks, which is admittedly not a great name for a coach, but he’s definitely kept me more on the straight and narrow. I’m not a very technical player, but I’m a bit more consistent off the tee – mainly because I’ve often been hitting a 3-wood – but it’s been all-round better. The key thing for me this year has been hitting good iron shots into the greens, as that means that I don’t have to putt that well to score well, and when I do putt well I can pick up shots against the field.

Having got that first win under your belt, how pleasing was it to get the second ticked off just six months later at the British Masters?? I always felt that once I got that first one out of the way, I would be able to feed off that confidence and

It sounds like you're not the kind of person who sets too many goals, but how will you reassess things now that you’re qualified for the majors and World Golf Championship events? I think it's probably going to mean I'll get a better TV draw on Thursdays and Fridays, but it doesn't really

EDDIE PEPPERELL FACTFILE AGE: 28

TURNED PRO: 2011

LIVES: ABINGDON, OXFORDSHIRE

WORLD RANKING: 38

ATTACHMENT: FRILFORD HEATH GOLF CLUB

RACE TO DUBAI RANKING (2018): 14 TOTAL APPEARANCES: 146

PRO WINS: 2012 ALLIANZ OPEN, 2014 FARMFOOD PAR-3 C'SHIP, 2018 QATAR MASTERS, 2018 BRITISH MASTERS

CAREER TOP-10S: 30 BEST MAJOR FINISH: 6TH (THE OPEN 2018) CAREER PRIZE MONEY: €5.1M


INTERVIEW | WINTER 2018/19 GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

mean too much in that sense, nothing has changed really – it's just that I'm now a winner, and that will lead to certain things. I'm hoping that now I've won two tournaments I won’t be afraid to win again, and I'm definitely looking forward to doing that, and hopefully on a bigger stage. I’ve got no plans to join the PGA Tour or anything, but I’m looking forward to testing myself against the world’s best players on a more regular basis. I’m certainly not setting goals for this year, next or 20 years ahead. I’m happy just rumbling on. You’ve been on a bit of a health kick this year. How has that impacted on your play? Yeah, I saw some pictures of myself at The Open on TV, and I thought that for a 27-year-old professional sportsman that I looked a little unwell. My energy levels at certain tournaments this year have been low, especially in hotter climates, so I wanted to lose some weight. I couldn’t give up wine or chocolate, so I’ve basically cut out carbs – bread, potatoes, rice, pasta – and started eating more fatty foods – avocado, salmon, eggs and meat. I’m feeling a lot mentally brighter, and that’s really helped my concentrations levels. Can we talk about those dark days of 2016, when

card at the end of that season, and it’s just been a steady, if not quite smooth, progression from there. You had a bit of a reputation as a hot head when you were a youngster. How have you managed to curb that, and how much do you think that a fiery attitude is a help or a hindrance as a pro golfer? Yeah, I did have a bit of a temper as a kid. I got banned form my club, Frilford Heath, for six months when I was a 15 when I damaged a green with my putter during the club championship after I’d missed a five-foot putt. My dad took a bit of stick from some members, who thought he needed to have a word with me, but I think he took the view that although it was completely the wrong thing to do, it showed that I cared and that I had a bit of competitive fight in me. There are lots of players that have that intensity, people like Sergio [Garcia], Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton – not to criticise them in any way – but that’s the kind of personalities they are, and that’s how they play their best golf. Golf is a very frustrating game at all levels, and especially when you’re playing for money, but I like to think that I’ve learned a bit of composure of the years, and although that anger is still within me, I kind of channel it in a more positive way.

■ PEPPERRELL'S COURSE KNOWLEDGE PROVED VITAL FOR HIS WIN AT WALTON HEATH

lost your tour card and had to win it back at qualifying school? I said at the time that I didn't think what happened in Portugal – losing my European Tour card – would define me as a player or a person, and that's just the way I see life. I don't react much to the lows and I don't react too much to the highs either really – sometimes I wish I did. I knew I was a talented golfer and you don't become a bad golfer overnight, or in the space of three months. I know I have got some ability, but for me it's about unlocking that and working with the right people and working on the right things. I've done that clearly in the last 18 months and been rewarded for it. There's every chance I could make another bad decision in six months time and fall off the face of the earth, that's just the nature of golf and that's just how difficult it is. When did you first realise that professional golf might be a career route? I wasn’t smashing down doors as an amateur, but I won my fair share of tournaments, and beat some decent players, and, to be honest, once I turned 16 or 17, I didn’t think I would do anything else other than play golf for a living. However, it wasn’t until I turned pro that I realised how difficult it might be to earn a living from it, but it helped me knuckle down to the responsibility of becoming a better player. I started out on the Challenge Tour in 2011, and then won in France in 2012, and that was the catalyst that got my career going. I won my European Tour

But you’ve got a putter sponsor in Bettinardi now, so that must be pleasing? Yeah, I’ve bought four of their putters with my own money over the last few seasons, so I’m glad that I won’t have to keep paying out for new ones now, although Core Golf in Oxfordshire might have lost a customer! I’ve tried a few different Bettinardi models, and the Studio Stock 8 is the one I keep coming back to. You’ve just put Mizuno’s new JPX 919 Tour irons in the bag. Is it common for you to change clubs mid-season? Not really, I was using the previous version, the 717s, before, so it wasn’t a massive shift in looks or performance. I had a chance to test them out the week before the KLM Open in September. They suit my eye and the numbers were as good if not better than my old set, so I saw no reason not to put them straight in the bag. They’ve got that element of forgiveness that I look for in an iron. You were just outside the automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup team. Did you ever feel like you were in with a chance of a wildcard? It was never expectation of mine that I would

■ TOURNAMENT HOST JUSTIN ROSE PRESENT THE BRITISH MASTERS TROPHY TO PEPPERELL

You’ve garnered quite a big social media following with your blog and your Twitter feed. How important is all that to you? It’s hard to say really, but it’s something I really enjoy, and although the blog isn’t as regular as it first started out, I’m hoping that I will carry it on. It’s funny in that it was much easier to write the blog when things were going badly, and it’s become more difficult the better I’ve been playing. As a reader, I much prefer to read a review of a bad restaurant or a bad film than a good one, so it kind of feels like to write about how well I’m playing might come across as smug or whatever, so it becomes less about how I’m playing and more about things that are going on around my life, rather than all about golf. Twitter is a whole different thing, as it often starts a conversation that you can’t control. I enjoy doing it and put quite a bit out there about myself, but almost everything on there is a joke, generally at my own expense. Hopefully some people like it, but it needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt. I’m certainly not trying to present myself in a certain light, or to please sponsors or the tour, or whoever, it’s just a bit of fun. You’ve not had a hat sponsor for a while. Might that change now you’re moving in higher circles? I don’t know yet. To be honest, it’s not something that bothers me one way or the other. I’d like to earn enough money from playing golf, rather than being a vehicle for someone else’s brand, but I know that it goes with the territory. I’m open to offers, but it’s not a priority for me right now.

make the team or get a pick. Thomas [Bjørn] would have been mad to have picked me, so no, I wasn’t frustrated or even disappointed to miss out. I finished second in Portugal, which was after the cut-off point, and won a couple of weeks after, so I didn’t time my run very well. Of course, I would be delighted to get the chance to play in it in 2020, and in the years to come. I would be intrigued to find out how I would react to being in that kind of environment. I’m not normally one of the guys who gets hugely excited on the golf course, so I’d be interested to see how that affected me. I played in the GolfSixes tournament with Matt Wallace earlier in the year, and that got the competitive juices going a bit. I don’t play much matchplay golf, but I was pretty good at it as a youngster, and I enjoy the battle, so yeah, the Ryder Cup is definitely on my radar. You will most likely find a letter on your doormat before Christmas inviting you to attend the Masters. How exciting is that? I don’t know how I feel about it yet. Nothing feels that different to be honest. I don’t go around thinking about myself as world top 50 player, or that I’m this or that. I just want to go about playing golf, getting better and being as good as I can be. Contrary to outward appearances, I’m not a lazy player. I’m highly focused when I want to be, and work hard at my game. I may go about it in a different way than some other players, but my desire to be one of the best golfers in the world is definitely there.

WHAT’S IN EDDIE’S BAG: UTILITY:

DRIVER: PING G400 (9˚)

CALLAWAY X FORGED UT (18)

FAIRWAY WOODS: CALLAWAY EPIC SUB ZERO (13.5˚)

IRONS: MIZUNO MP-18 MMC FLI-HI, MIZUNO JPX919 TOUR (4-9)

WEDGES: MIZUNO T7 (46˚, 50˚, 56˚, 60˚) PUTTER: BETTINARDI STUDIO STOCK 8

[21]


[22] WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

ARE YOU UP TO SPEED WITH THE

A major rewriting of the Rules of Golf is set to bring the game into the 21st century when it comes into force on January 1. Golf News editor Nick Bayly outlines the most significant changes and how they will effect tour players, your club’s monthly medal or a friendly round with your mates

■ PLAYERS CAN NOW TAKE A DROP FROM KNEE HEIGHT

BELOW IS A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE CHANGES THAT WILL HAVE MOST IMPACT IN GENERAL PLAY, CLUB COMPETITIONS, AND, IN SOME CASES, PROFESSIONAL AND ELITE TOURNAMENTS AS THE 2019 SEASON GETS UNDER WAY.

BALL IN MOTION ACCIDENTALLY DEFLECTED There will no longer be a penalty if your ball hits you, your equipment, your caddie, or a flagstick left in the hole. For example, if a ball bounces off the face of a bunker and hits you, you simply play the shot from where it lands with no penalty.

BALL AT REST ACCIDENTALLY MOVES

W

hen the clocks strike midnight on December 31, golf at club and elite level, and the laws by which it is played, will enter a brave new world that has remained almost unchanged since the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield laid down the first 13 rules in 1744. Just over 18 months after the proposed changes to the rules were first unveiled, and following wide consultation with thousands of golfers and organisations, the new rules of golf finally come into force on January 1. The central theme running through these changes is about simplification, flexibility and speed – not the first three words that traditionally spring to mind when you think about golf’s byelaws. As well as speeding up the pace of play, and making the game more ■ UNDER THE NEW RULES, GOLFERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO REMOVE LOOSE approachable, with the use of plainer English, many of the changes – IMPEDIMENTS FROM A BUNKER which include a reduction in the number of rules from 34 to 24 – are also a reaction to a litany of minor infringements that have occurred in tournament play in recent years, and have resulted in harsh punishments. With the advent of high-definition cameras and slow-motion replays, inadvertent mistakes have often led to accusations of foul play and the retrospective issuing of penalties, all of which have served to show the rules to be too much open to outside influence and misinterpretation. The professional game has now reached a point where players are reluctant to make a decision for themselves, or for other players, on the slightest of issues, asking for rulings from referees, many of whom might not be on hand, leading to long delays to already lengthy rounds. “We needed our rules to be more accessible and to be easy to apply and understand,” said David Rickman, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s Executive Director of Governance. “And we believe that the new rules are more in tune with what golfers would like, and are easier to understand for everyone who wants to enjoy playing this great game. There is enough flexibility so that they can encourage and be inclusive to anybody who wants to play golf, wherever they want to play it.” ■ LEAVE IT IN, SON: PLAYERS WILL BE ABLE TO PUTT WITH THE FLAGSTICK IN

There is no longer a penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the green or when searching for it. So, if the ball moves on the green without interference from you or your putter, you can simply replace it on its original spot. The same goes if you accidently move your ball while searching for it in the rough or elsewhere on the golf course. A player is not to be deemed responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is 'virtually certain' that he or she did so.

BUNKER PLAY There is no longer a penalty for touching or lifting loose impediments, such as stones, leaves, twigs, pine cones, or anything that shouldn’t normally be found in a bunker – i.e. anything except sand. For an unplayable ball in the sand, you can now play from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.

LOST BALL The time allowed for looking for a lost ball has been reduced from five to three minutes. Ready Golf – playing when you’re ready and it’s safe – is encouraged in stroke play, and it is recommended that a shot take ‘no more than 40 seconds’.

ALTERNATIVE TO STROKE AND DISTANCE A local rule permits club committees to give players the option of dropping the ball ‘in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds’ (including the nearest fairway area), under

a two-stroke penalty. This rule is designed to speed up play when a player would normally be required to go back to the tee under stroke and distance. It won’t apply to professional and elite level competitions.

REPAIRING GREENS All damage to greens – including spike marks and animal damage – can now be repaired on the spot. Previously only ball-marks or old hole plugs could be repaired. Players can also touch the line of a putt.

TAKING RELIEF A golfer’s relief area can now be measured by using the longest club in their bag for a one- or two-club length, depending on the situation. Golfers can drop the ball from knee height when taking relief.

DOUBLE HITS A player who hits the ball twice in the same stoke will no longer be penalised an extra stroke. Players only count the stroke they made.

LINING UP PUTTS Caddies are no longer allowed to stand behind their players during the course of their putting stroke in order to aid with alignment.

DISTANCEMEASURING DEVICES Players may use lasers or GPS devices to measure distance, except when prohibited by a local rule. This requires clubs to opt out of the general rule if it is to ban DMDs, rather than opting in, as is currently the case.

PLAYER INTEGRITY Players no longer need to announce when lifting a ball to identify it or check that it is damaged. ‘Reasonable judgment’ will be allowed to measure a spot, point, line, area or distance – even if it is later found to be wrong with video evidence.

A digital text-based version of the rules is available on the R&A website, while the Player’s Edition of the Rules and the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf, which replaces the Decisions on the Rules of Golf, is available in a printed format now. The latter costs £22 and is published by Hamlyn.


MASTER CLASS GOLF SCHOOLS | WINTER 2018/2019 2018

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

MASTER CLASS GOLF SCHOOLS

LEARN FROM THE BEST World-renowned PGA coaches Peter Dawson and Gary Smith are combining their expertise for a series of exclusive coaching schools being held in the UK and abroad in 2019

A

■ PRACTICE FACILITIES AT LA CALA

s former professional tour players and world-class coaches, Pater Dawson and Gary Smith have played with, and worked alongside, some of the biggest names in the game, rubbing shoulders with legends such as Palmer, Player, Faldo, Watson and Ballesteros, as well as coaching the likes of Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Thomas Bjørn and rising star Eddie Pepperell, and coaching numerous national squads at home and abroad. With so much experience under their collective belt, the pair are now keen to share their expertise with golfers of all levels with the launch of their new Smith and Dawson Masterclass Golf Schools. This is a rare opportunity to learn from two highly successful coaches. Peter will focus on all of your long game issues in an easy-to-understand delivery, adopting a holistic approach focused on each golfer’s individual needs. Gary will specialise in short game and putting. Gary is regarded by many as the best short game coach in the UK, and he will introduce simple, yet highly effective techniques that have significantly improved an impressive 98% of his students' shots around the green. Each school will be held at resort venues personally selected by Peter and Gary for the quality of their coaching facilities and courses, together with superb dining and accommodation, while student numbers will be strictly limited to ensure personalised, one-to-one coaching, along with clear and effective information targeted to fast-track your overall game improvement. Gary says: “I'm really excited to be able to guide golfers towards consistent chipping, playing wedge shots without fear and seeing the ball come beautifully out of the sand. Students will understand why they struggle around the green, but, more importantly, I will give them all the tools they

■ GARY SMITH SHORT GAME LESSON

need to play shots they could previously only dream about. Peter and myself are both able to adapt our coaching to suit each person’s goals, strengths and priorities. We both love working with students who are keen to improve, and are both determined to give them the information they need to take their games to the next level and beyond." Both coaches agree that if you want to improve your scoring and start having fun playing golf, you need the correct and appropriate advice and the correct tools, so you are certain when you practise your game, you are working on the right things. So many golfers hit balls without an understanding of what they need to do, which is not only counter-productive and engraining faults, but is exhausting and doesn't lead to improvement. Each golf school, which will run over two or three days, will start on the practice area, where the first half of the morning session will be divided into two groups, one concentrating on the long game – driving and iron play – while the second group will focus on the short game – chipping, bunker play and putting. Mid-morning the groups will swap. Students will get an understanding of how they might squeeze a few vital extra yards out of their tee shots, as well as improve consistency, while around the green, players will be taught techniques and shots to suit various situations found on the golf course. Both sessions will be filmed for before-and-after analysis. In the afternoon, players will head out onto the golf course to put their practice into action over 18 holes, all under the keen eyes of Peter and Gary, who will be on hand to offer advice on shot and club selection, as well as course strategy. As Peter says: “Golf is not all about booming drives 300 yards down the fairway, there is a great deal of strategy of how to plot your way around a golf course, and taking time

■ THE OXFORDSHIRE

SMITH AND DAWSON MASTER CLASS GOLF SCHOOLS 2019 LA CALA RESORT, SPAIN, MAY 20-23 2019

THE PACKAGE INCLUDES:

3 nights/3 days tuition Price from : £1,179*

• • • • • •

THE OXFORDSHIRE, JUNE 23-25, 2019 2 nights/2 days tuition Price from: £685

THE OXFORDSHIRE, AUGUST 25-27 2019 2 nights/2 days tuition Price from: £685

DRUIDS GLEN, IRELAND SEPT 15-18 2019 3 nights/3 days tuition Price from: £1,375* *prices depending on current exchange rates

2/3 nights’ accommodation, including breakfast and dinner with wine. 2/3 long game lessons; 2/3 short game lessons 18 holes each day supported by Peter and Gary Full use of practice facilities with unlimited range balls All tuition provided by PGA Master coach Peter Dawson and PGA Advanced Fellow Professional Gary Smith. Complimentary use of the resort's spa facilities

If you would like to find out more about the Smith and Dawson Master Class Golf Schools, or to reserve your place at one or more of next year’s venues, then simply call 07901 229275, email: schools@peterdawsongolf.com or visit www.peterdawsongolf.com/schools

■ PETER DAWSON IN ACTION AT A CLINIC

to walk and observe play will give us, as coaches, the chance to better understand a pupil’s game, and offer a more holistic approach than they’ll receive from a standard weekly golf lesson on the range.” After the golf clubs have been put away for the day, Peter and Gary will join the guests for drinks and dinner, where the events of the day can be discussed more informally, and stories and anecdotes swapped over a glass or two of wine.. Gary concludes: “I’m really keen that golfers see these schools as a journey, rather than a one-off experience, as it’s vital to maintain momentum if you’re really serious about improving your game. We always love students to keep in touch with us, to check their progress, and, hopefully, they will come back for more!”

MEET THE COACHES PETER DAWSON PGA MASTER PROFESSIONAL After an impressive amateur career, in which he played at county and international level, Peter joined the European Tour in 1973 and during a 10year career won twice and finished 7th in the order of merit in 1977. He played in that year’s Ryder Cup at Royal Lytham, where he won his singles match against Don January 5&4. The same year he partnered Nick Faldo in the World Cup. He played in The Open eight times, with a best finish of 18th. Peter joined the Senior European Tour in 2000 and was runner up in the Senior PGA Championship in 2001. As a coach, Peter is a PGA Master Professional, a five-star European Teaching Professional, and a Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach. He has worked with numerous county and international teams, including the Hampshire Elite Junior Squad, the Moroccan, Swiss and Danish teams, and the British University Sports Association. These teams included Thomas Bjørn, Anders Hanson, Luke Donald and Rory Sabbatini. www.peterdawsongolf.com

GARY SMITH PGA ADVANCED FELLOW

A former winner of the Kenyan Open, Gary competed in The Open three times and represented GB & Ireland in the PGA Cup. Gary is now one of the UK’s leading golf coaches; was an England Golf Technical Coach to the elite men's squad for 14 years, with past pupils including Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Wood, Eddie Pepperell, and many others leading tour pros. He was also an England Golf Girls' Technical Coach for 10 years and has been involved in numerous county and university squads. Gary has presented over 100 short game seminars to over 1,000 PGA Professionals in the UK and Europe, and is one of Golf Monthly’s Top 25 Coaches and is a regular contributor to the magazine. He has produced four DVDs on both short game and long game, including his groundbreaking ‘The Linear Approach to Short Game’. www.garysmithgolf.com


[24] WINTER 2018/19 | INTERVIEW GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ TOM LEWIS WON THE SILVER MEDAL AT THE 2011 OPEN AT ROYAL ST GEORGE'S

Seven years after securing his debut victory on Tour, Hertfordshire’s Tom Lewis was back in the winner’s circle again after a successful return to form at the Portugal Masters, where it all began for him back in 2011 WORDS NICK BAYLY PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES

I

f you can cast your mind back to the summer of 2011, and more precisely to the first round of the Open Championship at Royal St George’s, you may recall a young man by the name of Tom Lewis briefly grabbing the spotlight when he shared the 18-hole lead at the world’s oldest major. Far from over-awed by playing in the company of the five-time Open champion Tom Watson, the 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City relished the added attention that such hallowed company deserved, and rose to the occasion magnificently. His first round 65 included seven birdies, while a stunning ace at the par-three by Watson resulted in a suitably enthusiastic high-five from his slightly less experienced partner, and a friendship of sorts was formed. Lewis added rounds of 74, 76 and 74 to win the Open Championship’s low amateur Silver Medal – although he was disappointed to ‘only’ finish 30th. A month later he helped GB & Ireland secure a stunning win in the Walker Cup, and, immediately after that, made the decision to turn professional. But unlike most good amateurs, who have to serve an extended apprenticeship in the lower leagues, learning the ropes and finding out the all-too-painful process of playing for real money, Lewis came out of the traps like a greyhound, winning his first tournament in only his third event on the European Tour, capturing the Portugal Masters at Vilamoura with a score of 22 under par. To put his achievement into perspective, it took Tiger Woods five attempts to get off the mark, while Rory McIlroy laboured away for 38 events before he crossed the line in front. While comparisons with

BACK ON TRACK


INTERVIEW | WINTER 2018/19 [25] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

either of those players are obviously rather futile, the manner of Lewis’s victory in Portugal – where he shot 22 birdies in the final 52 holes – and the maturity he displayed throughout that golden summer, gave rise to the impression that we were witnessing the arrival of someone truly special. But golf has a strange way of cutting down its tall trees. And while the £400,000 prize money – and the two-year exemption – was a godsend for a young player struggling to pay his way and secure appearances, the overnight success proved something of a millstone around young Lewis’s neck, and he struggled under the burden of expectation to regain that form – let alone winning form – for six long years after that. Lewis, who possesses an old head on young shoulders, was suitably alert to the dangers that an early win might present. Speaking to me back in 2012, he said: “Of course, it was amazing to win so early in my career, and to know that I had it in me to win, but at the same time I am worried about it kind of killing my ambition before I’ve years ago. I appreciate even had a chance to I ENDED UP WORKING the win a lot more know what it is like to now. I’ve struggled grind it out week in, ON MY GAME SO MUCH over the years and week out. There’s a THAT I GOT TO A POINT when you struggle, feeling that you have WHERE I DIDN’T ENJOY or lose something, to put in the hard graft IT. IT HAD BECOME WORK you appreciate for a while in order to AND A GRIND AND I HAD things more. That is earn your first win, LOST THE JOY AND FUN I something that I took and that you might advantage of when be missing out by not HAD PLAYING THE GAME I was younger, so if I doing that. But, let’s be AS KID GROWING UP can continue to play honest, we’d all take like this and get a few a win, whenever it more wins, then I can really appreciate what I’m doing.” comes, so I wasn't complaining. I’ve just got to kick on After finishing third in the following week’s from here, and not feel like I’ve cracked it.” Kazakhstan Open, the Challenge Tour’s most lucrative And cracked it he hadn’t. Lewis missed the cut in event, Lewis teed it up in the Portugal Masters in the remaining three events of 2011, and made only Vilamoura, the scene of his finest hour all those seven eight cuts in 2012, finishing 117th on the money list. long years ago. Playing with a new spring in his step, With the cushion of the two-year exemption ending following his Challenge Tour success, and buoyed by in 2013, he made only 11 cuts that year, but saved his a return to a happy hunting ground of the Victoria card courtesy of a €200,000 payday for finishing Course, Lewis belied his world ranking of 184 to regain third at the Dunhill Links. the title he won in 2011 in typically gung-ho fashion, Both 2014 and 2015 were a struggle, with a 116th firing a final round 66 to haul in overnight leader Lucas placed finish in 2015 resulting in a lost card. He Herbert and finish on 22 under par for the week. regained it in 2016 at Qualifying School, where he Perhaps understandably, Lewis had a slight wobble finished tied 11th, and he got some vital consistency on the par-five 17th, where a nervous tee shot found the in his game in 2017, with just five missed cuts from 21 water, but he quickly recovered his composure and, events. However, a lack of high finishes meant that after his rival found water on the 18th hole, only needed it still wasn’t enough to earn his full European Tour to par the last to secure the €300,000 first prize. playing rights for 2018. Walking off the 18th green, and confronted by Lewis is in no doubt about where the source of his Sky Sports’ cameras, Lewis looked more than a little problems lay. He says: “I was so keen to prove myself stunned. "It is unbelievable. I am so happy. It has as a pro. In hindsight, I think I tried too hard. When been a rough ride,” he said with a certain level of I think back to 2011, and my amateur career, turning understatement. “I think this wins means more than professional after the Walker Cup, I ended up working it did in 2011. The next win was always going to mean on my game so much that I got to a point where I more because of how much I have worked for didn’t enjoy it. It had become work and a grind, and I it. Hopefully I can push on now and keep the had lost the joy and fun I had playing the game as kid momentum up. I want to be moving forward growing up. all the time." “The challenge I found difficult playing in Europe Since the two wins, Lewis has been was the fact that we play for money, not points. I got far like a star reborn. Having secured his too focused on how much I needed to earn to get to a place on tour for the next two seasons, he certain world ranking, or what finish I needed to move bagged 10th place at the Dunhill Links, tied up the money list, that I stopped focusing on the things fifth at the British Masters, 14th at the Turkish I should have been working on – myself, my game and Airlines Open and tied seventh at the DP World the individual areas to improve, but I focused on the Championship. All of which took his prize wrong things. By chasing the wrong goal I lost my game haul in 2018 to over €950,000, and and my confidence.” his world ranking up to 80th - up Thus Lewis arrived at the beginning of this year with from a lowly 623rd in 2016. nothing more than a Challenge Tour card in his back Lewis is too experienced a pocket, a few invites to less popular European Tour campaigner to get carried events, and the inner belief that good things would away with this latest run of come again provided he stuck to his processes and form, but now, aged 28, he believed that his luck would change. feels more at ease with his And so it proved. After qualifying for The Open game and his life. and the US Open, he finished third in the Swedish “I’m enjoying my golf Challenge and sixth in the Czech Masters in August, more than ever,” he and then blitzed the field at the Bridgestone Challenge says, with a broad grin in September, winning by five shots against a decent on his face. “And when field at Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire. I’m enjoying it, good Unsurprisingly, given his wretched run of results, things will happen. I the win served as a massive confidence boost to Lewis. understand now what it “It doesn’t matter whether you win a huge event or a means, and I feel that this is small event, this victory means a lot to me,” he said just the start of better things after picking up the trophy and the €28,000 first prize. to come.” “I’ve probably had more fun this week then I did seven

INSIDE TOM LEWIS’S BAG DRIVER: CALLAWAY ROGUE SUB ZERO (10.5) FAIRWAY WOODS: CALLAWAY ROGUE (15) UTILITY: CALLAWAY X FORGED UT (18) IRONS: CALLAWAY X FORGED (3-PW) WEDGES: CALLAWAY MACK DADDY 4 (52, 56) PUTTER: ODYSSEY O-WORKS BLACK #7S BALL: TITLEIST PRO V1 X


[26] WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

LOOKING TO BO • 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 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 YO U N E E D TO K N O W


NEWS | WINTER 2018/2019

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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

O K A G O L F DAY ? FOR THE BEST SOCIETY & C O R P O R AT E D A Y V E N U E S


STORY BEHIND THE PIC GLORIA MINOPRIO • WOMEN'S GOLF UNION CHAMPIONSHIP • WESTHARD HO GC • OCOTBER 3, 1933

FROM MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS to Michelle Wie, there have been many women who have changed the course of women’s golf, but there have been few more influential, yet so little known, than Gloria Minoprio, who cast a short, but magical spell over the British golfing scene during the 1930s. Born in Liverpool in 1907, Minoprio came from relatively humble beginnings. After the death of her father while she was a teenager, Minoprio was brought up by her grandmother and two aunts in an all-female household. In search of a father figure, she came under the spell of William Gavin, a wealthy London businessman who was 40 years her senior. Gavin’s ex-wife, Margaret Gavin, had been the three-time US Open Women’s champion, and Gavin was keen that Gloria learn the game too. So in the summer of 1930, Gavin, who pretended that he was Gloria’s uncle, sent his ‘niece’ to have lessons with Jim Morris, the head professional at Huntercombe Golf Club in Oxfordshire, where she would spend up to four or five hours a day working on her game. Remarkably, she only ever played with a ‘cleek’, a straight-faced club that was equivalent to a modern 2-iron, and refused to use other clubs even when playing out of bunkers or putting. Although she lived in London with Gavin, Minoprio joined Littlestone Golf Club in Kent in 1931, and made regular trips down to the Kent coast in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce to practise on the links. Littlestone’s club history records that although she never entered any club or county competitions, Minoprio’s handicap was soon down to four – well below the nine handicap required to play in national championships – still using just the one club. She never once entered the ladies clubhouse – or the main clubhouse, from which women were excluded – during her membership, choosing to simply play her rounds before disappearing back to London. Her first competitive outing came at the Ladies Amateur Championship in 1933 at Westward Ho! in Devon, where,

aged 25, she caused something of a stir by arriving on the first tee wearing trousers – a sartorial first for women’s golf. Although she lost her match to scratch golfer Nancy Halstead 4&3, news of a mysterious trouser-clad woman dressed all in black gripped the women’s circuit, with golf writer Henry Longhurst, who was covering the tournament for the Daily Mail, describing Minoprio as ‘looking like a goddess waving a flashing rapier’, while the Daily Express headline reported that Minoprio had ‘opened a sensational new chapter in women’s golf’. She certainly cut a striking figure. Tall and thin, she wore white powder make-up and red lipstick, and sported a scarlet waist-length jacket, which she removed just before each match, handing it to her caddie. Never engaging in

conversation with fellow players or spectators, she hit her shots, used a duster to wipe her club, and walked on, politely shaking hands with her opponents at the end of the match before disappearing. The following year, aged 26, Minoprio entered the LGU Championship, this time at Seacroft Golf Club in Skegness, where she made history when winning her first round match against Betty Sommerville using just one club. However, her second round opponent, Mary Johnson, runner-up in the previous year’s championship, proved a much tougher proposition and Minoprio was comprehensively defeated. For the next six years, Minoprio continued to compete only in national championships – in trousers and with her single club – but with limited success. Her best individual round came in the 1936 LGU Championship at Southport & Ainsdale, where she shot 84. Her last championship was in 1939 at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, where she entertained her competitors with magic tricks – a skill which she had learned inbetween practising her golf. She later became an accomplished magician, travelling to India to put on shows for maharajahs in return for charitable donations. After the war, Minoprio disappeared off the golfing scene forever. She married a Polish man who had fought in the British Army, and together they scraped by earning money working in hotels. In 1958, the couple moved to the Bahamas to work at another hotel. Soon after her arrival, Gloria became ill and died from septicaemia, aged just 50. It is perhaps fitting that Henry Longhurst, who, like many golf writers of the era, seemed to have fallen a little bit in love with her, has the last words: “Crowds flocked to walk round with her, workmen dropped their tools to watch her pass, her picture was in every newspaper, her name upon every lip. It is difficult to think of this lady as a golfer, and yet there is no doubt that Miss Minorio is a most accomplished player, handicapped only by her refusal to use those instruments which make the game most easy.”

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NEWS | WINTER 2018/2019 [29] GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

New Name, New Era – The Reinvention Of Brocket Hall

Golfing Language Leaves beginners in the rough

Historic Hertfordshire venue relaunches as ‘The Melbourne Club’

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nother chapter in the history of the Brocket Hall Estate in Hertfordshire has begun following the rebranding of its golf club after a change of ownership. Brocket Hall Golf Club went into administration in 2015, and was acquired a year later by Chinese billionaire Joe Zhou Feng for about £10 million. The club is reported to have lost over £3 million since taking on the 36-hole venue, but Zhou Feng is confident that under its new name – The Melbourne Club at Brocket Hall – he can revive its fortunes with ‘a new, exclusive members’ golf club offering the ultimate golfing experience.’ The estate, which was the ancestral seat of Lord Brocket, who was jailed for insurance fraud in the 1990s, boasts a Grade I-listed classical country house set in a large park, two championship golf courses – The Melbourne and The Palmerston – and also includes a golf academy, a par-three course and a clubhouse. Other facilities include a swing studio, steam room, sauna, bar, brasserie, snug, terrace, event spaces for business meetings and private events, and a restaurant. Speaking at the official relaunch of the club, Mr Zhou Feng said: “I am passionate about Brocket Hall’s heritage, and as its new custodian, I am committed to its bright future. This relies upon a thriving golf club, and to this end, the management team has already affected improvements to the golf facilities and introduced a full calendar of competitions and

social events. It is my hope to one day establish the Melbourne Club as one of the best clubs in England.” The opening of the new club was marked with the staging of the inaugural Melbourne Club Trophy, which saw over 100 new members play a competition over both courses. The men's and ladies trophies, which were specially commissioned by Brocket Hall's managing director Michael Longshaw, were two steering wheels from Ferraris formerly owned by the current Lord Brocket himself. The membership experience will differentiate itself from most other clubs in that it will include access to outdoor pursuits, art exhibitions, culinary experiences and musical events in both the clubhouse and stately home itself. Packages for visiting golfers to play either course currently start from £150, with overnight accommodation available in the Melbourne Lodge at an extra cost. The man responsible for the changing fortunes at the club is experienced golf and resort operator Michael Longshaw, the chief executive of International Golf & Resort Management, who has been appointed to run Brocket Hall by the new owners of the estate.

Longshaw, whose company has been involved with numerous golf development projects around the world, worked at Brocket Hall from 1996 to 2007, in which time he opened the Palmerston course, the Auberge du Lac restaurant and the Faldo Institute, as well as hosting and organsing the Laura Davies Invitational. Longshaw said: “The opening of the Melbourne Club signifies a new era in the evolution of Brocket Hall. Our highly-acclaimed golf courses and state-of-the-art practice facilities are now coupled with a raft of lifestyle experiences that add up to a much more exclusive members club.” He added: “With the owner totally committed to the long-term future of the golf club, and with solid management securely in place, we are now striving to further improve the quality of our courses for the benefit of our members and to enable us to stage world class events here. We are also offering our membership a variety of social and cultural events, hitherto not available, while working with well-known companies to add increased lifestyle benefits to our members and their partners. We have a great deal to announce over the next few months. The future looks promising.”

DO YOU KNOW your Texas Wedge from your Sandbagger, and your Mulligan from your Snowman? While these are familiar terms for most keen golfers, the lexicon of golf is often considered a foreign language to those just starting out in the game, and those unfamiliar with golf’s slang terminology. To find out just how shallow – or deep – our knowledge of golf’s most common terms have become embedded into English vernacular, GolfSupport.com surveyed 686 so-called ‘avid’ amateur golfers to see how confident they were with the definitions of a range of common golf-specific words and phrases. The participants were asked to state which they felt most and least confident about the definition of. Unsurprisingly, the top five terms amateur golfers are the most confident with the definition of were related to scoring, with Par (82%), Bogey (78%), Double Bogey (75%), Birdie (72%) and Albatross (70%), all coming out with high recognition scores. Surprisingly, only 66% felt confident about the definition of the word ‘gimme’, although that’s probably not so shocking given the varying length at which they are often offered. Perhaps more worrying was that only 63% of survey participants were confident of the meaning of the word ‘Fore’, the word that should be used to warn fellow golfers of an incoming ball. Just how ‘avid’ those questioned were about golf is a moot point, especially when it came to their knowledge of terms used to describe types of shot - fade (60%), slice (57%), chunk (55%) and shank (54%). At the other end of the scale, 86% felt the least confident defining ‘Texas Wedge’ (the use of a putter from off the green). Other phrases which left some golfers in the dark included ‘short-sided’ (66%), ‘playing from the tips’ (62%), ‘snowman’ (60%), ‘sandbagging’ (59%) and ‘mulligan’ at 56%.

Oxford Reaps Rewards After Course Investment OXFORD GOLF CLUB’S MEMBERS are enjoying some of the best playing conditions they have ever experienced on their parkland course following the completion of a twoyear programme of turf maintenance carried out under the watchful eye of leading golf agronomist Greg Evans. The club recruited Evans on a

consultancy basis in 2016 to help create and implement a detailed greenkeeping improvement and maintenance strategy at the 18-hole course, which was originally designed by Harry Colt and is the oldest course in Oxfordshire. Working in partnership with head greenkeeper Doug MacGregor, and

the rest of the greenstaff at the club, Evan’s programme has transformed the quality of the course, enhancing the condition of the greens, tees and approach areas. Evans said: “Oxford Golf Club is a fantastic course and has always been well regarded. Following the implementation of a targeted

The Players Club

agronomy plan it now has perfect greens, and the rest of the course is of a very high standard. “The club was really supportive and allowed us to close the competition greens for a tight maintenance window to enable us to really focus on a big agronomy programme. The greens have a good sand profile

and so we carried out deep aeration activity and then followed a strict maintenance plan. This included targeted hard watering and tight cutting to produce faster, smoother greens. Within nine months the greens were performing very well, and they are the jewel in the crown of the course.”

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[30] WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS IN THE

French Riviera Find your luxury home beside the fairways in sunny Southern France with the help of luxury property specialist Côte d'A zur Sotheby's International Realty

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rance’s south-east region of the French Riviera has plenty going for it as a year-round holiday destination, with long hot summers giving way to cooler winters, while its stunning range of hilltop villages and cultureladen cities, such as Cannes, Saint Paul de Vence, Menton, Beaulieu, Saint Jean Cap Ferrat have long provided an irresistible attraction for generations of well-heeled travellers coming to experience its relaxed Mediterranean vibe. It’s a region of heavily contrasting landscapes, and nowhere is this better reflected than in the choice of golf courses on offer. From the manicured fairways to be found at the ultra-exclusive Royal Mougins in Cannes, to the two finely-sculpted Dave Thomas-designed layouts at Terre Blanche, and from the magnificent Pont Royal – the only course in France designed by the late, great Seve Ballesteros – to the stunning, but slightly rustic layout to be found at Domaine de Manville – which winds its way around an olive farm – the French Riviera is a true golfer’s paradise. While there is a wide range of hotels and villa rentals to choose from for the casual visitor, there is also a stunning array of luxury residential properties available to buy for those who want to make the region a more permanent base or a create their own home-from-home on extended breaks. Leading luxury property specialist Côte d'Azur Sotheby's International Realty has a superb selection of villas located on and near some of these world-class golf resorts, so feast your eyes on these five properties, and start living the dream.

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1. 5-BED VILLA NEAR ROYAL MOUGINS GOLF CLUB Overlooking Royal Mougins Golf Club, and enjoying stunning views of the surrounding countryside, this recently renovated villa is located on a secure private development. The south- and west-facing property is built on two levels and boasts fivebedrooms, four bathrooms, a living room with kitchen area, dining room, sauna, cinema room, and a pantry. A vast master suite on the top floor comes with its own lounge and fireplace, dressing room and bathroom. The property benefits from under-floor heating and air conditioning throughout. Outside, there is a shaded summer

dining room and summer lounge, plus a heated swimming pool, double garage and plenty of outdoor parking. Residents enjoy free entrance to Royal Mougins Golf Club. Price: €4.5m https://www.cotedazursothebysrealty.com/en/ luxury-properties/ref-ca6-779/ sale-luxury-villa-11-rooms-6bedrooms-mougins-06250/

2. 4-BED PROVENÇAL-STYLE VILLA, ROYAL MOUGINS A recently-built Provençal-style villa is located on the Royal Mougins estate and enjoys unobstructed view of, and direct access to, the golf course and the resort’s other facilities. The elegant two-storey property is located on 2,700m2 plot and boasts four bedrooms, including a master suite on the first floor with its own terrace, dressing room, bathroom and shower. The villa also features an entrance hall with panoramic windows; reception area:

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double living room with fireplace; dining room; covered summer living room; and a separate kitchen overlooking a sheltered terrace. Three other spacious bedrooms all offer en suite facilities, while there is an office, plus a wine cellar in the basement, with a vaulted stone tasting room. The villa also benefits from a triple garage, and multiple parking spaces. The entrance fee to Royal Mougins is included in the price of the property. Price: €3.85m https://www.cotedazursothebysrealty.com/en/ luxury-properties/ref-ca6-739/ sale-luxury-villa-9-rooms-4bedrooms-mougins-06250/

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while there are two games rooms. All rooms open onto a terrace. The property also features a pool area with pool house, summer kitchen, spa area, toilet and sauna, as well as studio accommodation, cellars, laundry, storage rooms, garaging for four vehicles, shelter for two cars, and outside parking. The entrance fee to Royal Mougins is included in the sale. Price: €6.4m https://www.cotedazursothebysrealty.com/en/ luxury-properties/ref-ca6-680/ sale-luxury-villa-13-rooms-6bedrooms-mougins-06250/

3. 6-BED VILLA, ROYAL MOUGINS

4. 4-BED VILLA, PLUS 4-BED GUESTHOUSE, ROYAL MOUGINS

Located on the Royal Mougins estate, and offering the owners direct access to the golf course, this 6-bedroom, 2,000sqm villa has recently been renovated and offers luxury living on one of the world’s most exclusive golf resorts. Enjoying far-reaching views of the golf course and the surrounding hills, the property is built on two levels and boasts two entrance halls; kitchen; double living room with fireplace; dining room, and an office. The six bedrooms include a spacious master suite with dressing room,

Situated on a private residential estate near Royal Mougins Golf Club, and with direct access to the course, this prestigious property is split into two separate villas, and is surrounded by 1.5 hectares of land with a swimming pool. The main villa (423 sqm) features a spacious reception room, dining room, kitchen, and four en suite bedrooms, while the guesthouse (272 sq m) offers a living room, kitchen, four en-suite bedrooms, and a caretaker's apartment. Price: €9.9m

Seaford Head Golf Course WE ARE OFFERING SOME GREAT SOCIETY AND GOLF DAY PACKAGES Full English Breakfast & Unlimited Coffee ● 18 holes £28pp Midweek ● £31pp Weekend & Bank Holidays

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5. 3-BED PROVENÇAL-STYLE VILLA, TERRE BLANCHE Located on a 3,199 sqm plot overlooking Terre Blanche Golf Resort’s two 18hole courses, and with views over the mountains and surrounding countryside, this luxury property is built in a Provencal style and boasts three en-suite bedrooms with walk-in closets; living/ dining room with fireplace opening onto a terrace; kitchen; a guest toilet and cloakroom; laundry room; cellar, plus a room and a bedroom with bathroom on the underground floor. There is garage space for two cars. Price: €4.5m https://www.cotedazursothebysrealty.com/en/ luxury-properties/ref-ca6-729/ sale-luxury-bastide-6-rooms-4bedrooms-tourrettes-83440/ For more details on Sotheby's International properties for sale in southern France, visit cotedazur-sothebysrealty.com or call (00) +33 4 92 92 12 88.

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www.seafordheadgolfcourse.co.uk Seaford Head Golf Course Southdown Road, Seaford, BN25 4JS


NEWS | WINTER 2018/2019

[31]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

Ryder Cup injury highlights dangers of spectating A

Singh Brar

HAMPSHIRE TOUR professional Jack Singh Brar can look forward to playing a busy schedule of high-profile tournaments Eyes Up Top over the coming months Prizes after winning his After Securing Tour Card European Tour card for the 2019 season. The 21-year-old from Southampton, who turned professional earlier this year, earned his promotion to European golf’s top tier after finishing sixth in the Challenge Tour’s order of merit. With only the top ten players going up a division, it was a close run thing, but a victory at the Cordon Golf Open in September, a runnerup finish in Turkey, and fourth places at the Italian Challenge and Northern Ireland Open, proved easily good enough for the former Walker Cup player to secure a coveted place on the European Tour after less than a year in the lower ranks. “Having no status at the start of the year, I didn’t really know how many playing opportunities I might get,” said Jack, who earned just over €128,000 from 17 events on the second tier tour. “I won an Alps Tour event in Egypt, which sort of got things going, and then when I finished second in Turkey on my first start on the Challenge Tour, I really felt that I could be on the right track. I didn’t really know how big that result was at the time, but looking back now, outside of the win, that was the most monumental moment of my season.” Despite a long and challenging season first season as a pro, Singh Brar knows that the work is only just beginning, and he is committed to remaining focused for what will be his second straight rookie season, this time on the European Tour. “I’ve been wanting to be on the European Tour ever since I started playing really. It’s been a dream for all the guys who play the Challenge Tour and I’m just really happy it has come true in my first season. It’s going to be a really fun year, so I’m just going to keep everything the same, enjoy it and see what happens.”

spectator who lost the sight in her left eye after being hit by a golf ball during the Ryder Cup in Paris has provided yet another example of the inherent dangers of watching tournament golf. The incident happened on the opening day of the matches, when America’s Brooks Kopeka's drive on the sixth hole struck 49-year-old Corine Remande in the face, knocking her to the ground. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but she subsequently failed to regain sight in the injured eye. Remande, who had travelled to the tournament from Egypt, said: "There was no warning shout from any course officials when the ball was heading towards the crowd. It happened so fast. I didn't feel any pain when I was hit, but then I felt the blood start to pour. The scan confirmed a fracture of the right eye-socket and an explosion of the eyeball. Doctors told me I had lost the use of that eye.” A Ryder Cup spokesperson said: "It is distressing to hear that someone has suffered long-term consequences from a ball strike. Such incidents are an occasional hazard for spectators, but an accident of this nature is extremely rare. We can confirm that 'fore' was shouted several times, but also appreciate how hard it can be to know when and where every ball is struck if you are in the crowd. We

Burhill

Appoints Golf Ops Manager

WEBUYANYGOLFCLUB WE ARE THE COUNTRIES LEADING BUYER OF USED GOLF CLUBS We will consider the clubs the other guys will not ➽ South East, we can come to

you and pay cash ➽ Anywhere else, you can send us your clubs get paid by PayPal ➽ Bring your clubs to RG42 3DH for cash ➽ We can clear pro shop old stock & oddments

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and sell days at your club giving members cash to spend in your shop ➽ Available every Monday,

throughout the year. Please call in advance to make an appointment

GOLF UNIT, NESTINGS, JIGS LANE, N. BRACKNELL. RG42 3DH We are the opposite side of the roundabout at TESCO, Warfield Email: graham@webuyanygolfclub.com Tel: 07880 706308

BURHILL GOLF CLUB in Surrey has appointed Ashley Northridge as its new Head of Golf Operations. A highly skilled PGA Professional,

are hugely sympathetic and will do everything we can to support the spectator, insofar as that is possible under very difficult circumstances." Remande (pictured left) says she is planning to launch a legal action against the tournament’s organiser to help cover her medical bills, although it is likely that the terms of the ticket sales required all fans to make it their own duty to watch out for mis-directed golf balls. There have been several cases of golfers suing golf clubs and other golfers for golf ball injuries in recent years, with Niddry Castle GC having to pay out over £300,000 in damages to visiting golfer Anthony Phee after he was struck on the head by a golf ball hit by another player teeing off at a different hole back in 2007. The club was deemed to have failed to put out enough signage warning of potential hazards from errant golf balls. The golfer who hit the shot was also sued, and had to pay out £80,000 in damages.

Northridge brings more than 25 years of knowledge and experience to Burhill, as well as being recognised with PGA Fellow Professional status in 2015 and maintaining his class AA accreditation. The newly created role will see Northridge oversee all golfing events and act as the first point of contact for the day-to-day management of both championship courses at Burhill. Commenting on the appointment,

Burhill's General Manager Dubravka Griffiths, said: “We are thrilled to have Ashley join Burhill, and I have no doubt his wealth of experience will greatly benefit the club and our golf facilities. His knowledge and passion for club golf is ideally suited to delivering the best possible service and support to our members and visitors.” Northridge has previously held senior positions at private members golf clubs

Strike it Rite! ®

in the Surrey area including Wentworth and Royal Mid-Surrey; however, for the last 18 years he has spent time working abroad at golf clubs in Canada, Spain and Portugal. Northridge commented: “Burhill is an extremely impressive club, with two fantastic courses, outstanding practice facilities, and a thriving membership. I’m very much looking forward to playing a part in the growth of the club.”

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[32] WINTER 2018/2019 | NEWS

TOURNEWS... EUROPEAN TOUR SHAKES UP SCHEDULE

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he new European Tour schedule for 2018-19 has a very different look to it following a raft of changes announced by the tour. The most significant alteration to the previous schedule is the shifting of the BMW PGA Championship, traditionally billed as the European Tour’s flagship event, from its usual date in May to a new slot in September. This change was forced upon the European Tour following a decision to move the US PGA Championship to May. The 2019 BMW PGA Championship will be held at Wentworth from September 19-22, and will be sandwiched between the KLM Open and the Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews.

RAI LEADS FROM THE FRONT IN HONG KONG

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aron Rai claimed his maiden European Tour title after holding off fellow Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick to secure a one-shot

victory at the Honma Hong Kong Open, the new season’s first tournament. After taking a six-shot lead into Sunday’s final round,

In other calendar switches, the Italian and French Opens move from June to October, and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters moves from October to June, while the British Masters switches from October to May. The latter event will be hosted by England’s Tommy Fleetwood, and will be held at Hillside Golf Club in Lancashire during the week before the US PGA Championship. Another significant change sees January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship added to the Rolex Series schedule, and its prize fund increased from €3m to €7m to bring it into line with the money on offer at eight other events in the series. In addition to the third staging of the GolfSixes

the 23-year-old from Wolverhampton was made to battle hard to keep his head in front, with the gap narrowed to just one shot at the end of a thrilling battle with Fitzpatrick in the pouring rain at Hong Kong Golf Club. Five-time European Tour winner Fitzpatrick fired seven birdies in his first 16 holes to pile the pressure on Rai, but his challenge faltered when he carded his first bogey of the day at the 17th to give his compatriot a two-shot cushion with one hole remaining. And despite carding a bogey at the last, Rai signed for a closing 69 to finish

on 17 under par and open the 2019 Race to Dubai campaign with a stunning wire-towire victory in just his 46th European Tour appearance. Fitzpatrick's superb 64 saw him finish alone in second on 16 under, with Challenge Tour graduate Victor Perez and Australian Jason Scrivener five shots further back in a tie for third place. Rai, who won three times on the Challenge Tour in 2017, said: "It's incredible to win on any Tour, let alone the European Tour. It's an incredible course, an incredible event, and the crowds have been amazing. I'm just very grateful."

SCHAUFFELE SPRINGS SHANGHAI SUPRISE

BELGIAN BOMBERS BAG WORLD CUP GLORY

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B

merica’s Xander Schauffele claimed the biggest win of his career after beating fellow countryman Tony Finau at the first hole of a suddendeath playoff at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. With two holes to play, Schauffele trailed Finau by one shot, but a stunning birdie at the par-three 17th brought him level, and when both players birdied the last, they were taken back down the 18th to do battle once more, before the Schauffele secured the $1.7m first prize with another birdie. Schauffele, who was recording his first victory since winning twice in his rookie year on the PGA Tour in 2017, said: “It's a lot to take in. I felt really good about every part of my game mentally and physically. Tony played really well, so I was delighted that I just had enough left at the end to fend him off.”

Big-hitting duo Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry held off a late challenge from hosts Australia to win the World Cup of Golf for Belgium for the first time at The Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne. The Belgian pair took a five-shot advantage into the final day’s foursomes, but Aussies Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith cut that to just two as the huge crowds at the Sandbelt venue began to get excited about a second Australian win in five years. The Belgians held their nerve over the final three holes, however, to sign for a 68 and finish the week on 23 under par, three shots ahead of Australia and Mexican pair Abraham Ancer and Roberto Diaz. England's pairing of Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter finished in eighth place after a closing 70.

event – which will be held in Portugal – the Shot Clock Challenge is also set to return next August after its debut earlier this year, as will the Belgian Knockout at the end of May. In addition to GolfSixes, male and female professionals will also play together at the Trophée Hassan II tournament in Morocco in April, as well as at the Vic Open in Australia in February, which makes its debut on the European Tour. The AUD$3 million tournament is Australia’s richest and sees men and women professionals play on the same course at the same time for an equal share of the prize fund. Other new tournaments include the Kenya Open at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi in March, which is stepping up from the Challenge Tour, while Saudi Arabia will host its first ever tour event at the end of January, when the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club (pictured above) near Jeddah hosts the Saudi International. Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey are among high-profile players already committed to take part in the tournament, which has a prize fund of $3.5m.

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

TOUR NEWS IN BRIEF

ROSE DEFENDS TURKEY TITLE AND EYES UP MORE MAJORS

Justin Rose returned to the top of the world rankings – albeit briefly – after successfully defending the Turkish Airlines Open title at the Regnum Carya Resort. He defeated China’s Li Haotong in a play-off to become the first player to retain a Rolex Series tournament. “It's taken me 20 years to defend a title, so that's great,” said Rose, who opened up with two rounds of 65 earlier in the week. “I've had some pressure-packed Sundays of late, coming away with a few consolation prizes, dare I say, so I wanted to get back in the winner's circle, and it was good to get it done.” He added: “I still feel like there's improvement to be had, and I'm really looking forward to the off-season to work at a few things and get better. I think that's the exciting part – knowing that even at 38, there is room for improvement. More Majors, that's what I'm interested in.”

Q SCHOOL FINAL THROWS UP DRAMA APLENTY

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lejandro Cañizares and Zander Lombard shared the spoils on top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of this year’s European Qualifying School as 27 players earned European Tour cards. Following six rounds at Lumine Golf Club in Spain, South Africa’s Lombard and Spain’s Canizares could not be separated on 24 under par, and as is customary in the case of a tie in the event, the duo were crowned joint winners with no play-off taking place. On a day of high drama in Tarragona several players made big moves to secure their playing privileges on the European Tour for 2019. South Africa’s Louis de Jager was the first to seal his spot in the top 25 and ties, firing a 66 to progress from Qualifying School for the first time in five attempts. Also making late charge were Italy’s Filippo Bergamaschi and Chile’s Hugo Leon. Bergamaschi birdied five of his closing eight holes to make the top 25, while Leon birdied the 18th to also go through on the mark – which was 16 under par. Three-time European Tour winner Marc Warren bounced back from a bogey on the 17th with a closing birdie to take the 19th card, while Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan – the only amateur to make the cut – also squeezed through after a final round of 72. Full list of qualifiers: Alejandro Cañizares; Zander Lombard; Jeff Winther; Kurt Kitayama; Romain Langasque; Niklas Lemke; Clément Sordet; Bernd Ritthammer; Ivan Cantero Gutierrez; Anton Karlsson; Masahiro Kawamura; Louis De Jager; Per Langfors; Nick Cullen; Guido Migliozzi; Deyen Lawson; Daniel Gavins; Marc Warren; Kristian Krogh Johannessen; Filippo Bergamaschi ; David Borda; Max Schmitt; Hugo Leon; Gavin Moynihan; Kristoffer Reitan; Ben Evans.

WESTWOOD RESUMES WINNING WAYS IN SUN CITY

Lee Westwood produced a closing 64 in Sun City to secure his first win in four years at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The 45-year-old entered the final day at Gary Player Country Club three shots behind Sergio Garcia, but an eagle on the second put him at the top of the leaderboard and set up an enthralling three-way battle between the pair and local favourite Louis Oosthuizen. The heavyweight trio went blow-for-blow on one of the most entertaining afternoons of the season, and it was former Westwood who birdied five of his last eight holes to get to 15 under and prevail over his Major championship-winning rivals. Westwood's triumph was his third at Gary Player Country Club, after the Sunshine Tour's Dimension Data Pro-Am in 2000 and this event in 2010 and 2011, before it joined the European Tour schedule. Westwood’s last victory came at the 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open and he was fighting back the tears after taking his tally of win to 24 on the European Tour and 43 worldwide. “Still got it, I guess,” he said “It was nice to do it again under pressure, and win against a couple of quality players in Sergio and Louis. 17 was probably one of the best shots I've hit in my life.”


WINTER 2018/19 | WWW.GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/EQUIPMENT

CONTENTS

WINTER GEAR GUIDE KEEP THE WIND & RAIN AT BAY WITH THE LATEST PERFORMANCE OUTERWEAR PRO SHOP NEW IRONS FROM HONMA AND TAYLORMADE PLUS ECCO’S BIOM G3 SHOES REVIEWS MIZUNO’S JPX 919 HOT METAL IRONS

NICE ’N' EASY GAME IMPROVEMENT IRONS FOR 2019


[34] WINTER 2018/19

EQUIPMENT & GEAR

EQUIPMENT NEWS

THE GEAR EFFECT INSIDES THE BAGS OF WINNERS ON TOUR DANNY WILLETT

MIZUNO JPX919 HOT METAL IRONS

DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

JPX919 HOT METAL (4-LW, RH & LH), RRP: £120/£130 PER IRON (ST/GR). FOR A COMPANY THAT HAS FORGED a reputation for creating blade-style irons for the game’s best players, it might surprise you to learn that Mizuno’s best selling iron to date is the JPX900 Hot Metal, a cast club that is aimed squarely at slow-swinging higher handicappers. As the proud owner of a set of those very same clubs, I can testify that they fit the brief, providing that extra bit of oomph that someone with an 80mph swing speed needs to get the ball up in the air and moving forward. And it achieved all that without looking like a spanner, with a mid-sized topline and a far from massive head or blade length. However, if we’re being picky – and Mizuno’s designers are nothing if not picky – the clubhead was a little fussy and perhaps too eager to show off the bells and whistles that were contained within it diameters. Thus the latest version of the brand’s most forgiving iron – the JPX 919 Hot Metal

– has been toned down slightly, and to outward appearances looks very much more like a forged blade than any previous cast game improvement club I’ve come across. Part of that is down to the visual trick of the pearl brush finish, which features a chrome plating that helps soften some of the lines at address, but the head itself is far more clean and stripped down, giving a more refined, classy look. Thankfully the things that made it such an easy club to hit – the stability frame, the forgiving and thin Chromoly steel face cup, and the added toe weight – are still very much in evidence, but subtle tweaks to the centre of gravity – its 2mm closer to the centre of the sole than the 900s – makes it even easier to launch than before. The leading edge has also been modified and the sole grind has gone to encourage a cleaner contact through the turf. This makes the sole look bigger, when in reality it is

almost the same as the 900. Out on the driving range, I was able to get 3-4 more extra yards over my old JPX 900s – with the same spec 50g Nippon N.S Pro Modus 3 shafts – thanks to a slightly higher ball flight and slightly less spin. Shots tended to land slightly more steeply, which compensates for the lower spin rate and means that the ball will still hopefully stop up on those mid-iron shots to the green. Such was the ease with the longer irons that I’m considering adding the 4-iron to the set, while the addition of matching set JPX 919 wedges – a new option – will be a popular choice for many players who struggle to get on with blade-style wedges. All told, the 919s are a subtle, but superbly executed evolution of what was already a goodlooking and great-performing club, and I am very much looking forward to giving them a long-term run out over the winter.

DRIVER: Callaway Rogue (9˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Rogue (15˚) IRONS: Callaway X Forged UT (18˚, 21˚, 24˚), Callaway X Forged 18 (5-9) WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (48˚), Mack Daddy 4 (54˚, 58˚) PUTTER: Odyssey Stroke Lab Prototype BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft X

CHARLES HOWELL III RSM CLASSIC

DRIVER: Titleist TS3 (10.5˚) FAIRWAY WOODS: Titleist TS2 (15˚, 21˚) IRONS: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 AP2 (5-7), 718 CB (8-9) WEDGES: Titleist 718 CB (PW), Vokey Design SM7 (52˚, 56˚, 60˚) PUTTER: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red mallet BALL: Titleist Pro V1 (2019)

CAMERON CHAMP SANDERSON FARMS CHAMMPIONSHIP

TAYLORMADE LAUNCHES RORY JUNIOR GOLF SETS TAYLORMADE HAS TEAMED UP with Rory McIlroy to create a new range of equipment designed for junior golfers. The two Rory Junior Sets are designed for 4-7 year olds and 8-12 year olds, and comprise five and seven clubs respectively, and come with a stand bag. Incorporating many of the same technologies found in other TaylorMade equipment, each club has been specifically designed for the needs of the younger golfer, with age appropriate shaft lengths, flexes and lofts. The five-piece 4-Plus set (£299) has separate models for boys and girls, and is designed for those between 42-52 inches tall. The set comprises a 400cc titanium driver with 16 degree of loft, a hybrid (30°), 7-iron (38°), sand wedge (54°) and a putter. The seven-piece 8-Plus set (£399) adds in a fairway wood (24°) and a 9-iron (44°) and features slightly stronger lofts and longer graphite shafts for younger players between 52 and 60-inches tall. Each set also includes a special St Bernard headcover, similar to the one McIlroy uses on his TaylorMade M3 driver, while the clubs themselves also have ‘Rory’ inscribed on the heads. McIlroy, who first lifted a golf club soon after he learned to walk, said:

DRIVER: Ping G400 Max (9˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: Ping G400 (14.5˚) IRONS: Ping i500 (4), Ping iBlade (4-PW) WEDGES: Ping Glide Forged (50˚, 54˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Ping PLD Mid Tyne BALL: Srixon Z-Star XV

JUSTIN ROSE

TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN

"Growing up, golf was an extremely important part of my life. It allowed me to stay active, enjoy the outdoors and have fun within a competitive sport. I partnered with TaylorMade to design the Rory Junior Set to give kids an easy introduction to golf so they can have the same opportunity I had to fall in love with the sport."

DRIVER: TaylorMade M3 (8.5˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade M4 (15˚), TaylorMade M3 (19˚) IRONS: TaylorMade P790 (4), TaylorMade P730 (5-9) WEDGES: TaylorMade Milled Grind (48˚, 52˚, 56˚, Hi-Toe 60˚) PUTTER: TaylorMade TP Red Ardmore 2 BALL: TaylorMade TP5

XANDER SCHAUFFELE WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS

DRIVER: TaylorMade M3 (9.5°) FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15°, 18°) IRONS: Callaway Epic Pro (3), Callaway Forged Prototype (4-PW) WEDGES: Mack Daddy 4 (52°), Titleist Vokey SM6 (57°, 61°) PUTTER: Odyssey O-Works Red #7 BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft X

TROLLEY BRANDS ROLL OUT XMAS GIVEAWAYS

PRO V1 MAINTAINS TOUR DOMINANCE IN 2018

CORTEX DRIVER WINS WILSON'S BATTLE OF THE BIG STICKS

TWO OF THE UK’s biggest golf trolley brands have unveiled special Christmas golf bag promotions in a bid to boost sales over the festive period. PowaKaddy is offering a free cart bag with the purchase of any of its new range lithium trolleys. Running until December 24, Golfers who purchase an FW7s, FW7s EBS, FW7s GPS or Compact C2i lithium trolley can choose a free Dri Edition or Premium Cart Bag, while those opting for the FW5s can take their pick from the Premium Cart Bag or Deluxe Bag with an accessory. Those who purchase the entry-level FW3s will receive a Lite Cart Bag. Motocaddy has also rolled out a free bag offer, with anyone buying one of its new lithiumpowered S Series trolleys – S1, S1 DHC, S3 Pro, S5 Connect, S5 Connect DHC and the S7 Remote – being able to can claim a free Motocaddy golf bag worth up to £199.99 up until December 31.

MARKET-LEADING golf ball brand Titleist is celebrating another season of success across the world's professional tours. Players using either a Pro V1 and Pro V1x ball won 29 of the 51 events on the European Tour, while the winner of all of the men’s and women’s Major championships also used a Titleist. Over 72 per cent of all European Tour players used a Pro V1 or Pro V1x this season, compared to 11 per cent for the nearest competitor. Over on the PGA Tour, Titleist ball usage hit 83 per cent (129 in play) at the RSM Classic, with the winner, Charles Howell III, securing his first tournament in over 10 years with a new prototype of the Pro V1 that will be launched to consumers in 2019. The prototype was also put into play at the final event of the European Tour’s season in Dubai.

WILSON GOLF has announced ‘Cortex’ as the winning driver design following the final of TV show Driver vs. Driver Season Two. The Wilson Staff Cortex was designed by show contestant Evan Hoffman of San Diego, California, who received a $250,000 cash prize along with the opportunity to have his design brought to life under the Wilson Staff brand name. To evolve his concept, Hoffman collaborated with Wilson LABS - the innovation hub at Wilson Golf - engineers to perfect the design over an 18-month process. His design was selected over hundreds of submissions sent into the seven-part show aired on the Golf Channel in America. The Cortex driver features a titanium structure, carbon fibre panels, an 8g sliding adjustable central sole weight, and interchangeable heel and toe weights (2g and 8g). It will be available at an RRP of £399.

SERGIO GARCIA

ANDALUCIA VALDERRAMA MASTERS DRIVER: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (10.5°) FAIRWAY WOODS: Callaway Rogue (15, 18°) IRONS: Callaway Apex MB (3-PW) WEDGES: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedges (54°, 58°) PUTTER: Odyssey Toulon Design Atlanta BALL: Callaway Chrome Soft X

EDDIE PEPPERELL BRITISH MASTERS

DRIVER: Ping G400 (9.5˚) FAIRWAY WOOD: Callaway Epic Sub Zero (13.5˚) DRIVING IRON: Mizuno MP-18 (2) IRONS: Mizuno JPX 919 Tour (3-9) WEDGES: Mizuno T7 (46˚, 52˚, 60˚) PUTTER: Bettinardi Studio Stock #8 BALL: Titleist Pro V1


EQUIPMENT & GEAR WINTER 2018/19

[35]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

NICE ‘N’ EASY

CALLAWAY BIG BERTHA

TAYLORMADE M4

£1,149/£1,399, (ST/GR, 4-PW), CALLAWAYGOLF.EU The power behind the new Big Bertha iron comes from a ‘Suspended Energy Core’ which comprises a tungsten weight suspended within the urethane material behind the clubface. This positions the centre of gravity deeper in the head, promoting higher launch and longer distance.

£749/£849, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU TThe M4 irons feature two supporting beams behind the face in the heel and toe areas which reduces flexing in the outer areas , while retaining flexibility and COR in the area inside the face slots. This allow more energy to be transferred to the ball for higher ball speeds, more carry, and improved dispersion.

PING G700

TITLEIST 718 AP1

CLEVELAND LAUNCHER CBX

£149/£159 PER CLUB, PING.COM The hollow-body construction creates driver-like flex to increase ball speed and enhance carry. Shots should also land more steeply than traditional irons, leading to better stopping power on longer shots into greens. A toe weight – either 1g or 6g – serves to reduce twisting at impact.

£699/£749, TITLEIST.CO.UK The 718s are the latest generation of the ‘Advanced Performance’ iron that Titleist first launched a decade ago. The latest model takes the AP range in a new direction, with the 4- and 5-iron now featuring a hollow construction rather than a large cavity back.

£129, CLEVELANDGOLF.COM The CBX irons are a progressive cavity back set whose long irons feature a low-profile shape to help keep the centre of gravity low for higher launch, while the narrow profile also gets extra power from a cupface design (4-7 iron), which provides better face flexing for more ball speed and more forgeiveness.

WILSON STAFF D7

TAYLORMADE MCGB

HONMA BEZEAL 535

£469/£599 (5-SW, ST/GR), WILSONSTAFF.COM Wilson's new distance-orientated model features Power Holes on the sole to create a lower centre of gravity and increase launch angle. The long irons feature three rows of holes for extra forgiveness, the mid-irons two rows, the short irons one, and the wedges none for distance control where it is needed most.

£849/£1,099, TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU Featuring a sub-2mm thick face, the cast stainless steel heads features four tungsten weights in the toe, which creates a highly stable clubhead, while a speed slot in the sole, and face slots either side of the grooves, provide forgiveness where it is needed most and increase ball speeds on heel and toe miss-hits.

£129, CLEVELANDGOLF.COM Honma’s 535 irons boast ultra-thin faces made of titanium which create explosive distance even on slight miss-hits. Four slots placed in the sole, toe, heel and top of blade increase ball speed, while two tungsten weights either side of the sole lower the centre of gravity for easy launch.

LYNX BOOM BOOM OFFSET

MIZUNO JPX919 Hot Metal

PXG 0311 XF

£499/£549, LYNXGOLF.CO.UK The one-piece steel cast heads feature two cavities - the first, a muscle-back cutout design which distributes weight effectively around the clubhead for forgiveness; the second, a narrower deep ‘power channel’ immediately behind the face which propels the ball off a high speeds.

£120/£130 PER CLUB, GOLF.MIZUNOEUROPE.COM The Hot Metals are the most forgiving model in Mizuno’s new JPX 919 range, and are designed to offer a blend of ball speed and controllable flight. A multi-thickness face that promotes high ball speeds, while a one-piece cup face construction ensures generous levels of feedback.

£2,400, PXG.COM The 0311 XF irons offer extreme forgiveness while maintaining the sleek look and superior feel of a blade. . The back of the head features ten tungsten alloy screws to position the centre of gravity in the right place and helps square the face up at impact and provide a deeper CG for the higher launch.

Make the game a whole lot less difficult with the latest ultra-forgiving irons


[36] WINTER 2018/19

EQUIPMENT & GEAR GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

G/FORE COLLECTION GLOVES TRENDYGOLF.COM Worn by PGA Tour star Bubba Watson G/FORE’s flagship golf glove line, the Collection provides golfers with unparalleled construction, quality, fit and feel. Available in a carefully curated range of colours -- refreshed and expanded for each season -- these gloves are precision-crafted from premium AA Cabretta leather, with an embroidered patch detail on the tab.

COBRA KING F9 SPEEDBACK DRIVER £349, COBRAGOLF.CO.UK Inspired by the smooth curves of an aeroplane’s wing, the F9 Speedback driver features an enhanced aerodynamic head shape to increase clubhead speed, a thinner, hotter face and a low, deep centre of gravity, create a fast, high-launching and lowspinning conditions for a wide range of abilities. To create this more efficient head shape – which is 17% more aerodynamic than the previous F7 driver – Cobra engineers raised the perimeter of the clubhead and rounded the leading edges to reduce drag and improve stability. The use of a CNC-precision milled face, which is thinner and more flexible than a traditional hand-polished face, has increased ball speeds by up to 1.5mph, leading to increased distance. To fine-tune ball flight there are interchangeable 14g and 2g sole weights, as well as an adjustable hosel. Additional 6g, 10g and 18g weights are available to produce an even wider range of launch conditions. It is offered in 9°, 10.5° and 12° adjustable lofts and comes with a variety of premium shaft options and two head accent colours – white or yellow. There is also a women’s model and a junior version. There is a matching set of fairway woods (£219), in Standard or Tour designs, which also feature milled faces, weighted rear soles (15g or 12g), and progressive Baffler rails on the sole. Three hybrids (£179) – 19°, 21° and 24° – also feature a 15g rear sole weight and Baffler rails that get taller as the loft increases.

PRO SHOP

YOUR GUIDE TO THE LATEST GEAR DUCA DEL COSMA HERITAGE £209.95, DUCADELCOSMA.COM Italian fashion brand Duca del Cosma has launched an eye-catching new range of golf shoes that includes the brand’s first-ever soft spiked shoes and boots. The Heritage shoe from the new men’s range is made from full-grain leather and features the brand’s exclusive waterproof microfibre system, as well as high-grip, durable plastic cleats, making it an ideal winter option. It comes with a choice of red or black laces.

HONMA TWORLD 747 IRONS £969, HONMAGOLFEUROPE.COM Although widely known for its high-end clubs with gold inlays and expensive price tags, Honma Golf’s mainstream clubs are no more expensive than other premium brands, yet their craftsmanship and use of quality materials is often far superior. This is certainly the case with its new range of TWorld 747 irons which are offered in a forged players’ model, the 747 Vx, and a cast game improvement design, 747 P. The former is a classic muscleback iron that will appeal to mid to low handicappers. It boasts a 10g tungsten weight in the toe of the clubhead to create a low and deep centre of gravity for maximum distance with a high and precise trajectory. The 747 P irons feature an undercut cavity and provide plenty of confidence at address and increased forgiveness on miss-hits. Made from high-strength stainless steel, the sole contains a 20g tungsten weight which lowers the centre of gravity to offer the ideal combination of high trajectory and long distance. Both clubs are available in 3-11 irons, plus a sand wedge, with a choice of Nippon Pro steel shafts or Honma’s own Vizard graphite shafts.

OCEANTEE BAMBOO GOLF TEES £4.99 FOR BOX OF 40, OCEANTEEGOLF.COM The ‘plastic versus wood’ debate is one that continues to divide opinion when it comes to your preferred choice golf tee, especially in these planet-saving times, when plastic is slowly silting up our oceans and rivers, while sustainable wood is also in increasingly short supply. Ocean Tee was founded to provide golfers with the choice of a superior bamboo golf tee and the opportunity to support charities focused on tackling plastic pollution. The company donates 25% of its profits from sales of its tees to selected charities to support ongoing initiatives and research into plastic waste in marine environments, with the surplus profits going into the business to drive growth and enable future donations to increase year on year. The tees themselves are 70mm long and are claimed to be more flexible than traditional wooden tees and therefore less liable to break.


EQUIPMENT & GEAR WINTER 2018/19 GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

PING SIGMA 2 PUTTERS £200, PINGGOLF.COM Ping’s Sigma 2 putter range boasts a soft feel and lively response through the use of multi-layer face technology and a newly designed adjustable-length shaft. Available in 10 different designs, including a new, highly stable Fetch model, the new putters feature a dual-layered face made from a thermoplastic polymer. A softer front layer offers the precision needed for short, delicate putts, while a firmer back layer delivers the solid feedback and distance control required for holing longer-range efforts and improving overall consistency. Touch and pace are further improved with Ping’s TruRoll face pattern, which varies in depth and pitch to speed up off-centre impacts. All models feature an adjustable-length shaft concealed under the grip which can be dialled up or down between 32 and 36 inches with a simple twist using a supplied tool to suit a player’s preferred posture. There is also a choice of three grips – pistol, midsize and round ¬¬– to enhance customisation. The head options comprise two blade designs – Anser and ZB2; two mid-mallets – Arna and Cushin C; and five full mallets – Fetch, Tyne, Tyne 4, Wolverine H and the new Valor, which features a uniquely designed heel-toe ballast for extra stability.

TAYLORMADE P760 IRONS £1,299 (4-PW), TAYLORMADEGOLF.EU TaylorMade has simplified its players’ iron offering by removing the P750 and P770 models from the P700 range and introducing the new P760 irons. With the P730s being the most tour-orientated irons in the range, and the P790 being the most forgiving, the P760 sits exactly between the two in terms of blade length – 760mm – and its progressive design ensures that players benefit from the performance attributes of P750 in the short irons and the P770 in the long irons. The P760 transitions from a forged head design in the short irons (8-AW), which offers added feel and control, to a forged hollow body injected with SpeedFoam in the mid to long irons (3-7), which delivers consistent distance and built-in forgiveness. SpeedFoam, which was first introduced in the P790 irons, serves the dual purpose of generating ball speed, while also dampening vibrations to improve sound and feel. The head size, offset and lofts have been designed to meet the needs of better players, while the shape of the sole has also been redesigned, with a chamfered leading edge that delivers a cleaner entry into the turf, activating the club’s bounce without the risk of digging, all within a square look at address.

ECCO BIOM G3 £210, ECCOGOLF.COM The next generation of Ecco’s popular Biom range showcases an evolution of comfort, style and innovation. The Biom G3 features a range of technologies to deliver exceptional performance, while a waterproof Gore-Tex construction adds to comfort and climate control. Ecco’s Biom Natural Motion last combines low-to-the-ground stability with a glove-like fit that is built for natural motion. Traction is provided through six Zarma Tour spikes which work together with hybrid cleats on the toe and rotation line to offer optimal grip and a more stable footing. The uppers of are made from premium tumbled Yak’s leather, which is soft yet very hard-wearing, while a double-layer neoprene collar adds stretchable comfort, adapting to the foot by seamlessly wrapping around the heel. It is available in black, white, grey and blue in sizes 7-13.

WILSON DUO

CALLAWAY BIG BERTHA HYBRID £269, CALLAWAYGOLF.EU Big Bertha is the first Callaway hybrid to combine the company’s Jailbreak Technology and adjustability for long distance, fast ball speeds, and easy launch. The synergy of Jailbreak, which incorporates two internal bars that stiffen the body to place more impact load on the face, and the Hyper Speed Face Cup, promote power and ball speed across the entire face. They also feature a new OptiFit hosel that is shorter and lighter, allowing the centre of gravity to be optimized for ideal launch conditions. Available in 3H (19°), 4H (21°), 5H (24°), 6H (27°), 7H (30°), 8H (33°), a new progressive head shaping creates a high MOI design that is both appealing to look at and easy to hit.

£29.99 FOR 12, WILSONGOLF.COM The Duo Professional, which comes in standard gloss white and the standout matte colours of green, yellow and orange ,offers the ultimate in Tour-level feel and distance with its new ultra-thin Urethane cast construction providing a soft feel, along with 6-10% higher spin on iron shots for improved control around the greens. The re-engineered 60 compression Duo Professional incorporates a seamless 362-dimple pattern for enhanced distance and trajectory compared to rival 3-piece balls on the market. The Urethane cover provides exceptional scuff resistance and optimum greenside spin for maximum feel and control “The Duo Professional flies as long or longer than any other 3-piece ball in the industry today,” says Frank Simonutti, Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation at Wilson Golf. “Our aim is to give golfers the best-feeling ball and experience tour-level performance. Mixed with a low compression and a seamless dimple pattern, the Duo Professional offers golfers a desired soft feel around the green without sacrificing power and distance."

[37]


[38] WINTER 2018/19

EQUIPMENT & GEAR

Stay warm and dry this winter with the latest high-performance outerwear

WINTER GEAR

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

ZEROFIT HEATRUB BASE LAYERS £50, WWW.ZEROFIT.CO.UK The ZeroFit range features four baselayers that are designed to enhance performance when the temperature drops. Each features Heat Rub technology, which not only seals in heat, but also creates its own heat due to the unique properties of the fibres that are built into the garment. The four models are designed for use in a wide variety of temperatures and activities, with the Light and Hybrid models being best for golf, as they offer the most freedom of movement.

£450, GALVINGREEN.COM

£135, GOLF.MIZUNOEUROPE.COM

The flagship waterproof jacket in Galvin Green’s Carbon Series, the Archie features super stretch Gore-Tex fabric with a C-Knit backer, which offers a super-smooth hand feel and enables it to easily slide over garments worn underneath. Its complex three-layer construction makes it highly breathable, as well as durable. It is available in carbon black/ grey/carbon silver, and can be paired with the brand’s Axel trousers.

Offering 20,000mm waterproofing, with 25,000g breathability, this high performance jacket is classified as ‘highly waterproof’ for heavy rain. Soft to the touch, and incredibly lightweight for its level of waterproofness, it could easily double as a wind top. Detachable sleeves make it even more versatile across the seasons. The matching trousers (£115) allow adjustable leg lengths of up to four inches in every waist size, and the whole suit comes with a handy pouch to pack away neatly into your golf bag.

FOOTJOYS DRYJOYS TOUR LTS £250, FOOTJOY.CO.UK The temperature regulating feature of the DryJoys Tour LTS jacket means that it’s suitable for year-round play, with ThermoLite-bonded liner guaranteeing that when conditions are cool, the jacket will maintain body heat, while the fibres wick moisture away from the body and expel heat during warmer weather. The lightweight construction and stretch fabrication reduces weight and bulk to improve mobility and a new three-layer bonded fabric and four-way stretch ensures mobility and noiseless comfort.

Ping has updated its popular Zero Gravity Tour Suit, which is constructed from ultra-lightweight Pertex Shield 2.5 layer fabric, offering stretch and breathability. Fully seam-sealed throughout, both the jacket and trousers (£130) offer waterproof protection – with a three-year guarantee – and feature stre!tch properties for easy swinging in all conditions. Perfect for wearing over thermal layers on cold and wet days, the entire suit can be packed away into its own pocket.

Worn by Jordan Speith and numerous other tour players, Under Armour clothing is currently flying off the rails, thanks to its on-trend designs underpinned by exceptional fabric technology. The Storm Daytona is a great winter staple, with a doublelayer insulation panel offering the necessary warmth without sacrificing breathability and mobility. Other features include a full zip front, compression cuffs, an adjustable bungee hem, open hand pockets, chest pocket, and a low-profile collar.

The Albatross provides extensive protection against the rain, as well as ease of movement, due to use of a breathable fabric, protective knit inner layer, four-way stretch and seam-sealed construction. The material is heavy enough not to cling to the body, but light enough to wear like a sweater. It is available in grey or navy and with a matching set of waterproof trousers.

MIZUNO NEXLITE JACKET

£180, PINGCOLLECTION.CO.UK

£64.95, UNDERARMOUR.CO.UK

£250, PETERMILLAR.COM

GALVIN GREEN ARCHIE JACKET

PING COLLECTION ZERO GRAVITY TOUR JACKET

UNDER ARMOUR STORM DAYTONA

PETER MILLAR ALBATROSS STRETCH JACKET

BUNKER MENTALITY PUFFER CADDY COLLECTION

PING COLLECTION NORSE PRIMALOFT JACKET

£85-£90, BUNKERMENTALITY.COM

£140, PINGCOLLECTION.CO.UK

Bunker Mentality has launched a capsule collection featuring four outerwear options for the fashionconscious golfer. The Puffer Caddy Collection comprises a Caddy Tech Hoodie (£90), Caddy Tech Zipper Zipper Jacket (£90) and the Kai Gilet (£85), all of which feature Clo Insulation which maximises breathability, warmth and softness, resulting in optimum performance.

The Norse jacket boasts PrimaLoft Active Insulation, which takes cold weather protection for golf to a new level. This high-performance thermal insulation boasts water-resistant technology, and provides exceptional warmth, even when wet, while its stretch qualities allow complete freedom of movement. The quilted front design gives it a fashionable edge, making it ideal for wearing off the golf course too.

10 CROSS M HURRICANE JACKET £149, CROSS-SPORTSWEAR.COM A lightweight, four-way stretch jacket designed to ensure maximum freedom of movement, the Hurricane features FTX technology, which combines an outer shell, midmembrane and inner lining to deliver high levels of waterproofing and breathability in equal measure. Other features include water-repellent zippers and a microfleece chin guard.


WINTER 2018/19 | WWW.GOLFNEWS.CO.UK/TRAVEL

TERRIFIC TEWKESBURY

JOIN THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE SET AT TUNED-UP TEWKESBURY PARK

CAPITAL DELIGHTS JOIN GASTRO GOLF’S TOUR OF THE BEST PLACES TO PLAY AND VISIT IN LISBON, EUROPE’S COOLEST CAPITAL ME & MY TRAVELS WITH STRICTLY WINNER CHRIS HOLLINS

■ TEWKESBURY PARK

RESORT REVIEW STAYING & PLAYING AT THE ANANTARA VILAMOURA RESORT


[40] WINTER 2018/19

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COURSE REVIEW COURSE REVIEW

TAKE A TRIP TO TUNED-UP

TEWKESBURY Nick Bayly pays a visit to Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club in glorious Gloucestershire, and finds a hugely entertaining 18-hole parkland course ably supported by a delightful hotel, which combines cosy countryside chic with throughly modern hospitality

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Enhancements inside the hotel include olfers looking for a relaxing nine new luxury suites, two meeting rooms, break in the Gloucestershire two new spa treatment rooms, an orangery, countryside should head for the and a new cocktail lounge. Luxuriously tranquil surroundings of the Tewkesbury appointed by interior designer ADS-Design, Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club, which the new bedrooms draw upon the historical offers an 80-bedroomed 18th-century connections of the venue, which overlooks manor house hotel with enviable views the site of the Battle of Tewkesbury. over the historic town of Tewkesbury. Besides the multi-million-pound new The resort, which has recently come additions, the renovation programme back under family ownership, has been the saw all 85 guestrooms receive a complete subject of a £4m renovation, with every refurbishment with new interiors, new element of the venue enjoying substantial Hypnos beds and 40-inch Smart TVs, and improvements. 2018 12 Golf News QP Winter Warmer.qxp_166mm h x 145mm w 06/12/2018 17:13 Page 1

Winter Warmer from just £26 per person Available until 28th February 2019

Enjoy a coffee, bacon bap and 18 holes of golf on our award-winning golf course for just £26 per person. Or, enjoy a coffee, bacon bap, 18 holes of golf on our award-winning golf course and one course bar special for just £29 per person. *£8 surcharge Friday - Sunday, Bank Holidays and 24th December - 1st January 2019.

with Nespresso coffee machines. Cleverly utilising the property’s historic features, by employing the original structures and grand fireplaces, the décor is regal, yet contemporary, without being too pretentious. Besides the generous bedrooms, where king-sized beds await, bathrooms are palatial, with the addition of free-standing ‘slipper’ bathtubs taking pride of place in the bathrooms of the King Richard III and King Edward IV Suites, while guests in the Margaret of Anjou suite’s can relax in copper slipper bath and enjoy magnificent views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The golf on offer is just a flick with a wedge from your room. The 18-hole parkland course which encircles the property was originally designed by Frank Pennick, but has recently benefitted from a complete bunker renovation programme by Peter McEvoy. Always presented in superb condition, with free-draining fairways and smooth, consistent putting surfaces, it’s an interesting layout, with plenty of elevation changes, a smattering of water, and a mixture of wooded areas and more open spaces in which to test your entire game. The par threes are particularly memorable, with the fifth, measuring just 150 yards, but requiring a pin-point iron over a pond to a narrow green, being an early highlight, while the 165-yard 10th, with its elevated tee to another small and well guarded target, will also test your skills with a short iron. The final two holes present a suitably stiff finish, with the par-four 17th playing to a narrow, raised green with bunkers either side of a narrow entrance, while the 18th,

although only 250 yards long, features out-of- bounds all the way down the left side of the fairway, leaving no margin for error regardless of club selection. Catch a good one, though, and you may be lucky enough to have a putt for eagle, and a chance to get the drinks in at the clubhouse’s spacious sports bar. Guests have a range of dining options, including the new Mint Restaurant, which serves traditional English fare with a fine dining twist, while The Place offers a range of light snacks and meals. The Mint’s talented chef has ensured that food miles are kept to a minimum by featuring plenty of local produce on the expertly-curated menu, with a ribeye of Gloucestershire Old Spot pork and slow-cooked shin of Herefordshire beef hitting just the right notes. For seafood fans there is always a catch-of-the-day served poached or grilled, and there plenty of vegetarian options too. Guests’ leisure needs are taken care of by an indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym, and squash and tennis courts, all of which are free to use, while nearby attractions include the cathedral city of Worcester, the surrounding Malvern Hills and Cotswolds, and the races at Cheltenham, as well as Cheltenham itself, which is just a 15-minute drive away.

■ TEWKESBURY PARK, BOLTON ROOM

■ MINT RESTAURANT

Golf breaks to Tewkesbury Park, comprising one nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast, two rounds of golf and full use of the leisure facilities, start from for £115pp Mon-Thurs, £119 Fri/Sat, or £99 for Sunday. For more details call 01684 272320 or visit www.tewkesburypark.co.uk.

CELEBRATING

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YEARS 1992-2

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t 01394 382836 w www.uffordpark.co.uk

Yarmouth Road| Woodbridge | Suffolk | IP12 1QW


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TRAVEL BREAKS

NEW OWNERS CONTINUE FAMILY TRADITION AT THE TOFT A NEW CHAPTER in the history of The Toft Hotel and Golf Club in Lincolnshire has begun following only the second change in ownership in the venue’s 40-year history. The club, which is located eight miles north of Stamford, boasts a delightful 20-bedroom farmhouse hotel and an 18hole parkland golf course. It has been run as a family business for the last four decades, with first the Lee family, and more recently the Reid family, investing time, money and energy into creating the wonderful facilities and friendly welcome that the venue is renowned for. The Toft is now under the ownership of experienced club manager Tom Munt and his family, who took over the reins in the autumn, and are excited about the prospect of continuing to maintain the friendly feel and personal service that only a family-run business can offer.

TheManor House

& Ashbury

Munt, who has been involved in the management of several leading golf and hotel facilities, including those at Golf At Goodwood, South Lodge in Horsham, and more recently at Ely City Golf Club and Saffron Walden Golf Club, said: “We are delighted to take over the reins of the Toft Hotel and Golf Club from Robert and Julia Reid, and excited that it is now our family’s turn to be custodians of this very special place.” He added: “It has been a dream of mine since I was 14 years old to own my own golf club, and I now feel like a child again with the realisation of that dream. While golf is my real passion, the hospitality industry is in my blood. Welcoming guests and creating happy memories is something of a vocation after all these years. “We are looking forward to getting to grips with the business and ensuring that it offers the very best facilities and service whether that is for our wedding guests, diners, members or visiting golfers. My wife Laura, and daughters Grace and Emily, will no doubt make sure that everything is

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just so whether it is the décor or the chocolate puddings! “We hope very much that those loyal members and guests who have supported the Toft over many years continue to visit us. We also hope that old friends and new will come and see us and experience the beautiful golf course and charming hotel.” Stay-and-play packages start from £135pp for one night’s dinner, B&B and two rounds of golf. For the very latest rates, and reservations, please visit www.tofthotelgolf.co.uk or call 01778 590614.

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[42] WINTER 2018/19

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■ THE FINE-DINING EMO RESURANT AT ANANTARA OVERLOOKS THE VICTORIA COURSE

PUTTING THE ‘AM’ INTO PRO-AM ■ ANANTARA POOL

Clive Agran enjoys a luxury stay at the five-star Anantara Vilamoura Resort in the Algarve while on an arduous assignment to play in the pro-am at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters

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obert, a good friend of mine, was at The Oval this summer when Alistair Cook scored that memorable century on his final test match appearance for England. “I was there,” Robert crows, all too frequently. “It’s something to tell the grandchildren, isn’t it?” he adds. My suspicion is that his grandchildren will grow even wearier of his tedious eyewitness account than his family and friends already have. Inevitably, we are very rarely there when extraordinary sporting feats occur, and the most we can realistically hope for is to be watching live on TV when it, whatever it is, happens. Well, I came about as close as I ever have to witnessing an outstanding sporting moment at last month’s Portugal Masters. Having arrived in Vilamoura two days before the tournament got underway, I checked into the fabulous Anantara Resort, which is bang next door to the Victoria course on which the Portugal Masters is staged. My magnificent suite directly overlooked the course, and I briefly entertained the outrageous thought that I might even be able to cover the

■ VILAMOURA ROOM

■ ANANTARA VILAMOURA RESORT

event without ever leaving my hotel room! As well as the appalling lack of professionalism that such behaviour would have displayed, there were innumerable attractions to lure me out, not least of which were the hotel’s five fabulous swimming pools, splendid spa and several exceptional restaurants; not to mention fun-filled Vilamoura, which was less than five minutes away. Before the tournament, there was the Wednesday Pro-Am to negotiate. For us hackers, such an event is fun, but fraught. The gentle format (a Texas scramble variant whereby you take the best drive, everybody plays their own ball from there, and only birdies and better count) did much to ease the pressure. However, it effectively rendered every one of my non par-three tee shots totally redundant. Glaswegian Scott Jamieson (winner of the 2012 Nelson Mandela Championship) was the affable pro to our am. He drove the ball miles, and on the rare occasions that he missed the fairway, our team boasted a German club pro who, unsurprisingly, also crunched the ball out of sight, while the only other genuine amateur in our team, besides me, was a single-figure UK scribe for whom length was also not a problem. One of the most futile activities I have ever performed in the 70 years I have been on this earth was teeing off last on the par fours and fives, in the certain knowledge that my career-best

drive would struggle to get within 100 yards of the worst of my playing partners’ efforts. Lest you form the mistaken impression that I’m being modest, I should add that no fewer than two of my tee shots on the par threes were used. And in case you still need convincing that I’m not being too self-effacing, I should add that I holed one of the putts for a birdie. By the way, that’s not the outstanding sporting moment referred to above; that’s still to come.

superb Emo restaurant in my hotel on Thursday evening, a fellow journalist, who really ought to have known better, proposed we play hooky the next day and have a game at one of the dozen or so outstanding courses in the area. A quick word with the hotel’s ‘Golf Guru’ (there’s also an official ‘Wine Guru’) and it was all fixed before you could say, “Shouldn’t you stay here in case something historic happens and you miss it?”

I BRIEFLY ENTERTAINED THE OUTRAGEOUS THOUGHT THAT I MIGHT EVEN BE ABLE TO COVER THE TOURNAMENT WITHOUT EVER LEAVING MY HOTEL ROOM

■ SCOTT JAMIESON

Despite my gallant efforts, my team was just edged out of first place by the super-slim margin of 24 shots. The winners, remarkably, came in at 46 under par, which any statistician will tell you is better than two-anda-half birdies per hole. Extraordinary stuff, if slightly dubious. Conscientious almost to a fault, and loyal to my new hero, Mr Jamieson, I kept tabs on him and followed the tournament throughout Thursday about as diligently as one would expect of a seasoned journalist. Over a magnificent meal in the

Quinta do Lago (South) is a great course, and both I and my nameless associate enjoyed ourselves enormously, right up to the moment when we swept back into the hotel and sensed a certain excitement in the air. It immediately became apparent that something significant had happened whilst we were away. Although even the ten birdies and one eagle that Oliver Fisher had just recorded in his second round wouldn’t have been sufficient to lift my pro-am team into first place, it was enough to enable him to record the first ever 59 on the European Tour. More than 680,000 rounds have been played on the European Tour since it was founded in 1972, and this was the first to break the magical sub-60 barrier. Even more remarkable, I was very nearly there. Clive Agran was a guest of the fivestar Anantara Vilamoura Resort, where a seven-night stay in a twin room in January, including breakfast and five rounds of golf, with transfers to the courses, costs from €1,520. For more details, visit www.vilamoura.anantara.com


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Trust your luxury holiday to the Indian Ocean specialists Magical Mauritius is a golfer’s paradise, and the best way to make the most of it is by staying at one of our superb Beachcomber golf resorts. You’ll enjoy glorious golf in truly spectacular settings, with added perks to enhance your stay, such as privileged tee-times and reduced green fees.

When its time to unwind, the island’s stunning palm-fringed beaches, crystal lagoons, verdant peaks and exotic mixture of cultures and cuisines are all waiting to be discovered. And with our exceptional luxury, idyllic beach locations, and impeccable attention to detail, you can make the most of every moment.

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Start planning your Mauritius golf holiday today. Call us on 01483 445 632 or visit www.beachcombertours.uk * 20% saving applies to accommodation costs at the Beachcomber Hotels, when booked 60 days in advance and with travel by 31 October 2019.

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[44] WINTER 2018/19

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YOUR GOLF TRAVEL LAUNCHES SOLHEIM CUP PACKAGES YOUR GOLF TRAVEL, an official travel operator for the 2019 Solheim Cup, is offering a range of three-, five- and seven-night packages to follow the action at Gleneagles in Scotland next autumn. The 16th Solheim Cup will be contested at the Perthshire resort from September 13-15, when the USA will defend against a European side keen to reclaim the cup on home soil. It will be one of the hottest tickets in golf through 2019, and YGT has designed a range of packages to give golf fans the opportunity to be there to witness the action unfold. YGT’s Official Solheim Cup Experiences include

accommodation at either the King Robert or Colessio Hotels in Stirling; Solheim Cup entry badges; transfers; an invitation to the YGT Solheim Cup Party with special guest, and on-site YGT representatives to help guests throughout. The three-night package starts at £449, including two ticket days; five-night stays start at £999, including four ticket days, and seven-night packages cost from £1,419, including entry badge from Monday to Sunday, plus two rounds of golf at nearby Murrayshall.

■ EUROPEAN SOLHEIM CUP CAPTAIN CATRIONA MATTHEW AT GLENEAGLES

FOLLOW IN THE PROS FOOTSTEPS AT LUMINE

■ LUMINE HILLS COURSE 10TH

LUMINE MEDITERRÁNEA BEACH & GOLF COMMUNITY, the venue for the final stage of the European Tour’s Qualifying School, is offering a range of winter packages to give golfers the chance to experience the courses which witnessed so much drama last month. A total of 156 European Tour hopefuls gathered at the leading Costa Daurada venue in November, with the top 25 and ties being rewarded with tour cards after six challenging rounds over Lumine’s Lakes and Hills Courses. The new packages allow golfers to take advantage of the pristine conditioning of Lumine’s three courses, which were highly praised by the competitors for their challenge and quality of conditioning. Golfers can tackle two courses designed by Greg Norman: Lumine Lakes, a 6,300-metre, par-71 course which is the most technically challenging; and the Ruins course, a nine-hole layout located upon Roman archaeological remains dating from the second century BC. While Lumine Hills completes the line-up; a 6,334-metre, par-72 course in sharp contrast to the Lakes with its incredible coastline views, set amongst leafy woods and olive plantations. Lumine also boasts two clubhouses and offers first-class hospitality on site, and the ideal spot in which to relax and enjoy topquality cuisine.

■ LUMINE RUINS COURSE

In collaboration with several local fourstar hotels, the packages start from €395 per person for a four-night stay with unlimited golf, including practice balls and breakfast. A seven-night break costs from €675pp. Both offers are for stays between now and May 15, 2019. For more details visit www.lumine.com.


THE PERFECT GOLF BREAK STAY & PLAY PACKAGE FROM JUST £105 PER PERSON/NIGHT With three of the best golf courses in Europe, the first Paul McGinley Academy in the world, a unique selection of restaurants and unrivalled sports and leisure facilities, Quinta do Lago offers a truly special golfing experience. The newly refurbished The Magnolia Hotel is the ideal accommodation for your golfing holiday, with 3, 5 or 7-night Stay & Play Packages, which include dinner and a spa option exclusively for non-golfers. Excellent double rooms, a charming restaurant, poolside bar and a laid-back no-hassle atmosphere make The Magnolia Hotel the perfect place to round off your day.

BOOKINGS T: (+351) 289 005 300 E: BOOKINGS@THEMAGNOLIAHOTELQDL.COM WWW.THEMAGNOLIAHOTELQDL.COM | WWW.QUINTADOLAGO.COM


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GOLF DO ESTORIL

WHERE GOLF & GASTRONOMY GO HAND-IN-HAND Enjoy the true taste of Lisbon with a Gastro Golf holiday

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espoke golf travel company Gastro Golf has teamed up with the Lisbon Tourist Board and Lisboa Golf Coast to provide golfers with an opportunity to experience some of the best golf courses and resorts in the region, along with a range of superb culinary and cultural experiences, to create a golf holiday that you’ll never forget. Golfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to championship golf around Portugal’s capital city. Within an hour’s drive north-west, you’ll find the likes of Bom Sucesso, Royal Obidos, Praia d’El Rey, and the recently-opened West Cliffs; while the central area, around Cascais and Sintra, is home to favourites such as Estoril, Quinta da Marinha, Penha Longa and Oitavos Dunes. Head south of the River Tagus, and golfers will discover the delights of Aroeira, Quinta do Peru, Ribagolfe, Oeiras and Santo Estevão. Awarded the title of European Golf Destination of the Year in 2016, Lisbon’s Golf Coast not only boasts a wide variety of quality courses, but also offers affordable green fees, a year-round mild climate, and easy access to the attractions of the city. Below are highlighted some of the best golf packages that Gastro Golf has to offer in the region, so get in touch and let them plan your next golfing break in 2019.

ROYAL OBIDOS Royal Obidos was a stunning addition to the golf offering on the Silver Coast when it opened in 2011. Well known as the last course â– TIMEOUT MARKET IN LISBON

Estoril’s superb 18-hole course is located in one of Europe’s oldest established tourist resorts and boasts wonderful views out to the Atlantic. A masterpiece of design by Mackenzie Ross, the layout makes good use of the surrounding pine trees and eucalyptuses. Although a short course, at only 5,808 yards, its par of 69, coupled with uneven terrain and tight fairways, demands accuracy and good course management to score well. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/cascais-golfpassport/

PENHA LONGA Ranked in the top 30 courses in Continental Europe, the 27-hole course at Penha Longa Resort, designed by the famed Robert Trent Jones Jr, is escapist golf at its best. With its requirement for bold drives, courageous approaches, and artful putting on the fast greens, it is both an adrenaline rush and a soothing journey through one of Portugal’s most inspiring landscapes. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/penha-longa/

BELAS CLUB DE CAMPO Set in the beautiful Carregueira Mountains, the Rocky Roquemore-designed Belas is a demanding championship course that offers fantastic views of the surrounding hills and â– BELAS CLUB DE CAMPO

ever designed by the late Seve Ballesteros, it provides a superb lasting legacy, with the 7,320yard layout being one of the great man’s best works. With views over the Atlantic and the Obidos Lagoon, its presents a serious challenge to all levels of golfer, especially on the eight holes that feature water, while the numerous run-offs around the greens offer the chance to practice your Seve-style up-and-downs. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/royal-obidos/

QUINTA DO PERU Just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Lisbon, the enchanting course at Quinta do Peru is framed by the ArrĂĄbida Natural Park with its 18 finely-crafted holes meandering gently through avenues of tall pines. A demanding 6,640-yard test, it features astute bunkering, quick greens, and a stellar closing stretch, including the par-3 16th, which requires a 190-yard carry over water to an undulating green. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/quinta-doperu-caparcia/

â– DOLCE CAMPO REAL

valleys beyond. The 6,700-yard layout features gently mounded fairways – several of them set in deep valleys – large scalloped bunkers, plenty of significant rises and falls, and a liberal number of streams and lakes to avoid. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/cascaisgolf-passport/

DOLCE CAMPO REAL An hour’s drive north of Lisbon, the championship course at Campo Real blends serenely into the surrounding countryside,

â– ROYAL OBIDOS


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GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ AÇORDA FISH STEW

GASTRO HIGHLIGHTS PAP’ACORDA RESTAURANT, LISBON This legendary seafood restaurant, located in the heart of Lisbon’s Bairro Alto district, has been wowing locals and visitors over 35 years. Occupying the whole of the top floor in the über-hip Mercado Ribeira food emporium in the Cais do Sodré neighbourhood, the restaurant is split into two rooms and each with its own bar, while chef Manuela Brandão personally overseeing the preparation of the restaurant’s classic dishes, including Açorda – a type of stew, made with bread and olive oil, and seasoned with garlic and coriander, from which the venue gets its name. At Pap’Açorda seafood is the order of the day, with shrimp, codfish, tuna and the ever popular house specialty - Açorda Real made with lobster and shrimp. www.papacorda.com

■ QUINTA DO PERU 15TH

■ JOSÉ MARIA DA FONSECA WINERY

TIME OUT MARKET, LISBON Boasting a choice of 32 restaurants and food stalls, eights bars, a dozen shops, a cookery school and a live music venue, the Time Out Market, which is located on the site of Lisbon’s historic market hall, brings together all of Lisbon’s finest culinary traditions under one gigantic roof. Visited by over 3.5 million people in 2017, it’s not to be missed by anyone who appreciates fine gastronomy at all its levels. Arrive hungry. www.timeoutmarket. com/lisboa

■ PAP’ACORDA RESTAURANT

■ THE SEAFOOD PLATTER AT MAR DO INFERNO

MAR DO INFERNO, CASCAIS Thirty minutes outside of Lisbon, Cascais is steeped in fishing tradition and history. Here you will find the marvellous Mar do Inferno, a family-run restaurant specialising in all the delicacies of the sea – from hake fillets served with cockle rice, crabs and monkfish. For a taste of everything, don’t miss the seafood platter, with grilled sea bass and gilthead sea bream, prawns, mussels, potatoes, carrots, and broccoli drenched in the finest olive oil. www.mardoinferno.pt

JOSÉ MARIA DA FONSECA WINERY Located in the charming village of Azeitão on the Setubal peninsula, the José Maria Da Fonseca Winery is the oldest producer of table wines in Portugal and is most famous for the Periquita wine made from Castelão grapes. The winery tour involves a visit to the caves, where you will get the chance to taste a selection of both new and old wines. www.jmf.pt/index. php?id=226

■ SINTRA PENA PALACE

while providing an enjoyable and interesting round. Blind shots, steep inclines and wooded valleys create a series ■ LISBON AERIAL VIEW of hazards that will test all of your shotmaking skills, as well as making for an unforgettable experience. www.gastrogolf.co.uk/tour-item/ dolce-camporeal/

PLACES TO VISIT LISBON A two-and-a-half hour flight from the UK takes you into the heart of Lisbon, winner of ‘Europe’s Leading City Destination’ at this year’s World Travel Awards. Located at the mouth of the River Targus, Lisbon is connected to the south by two iconic bridges, the 25th April and the Vasco da Gama. The former is often compared to the Golden Gate

Bridge in San Francisco and is overlooked by one of the city’s most famous landmarks – Cristo Rei – a 260ft statue of Christ, similar to the one found in Rio de Janeiro. The city is very walkable, although living up to its name of ‘The City of Seven Hills’ it’s advisable to make use of the extensive tram system or take a ride on one of the many threewheel tuktuk taxis. Don’t miss a tour around St George’s Castle, which overlooks the whole city, while the streets of the trendy Chiado district will find you amid beautiful boutiques and a mix of bohemian cafés and bars, where

a glass of Ginjinha – a sweet cherry liqueur – will set you up for an evening of listening to famous Fado singers in a local restaurant. SINTRA Declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and described by Lord Byron as ‘this glorious Eden’, Sintra is not a large town, but its charm demands at least a brief visit between rounds. Don’t miss a tour of the Pena Palace, a former royal summer residence whose mixture of architectural

styles will amaze and surprise, while the region’s Moorish influences can be seen most impressively at the Castelo dos Mouros, which can trace its history back to the 10th century. ARRABIDA One of the most beautiful places in Portugal, this region is dominated by the Serra de Arrabida Natural Park, a haven to rare animal species, amazing beaches and incredible landscapes, along with food and wine production. Sesimbra

and Palmella castles are not to be missed, as are the array of fabulous golf courses, which blend in superbly with their surroundings. CASCAIS The historic and beautiful coastal town of Cascais lies on the Estoril coast, just 30 minutes from Lisbon. The pretty harbour town boasts a yacht-filled marina and lots of great fish restaurants, while its small, sandy coves are ideal for swimming and water sports.

MAKE YOUR GASTRO GOLF BOOKING NOW! GASTRO GOLF SPECIALISES IN CREATING BESPOKE GOLF HOLIDAYS AND EXCURSIONS, AND CAN TAILOR ANY OF THE SAMPLE PACKAGES FEATURED ON ITS WEBSITE TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS. TO MAKE A BOOKING, SIMPLY VISIT WWW.GASTROGOLF.CO.UK OR CALL 0161 612 3319.


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golf holiday experts for 23 years www.chakatravel.com

BRAZIL

from £3,150 PP

MAURITIUS

from £2,295 PP

Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo & Ignacu Falls

5* Constance Belle Mare Plage

Incl. flights, transfers plus a city tour & Iguacu Falls tour

All Inclusive supplement from £900 pp with golf buggy

12 nights (10 nights B&B, 2 nights Half Board) 6 rounds of golf on 5 different courses

12 nights Half Board Incl. flights, transfers & golf aprox £13 per round

ITALY

SOUTH AFRICA

from £1,395 PP

4* Golf & Gastronomy in Emilia Romagna

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

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

5* Casa De Campo

from £2,585 PP

7 nights All Inclusive, 5 rounds golf, shared cart & range balls Incl. flights, transfers & Pete Dye Golf Lodge room

from £2,295 PP Cape Town & Fancourt Classic Garden Route 10 nights Bed & Breakfast with 6 rounds of golf on 6 courses Incl. flights, transfers & hire car

THAILAND

Bangkok & Hua Hin

from £2,395 PP

14 nights Bed & Breakfast with 5 rounds of golf Incl. flights, transfers & caddie included per round

ESCORTED GOLF TOURS WITH PGA PRO JACQUES GOUS

INCLUDING ONE TO ONE & GROUP TUITION Join us on one of our popular escorted tours. Suitable for golfers and non-golfers alike, our PGA pro will be your guide throughout.

South Africa, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Brazil... TO SEE OUR RANGE OF GOLF HOLIDAYS, ESCORTED TOURS AND GOLF TOURNAMENTS VISIT OUR WEBSITE


TRAVEL & BREAKS

WINTER 2018/19 [49]

GOLFNEWS.CO.UK

■ TRUMP TURNBERRY RESORT

Chris Hollins TV sports presenter Chris Hollins has shared the fairways of the world with some of the game’s greatest players, but his favourite rounds are with his dad My first ever golf holiday was… to Galway Bay in Ireland. I organised a stag do for my best mate and we enjoyed three days of golf, as well as having a really good craic.

I always travel with… a pair of Ecco golf shoes and my Galvin Green windstopper, just to make sure I can sneak in a game of golf wherever I go. The best hotel I have ever stayed in… was at

My most recent golf holiday was… a weekend away with my dad. We flew out to Girona in Spain and stayed at PGA Catalunya Resort, as my dad had always wanted to play the Stadium Course ever since he’d seen it on TV. The weather was perfect, the course was in spectacular condition, and we had an absolute ball.

■ CHRIS HOLLINS WITH HIS FATHER AT PGA CATALUNYA EARLIER THIS YEAR

My most memorable holiday meal was…

My favourite golf course in the UK is… I have been lucky enough to play so many great courses. I love my home course at The Oxfordshire, as it offers a really good test of golf, especially in the wind. But I would have to say that the Ailsa Course at Turnberry takes some beating. I haven’t played it since the course was renovated, but it really was an unforgettable experience.

Hill Golf Club in Surrey, when I got round in two over par. My most memorable moment on the golf course was my only hole-in-one at Pennard Golf Club in Wales, which happened just after I won Strictly Come Dancing, so there was obviously something in the stars. However, it’s fair to say that my most memorable round was not my best – it was playing 18 holes with Rory McIlroy at the BMW PGA Championship.

My ideal fourball would be… I would have to have at least one good golfer in the four, to ensure I learn something, so my first pick would be the one and only Seve Ballesteros. I also like to have a giggle out on the course and listen to stories, so my second pick would be Bob Hope. The final spot would go to Sir Bruce Forsyth, who was just so much fun to be around. It probably wouldn’t be the quickest round of golf, but we would certainly have a great time.

My best round of golf ever was… at St George’s

Claridges on the first night of my married life. We had been given an upgrade to a suite, which was incredible. It was huge. That’s the story of my life. Champagne last. Beer money!

My favourite golf resort is… PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain. I have been fortunate to travel the world with work, so I have stayed at a number of great resorts, but PGA Catalunya has everything you want in a golf resort. It has great hotels, fantastic food, plenty of space to unwind, and extensive practice facilities to warm up before playing the magnificent Stadium Course. Then, even if you haven’t played your best golf, you can head back to the pool and relax with a wellearned drink.

■ SPAGHETTI VONGOLE IS ONE OF CHRIS'S FAVOURITE DISHES

probably one had on a family holiday to Italy. Mum and dad had made some great friends there over the years, and one day they took us out into the countryside and explained that we were going to have spaghetti vongole. Having never heard of vongole before, we all just looked at each other. But I can clearly remember seeing this huge plate placed in front of me and then just sitting in the sun all afternoon enjoying this fantastic pasta dish – which remains my favourite meal to this day.

The golf course I would most like to play is… Augusta National. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a putt there, but I would like to have the opportunity to play the full 18 holes.

My top travel tip is… always take your golf shoes, check in early, and, even if you think it is a good idea, don’t take your children.

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