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Issue 216 | November 2012

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VINTAGE ROSE IT’S BEEN A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR JUSTIN P20-21

WHEN IT COMES TO GROOVES, EVERY TEN-THOUSANDTH OF AN INCH COUNTS. The decision to start milling the Gorge™ Groove on our new Tour wedges in-house was easy. It was the only way our engineers and machinists could ensure the precision you need for higher spinning, more consistent wedge shots. Then we added three sole designs to help match your swing and playing conditions. For more spin and control in your wedge game, find Tour wedges at your golf shop or ping.com. ©2012 PING 82000 PHOENIX, AZ 85071

Milled to perfection by PING® machinists in Phoenix, Arizona.

Three sole widths (WS, SS, TS) in multiple lofts fit your swing and playing conditions.

FOOTJOY COMPETITION P13 | STACY LEWIS P17 | EWEN MURRAY P22 | CALLAWAY RAZR FIT XTREME P25 | XMAS GIFTS P30-31 | TRAVEL P38

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In a world where the finest details matter, London Golf Club continues to raise the bar. As a European Tour Destination we promise a warm welcome, first-class service and a relaxing environment from the moment you arrive. Our two championship courses, designed by Jack Nicklaus are maintained in pristine condition all year-round and have some of the finest putting surfaces in the country.

EXPERIENCE LONDON GOLF CLUB THIS WINTER

£70

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• English breakfast muffin with tea/coffee • 18 holes of golf on International Course • No temporary greens • Soup at halfway house • Traditional Kentish main meal • Inclusive of range balls and use of practise facilities Available Monday – Thursday from 1st November to 31st March subject to availability. Must be booked in advance.

S U R PA S S I N G E X P E C TAT I O N S

STANSTED LANE | ASH | KENT | TN15 7EH | 01474 879899 | golf@londongolf.co.uk | www.londongolf.co.uk


November 2012 / Issue 216

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Read the UK’s No.1 Golf Paper online at www.golfnews.co.uk

Issue 216 | November 2012

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Twitter@golfnewsmag

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

Sales & Marketing Director Andy Martin andy.martin@golfnews.co.uk

Editor Nick Bayly editor@golfnews.co.uk

Design www.tridentdesign.co.uk

Advertising Production Kath Perry ads@golfnews.co.uk

Photography Kevin Murray (kevinmurraygolfphotography.com) Action Images, James Cheadle

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

VINTAGE ROSE IT’S BEEN A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR JUSTIN P20-21

WHEN IT COMES TO GROOVES, EVERY TEN-THOUSANDTH OF AN INCH COUNTS.

Follow us on: Twitter@golfnewsmag

The decision to start milling the Gorge™ Groove on our new Tour wedges in-house was easy. It was the only way our engineers and machinists could ensure the precision you need for higher spinning, more consistent wedge shots. Then we added three sole designs to help match your swing and playing conditions. For more spin and control in your wedge game, find Tour wedges at your golf shop or ping.com.

Milled to perfection by PING® machinists in Phoenix, Arizona.

©2012 PING 82000 PHOENIX, AZ 85071

Y EM S D CA A S F A ISTM HER L GO CHR OUC NOW T VILABLE F I G AVA

Three sole widths (WS, SS, TS) in multiple lofts fit your swing and playing conditions.

FOOTJOY COMPETITION P13 | STACY LEWIS P17 | EWEN MURRAY P22 | CALLAWAY RAZR FIT XTREME P25 | XMAS GIFTS P30-31 | TRAVEL P38

© Copyright Golf News 2012. No part of this publication may be copied, photocopied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in anyway or means, either by recording or otherwise, without permission of the publishers in writing.

WINTER GOLF

Editor’sview view

at East Sussex National

email: editor@golfnews.co.uk

Fourball Packages from only £160

Rory, we salute you! It seems incredible that just 12 months ago we were raising our glasses to Luke Donald following his achievement of being world No.1 and winning the money lists on the European Tour and the PGA Tour in the same season. Of course, this particular feat can only ever be achieved by a European golfer, as most Americans are still trying to locate Europe on a map, as if it is its own country, but it was still a mightily impressive performance. Yet here we are, a year later, celebrating – although that might be slightly overplaying it in my household – Rory McIlroy ‘doing the double’ and topping the cash register on both sides on the pond. By anyone’s standards it’s been Rory’s year. Nabbing the

No.1 spot off Luke, winning his second major at the US PGA, and capping it off with his performance in the Ryder Cup, all adds up to a pretty solid season. Sadly, he won’t get much of a look-in for the BBC Sports Personality awards, what with it being an Olympic year, but in any other year he would at least be worthy of the top-three finish, which is going some for golfers these days. Rory is without question a ‘personality’ in the broadest sense of the word, and while he will never command the following that Tiger had, and continues to have, he has certainly become an extremely marketable figure – especially, if we’re going to be cynical here, now that his relationship with

tennis star Caroline Wozniacki seems to be a bit more than a fleeting celebrity romance (don’t fail me now, Rors). So it should perhaps come as no surprise that Rory is, according to hearsay and rumour, on the verge of signing a multi-million dollar 10-year deal with Nike. A global brand and a global player make for a neat fit, so let’s hope he continues to play like superstar with his new set of clubs, new ball, new shoes, new clothes, and of course, a new hat. One thing’s for sure, we’re all going to have to get used seeing a lot less of Rory and his fellow European stars in Europe next year, but for now let’s enjoy having one of ours doing rather well over there, here and almost everywhere.

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November 2012 / Issue 216

The finest downland course in Sussex... Bookings now being taken for 2013, in our Dormy House, open March to November Twin bed en-suite rooms with a five course dinner, bed & full english breakfast, including two rounds of golf from £90 per person per night GREEN FEE VISITORS CAN NOW BOOK ONLINE AT SPECIAL PRICES go to www.seafordgolfclub.co.uk and follow the visitor tee booking link For a brochure and more information call Sue on: 01323 892442, e-mail: sue@seafordgolfclub.co.uk or visit: www.seafordgolfclub.co.uk

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he panoramic 27 holes of championship golf at Wildwood Golf & Country Club maintain their magic throughout the year. The newly defined and manicured fairways with the U.S. standard greens ensure perfect playing conditions all year. And the warm atmosphere of the clubhouse with good golfer’s “fayre” ensures a great day out. Conveniently located between Horsham and Guildford, Wildwood is easily accessible from all areas. For more information and available dates contact: Louise Harrison on 01403 753255

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SOUTHERN CLUBS HIT BY TROPHY THEFTS Golf clubs in Surrey and Sussex are on a heightened security alert after valuable trophies and other silverware were stolen from several venues in identical attacks. Farnham, Hindhead, Seaford, The Dyke and West Sussex golf clubs are among many clubs in the south east that have been the target of break-ins and thefts, with many hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of irreplaceable trophies and silverware being stolen. Farnham Golf Club in Surrey was the first to be hit by the spate of thefts. Thieves broke into the club on October 2 and took 19 trophies and cups. One of the items, the Silver Frigate Trophy – the 116-year-old club’s emblem – has been valued at £100,000. Grahame Cowlishaw, secretary of Farnham Golf Club, said he was ‘devastated’ by the theft, which took place at 9.45pm. The club’s CCTV captured hooded and masked burglars removing a patio door and smashing a glass cabinet. “I’ve been here 30 years, 25 years as the pro. There’s a lot of me here,” said Mr Cowlishaw. “You feel like they’ve taken something out of your house

Stolen: Farnham’s Silver Frigate

because it’s part of the club; you feel devastated. It’s history and you’re not going to get that back.” One of the worst hit was Seaford Golf Club in East Sussex, which had 20 trophies dating back to the mid-1800s taken, nearly all of which were later found destroyed in a burnt out car. The trophies were valued in the region of £40,000. Waterhall Golf Club, just outside Brighton, was hit on September 19, followed by West Sussex Golf Club on October 7. More than 20 trophies were taken from the Pulborough club, with a spokesman saying that they had probably been melted down. Waterhall was hit for a second time on October 15, before nearby Dyke Golf Club

became the latest victim on October 20, when two men in balaclavas smashed through the patio doors with a baseball bat before heading straight for the trophy cabinet. In just four minutes they had left with up to 15 trophies thought to be worth around £5,000. Club chairman, Niall MacCabe, said: “We were lucky because we had heard what had happened in Seaford, and moved our really valuable trophies out. It appears to be a fairly professional group. We found some of the less valuable trophies floating down the River Adur, so they knew what they were looking for and what was valuable. It’s sad really. That is a part of the club’s history gone forever.” Police are now trying to establish if there is a connection between the burglaries throughout both counties..”

Dyke chairman Niall MacCabe

Shifting sands at historic Orsett

An example of the restored bunkers at Orsett

Orsett Golf Club in Essex has recently completed an upgrade to its historic course, which has included the restoration of bunkers to the original look intended by legendary course architect James Braid. The club’s course development committee, led by course manager Don Clark, appointed James Edwards Golf Design to restore 12 bunkers back to the classic look of those introduced by Braid in 1899, when Orsett Golf Club was founded. The project, which was completed over the summer, involved the removal of one bunker, and the rebuilding over 11 others, including all five on the fourth hole, two on the seventh, and four on the 18th. All the bunkers will feature the same

revetment techniques that were a feature of Braid’s designs. Speaking about the changes, course manager Don Clarke said: “Our aim for Orsett Golf Club has always been to bring back the strong traditional bunkering for which this wonderful golf course is known. I am pleased that our collective vision is shared by our course architect, James Edwards.” Edwards added: “It is an absolute privilege to work at Orsett alongside Don and his excellent team and local contractor Grassform Planthire. The course totally inspires me every time I set foot on the property and I was honoured that the club entrusted us to restore the integrity of the James Braid bunkering as designed some 113 years ago.”

Order your free Society Guide! Golf News’ Society & Company Golf Guide has been a must-have publication for every golf society organiser for many a year, and the 2013 version, which comes out in December, is guaranteed to be even bigger and better, with many new features introduced to make it even easier to use in the digital age. Showcasing many of the UK’s finest clubs and courses, this handy full-colour A5 booklet provides all the information you’ll ever need to make your golf day a success. As well as being available in print format, the 2013 Guide is available to download from the Golf News website – www.golfnews.co.uk – in a PDF format, and is also available to view at a brand new standalone website – www.golfdayguide.com – which connects golf clubs and golfers like never before. To order your free copy email your name and address to: info@golfnews.co.uk with ‘Society Guide’ in the subject line.


November 2012 / Issue 216

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Seve Benson is looking forward to competing on the European Tour from next month

Autumn Offers at

CHART HILLS GOLF CLUB Chart Hills Golf Club, Weeks Lane, Biddenden, Kent. TN27 8JX W:www.charthills.co.uk, E: info@charthills.co.uk, T:01580292222

Benson’s back in business! During his heyday, the late Seve Ballesteros was renowned for his escape acts, but even the superstar Spaniard might have blanched at the career-threatening fix from which Seve Benson, the young Wentworth discovery named in his honour, extricated himself to win back his place on the European Tour. Benson was ranked 28th on the Challenge Tour at the start of the season’s final event in Italy, the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, but needed to jump past eight other players in order to secure his European Tour card for next season. The 25-year-old from Guildford made a bright start, shooting rounds of 68 and 69, but with scoring low at the fast-running course, his five under par total still only had him in 25th place in the limited 45-man field event. However, he made a big move up the leaderboard with a third round 65, which took him into a share of sixth, and within touching distance of winning back the European Tour card that he lost in 2011. A solid final round 68 saw him improve his placing to fifth, which earned him €13,805 and took him into 20th place in the final rankings – just one spot inside the cut mark.

“I am just shocked actually,” said Benson, on hearing the news that he had made the grade. “I didn’t think I would get anywhere near to be honest. It is great news though. I am really happy.” Earning his place back on the main tour after just one season on the Challenge Tour is a huge result for Benson, who suffered a back injury in 2010 that meant that he sat out most of the 2011 season on a medical exemption. After winning the Barclays Kenya Open in April, he is determined to put his experience of playing both tours to good use, especially now that he is back to full fitness. “I have learned so much from the three years I was on The European Tour, and this year on the Challenge Tour. I’ve learned so much about myself. I will approach tournaments differently next year. I still know I am a winner after the Kenya Open and that is a big thing. You can have good days and bad days, but if you keep picking up wins, then you still have it, so that was the highlight this year. I definitely think I am a better player now that I was in previous years, especially mentally.”

Weald Park has been temporarily closed following a fallout with the leaseholders

Weald Park closes without warning Golfers visiting Weald Park Golf Club in Essex last month were unexpectedly met with ‘closed’ signs on the entrance to site following a falling out between the club’s management and its freeholder. Weald Park failed to open – without notice – on October 2, and has been closed ever since. The club was bought by AAF Leisure, which has been committed to a programme of investment, in 2010, and was operating normally up until the closure. It was even selling decade-long subscriptions via a third party the day before it shut. Following the closure,

the club issued a statement on Facebook that said: “Weald Park Golf Club was temporarily closed for business due to an incident that transpired between management and the freeholder of the property. As we work towards rectifying the situation, we want our customers to know they are our priority and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We plead with our customers to be patient with us as this situation is beyond the full control of management and as such may take a little longer than we anticipate.” Members have said they

have been left in the dark by the events. One, Nathan Rogers, said he had just won a competition in which the prize was 10 years’ membership at the club for a foreign friend, but he hasd received an email from Weald Park that “basically says they can’t give me my prize”. Another, Norman Whitlock, said he had paid £2,000 also for a decade-long subscription this summer and now feels ‘gutted’. Ultimate Golf Pro, which was offering 10-year subscriptions to Weald Park for people living outside the UK for just £120 on its website the day before the club closed, said it has suspended its deals with the club and may refund customers. “The club is temporarily closed for business due to an altercation with the freeholder that has progressed to a legal measure,” said a spokesman. “As a result of this unforeseen development, we have suspended sales of the ‘unlimited golf in the United Kingdom’ offer on Ultimate Golf Pro, and are prepared to fully refund every customer in the event that this situation is not rectified in a satisfactory manner.”

Autumn Twilight Offer Tee time after 3pm in September £40pp Tee times after 2pm in October £40pp Twilight Buggies from £10

Winter Breakfast Offer Enjoy a full English Breakfast with 18 holes of golf at Chart Hills. Any Tuesday or Thursday from October 1st 2012 to March 31st 2013 in tee times between 8am & 12noon (subject to availability)

for £40pp LAST MINUTE TEE TIMES WITH LEADERBOARD GOLF

For last minute tee times at dozens of UK golf clubs, register on line at www.leaderboardlastminutegolf.com

Chart Hills Golf Club, Weeks Lane, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8JX www.charthills.co.uk T:01580 292222 E: info@charthills.co.uk

New Society Packages from £35.00pp

Dale Hill

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Choose from the three new society packages – • Woosnam • Faldo • Montgomerie. From £35.00 to include Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes on the Woosnam followed by a 1 Course Meal. Please contact the Golf Office for further information 01580 201800 Package to include or email Teresa@dalehill.co.uk One round of golf on the Nick Faldo designed course at Chart Hills

Shared Twin or Double room at the 4 star award winning Dale Hill Hotel including Breakfast One round of golf on the Ian Woosnam designed course at Dale Hill PackagePackage to include to include One round Oneofround golf on of the golfNick on the Faldo Nick designed Faldo designed course atcourse ChartatHills Chart Hills Shared Twin Shared or Twin Double or room Double at room the 4 star at the award 4 starwinning award winning Dale HillDale HotelHill including Hotel including BreakfastBreakfast One round Oneofround golf on ofwww.leaderboardgolf.co.uk the golfIan on Woosnam the Ian Woosnam designeddesigned course atcourse Dale Hill at Dale Hill

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November 2012 / Issue 216

WILDWOOD SEEKS PART

LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE GOLF DAY VENUE?

The owners of Wildwood Golf and Country Club, which was put up for sale last month, could be open to a majority takeover to help push forward the £30 million development plans for the popular Surrey venue. An application for the construction of an 84-room hotel, including 39 lodges, at the club in Alfold was given planning permission in March last year, and the resort is set to become the southern headquarters and a centre of excellence for the Professional Golf Association. The hotel accommodation is being developed in partnership with the Hilton group.

Phil Harrison, director and co-owner of Wildwood, said: “It was difficult getting the planning permission, and now we have got to make it happen. With the current economic climate, finding investors can be difficult. Behind the scenes we have been trying to attract partners. We already have the PGA and Hilton on board, and have now completed the paperwork to raise the finance. We are a long way down the line with the funding, but we are still short of equity. We either do it with shareholders, or we take it to the market to attract equity partners.”

Although the owners are seeking investment partners, Mr Harrison said that any offer would need consideration.” He added: “Six or seven years ago people would have been knocking on our door, but at the moment we have to be more proactive. We have made progress with a couple of offers of funding. The main shareholders at the moment have to look at it. You only really know what it is worth when it’s on the market.” Mr Harrison is a shareholder in the business, but the majority is owned by Edmund

Harris goes low at Wildernesse Jamie Harris was on majestic form in the Wildernesse Pro-Am, winning by three shots to claim yet another first prize cheque for the Nevill professional. Marking a welcome return by The PGA to one of Kent’s top courses, Harris defied the rain to card a brilliant seven-under-par 65 to leave the 68s of Richard Wallis and James Ablett trailing in his wake. Taking some time out from the PGA EuroPro Tour, Kent star Matt Ford shot a three-under-par 69 for third spot. With 14 victories in scheduled events and pro-ams and another two titles elsewhere, in one of the wettest seasons yet Harris has dominated the PGA in England (South) 2012 money list. Six of his victories came in September alone, with another three in October. Harris seemed unaffected by the damp weather, explaining: “Making some early birdies encouraged me to keep going for it in spite of the conditions, but things were getting pretty slippery at the end. I quite

Jamie Harris has won 14 times this season

enjoy playing in poor weather, and I try to have as much fun as I can.” He continued: “It’s been a long season, but I’ve finished pretty well in the last two months and winning here amongst one of the strongest fields of the year is just the thing I need to make the 2013 season one to look forward to.”

South East talent named in revamped Boys Squad

golfdayguide.com

Five of the brightest young talents in the South East have been selected for the 11-strong England Boys’ training squad for 2013. Marco Penge, Jack Singh-Brar, Nick Ward, Harry Ellis and Boddy Keeble have been included in the squad. Seventeen-year-old Ellis, from Meon Valley in Hampshire, is the newest recruit to the squad, after becoming the youngest ever English Boys’ Champion when he won the title at Silloth-on-Solway in early August while still 16 years old. An under 16 cap, he made his full England debut in the recent Home Internationals, while he also represented GB&I against Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy and was a member of the victorious team in the Canadian International Junior Challenge. Keeble, from Abridge in Essex, lost a play-off for the English U18 Championship for the Carris Trophy, which brought an England debut in the Boys Home Internationals. He followed that with second place in the South of England Boys Championship. Worthing’s Marco Penge made his debut as an England U16 international recently against Spain, and also played in the winning teams against Wales and Scotland. The 14-year-old also won the Hazards Salver for the best performance by a player aged U16 at the Carris Trophy. Singh Brar, from Brockenhurst Manor in Hampshire, helped England win the Boys’ Home Internationals, was a member of the

New recruit Harry Elliss

Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands in the Boys County Finals, and most recently won the Faldo Series Final in Northern Ireland. Ward, 17, is another under 16 cap. A former Hertfordshire Champion, he won the South East Boys Qualifying, was fourth in the Welsh Open Youths Championship and fifth in the South of England Boys Championship.


November 2012 / Issue 216

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RTNER FOR £30M PLANS and Charles O’Reilly Hyland of Translloyd Developments. “I was very up-front with the planning process –

I want to stay involved and push the process forward,” Harrison added. “I am very keen to keep the momentum

going. The future at Wildwood is not just the golf, but the whole development plan.”

GOLF CLUB

Wildwood has planning permission to build a hotel and a number of private lodges

On Par Rates... Winter Golf Days

Set in a magnificent 543 acre country estate, Brocket Hall is home to one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world.

Haywards lightens the load for bag-carrying golfers

Enjoy a welcome gift and Brocket bacon roll on arrival, followed by unlimited warm up at the Palmerston Golf Academy. The package also includes management of Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive competitions, 18 holes of golf on one of our two championship courses and a delicious 2-course lunch. Organiser goes free. Rates from £69.00 per person. Preferential members rates available. Please contact us for further details or to make a booking 01707 368 705 | winter@brocket-hall.co.uk

BROCKET-HALL.CO.UK

In a bid to reduce damage to its course in the current wet weather conditions, Haywards Heath Golf Club in Sussex is offering a £5 reduction off the green fee to visitors who carry their clubs instead of using a trolley this winter. Golfers who ditch their electic and pull trolleys from now until the end of March will have to pay just £25 for an 18-hole round, instead of the standard £30. Guests of members, who normally play for £20, will be charged a £15 green fee if they carry their clubs. The measure comes as one of a range of special offers at the West Sussex-based club over the winter months, which also includes discounts for large groups and societies, with winter packages now starting from £28, which comprises coffee and bacon rolls, 18 holes and a warming one-course lunch. Haywards Heath’s secretary, Graham White, said: “Throughout the year the course has received plenty of praise for the quality of the playing surfaces, and the ‘bag carriers’ bonus’ will help keep them in top condition. This winter golfers will be playing on the main tees and greens, and the rough is being left short to make the course playable for golfers of all standards.”

Prince’s pairing head for Final Qualifying Zane Scotland and Warren Bennett are among 73 players to have won a place at the European Tour’s final stage of qualifying for next season’s main tour, after coming through the second stage in Spain. Scotland, who became the youngest English player to qualify for The Open Championship in 1999, qualified from Lumine Golf & Beach Resort after shooting rounds of 72, 69, 69 and 66, to finish ninth on seven under par. Bennett, who, like Scotland, is attached to Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, finished in seventh place at Las Colinas, after rounds of 72, 65, 69 and 70 saw him finish four shots inside the cut mark. Both players will be returning to Spain for the gruelling six-round marathon of Final Stage at PGA Catalunya in Girona from November 24-29, where the best 25 players and ties will earn Category 11b membership of The European Tour, while those who make the cut after four rounds will earn a place on the Challenge Tour. Winning a place back on the European Tour would be particularly sweet for 41-year-old Bennett, who has overcome injuries and a loss

of form in recent seasons, but has found his game following a change of coach. Bansteadbased Scotland would similarly relish a return to the top rung, after enduring several seasons playing on the EuroPro Tour, having failed to keep his card following his debut season on the European Tour in 2008. Zane Scotland is bidding to earn back his Tour card

Love Golf? Treat yourself at Kingswood... Winter warmer… Chef’s Soup of the Day & 18 Holes of Golf £35 per person Available Monday to Friday. 1st November to 31st March 2013. Bookings in advance only!

Winter at its best… 18 Holes of Golf & Kingswood’s Pie of the Day £40 per person Available Monday to Friday. 1st November to 31st March 2013. Bookings in advance only!

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November 2012 / Issue 216

LINGFIELD PARK GOLF CLUB

Herts man bags world blind title A blind golfer from Potters Bar Golf Club has won the World Blind Golf Championship, which was held in Nova Scotia, Canada. South African Pieta Le Roux (pictured centre) who joined the Hertfordshire-based club last year, added the prestigious title to earlier wins at the British and Canadian Opens, and the English Blind Golf Matchplay Championship. To celebrate his success, Potters Bar hosted a specially-organised day for visitors to find out a bit more about blind golf, and club chairman Alan Summers is hoping that Le Roux’s achievements will inspire other disabled golfers to take up the game. “Pieta just walked in one day and had a word with me, and we were more than happy to have him as a member here,” said Mr Summers. “We provided him with some new clubs and we were one of his sponsors as he went away entering various competitions. He is extremely talented and we want to hold a presentation for him to mark his success. Hopefully we can bring in other local disabled players to come in and play a bit of golf. What Pieta has achieved is incredible, and we are proud to have a golfing champion here in Potters Bar.”

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Gallagher crowned ‘London’s Best Golfer’ – virtually!

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Roll with it: Liam Gallagher (centre) bagged a trip to Pebble Beach

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The champagne was flowing – although not of the SuperNova kind – at Urban Golf in London last month, after an amateur golfer from Surrey fought off fierce

competition from 23 rivals to win the title of ‘London’s Best Golfer’. Amateur golfer Liam Gallagher – who is not the former lead singer of Oasis –

won the title after playing a virtual round at Pebble Beach on a simulator in the fewest number of shots in the grand final held at indoor golf centre Urban Golf. Gallacher, who is from Kingston-uponThames, beat fellow amateurs Tony Moss and Sam Maloney in a six-hole final, after the remaining 21 competitors had been eliminated. He took the title in thrilling fashion, with his tee shot at Pebble Beach’s infamous 18th hole ricocheting off the rocks by the sea and bouncing safely back into play. His prize is a trip for two to play the US Open course for real, courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts, including return flights, accommodation at the Lodge at Spanish Bay, and rounds of golf at Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill. Gallagher, who plays off scratch, and whose best round on a real course is a two-under par 70 at Royal North Devon, said: “I play two of three times a week, saw this competition at my local Urban Golf and thought I’d give it ago. Now my friends know I’m on a week’s holiday to Pebble Beach, I’m getting phone calls left, right and centre.”

Doug’s birthday bash raises £20k This year’s renewal of the Doug McClelland Birthday Challenge at Kingswood Golf & Country Club in Surrey resulted in over £20,000 being raised for two deserving causes. McClelland, a Master PGA Professional who owns the eponymous golfing superstore at Silvermere Golf & Leisure in Cobham, has been running a charity day since 1984, and the latest edition saw almost 90 players take part in an 18-hole Stableford competition, with three amateurs being joined by a local PGA professional. The winning team benefitted from home advantage, with Kingswood’s club captain Matt Winfield, leading fellow members James Kazal and Matt Davidson, and Kingswood pro Terry Sims to victory. The proceeds from the day, which were boosted at an after-dinner auction hosted by comedian Adger Brown, were shared between one of HRH Prince Andrew’s charities and the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust, which supports ex-servicemen and their families. Mark Stewart, secretary at Kingswood, said: “It was an incredibly proud day for the club and all who attended. The generosity of everyone has been awe-inspiring.”

Doug McClelland’s charity day helped raise a huge sum for deserving causes


November 2012 / Issue 216

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Golf Live switches to Celtic Manor Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter and Europe’s 2010-winning captain Colin Montgomerie could be the headline acts when an A-list cast of stars from sport and showbusiness converge on the Celtic Manor next May for Golf Live 2013. The three-day event has previously been hosted by Stoke Park Golf Club and the London Golf Club, near Brands Hatch, and has attracted some of the biggest hitters in the golf and celebrity world. Montgomerie, who carved his name into Celtic Manor folklore when leading Europe to their never-to-be-forgotten Ryder Cup win at the Newport resort two years ago, will oversee four teams of celebrities that will take part in The Celebrity Cup at Golf Live from May 10-12, next year The new competition will see teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland led by celebrity captains from each home nation to compete over the three days. The event promises to be one of the highlights of Golf Live, with all the previous features returning, including the chance to see some top players in action. Poulter, one of the stars of the memorable Ryder Cup win at Medinah in September, is

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a regular Golf Live supporter, as are Darren Clarke and Paul Casey, while the event has also attracted South African greats Gary Player and Retief Goosen, plus Welsh ace Ian Woosnam. Speaking about the switch of venues, Montgomerie said: “Golf Live has created a real buzz since it started and I’m really excited at the prospect of it being staged at Celtic Manor, a venue which is so close to my heart. There is no other event like Golf Live, and for golfers to be given the chance to come along and see the interaction between the pros, the general public and now the celebrities is fantastic.” Celtic Manor’s chief executive Dylan Matthews said: “Golf Live and The Celebrity Cup are the perfect fit for Celtic Manor, where we have always strived to introduce the game of golf to new audiences. Having exhibited at the previous three shows, we know all about the unique appeal of Golf Live, and we also know from past experience that crowds will turn out in their thousands to watch top celebrities playing golf.” For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.golfliveevent.com.

Bucks plans course revamp The Buckinghamshire’s layout is to become more female-friendly

The Buckinghamshire Golf Club is to undertake a major review of its championship course, with a view to implementing any proposed changes over the next three years. The Denham-based club, which opened in 1992, was originally designed by legendary golf coach John Jacobs’ and was developed by Japanese firm Kajima. The club hosted a ladies European Tour event this summer – the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters – and is looking to build on its reputation for offering the very best facilities both on and off the course. Local architects Thomson Perrett & Lobb have been commissioned to undertake a strategic review of the 6,880-yard parkland course, with a view to upping the overall challenge of the layout. “Our key goal at The Buckinghamshire is to improve the playing experience for the members, and help the club attract new ones,” said TPL partner Tim Lobb. “We obviously have to take into account the fact that the course is the home of the Ladies European Tour, and is hosting the Tour regularly. The owners are especially keen to increase the number of women among the membership, and we

will consider playability for lady golfers very carefully during our review.” Lobb said a key issue was the course’s bunkers. “The Buckinghamshire has many, many bunkers – in total, they amount to 1.4 hectares of sand,” he said. “Naturally, that creates a lot of work for the greenstaff, and we will be focusing on bunker strategy closely. We don’t want to reduce the challenge of the course, but we do want to give maximum bang for the bunker!” Lobb cited the short par-four eighth, which offers a direct route to the green over a lake, or a safe layup and pitch option, as one of the course’s standout holes. “The eighth is a terrific hole, but it needs to be made more enticing for golfers,” he explained. “We’re considering adding a little more fairway on the direct line to the green, to encourage more people to have a go at it.” Former Ryder Cup player John O’Leary is director of golf at the Buckinghamshire. He said: “We have a terrific golf course, as anyone who saw this year’s Ladies British Masters will know, but we believe that, with TPL’s help, we can make it better still, and we look forward to seeing their proposals.”

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November 2012 / Issue 216

News in Brief

Hollingbury hits the small screen Lights, camera, action: Hollinbury Park was used as a location for a new Channel 4 drama

EXCLUSIVE WIN FOR HASSOCKS Hassocks Golf Club has won the Exclusive Golf Trophy after beating Slinfold Golf & Country Club in a closelyfought final held at Mannings Heath in West Sussex. The match finished as a 2-2 tie, with the result decided on a countback. The Plate match saw West Chiltington beat West Hove 2.5-1.5.

HINDHEAD FORCES DAY RAISES £4K Over 60 members of Hindhead Golf Club helped raise £4,000 for Help for Heroes, SSAFA and The British Legion after taking part in a charity golf event at the Surrey club. The day also involved a guest team of Battle Back soldiers from Headley Court, and a team of soldiers from RAF Odiham.

Although the rain was lashing down, and most right-minded golfers were sitting in doors watching golf on television, the clubhouse at Hollingbury Park Golf Course in Brighton was unusually busy on October 3, thanks to the cast and crew of a new TV crime drama that used the historic club as a location for a major scene. Over 100 crew members took over the clubhouse at the 103-yearold East Sussex club for the entire day, converting the pro shop into a temporary sound studio, while actors and extras used the lounge as a makeshift green room. Meanwhile, out on the 18-hole

golf course, the film crew spent most of the day filming four cast members repeatedly playing the 10th hole. It’s a tricky par three at the best of times, without a 30mph crosswind and driving rain, but the actors’ work was made rather more difficult thanks to a bunker which had been dramatically enlarged for the purposes of the scene. The star the new series, which is called The Fear, is Peter Mullan, who will be known to film buffs for his role as the farmer in War Horse, as well as from Harry Potter and Tyrannosaur. Mullan plays crime boss Richie Becket who plays a round of golf with three other characters, during which he finds

himself in this bunker. Instead of chipping out to the green and hoping to one-putt for par, Becket, who suffers from alzheimers, has a mental breakdown and repeatedly hacks away unsuccessfully at the ball for a minute, before he starts

attacking it like a man chopping woods with an axe. None of the actors were golfers, with a succession of slices, tops and shanks keeping the film crew on their toes, as balls flew in all directions. While none of Hollingbury’s members were required for filming, club manager Maria Nolan was kept busy ensuring the film crew had everything they needed, and was delighted with the extra income earned on day when few paying golfers were brave enough to venture out. “It was great fun to host the cast and crew, and it was fascinating to see how many people, and how much work, goes into making what appeared to be a short series of scenes. The weather was horrendous, and we only had a dozen golfers on the course all day, so in many ways it was perfect timing for the filming, as there was minimum disruption to play.” The Fear, which is written by Richard Cottan, is expected to air on Channel 4 in December.

The 10th hole was the venue for one of the film’s most poignant scenes

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November 2012 / Issue 216

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Hall hits European heights

Slater is the pride of North Downs

Dorset’s Georgia Hall has been officially ranked as the best female amateur golfer in Europe after enjoying a superb season. The 16-year-old England international from Remedy Oak, is the first English player to top the table since the Ladies’ European Amateur Ranking began in 2005. She was closely challenged for the honour by another English talent, Charley Hull, while third place went to Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow. The rankings reflect the position of European players in the Women’s World Amateur Rankings, where Hall is currently fourth and Hull eighth. “It’s amazing, and I’m very happy,” said Hall. “I just focused on my competitions and tried to do well in them.” As well as winning the British girls’ title, Hall was a semi-finalist in the British women’s amateur and in the French lady junior championships. In addition, she won the Critchley Salver, the Hampshire Rose and the Roehampton Gold Cup. She was also

Surrey’s Ian Slater kept his nerve and his lead, despite an hour’s stoppage for thunder, to win the Fuller’s London Pride Gold Medal at a sweltering National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa. The 44-year-old from North Downs Golf Club followed up his first round 37 points with 35, for a convincing three-point win over Shropshire’s Darren Humphries. “This is amazing,” said Slater, an IT manager who plays off a two handicap. “I’m over the moon.

runner-up in the English women’s amateur, and helped England win the 2012 women’s and girls’ Home Internationals. Hall’s playing season has finished for 2012, and she’s now concentrating on school work and preparing for next year, when she aims to do even better. “It will be hard, but there are lots of things I know I could improve on, which is good. I just try and improve bit by bit each year and, by doing that, hopefully everything will be ok,” she said.

Didn’t they do well? A couple from Broke Hill Golf Club in Kent has won a place in the grand final of the HowDidiDo Matchplay Championship after winning a regional qualifier held at Botley Park in Hampshire. Paul and Jane Marr are looking

forward to an all expenses-paid week’s holiday at the Dom Pedro Resort in Vilamoura, where they will be taking part in the finals of the competition which has categories for singles, pairs, mixed pairs and senior pairs.

The drinks are on me: Ian Slater won a year’s supply of beer for winning the Fuller’s Gold Medal

I never expected this at all. I came here just for a great weekend on a great golf course, and this happens. I think the key to my success was staying out of the sand. I was only in one bunker all weekend, and that counts a lot around Woodhall Spa. I also managed to keep the ball out of the heather – which also helps!” Beside the trophy, Slater also won a year’s supply of Fuller’s London Pride beer – so the drinks are on him at North Downs!

News in Brief SPOILS SHARED AT LONDON CLUB Matthew Barber (Chelsfield Lakes) and Robert McGuirk (Princes) each shot one-underpar 71 to tie for victory at The London Golf Club Pro-Am. Paul Sherman (Ashford) and Anthony Tarchetti (Prince’s) shared third place.

MCKEAN’S JUST CHAMPION! West Sussex amateur Iona McKean, who chalked up her tenth consecutive victory in the ladies’ club championship at Cottesmore G&CC earlier this year, followed up with victory in Crown Golf’s Champions of Champions tournament held at Sherfield Oaks in Hampshire. She won the ladies title with a gross score of 72, and the overall prize with a nett 64 to beat 94 rivals, who were drawn from all of Crown Golf’s UK venues.


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November 2012 / Issue 216

ESSENDON’S ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS

Essendon Country Club has changed hands and its new owners have some grands plans. Nick Bayly went to take a closer look It is not every day that an existing golf club is given a complete makeover, but that is exactly what is currently happening at Essendon Country Club in leafy Hertfordshire. The club – formerly known as Hatfield London Golf Club – was recently purchased by the Griffin brothers, Kieran and Liam, who own Addison Lee, London’s largest minicab company, and who together with their partners, Elaine Ratcliffe and Clare Griffin, are using their business acumen to transform it into a top quality family club. “It’s an ambitious project, but one which we believe will be a big success,” said Kieran. “With our business expertise, we are confident we can build on the foundation that is here, and create an inclusive and integrated club that appeals to all the family.” “We are locals as well,” added his wife, Elaine, a former Curtis Cup player and Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour. “We live in the grounds of the estate, so we care. It will take some time, but we are determined to create a facility which makes our members proud.” The Griffins have recently been working

hard to attract both new members and additional green fee business, and they have been helped no end in this quest by the fact that the club they purchased from previous owners, Tokyo Leisure, has both enormous potential and an ideal location close to the M25, M1, A1 and A10, and just 25 miles north of the centre of London. The club is situated in a picturesque 400-acre estate, which was once owned by London brewer, Samuel Whitbread, and which boasts two courses, the 6,808-yard Old and the 6,938-yard New, a 9-hole pitch and putt course, extensive practice facilities, as well as a delightful clubhouse built around an original 16th century barn. The Old course was designed by Fred Hawtree, from the famous Hawtree dynasty, and was opened back in 1976. It meanders through mature parkland, featuring an abundance of different tree species, and comprises a delightful assortment of challenging par-3s, tight par-4s and expansive par-5s. The 507-yard par-five 6th is a particular favourite and offers a birdie opportunity for those players who can avoid the trouble around a well-guarded green, while the fairway on the 392-yard 16th is bisected by a huge oak tree just The stunning oak-beamed dining room is part of the spacious and comfortable clubhouse

Double trouble: Essendon’s New Course features two greens on 16 of its holes

over 100-yards from the front of the green. Essendon’s Old course is a haven for a wide assortment of wildlife, and it is the same on the New, which opened for play in 1992. The New course is unique – and more than a little quirky – in that it has two greens on 16 of its holes. That unusual design feature was introduced at the behest of the former owners, but it does nothing to mask the fact that it is a fine test of golf for even the most talented of players. The New is lined by mature trees and features water on nine holes. The downhill, 153-yard, par-3 8th is a delightful hole and it also possesses a marvellous closing stretch in which accuracy is at a premium on the picturesque 395-yard par-4 17th and length is required on the 474-yard, uphill par-4 closing hole. The Griffin family has ambitious plans to develop all the facilities at Essendon and the next stage in the masterplan is to give the New course an extensive overhaul to bring it up to tournament standard. “The New course is already very popular with golfers, and should be even more so once it receives an upgrade in the months ahead,” said Liam. “We are in the process of

commissioning an architect to recommend changes and genuinely believe it has the potential to stand comparison with anything else in the area. “Our plans to upgrade the New course form just part our overall strategy to put Essendon Country Club on the map,” added Liam. “The club has got an awful lot going for it, but in our opinion it has been a hidden gem for far too long.” For more details visit www.essendoncc.co.uk or call 01707 260360.


November 2012 / Issue 216

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November 2012 / Issue 216

GOLF SHOW HOLDS COURT IN LONDON The London Golf Show once again proved a capital hit with a wide selection of the golfing community While many golfers were considering packing their clubs away for the winter, those attending this year’s London Golf Show at Earls Court showed that not even a light November frost could keep them preparing for the 2013 season. With many reasons to visit this year’s show, which took place from November 9-11, the public turned out in droves to support the show, which offered more than 100 exhibitors. This year’s event provided an interactive experience for golfers of all ages, with PGA tuition, a lndoor driving range, custom-fitting, club testing, a custom build truck, simulators and all the latest golf gadgets. There were more than 50 pros at on hand to give instruction and advice, and they were supported by some of the best-known equipment brands in golf, including TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Yonex, Cobra, Mizuno, Nike, Cleveland and Wilson, along with retail partner the Internet Golf Store. The show got off to a glamorous start with model and TV presenter Sophie Horn opening proceedings with the traditional ‘banging of the driver’ on the front door – much to the delight of a number of the queuing public. She may not have been dressed like Black Rod at the opening of Parliament, but she got the job done! Once under way, the core focus for the show was the main stage, where Tony Westwood compered the weekend, introducing new brands and products, as well as specialist coaches, who gave advice on different aspects of the game. Among the headline acts were England coach Gary Smith, European Tour putting coach Andy Gorman, and Peter Hudson

Geoff Swain and Kevin Carpenter in action

from the World Golf Teacher’s Federation. However, it was clear that the stars of the show were the Golf Trick Shot Boys, Geoff Swain and Kevin Carpenter, who wowed audiences with their tricks, and brought the crowds to their feet with their set-piece wizardry. The loudest cheers were heard on the competition features, where visitors enjoyed hours of fun. Queues surrounded the Lexus

building our involvement in 2013 and beyond.” The event was organised by the Golf Show Group, whose managing director, Damian Benstead, was also pleased with the attendance . “We were thrilled with the turn out and pleased that so many visitors had a fantastic time,” he said. “There was a great buzz around the show all weekend. So far the feedback has been nothing but positive – and we are now getting excited about taking this success to the north for the first time, with the Manchester Golf Show in April.”

Hole-in-One competition, where five visitors attempted to win a magnificent Lexus GS 250 F Sport. The Las Vegas Challenge Long Putt also brought massive applause as nearimpossible putts were sunk, and one lucky winner walked off with a trip to Vegas. The TrueStrike TrueTee Rapid Fire Challenge was another hit, as golfers attempted to pound more balls in a minute off the world’s fastest automated teeing system than anyone else, while the Urban Crazy Golf kept both adults and juniors relaxed and amused on their devilish holes. This year the show also presented much more for the kids, with JOLF, Factory Eleven, and The London Golf Academy, all encouraging the next generation of golfers. This year’s show was sponsored by talkSPORT, and its managing director, Adam Bullock, expressed delight at how the show was received by visitors. He said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed being a supporter of the show. It was so good to see so many golf fans enjoying their sport and we look forward to

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November 2012 / Issue 216

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ESN to host TP Tour event

Honours shared at Dale Hill

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East Sussex National has announced that it has been selected as a host venue for the 2013 TP Tour Series. The tournament will take place at the Uckfield-based on the June 12-13, just before the start of Open Championship qualifiers. Over the two days, players will be tackling both of the resort’s championship courses, including the respected East, which is one of the first stadium-style courses in the UK using bent grass and to USGA specifications. Steve Graham, Golf Operations Manager at ESN is

Was this golf’s most expensive shot? It’s been a year since golf insurance came to the fore when The Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court, awarded £400,000 in damages to Anthony Phee, after he was struck by a golf ball and lost his sight in one eye. The offending golfer who had hit the ball was found to be liable for 70% of the total damages, despite having shouted ‘fore!’ Many golfers are still, perhaps unwittingly, putting themselves at financial risk on the golf course. Yes, the chances of getting hit are relatively

of the Ryder Cup. Both our courses have excellent vantage points, which mean spectators can really get close to the action.” Other host venues for the 2013 schedule, which can be viewed online at www. tptourseries.com, include Walton Heath, Worplesdon and Hanbury Manor. The 2012 TP Series concluded at The Berkshire on October 30, with David Griffiths (West Herts) winning the Grand Tour Final after shooting a seven-under par 65 to beat last year’s champion Iain Pyman by a stroke.

thrilled to be involved with the TP Series, which has grown in stature since being launched several years ago. “I am personally delighted to be hosting an event with the TP Tour, and I’m confident that the players will enjoy the challenge of playing two of the best courses in Europe, and the special atmosphere of this championship venue.,” he said. “For golf fans in Sussex and the local region, this will be an opportunity to see some of the world’s top professional players, including those on the current European Tour and former stars

All golfers should consider taking out specialist insurance

small, but is it worth the risk? Specialist golf insurance is available for just £22.99 from marketleaders Golf Care, and that includes three free rounds of golf for all new policy holders at Marriott, De Vere and Q-Hotels venues. Furthermore, the level of coverage you receive is pretty comprehensive. It’s not just about protection

Betchworth wins Surrey League A team of girls from Betchworth Park Golf Club has won the inaugural Surrey Girls League after beating Royal Mid Surrey in the final held at Banstead Downs on October 30. The league comprised teams from six Surrey clubs, who played a stableford competition at each of the host venues. The North Division included Royal Mid Surrey, Wimbledon Park and Roehampton, while the South Division included Betchworth, Bramley and Burhill. The final saw Betchworth run out 111-83 points winners, with the top three scores from each team counting. The winning team comprised Megan Amis, Maddie Barrow, Canice Screen, and Millie and Daisy Bowles.

from injuring someone, as you will be covered against equipment theft, third party damages, and even your bar bill should you be fortunate enough to make a hole-in-one. More golfers are taking out golf insurance, evidenced by another record year for Golf Care. Visit www.golfcare.co.uk for more information.

Croham Hurst GOLF CLUB

Two of the South’s leading PGA professionals, Jamie Harris and Robert McGuirk, shared victory in the PGA Woosnam-Faldo Challenge Pro-Am, after shooting one-under 69s at Dale Hill in East Sussex. A combination of strong winds, showers and tricky greens resulted in Harris and McGuirk (above) being the only players to break par. Harris, who went out early, was sure his score would not be enough to win. “I thought three-under would be the target, and was nearly there with four holes to go. Then I missed a couple of short putts and thought I’d blown my chances!” he said. “The greens here were very quick and difficult to get putts stone dead. But they stood up to the weather brilliantly, and I really liked the course.” McGuirk’s round was equally impressive, if slightly less dramatic. “It was almost boring!” he said. “I was very steady, and missed just one green in regulation, while my only bogey came from a three-putt.” Although the Pro-Am survived the deluge, subsequent heavy rainfall meant that the next day’s Order of Merit event had to be abandoned.

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November 2012 / Issue 216

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November 2012 / Issue 216

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LEADING LADY Golf News catches up with Stacy Lewis, America’s highest-ranked female golfer, following an extremely productive season on the LPGA Tour Golden girl: Stacy Lewis won the Rolex LPGA Player of the Year Award after completing her most successful year on Tour

belong alongside them now? When everyone talked about the top American players, they’d always talk about Paula and Cristie, and I was never thrown into the mix. My goal coming into this year was to get my name in that mix, and get people to see that I am one of the top American players. That’s really motivated me over the last year. I don’t know, I’m not much for self-promotion. I don’t wear the pink, like Paula does, and have the whole ‘Pink Panther’ thing. That’s not really me. I just really want to go out there and play good golf and be known for the golf part of it. I think the more I win, the more I’m up in contention; I think that will take care of itself. Given the domination of players from the Far East, do you feel that you are striking a blow for American players? Not really, but I got tired of being asked the question ‘Where are the American players? We need someone to challenge Yani’, and I just got tired of answering those questions. So, I just told myself ‘why not me? Why not get out there and work your butt off and get in that position so you don’t have to answer those questions anymore. I’ve spent the past few years asking myself what are they doing that I’m not? You watch how they practise; you watch what they do in tournaments. Now it’s me in that position, so I know people are watching me, and watching what I’m doing. Now I have to keep at it and be that role model for everybody else. I think if I can show people that I can do this, and they’ve watched how hard I work, they’ve watched me practise, they’ve seen how I’ve played. If they can see that, they can do that too. That’s good for our game.”

Lewis had an operation after leaving college to correct a curved spine

Can you explain why you’ve had just a good year? I got off to a really good start this year. I lost in a play-off in Australia, and that’s the best start I’ve had to any year. Usually I’m pretty slow getting started, so I was happy with that. Then I got on a bit of a streak, winning the ShopRite and the Mobile, and a bunch of high finishes, and the momentum has just kept going. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different. I think probably this time last year I would get on the leaderboard and be unsure and start protecting the lead or something like that. But this year I’m fine with seeing my name up there and playing in those final groups. I think that’s what really changed things for me this year. So you’ve made no technical changes? I’ve been working on the same things with my swing for the last couple of years. It’s kind of a gradual getting it into a better position. It’s really been all confidence for me. My putter is all confidence. If I feel good over it, I’m going to make the putt. If my confidence is high, I think I can make a lot of putts. How does it feel to be ranked as your country’s best player and No.2 in the world? Its still feels pretty unbelievable to me.

The day after I won the ShopRite I woke up and wondered if it wasn’t all a dream, that it really happened, that I really was the top American. I’ve worked hard, and I know I’ve been playing well, but to be the top player in the whole country is pretty unbelievable. Cristie Kerr (the former No.1 American) must have been someone you looked up to when you started out in the game? She was a great player and still is. I never thought that I would be able to pass her, just because she is such a good player. I have a lot of respect for her, and the amount of time that she’s been in the top-10 in the world and top ranked American – it’s unbelievable. Did you know that you would pass her in the rankings if you won the ShopRite? I knew going into the final round that I had a pretty good chance of taking the top spot if I won. But I was more surprised by the fact that I went to No.3 in the world. I didn’t expect to jump that much (she was ranked 9th at the beginning of the season). It’s hard to fathom that with all the players that we have, that I am the top one. I have my goals set, and now I can set them even higher and hopefully keep moving up. Cristie and Paula Creamer seem to have been the darlings of American golf for a number of years. Do you feel like you

How do you take the next step up to becoming world No.1? After my first win this season, I spoke with my coach about what we needed to do to push on. We didn’t really talk much about my golf swing or anything I needed to work on, it was more ‘Where do we go from here? What goals do we set?’ It was about keeping myself in contention. It’s not winning tournaments or winning a number of events. It’s to put myself in contention. I think if you are there in the last group four times you are probably going to get it done at least once. So I just have to keep knocking on the door and keep trying to get better every day. You’ve overcome a lot of physical problems to get where you are today. Has that made you a stronger person mentally? I suffered from scoliosis, which is a curving of the spine, from childhood, which meant I had to wear a corrective brace for 18 hours a day for seven years. After I graduated from college I had a major operation, which resulted in me having a metal rod and five screws put into my back. Usually they put rods on both sides of the spine, but because they knew I played golf, the surgeon went in from the side and only used one rod. That has allowed me to keep more rotation. It was the worst pain I could ever imagine, and I ended up being house-bound for six weeks and didn’t touch a club for six months. Physically, I’m not sure it made a huge difference, as when I started playing again, I saw the same tendencies I had in my swing reappearing. But what did change was my perspective. Before, I would get mad and upset; but being out for so long gave me a new appreciation of enjoying what you are able to do. It didn’t matter how good or bad I played, I was just so excited to be out there at all. That made me play better, and still does. You’ve been an ambassador for Mizuno for a few years now, how did that come about? I’ve played Mizuno since college, where I picked out and played the MX-25 irons. Seven years later, I still do. They set up well to my eye, are consistent, and I love their fit and feel. The pocket cavity makes them quite forgiving. Many pros go straight to blade, but if I can hit the same type of shots with a cavity back I’ll go to that club every time. I can still shape the ball fine. I use stiff graphite shafts, as I find them easier on my back than steel.


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November 2012 / Issue 216

A golfing jewel by The Thames Set within the beautiful surroundings of an historic parkland estate, Harleyford Golf Club provides a little bit of golfing heaven for members and visitors alike Golfers looking for a combination of quality golf and superb facilities, all at an affordable price, should look no further than Harleyford Golf Club, which offers all three elements in equal measure. Located in the beautiful town of Marlow, set beside the River Thames, and just a few minutes from the M4 and M40, Harleyford is well placed to attract golfers from all over the South East. Indeed plenty of people have been hooked on Harleyford since it first opened its doors in 1996, with many having members at this attractive private club ever since. The history of the Harleyford estate dates back to the 12th century and the whole site is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. And it is within this superb setting that the 6,714-yard parkland course, which was designed by leading architect Donald Steel, has been expertly laid

out. Steel has the reputation of being a master of his craft, and he certainly worked his magic on this beautiful parkland setting, creating a challenging layout that is also fair, providing a subtle mix of holes that test all elements of a golfer’s skills. Although parkland courses have a reputation for being flat, there are plenty of elevation changes here, all of which serves to add to the excitement of the layout. Among the crowdpleasing holes are the 470-yard downhill par-four 7th and the scenic 12th, a stunning par three that is played across a wide valley. It’s ‘only’ 165 yards to reach the green, but many a good player has come up short on this most deceptive of short holes. There are no dull holes here, with each demanding respect and admiration, and although the fairways are generous, the greens will make sure that you have to play your best to score well. With a reputation for being kept in tip-top condition

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throughout the year, Harleyford is a great winter course, with its free-draining soil and USGA specification greens making it playable all year round. Once the game is over, golfers can relax in the stunning clubhouse, which has been developed from the original Victorian farm buildings, including a converted flint barn, and provides stunning facilities for many social occasions. The 12,500 square foot building features all the facilities you’d expect from a modern clubhouse, including well-equipped changing rooms (with towels provided), a bar, lounge, conservatory restaurant, and a variety of well-proportioned rooms for public and private functions. Membership comes with its privileges at Harleyford, including unlimited golf for £1,600 a year, as well as discounts in the clubhouse, pro shop and with local businesses, advanced tee times, and access to the excellent practice facilities. Members also enjoy a vibrant social calendar, where partners are encouraged to attend events such as monthly themed club nights, summer balls, family days and Christmas parties. As well as being a busy members’ club, Harleyford welcomes visitors and societies, with winter green fees starting from £20, rising to £30 at peak times. Packages for groups start from £20 for 18 holes, homemade soup and a crusty roll, rising to £40 for the Faldo Package, which includes coffee and bacon rolls, 18 holes of golf and a two-course lunch. Harleyfood has a range of membership offers available across all categories, with no joining fees making it an affordable option for all golfers in the area. For the latest packages and prices, visit www.harleyfordgolf.co.uk or call 01628 816162. The par-3 12th is a superb short hole


November 2012 / Issue 216

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NickBayly Bayly

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

Trump Links: Nice course, nasty owner

Trump Links leaves a bitter taste After watching last month’s BBC2 documentary You’ve Been Trumped, which provided an unapologetically onesided view of the effects of the construction of Trump Links on the local community near Aberdeen, I was caught between an overwhelming desire to book the next available flight up there to play the darn course, and an instinctive reaction to post a steaming pile of manure to Donald Trump’s head office in New York, including polite details of where he could to shove it. Trump Links must be the Marmite of all golf courses, or should that be a Pot Noddle? I’m not sure, but either way, for many golfers who choose to play it, it may become their ‘guilty little secret’, for to admit to having stumped up the green fee opens one up to criticism for condoning the actions of a power-crazed megalomaniac who is content to ride roughshod over the lives of anyone who stands between him and a profit. I love a links course as much as the next man –

and Trump International looks like being an instant classic – but I’m not in favour of golf course development when it goes against almost all local and expert opinion, and has such a devastating effect on the natural habitat. The whole thing stank from top to bottom, and, as a committed golfer, left me feeling rather queasy. Would I have felt differently if Peter de Savary or Richard Branson had been behind the development, rather than The Evil Don? Maybe, maybe not, but there are few property developers that are as passionate about golf as Mr Trump. Only this time his passion got the better of him, and commonsense was left at the door. Yes, some rich Americans will come and play it, and perhaps the odd Scottish politician, but you can bet the locals will give it a wide berth, and when the hotels and houses fail to materialise, as they surely will, Trump Links will just be left as a nice golf course in the middle of nowhere, and one day may return to the sea from which it came, when global warming does its thing.

Golf cannot be so picky about its players A business that can afford to choose who buys its products, especially in these strained financial times, is a lucky one indeed. Although I imagine Gordon Ramsay was happy to chuck out diners who dared ask for tomato sauce back in the 1990s, I don’t imagine the pottymouthed Scotsman is quite so picky about who his punters are these days. Golf clubs are in equally new territory when it comes to their customer base. Not so long ago, many clubs asked that you put your name down for membership as an unborn foetus, had 10 character witnesses (who had known you for at least 40 years), drove the right car, and passed a series of rigorous interviews with various committee members (Example question: Are you a Freemason?). Finding the joining fee and your first year’s subs up front was the least of your troubles. Few can be afford to be quite so sniffy these days, although some venues are still holding out against the tide of new money. Stoke Park, which is a golf club, hotel and a spa resort, found itself in the news for all the wrong reasons last month, after it was revealed that it had tried to put off a couple from hosting a wedding at the Buckinghamshire venue

on the basis that they didn’t believe they were ‘the type of people’ they would want to have at the club. it’s a bad enough to even think such things these days, but the message was unfortunately relayed directly back to the couple in question via a wrongly addressed internal email, which caused red faces all round, and potential litigation for discrimination from the less than happy couple, who, it was later revealed, had facial piercings (the groom) and worked for an adult internet ‘chat’ room (the bride). It’s not for me to cast judgment on the actions of the club, as we’re all guilty of making judgments about people from the way they talk, dress and behave, but in these enlightened times, you might just be turning away a billionaire who just happens to like wearing jeans and a nose stud when he’s not at the office. Of course, all golf clubs have standards, rules, and codes of conduct for members and guests to adhere to, and private ones can pretty much refuse entry to whomever they like, but clubs that pick and choose their customers on grounds of taste or class, or for whatever spurious reason, could quickly find themselves trending on Twitter, or, at worst, up before a judge.

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November 2012 / Issue 216

JUSTIN’S TIME If there’s one man who wished the 2012 season wouldn’t end, it’s Justin Rose. While he might conceivably enjoy putting his feet up with his family in Florida for a few weeks over Christmas, he must surely be itching to get stuck into the 2013 season, after the most successful 12-month stretch since he turned professional 13 years ago. For a spell, Rose seemed destined to be remembered as the teenage amateur who holed his approach shot to the 72nd hole of the 1998 Open at Royal Birkdale. In an example of how expectancy can prove a heavy burden, Rose toiled during his early days in the professional ranks, famously missing 12 consecutive cuts. But those struggles are but a dim and distant memory, and it is in 2012 that Rose has finally endorsed his status as one of the finest players in the world. Plenty of players claim to be in the form of their life without having the bare statistics, and prize money, to prove their point. The same cannot be said for Rose, whose victory at last month’s World Golf Final in Turkey continued a memorable spell that also included a second place at the Tour Championship, and sixth-place finish in

the FedEx Cup. His previous two individual events have bestowed the kinds of rewards that some pros can take years to amass. More extravagant fixtures and fittings might just have been ordered for the holiday home Rose is currently building in the Bahamas. “I think the Tour Championship sparked the good play, for sure,” says Rose, who is currently ranked a career-high fifth in the world. “I hadn’t had a great FedEx Cup play-off until then – it was nice to get in contention. I played in the last group every single day at the Tour Championship, and that’s what I really enjoyed. I kept pace with the field the whole week, playing in and around the lead. That was good. It prepared me well for the Ryder Cup, and obviously I’ve come off the back of that with just great feelings.” Great feelings, indeed. Rose’s part in Europe’s extraordinary victory at Medinah was understandably slightly lost amid the overall frenzy surrounding the team’s performance and that of Ian Poulter, but his defeat of Phil Mickelson in the Sunday singles must rank alongside one of Rose’s greatest ever personal achievements. One down with two to play, against one of the titans of the game, would have been an impossible ask for the Rose of old. But Rose 2.0 is made of much sterner stuff.

He followed up an eight-foot putt for a half on 16, with that unbelievable 30-foot birdie on 17, before closing it out with a birdie on 18, that was the stuff of legends. “I felt like we needed my point for us to have any chance of winning,” says Rose. “Phil was looking like he was going to make that chip on 17 and just missed it, and then I buried it on top of him. It was one of the best feelings of my life to make that putt. On 18, I had a glance down and looked at my left sleeve at Seve’s logo, and knew that I had to get it done.” He continues: “The putts on the last three holes were the biggest I’ve ever made backto-back in my career. I was shaking a little bit standing over the putt on 18, and I said to myself, ‘Rosey, this is what the whole week could come down to for you. If you miss it, you might feel disappointed, but if you make this putt, it’s going to be a good week for you. I just did what I had to do.” That final half-hour of madness at Medinah could just be the making of Rose. It showed him as a passionate, gutsy performer, who, like all quality players, has that extra reserve to draw upon when the going gets tough. Critics who argued that he doesn’t possess the killer instinct, or the will to win, have been made to re-examine their assessment. It may also give him the necessary boost in his quest

to win a maiden major title. Although he was unable to reel in Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai money list (the Irishman closed it out before the Dubai World Championship by finishing third in Singapore), this year has been the first time he has even contended for that honour since he won the order of merit five years ago. “It was a good year, 2007, particularly in the majors, where I finished in the top 12 of all four,” Rose recalls. “There were some good wins, including at Valderrama, where I sealed the order of merit. But this year has been better than that, even if I did’t end up winning the Race To Dubai. The WGC win in Miami was important, because I’d never won at that level before, and it was great for my confidence. I played great afterwards, but I needed the win in Turkey. I do regard it as a proper ‘W’, as there were four of the world’s top five in the field.” Integral to Rose’s resurgence has been David Orr, a little-known coach based in North Carolina. “David is into the science of putting, and that’s how I like it,” says Rose. “I like to understand why something works and something doesn’t. I was down about my putting around June and July, but I have made great strides since. It’s obviously been great the last few weeks, and the great thing is I’m doing it under pressure.”


November 2012 / Issue 216

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After finishing the season on a huge financial and emotional high,Justin Rose will be hoping to take his game to the next level in 2013, as he goes in search of more wins and, of course, that elusive Major

Family affair: Rose bagged his first WGC win earlier this season Rose played a pivotal role in winning the Ryder Cup

Words by Nick Bayly

He adds: “I’m more consistent than I was back in 2007; my game has fewer faults. That’s because of all the work I’ve done with my swing and in the gym. I understand more about my game now and, of course, the professional game in general. I’m a better allround player with a better all-round mindset. “I don’t have any skeletons in the closet,” Rose explains. “I don’t have a loose shot that’s plaguing me all the time. I feel like my game is well rounded at the moment – all aspects can pull through for me at different times.” In short, Rose has matured. What is missing from his list of successes is that major championship, the same fate as has thus far befallen fellow Englishmen Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. “Lee has won 30 times, maybe more, around the world, I’ve won 12,” Rose says. “It’s a lot, but I feel like I can still improve to win four, five, six times a year, before I solely focus on the majors. I feel my game is now ready to handle that. Then whether it is at Augusta, whether it’s the US Open, if my game times up right, then that would be great.” This year Rose has enjoyed his best season in the Majors bar 2007 – when he finished inside the top 12 in all four – and although he missed the cut at Lytham, he finished third at the US PGA, eighth at the Masters, and 21st at the US Open.

All of which points to a man who is now at ease with himself on the world’s biggest stages. He has never missed a cut in seven appearances at Augusta (he’s also topped the leaderboard at halfway three times) and its likely that if Rose is ever to break his major duck it will come

at this quirky South Georgian layout, which seems to suit his eye. One thing Rose’s European fans will have to get used to going forward is seeing less of him on this side of the Atlantic, as he settles into the routine of family life in America. His forays on the European Tour this year have been limited to the BMW PGA Championship (where he finished second), the French Open (9th) and the upcoming Dubai World Championship,

where he will be hoping to sign off his season in the best possible style. And it’s not a schedule that’s likely to change, with his career now so geared towards the top events. “I see the next 10 years as my prime, where I feel I’m going to have the enthusiasm and energy to devote everything” he says. “I’ve got to be the best player I can be. And then who knows after that? I have a great family life right now, and I’m very happy off the golf course. I’m in a good place.”

ROSE B BY YN NUMBERS UM Age: 32 Turned Pro: 1998 Official World Ranking: 5th Career Pro Wins: 12 Career Prize Money: €10,301,919 (European Tour), $21,131,617 (PGA Tour) Tournaments Played (2012): 21 Cuts Made (2012): 19 Wins (2012): 1 (WGC Cadillac Championship) Top 10s: 10 Prize Money (2012): $4,290,930 (US PGA), €505,136 (European Tour) FedEx Cup Ranking: 6th Race to Dubai Ranking (as of 17/11): 3rd Majors (2012): US Masters 8th, US Open 21st, The Open MC, US PGA 3rd


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November 2012 / Issue 216

EwenMurray Murray

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

Behind every great man: Branden Grace has been supported by Caddy of the Year Zak Rasego

Guan heralds Chinese revolution

riting in these pages a year or two ago, I remember questioning how long it would be before a golfer from China would announce his arrival on the world golfing stage. I recall that I said it would be five to ten years. My crystal ball must have been a little cloudy when I made that comment, as earlier this month a young man from China called Guan Tianlang won the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship in Thailand, and seems to have set the golfing world alight. Over 120 players from 36 countries flocked to Thailand in search of this prestigious title,

W

and despite a final round charge from experienced Taiwanese star Pan Cheng-Tsung, who shot 65, Tianlang hung on to post a 71 and a 15-under par total, knocking in a cool five-footer at the 72nd hole to claim victory by the narrowest of margins. What’s so wonderful about that? Well, Guan was the youngest player in the field, and earlier this year, at the Volvo China Open in Tuanjin, he became the youngest player to play on the European Tour at just 13 years and 177 days. Not bad, eh? Well, that is only the beginning of the story. Next April, Tianlang, who hails from Guangdong Province, which has a population of 110 million, will head to Augusta,

where he will become the youngest ever competitor at The Masters, shattering the previous record set by Italy’s Matteo Manessero. When Guan boards the first tee at Augusta National he will be 14 years, five months and 17 days old. Tianlang began playing at the tender age of four, and last year won the World Junior Championship in San Diego by the impressive margin of 11 shots. I’m not saying he will be dressed in the green jacket come the second Sunday in April, but don’t be too surprised if he makes the cut. What is for sure, he is the first of many on their way to the major tours from the People’s Republic of China. He is just the beginning.

Poulter powers into Major reckoning

The man behind amazing Grace The annual Caddie Awards is now a firm fixture of the HSBC Championship and this year’s winner was South African Zak Rasego, who carries the bag of fellow countryman Branden Grace, who is a four-time winner on the European Tour this year. Zak was on the bag of Louis Oosthuizen when he won the Open at St Andrews in 2010. He is a top man, and one any golfer would be happy to have alongside him on the fairways of the world. Player and caddy relationships don’t last forever, and with Oosthuizen moving onto new pastures, it was perhaps a huge break for Grace to get his man. He was about to embark on his first full season in Europe, having finished 11th in the qualifying school last year, and really needed someone with tour experience. Enter Zak, and bang! Two events secured back-to-

back in their homeland in January, the second of these coming in Grace’s home town of George, while win number three came three months later in China. No good story, however, is complete unless it has an explosive ending, and that last chapter was written at St Andrews last month, where the unstoppable duo bagged the Dunhill Links Championship, and with it the best part of half a million pounds. The average bonus for the caddies is around ten per cent for a win, making a more than handsome bonus throughout the year for Zak. The cash will be welcome, of course, but rest assured, his real bonus is the four wins and this title of Caddy of the Year. He deserves it. I’ve known him since he was just a lad and I, like many tour pros, would feel privileged to have him on my bag.

Elite must rally behind Europe I can’t let this month pass without offering a few words on Ian Poulter. He has become some competitor, and judging by his performances this season, which last month included his first WGC title at the HSBC Champions Tournament at Mission Hills, he could well be a late maturer. Ian has already enjoyed an impressive career, one most players would be proud of, but I think the best is yet to come. His calmness under pressure is what most impresses me. He never talks about his swing or how it’s done, as he has total trust

in that department, as he has in himself. Others should take note – there are no secrets around the corner. There are players with more talent than Poulter that will never get close to reaching his levels of performance. His formula is working well. It suits him, and I hope he sticks to it. We have, like the England football team, enjoyed a ‘golden generation’, yet have little to show for it, at least in terms of Majors. I’m thinking of Westwood, Donald, Casey and Rose. Don’t be surprised if Poulter beats them all to the titles that they so desperately seek.

Much has been said about the European Tour losing some if its sponsors, and should that trend continue, we could be in for some tougher times in the near future. I believe that will be the case simply because of the state of the economy in Europe. In Spain, the tour had seven events at one time, while in 2013 there is just the Spanish Open. The Hong Kong Open did not have a sponsor at all in June until UBS stepped in, along with the local government, and even then the tournament was underwritten by the Tour itself. I understand that as many as 11 of our Ryder Cup twelve may take up membership of the PGA Tour next year (the exception being Paul Lawrie). The more the top players stay away, the harder it is for the European Tour to sell its events to new and existing sponsors. However, there is a strong bond and sound base at the Tour’s headquarters at Wentworth. The majority of the board have been there a long time, and it’s not the first occasion where they have encountered the odd stumbling block. Each time they have, they have worked their way through it and have emerged stronger. They will do so again. The top players could help enormously by making sure they play in Europe as often as their schedule will allow. It would also help if they played for the prize money only, rather than demanding huge appearance fees. For many, the European Tour has been the cornerstone of the success they enjoy today. I hope they bear that in mind when putting together their schedules for 2013.


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CALLAWAY GOES TO XTREMES Callaway Golf’s adjustable RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver promises to deliver uncompromising distance and dialled-in launch conditions Callaway Golf has been at the forefront of driver technology ever since it launched the original Big Bertha driver back in 1991, with many of the world’s best players – and several generations of amateur club golfers – choosing to use its clubs over the years. But there’s no denying that other brands have played a pretty good game of catch up in the intervening decades, and it has taken all of Callaway’s considerable investment in research and development to keep the brand in the big leagues when it comes to performance and credibility. Hoping to maintain, and build upon, its reputation for producing game-changing equipment for all golfers, is the new RAZR Fit Xtreme driver, which Callaway claims is the longest fully-adjustable driver the company has ever measured. The driving force behind the Xtreme’s performance is a new technology called Speed Frame Face, which, in layman’s terms, gets the ball firing off the face in the most energy efficient manner possible under the restrictions of the Rules of Golf. This is even achievable on off-centre hits, which will be a boon to amateurs who don’t hit the middle of the club as often as they’d like. Among other improvements to its predecessor, the RAZR Fit, the Xtreme driver features the lowest centre of gravity of any adjustable driver, which serves to add yet more yardage. Although distance is a vital performance benefit for any driver, most club golfers are also looking for a driver that will keep them on the fairway. This has been achieved in the Xtreme with a new sole weighting system that offers golfers a greater range of shot-shaping options courtesy of two weights either side of the sole plate, which when combined with a fully adjustable hosel, creates a driver that can be dialled into your preferred launch conditions at the simple turn of a torque wrench. Callaway staff professionals such as Luke List have already seen significant distance gains during testing with RAZR Fit Xtreme. List, who this year led all six major professional Tours in driving distance with a 324-yard average off the tee, gained 16.6 yards over his current RAZR Fit driver by adding 0.6 mph ball speed and reducing his backspin by nearly 500rpm. Amateur golfers are typically seeing 200-300rpm reduction in spin, which helps the ball to fly at a more aggressive and penetrating trajectory, yet still gets the ball out there. And with a choice of high quality stock graphite shaft options, including the new Aldila Trinity, and the ability to independently customise both the crown and the sole plate to your preferred choice of eight different colours, Callaway Golf’s RAZR Fit Xtreme looks set to be come a colourful, and powerful, addition to many golfer’s bags next season. The Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver goes on sale on January 25, with an RPP of £329. It will be offered in 440cc and 460cc heads, with lofts of 8.5º, 9.5º and 10.5º and 13ºHL in left and right hand models. For more information on the RAZR Fit Xtreme or any other Callaway Golf products, visit www.callawaygolf.com.

TECH TALK Dr Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of R&D at Callaway Golf, answers some questions about the key technologies behind the new RAZR Fit Xtreme driver Can you explain the science behind Speed Frame Face Technology, and how it impacts on performance? The Speed Frame Face delivers high ball speeds from a large percentage of the face area. We need this, since most golfers do not regularly find the centre of the face and even Tour pros, while more consistent, often gravitate to a point that is not quite the centre of the face. The Speed Frame works by optimising the stress distribution within the face to make maximum use of the material.

OptiFit Technology

OptiFit hosel adjusts the face angle to open, square or closed positions. Two OptiFit Weights (13g and 1g) promote a draw or neutral ball flight.

Forged Composite Crown

Carbon fibre crown weighing only 12g allows saved weight to be positioned to achieve the lowest centre of gravity in any adjustable driver.

Stock Shafts

Choose from the Aldila Trinity, which combines Aldila’s RIP, S-Core, Micro Laminate technologies, or the Matrix 7M3 Black Tie, a heavier, lowerlaunching, lower-spinning option for faster swingers.

Speed Frame Face Technology VFT and Hyperbolic Face Technology combine to produce high ball speeds across a wider part of the face.

The Xtreme claims to offer the lowest centre of gravity of any adjustable driver. How does centre of gravity affect launch conditions? CG position is very influential in determining the spin rate of the golf ball at launch – both backspin and sidespin. A low centre of gravity has the effect of lowering backspin. For the majority of golfers this is very beneficial, since their swings tend to produce more than the ideal amount of spin. Modern ball constructions and surface aerodynamics mean that Tour pros will aim for around 2,200rpm backspin to maximise distance without giving up control, whereas we are trying to get amateurs under 3,000rpm without sacrificing launch angle. In this new driver we have reduced backspin by 200-300rpm compared to the original RAZR Fit driver and this contributes to the overall distance gains that we are seeing. There’s a trend in some new drivers towards shifting CG forward to keep the ball from ballooning. How have you overcome this in the Xtreme? This is about maintaining spin rates within idealised upper and lower bounds for shots hit from all impact locations, and at a wide range of speeds. We call it ‘spin robustness’. Equally importantly, we want to retain ball speed from that same spread of hit locations on the face. This is one of the key optimisations in a modern driver design and a lot of variables are involved. We will not reveal our process for doing this. However, the result is that in Callaway drivers, different from many others, we actually change quite a lot of parameters through the loft range, as loft increases from 8.5 to the 13HT. Some of the variables include head size, CG position depth and height, bulge radius of the face, and face angle. In this way each, loft is optimised to the target player for that loft, based on fitting bay data from thousands of golfers. This is very different to and much more optimal than, for example, those companies offering a single head that can be adjusted to a variety of lofts. Some distance gains have been achieved by some brands simply by adding length to stock shafts. How long are the shafts in the RAZR Fit Xtreme? We have two different stock shafts, both built to 45.5 inches in length. Just going longer in shaft length doesn’t guarantee more ball speed. However, with more forgiving modern driver heads, the penalty for a slight miss-hit is less than in the past, so on-balance the test data lies in favour of a length greater than 44 inches for amateurs. We find most golfers can make the adjustment to 45.5” and even 46” relatively quickly. Lengths beyond these tend to be more problematic, and the reduction in repeatability of impact is much more significant.


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November 2012 / Issue 216

Hanson bounces back from Ryder Cup snub Peter Hanson moved to No2 in Europe with his latest win

Peter Hanson resisted a late charge from Rory McIlroy to win the BMW Masters in Shanghai by one shot. The 35-year-old Swede, one ahead of the world number one after the third round, held his nerve on the final hole to secure his sixth European Tour victory, which he later credited as being ‘the most important of his career’. Hanson led by four with five to play, but McIlroy eagled the 15th and birdied the 16th to ensure a nervy finish for the Dane. Luke Donald and Ian Poulter finished third and fourth respectively, with a resurgent Paul Casey finishing joint sixth. Hanson, whose winning cheque of £720,000 lifted him into second place in the European Tour’s ‘Race to Dubai’ money list, was delighted to have beaten off his fellow Ryder Cup players in such fashion, especially in the light of José Maria Olazabal’s controversial decision to use Hanson only twice over the three days at Medinah, where he played a total of 32 holes. “To go head-to-head with the world number one is always nice, but to come out on top feels great,” said Hanson. “This is by far my biggest win, as we had so many guys in the world’s top 10 here.” Speaking about his reduced role at the Ryder Cup, he added: “Having come into the Ryder Cup playing so well, winning and preparing myself for six weeks, and then not getting to play, it hurts for a while. I didn’t take it very well at the time, but I took it for myself. I didn’t damage the team, and that was the main thing. The only thing I can do is keep working on my game and try to get better, and if I qualify for the future Ryder Cups, hopefully I can play a few more matches.” Hanson was also voted the European Tour’s Player of the Month for October – an award that has even more significance than usual, given the events that led up to it.

Van’s the man in Perth

Germany to host Solheim Cup St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany is to host the Solheim Cup in 2015. It will be the first time the biennial event, contested between the best European women and their American rivals, will be held in the country. The course, located near Frankfurt, has previously hosted the European men’s Tour’s Deutsche Bank SAP Open.

Europe are the current holders of the Solheim Cup, having won the event at Killeen Castle in 2011, and will defend it in Colorado next year. “It will be a fantastic experience for golf in Germany,” said Sandra Gal, a German member of the victorious 2011 European team. “I am sure my home country will be a great host.”

Bo van Pelt clinched his first win on the European Tour with a two-shot triumph in the ISPS Handa Perth International. The American came into the final day with a one-stroke lead, after holing a 60ft birdie putt on the 18th on Saturday and picked up a shot on the first on Sunday to set the tone for his round. He finished the tournament on 16 under par, carding a 68 to beat his compatriot Jason Dufner by two shots, with the first-round leader Alejandro Cañizares three strokes further behind in third. “Jason and I had a

great battle out there,” Van Pelt said. “It definitely got tight at the end, but luckily for me I came out on top. Lake Karrinyup was a great test of golf all week. Whenever you get a lead, you want to take advantage of it, so it was nice to finish one off this week.” Paul Casey finished in a tie for fifth – alongside David Howell, Scott Jamieson and Rhys Davies – after a final round of 67. The 35-year-old has struggled for form this season, after suffering a dislocated shoulder in a snowboarding accident last Christmas, but is showing signs of getting back to his best.

Fanny hangs up her bag

Fanny Sunesson, the most successful female caddie in modern golfing history, has turned in her bib for the final time. She’s retiring from caddying, and plans to focus on growing her career as a coach and advisor. Sunesson rose to prominence with Nick Faldo, who won four of his six major titles with her on his bag from 2000-2009. After stints with Sergio Garcia and Fred Funk, she has spent the past few years working for fellow Swede Henrik Stenson.

She was Stenson’s caddie when he won the 2009 Players Championship, boosting him to No.5 in the world, and was serving as Martin Kaymer’s mental coach when he became the world’s topranked player in 2011. Sunesson injured her back a year ago in a fall in Switzerland, forcing her to cut back on her caddying duties. She had been planning to transition into coaching, and had discussed with Stenson working as a part-time caddie before deciding that her back injury was serious enough that she needed to quit altogether. Asked for her favorite memories, Sunesson said: “It’s hard to beat an Open victory at St Andrews, precisely because it is about the place and the course. To get in there in the middle of town on the 18th hole is awesome. It’s hard to win the US Masters at Augusta, but to turn the US away from home in the 1989 Ryder Cup is pretty damn special.” As for regrets, she mentioned never winning the US Open or PGA Championship. “It would have been fun to take all the majors,” she said, adding that she believes Stenson will win one one day.

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Bulgarian resort to host World Match Play The Black Sea resort of Thracian Cliffs has been announced as the venue of the 2013 World Match Play Championship, as part of a new hosting concept for the tournament, introduced by title sponsor Volvo. The last three editions of the European Toursanctioned World Match Play Championships were held at Finca Cortesín in Spain, with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts winning this year’s event. However, Volvo has announced that the tournament will now

rotate between a few host destinations. The 2013 renewal will be played at Gary Playerdesigned Thracian Cliffs from May 16-19, marking the first time a full European

Paddy powers to Slam win Harrington made the most of a surprise invite

Tour event will be played in Bulgaria, which was named undiscovered golf destination 2012 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. Thracian Cliffs

Padraig Harrington took full advantage of a late call upto take part in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by winning the showdown between

the season’s major winners in Bermuda. The three-time Major winner, who was taking Open Champion Ernie Els’s place in

the exclusive four-man field, beat US Open champion Webb Simpson by a shot, with rounds of 66 and 67, for a 9-under total at Port Royal Golf Club. US PGA winner Rory McIroy was also absent, with his place being taken by 2011 champion Keegan Bradley. “It was unfinished business for me, having lost in two play-offs [2007 and 2008], so it was nice to come back and win,” said Harrington, after becoming only the second European to win the title in 30 events, following Ian Woosnam in 1991. “I believe I’m playing really good golf, and I see a lot of good things happening,” added Padraig, who won $600,000 for two days’ work.

Oman to stage first Tour event

INTRODUCING THE NEW TITLEIST 913 DRIVERS. To get the most out of your game, you need to get the most out of your equipment. The new Titleist 913 drivers, with innovations to the face insert, rear weight and lower CG location, deliver more speed and more distance. Titleist 913 drivers also provide more performance and forgiveness, with uncompromising looks, sound and feel. And our patented, industry-leading SureFit™ Tour hosel technology allows loft and lie to be adjusted independently to provide all serious golfers with the most precise fit for their game. To learn more, visit titleist.co.uk and see how far Titleist driver technology can take your game.

The Sultanate of Oman will make its debut on the European Challenge Tour when the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic is staged at Almouj Golf in Muscat from October 24-27, 2013. Sponsored by National Bank of Oman, the tournament will be the first Challenge Tour event of its kind not only in the Sultanate of Oman, but also in the Gulf as a whole. The Challenge Tour has ventured to places as far afield as Colombia, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Russia, and a first foray to Oman, the 45th country visited by the Challenge Tour, marks another step into new territories. The tournament, which carries a prize find of US$300,000, is the last before the season-ending Challenge Tour Grand Final, which will ensure a top class field of 84 professionals, with a further 30 invites available to the title

sponsors, including ten for low handicap amateurs from the local region. The event will be played of the Greg Norman-designed Almouj course, which forms part of The Wave leisure development. The 7,342-yard layout is a links-style design that runs along a 2km stretch of beach on the Sea of Oman. The course fully opened for play in April this year.

Challenge Tour reaches thrilling climax

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The final event of the Challenge Tour season took place in Italy last month, the outcome of which decided which 20 players would earn a place on the 2013 European Tour, and who would have to remain on the Challenge Tour for yet another year. After four days of gruelling competition at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, it was Norway’s Espen Kofstad who not only took the title, but won a place on the top tour, after topping the money list with €131,099. The 25-year-old finished with a 67 for a one-shot victory over Dane Joachim Hansen and Shropshire’s James Busby, who signed off with a 66 to rise from 45th to 16th in the rankings and earn a card for next season. Further down the leaderboard, there was joy for South Africa’s Justin Walters, who moved to 15th spot from 23rd by finishing tied fifth alongside Surrey’s Seve Benson, who finished fifth and moved from 28th into the final

qualifying spot in 20th. The main mover was Busby, though, who said: “Up until the final round, I was really thinking about preparing for Qualifying School, so I can’t really put into words how delighted I am. I said to my girlfriend, who caddied for me, that we were just here to enjoy it and try to make a few quid. I’ve done that and come out with a European Tour card to boot. It’s the stuff of dreams really.” Oxfordshire’s Eddie Pepperell and Germany’s Max Kieffer were also celebrating, after improving their ranking, finishing 13th and 14th in the money list respectively, while other Englishmen to earn European Tour playing rights next season were Gary Lockerbie, Simon Wakefield and Chris Paisley. But for every happy ending there was a tale of woe, as Raymond Russell, HP Bacher and big-hitting Argentinian Daniel Vancsik slipped out of the qualifying spots they had occupied at the start of the final week.


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F E AT U R E

November 2012 / Issue 216

Cleveland Golf ’s line-up of wedges for next season promises to offer new levels of performance

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Cleveland Golf has long been synonymous with world-class wedge design, and the new launches for 2013 provide further proof that when it comes to innovation, the brand remains out in front. The ever-popular 588 wedge series will continue into next season, after Cleveland Golf announced its new line up of 588 RTX wedges, and the groundbreaking technology behind them, which is sure to separate them from the competition. Dubbed as ‘the new face of spin’, 588 RTX Wedges combine the legendary performance of the 588 with Cleveland Golf’s latest technology breakthrough, the Rotex Face. The Rotex face is a directionally-milled face pattern that adds roughness and imparts maximum spin on open-face wedge shots, where the impact tends to be closer to the toe. In addition, 588 RTX wedges feature a more durable and advanced form of laser milling. This advanced surface roughness technology is now more durable and dimensionally-optimised for even more friction at impact. This helps generate even more spin on chips, pitches, and partial shots from any lie. Adding an extra level of milling to the face through the Rotex Face technology increases friction upon impact with the ball to give golfers added control around the greens. Another key area in which the Rotex face aids golfers is that it has larger grooves,

“The Rotex face helps generate even more spin on chips, pitches and partial shots from any lie” which have been developed after working closely with Cleveland Golf’s tour players. The U-Grooves on the new Rotex face are more precise and 16% larger, to maximise spin on critical scoring shots – especially out of the rough, sand, or in wet conditions. The 588 RTX wedges also feature Cleveland’s S Sole design. Inspired by the CG15 wedge, it has a wider sole width near the heel, and a narrow sole near the toe. This works to improve bunker performance without sacrificing versatility in other areas of the short game. The 588 RTX also comes in a cavity-back version with the 588 RTX CB. This model is aimed at golfers looking for a slightly more forgiving and easier to hit wedge, but who still want the legendary performance of a 588 wedge. The 588 RTX CB wedge features the same 16% larger U-Grooves and Rotex face technology of the 588 RTX, but the undercut cavity promotes perimeter weighting for more forgiveness on off-centre hits.


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IT’S BACK. AND IT’S BETTER THAN EVER.

EW OF SPIN PIN The CB wedge also differs to the 588 RTX with its reverse C-Sole design. Inspired by Cleveland Golf’s popular CG14 and CG16 wedges, it is a wide, constant-width sole combined with heel and toe grinds to improve performance from bunkers and deep rough. Both the 588 RTX and 588 RTX CB wedges are fitted with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts, and are available in the popular Satin Chrome and Black Pearl finishes for £109. The 588 Forged wedge, as used in 2012 by tour players such as Keegan Bradley and Graeme McDowell, will continue in the range going forward, and will be supplemented by the 588 Forged RTG wedge. The 588 Forged RTG wedge is aimed at the more experienced golfer. Available in a Raw Tour Grind model, it features a dynamic sole for maximum versatility around the green. This wedge maintains the tour-proven shape of 588, with incredible precision-forged feel. Material reduction on the back of the Dynamic Sole Grind allows players to open the face with a lower leading edge for better contact on open-faced shots. The 588 Forged RTG is available in an Oil Quench finish that will rust over time for an authentic look. Forged from 1025 carbon steel, the 588 Forged RTG wedge offers an incredibly soft, yet solid feel around the greens, with maximum control, thanks to the laser milling and Tour Zip Grooves of the 588 Forged wedges, for £119. An added bonus on top of Cleveland’s

“The Cleveland 588s were always the best wedges ever made. And with this next generation, they still are!” Graeme McDowell

wedge range, is that all of Cleveland’s custom-fit carts will carry all the parts needed to create the perfect wedge. So golfers looking for innovation from their wedges in 2013, need look no further than the new face of spin, the 588 RTX. To find out more about Cleveland Golf’s wedge line-up for 2013, or to locate your nearest custom-fitting centre, visit www.clevelandgolf.com.

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November 2012 / Issue 216

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Contact: www.cobragolf.co.uk

Contact: www.sunderlandgolf.com

Cobra’s latest set of irons, which go on sale in February, is packed with all of the company’s game improvement gadgetry, including Amp Cell technology, E9 Face design, and a V-Skid sole, all of which combine to deliver distance and forgiveness. The long irons (4-7) feature a metalwood construction with a thin, high strength steel face that is welded to a softer stainless steel body. This optimises the irons to create controlled weighting and provides a lighter face. The V-Skid sole combines a higher bounce leading edge with heel-toe relief, resulting in a sole that is versatile for better players, yet forgiving for mid and higher handicappers. AMP Cell irons are available in 4-PW or 5-SW stock sets, with a True Temper Dynalite 90 steel shaft and Lamkin REL .600 grips.

Sunderland has always prided itself on making outerwear for golfers who like to push themselves to the extremes, whether be it in terms of their performance or the type of weather in which they play. The WhisperDry Jacket is just that type of garment, offering a lightweight, sealed seam four-way stretch construction that guarantees complete freedom of movement and 100% protection from the rain. An integrated rainhood is a key feature on the jacket, which will not only keep your head dry, but will stop those nasty drips from seeping down the back of your neck. It comes in sizes S-XXXL in either black/red or black/ blue, and is available with a matching pair of waterproof trousers (sold separately).

IJP Design Trousers RRP: £79.95-£110 Contact: www.ijpdesign.com You can bet that the European Ryder Cup team is going to be kitted out in Ian Poulter’s gear when the time comes for The Trousered One to take on the captain’s job in the years to come, but for now his designs are being worn by a growing number of his fans. The 2012 Autumn/Winter collection features a range of classic golfing styles fused with sophisticated designs that incorporate fashionable colours with sharp tailoring. Technical fabrics further strengthen the collection, with a particular focus on trousers this year. The trouser range includes Tartan (£110), Classic (£89.95), Performance (£79.95) and Tech (£84.95). Poulter’s trademark Tartan trousers feature a straight leg with signature side splits, internal waistband fastening, and bias-cut trimmed pockets, and are available in Cornflower Blue, Porcelain and Fuchsia. The classic golf chino is given a new twist with the Performance Slacks, which feature a straight leg fit and are made from a lightweight, water-repellent, stretchable fabric.

SHOP

Feel Golf 73-degree wedge RRP: $79.99 Contact: www.feelwedges.com

If the old saying that ‘loft is your friend’ is correct, then Feel Golf’s new 73-degree lob wedge should be on everyone’s Facebook page, as the back of the clubface is nigh on flat to the ground when you address the ball with it. Winner of an award from Golf Digest as ‘the product most likely to improve your game’, the Lee Miller signature wedge conforms to all the laws of golf (although the standard version doesn’t) and is designed to maximise ball spin through a combination of extreme loft and a micro-milled face that features rough scorelines to enhance friction between the ball and the grooves. Ideal for getting out of steep-faced bunkers, when you’ve short-sided yourself to the pin, or simply for quickstopping shots from the fairway, the 73-degree wedge lets players hit full swings on short shots, rather than having to worry about hitting half, or quarter swings, and there’s no need to open the face to get the ball to pop up. The wedge is made and sold in America, so expect to pay a lofty charge for shipping to the UK.


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Pinnacle Bling Balls RRP: £14 Contact: www.pinnaclegolf.com Pinnacle has launched a new range of distance balls that are guaranteed to get you noticed on the tee this winter. Featuring a high-energy core and soft cover, the new Bling balls come in boxes of 12, with four sleeves of different coloured balls to suit your mood. Golfers can choose from orange, yellow, pink and violet, all of which feature a high-visibility finish to make them stand out from the sky and the grass. Performance-wise, the Bling offers all the trademark characteristics of a Pinnacle, including long distance and carry off the tee, and an element of softness for control around the greens.

RRP: £95 per club Contact: www.ping.com

TaylorMade RocketBladez irons RRP: £549/£649 (st/gr) Contact: www.taylormadegolf.eu Riding the wave of interest caused by the Rocketballz woods, TaylorMade has launched a set of irons trading on the Rocket name, which, it claims, are the first distance-orientated irons it has produced that will appeal to Tour-level players. The irons, which go on sale on December 3, feature a new speed pocket, which is a 2mm-wide slot in the sole that flexes at impact like a trampoline, promoting faster ball speeds, higher launch angles, and a stronger ball flight that lands at a steep descent angle. The speed pocket is claimed to be particularly effective for shots made low on the face, which is where the majority of miss-hits are made by high handicappers. There are 11 clubs in the complete set – although they are sold in sets of seven – each of which is tailored in size, shape and features, in order to maximize distance, control and feel. The faces are 11% thinner than previous TaylorMade irons, while shortened hosels – which feature an internal notch to help with custom-fitting – have resulted in the centre of gravity being lowered to improve launch conditions. A Tour model, which delivers consistent distance across the entire clubface, is also being launched.

RRP: £209-£220 Contact: www.callawaygolf.com Callaway’s new range of ProType Black putters features heads with a black PVD finish, black powder-coat steel shafts, and a black, seamless grip, giving the collection a distinctively stealth look. The carbon steel designs, which will be available in three head shapes (#2, #9 and 2-Ball) incorporate thin top lines and thick faces, with the forgedmilled face offering soft feel and the crisp feedback. Each face features a deep, sharp milling pattern designed to increase interaction between face and ball for better feel, truer roll, and increased consistency.

Ping Serene Iron/ Hybrid sett

Women who like to switch their long irons for hybrids will love the new Serene combination set. The 5- and 6- iron are also offered in hybrid versions, so that golfers can have a choice based on which they prefer and the recommendation of their fitter. The 4-iron is a hybrid version, while 7-iron to sand wedge are conventional irons. The head shape and design is based on the G20 iron, while the traditionally-shaped hybrids feature large heads, with a low and back centre of gravity to maximise distance in slower swing speeds. Camber and sole relief ensure playability from all lies, while a wide sole carves through the grass to launch the ball high and straight. The irons are available in 5-PW, SW (52º), and LW (58º), while the hybrids are 4 (22º), 5 (26º) and 6 (30º).

Odyssey ProType Black Putters

TRIED &

TESTED Cobra AMP Cell Driver Rating: RRP: £219-£319 Contact: www.cobragolf.co.uk Continuing its boundary-pushing styling and use of technology, Cobra has launched a range of eye-catching adjustable drivers under the AMP Cell brand. Available in standard, offset and pro models, and in four different colours, the new drivers allow golfers to select six different loft/trajectory settings to dial in preferred performance. Using a wrench, golfers can adjust the loft from 8.5 to 11.5 degrees (7.5-10.0 in the pro version), to offer a wide variety of launch parameters. Unlike some other drivers, which require golfers to adjust the sole plate after adjusting loft for a square face, Cobra’s SmartPad technology delivers a square face at address regardless of the loft setting, and allows for workability to slightly open or close the face as desired. The Amp Cell is available in a choice of four colours, including blue, red, orange and pink, which features as a solid block of colour on the crown and a band across the sole. The Offset model (£219) is available in grey only. The standard graphite shaft is a white Fujikura Fuel, which features a paint splatter graphic, while the Pro model (£319) features a 65g MRC Kurokage shaft and has a 440cc head. Like previous Cobra drivers, the AMP Cell driver feature an ovular face design that the company says will help maintain ball speed on mis-hits low in the heel and high in the toe. I certainly found this to be the case in my test, with shots hit from the edges of the centre of the face still flying a long way, with a tendency to shape back towards the target. Overall, I think the colour options get in the way of what is essentially a really good driver, and Cobra might be left with a lot of white heads on their hands.

SensoGlove RRP: £49.50 Contact: www.firebox.com Maintaining a light grip pressure is always one of the first lessons that golfers learn from teaching pros, but most of us still try to strangle the club to death every time we tee it up. The SensoGlove is the first and only golf glove to feature a built-in sensor that constantly monitors the pressure of your grip, and provides an audible warning and visual cues (via a small LED screen) every time you grip too tightly. Practising with it will teach the correct grip pressure during all element of the swing, which should lead to a smoother and more consistent swing. The glove itself is made of cabretta leather and is available in S-XL sizes.


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November 2012 / Issue 216

Titleist Pro V1 balls RRP: £39.95 Contact: www.titleist.co.uk No Christmas would be complete without the reassuring rattle of a dozen Pro V1s emanating from a rectangle-shaped box under the Nordman Fir. Gift givers can pimp up their spherical offerings by having the balls engraved with a personal message. Last orders for this service is December 10. If you can’t stretch to Pro V1s, you can also choose from the NXT Tour, NXT Tour S, Velocity and DT SoLo.

BMW PGA Championship Tickets

IJP Design ‘Diamond in the Rough’ jumper

RRP: From £30

RRP: £79.95

Contact: www.europeantour.com or 0800 023 2557

Contact: www.ijpdesign.com

For golfers living in the south east, there are few better gifts than a day spent at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where the cream of European golf gather each year to contest one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the European Tour’s calendar. The old boy can marvel at defending champion Luke Donald’s graceful swing, and rub shoulders with the 2012 Ryder Cup heroes, while taking in the majesty of the West Course.

Ian Poulter’s new Autumn/Winter collection is stacked with stylish designs that would work well on their own or as part of an overall look. Among the key pieces in the collection, which include trousers, polos, fleeces and jackets and knitwear, is the Diamond In The Rough jumper, which offers a new take on the typical argyle sweater. Made from merino wool, its soft, durable and comfy, and available in grey cloud, ink or ox blood.

Perfect

PRESENTS THE GOLFING GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING

Garmin Approach S3 Golf Watch RRP: £249.99 Contact: www.garmin.com The nifty-looking Approach S3 performs all the normal functions of a watch, but more importantly has a builtin golf GPS system, which allows the wearer to get accurate yardages to pins, greens, and hazards for more than 27,000 courses around the world. Free updates for new and re-designed courses are available to download, and battery power is up to eight hours. Showing the true shape of a green, and with a glove-friendly touch screen, the S3 requires no subscription fees and is ready to use straight out of the box – making it the ideal Christmas present.

2-1 GreenSaver RRP: £39.95 Golf News’ GreenSaver scheme, which offers 2-1 golf at over 200 courses throughout the South East, is the gift that just keeps on giving. Ideal as a present for a golf-obsessed family member or friend, the annual membership can be bought online, or by calling 01273 556377. Membership comes with a handy full-colour booklet, which includes detailed descriptions of all the clubs and courses involved in the scheme, as well as information about how to book your discounted rounds.

Ping Collection Socks RRP: £9.99 Contact: www.pingcollection.co.uk Not so much stocking fillers, as foot fillers, Ping Collection’s cotton/nylon mix Twilight socks are the perfect accompaniment to any golfing outfit. Available in a two-pair pack, each design features a horizontal stripe, a terry sole, as well as toe and heel colour contrast. If you’re feeling particularly generous, why not throw in a leather belt to go with the socks. The Rollo (£21.50) comes in small (8-10) and medium (12-16) sizes, and is available in magenta, white and black, with a metal buckle featuring an etched Ping logo.

FootJoy Deluxe Holdall RRP: £55 Contact: www.footjoy.co.uk Perfect for away days and short golf trips, FJ’s deluxe leather holdall is both stylish and robust, and features a separate shoe department at the base of the bag so that you don’t get mud all over your clean clothes. Either that, or get yourself a shoe bag.


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Hugo Boss Caritar Messenger Bag RRP: £155 A luxury messenger bag, with Hugo Boss detail logo on the front, additional pockets for storage inside, and a magnetic button closure.

Hugo Boss Zelchior Pro

Gabicci Northleach Polo

G/Fore Golf Glove

Original Penguin Leather iPhone Case

RRP: £165

RRP: £45

RRP: £25

RRP: £35

The water-resistant Zelchior is 100% cotton and has a contrasting double-stitched chest stripe, Hugo Boss tour logo and is ideal for swinging in light showers.

Soft touch cotton polo shirt features a three-button placket and a metal ‘G’ logo on the chest pocket. A stylish piece that will compliment cords this season.

Made from 100% Cabretta leather. Add some colour to your game and grip to your swing with the latest designer glove from G/Fore.

It’s not supposed to be used on course, but who doesn’t peak at their messages when the pace slows? Penguin’s leather case keeps the Apple of your eye looking sharp and scratch-free.

HAVE A VERY Treat yourself or spoil a friend or family member with a selection of golfing goodies from Trendygolf.com

CHRISTMAS Puma Golf Neo Classic ProType RRP: £175 Endorsed by the ever stylish Ian Poulter, the ProType is a sleek and stylish shoe that would be an ideal choice for any budding Puma fan.

Peak Performance Barrow Cord

Lyle & Scott Crew Neck Argyle

Ferrari Golf Performance Footwear Bag

RRP: £95

RRP: £89

RRP: £99

A pair of fine-thread corduroy trousers is one of this season’s essentials for the golfer who likes to brave the links in winter. Both stylish and slim fitting, the PP cord has a five-pocket jean cut and is a timely upgrade from the popular chino.

A modern reworking of the classic golf knit, this Argyle sweater is crafted in soft, lightweight pima cotton, with the stylish pattern running through the chest and back, with the Green Eagle on the left chest.

Keep your treads intact this winter with Ferrari’s ultimate shoe bag. Made from nylon, it has a compressed foam shell construction to provide total protection for your shoes.

For orders and enquiries please visit www.trendygolf.com or call 0845 680 6479


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November 2012 / Issue 216

Savour the links of North Wales

Bag yourself a round to remember at Skibo Castle

It’s hard to beat a round at Nefyn

If you’re want to enjoy some seriously rugged links golf, then you only need to head to the fabulous coast of North Wales to experience some of the best links in the world. With views of the sea from every tee, and eight holes played on the world-famous ‘Point’, it is no wonder Nefyn often draws comparisons with Pebble Beach. With the holes bounded on one side by rocky outcrops and the sea, and on the other by a glorious stretch of sandy beach, it’s an awe-inspiring spot. Porthmadog, situated a mile from Portmerion, offers an intriguing mix of heathland and links golf. Designed by James Braid, the gorse and undulating fairways create for a testing round. The back nine heads

out to sea for a pure links challenge, with the 12th, which requires a carry over a narrow bay, being an obvious highlight. With its magnificent setting beneath the brooding Harlech Castle, it’s no wonder Royal St David’s is one of the most photographed courses in the UK. Host of numerous top-class amateur events over the years, golfers will need to bring their complete game to score on this lengthy par 69. Exclusive Golf Breaks has put together a package to enjoy all three courses while staying for two nights at the Royal Sportsman Hotel in Portmadog, with prices starting at just £225 per person. For more details call 01822 618181 or visit www.exclusivegolfbreaks.com.

Wrap up your golfbreaks vouchers! If you are looking for the perfect Christmas present for the love in your life, have you thought about a Golfbreaks.com or BookaSpa.com gift voucher? Buying the vouchers are quick, easy and can be purchased online or through our sales team. The recipient will have the opportunity to choose a golf holiday to over 950 stunning venues, book a tee time at over 850 UK golf courses or a spa break to over 200 venues. For more details visit www.golfbreaks.com or call 0800 279 7988.

Skibo re-opens its doors to green fee golfers One of the most exclusive golf clubs in the country has re-opened its doors to the casual green fee player for the first time in over five years. The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in Scotland went into private ownership in 2007, and subsequently only allowed residents to play the famous 18-hole championship Carnegie Links course. However, as a sign of the economic times, the club has announced that a limited

number of public tee times are to be made available to non-residents. Tee times can now be reserved in advance for play from April 2013, when two four-balls will be made available on weekdays until December. All that is needed to make a reservation is a letter of introduction from the players’ home course, proof of their handicap, and a request date. Peter Crome,

CORNISH CREAM

managing director of The Carnegie Club said: “I am delighted to be able to open our world-class golf course to the public and allow non-residents the exclusive chance to sample what is surely one of the best golf experiences on the planet. The cost will be £300 per player, including lunch. To make a booking, call 01862 894 660 or email teetimes@carnegieclub.co.uk.

exclusivegolfbreaks.com

2 NIGHTS B&B at St Mellion or Trevose 3 ROUNDS St Mellion, Perranporth & Trevose

ONLY £225 pp Dinner option: £20pp per night extra

ENGLISH RIVERA DEVON

HAMPSHIRE & SURREY CLASSICS

MID WALES

NORTH WALES

WOODHALL GOLF BREAKS

2 NIGHTS B&B at Toorak Hotel, Torquay 3 ROUNDS Churston, Torquay & Teignmouth

2 NIGHTS B&B at either: Marriott Portsmouth or Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, Haslemere

2 NIGHTS B&B at The Metropole Hotel DAY 1 Cradoc G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Llandrindod Wells G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Builth Wells G.C 18 holes

2 NIGHTS B&B at The Royal Sportsman DAY 1 Porthmadog G.C 18 holes DAY 2 Nefyn & District G.C 18 holes DAY 3 Royal St Davids G.C 18 holes

2 NIGHTS B&B at Woodhall Spa Hotel 3 DAYS 1 x Hotchkin Course*

ONLY £199 pp

ONLY £225 pp

ONLY £249 pp

3 ROUNDS at any of these courses:

Hindhead, Stoneham, Hayling or Liphook

ONLY £199 pp

Dinner Option: £10pp per night extra

ONLY £249 pp

Weekend supplement: £10pp extra

Weekend supplement: £15pp extra

1 x Bracken Course* 1 x Seacroft GC

* Located at Woodhall

Weekend supplement: £17pp extra

To discuss your exclusive golf package call 01822 618181

We have over 15 years experience of organising golf breaks throughout the UK and Europe


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Carnoustie is calling

Spring deals at Old Thorns

Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board

Anyone looking for a special Christmas gift for the golfer in their life should consider booking their loved one a place in the 2013 Carnoustie Country Classic. From May 13-16, 2013, this highly popular tournament will be played on four of the world’s classic links courses, including the famous Open venue, Carnoustie, providing a fabulous opportunity to experience golf in all its east coast of Scotland glory. As well as being an ideal Christmas present, the Carnoustie Country Classic is also perfect for a golfing break for groups of golfers, with

Gents’, Ladies’ and over-65s’ championships to play for. The tournament consists of a 72-hole stableford competition on Monifieth Medal, Panmure Barry, Montrose Medal and Carnoustie Championship, with the ‘stay and play’ package costing £599 per person, based on two people sharing a room. This includes tournament entry fee, green fees, five nights’ B&B accommodation in the fourstar Carnoustie Golf Hotel, and daily transport to each day’s courses. There are also daily individual prizes, as well as a welcome reception, quiz

night and gala prize-giving dinner – with the added bonus of the tournament’s reputation as one of the friendliest competitions in the amateur golfing calendar. Entries are open to men and women golfers, with a maximum handicap of 24 (men) and 36 (ladies). Packages are also available for golf and social events only (£399) and for accompanying non-golfers (accommodation and social events only, £329). For more information, or to book, visit www. carnoustiecountry.com or call Scotia Travel on 0141 305 5050.

OLD COURSE TEE TIMES GUARANTEED

27 holes of fantastic golf

www.dorsetgolfresort.com

Golfers can enjoy the fabulous facilities at Old Thorns Manor Hotel Golf & Country Estate in Hampshire for as little as £89 when booking a package through Golfbreaks.com. Tucked away in 400 acres of Hampshire countryside just off the A3, Old Thorns is one of southern England’s most picturesque country-house-style hotels, and offers luxury accommodation in 82 bedrooms, relaxing health spa facilities, fantastic cuisine and an outstanding 6,581-yard, 18-hole championship golf course, designed by the BBC’s ‘voice of golf’ and the club president, Peter Alliss. With notoriously fast greens and plenty of natural hazards, the par 72 layout is a challenging layout, while the typography of the course creates some wonderful views over the rolling Hampshire countryside from the elevated tees. Sunday savers at the Liphookbased resort throughout the year can be booked for just £99 per person, offering one night’s dinner, bed and breakfast, and two rounds of golf on the championship course. The same package during the entire month of March 2013 can be booked for £89pp. For reservations call 0800 2797988 or visit www.golfbreaks.com.

THE DORSET GOLF HOTEL AND LUXURY LOG HOMES FOR RENT FREE GOLF Air-conditioned clubhouse facilities l Restaurant offering an extensive menu l On site accommodation in the Dorset Golf Hotel 16 twin rooms l From £59.95 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l

DECEMBER SOCIETY SPECIAL OFFER l

Coffee & Bacon Baguettes on arrival

Basket of Driving Range Balls 18 Holes of Championship Golf l Two Course Dinner, Coffee & Mints l l

ONLY £29.95pp! (min 8 players)

DORSET’S PREMIER GOLFING VENUE NOT TO BE MISSED!

TELEPHONE NO: 01929 472244

FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UK’s Largest Golf Resort

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

Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3

If you’ve always wanted to play the Old Course at St Andrews, but have been too slow to book an advance tee time or were unwilling to chance your luck in the daily ballot, then Your Golf Travel has the ideal solution. Among its exclusive inventory of high season packages for 2013 includes guaranteed tee times on The Old Course. This sought-after experiences includes luxury accommodation at either the Old Course Hotel or Fairmont St Andrews, rounds on two other championship courses, and an guaranteed tee tome on the Old Course. A sample package offering four nights’ B&B at Fairmont St Andrews, and all transfers from the airport and courses, costs from £1,550 per person. For more details visit www. yourgolftravel.com.

Please visit our new website

Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4

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6528 6400 6140 5804 5765 5502 1939

Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4

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Autumn to Spring Specials 24/9/12 - 01/5/13 • FREE UNLIMITED GOLF • FREE BUGGIES • DRIVING RANGE TOKENS

Early 2013 Bargain Breaks from: 3 Night Weekend £120pp ~ 4 Night Midweek £160pp Sports Bowls Table Tennis 5-A-Side Basketball

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

Ranges Archery Air Pistols Air Rifles Laser Clays

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

0800 389 9892

ashburygolfhotel.com

All rooms en-suite • Full board • Child rates • Party discounts


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November 2012 / Issue 216

between your playing partners has already reached fifth gear – but at San Lorenzo, a long downhill par five, my relaxed state only increased as I looked out onto the luscious green fairways beyond. Measuring just over 6,800 yards, the par 72 course is one of those rarities of design, where no two holes are the same. The holes are challenging and exciting in equal measure, with the views opening up from the par-three fifth, where the backdrop is the beach and the sea beyond. The excitement continues for the next two holes, the 6th and 7th, which take you past the threatening waters of the Ria Formosa, with the latter offering a green that almost hangs over the marshland. On the back nine, the 440-yard, par-four 12th is the most challenging hole at San Lorenzo, featuring a deep chasm along the left of a very narrow fairway. Holes 13 to 16 also face the ocean, with the latter proving to be the most demanding parthree, featuring a 190-yard carry to a shallow green. The finish along the opposite side of the river is equally entertaining, with the par-four 17th hugging the water’s edge off the tee, while the signature 18th hole is a wicked par four with water all the way up the left side, and a long shot to a semi-island green requiring total concentration. It’s a classic risk-andreward finish, which brings a magnificent round to a suitably climatic conclusion. Of course, such a unique course is not easy to get on, but I promise that it will be one of the most special games of golf you will ever play in your life, so make sure you play it with the special people in your life.

Falling in love with Lorenzo

Golfers are never far away from being in a happy place - especially if that place just happens to be San Lorenzo, home to arguably one of the Europe’s finest courses, writes Ben Lambourne Portugal’s Algarve coast is blessed with some of the best courses in the world, and although there have been plenty of newcomers in recent years, which have helped raise the bar on this golden stretch of golfing coastline, none have been able to knock off San Lorenzo from its lofty position as the grand-daddy of them all. First opened for play in 1988, San Lorenzo’s American architect, Joe Lee, must have rubbed his hands with glee when he first clapped his eyes on the site. Set alongside the Atlantic, on sandy, undulating terrain, it’s golf on a grand scale, and quite unlike some of the more enclosed courses that are to be found in the region.

Driving down through the magnificent Quinta do Lago Estate, the first-time visitor cannot fail to be impressed by the set up at San Lorenzo, from the friendly, if understated clubhouse, to the superb restaurant, attentive service, and, of course, the stunning championship golf course itself. Immaculately maintained, it’s quintessentially five-star holiday golf, and with the sun on your back, and a slight breeze in the air, there can’t be too many other places a golfer would rather be at any time of the year. Standing on the first tee at any golf club is nerve-wracking experience at the best of times – especially when the banter

An INN on York Street 7-DAY SPECIAL FOR ONLY £349 Enjoy 7 nights B&B including 3 rounds of golf for just £349 each + a second consecutive week for just £300 (based on 2 people sharing and assuming rate of £1 to $1.55)

You’ll be hard pushed to find a better-conditioned course in Portugal than San Lorenzo

Golf Escapes is delighted to offer some fantastic packages to Morocco. Great value and superb golf courses greet you in this fascinating, beautiful and magical country...

IRE’S A N O I MILL GOLF N UNDISEW & C AN IN OVERED LAN MYRT LE BEA D CH

Stay in a historic Southern Plantation, English run B&B Never more than 4 pampered couples Play leisurely golf on fabulously conditioned courses Experience the slow pace and charm of small-town mid America Relax and unwind after golf by the pool by sipping "Mint Juleps" Luxury en-suite rooms with gourmet breakfasts and concierge services Golf booked and arranged to your liking Choice of more than 20 courses within a 35-minute drive Just a 50-minute drive south of Charlotte Airport Check out our guest reviews on www.tripadvisor.co.uk or www.destinationnexus.com

Palmeraie Golf

all inclusive in

Morocco RIU TIKIDA BEACH: 5 Nights – Twin Room, All Inclusive, 4 Rounds at Golf du Soleil, return airport and golf course transfers. VALID 04 JAN – 31 JAN

VALID 13 FEB – 29 MAR

£485pp £559pp

Golf du Soleil

RIU TIKIDA GARDEN: 5 Nights – Twin Room – All Inclusive, 4 Rounds – 1 x Palmeraie, 1 x Amelkis, 1 x Al Maaden, 1 x Royal, return airport and golf course transfers. VALID 04 JAN – 31 JAN

VALID 13 FEB – 29 MAR

£415pp £469pp

Amelkis

An INN on York Street 164 York Street, Chester, SC 29706 Tel: 001- 803- 581- 8681 E: info@innonyorkstreet.com W: www.innonyorkstreet.com

For more information please email: info@golf-escapes.com, call: 01342 811777 or visit: www.golf-escapes.com Different durations, additional rounds of golf, room upgrades and single room supplements available on request – please ask for further details. Prices shown are based on an exchange rate of 13 MAD to the Pound. Flights are not included, please enquire for further details.

Only 3 hrs from London | Excellent year round climate | All inclusive packages


November 2012 / Issue 216

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We’re the golfing holiday experts. N

EW

Oasis in the desert

MAURITIUS

5* Belle Mare Plage 12 nights half board unlimited golf on 2 championship courses incl. flights, transfers from £1,595 pp

ABU DHABI

Located on the popular Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, the luxurious Oasis Beach Tower is the ideal venue for a golfing group to for a week-long stay in the Emirates. Offering a choice of two, three and fourbedroom apartments, all with beautiful views of the Gulf, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina, the Tower is just a five-minute walk to Jumeirah Beach, where guests can enjoy a day of golf, sand and surf, or stroll the promenade at The Walk with its designer shops and wide choice of restaurants, located at the Jumeirah Beach Residence. After a full day on one of the stunning array of local golf courses, guests can return to enjoy the Thai Massage Room,

with its array of massages and well-being treatments. Golf Escapes is currently offering seven nights’ accommodation at the Oasis Beach Tower, based on four people sharing a twobedroom/two-bathroom suite on a B&B basis, for £1,215pp. The package, which is valid for travel between January 4 and February 23, includes three rounds of golf – one on each of the Majlis, Montgomerie and Dubai Creek – buggies and range balls, as well as airport and golf course transfers, and a meet and greet service from local representatives. For details visit www.golf-escapes.com or call 01342 811777.

4* Crowne Plaza Yas Island 7 nights bb with 5 rounds golf flights from UK airport and ground transfers from £1,199 pp

SOUTH AFRICA

2 weeks Garden Route & Cape Town 12 nights with 5 rounds golf flights from Heathrow from £2,395 pp (incl. hire car)

MEXICO

5* Moon Palace Resort 2 weeks all inclusive unlimited golf on 3 courses incl. shared cart on all courses flights from UK

from £2,095 pp

MOROCCO

5* Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort 4 nights all inclusive unlimited golf with buggy airport shuttle transfers included from £430 pp (excl. flights)

MADEIRA

5* Meliã Madeira Mare 7 nights bb with 4 rounds golf incl. transfers from only £535 pp (excl. flights)

CALL OUR SPECIALISTS

028 9023 2112

www.chakatravel.com

enquiries@chakatravel.com

Golf in France and northern Spain Book by 31 December 2012 and save 10% Next year take your car and enjoy one of our great value golf breaks in France or Spain. Choose from over 80 wonderfully uncrowded courses and a selection of handpicked hotels. And with a choice of civilised sailings, you’ll arrive refreshed and ready to play the best golf of your life! Just one call to our golf desk is all it takes to arrange everything - your sailings, hotels and even your tee times. Call 0871 244 0808 email golfdesk@brittanyferries.com or visit brittanyferries.com/golf

Uncrowded courses - Unrivalled service - Unbeatable value Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras. New bookings only. Terms and conditions apply. See website for full details.


36 /

November 2012 / Issue 216

As the southernmost island in the Asthe thesouthernmost southernmost Mediterranean, with As As the southernmost As the southernmost islandininthe the island transparent island ininthe island thewaters, As the southernmost island Mediterranean, with Mediterranean, with Mediterranean, with fabulous beaches, Mediterranean, with transparent waters, in the Mediterranean, with transparent waters, transparent waters, transparent waters, golf courses As excellent the southernmost fabulous beaches, transparent waters, fabulous fabulous beaches, fabulous beaches, fabulous beaches, excellent golfcourses courses and year-round sunny excellent golf beaches, excellent golf island in the excellent golf courses excellent golf courses andyear-round year-round sunny skies, there are many and sunny courses and year-round and year-round sunny and year-round sunny Mediterranean, with skies, there are many skies, there are many reasons why CYPRUS skies, there are many sunny skies, there are many skies, there are many reasons why CYPRUS reasons whywaters, CYPRUS JEWEL OF THEOF MEDITERRANEAN transparent why CYPRUS isreasons often described as a reasons why CYPRUS THE JEWEL THE MEDITERRANEAN reasons why CYPRUS is is often described as THE JEWEL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN is often often described described as as aa a THE THE JEWEL JEWEL OF OFTHE THEMEDITERRANEAN MEDITERRANEAN jewel is isjewel often described as a often described as a jewel fabulous beaches, jewel jewel jewel

excellent golf courses and year-round sunny skies, there are many reasons why CYPRUS is often described as a jewel

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Island is most definitely a seriously. developing to be taken seriously. golf destination to be taken GTOC endorsestoCyprus’s quest for a golf destination be taken seriously. golf destination to be taken seriously. island It is no wonder that families return place on the world golfing map, with ENQUIRIES ENQUIRIES ENQUIRIES ENQUIRIES on of year after year to the same converted more courses being built this beautiful ENQUIRIES For further informationa call Cyprus Island is mostinformation definitely that farmhouse in the same old sleepy For further further information calldeveloping Cyprus For call Cyprus Tourist Office onCyprus 020call 7569 8800 or For further information call Tourist Office For further information Cyprus golf destination to be taken Tourist Office on 020 7569seriously. 8800 or Tourist Office on 020 7569 8800 or oming village or to one of Cyprus’s many first visit www.visitcyprus.com Tourist on www.visitcyprus.com 020 7569 8800 or on 020 7569Office 8800 or visit visit www.visitcyprus.com visit www.visitcyprus.com visit For golfwww.visitcyprus.com enquiries call the Golf rse, it class hotels. 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10,000 years of history, Cyprus has Tourist Office on 020 7569 8800 or spectacular theatres, Roman mosaics, Cyprus boasts four championship go visit www.visitcyprus.com Crusader bridges and Venetian courses designed by some of th


November 2012 / Issue 216

/ 37

Make a date with Donnafugata

La Manga golf and darts festival hits the bullseye! Golf fans with a love of darts are being offered the chance to meet some of the game’s stars and step up to the oche to take part in the first annual Golf and Darts Classic at Spain’s La Manga Club resort. Top players, including world top-ten ace Terry Jenkins, Steve Beaton, Wayne Mardle and Peter Manley, will all be appearing in the four-day sunshine, golf and darts spectacular – with a team of four people costing €2,352 (£490pp). Taking place from February 5-8, 2013, the event gives golfers the opportunity to compete against their heroes in a 36-hole Stableford competition on La Manga Club’s renowned North and South courses, and then see the stars in action in a darts exhibition evening.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa’s growing status in the game has been recognised after becoming the first Italian course to be invited to join IMG Prestige, an exclusive collection of some of the world’s most celebrated golfing venues. The deluxe five-star resort, which hosted the 2011 Sicilian Open, joins an illustrious portfolio of courses including Kingsbarns, Cape Kidnappers, La Manga and Yas Links. Donnafugata was recently named as the top golf resort in Italy in 2012 by Condé Nast Traveller, while it was also included in Rolex World’s latest

Also included in the cost is three nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation in the resort’s five-star hotel, welcome drinks reception, entertainment and food on the exhibition night and final-evening presentation dinner with drinks package. Packages are based on two people sharing a room and also include tax but, with only 20 team places available, people are being urged to book quickly to avoid missing out on the inaugural event. For more information about the Golf and Darts Classic or to book, call 0203 301 3810, 00 34 968 17 5577, email reserve@lamangaclub.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com.

list of top 1,000 courses. Situated 90 minutes’ drive from Catania airport, Donnafugata offers the perfect solution for people seeking a relaxing holiday in five-star surroundings on the largest island in the Mediterranean. The venue boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses – the Links Course and the Gary Player-designed Parkland Course – with the latter being used to stage last year’s Sicilian Open, won by Frenchman Rafael Jacquelin. Donnafugata is located near to the historic town of Ragusa, the cradle of Sicilian

Baroque architecture, while the neighbouring towns of Modica, Scicli and Noto are all listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. As well as its golf courses, Donnafugata offers a 202-room five-star hotel, spa and wellness centre, swimming pools and fine dining in three restaurants, and is the ideal destination for a holiday focused on sport and relaxation in a truly exclusive setting. The resort is closed during December and January, and re-opens on February 14, 2013. For the latest golf break packages visit www. donnafugatagolfresort.com.

This fantastic and very successful golf tournament is now in its 15th year, we would again like to invite you to this beautiful of countries for a week of friendly fun and competition. Our best event of the year attracts both golfers and non-golfers alike to an island that we guarantee you will enjoy and make new friends. The 4* deluxe Alexander the Great Beach Hotel is currently being completely renovated and refurbished ready for when we arrive. The new look hotel will host the event for the 5th consecutive time for its service, hospitality, great position on the beach overlooking the sea, only minutes from restaurants and tavernas. Golf will be played over three very different course, two on the excellent Aphrodite Hills, one at the Faldo designed Elea and another at the much improved Minthis Hills Cyprus first golf course. Monarch from London Gatwick will again carry the main group of competitors along with Jet2 from Manchester and Newcastle at a supplement.

Las Colinas offers a wide range of acccomodation to suit families and large groups

Golfers: £985

Las Colinas is calling Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, one of Continental Europe’s Top 100 golf courses, has unveiled a range of exclusive stayand-play packages for golfers looking to escape to the Spanish Mediterranean coast this winter. From its privileged position just south of Alicante in the region of Valencia, the stunning resort reveals a world apart, which provides a perfect combination of championship golf and first-class leisure facilities. From December to February, the packages at the Troon-managed resort provide guests the opportunity to tailor their holidays to suit their requirements. A wide range of options are available, incorporating golf and accommodation in the lavish self-catering apartments and villas, each sleeping from four to six people. And for those with young families, children under 12 are accommodated free of charge. A sample package including two rounds of golf and two nights’ stay in Las Colinas Residences cost from €154 per person, including daily breakfast, complimentary use of tennis, paddle and gym,

complimentary buggies for your round of golf and a free drink after your game in the UNiK Restaurant. Also included is a 20% discount on extra greenfees and Golf Academy classes and a 10% discount at the golf shop and as the resort’s two restaurants. A host venue for the European Tour Qualifying School, Las Colinas lies along a picturesque valley of citrus trees and Mediterranean woodland surrounded by hills, accessed through a spectacular canyon entrance. The practice facilities are also top class, with natural grass hitting areas, manicured putting green and short game area, which can be used to hit a complimentary pyramid of TaylorMade practice balls. The sports facilities at Las Colinas include tennis and paddle courts, a gym, swimming pools, bicycle hire and a nature trail. Visitors also have access to the private beach club on the seafront at La Glea beach in Campoamor – a hideaway with infinity pool, sun loungers and café bar. For the full range of packages visit www.aworldapart.es or call 00 35 965 32 37 86.

1 - 8 May 2013

Includes:         

Non - Golfers: £785

Itinerary:

Flights from Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle 7 nights sharing a double room on BB at the Alexander the Great Beach Hotel in Paphos Free Sea View upgrade for repeat hotel guests Welcome Cocktail Party on arrival Evening at a local tavern for a Meze meal 4 rounds of Individual & Team events Prize Presentation Gala Evening with meal and wine Complimentary golf gift from the hotel Luxury coach transfers

Extras: (per person) Single room £125, Sea View £69, Ext. Nts £55 Other airports may be available on request This event is extremely popular so book early to avoid disappointment!

1 May 2 May 3 May 4 May 5 May 6 May 7 May 8 May

Depart UK for Paphos Airport, Cyprus Welcome cocktail party Free Day Evening at a local taverna Texas Scramble at Elea GC Betterball at Minthis Hills GC Free Day 1st round Singles Aphrodite Hills 2nd round Singles at Aphrodite Hills Gala Evening with Prize Presentation Depart Paphos for the UK

Full handicaps allowance for all competitions/No professionals

Call: 020 8660 9905 or email: tournaments@exclusivegolf.co.uk SPONSORS:

sales@exclusivegolf.co.uk

/ 020 8660 9905

/

www.exclusivegolf.co.uk


38 /

November 2012 / Issue 216

Stay & play brought to you by

For bookings please contact Your Golf Travel.com: Call Free: 0800 193 6612 Email: info@yourgolftravel.com Web: www.yourgolftravel.com

Playing golf in the winter can be a thankless task – those thinned irons, plugged balls, and frozen tees make for a disheartening round. But what if we told you there was a place where the course is open all year round, the driving range bays are heated, and free access to the sauna, steam room and hot tub awaits you just moments from the 18th green? You’d say we’re pulling your leg but we’re not – it’s real and it’s Ufford Park Woodbridge If we weren’t golf travel nuts, we could just about forgive you for wanting to stow your clubs in a dusty corner of the garage until those first spring flowers bloom, the clocks edge forward and the US Masters is on the horizon. But if you did that you would miss the chance to experience one of golf’s greatest thrills – defying the weather at a course that can withstand the cold and the wet, playing a brisk round with friends and enjoying that inimitable feeling as hot tea sends the blood rushing to chilly fingers and toes in the 19th Hole. But the first part of that equation is often the most difficult to find: a good winter course. In Ufford Park, we think we’ve got one of the best. It’s an East Anglian gem – located just beyond Ipswich on the A12 – and it prides itself on the quality of its low season conditioning. During a late-October fact-finding trip, YGT staff were more than impressed with the state of the course, and with quieter fairways the coming months will be among the best times to tackle the par-71 layout.

Ufford Park Woodbridge – The best reason to keep your clubs in action this winter!

The superb practise facilities include heated bays

SPECIAL PACKAGES 2 NIGHT BREAKS Two-night breaks with dinner and three rounds of golf

The rooms are cosy and comfortable

A few half-hearted first tee stretches qualify as ‘warming up’ for many of us, but Ufford Park’s offerings would make that a sin. Head to the twotiered driving range and your heated bay will give you a nice warm cuddle before you start hammering out the five-irons. Ken Brown famously readied himself for golf on a cold day by putting his golf balls on a radiator but we think you’ll agree that the best range in East Anglia is better preparation! That’s by no means the end of the golfing extras onsite, however. The golf superstore will cater for those last-minute purchases, including woolly hats and hand warmers, and there’s even the chance to improve your golf during your visit to Ufford Park courtesy of Doctorgolf. We were disappointed to find out that

it’s not actually his real name – Stuart Robertson doesn’t quite have the same ring – but with Doctorgolf, there’s help at hand for everyone on the spectrum from golfing novice to scratch player, focusing on a simple approach to the swing fundamentals and psychology of the game. All this said, the driving range, golf course and golf academy are not going to keep you warm on a cold day, but when you roll off the final green you’ll be scooped up by the excellent hotel at Ufford Park and warmed up in fine style. Every golf break visitor benefits from free access to the onsite health club where there may be a fully equipped gym, but we’re more impressed with the deck level swimming pool sauna, steam room and hot tub – just the ticket! A welcoming bar, fantastic restaurant and complimentary WiFi can be tacked onto what is a really impressive list of highlights at Ufford Park. It’s the tonic every frustrated winter golfer needs and ideal for non-playing partners too. So head to the garage, dust off the clubs and get out there.

FROM

£169 PER PERSON

1 NIGHT BREAK One-night break with dinner and two rounds of golf FROM

£85 PER PERSON

GROUP OFFER One free in 16, plus 10% off bar drinks if you book before 28th Feb 2013


November 2012 / Issue 216

/ 39

Me&MyTravels with Dave Pelz - The former NASA scientist turned short game guru hates to leave his home town of Austin, unless it’s for a game of golf

Killeen Castle in Ireland

My first holiday was... with my dad, I think. At the age of seven, I played in a handicap golf tournament against a 77-year-old man, Steve. I don’t remember what we shot or who won, but I got my picture in the newspaper, with the headline ‘Battle of the Titans: 7 vs. 77’, with a picture of me shaking his hand. I thought I was a star! I always travel with… my wife JoAnn or son Eddie, whenever possible. They work with me, are my best friends and make my life such a joy. I love the game, and my working life is all about helping golfers shoot lower

scores. And I get to do this with my best friends. It’s a great life! My most recent holiday was to… The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes, by way of a working trip to Ireland and London. I enjoyed every minute of it. My favourite golf course in Ireland is… Killeen Castle, on the north side of Dublin. The signature Nicklaus course, which hosted the 2011 Solheim Cup, is not only beautiful, but is also a great test for good players which is also loved by its members. Did I also mention that

I have a wonderful teaching academy facility there? My holiday fourball would include… my three sons, Eddie, David and Mark. We all love to play the game, while enjoying each other’s struggles to conquer it. We play in three and a half hours, and laugh most of the way around every round. My most memorable ever round was at… the Ohio State Scarlet course in a college match against Jack Nicklaus. I led the morning round, but he shot 64 in the afternoon to win the match. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I appreciated witnessing the round up close! My favourite golf resort is… The Grove, located just outside of London. I recently spent two days there, and was totally relaxed with the great golf and personal attention lavished on us by the staff. They are absolutely first class in every way. The best hotel I’ve ever stayed at was… the Four Seasons in Lana’i Hawaii. The combination of tranquility, golf, beach and whales

The Grove Hotel and Resort

was almost overwhelming. My favourite city in the world is… Austin, Texas. Are you kidding me? With the world’s best backyard for golfers (see golf.com/pelz), the University of Texas to work with me on golf research projects, the ‘okay-to-go-anywhere-in-shortsor-jeans’ attitude of Austin living, and the best country music on the planet, it’s difficult for me to leave the place. The thing I love about travel is... following the sun, to the greatest resorts and golf courses in the world, and spending time helping golfers shoot lower scores. The worst holiday I’ve ever had was… in Rio. After a successful

satellite launch off the coast of East Africa (my first career was with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Centre, doing space research), we vacationed in Rio on the way back to the States. In one of the most scenic and beautiful cities in the world, and I was flat on my back with ‘holiday tummy’ for three days. My top travel tip would be… relax and not be bothered by any type of hassle. Things will turn out all right, so enjoy the trip, enjoy the people, and play golf if you can! The Four Seasons in Lana’i


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Golf News November Issue 216