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ISSUE 214 | SEPTEMBER 2012
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LONDON GOLF SHOW TEAMS UP WITH TALKSPORT TO BRING YOU THE BIGGEST AND BEST SHOW YET! NEWS STORY PAGE 6&7
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September 2012 / Issue 214
Read the UK’s No.1 Golf Paper online at www.golfnews.co.uk
ISSUE 214 | SEPTEMBER 2012
DER CUP ISS RY UE
Golf News, The Studio, 14 Deanway, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6DG. Tel: 01273 556377. email: email@example.com. Website: www.golfnews.co.uk Managing Director Matt Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org
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FOR WOMEN Engineered speciﬁcally for women with slower swing speeds, the Serene Series technology will help you hit the ball longer and straighter. With the driver and fairway woods you’ll discover new distance through high-launching, longer-carrying shots. Easy to launch, and the highly forgiving iron/hybrid blended set will make you longer with every club. Add PING’s industryleading custom ﬁtting process and you’ll be hitting the ball longer and straighter than ever. TO EXPERIENCE THE SERENE SERIES, VISIT A PING® FITTING SPECIALIST OR PING.COM.
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CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF at East Sussex National
It pays to look after the ladies I was heartened to read the results of a survey published last month that revealed that golf clubs that invest staff, time and resources into making themselves more appealing to female golfers have seen a significant growth in their profits when compared to those that haven’t. The survey compared 15 clubs that had introduced female-friendly measures against a similar number of clubs that hadn’t. Although the report was commissioned by the National Golf Course Owners Association of America, the results could so easily have come from, and be replicated in, the UK. The female-friendly measures included the provision of female
golf pros; creating a dedicated women’s section in a pro shop that had women working in it; the availability of childcare; and a wider variety of tees, meaning that an 18-hole course could measure under 5,000 yards. The research found that clubs that embarked on these changes saw an increase in uptake of golf lessons, more female visitors, a faster pace of play, and greater loyalty from existing female members. Other ‘best practices’ included clearer course signage, welcoming starters, flexible off-peak green fees, after-hours social events, golf leagues, women’s toilets on the course, and improved locker rooms. None of this is rocket science, but how many clubs
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go beyond offering the bare minimum of facilities for their female membership? Given that women live far longer and remain more active in older life than men, it goes against the laws of commonsense not to invest in attracting and retaining women members and visitors. The ‘female visitor’ is a rare entity indeed, and is perhaps the one section of the golfing community that could gain from a targeted campaign from many clubs. While Augusta National can afford to pick and choose its female members – which now number two – most golf clubs can’t, and they should all treat the fairer sex more fairly, knowing that it’s not only good for gender relations, but also good for business.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
The finest downland course in Sussex...
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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 £95 to £143 per person per night GREEN FEE VISITORS WELCOME Green Fees from £35 County Cards £28 Twilight Tickets £22 For a brochure and more information call Sue on: 01323 892442, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.seafordgolfclub.co.uk
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Height of fashion: November’s London Golf Show promises an appealing mix of live shows, new gear and top coaching
The sporting festivities centered around central London this summer look set to continue well into the autumn, following the announcement that the London Golf Show will once again be taking place in the capital. Although there will be no gold medals up for grabs at Earls Court from November 9-11, there will be plenty of sporting action for visitors to enjoy, as well as plenty of golfing hardware for golfers to get their hands on.
This year marks another milestone for the UK’s longest-running golf show with national sports radio station talkSPORT becoming the event’s first ever headline sponsor. The popular network will promote the Golf Show over the airways to its listeners as well as launch join promotions with its sister magazine Sport, which will be running a series of interviews, competitions and promotions in the run-up to the three-day golfing extravaganza. The London Golf Show
is designed to provide a truly interactive experience for golfers of all ages, with informed technical advice, PGA tuition and education, guest interviews, 16 driving bays, custom fitting, club testing, a TaylorMade Tour truck, simulators and the latest golf gadgets. The show’s focus will be on providing Interaction, education and entertainment. The event is also being supported by retail partner the Internet Golf Store, as well as many of the world’s leading golf brands, including
Crown Golf sells Broke Hill Broke Hill Golf Club in Kent has been sold by Crown Golf to a Bristol-based company for an undisclosed sum. The 18-hole proprietary club, which is located near Sevenoaks and first opened in 2000, has been bought by Green Grass Golf. Green Grass Golf’s two directors are Russian golf course architect Andrey Chuykov, and businessman Andrew Craven. Crown Golf has told Broke Hill members that Green Grass Golf is a ‘professional golf club operator’ and that
the club can ‘look forward to a bright future’ under its ownership. Speaking about the purchase of the Halstead-based club, Craven said: “Following the purchase of Cheslfield Lakes last year, Broke Hill provides an excellent addition to our portfolio, and enables us to cover both the pay-and-play and proprietary membership market in the local catchment area. We’re delighted to be working with everyone at the club and We look forward to making a positive contribution to the site.”
Smyth’s king of The Duke’s! Irishman Des Smyth captured his second Travis Perkins Senior Masters title in just three years with a superb 10-under par total at Woburn Golf Club. The 59-year-old from Drogheda, who also triumphed in the event in 2010, finished with a final round of 68 in front of record crowds at the revered Buckinghamshire venue, to take himself one shot clear of Australian Peter Fowler and two in front of Mark James, the pair both signing for closing 67s. Smyth spent much of the final day on the Duke’s Course sharing the top spot with Spaniard Juan Quiros, but the 11th hole proved pivotal, with the Irishman birdieing and the Quiros bogeying to open up a twoshot gap. Quiros ultimately had to settle for a 73 and a share of fifth. “It was very enjoyable,” said Smyth, who won £45,000 and his fifth Senior Tour trophy. “I’ve been playing well for a number of weeks, and I felt very comfortable out there. I’ve won tournaments before when I’ve scrambled and got it up and down from all over the place, but this was a comfortable round. I think I only missed one or two greens, and I felt in control all day.” Smyth, who is the second player to win this event twice (after Carl Mason in 2006 and 2007) was quick to heap praise on the quality of the Duke’s Course, which like most courses in the UK, has endured a wretched summer. “It’s a really quality course, and condition-wise it was fantastic,” said the winner. “All the rain
has been hopeless for the rest of the country, but this course is built on sand, and it looked magnificent all week. It played a bit longer than we’re used to, but it’s always a pleasure to play here. In fact, I might even come and live here – it’s that nice!” Smyth turns 60 next year and is hoping to take his winning form into seventh decade. “I’ve made some changes in the last eight or nine months, and I’ve felt very comfortable with my swing. My next goal is to win in my 60s!”
September 2012 / Issue 214
K AND MEANS BUSINESS!
when the London Golf Show tees off on November 9-11
Most of the major equipment brands will be at the show
TaylorMade, Callaway, Mizuno, Cleveland, Nike, Titleist, Wilson, Cobra and Yonex. As such, this year’s show will see the largest indoor demo and equipment days ever seen in the UK. In addition, the Golf Show will see England Golf Coach Gary Smith providing his golfing advice on the main stage for the first time, European Tour accredited putting coach Andy Gorman offering top putting tips, along with many other experts from the fields of health, exercise and travel. Trick shot specialists Geoff Swain (World and Kevin Carpenter will also be performing for the first time in London as ‘The Trick Shot Boys’. The London Golf Show
moved from its traditional base at Dockland’s Excel Centre to it’s new home at Earls Court last year. It proved a popular move, with over 14,000 golf fans from the South East descending on the popular West London venue to take part in numerous interactive experiences, enjoy coaching from top PGA professionals and check out the latest equipment launches, many of which they were able to try and buy on the day. This year will see more of the same, with celebrity appearances, skills challenges, fashion shows and interviews on the live stage, and numerous daily competitions to win an impressive array of prizes.
Every visitor will be entered into The Golf Show Lottery, and will also receive two free rounds of golf courtesy of the Altonwood Group, whose clubs include The Addington, Surrey National, Woldingham, and Westerham. The London Golf Show’s marketing director, Ian Mullins, expressed delight at the reaction from both visitors and the brands that supported the show in 2011, and is confident of a similar success this November. He said: “We were thrilled with the turnout last year. These are tough economic times for everyone, but the public and the trade really came out to support the event. Clearly, our decision to move to Earls Court made a great difference, as it helped us to attract new visitors from the west side of London. We also think the decision to move the show to November also helped.” Advance tickets for the London Golf Show cost £12 for adults, or £18 for two people, or £48 for groups of six when purchased online. For more details visit londongolfshow.com or call 0844 8586749 for tickets.
Scotland steals the show at challenging Prince’s Scotland the brave: Zane set himself for another shot at Q School with a battling victory in the PGA Kent Open
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Zane Scotland swept all before him at Prince’s Golf Club with two great rounds on the final day to win the PGA Kent Open Championship. The Woodcote Park pro’s level par total of 213 saw him finish three strokes clear of Andy Raitt and Paul Nessling, and earned himself a cheque for £2,000. After shooting 75 in the first round, Scotland admitted that winning was the last thing on his mind. “I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make the cut with 75, but as it turned out I was only five shots behind Jamie Harris,” said Scotland, who turned 30 in July. “The conditions meant shots could be gained or lost in the blink of an eye, so I focused on playing the best golf I could.” On the last day, Scotland shot 67 in the morning around the Himalayas-Shore format, with just the one three-putt blotting
an otherwise flawless card. “That 67 was my best round of the year,” he said. “My driving was really good, and I kept the ball in play all the time, avoiding the worst rough I’ve ever seen at Prince’s. Shooting four-under on the back nine set me up well for the final round.” With Raitt battling hard for the lead, with rounds of 74 and 68, Scotland knew the pressure on the final round would be huge. He dropped a couple of shots to be out in two-over, but Raitt started with a double bogey to be out in three over. Then on the second – his 11th – Scotland holed a wedge for an eagle two, and after trading bogeys and birdies, three final pars gave Scotland the Order of Merit victory he wanted, as he prepared for Q School and the Middle East North Africa tour. “This is a fabulous result,” he said, “and it’s just what I needed as I get set up for the Tour School.”
Contact the golf office on 01580 201800 Email: email@example.com Dale Hill Hotel & Golf Club Ticehurst, Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 7DQ www.dalehill.co.uk
September 2012 / Issue 214
Lydia Hall sinks the winning putt in front of a supportive gallery at The Buckinghamshire
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Battling Hall breaks duck at The Bucks! Welshwoman bags debut win from a strong field at Ladies British Masters Lydia Hall clinched her maiden win in dramatic style as she came from two shots behind to take the inaugural ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters held at Buckinghamshire Golf Club. The 24-year-old Welshwoman, who held a share of the lead after day one, shot rounds of 66, 71 and 72 for a fantastic seven under par 54-hole total. She sealed a one-stroke victory over Beth Allen of the United States in glorious conditions at the stunning parkland course, which was hosting the tournament for the first time. “I’m over the moon, obviously,” said Hall. “I’ve been waiting to win a tournament for the last five years since I came on tour. I came in close at Q School, and it’s been a while. I’ve done well in Dubai the last few years, but obviously this was one of my first experiences of playing in the final group and all of the pressures that come with that.” Hall started out two behind the overnight leader, Ashleigh Simon, her partner in the last pairing, but had moved one clear of the field after three birdies in her first 11 holes, at the second, ninth and 11th. After striking a beautiful approach shot to around a foot at the par-four 11th, Hall endured a midround crisis, as she pulled her tee shot left at the par-three 12th and duffed a chip from the rough resulting in a double bogey five. She then found the left jungle on 13 and had to hack out, dropping another shot there. Allen moved two shots clear with a birdie on 14, after getting up and down from the bunker, but after a 10 minute wait on the tee, Hall felt mentally prepared to start again. At the par-five 14th, she played a beautiful chip to around a foot from the hole, and sank the birdie putt to stay one behind.
It was at the par-four 17th where the drama unfolded. Allen was a stroke clear with two holes to go and played her tee shot safely to the fairway, rather than taking on the water to go for the green. After hitting her second shot into the bunker, she opted to take a penalty drop as the ball was completely imbedded, and from there she hit her ball around 20 feet past the flag and three-putted for a triple-bogey seven to drop two behind Hall. After watching the drama from the 17th tee, Hall confidently drove her ball over the lake, 244 yards to the front edge of the green, and three putted for a solid par to stay two clear with a hole to play. At the par-three 18th, Hall’s ball came to rest around 35 feet shot of the hole, and her second putt hit the edge of the hole, but luckily a bogey was enough to seal the win and take home the £45,000 first prize. Allen was left disappointed having come so close to her maiden win, but she finished alone in second, with six players in a share of third, a stroke back on five under par. They included English duo Trish Johnson and Henrietta Zuel, Stacy Lee Bregman, Rebecca Artis, Mikaela Parmlid and Simon.
September 2012 / Issue 214
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September 2012 / Issue 214
Gilligan storms home at Croham Wildernesse pro Gary Gilligan (left) shot a flawless five-under-par 65 to snatch victory at the Croham Hurst Pro-Am, played in memory of Mike Willett. One of the last to tee off, and on the course where he began his PGA career, Gilligan finished with two birdies to beat Michael McLean by a stroke. Taking the winner’s cheque for £800, Gilligan’s bogey-free card was just too good for his rivals, even though two other players, including McLean, had more birdies. Gilligan was delighted with his first victory as a pro, which was achieved at the club where he started as a trainee under PGA Head Professional David Green. “I started my professional career with David at Croham Hurst, and qualified earlier this year, so alongside the coaching I’m now focusing on playing tournament golf,”
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Consortium buys three Essex clubs
he said. “I got off to a good start with three early birdies, but just as I faced a 10-foot putt to save par on the 11th, the klaxon went off and we had to stop for 45 minutes while a storm passed through. So when it was all clear I had to walk all the way back to the 11th and make the putt. Holing it put me right back in top gear and I made a great birdie at 17, and then double-crossed my drive into the practice range down the 18th. I hit a wedge over the trees to three feet and holed it for the winning putt. With Tour School coming up in a couple of weeks’ time, my first pro win couldn’t have come at a better time!” The Croham Hurst Pro-Am is held in memory of Mike Willett, a much-respected Surrey County cricketer, who died in 2002, aged 68. He was captain at the club in 1993, and was a member there for many years.
The Warren’s future has been secured following its purchase by a group of local businessmen
£10 per player including Coffee & Bacon Roll. Register with Club Office to play eal to celebrate the new clubhouse email@example.com
An established members-only golf club, two nine-hole pay-andplay golf courses, and a holiday lodge venue near Maldon in Essex have been bought by a consortium of local businessmen, including insurance Neil 2013 Utley. ction starting this winter. Available from the 1st October 2012 to entrepreneur 31st March PLAY SUTTON GREEN FOR REDUCED GREEN The Warren, Bunsay Downs and Badgers pay-and-play golf courses, and Herbage Park holiday park, were sold on behalf est Winter courses in the south. Very good GOLF natural ONLINE drainage. AT: FEE RATES BOOK YOUR of the administrators for just over £4million. Anthony Jenkins, www.suttongreengc.co.uk of sales agents Christie + Co, said: “This unique offering made ■ a tremendous impact when we brought it to market, which was matched by the significant interest Available we received.from We’rethe delighted Sutton Green Golf Club,■New Lane, Sutton Green, 1st October 2012 to 31st March 2013 to have concluded a deal with the consortium led by Neil Utley, Nr Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7QF. Tel: 01483 747898 which secures the future of these clubs.”The Warren was put www.suttongreengc.co.uk ■ up for sale in April after its owners, Durham Fruit Farms, ■ SUTTON GREEN GOLF CLUB IS THE IDEAL VENUE FOR YOUR was placed into administration on February 15. WEDDING, PARTY AND DINNER DANCE ■
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September 2012 / Issue 214
Epping profits from Olympic overflow
Golfers at Wildwood are being offered more affordable ways to be a member
News in Brief KEEBLE SAVOURS SAWGRASS TRIP
Epping’s enterprising manager Neil Sjoberg
Epping Golf Course came up with an innovative way of boosting its bank balance during a difficult summer for many clubs by offering its car park up to visitors to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Essex-based club generated an extra £8,000 in revenue after opening up its car park for spectators attending London 2012 events. The course, which is situated 13 miles from the Olympic Village, is close to Epping underground train station, which made for an easy journey to the main venues. The club charged a green fee for allowing use of its venue – which allowed the user to also play a round of golf and receive a free lesson – and provided transportation to and from the station for customers. Neil Sjoberg, Epping’s manager, said: “We charged the same rate as a single green fee for parking, to avoid revenue loss through golfers’ cars being blocked out. The result was that we had 15 visitors play golf in our Olympic-themed competition, and many more parked their cars here. Some of them have introduced their friends to the club, and members of the club even had two matches – one against a Danish team and one against members of the US Air Force!”
Wildwood launches flexible membership scheme Wildwood Golf & Country Club in Surrey is adapting to the changing demands in golf membership by introducing a new flexible membership scheme. Launched last month, the new category at the Cranleigh-based club offers golfers a more affordable way to play golf, with entry-level fees starting from just £295. The initial fee provides a number of credits that can be used to pay for green fees, or for pro shop and clubhouse purchases. Each round played is redeemed from the member’s credits at different tariffs dependent on tee times. Credits can also be used to sign in up to three guests at any one time, while Flexible members will be able to hold an official EGU handicap and enter special monthly competitions. To launch the new category,
Wildwood is offering a free golf lesson for all new members. Phil Harrison, Wildwood’s managing director, feels that economic times require a modern approach to club membership, and believes this scheme works well alongside the range of memberships already available at the club. Harrison said: “The whole scheme has been created to provide club membership for people with both time and economic restraints, and I’m expecting it will be a fast growing sector of the club.” Plans are still proceeding to build 39 lodges and an 84-bedroom hotel and spa complex at Wildwood, while a new academy, featuring an indoor teaching studio, plus a new short game practice facility and driving range, is also at the planning stages.
Essex teenager Bobby Keeble, runner-up in this year’s English Boys under 18 Championship, finished 43rd in the Junior Players Championship in Florida after shooting rounds of 80, 70 and 77 over the Stadium and Valley courses at TPC Sawgrass. The 17-year-old from Abridge, who lost a playoff for the U18 title at Royal Cinque Ports earlier this year, finished 18 shots behind tournament winner Robbie Shelton from Alabama.
GROVES IN THE GROOVE Gloucestershire’s Mary Groves won the English Women’s Par Three Championship held at Thornbury Golf Club with a net score of 50. The Shirehampton Park member, who plays off a handicap of 15, not only won the overall championship, but was also in the winning team and had the best gross score.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
LINGFIELD PARK GOLF CLUB
BARNES PAYS TRIBUTE TO ‘BEAUTIFUL’ NAILCOTE Former Ryder Cup star Brian Barnes bounces back at the Midlands’ answer to Augusta!
Discover Lingﬁeld Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club Golf Course – after a period of substantial investment, our facilities are amongst the best in the area. Set amongst 200 acres of breath-taking Surrey Parkland, we offer a championship level 18-hole course, comprehensive practice areas and a state of the art teaching academy including:
• three putting greens • ‘chip n run’ green • bunker practice green • driving range with covered teaching bays. Become a member from as little as £31 per month and beneﬁt from discounts across Lingﬁeld Park and beyond – including free use of nine other Marriott Golf courses across the UK. Call now for more information on any of our golf packages and our membership options.
01342 830 917 | www.lingﬁeldpark.co.uk Join us. You’re welcome.
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Former Ryder Cup player Brian Barnes has paid a glowing tribute to the organisers of last month’s Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, after enjoying in his first appearance at the event following his return to competitive golf. The 67-year-old from West Chiltington in Sussex, who has been suffering from a wrist injury for the past 12 years, took part in the short course tournament, which is held annually at Nailcote Hall in Warwickshire. This year’s renewal was attended by over 5,000 spectators, and attracted a superb field of players spearheaded by Tony Jacklin, Ian Woosnam and Alison Nicholas. The pro tournament was won by DJ Russell with a score of eight-under par, while Barnes won the Super Senior tournament for those aged 60 and over with a very respectable level par total. Barnes, talking from his
West Sussex home, said: “Nailcote is an absolute gem of a short golf course. Augusta does not compare with it, and the owners should be proud of producing such a beautiful layout. It was in stunning condition for the tournament, with receptive greens giving the shotmakers a chance to shine, which would not have been the case if the greens had been too firm. I absolutely loved playing in tournament play again, and anybody who has the chance to play Nailcote Hall should do so.” Barnes, who played in the Ryder Cup six times, also helped design West Chiltington with his fatherin-law Max Faulkner, and offered some feeback on the course’s design. “There could be a temptation to add a few more water hazards, but in my view a few holes without water gives some relief to the amateurs – and the pros for that matter,” he said.
Small but perfectly formed: Barnes praised Nailcote Hall for its ‘perfect mix of holes’
“I feel that the course has the perfect mix of holes and to make changes for the sake of change will not enhance what is already perfection.” Rick Cressman, owner of Nailcote Hall, and coorganiser of the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, was delighted to receive such praise from a player of Barnes’s experience. “It was a pleasure to host Brian during the tournament,
and it is wonderful that he enjoyed the course so much. To be mentioned in the same breath as Augusta is fantastic, and just shows how far the course has come on in recent years. It may not be long, but the layout presents a serious challenge to all levels of golfer, and, of equal importance, can be played in an hour and half or less, making it ideal for those short on time.”
Turkish delight for Beauport pair Aces high Beauport Park Golf Club in East Sussex wiped out the disappointment of missing out last year by sealing a place in the final of this year’s Lombard Challenge, a PGA Pro-Captain tournament. Captain Kim Baker and PGA pro Charles Giddins won their qualifier, held at Effingham in Surrey, by two shots from Merrist Wood’s Alan Lovelace and Chris Wakefield, erasing the memory of 12 months ago, when they were edged out of a trip to Turkey on countback. But this time there was clear daylight, with their eight-under-par 63 keeping them ahead of the pack – and they could even afford the luxury of bogeying the 18th. And for Giddins, it will be his second PGA Pro-Captain final appearance, having reached it when it was staged in Bahrain in 2008. The pair from Hastings will play in the £25,000 final over the Sultan course at Antalya in Turkey at the end of November. Giddins said: “I’ve been to the final once, but I’ve also known the disappointment of missing. Kim was my captain last year too, and it was a long car journey back. So this was very different, and we were delighted to make it through.”
Kim Baker and Charles Giddins
at Horne Park
Most golfers spend their lives waiting in vain for a hole-in-one, but two Surrey players are celebrating bagging longed-for aces in the same competition on the same day. Fourteen-year-old Joe Lloyd aced the 188-yard 8th hole at Horne Park Golf Club during last month’s Director’s Cup Medal, and just an hour later the feat was repeated at the very same hole by 26-year-old Danny Betts, who won the event with a nett 63, with Lloyd finishing sixth with a nett 65.
September 2012 / Issue 214
6 2 4
September 2012 / Issue 214
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It took Roger Chapman 53 years to find the intangible that separates winners and losers. He discovered it during the third round of this year’s US Senior PGA Championship, and it’s propelled him to his best season as a professional. Chalk Chapman down as the surprise package of the year. After years playing – by his own admission – the role of journeyman professional, Chapman has won two senior major titles this season. The man from Ascot began with the US Senior PGA Championship at Harbour Shores Golf Club in Michigan in May, winning by two shots. He added the US Senior US Open title in July, with three 68s and a closing 66, to overhaul Bernhard Langer. Two major wins in 62 senior starts is impressive, especially considering he only won once in 618 tournaments on the European Tour. Why now? It’s a question Chapman has been mulling over for much of the summer. “I’ve been asked the question a lot, and I’ve thought about it a lot,” says Chapman. “I think it comes down to a simple case of belief. I played the third round of the US Senior PGA Championship with John Cook and Hale Irwin and I shot 64. That was a huge boost for my confidence, because I proved to myself that I could play with two of their best players and hold my own.” Chapman did more than hold his own. He took a five-shot lead into the final round, and at one point held a nine-shot advantage. He eventually won by two shots over Cook, and by three over Irwin. “I felt really comfortable in the final round. I felt in control of my swing and my nerves. When I finally crossed the line,
it was an amazing feeling. I never played in an American major on the regular tour, so to win one on the Champions Tour was a dream come true.” If that was a dream come true then imagine how he felt two months later when he lifted the US Senior Open trophy. He joined Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player in an exclusive club: they are the only four players to win the US Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship in the same year. “I wanted to win again to prove my first wasn’t a flash in the pan,” he says. “I didn’t want people to think I’d just had a hot week when I won the US Senior PGA, but to add a second senior major was unbelievable.” The affable Englishman enjoyed a pretty good career on the European Tour. After turning pro in 1981, he got his card for the 1982 season and became a regular fixture on the European Tour until 2004, with a best finish of 17th on the money list in 1988. During that time he had 43 top 10s, including six seconds, five thirds, but just the one victory. Chapman’s only taste of success came in 2000 when he defeated Padraig Harrington in Brazil to win the Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open.That victory remains one of the most popular wins in European Tour history. Everyone agreed Chapman was deserving of a European Tour title. Maybe that was part of the reason he didn’t win more.
“I wanted to win again to prove my first wasn’t a flash in the pan”
September 2012 / Issue 214
LISH WINNER They say good things come to those who wait. Well, Roger Chapman waited a long time for any sort of win, let alone a Major Championship, but now he has two
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“I turned professional with high expectations. I’d had a pretty good amateur record (he won the 1981 English Amateur and played in the Walker Cup that year) and thought it wouldn’t take long for me to win. Maybe the longer my winless streak went on, the more I started to question my self-belief.” The 53-year-old points to a crucial turning point in his career that probably stopped him from winning more than once on the regular tour. He had a chance to win the 1985 European Masters, but faltered in the final round. Craig Stadler passed him to win. “I believe if I had won that tournament, things would have panned out a lot differently. I would have gone on and won more titles. I had other chances too. I lost a play-off to Des Smyth in the Jersey Open (1988). I finished second in Morocco (1997) when Clinton Whitelaw had a great finish. Things like that add up and you start to doubt yourself.” Chapman spent nearly his entire life under the watchful eye of former Ryder Cup player George Will. Chapman was just 13 years old when he first met Will. Unfortunately, the coach did not get to see his prize pupil fulfil his true potential. Will died in 2010 at the age of 73. Needless to say, Will wasn’tfar from Chapman’s mind when he was winning his first senior major. “That’s basically all I was thinking for the last eight holes at Harbor Shores. He was like a father to me, not a coach. There were instances where I was walking down the fairway and had tears in my eyes, even with six holes to go.” Chapman’s regular career ended in 2006 and he spent 18 months as a European Tour referee before he turned 50 in 2009. It was a salutary lesson after 25 years as a tour pro. “It gave me a different perspective. Those three years before I turned 50 were important. I managed to clear my mind, get rid of some cobwebs and came out with renewed enthusiasm and belief. I’m more in tune with my swing. I’m a lot more
patient. I didn’t have the greatest temper and attitude on the regular tour.” He has his new coach to thank for changing his attitude. Chapman turned to renowned Scottish coach Gavin Christie after Will’s death. Christie, Mark James’ s long-time coach, is old school. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He wasted no time in telling Chapman to change his attitude during the Englishman’s second year on the Senior Tour. “We had a chat, let’s leave it at that. I was in one of my moods and Gavin sat me down for 45 minutes and told me what he thought in his own forthright way. For the next year I wrote the word ‘DISCIPLINE’ on my golf glove. Every time things weren’t going right I would look at the glove. Even my wife couldn’t believe the change in my attitude. I don’t write it on my glove now. It’s ingrained in me.” If his Brazil victory was popular among his peers, then imagine the reaction to what he’s done this season. “It is just a brilliant achievement from a brilliant guy,” said Andrew Murray, winner of the 1989 European Open. “Roger is one of our best players, one of our best ball strikers, so it’s fantastic to see him get his just rewards.” So Chapman finally has the winning attitude, but he doesn’t intend to rest on his laurels. He’s looking to make the most of his second chance, his mulligan. He’ll divide his time between the Champions Tour in the United States and the European Senior Tour over the next five years, playing a bit more in the US for the obvious reason that’s where the money is. However, he has no intention of upping sticks and leaving Ascot for a condo in Florida. That would take him too far away from two of his biggest loves: West Ham and Harlequins. Chapman is an Englishman through and through. He’s also a bona fide winner. It just took a while.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
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Golf News has teamed up with PUMA Golf to offer one lucky reader the chance to upgrade their golfing wardrobe this autumn with a head-to-toe outfit worth a whopping £500! The winner can chose an entire new outfit including a pair of shoes, trousers/skirt, polo shirt, jumper, jacket, belt and cap up to a retail value of £500 from PUMA GOLF’s 2012 Apparel and Footwear Collection for Men and Women. You could chose to make yourself look like PUMA Golf’s leading ambassador on the PGA Tour, Rickie Fowler, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, and be dressed in his ‘Sunday orange’, or opt for one of the many other eye-catching and equally fashionable styles from the range. PUMA GOLF’S PLEATFREE FASHION PUMA Golf gives golf tradition a fashionably-shod kick in the back nine – reinventing golf style for a new breed of player, one who demands the highest performance and comfort, but who also wants to make more of a statement than your average, pleated, wrinkle-free khakis will allow. PUMA Golf believes that when you look better, you feel better; and when you feel better, you play better. Everything PUMA Golf does is with an eye to building an inclusive, stylish, colourful golf brand that stands not only for the pursuit of trophies, but for fun above all else. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PUMA GOLF PLEASE VISIT WWW.PUMA.COM/GOLF. TO ENTER: Simply email your answer to the question to firstname.lastname@example.org,
with ‘Puma Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address, and telephone number. The last date for receipt of entries is October 25, 2012. All entries will be considered to have agreed to have their email addresses passed on to Puma Golf unless otherwise requested. QUESTION: Which tournament did Rickie Fowler win earlier this year to record his first victory on the PGA Tour? a) RBC Heritage b) Wells Fargo Championship c) Shell Houston Open
September 2012 / Issue 214
NEW HOLE TO SHAPE UP WOKING
Lullingstone Park Golf Course Autumn Membership Offers
7 day membership now available for a limited period only *£640, for a years golf ! NEW! 9 hole membership Just £299!
Woking Golf Club, home to one of the country’s old heathland courses, has begun work on a complete rebuild of its famous parthree sixteenth hole. The Surrey venue, which was laid out by Tom Dunn in 1893, is widely believed to be a key birthplace of strategic golf design, thanks to the work carried out on the course by members Stuart Paton and John Low around the turn of the 20th century, notably the famous central bunker complex on the fourth hole. Now, the club has hired local design firm Thomson Perrett & Lobb to create a new-look 16th hole, as the existing green, which was extended backwards in the 1960s, has always had problems with its surfaces, as well as being rather close to the boundary of the course. TPL’s Tim Lobb admitted the prospect of redesigning any part of a course as historic as Woking was a daunting one. “For golf architects, Woking is something of a temple, one of the places where our
profession was created,” he said. “So to work here makes us proud, but is also quite intimidating.” Unusually in this day and age, TPL’s new hole will be shorter than the existing one, around 140 yards from the medal tee, and 130 from the yellow markers, roughly 15 yards less than the current hole. “I know it is more normal to lengthen holes, but in this case, designing the best hole in the location called for a slightly shorter one,” said Lobb. “The tees are moving slightly to the right, while the new green will be to the left of the existing one. It will still play over a pond. Actually, though, I think it will strengthen the course as a whole by creating more variety. Woking lacks a true short par three, which the new 16th will become.” Woking is famous for its greens, some of which are among the most severely contoured in Britain. “The new green will be in the Woking spirit, with significant contour and separate pinnable areas,” said Lobb. “The right third will
slope away from the player, and create a challenging pin for competition days.” Course manager Jon Day, along with Woking’s agronomist, Bruce Jamieson, and contractor MJ Abbott, who are handling the build, has sourced a special rootzone for the new green, designed to match closely the soil profile of the course’s existing greens. The green will be grassed with turf grown on the club’s own nursery area, speeding the grow-in process. Construction should be complete by the end of September, and the new hole is expected to be in play by Spring 2013. Club captain Edward Luker said: “The rebuild of the 16th hole is the latest in a range of improvements to the course that the club has undertaken over recent years. It was critical that the redesign of the 16th maintained the fine heathland traditions of Woking, and we are very excited by the proposed design.”
End of summer twilight offer: £9.99 after 1pm!
(*Annual Paid-in-Full only, available September and October 2012) All offers are subject to availability terms and conditions apply. Lullingstone Park Golf Course, Parkgate Road, Chelsfield, Orpington, Kent, BR6 7PX, Tel: 01959 533793.
Corporate Golf Days
Clubs enjoy social membership boom A comprehensive new survey of the golf industry has revealed Goodwood now has a strong social membership that golf clubs have been experiencing a social membership revolution over the last 12 months. The Hillier Hopkins survey of 129 golf clubs found that the number of private members’ golf clubs that had a social membership of 100 or more has nearly quadrupled in the last year, from nine per cent of all clubs to 32 per cent. Similarly, the number of proprietary clubs with a social membership of 25 or more has doubled from 20 to 40 per cent in the last 12 months. Social members of golf clubs normally experience all of the benefits that full members receive, including entrance to social functions and discounts on food and drink, typically for less than £100 per year, but receive no financial privileges when it comes to playing golf. Several golf clubs have been keen to expand this category in recent years in order to benefit from revenue streams in addition to golf, which in many cases have proved to be unreliable due to the state of the economy and recent extreme weather patterns. “These figures are extremely encouraging as clubs undoubtedly benefit from increasing social membership levels, with a positive impact on revenue,” said Robert Twydle, golf club partner at Hillier Hopkins.
Wakeman raises the roof at Burhill Stars of stage, screen and sport turned out in force to help raise £26,000 during Rick Wakeman’s annual charity day at Burhill Golf Club in aid of Sparks. This was the 17th successive year the former Yes keyboard player has staged his fundraising day at the popular Surrey club, raising valuable funds for the children’s charity. Celebrities taking part in this year’s event included Simply Red lead singer Mick Hucknall, Olympian Kris Akabusi, former snooker
Rick Wakeman was joined by a host of celebrities for his annual charity day at Burhill
player Willie Thorne and ex-England and Manchester United winger Steve Coppell. In total 25 teams of four took to the venue’s famous Old Course but it was the Proflex team led by Hucknall, and including George Collatcott, Ray Savory and Mark Green, who topped the leaderboard. Following the golf, guests
were treated to a meal in Burhill’s new events marquee, followed by an exclusive concert by Wakeman and his son, Adam, a charity auction, and a disco that went on until the earl hours. Wakeman, said: “This was the first time in 17 years that my dear friend Eric Sykes played no part and everyone involved joined me in remembering his contribution to this golf tournament over many years. We had fine weather and after a great day’s golf we adjourned to the fantastic marquee for an evening’s entertainment. I was very pleased to present Sparks with a cheque for £26,000 and once again Burhill really did us proud with another memorable day.”
“Augusta does not compare with Nailcote” Brian Barnes (below, left), 1995 & ‘96 Senior British Open Champion, 6 times Ryder Cup star and Super Seniors Champion at the Farmfoods British Par 3, 2012.
Nailcote Hall is the perfect venue for a corporate event. Our golf course offers exceptional golf, located in the heart of Warwickshire and surrounded by the region’s exceptional views. Our Cromwell Course really is one of the best Par 3 courses in the world, and we are proud to offer it to you and your corporate guests for a business experience. What better place to mix business with pleasure than a championship course described as ‘better than Augusta’ by Brian Barnes.
Ian Woosnam OBE, Tony Jacklin CBE, Peter Shilton OBE and Peter Schmeichel MBE seen playing at the Farmfoods Britsh Par 3 Championship held annually at Nailcote Hall. Televised on Sky Sports in September 2012.
Our bespoke packages offer a variety of choices, including 18 holes of golf on our championship course, food and drinks. For companies looking to create a special golfing day we can offer selected menus, professional organisation of your event and sporting guest speakers. Whatever you need to make your day work, our team are here to make it happen.
For more information please call Rick Cressman on: 07974 386380 Nailcote Hall, Nailcote Lane, Berkswell, Warwickshire, CV7 7DE Telephone: 02476 466174 • Facsimile: 02476 470720 • Email: email@example.com
September 2012 / Issue 214
Turnberry Isle awaits the Flying Club finalists
Berry bags Disabled Open
Swingers’ last chance to make it to Miami! Virgin Atlantic’s unique online golf league, Flying Club Swingers, is nearing its conclusion for another season, as golfers across the globe battle for a place in the November final in Miami. With one month to go, and nearly 4,000 verified scores on the leaderboards, it’s certainly been a hotly-contested event, which is not surprising given the amazing prize on offer. This November, 12 Europeans will fly to Miami to compete against a team from the Rest of the World in a Ryder Cup style final across three days. The final is taking place at the luxurious Turnberry Isle Resort, with its two super courses, the Soffer and the Miller, both recently redesigned by Ray Floyd. Players will compete in foursomes, fourballs and then singles on the final day under their team captains who will be appointed from within the team in October. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the thrills and pressure of team golf, as well as the chance to make some great golfing friends across the world. Although the leaderboards are beginning to take shape, there’s still time to make a difference. A player’s total Swingers score is made up of their best six scores across the season, so as long as they can get six scores submitted, they are in with a chance. For more information on Flying Club Swingers visit www.flyingclubgolfleague.com.
Alistair Berry with the Disabled British Open trophy
Scotland’s Alasdair Berry has won the coveted Yourgolftravel.com Disabled British Open at the fourth time of asking. The talented 21-yearold from Irvine, who was born with no hands, shot rounds of 76 and 77 at East Sussex National to win the title by six shots with a 9-over par total. Berry, who finished second in 2010 and third last year, battled back from a two-shot deficit after round one to overhaul overnight leader Joakim Bjorkman. Swede Bjorkman shared second place with last year’s winner, Duncan Hamilton-Martin, and Kevin Harmison from Newbiggin. Berry, who plays off three, uses special grips designed by his father, said: “I’ve been close for the past three years, so it’s great to have finally won. The conditions were difficult during the second round, as it was very windy,
but I’m just delighted to have got the job done.” Berry also took the senior category one title, for those with a handicap of 12 and under; blind golfer Andrew Sellars of Normanton GC took the 13-20 handicap category two title; and Scott Richardson of Stockwood Park won the category three event for those with handicaps ranging from 21 to 28. The Junior Disabled Open was retained by 14-yearold Frankie Jones from Wales. Lindsey Horton, a director of event organiser Remarkable Events, said: “Alasdair was a very popular winner. Having come so close in the previous three events, it was fitting that he should succeed at the fourth attempt. The Disabled Open is a truly international event now, with 16 countries represented and this is the first time the winner has come from anywhere other than England.”
Chapman claims Surrey Amateur Former Sussex Golf College student Matt Chapman won the Surrey Amateur Championship after overcoming testing conditions at Woodcote Park and Cuddington Golf Clubs. Strong winds and blustery showers sent the qualifying scores rocketing, with the CSS at Cuddington rose to 74, while at Woodcote Park it rose to 75. Chapman, who graduated from the Lindfield-based Golf College in 2010, and is a member at Wentworth, recorded a front nine score of 30 during his semi-final match against Liam Cox, to be four up at the turn, eventually winning through to the final on the 14th hole. He then beat Bramley’s Andy Rogers in a close final, coming from two down at the 12th to win it with a birdie on the 17th.
Downshire Golf Complex
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Downshire Golf Complex Easthampstead Park, Wokingham RG40 3DH Tel: 01344 302030 Fax: 01344 301020 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/downshiregolf
GOLF SOCIETIES DIRECT SALES: 07961 428965 THE RIDGE GOLF CLUB, CHARTWAY STREET, SUTTON VALENCE, MAIDSTONE, ME17 3JB. TEL: 01622 844382. WEB: WWW.THERIDGEGOLFCLUB.CO.UK
September 2012 / Issue 214
Battling Graeme’s on course to pursue his golfing dreams Graeme Mazur is hoping to fulfill his ambition of promoting golf to the disabled
As a teenager, Kent golfer Graeme Mazur nearly died when his bicycle collided with a car in High Halden near Tenterden. The disability resulting from his serious injuries looked certain to force him to abandon his dream of pursuing a career in golf. But thanks to the support of Tenterden Golf Club, and others involved in the sport, Mazur, now aged 27, is not only back on the course regularly and playing well, but also learning to be a golf coach. His ultimate ambition is to run his own business promoting golf to disabled people and assisting them in making progress in the game, and gaining more confidence in all aspects of their lives.
In 1998, the year before his accident, Mazur had pushed his golf handicap down to an impressive 9.6, the lowest level that a junior could achieve at that time, and he was chosen to be junior club captain of Tenterden in 1999. Following the accident, he spent 11 months in intensive care and was told he could not hope to return to the game he loved. However, Graeme’s determination to take up golf again meant he did venture back onto the course two years after the accident. He was much weaker than before and at first could no longer carry his bag of clubs so members of Tenterden Golf Club raised enough money to buy him an electric trolley.
“The members of Tenterden have been outstanding in the way they have supported me,” says Graeme. “After the accident, I had to start my golf from the beginning again. It was a struggle for me, with partial paralysis and a brain injury that impairs concentration, to even hit a golf ball, let alone hit one off the tee. But the members encouraged me to join a friendly playing group, and I’ve gradually improved, so that now I’ve a handicap of 26, which I’m chuffed to bits about. I am looking forward to starting my business, where I will coach disabled people in golf – there could be no better job for me than helping them make progress in the game. He added: “I’m working towards gaining my PGA Level 1 Coaching Badge and will go on to Level 2, supported throughout by Gary Bason, who is disability golf associate officer of Kent Sport, is head coach at GB Golf Coaching at Tonge, near Sittingbourne, and who was the PGA’s South Region Coach of the Year in 2011.” Richard Silman, Tenterden’s professional, said: “Considering all that he has been through, Graeme has done exceptionally well to reinvent his game and improve his technique. Like the athletes that took part in the Paralympic Games, Graeme shows what amazing achievements can be made through sheer determination.” For junior players and adults learning the game, Tenterden has recently introduced a par-three course in its practice area, and new tees on the main course that make it playable for all skill levels.
Tandridge charity day raises £19,000 The weather may have put the dampeners on a few sporting events this summer, but the Olympic spirit shone through as Tandridge Golf Club staged its annual captain’s charity day in mid-August. No fewer than 24 teams of four turned up for a shotgun start over the recently remodelled par-71 course in Kent. Following a welcome from this year’s Captain, Peter Allington, it was time to head off onto the course for the shotgun start. The course was in excellent condition, and this was reflected by some equally good scoring, with the winning team led home by their host, Mike Kelly. Each team member received an engraved claret jug and an Odyssey putter for their efforts. Following a traditional Tandridge carvery lunch, comedian Adger Brown was in charge of the raffle and auction to raise further funds for the captain’s worthy charities. As a result of his entertaining encouragement, a total of £19,000 was raised for various local causes, including the Dame Vera Lynn Trust and the East Surrey Special Care Baby Unit.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
AWAY THE LADS! Victories on foreign soil haven’t happened very often in the Ryder Cup, but Europe has a solid chance of upsetting the odds this time, says Nick Bayly Europe will be hoping to repeat the scenes from 2010 at Celtic Manor when they take on the US at Medinah
I’ve always thought that an ‘away win’ should count double when it comes to the Ryder Cup. There’s such a huge home advantage – 10 of the last 14 matches have been won by the home side – that winning one on foreign soil feels like it should count for more than one more measly point in the overall scheme of things. While recent history would have us believe that we own the Ryder Cup, since the GB&I team was amalgamated into Europe in 1979, the scores stand at played 16, won 8, lost 7, halved one. And, if you’re in the market for more stats, Europe has won only three of the last 38 matches on US soil. Despite José Maria Olazabal’s protestations that this year’s encounter has no clear favourite, the bookies think otherwise, with USA priced up at 8/11 on and Europe 11/8 against. The odds are merely reflecting the location of the matches, rather than the respective talents of the teams, and recent history shows us that there’s rarely much in it, regardless of the world rankings of the players. Despite winning at Valhalla in 2008, and bagging half of this season’s majors, there remains a slight feeling that Team USA is on the back foot when it comes to the world order golf, let alone the Ryder Cup, and they look only marginally less beatable than they did at Celtic Manor two years ago, when Uncle Sam really was in the doldrums. With many of the more established players, such as Mickelson, Furyk, and indeed Woods, not at their best, and four rookies in the squad, Davis Love’s team is beginning to look a little flakey around the edges.
Team USA is the bookies favourite to grab a home win
But there’s no getting away from the fact that a home match is by far the easier one to win for the non-travelling side. Standing on the first tee with upwards of 20,000 fans chanting your name, or your team’s name, it’s hard not to feel like you’re one up before you’ve hit a single shot. There’s also no doubting that it’s going to get ugly at Medinah, and no quarter will be given by the players, or the galleries. While the crowds at Celtic Manor were clearly partisan, they remained fair, and even sung songs for the US players to pass the time between downpours. On US turf, however, with a few beers in their bellies, a small, but vociferous section of American fans have a habit of getting out of hand. The repetitive chants of ‘U-S-A, U-S-A’ are, of
course, to be expected, but the ‘you’re not the man’-style heckling takes it to a more personal level, and can really get inside a player’s head. Sergio Garcia suffered a verbal onslaught when going up against Nick Watney during the Barclays Championship at Bethpage last month – which brought about the desired result – and that was a stroke play tournament, for heaven’s sake. History shows us that the only way to silence one-sided galleries is to win holes early, close out matches on the 14th hole, and cup your hands to your ears as you drain another 30-footer for birdie. Although a quarter of this year’s US team are rookies, and bare few psychological scars from past defeats, there’s a collective memory handed down through the generations of what it feels like to be on the losing side in this most brutal of non-contact sports. Love has been there, Freddie Couples has been there, and they’ll be telling their players that nothing comes close to the gut-wrenching feeling of letting down your teammates and your country – although, hopefully, they’ll relay that sentiment in a slightly more positive fashion. But perhaps this year, of all years, might appear to favour the away team. Since Europe’s defeat in 2008, the global map of golf has changed out of all recognition, blurring the edges of what might traditionally be called ‘home’ and ‘away’ legs. Virtually all of the European team now live, or have second homes, in the States, and many of them have cultivated strong fan bases on the PGA Tour, as well as extremely odd transatlantic accents. Elite European golfers are all used to travelling out of their comfort and time zones to ply their trade, and are as comfortable putting on Bermuda as they are on Rye. But then again, the Ryder Cup has never been a particularly level playing field. It’s one of the quirks of the event that the captain of the home team not only gets to choose how the course is set up, where the pins are placed, and how fast the greens are, but he also gets to decide the order of the formats played. This year, Love has decided to switch the foursomes and four balls around on the opening two days, with the four-ball matches off first, on the basis that America has traditionally fared better when there are two balls in play, rather than just the one, as there is in foursomes. Regardless of the formats, the pairings and the captain’s tactics, I have a nagging feeling that this is going to be one for the away team. So get out your bunting left over from the Jubilee and the Olympics, order in the beers and pizzas (or wine and crudités) – and prepare for another humdinger of a contest. It might not be a War on the Shore, as it was at Kiawah Island in 1991, but nothing would be finer than a victory at Medinah. Glory for Rory? The two-time Major winner will be hoping to rise to the occasion as he did two years ago
September 2012 / Issue 214
EL CAPITAN José Maria Olazabal has been a Ryder Cup captain-in-waiting from the moment he first played in the event in 1987. The waiting is now over
Do you think Europe is going into the match as the favourite? I’ve always said that I don’t see any favourites in this Ryder Cup. Both teams are playing very well. The US team is always strong. Bubba Watson won the Masters, Webb Simpson won the US Open. The players have won a bunch of tournaments. They have three or four rookies in the team that are playing extraordinary well. I don’t see any favourites at all. We are going to have to play really well. We are playing away. They are going to have the crowd advantage. They are going to set up the course to their liking, but the end of the day, we are going to have to play very, very well if we want to have a chance of winning. You chose Poulter and Colsaerts as wildcards. Can you explain what led you to select them? Well, I think every one pretty much guessed that Ian was going to be there. That was a pretty good guess, for obvious reasons. He has a great Ryder Cup record. He was playing well, and then he got ill and he couldn’t play as much as he could, but his attitude and his spirit in the Ryder Cup team has always been great. He’s one of those players that likes to be in that situation. I think the Ryder Cup brings out the best in him. The two times I had the opportunity to share a few moments with him at Valhalla and Celtic Manor, you didn’t need to motivate him. Just by looking at his eyes you knew that he would give everything that he had. So that’s Ian. And Nicolas, obviously he’s the only rookie on the team, but his matchplay record is very good. He won the World Match Play this year and he’s had a very solid season, and on top of that, he’s made the extra effort trying to make the team. He really showed me that he wants to be a part of it. Those are the reasons for me to pick him. How important is it that team members have been winning events going into the match? Well, it is important in the way that that builds confidence, and that is crucial. But at the end of the day, it’s how they play during the week that counts. But obviously it’s nice to see players such as Rory, Paul, Sergio and Peter winning tournaments. It helps to boost their confidence,
and what you need is confident players. Have you made up your mind on the pairings? It will all depend on how the players are playing, and how they are feeling. I and my four vicecaptains will be watching all the players closely before the matches, and we’ll gather all the information from them, the players, and from the caddies, and once we get that information, we will be in a position to make some pairings.
what a good match-play course is all about. If you go down the stretch at Medinah, at 15 you have driveable par four, but with a lot of risk, water right, even if you bail out left in the bunker you’re going to have a tough job making a birdie from that bunker. Sixteen is a really tough hole, and the par-three 17th also has water to deal with. A risk-and-reward course makes for a good match play venue.
The European team is going to have to cope with the tradtionally boisterous US galleries - and the US media
What do you look for in a pairing? Good chemistry or style of play? The chemistry has to be there, that’s for sure. When you have two players who feel comfortable with each other on and off the golf course, and they think the same way, it can make for a good pairing. But it’s also they way they play golf, and the way they see shots. It’s a mixture that is not always quantifiable. What makes a great matchplay course? Great matchplay courses are generally those with demanding finishes. Once you get to 14, something like that, because you know the matches are going to be decided over these holes. You need really tough holes and riskand-reward holes where a lot of things can happen. I mean, you can win the hole with a bogey, you can go and make an eagle. That’s
How much of an advantage is playing at home? When the Ryder Cup is played in Europe, for instance, the speed of the greens is not all that fast. We like to have them between ten and ten -and-a-half on the stimp, because we feel more comfortable around that speed. We know that in the US they prefer the greens to be firm and fast, and most probably that’s what we are going to find out we are going to have over there. Those little things obviously help. And the crowds, the support of the crowd is massive. We saw that in Ireland. We saw that in Wales. It’s huge. The only thing is that we have to be prepared. That’s part of my job. The players know that the atmosphere is going to be electrifying. So I need to prepare them for that, and tell them that they cannot allow themselves to be bothered by that. Luckily most of the guys have experience of it, and that should make things a bit easier for me.
How much inspiration have you drawn from Seve for your role as captain? Seve had a lot of courage, and I think that’s what I would take from him. One of the first matches that we played together was at Kiawah Island in 1991. We were hitting the ball all over the place. I remember the second hole, the par five. Seve snap-hooked his tee shot way into the water and I had to drop it on the ladies tee. I hit it onto the fairway. The US team hit their second shot just short of the green in two; Seve hit a 4-iron and blocked it right into the trees, and left me against the tree, and I had to chip it out. We are lying five and the US team is like two, and I look at Seve, and I say: “What the hell are we doing? Let’s pick up and go to the third hole.” In those days, the second green had water in front and water out the back, so Seve said, “Just hold on a second. If we chip and putt, we make seven.” Yes, correct, Seve. That’s true. “Well, if they miss the chip and hit it in the water, and drop it and chip it on to the green and make two putts, what do they do? Seven. So we still have a chance. Let’s go.” Seve never gave up, and that’s something I’ll be passing on to all my players.
September 2012 / Issue 214
MEET THE TEAMS EUROPE
CAPTAIN: JOSÉ MARIA OLAZABAL VICE-CAPTAINS: DARREN CLARKE, PAUL MCGINLEY, THOMAS BJORN, MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ
CAPTAIN: DAVIS LOVE III VICE-CAPTAINS: FRED COUPLES, MIKE HULBERT, JEFF SLUMAN, SCOTT VERPLANK
Rory McIlroy (NI) Age: 23 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W1 L1 H2 With the memory of a young McIlroy branding the Ryder Cup ‘an exhibition match’ long forgotten, the dual Major winner and World No.1 will be raring to get among the points. With no obvious weakness in his game, this long course should suit him down to the ground. Justin Rose (Eng) Age: 32 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W3 L1 H0 Third in last month’s USPGA, his best finish in a major, Rose is at home in America, quite literally, and the world No.8 will be keen to come out on the winning side after tasting defeat at Valhalla in his only previous Ryder Cup experience. A good putter, and a straight hitter, he’ll be an ideal foursomes partner for Poulter. Graeme McDowell (NI) Age: 33 Caps: 2 Record: P8 W4 L2 H2 Famed for his ice cool temperament and competitive ability, GMac won the singles match which confirmed European victory in 2010. Also enjoyed victory in the US Open in the same year, but has failed to capitalise on decent chances in this year’s majors, although he did reached the final of the Volvo World Match Play in May. Paul Lawrie (Sco) Age: 43 Caps: 1 Record: P5 W3 L1 H1 Striking a blow for the over 40s, Lawrie has been like a man possessed this year, winning twice and bagging seven top-10 finishes. His accurate driving and smooth putting stroke will make him a solid partner in all formats, and his experience makes him a very different proposition than he was at Brookline in 1999. Francesco Molinari (Ita) Age: 29 Caps: 1 Record: P3 W0 L2 H1 Widely regarded as one of the best iron players on tour, Francesco won’t have his brother, Edoardo, for company this time, so Olazabal will have to find him another partner. Won the Spanish Open earlier this year, and will be keen to get a first Ryder Cup point under his belt. Luke Donald (Eng) Age: 34 Caps: 3 Record: P11 W8 L2 D1 Not surprisingly, Donald has proved unable to match his achievements of 2011, with his sole victory coming at the BMW PGA Championship. Regardless, he boasts a formidable Ryder Cup record, particularly in the foursomes, and is sure to bag his fair share of points this time around. Lee Westwood (Eng) Age: 39 Caps: 7 Record: P33 W16 L11 H6 Like Donald, Westwood has come up short by his own high standards this season, particularly in the majors, but Europe’s most experienced Ryder Cup player remains very much the team’s talisman, and is a tough nut to crack in any form of match play encounter. Sergio Garcia (Spa) Age: 32 Caps: 5 Record: P24 W14 L6 H4 A 1-2 in back-to-back PGA Tour events in August saw Garcia surge into the Ryder Cup reckoning, and this gutsy matchplay performer is a welcome addition to the team. His suspect putting stroke will be have to be much sharper if he is to back up his passion with some points though. Peter Hanson (Swe) Age: 34 Caps: 1 Record: P3 W1 L2 H0 One of Europe’s most consistent performers over the years, without quite getting his head in front as often as he should. He won’t cause too many US players to lose sleep, but he should not be underestimated either, as the tall Swede is a superb iron player and an accurate driver. Martin Kaymer (Ger) Age: 27 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W2 L1 H1 It has pretty much been downhill for Kaymer since his US PGA triumph in 2010. He snuck into the last automatic qualifying place, and it remains to be seen how the ice cool German’s reworked swing will perform under the pressure cooker atmosphere of an away leg of the Ryder Cup. Ian Poulter (Eng) Age: 36 Caps 3 Record: P7 W5 L2 H0 A shoe-in for one of the two wildcards, as he was in 2008, IJP has built up a reputation as a fearsome matchplay exponent. He was the highest points scorer for either side at Valhalla and won three points out of four in Europe’s 14½-13½ win at Celtic Manor. He will fight for every point. Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) Age: 29 Caps 0 Record: – The team’s only rookie is still an experienced campaigner, having worked his way up through the ranks from the Challenge Tour. He won May’s Volvo World MatchPlay in impressive fashion, and his prodigious length off the tee and calm temperament will make him a great four-ball partner.
Tiger Woods Age: 36 Caps: 6 Record: P30 W12 L14 H2 It’s difficult to say which Tiger will turn up at Medinah, and, as ever, it will be tough to know who his natural partner will be. Yet while he may have lost his aura of invincibility, Woods remains one of the game’s most talented performers and he will not be fazed by any of his opponents. Bubba Watson Age: 33 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W1 L3 H0 Watson’s all-or-nothing style of play is perfectly suited to the Ryder Cup, especially the fourballs, where he can take the risk option with his length off the tee. His US Masters win has been backed up by five other top 10s, so he’s still a man in form, but he bombed at Celtic Manor in 2010. Jason Dufner Age: 35 Caps: 0 Record: Despite a stellar 2012 season, with two wins and eight top-10s, the 35-year-old rookie must be regarded as one of the team’s weaker links. With no real matchplay record to speak of, and a somewhat flakey temperament, he’ll be a long way out of his comfort zone. Keegan Bradley Age: 26 Caps: 0 Record: Another rookie, but the 2011 US PGA winner has shown himself to be a top-class performer, with victory in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and five top-10s to his name in 2012. Very handy with his broomhandle, he can be prone to the odd back-nine wobble when under pressure. Webb Simpson Age: 27 Caps: 0 Record: Yet another rookie, and were it not for his automatic selection following his surprise win at the US Open, he probably wouldn’t have made it as a wildcard. Missed the cut at the USPGA and the Barclays. Can get on hot streaks with the putter, as he showed at the Olympic Club in June. Zach Johnson Age: 36 Caps: 2 Record: P7 W3 L3 H1 It’s hard to tell what’s going on behind Johnson’s ever-present shades, but it’s clear the 2007 Masters winner still possesses a mean game. Two wins and six top10s this year reveal a man in form. Accurate off the tee and a confident putter make him a valuable addition to Love’s armoury. Matt Kuchar Age: 34 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W1 L1 H2 ‘The Cooch’ may have the face of a baby, but it may turn out to be that of an assassin if he’s on his A game. He finished third in the Masters, and bagged The Players Championship in May. He won two points at Celtic Manor, but was handed a 5&4 beating from Ian Poulter in the singles. Phil Mickelson Age: 32 Caps: 8 Record: P24 W14 L6 H4 Hard to imagine a Ryder Cup team without Phil the Spill, but he’s not the force of old, and has been virtually unsighted since his third place at the US Masters, which always brings about a return to form. Hard to say which player will turn up at Medinah – the brilliant or the wayward? Steve Stricker Age: 45 Caps: 2 Record: P6 W3 L1 H1 Has had another steady year on tour, picking up a win early in the year in Hawaii. He was recently runner-up at WGC-Bridgestone and has seven top-10 finishes. Bagged three points at Celtic Manor, two of them alongside Woods – a pairing that looks sure to be repeated here. Jim Furyk Age: 40 Caps: 7 Record: P26 W8 L14 H4 A veteran of seven Ryder Cups and is just the type of steady, experienced player that Love’s young team needs. He has put himself into contention more than once this year, but has had some memorable failures, including imploding over the closing holes at the US Open. Dustin Johnson Age: 28 Caps: 1 Record: P4 W1 L3 H0 The long-hitting Johnson was an easy choice as a captain’s pick. Despite limited starts due to injury early in 2012 -- which caused him to miss the Masters -- he managed to win in Memphis in just his second start back from injury. However, he has shown frailties under pressure in the past and had a poor time of it at Celtic Manor. Brandt Snedeker Age: 31 Caps: 0 Record: Led the Open Championship at Lytham at the half-way stage before putting in two average rounds to fall away, as he has done in several previous majors, suggesting he’s a little flakey under pressure. A runner-up finish at The Barclays secured his wildcard.
September 2012 / Issue 214
NOTHING FINER THAN MEDINAH Medinah Country Club’s No.3 Course is a fearsome test of accuracy, power, putting prowess and nerve – in fact, everything you need for a memorable Ryder Cup venue, as our hole-by-hole guide reveals 9TH, PAR 4, 432 YARDS The first of the course’s three dog-legs requires players to draw a wood or hybrid off the tee, leaving an uphill shot to a protected green. 10TH, PAR 5, 578 YARDS Although it can be reached in two, most players have to leave their drive short of the bunkers that pinch the fairway and play a conservative lay up to an area protected by two more bunkers. And finally, four more bunkers guard the heavily-sloped green. 11TH, PAR 4, 440 YARDS Another right-to-left dog-leg which requires players to avoid a new bunker guarding the knee of the leg. From there it is just a short iron to a newly-undulating green. 12TH, PAR 4, 476 YARDS The clubhouse at Medinah Country Club
1ST, PAR 4, 443 YARDS The opener is reasonably straightforward, with a large fairway bunker to the left of the landing area being the only real hazard off the tee. The green slopes back to front and over-hit approaches will find a collection area behind the left side of the green. 2ND, PAR 3, 192 YARDS An early test of nerves, with a long carry over Lake Kadijah. The green is wide open to the water on the left, and anything hit in that direction or short will end up wet. Any wind will make club selection awkward. 3RD, PAR 4, 412 YARDS Drives should be to the centre or right of the fairway, as balls finding the left side of the fairway will have their approach blocked by trees, while three fairway bunkers will snaffle up anything leaked right. The green, which slopes back-to-front, is guarded by large bunkers on both sides.
front, requiring players to club up while be careful to keep the ball below the hole. 5TH, PAR 5, 536 YARDS The first of the par fives is also the shortest, making it a fine risk/reward hole. The tee is elevated, but the hole plays uphill to the green. Expect to see plenty of hybrids hit to land softly on to the green to set up an early eagle attempt. 6TH, PAR 4, 509 YARDS A long par four that moves left to right, with out of bounds to the left and trees to the right make hitting the fairway imperative; a series of fairway bunkers also looms on the left. The green is sloped enough back-to-front that a putt down the green is in danger of rolling off. 7TH, PAR 5, 617 YARDS The longest hole on the course, and the toughest on the stroke index. A good drive will set up a lay up to around 120 yards to a pitched green guarded by three large, deep bunkers.
4TH, PAR 4, 463 YARDS
8TH, PAR 3, 201 YARDS
A plateau about 200 yards out is the ideal position off the tee – longer will result in a downhill lie, and anything left will kick into the rough. The green is elevated and slopes back-to
The only short hole that does not play over water presents a straightforward challenge, hitting a mid-iron to a green protected by three bunkers.
The 245 yard carry at the 13th hole will get the players attention
The course’s longest par 4 offers a generous landing area, but as the fairway snakes toward the green, which brings a sliver of water into play. A large oak tree guards the entrance to the left side of the green. Pars could win holes here. 13TH, PAR 3, 245 YARDS The second of short holes plays across a finger of Lake Kadijah. The green is two-tiered and slopes from right to left; three bunkers surround it. Wind off the lake plays a big part in club selection. 14TH, PAR 5, 609 YARDS The narrow fairway steps up to the green, with three ‘hills’ demarcating the different levels of the fairway. Big hitters will have a view of the green, while others may have to hit a semi-blind
second shot. A semi-circle of five bunkers protects the front of the green. 15TH, PAR 4, 391 YARDS This hole can be played as short as 290 yards, offering the bigger hitter than chance of reaching the green, while shorter hitters will hope to make their birdie with a deft chip. Water comes into play on the right. 16TH, PAR 4, 482 YARDS The toughest par four is also the second dog-leg on the back nine. The green is elevated, and a valley in front of the green makes running the ball up impossible, so it will favour the longer hitters. The green is guarded by three bunkers and slopes from right-to-left. 17TH PAR 3, 193 YARDS The 17th is perhaps the most photographed on the course. The treacherous long par three has played a big role in deciding some of the major events held here, with all of its yardage played over water. The front of the flat green sits hard against Lake Kadijah, while a deep bunker back left is not a good spot to be in. 18TH, PAR 4, 449 YARDS Not the most thrilling of closing holes to finish a Ryder Cup match, but a beast none the less, with two bunkers guarding the right side of the fairway off the tee. The mid-iron approach is played to a significantly elevated green, surrounded by three bunkers and a collection area that sits to the back of the green that will be almost impossible to get up and down from.
CARD OF THE COURSE 7,668 yards, par 72 Hole Par Yards
1 4 443
2 3 192
3 4 412
4 4 463
5 5 536
6 4 509
7 5 617
8 3 201
9 4 432
Hole Par Yards
10 5 578
11 4 440
12 4 476
13 3 245
14 5 609
15 4 391
16 4 482
17 3 193
18 4 449
September 2012 / Issue 214
THE BOOK OF DAVE Nick Bayly heads to The Grove to watch short game guru and best-selling author Dave Pelz host one his famed short game schools, before taking a lesson from the man who taught Mickelson to hit it close With his trademark widebrimmed hat and wrap-around sunglasses, and standing 6ft 5inches tall in his golf shoes, Dave Pelz is a hard man to miss. It’s fair to say that Pelz doesn’t do ‘miss’ – it’s not a word in his vocabulary. In fact his life’s work has been devoted to avoiding misses, and by doing so helping some of the world’s best golfers to become even better golfers. Pelz is now on mission – he’ll forgive the ‘miss’ part of that word, I hope – to pass on the principles first dispensed in his best-selling Short Game Bible to amateur golfers. To spread the word, Pelz, who is based in Texas, has set up a series of Short Game Schools around the world that bear his name. The schools, which are run by teachers trained in the dark arts of getting the ball in the hole in the fewest number of shots, have proved a hot ticket for aspiring professionals and good amateurs, with golfers prepared to pay upwards of $2,500 (£1,500) to take part in the three-day courses. Although putting has long been considered an art, Pelz, at heart, is a scientist, and it is his background in statistical analysis, from an early career spent working with NASA, that has most influenced his teaching of short game skills. Over the last three decades, Pelz has evolved from a one-man operation, conducting esoteric studies from the far edge of the fairways, into an institution – an author and inventor, and a global speaker and instructor. Now 72, he has penned six books, holds 17 golf-related patents, and has fathered inventions of immense impact, among them the 60- and 64-degree wedge and the Two-Ball putter – one of the all-time best-selling clubs of any kind. After resigning from his job at NASA in 1976, Pelz spent the next three years going to PGA Tour events, and analysing and cataloguing the results of every shot he saw. The ensuing data showed that the short game – shots of 100 yards or less – made up 60-65 per cent of golf, a majority share that also happened to be the weakest part of most players’ games. From beyond 100 yards, the Practice makes perfect: Pelz has to work hard on sharpening up Phil Mickelson’s short game at the beginning of every new season
average Tour pro missed his target by a seven per cent margin (a 14-yard error, for example, on a 200-yard shot). From inside 100 yards, though, that figure jumped to 16-20 per cent. For the game’s best players, straying right or left on wedges wasn’t the problem, it was distance control. “A guy who tugged a 60-yard shot 10 yards off line would hang his head in disgust,” Pelz says. “But he’d fly one over the flagstick, 20 yards long, and be thinking he’d hit a great shot.” Thirty years on, Pelz’s insights have influenced Tour pros and amateurs alike. His stable of students, with 19 majors under their collective belts, has included Vijay Singh, Paul Azinger, Lee Janzen, Michelle Wie, and, most famously, Mickelson, who turned to Pelz for help in 2003, months before he won his first Masters. “I was 0 for 43 in majors before I met Dave, and I’ve won four, plus a Players Championship, since,” Mickelson once said of his mentor. “That says it all about him in my book.” While many of us trot out the ‘drive for show, and putt for dough’ adage, very few of us have transferred that to our practice regimes. Go to the golf course or driving range (the word ‘driving’ is the giveaway) and you’ll find rows of people smashing drivers, and very few hitting delicate pitch shots, or out on the putting green. The term ‘short game’ barely existed 20 years ago. But by treating every course as a laboratory, and every round as part of a experiment, Pelz not only showed that short shots deserve their own classification – but proved that they’re what matter most. He has even come up with the ideal distance with which to hit the ball past the cup in order to hole the most putts. Any ideas? Have a guess. Well, it’s 17 inches. Here, he explains how he came by that number, and reveals a few other tips to improve your short game. Can you explain why 17 inches past the hole as the ideal speed for a putt? Well, it’s the optimum speed of the ball on its arrival at the hole. As the ball approaches the hole, it needs to have enough speed to carry all the spike marks and footprints that are around the hole. If you carry enough speed through the footprints to the hole that is great, but the more you increase
Pelz had me rolling it dangerously close to the pin after just five minutes of practicing his technique of putting the ball further back in the stance
the speed, the more you are likely to get lip outs. There is an optimum between being too slow to get into the hole and too fast that you start to get lip outs, and that is 17 inches past the cup. You don’t miss 17 inches coming back, so you need to carry your putts at the optimum speed for whatever stroke you may have. I’ve measured it, it’s true, and so I teach all my pupils, amateur or pro, to putt, on average, 17 inches past the cup. I penalise my students if they putt more than 34 inches past the hole, or if they are short of the hole, so I subconsciously train them to hit it 17 inches past the cup. What advice do you have for players who thin their wedges? Many amateurs come to our schools and hit 10, 20 fats and say to themselves that they won’t hit it fat anymore, so they start thinning it, and then as a result, hit a couple more fats. In the end they decide thin is better than fat and get into the thins. Most amateurs put the ball in the wrong place in their stance. They point their feet towards the target and play the ball off the back toe. This is too far forward relative to your shoulders. The ball should be played off your back ankle. Your swing arc bottoms out in between your shoulders. The ball should be behind that. Putting the ball opposite your back ankle makes sure you create a descending blow, and you take the fat shot out of the game. How many wedges should you carry? At least four. The more greens you miss, the more wedges you need. I would start out with a 48- or 49-degree pitching wedge, a 55-degree wedge, a 60- and a 64-degree wedge. Do you recommend the 64-degree wedge for everybody? It makes the hard shots much easier. But one thing: you have to accelerate. Pros say I would never give a bad player a 64-degree. But I would never give them a 60-degree either. Anybody who decelerates and lets the clubhead pass the hands with a 60-degree, now has 70 or 80 degrees of loft on it anyway. You’ve got to accelerate to keep the clubface square and get reasonable consistency.. What key swing thoughts should be going through the mind when standing over a chip? It is not a question of positive thinking or imagining positive results – these won’t work if the mechanics are not right. So first make sure your mechanics are correct, but then you must
work on a pre-shot routine and ritual. If I was going to go with your game to the course today with only one thought, it would be have good rhythm. Rhythm is the most important thing, alongside having the correct ball position.
My 5-minute lesson with Dave....
As a habitual thinner and chunker of my chips, I asked Dave to put me straight on where I was going wrong. One look at my set up, and he pointed out that the ball was almost in the middle of my stance, despite me thinking that it was on the back foot. “By pointing your toes at 45 degrees to the target and opening up your shoulders, you’re making the ball look further back than it is,” said Dave. “You need to look at the position of the ball in relation to your ankles, rather than the toes. It’s also important where the ball is in relation to your shoulders as you should be striking the ball at the bottom of the arc to ensure the most consistent strike.” Hitting to a target some 25 feet away, I was soon stopping the ball within an average of two or three feet – a makeable putt even for someone of my limited ability. ability.“There you go,” says Dave, patting my errant shoulders. “You can make the cheque out to me.”
DAVE PELZ GOLF SCHOOLS AT THE GROVE The Grove Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort is the official home of the Dave Pelz Golf Schools in the UK. It is hosting its next three-day course on October 5-7. The courses cover all areas of the short game, including the theories and techniques taught by Pelz. The courses cost £1,500, and participants will receive £100 voucher towards their hotel accommodation if staying at The Grove. To book a place, visit www.pelzgolf.com or call 00 353 1 689 3030.
September 2012 / Issue 214
BERNARD’S BETTING ON AN AWAY WIN
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Bernard Gallacher, who captained the winning European team at Oak Hill in 1995, believes that Ollie’s merry man have enough firepower to win the cup on US soil for only the fourth time in Ryder Cup history. He believes Europe are the team to beat in a man-forman match-up against the American team for the 39th renewal of the greatest golf show on earth, which takes places at Medinah Golf Club from September 28-30. But the former Ryder Cup captain warned that homecourse advantage and the support of a rowdy Chicago crowd will be worth a few points to the US team. Gallacher knows a thing or two about the problems and pitfalls that face a team travelling to the States. He said: “You always feel that playing on a course you can set up to suit your players, and in front of your own supporters, should be worth two or three points at least. That makes it desperately tight, but we have more players in form – and you can usually juggle things to compensate for those who are not playing great. Our experience might allow us to squeeze home.” With the result often decided by small margins, Gallacher feels that European
skipper José Maria Olazabal has made the right decision with his two wildcard choices – Ian Poulter and Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts – and was also correct in overlooking Padraig Harrington for his side. “It’s a very strong side,” Gallacher stated. “They are the best 12 players in Europe - it’s perfect. There were absolutely no surprises. José Maria reduced the amount of wildcard picks from three to two this time, and the strong message he gave was that he wanted the players to play their way into the team. That’s exactly what’s happened. Kaymer was in the final automatic position, Colsaerts was 11th, and the next highest player in the world rankings not already in the side was Poulter. Harrington was just too far down the list, and didn’t play well enough in the right events to make the team.” Perhaps the only real cloud on the horizon for Olazabal at present is the form of Kaymer, who just clung on to the final place on the qualifying points list. The former world No.1 is without a victory for ten months, and has struggled with his game during the course of the current season. But Kaymer – who sat out the last points-counting event, the Johnnie Walker Championship, in order to work on his game – has delivered some positive bulletins about the progress he has made and Gallacher feels he could easily be back on song by the time the action gets underway. Talking of a change of fortunes, in addition to his role as a player and a commentator, Gallacher is also a working closely with golf insurance company GolfCare to raise awareness of the dangers of not being properly insured when playing golf.
No stranger to receiving the odd knock on the golf course, Gallacher is acutely aware of the perils of being unprepared for the unexpected. “I have been involved in golf for more than 40 years as a tour player, PGA professional, club captain, Ryder Cup captain and commentator, and I have seen an awful lot of strange things happen on a golf course. All golfers should seriously consider taking out specialist golf insurance to make sure they are properly covered every time they step on the tee,” he says. “I found it really interesting to hear that around nine out of ten golfers aren’t properly insured for golf,” he continues. “Mishaps and accidents can happen to anyone, and it’s quite frightening to imagine that your next shot could literally cost you a fortune. I remember being struck on the knee in the Benson & Hedges at the Belfry in the early ‘90’s. It took me out of the tournament and I was unable to play for a few weeks. It just goes to show that no matter how good a golfer you are, the golf course can be a dangerous place. “I’ve seen numerous incidents on golf courses, from people being hit or inadvertently leaving clubs by a green, and it’s amazing how many people think their household insurance will cover them. So often this simply isn’t the case and giving golfers the opportunity to buy insurance at the same time they are buying new clubs or equipment is a great idea. Golf Care’s agreement with Direct Golf UK means that more golfers will be properly covered, which can only be a good thing.” Visit www.golfcare.co.uk for more information and instant coverage.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
Titleist’s new 913 drivers are their best-performing big sticks yet – offering more distance, better ball flight, and more forgiveness than any previous model from the brand
t’s no secret that Titleist has been caught up in something of a dilemma for the past few years when it comes to the sales of its clubs. Having so successfully marketed itself as the equipment brand for the small, but important community of better players, it marginalised a large section of the mass market that didn’t feel it was quite good enough to fir that category and thus lost some of its market share to competitors who, quite rightly, went after the high number of handicap golfers who are happy playing with lollipop drivers and huge cavity-back irons. So while many of the world’s leading professionals and elite amateurs were playing and winning with Titleist clubs, the ‘pyramid of influence’ that underpins much of Titleist’s marketing methodology stopped much further up the pyramid than was perhaps hoped. But while tour validation remains core to Titleist’s principles when it comes to launching products, making clubs that all levels of golfer can comfortably hit is now also one of its main driving forces, which can clearly be seen in the launch of its latest range of metal woods. Having tested both of the new 913 drivers (see page 33 for the review), I think Titleist may well have come up with the best-performing driver for the widest cross-section of the golfing market in its history. It’s a bold claim, but one that is backed up by the numbers from Trackman, feedback from tour players (see sidebar on the next page), and the response club hackers like me, who are finding it the most forgiving club Titleist has ever made. This has been largely achieved through the introduction of an entirely re-designed titanium face insert, which has been developed to substantially improve ball speed – upwards of 10% for average swing speeds – while its centre of gravity has also been placed slightly lower to encourage less ball spin and produce a higher-launching yet extremely powerful trajectory. Although there are ‘just’ two models in the 913 driver range, the 460cc D2 and a 445cc D3, there are, in effect, dozens of different drivers contained within these two heads,
thanks to Titleist’s adjustable SureFit Tour hosel. The dual-angle hosel, which first appeared on Titleist 910 drivers, allows golfers to set loft and lie independently to optimise ball flight – higher or lower, and for more draw or fade for improved shot control and maximum distance. The hosel features a sleeve and ring, each with four settings. The sleeve settings are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and the ring settings are lettered A, B, C, D. In total there are 16 settings, each creating a unique loft and lie combination. This not only means that while there are 7.5, 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12-degree lofts available, the highest loft can be cranked up to 14-degrees (which is 3-wood territory), and the lowest loft taken down to a grass-hugging 5.5 degrees, should you so desire. Factoring in the adjustable hosel, coupled with a huge range of interchangeable shafts and changeable head weights, a trained custom-fitting expert can quickly determine a player’s optimal setup, so they are playing a 913 driver that precisely fits their game. Cosmetically, golfers will notice little difference from the 910 drivers at address, with the classic pear-shaped head of the 913 drivers retaining the glossy dark finish of its predecessor. All these distance-enhancing advancements inside the head have been matched up with a more powerful, hotter noise at impact, so that the 913 sounds as good as it looks and performs, offering a metallic ‘thwack’, rather than the duller thud that was produced by the 910. It’s hard to quantify the importance of satisfying audio feedback, but Titleist’s engineers have definitely nailed this one. Another major step forward has been the introduction of no fewer than four high-performance stock shaft options that will fit a wide range of players and swing speeds. The stock line-up includes the Mitsubishi Diamana +Plus White 72 (low launch) and Mitsubishi Diamana +Plus Blue 62 (mid launch); the Aldila RIP Phenom 70 (low-mid launch), the Aldila RIP Alpha, and the Mitsubishi Titleist Bassara W 50 (higher launch), which is the lightest shaft to ever win on Tour. Judging by the performance of the 913 drivers, and the fairway woods and hybrids that will accompany them next year, Titleist looks to be well on the road to rebranding itself from being a company that made serious clubs for seriously good golfers, to one that makes seriously good clubs for players who are serious about their game. Titleist 913 drivers, which have an an RRP of £344, go on sale in November. For more details visit www.titleist.co.uk. You can also follow Titleist Twitter @TitleistEurope. @TitleistEurope. on T
Golf News talks to Steve Pelisek, Titleist’s itleist’s general manager, about the evolution of the new 913 metalwoods range he 913 range looks like being the The most forgiving woods/hybrids Titleist has ever produced.How important is it to broaden the brands appeal to the less skilled golfer? At Titleist we strive to make the best performing clubs for all serious golfers, whom we describe as any golfer who invests time, energy, and money to improve his or her game. Embedded within that set, the serious golfers likely to consider Titleist clubs also likely have an affinity for our brand in general. We place importance on making sure our products perform for our entire target audience, some of whom are highly skilled, and some of whom are not, and I think our current range is our best effort at doing that. What makes the 913 driver better than anything you’ve produced before? The main difference is the use of a new variable-thickness forged titanium insert, which delivers more speed across a wider area of the clubface, which means off-centre hits will still get the ball out there. We’ve also played around with internal weighting and the centre of gravity of each clubhead that has improved launch conditions. While past generations of the D2 and D3 models each featured different launch and spin characteristics, the new 913D2 and 913D3 drivers have equivalent launch and spin, because of centre of gravity positions that are equally low. Golfers can then use the adjustable SureFit hosel to dial in their preferred trajectories and play around with their shot shapes. So with the 913 drivers you have speed around the face, you have the ability to reduce spin, and you have the SureFit Tour hosel to adjust launch – that’s a pretty powerful combination to increase distance. So which driver will suit which kind of player? I don’t think it’s quite so obvious as it was with previous designs. Both drivers are capable of producing similar performance, so the choice is largely based on looks and what suits the player’s eye. The D2 is 15cc bigger than the D3. The D3 is therefore more workable than the D2, while the size of the D2 makes it a more forgiving club. he shaft lengths of modern drivers are some two The inches longer than the drivers we were using 10 years ago. Have we sacrificed accuracy for distance? We encourage golfers to seek both distance and accuracy. Total performance includes both. Our standard driver length is 45 inches because we feel it provides most golfers with the best opportunity for great overall performance. For many golfers, longer shafts do create some control challenges. We believe the best way to determine the best driver length for each golfer is by being professionally fitted. A good fitter can work with a player to determine what’s most important to the player, and help them choose the driver and specs to match those priorities. We think our 913 drivers deliver maximum speed and distance potential, and that SureFit Tour provides golfers the best opportunity to be optimally fit for all specs – loft, lie, shaft, flex, length, and grip type.
September 2012 / Issue 214
/ 27 Complimentary Copy
The Ultimate Guide
DELIVERS Rory McIlroy’s switch to Titliest’s 913 driver was followed by an eight-shot win at the US PGA Championship – how’s that for instant results? Getting a tour pro to test a new driver is a hard thing to do at any time of the season, but for a top player to not only test one, but to put it straight into the bag during the middle of the year is a rare feat indeed. But that’s exactly what happened following the launch of Titleist’s new 913 driver – and not just with one or two players – more like 30. Titleist’s tour validation process is something the company goes through for all its new equipment, whereby a hand-picked group of players gets to play with what are essentially prototypes of equipment that will be launched to consumers over the next six months. For the new 913 range, which includes drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, this seeding process began on the European Tour back in July, when, after three days of fitting and testing, 14 players stepped on to the first tee at the French Open with a prototype 913 driver in the bag. This same procedure took place at the AT&T National on the PGA Tour,
where the same number of players made the switch to the new driver. While getting such large numbers to change into the new equipment is important, it’s the big names that get the headlines. Titleist brand ambassador Rory McIlroy is one such name, and for players of his calibre the Titleist fitting team made a special visit to his home in Ireland ahead of the Irish Open to put him through a comprehensive fitting session. If there was ever a case of moving a mountain to Mohammed, in golfing terms this was it. Titleist Tour technician Mattias Jelver loaded up the fitting van and took along a number
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“I’m getting less spin, and it carries 15 yards further” of goodies for McIlroy to try out, including the prototype 913D2 and 913D3 driver heads, rolls of driver shafts, and his trusty Trackman launch monitor. After an initial chat about the specific characteristics of the two heads, Rory and Mattias headed out to the range and got down to some serious work, analyzing the results of the different head and shaft combinations. “We started with Rory’s 910D2 as a benchmark and moved on from there,” explains Mattias. “As we subsequently tried different combinations of the prototype 913 heads and shafts, each brought something else to the table. The 913D3 8.5 degrees, with a VC 7.2 X Tour spec felt great from the outset, and with JP (Rory’s caddie caddie) calling out different shots – high draw, low into the wind, cut and so on – Rory was able to execute them all comfortably, while producing great numbers on Trackman.” The numbers were so good, in fact, that Rory put the prototype 913 driver into play during the Irish Open and for the Open Championship. “All the Trackman numbers suggested I was hitting the ball longer and further,” says McIlroy, who led the driving distances at Kiawah with an average of 311 yards off the tee. “I’m getting less spin, which is great in the wind, and it carries 15 yards further in calm conditions. I had no hesitation in putting it in the bag. I had my previous driver for almost two years, but this one just performs so much better. I feel like I am hitting the ball a lot better with this new driver and I feel that’s going to make a huge difference for me on tour.” And judging by his PGA Championship win and his two impressive victories in the Fed-Ex Cup, he could just be right.
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September 2012 / Issue 214
Sky Sport’s voice of golf speaks out on issues of the month
You lookin’ at me? The captains’ pairings could be the deciding factor in the result
Captains’ calls will decide this Cup
ow that the make-up of the teams has been finalised, I, like other golf fans out there, can’t wait for the Ryder Cup to get under way on September 28. What was interesting about the final wildcard selections was that Davis Love had an embarrassment of riches to choose his final four players from, while his European counterpart, José Maria Olazabal, didn’t. Two years ago, Colin Montgomerie had an agonising dilemma, and in the end had to leave out Justin Rose and Paul Casey, both of whom were in the world’s top 20. This time round, there were really only two contenders for Olazabal’s side. Going down the order, Nicolas Colsaerts and Ian Poulter were next in line. Some of those close to them will perhaps feature in the future, but Olzabal’s decision was made for him. Colsaerts and Poulter are valuable additions to the home side. The first Belgian to play in the Ryder Cup is the current Volvo Match Play champion, who defeated two of his new team mates in the semi-final and final in Spain. Nobody can or will argue with Poulter’s inclusion, given his performances from the time Nick Faldo gave him the controversial nod in 2008. Love, on the other hand, had the ‘Monty problem’, with at least eight contenders for only four places. He would have agonised over Mahan, Johnson, Watney, Stricker, Furyk, Fowler, Snedeker and let’s not forget, Bill Haas, the current Fed-Ex champion. Had he left out the four he eventually picked, and selected the other four, given their current form and Fowler’s fine debut in Wales, his team would still have been strong. In the end, he went for experience in Stricker and Furyk, along with the power of Johnson and the putting touch of Snedeker, and the United States has a very well balanced side. He would have looked at his rookies, two of whom are major champions in Watson and Simpson, while the other newcomer, Jason Dufner, has had a stellar season. Had Watney
and Haas been selected, five of the side would have been making their debuts. That made the choice a fraction easier. The task for Europe will be an immense one. This US side is not as strong as the one they fielded at Walton Heath over 30 years ago, but it’s not far off. Europe will face many difficult moments over the three days in Chicago, and they will have to be at their very best to retain the cup. I have a feeling this will be one of the great Ryder Cups, as the two captains have the utmost respect of their players, the game, and the fans. Ollie and Davis have been perfect role models for many years. But who will win? A month or so back, I’m not ashamed to admit that the USA were my clear favourites. ButRory McIlroy’s US PGA win was just the boost Europe needed, and several of our key players are close to their best form. Graeme McDowell has had a strong summer and Paul Lawrie is in the form of his life. With the first two days all about partnerships, the onus is on the captains to get the best out of their pairings. Olazabal has some ready-made combinations. Graeme and Rory are obvious, and I think they should start the proceedings on Friday morning. Rose and Poulter will feature together, and I like the pairing of Donald and Kaymer for the fourballs. Garcia and Westwood were superb ten years ago at the Belfry. Lawrie is a little like Bernhard Langer, and with his steady game could play with anyone in either format. That leaves Colsaerts, Hanson and Molinari. The Italian is perfect for foursomes, the other two ideal for fourballs. Nothing much to be disappointed about there. Over the years, too much focus has been placed on the captains, but this time around I believe the choice of partnerships is going to be the key to the outcome of the matches. Sixteen of the 28 points come from foursomes and fourballs. The one who manages to unlock the secret of the pairings will hold the Ryder Cup aloft on September 30.
Westwood on the path to major success
Chips with everything: Westwood is hoping that Tony Johnstone can turnaround his short game
During the past five years or so, no one has hit the ball as well, or as consistently, as Lee Westwood. During that spell, Lee has had several victories all over the world, but despite many spirited performances in the majors, he has yet to record a win in any of them. I have never been more certain that he will next year. Having had a poor US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Lee has at last recognised that his short game is not up to the standard of his long game. His PGA Tour stats tell him he is consistently in the upper echelons of driving, distance and accuracy, and few can match his percentage of greens found in the correct number. For his pitching and chipping stats, you have to go a long way down the list
in the scrambles category, almost to the bottom. His ‘up and downs’ from around 30 yards makes alarming reading, with a success rate of less than 25 per cent. Lee is one of the most intelligent golfers in the game , and his decision to spend five days with Tony Johnstone, one of my co-commentators at Sky, will reap rapid rewards in the near future. In Tony, he has the ideal person to speak to, because the Zimbabwean possesses one of the sharpest short games on any tour today. He is not a scientist who does things by numbers, he is a feel player with a sound method. It’s a great thing to have a coach demonstrate what he is professing, not many can do that. The week after their extended training session,
there was a marked difference in Westwood’s pitching and chipping. Not so much in the method he was using, but in variety of shots. All too often in the past, when Lee missed a green, out came the lob wedge, even when there was nothing in front of him. At the Barclays in New York he was inventive. Chip and runs, coupled with floating pitches, lob shots when necessary, and in general, a extensive array of shots made up in his mind. When a player has that focus in his armoury, he has feel and vision, once you have that, the strike improves and the confidence levels rise quickly. Some critics have said that Westwood is not a good putter. Nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t have his win ratio without being more than efficient on the greens. The difference is that after the changes he has made to his pitching and chipping, he is now putting from inside six feet after a missed green, not from beyond ten. With a better touch from just off the green, his putting will improve. Lee is moving his family to Florida in an effort to give himself the best possible opportunity of extending his impressive career, from what I’ve seen in a very short space of time, the next five years may turn out to be his best.
A DV E R T I S I N G
September 2012 / Issue 214
F E AT U R E
G-MAC’S THE RYDE 2-PIECE GOLF BALL*
*Sources: SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC & GOLF DATATECH RETAIL AUDITS
THE UK’S BEST SELLING JUST GOT BETTER
EXPLOSIVE POWER EXCEPTIONAL CONTROL
Srixon/Cleveland Golf staff player Graeme McDowell is primed to help Europe pull off a rare away win in this month’s Ryder Cup When the players tee it up at Medinah Country Club for the 2012 Ryder Cup at the end of the month one man who will attract plenty of attention in the build up will be Graeme McDowell. The Ulsterman brought the trophy home at Celtic Manor in 2010, when he won his singles match against Hunter Mahan to cap an incredible season and send European golf into the stratosphere. Since that day, there has been no looking back for the European Tour, with three different world number one’s and three Major championships delivered by Europeans. G-Mac, as he is most commonly known among the golfing fraternity, has been a permanent fixture at the top of the leaderboard in each of this season’s Major championships, and while he didn’t quite manage to get over the line and win a second Major, his performances will have the US team on their guard. The 2010 US Open champion finished inside the top 12 at every Major, with his tied second place finish in the US Open being his strongest performance of the season. This result in particular demonstrated further that G-Mac is a man who relishes performing on the biggest of stages, and there is certainly no greater than the cauldron of pressure that a Ryder Cup played in the US represents. To describe McDowell as a gritty player doesn’t do his talents justice. Yes, when the going gets tough, there are fewer better golfers at grinding out scores than the man who learnt his trade at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, but to win points in a Ryder Cup you need to make birdies and eagles.
His record in the competition also speaks for itself. In the two matches he has competed in, he has won both his singles matches and performed well in both the foursomes and fourball format. A stat that is sure to make him ‘one to avoid’ in the singles on Sunday for the US players. Such was Colin Montgomerie’s confidence in McDowell’s nerve, that he was given the task of being the last man out in the singles at Celtic Manor. Don’t be surprised if José Maria Olazabal follows suit, and backs McDowell to steer the European ship home once more. Like his fellow Europeans, McDowell relishes the Ryder Cup environment, and having spent the majority of the season playing his golf in the US, will be fully prepared for whatever Medinah has in store. Narrowly missing out on a spot in the Tour Championship will also give McDowell an extra week to prepare for what is set to be the most fiercelycontested match in the tournament’s history. In the bag for G-Mac at Medinah will be the tools with which he has produced big performances time after time in the season’s biggest events. If he needs yards off the tee, he will pull out the Cleveland Classic Driver, while for attacking the pins he has the Srixon Z-TX II irons. Cleveland’s award-winning 588 wedges and Srixon’s Z-Star golf ball will help McDowell display a deft touch around the greens, as he looks to put points on the board for Europe. His comments after winning the Ryder Cup in 2010 suggested maybe his nerves weren’t quite as steely as everyone may have thought. McDowell said: “I remember looking up at the scoreboard on the 10th green and I realised things were going to be pretty tight. At that
McDowell will be relying on his trusted Cleveland Classic driver to keep him on the straight and narrow at Medinah
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www.srixon.co.uk 7482-Srixon-GolfNewsAD333AdvertArt.indd 1
September 2012 / Issue 214
A DV E R T I S I N G
F E AT U R E
UP FOR ER CUP! Having tasted the joy of Ryder Cup victory at Celtic Manor, McDowell is eager to add another to his impressive CV
IT’S BACK. AND IT’S BETTER THAN EVER.
“The Cleveland 588s were always the best wedges ever made. And with this next generation, they still are!” Graeme McDowell point I got extremely nervous and coming down the stretch, I’ve never felt nerves like it in my life. I was out there trying to win it for myself, for Colin, for Europe and all the fans. It was a different level to what I experienced on the final day at Pebble Beach, and it just shows why this event is so special, and continues to be the
greatest golf tournament on the planet.” Despite admitting to nerves, the putt he holed for a birdie on the 16th green showed more than words could ever say. Should it come down to him again, that experience will prove invaluable and many would bet on him to produce the goods for Europe once more.
Cometh the hour: McDowell showed ice cool nerves when winning the deciding point in the 2010 Ryder Cup
Experience the legend, re-born at your Cleveland golf retail stockist.
September 2012 / Issue 214
QUAD-Fit Stockists QUAD-Fit Stockists
OUTLET OUTLETSTORE STORE
Poult Wood Golf Centre Poult Wood Golf Centre Tonbridge, T onbridge, Kent K ent Tonbridge, Kent 01732 364 039 01732 364 039
FootJoy StaSof glove RRP: £17.50
Ping Response Rain Suit RRP: £120 (jacket), £100 (trousers) Contact: www.pingcollection.co.uk Ping Collection claims that its new range of clothing for autumn and winter 2012 is the best performing collection the company has ever made, with a mix of waterproofs, polo shirts, base layers, trousers and knitwear all engineered to protect golfers from the elements. The range is centred around three innovative layering systems – Hydro Pro Dynamics, Thermal Dynamics and Dry Fibre Dynamics. Hydro Pro Dynamics fabric technology is found in the Response Jacket, which creates a garment that is 100% waterproof, 100% breathable and has a four-way stretch, allowing the golfer to make a complete, athletic swing without being inhibited. The main body is a two-layer waterproof laminate fabric that is both lightweIght and wind-resistant.
Big Max EZ Roller RRP: £149.99 Contact: www.bigmaxgolf.com Big Max is launching five new travel covers this autumn, each of which offers something different to the travelling golfer, including free personalised embroidery, bag covers, skate ball bearings and push along covers. The top-of-the-range model is the self-standing EZ Roller, which can be pushed rather than dragged, as it has no fewer than six wheels and a solid base to increase manoeuvrability and ease of use. Other features include internal shoe pockets, durable nylon protection, and a padded top cover to protect clubheads. It is available in black/ orange or black/red. For those travelling in pairs, or with extra luggage, the Atlantis Oversize (£69.99) is capable of carrying two golf bags, and is available in black, silver, red and yellow.
Contact: www.footjoy.co.uk Featuring the most technologically-innovative leather the company has ever developed, it’s not surprising that FootJoy’s StaSof glove is already finding its way onto the mitts of some of the world’s best players. The latest generation of this top-selling glove claims to deliver optimum feel, exceptional moisture management and improved grip performance. Constructed using Traction2 Advanced Performance Leather, the StaSof features a more tailored fit across the palm, knuckles and cuff for improved comfort, while the angled ComforTab closure and PowerNet mesh enhances breathability. It is available in S-XL sizes.
SHOP Mizuno JPX825 irons RRP: £110/£80 per club (gr/st) Contact: www.penfoldgolf.com With the Pro version of these irons currently in the bags of Charles Howell III, Ignacio Garrido and LPGA Tour front-runner Stacy Lewis, the second generation of JPX irons looks set to make a big splash in the irons market. The JPX825s pack both extreme ball speed and a high level of forgiveness with a profile that never becomes too bulky or overly offset. In the longer irons (4 to 7) there’s a pocket cavity design with a thin, responsive ‘hot face’ for high speed, soft landing flights, while from 8-iron to pitching wedge they’re more compact for greater feel and precision. Harmonic Impact Technology (HIT) ensures enough feedback to keep the player informed without being punished from off-centre strikes.
September 2012 / Issue 214
Ping Serene Driver
Ecco Casual Cool HydroMax
RRP: £239 Contact: www.ping.com
Ping has launched a new range of ladies’ clubs called Serene. Replacing the Faith range, the new clubs comprise a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons and putters. Headlining the Serene range is the driver, which features ultra-thin crown technology in the wide-profile, 460cc head. This creates discretionary weight that is used to optimise the centre of gravity and elevate forgiveness. The lowest portion of the clubface is wide to ensure solid contact and maintain distance and accuracy, even on miss-hits. Two Ping ULT 210 high-balance-point shafts, a Lite (52g) and Ultra Lite (45g), have a centre of gravity closer to the grip end, allowing the golfer to swing a clubhead with more mass at the same speed, generating faster ball speeds and longer distance. The driver is available in 10.5-, 12- and 14-degree lofts, along with a set of matching fairway woods – 3 (18˚), 5 (22˚) and 7-wood (26˚).
Contact: www.ecco.com Über-cool Scandi shoe brand Ecco continues to offer a stunning range of comfortable, stylish and technically-advanced golf footwear, and its 2012 women’s collection, headlined by the Casual Cool Hydromax, features a wide range of fresh designs and eye-catching colour palettes. Handcrafted from high quality leathers produced at ECCO-owned factories, the Casual Cool is designed and constructed using the Scandinavian principle that form must follow function. This foot-first approach to shoemaking merges with the company’s use of direct-injection technology to ensure unrivaled durability, flexibility, lightness and weather resistance. Casual Cool is offered in three leather types – waterproof Gore-Tex, weather-resistant Hydromax and high-grade Premier, while the outsole is colour-matched to the uppers for a distinctively feminine look. The HydroMax is available in white/white, white/sand/sand, white/silver metallic/candy, and white/silver metallic/danube.
Ashworth High Twist Jersey Polo RRP: £39.99 Contact: www.ashwortheurope.com The High Twist Jersey polo, which is made from a cotton/polyester mix (65/35), features a solid block colour design which can be easily paired with any golfing outfit. The three button placket, rib knit collar and open sleeves offers a roomy, comfortable fit, and allows for a restriction-free swing.
Mizuno JPX825 Black IP driver RRP: £249 Contact: www.golf.mizunoeurope.com Built for both comfort and speed, Mizuno’s new JPX825 driver performs as menacingly as it looks, offering uncompromising distance and unerring accuracy. Mizuno says its newest driver is ‘powered by the dark side’ and it’s hard to argue with that on its looks, while its tapered clubhead does have a slight look of Darth Vader’s helmet about it. The sole profile keeps the clubhead low to the ground and is designed to enhance swing speeds for long and straight drives. The use of a thinner crown has allowed weight to be fixed deep within the clubhead to launch the ball high with low backspin, although Mizuno warns that this is not a club for those that like to work the ball, as its overall aim is to hit it high, long and straight. Available in 9.5, 10.5, 12 and 13.5 degree lofts, the JPX825 has a 45.5inch shaft. Originally planned for launch early next year, it will be available in pro shops from next month. A matching set of fairway woods (3, 5 and 7) and hybrids (19, 22, 25 degrees) will join the driver in the line-up.
TESTED Titleist 913 driver Rating: RRP: £344 Contact: www.titleist.co.uk I have to confess to not having had a Titleist driver in the bag since the 905 – which, according to the naming of its clubs – takes us back to the summer of 2005. Seven years is a sizeable gap, and, speaking as a mid-handicapper prone to inconsistency off the tee, it says more about me than it does about Titleist’s ability to make decent drivers. But it’s a two-way street, and frankly nothing had got me too excited in those intervening years. But all that’s history now, and there’s definitely a sniff of excitement in the air following the launch of the new 913 Series. The seven-year itch could well be over. Although there are only two models in the 913 driver range – a 460cc D2 and a 445cc D3 version – there are, in effect, dozens of different drivers contained within these two heads, thanks to the adjustable Surefit Tour hosel, which offers the ability to open and close the face plus or minus two degrees. This means that while there are 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12-degree lofts available, the highest loft can be cranked up to 14-degrees (which is 3-wood territory), and the lowest loft taken down to a grasshugging 6.5 degrees, should you so desire. The club retains the classy, glossy dark finish of it predecessor – the 910 – but features an entirely re-designed face insert that has been developed to substantially improve ball speed (upwards of 11%). With a thinner crown and a lower sole profile, its centre of gravity has also been placed slightly lower to encourage less spin – 230rpm less – all of which adds up to what is easily the longest and most forgiving driver Titleist has ever produced. The D2 has a slight draw bias, while the D3 offers better players a chance to shape the ball but both are yardage-making machines. With so many different set-ups available, it’s essential that you get fitted for this driver, as the right combination can put some serious yardage back into your game. So, if like me, you’ve shied away from giving a Titleist driver a bash because you’re just not quite good enough, it’s definitely time to think again.
The 15th Club RRP: £22.99 + £4.99p&p Contact: www.the15thclub.co.uk Having more than the allotted 14 clubs in the bag is an absolute disaster for golfers, as it can result in up to a four-shot penalty if discovered after you’ve teed off in a competition. However, there is a new training aid being launched on the market that is set put a more positive spin on the concept of having an extra tool in the bag. The15thClub is actually not a club at all, rather a foldable 136cm-long steel pole that resembles a marker post that you might find on the fairway. Part-target, part-directional tool, The15thclub has a wide variety of uses that can help golfers of every skill level. From aiding general flexibility, enabling golfers to warm up and prepare properly, to providing a tool to help focus on the allimportant short game, the15thclub gives golfers the opportunity to incorporate it into every aspect of their practice routines. Use it to mark out specific yardages when hitting wedges, lay it around the hole to create a visual target when chipping and putting, or lie it down across your target line to aid alignment on all shots – the15thclub is the ultimate tool for improving all elements of your game. The foldable design of the15thclub, which weighs 2lbs, also means that it can be kept in every type and size of golf bag, and can be pulled out whenever and wherever required.
September 2012 / Issue 214
1. Ping Anser 2
2. Odyssey ProType Tour 6
RRP: £109 Contact: ping.com
RRP: £209 Contact: odysseygolf.com
Combining the classic Anser design with new milled stainless steel finish, the Anser 2 offers pure feel and unrivalled touch. The seven models feature various hosel designs that determine each putters balance, while milling lines on the heel and toe ballasts and a satin nickel finish prevent glare. The Anser 2 is built for players with a slight arc to their swing, so those with a straight-back stroke will be better suited to the 5, or the 4 or 6 models for strong arcs.
With Tour headshapes, polished finish and custom colour options, the ProType Tour Series is aimed at players looking for Tour performance and looks to match. The head is made from soft carbon steel and features a deep milling pattern on the face to increase interaction between the face and the ball for better feel, truer roll and more consistency. The head weight is matched with the shaft length using slightly heavier heads for shorter models. Buyers can choose from six grip colours and head paint fill-ins.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A PURE STRIKE ON THE GREENS, IT’S GOT TO BE A BLADE
3. Yes! Golf Callie-12 RRP: £149 Contact: yesgolf.com
BLADE RUNNERS 5
The heel-toe weighted Callie-12 features a plumber neck that offsets the head from the shaft for better alignment and weight distribution. Combined with moderate toe hang, it allows users to feel the weight of the head, yet its offset provides better stability through impact. C-Groove Technology gets the ball rolling quickly, while concentric grooves also improve the performance of off-centre hits. A TPU insert behind the face provides improves feel.
4. Rife Montserrat
5. John Letters Silver Swan SS7
RRP: £119 Contact: rifeputters.com
RRP: £59.99 Contact: johnletters.com
The milled stainless steel Montserrat offers a sweeping heel/toe blade design with a mid-length offset neck. It features Rife’s Lie-Aline vertical alignment notch and RollGroove face technology that produces a quicker roll and a softer feel. Rife’s Island Series also offers the Anserstyle Aruba; the Trinidad, which is a centre-shafted, heel-toe weighted blade; and the Cayman Brac, which is a scooped-flange blade.
The SS7 offers a clean look at address with the added benefit of a single alignment line for more accurate putts. Heel and toe weighting provides greater forgiveness across the putter face. The head is made from stainless steel for a superb feel and responsive feedback, while the double CNC-milled face ensures that the face is perfectly flat, making it extremely accurate and consistent. The milled face also helps to get the ball rolling quicker, with less skid, helping distance control.
6. TaylorMade Ghost Tour
7. Nike Golf Method Midnight 006
RRP: £129 Contact: taylormadegolf.eu
RRP: £160 Contact: nikegolf.eu
The Ghost Tour range is designed to help user square the face at impact by using a mixture of sightlines, contrasting head colours and adjustable head weights. The back of the DA-12 features a single black alignment line, while the white head contrasts with the grass to make it easier to see where the face is aimed. The head, which features adjustable sole weights, is made from soft stainless steel, while the face features a titanium-alloy insert for a crisp feel at impact.
The new Midnight range – which takes its name from the dark satin finish – features three models, including the classic heel-toe weighted 006. All three showcase Nike’s polymetal groove technology, which combines the forgiveness of a polymer insert and the solid feel and feedback of metal into a single face. Add to that CNC milling and the deep grooves that are the hallmark of the polymetal face, and golfers can expect almost immediate forward roll at impact.
8. Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 Notchback RRP: £278 Contact: titleist.co.uk The Notchback has a notched flange design that gives the user a subtle visual alignment aid for more accurate putting. Precisely milled critical angles in the face, sole and neck ensure the putter sits perfectly square at address, while a gently angled toe reduces the tendency to pull putts by raising the toe. A milled 303 stainless steel head with a deep milled face offers soft, responsive feel at impact.
September 2012 / Issue 214
ITâ€™S GO TIME. Advanced Material Placement
Sophisticated computer modeling and simulation allow COBRA Golf engineers to thin walls (orange shaded areas) to save weight and re-distribute mass in the club head (blue shaded areas) to maximize distance and forgiveness.
Introducing COBRA AMPTM Drivers, Fairways, Hybrids and Irons.
100% PURE. www.cobragolf.com
September 2012 / Issue 214
Thorpeness launches greenfingered breaks
Thorpeness also offers a stunning range of accommodation
Golf Holidays in the from only
MYRTLE BEACH from £320pp! ORLANDO from £275pp! ARIZONA from £260pp! PINEHURST from £295pp! HILTON HEAD from £325pp!
Prices include - 7 nights in 3* hotel with b/fast, 4 great rounds of golf including carts! and a 7 seat people carrier with inclusive car insurance based on 4 sharing. (FLIGHTS NOT INCLUDED, PLEASE CALL FOR LATEST PRICES AND GROUP DISCOUNTS).
For the BEST PRICES in - MYRTLE BEACH - FLORIDA - LAS VEGAS CALIFORNIA - ARIZONA - HILTON HEAD - CHARLESTON
Europe and South Africa please call:
EAGLE GOLF TOURS 01273 419111
or go to: www.eaglegolftours.com
A Suffolk Hotel and Golf Club and a 500-year-old grade I listed Hall and Gardens have teamed up to launch a new green-fingered golf break package to the UK market. Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, in the holiday village of Thorpeness on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast, and Helmingham Hall and Gardens - ancestral home of the Tollemache family near Stowmarket - have joined together to launch a new “Golf and Gardens” golf break package targeting UK golfers. Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club is part of the TA Hotel Collection, a group of five distinctive independent Suffolk Hotels, and one of the leading golf destinations in the county. Bruno Mollier, manager Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, said: “The golf breaks market is one of the most competitive in the UK tourism industry and so many quality hotels now have golf facilities. We believe that to stand out you need to offer your guests
added value and authentic experiences that are distinct to your destination. This is why we have approached Helmingham Hall – one of Suffolk’s leading attractions – to offer tourists a package combining golf and a tour around its beautiful rose gardens.” “Suffolk is a county of rare and outstanding natural beauty, with picture postcard seaside villages and distinctive food, drink and visitor attractions. We saw an opportunity to work with Helmingham Hall and Gardens and other Suffolk attractions to tell the story of this county as well as promoting its golf courses,” added Mr. Mollier. The price of this twonight break is inclusive of breakfast and dinner each day, 36 holes of golf, entry to the gardens and a guide book. Sharing a standard room costs £228 per person, or £238 for a a superior room. For more information, visit: www.thorpeness.co.uk and www.helmingham.com.
Trust Troon to deliver quality breaks Your Golf Travel has announced a new joint venture with golf management experts Troon Golf to offer golfers an exclusive selection of luxury golfing destinations in the UK and abroad. The ‘Troon Golf Collection’ gives players access to five-star holidays at top-class courses around the world at an affordable price. From the historic links of Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, to the manicured fairways of some of the best resorts in Spain and the United Arab Emirates, the new collection has something that will interest all golf fans. Troon Golf provides golfers with the opportunity to play on the most immaculately prepared tees, fairways and greens, and enjoy country club-style guest services that are unrivalled across regular golf destinations, including high-class offcourse facilities and restaurant-quality dining. Prices start from £130 per person for groups of four people booking two rounds of golf and accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in the new luxury lodge at Prince’s, which was officially opened this summer. While golfers seeking five-star luxury further afield can experience breaks to destinations including the UAE, where a three-night stay at Abu Dhabi Golf Club including flights, breakfast and 18 holes at the Troonmanaged Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, plus one additional round at Yas Links, costs from £719 per person. For more details visit www.yourgolftravel.com/troon-golf-collection.html.
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...
Korineum Golf Resort SPECIAL WEEKLY PACKAGES
• 7 nights B&B 6pp • 4 rounds of golf £59 • Return ﬂights with in-ﬂight meals • 20 kg checked luggage and 5 kg hand luggage • Local transfers and representative services • No charge for golf bag • Under 100% ATOL protection
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 01 – 29 NOV
VALID 01 – 23 DEC
Golf du Soleil
RIU TIKIDA PALMERAIE: 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 01 – 29 NOV
7 night golf break from £596
VALID 01 – 23 DEC
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
Call our holiday experts on 0203 150 0913 or visit www.CyprusParadise.com/golf
The Travel Association Y2916
September 2012 / Issue 214
More golf for less at Amendoeira
An array of stay and play packages to Portugal’s Oceânico Amendoeira Golf Resort are now available for less this autumn with each booking for eight receiving one package free of charge. Ideal for groups and families, the resort boasts 36-holes of championship golf, firstclass accommodation and leisure facilities
providing an ideal location for families and groups. Guests can choose three nights for the price of two, with two rounds of golf from €220, or five nights for the price of four, and four rounds of golf, from €442. For longer breaks, the offers comprise seven nights and three rounds of golf from
€434, or seven nights and five rounds of golf from €565. Prices are per person, for a group of eight golfers, with four golfers sharing a two-bedroom apartment. Each package consists of golf on both the Faldo Course and O’Connor Jnr courses, with buggies included. The fivenight package includes golf on the Victoria Golf course, while the Old Course is available to those taking advantage of the seven-night offer. Guests can also enjoy complimentary use of the golf academy practice facilities and the recreational facilities at the Amendoeira Sports Club. The two-bedroom apartments include a spacious living room/dining area, satellite TV and Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen. Each has its own balcony or terrace, with access to a communal pool. Amendoeira is located 35 minutes from Faro airport, and 10 minutes from the town of Silves and Armação de Pêra beach. For more information visit amendoeiraresort.com or call 00 351 282 320 671.
Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board
Please visit our new website
www.dorsetgolfresort.com THE DORSET GOLF HOTEL AND LUXURY LOG HOMES FOR RENT FREE GOLF Air-conditioned clubhouse facilities l Restaurant offering an extensive menu l On site accommodation in the Dorset Golf Hotel 16 twin rooms l From £64.25 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l
Golfbreaks offers September savings Golfbreaks.com has launched an autumn promotion that, in addition to the best-value deals, gives customers great discounts, loyalty point worth up to £600 against future bookings and even a new TaylorMade driver. The Early Birdie promotion rewards groups of eight or more who book their 2013 golf trip before September 30 as well as enabling golfers to reserve preferred tee-times and hotel rooms at the most popular destinations before they get snapped up. In addition to money off and R11 drivers for large group bookings, loyalty Breakpoints earned can also be redeemed with the company’s sister businesses Teeofftimes.co.uk - the UK’s largest tee-time booking service with a portfolio of more than 850 golf clubs - and BookaSpa.com, which specialises in spa experiences at 200 venues nationwide.
Swing into action at stylish St Moritz
Golfers looking to combine a bit of healthy competition on one of the UK’s finest links courses, with a stay in one of the West Country’s most stylish boutique hotels, can do so this autumn following the launch a new tournament by the St Moritz Hotel in north Cornwall. The 36-hole tournament, which takes place on October 3-4, will see competitors staying in the St Moritz Hotel in Trebetherick, which opened in 2008, andrecently appeared in Condé Nast Traveller magazine’s 2012 Hot List. The £15m luxury hotel is handily placed on the edge of the much-celebrated St Enodoc Church links course, which will be the venue for the first of two competitive rounds, with the second being held at The Point in Polzeath. PGA pros at both clubs will be on hand to host warm-up sessions and given lesson over two days, with the St Moritz team providing beds, treats, trophies and comedy. Hotel owner Hugh
Ridgway said: “Golf has always been extremely popular with a lot of our guests, and we can’t think of a better way to get them all together, learning and competing in a serious tournament, with a lighthearted St Moritz approach.
27 holes of fantastic golf
AUG & SEPT SOCIETY SPECIAL OFFER l l
Coffee & Bacon Baguettes on arrival 18 Holes of Championship Golf
NOW £29.75pp! (min 4 players only)
DORSET’S PREMIER GOLFING VENUE NOT TO BE MISSED!
TELEPHONE NO: 01929 472244
Lykia Links is just one of many ‘early birdie’ destinations
We’ll have three categories of player – rookies, intermediate and advanced – and they’ll all be in the relevant sections depending on their handicap. It’s set to be an amazing couple of days on the best courses in Cornwall, with sweeping views of the sea.” The tournament package costs from £290 for one night’s accommodation, breakfast, coffee, and two 18-hole games, plus post-match drinks and dinner. Non-playing guests are able to join in for an additional £95. For further details visit www.stmoritzhotel.co.uk.
FREE GOLF At The Ashbury Golf Hotel The UK’s Largest Golf Resort
Set in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. The Ashbury Golf Hotel is the ideal venue for your golf break.
Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3
Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4
7 x 18 hole course options all on one site! KIGBEARE PINES FOREST ASHBURY BEECHES OAKWOOD WILLOWS
Par 72 Par 72 Par 71 Par 69 Par 69 Par 68 Par 54
6528 6400 6140 5804 5765 5502 1939
Forest 8th 442 yards, Par 4
Kigbeare 15th 382 yards, Par 4
Autumn to Spring Specials 24/9/12 - 01/5/13 • FREE UNLIMITED GOLF • FREE BUGGIES • DRIVING RANGE TOKENS
Bargain Breaks from £55 per person, per night! Sports Bowls Table Tennis 5-A-Side Basketball
Additional Facilities FREE to residents of our hotels Racket Sports Leisure Family Tennis Swimming Funhouse Badminton Spa & Sauna Gamezone Squash Snooker Waterslides Short Tennis Ten-Pin Play Area
Ranges Archery Air Pistols Air Rifles Laser Clays
PLUS unique Craft Centre featuring 17 tutored crafts, including Pottery & Woodwork
0800 389 9892
All rooms en-suite • Full board • Child rates • Party discounts
September 2012 / Issue 214
Stay & play brought to you by
For bookings please contact Your Golf Travel.com: Call Free: 0800 193 6612 Email: email@example.com Web: www.yourgolftravel.com
Trodden by the well-heeled, graced by the eminent and crafted by masters, Luton Hoo is cut from different cloth. And impressive cloth it is – few can rival its grandeur, its history or its enormous stature. Unleash your inner lord or lady and set a course for an upperclass break at this sumptuous Bedfordshire pile The real distance from the M1 to Luton Hoo is barely a mile, but that mile may as well be an eternity such is the glorious, tranquil splendour of this picturepostcard country estate. A couple of quick turns from junction 10 and you’ll leave commuter hell behind in favour of something entirely more civilised. Beyond suitably impressive gates the driveway snakes this way and that, circumventing centuries-old trees every few yards on route to what must be the most grandiose entrance of any golfing retreat in the country. In front of these same Robert Adam designed steps in 1948, then PM Winston Churchill gave a wartime speech to tens of thousands of people, just one notable date in this property’s illustrious past. Built by the Earl of Bute from Adam’s blueprints, the estate passed through the hands of the Wernher family to the present owners, and the great house that once welcomed the great and the good, royalty and celebrity, is now a deluxe hotel operated by Elite Hotels. For golfers, there’s nothing like this majestic resort. From your bedroom you might gaze out across Capability Brown fashioned grounds to the golf course, or perhaps onto the neatly crimped and oh-so ornate gardens. Whichever way you turn, this is an impressive landscape and not least for golfers; the game has been played over the estate grounds for many years, but the course today has been upgraded to a modern championship proposition, reaching beyond 7,000 at its peak. Not a single bunker adorns
SPECIAL PACKAGES 1 NIGHT 2 ROUNDS One Night, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, 2 Rounds on Luton Hoo Golf Club the layout due to protections in place to retain the character of Brown’s estate grounds but that doesn’t detract from what is a difficult but extremely rewarding mission. Tees and greens are built to USGA specifications, just one highlight of your journey around Luton Hoo’s 250acre playground, and the nines are quite distinct in character, with the closing stretch more mature, picking through wonderful trees towards the main house. Wander off the 18th green and you’ll shortly be at the clubhouse, located adjacent to the spa and the excellent Adam’s Brasserie. It is clear from the get-go that a stay at Luton Hoo is no mere golf break; play golf yes, but missing out on the resort’s other treats would be a sin. The spa, for instance, makes use of exclusive blends crafted from plants and flowers grown on the estate, and the dining takes a similarly special approach. Each day is a feasting
journey that begins with an epic breakfast, followed by lunch – perhaps on the course – and possibly taking in afternoon tea in the Mansion House. This part of the hotel was remodelled in the early 20th century by the architects of The Ritz; expect almighty ceilings, exquisite furnishings and more than a dash of old world charm. Nowhere is this more evident than in The Wernher, the hotel’s signature restaurant, where half of the original owner’s budget was ploughed into creating a truly incredible space. Your choice of lodging could see you bunk down in style in the Mansion House or in one of the other accommodation options – the Parkland and Flower Garden Wings plus the Club House dozen help to round out an impressive collection of rooms and suites. But what else would you expect? It’s been fit for kings, heads of state and European nobility, and it’s waiting for you to check-in next.
PER PERSON VALID UNTIL 30TH NOV 2012
2 NIGHT 3 ROUNDS Two Nights, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, 3 Rounds on Luton Hoo Golf Club FROM
PER PERSON VALID UNTIL 31ST OCT 2012
September 2012 / Issue 214
Me&MyTravels with KK Downing - The co-founder of rock band Judas Priest has given up a life of touring to follow his passion for the fairways The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas
My first holiday was... a five-day train excursion that went to a different location each day in England. It was an affordable way for not so well-off families to go on holiday. Grandparents, parents, aunts and kids would split up and share the tickets throughout the week, so if I was lucky I got to go on two of the days. My most recent holiday was... at home. I haven’t been anywhere since I stopped touring
with the band. The last show I did was in Japan in November 2010. My favourite city in the world is... Rome. It has fascinating architecture and history, with so much to see and do. The best hotel I’ve ever stayed in is...a toss up between the Point Resort in Phoenix – although it has been a while since I was there – and the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, which takes some beating. It’s a fantastic
beach resort facility with loads of pools, a wave maker and a fabulous tubing river. My favourite golf resort is... Las Callinas in Fort Worth. They hold the Byron Nelson Classic there. My favourite golf course in the world… Mauna Kea or Mauna Lani on Maui. Both courses have many holes with fantastic drama. On one tour we finished in Hawaii and I decided to rent a house there and I ended up playing every golf course on the island and stayed there for seven months. My ideal travelling golf partner would be... a girlfriend. I think taking a girlfriend is the best way to go, as many great golf locations have great beaches, restaurants, and nightlife. I guess I’m a bit of a romantic. My ideal holiday four ball would be...Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Robert Rock and me! My most memorable round ever round was...in Biloxi, Mississippi back in 1986. Myself and my co-guitarist Glenn were asked to do a rock and golf feature for Sports Illustrated, and they set up a game for us in Biloxi. I was three over par over for 11 holes and the heavens opened up with
thunder and lightening – and that was it! It was a bit like the scene from Caddy Shack! My best round ever was... eight over par at Biltmore in Phoenix. The thing I hate about travel is... everything about the journey. These days my patience leaves a lot to be desired. Having said that, no pain no gain – there is nothing like seeing and experiencing first hand all of this wonderful planet and, of course, its wonderful golf courses. The worst holiday I ever had was in...I haven’t really had any major disasters, but I have a theory that the worst holidays are usually the ones that people enjoy remembering the most by having a good laugh at the events that took place. For example,
I bet most of us can remember that camping holiday when the tent just wouldn’t play ball and neither did the weather. Oh, and who forgot the mallet to knock the tent pegs in? My top travel tip is...don’t overpack your suitcase on the way out, as you will undoubtedly end up buying an extra bag to come back with. I am planning a golf trip to...Scotland and Ireland. I don’t know when, but I am determined to do a tour of the great links courses and play as many of them as I can while I am still able. KK Downing owns Astbury Hall Golf Club in Shropshire. For more details visit www.astburyhall.co.uk or call 01746 767394.
The spectacular Mauna Lani in Hawaii
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GORGE GROOVE TECHNOLOGY PRECISION MILLED TO PERFECTION 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.
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Three sole widths (WS, SS, TS) in multiple lofts fit your swing and playing conditions.