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Issue 232 | May 2014
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May 2014 / Issue 232
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Issue 232 | May 2014
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Safety in numbers
olf clubs often see other golf clubs in their local area as competition for the business of new members and visitors, but there is a new way of thinking currently doing the rounds that sees golf clubs working together to attract golfers, rather than fighting price wars that leave no-one the richer. Just as clubs in overseas destinations join forces to attract holiday golfers, there are a growing number of venues in the UK that are seeing the benefit of strength in numbers and presenting a
more united front. While golf groups with multiple clubs in their portfolios are able to offer a wider choice of courses to play for their annual memberships, there must be a benefit in standalone venues located close to each other offering reciprocal playing rights, or heavily discounted rates, as part of an overall membership package. Many people are put off joining a club on the basis that they’d rather play their golf at a variety of courses, than the same track week in week out, so partnerships with clubs in
close proximity that offer a different playing experience, could well provide a source of extra revenue for clubs, as well as enriching the golfing experience for golfers. It clearly won’t work for everyone, but the handful of joint promotion schemes that have sprung up around the country in recent years have so far proved very successful. In the current climate, anything that can be done to offer better value for money for golfers, while helping golf clubs to generate new business, can only be a winwin situation.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
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Barham rips it for Derek at Prince’s Benn Barham won his third event of the season with a five-under-par 67 round a windy Prince’s to take the RIP It For Derek Pro-Am and the Derek Barbour Memorial Trophy. Played to celebrate the memory of the late Derek Barbour, head PGA professional at Prince’s from 1998 to 2006, the Pro-Am raises funds towards his children’s education, and this year also raised enough to buy a defibrillator for Prince’s. A raffle and auction were held on the day and with the help of a host of supporters such as Landsell Drinks, GoKart, PR Golf, Callaway, TaylorMade, Under Armour, Shepherd Neame, Vinum, Golf Repro, FootJoy and StrokeSaver, a fine sum was raised for the good causes. Runner-up in 2013, Barham’s performance pushed the fine 69 of local man Nick Drane (Prince’s) into second place, while a 70 from defending Order of Merit champion Richard Wallis made third. Barham was delighted with his golf, commenting: “I played really well, and
I’m delighted that my recent turn of good form continues to deliver good results, especially on a day like this, when we are all supporting one of our much loved and deeply missed colleagues.” Rob McGuirk, the Director of Golf at Prince’s, added: “Derek passed away at a tragically young age, and I’m particularly pleased that the funds raised by the raffle were enough to buy a defibrillator, and now Prince’s is much better equipped to deal with the situation that took Derek’s life. I’d like to say a big thank you to the players, our supporters, to the club, and to the PGA, who have made this day such a success.”
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Surrey National to host Ron Noades memorial event The widow of former Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades is holding a memorial charity event this summer at Surrey National Golf Club. Novello Noades is organising the event to raise money for the Velindre cancer research centre and the Royal Marsden hospital in London. Mr Noades, who owned the Altonwood Group, operator of five golf courses in the South East, died on Christmas Eve last year after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Ms Noades said: “Ron lost his battle
with lung cancer four months ago, and his passing has left a huge void in our lives. Nothing can replace him, but I want to use his name to help raise funds for vital research into this dreadful disease. I believe that one day all cancer will be curable, and I want to play my part in making that happen.” The charity evening takes place on June 13 at Surrey National. Tickets are £30 each or £270 for a table of ten. For bookings, call 01883 740226 or email email@example.com.
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Golfers at Barkway continued playing The escaped rhea was a common sight at Barkway Park Golf Club before its demise Park Golf Club in without concern for Hertfordshire are used their safety. to seeing birdies and Barkway Park the occasional eagle greenkeeper Carl during the course of a Edwards was one of round at the popular several staff members Nuthampstead-based to have sighted the course, but none as rhea, which quickly impressive as the earned the nickname feathered variety that Chris – after the singer was spotted running Chris Rea. He said: “I across its fairways last month. was out on the course with a colleague who The birdie in question was revealed to be spotted it in rough besides the 12th fairway. a Rhea, a giant ostrich-like bird from South It was about my height and minding its own America that had escaped from its owner. The business, so we started filming. It certainly flightless creature, which is six-foot tall and doesn’t seem too bothered by humans, and can run at speeds of up to 45mph, proved very just ambled off into the bushes when we hard to catch, and ran wild for weeks before moved towards it. I couldn’t believe it when I eventually being shot dead by a gamekeeper saw it, but I’m not sure I’d want to get too on May 9 in fields close to the club. close to it.” Despite possessing six-inch claws that can The Rhea, a six-year-old female, was owned deliver a fatal blow, golfers became quite used by Jo Clark, who runs a smallholding in Brent to seeing the 90lb bird at close quarters, and Pelham on the Essex/Hertfordshire border.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Chart Hills Golf Club
TOP OF THE CLASS! Sussex amateur Marco Penge swaps homework for course work as he bids to tee up pro career Sussex amateur star Marco Penge’s decision to bring an early halt to his school days were vindicated earlier this month, when he made golfing history after becoming the first player to win the prestigious Fairhaven Trophy in successive years. The talented 15-year-old from Horsham was in commanding form at the Lancashire club, recording rounds of 69,70, 70, and a final round of 72 to win the event by seven shots from Hexham’s Matty Lamb. Last year, Penge was the youngest player to have ever won the tournament, and this year he equalled the best aggregate score of the tournament’s history. “I struck the ball really well for all four rounds and avoided any costly errors,” said Penge, whose 72-hole total was seven shots better than in 2013. “I didn’t worry about anyone else, but just concentrated on my own game. Last year, going into the final round I was six shots behind the leader, so going into the final 18 holes this year I knew that a seven-shot lead was not a guaranteed win.” The latest victory comes on the back of Penge’s decision to pack up his school studies and devote himself full-time to his promising golf career. The talented youngster, who is a member of Golf At Goodwood in Chichester, received special permission to leave Forest Boys’ School in Horsham earlier this year, so that he can devote all his time to achieving his ambition of becoming a tournament professional. The reigning England under-16 and under-15 champion has set his sights on becoming one of the youngest players ever to compete in the Walker Cup next year, although he also intends to enter the European Tour’s qualifying school at the end of this season, and has not ruled out turning professional at the age of 16 if he wins his card. Speaking about his decision to call a halt to his school days, Penge said: “I wasn’t going to go to college, and I already know that I want to be a professional golfer, so I thought I might as well leave school early so I could throw everything at it. Other people seem to think it was a big decision and have said I need a back-up plan if things don’t work out with my golf career, but the way I
see it is this will help me achieve my ambitions.” He added: “I’ve had to miss loads of school over the last few years to play in tournaments anyway, and it just became increasingly more difficult to fit my golf schedule around my school work. I’ve taken three GCSEs already, and am going to do another two in the summer, but for the last three years I haven’t really concentrated on school, as I have known that golf is what I want to do. Now instead of fitting in a couple of hours of practice after school each day, I am down at the golf club from nine to five every single day, so I think that is going to make a big difference. It has also changed my mindset. I now know that golf is my job, and I have got to be 100 per cent dedicated to make sure I am successful.” Penge enjoyed a stellar 2013, winning three prestigious national titles to rise to the top of the European under-16 rankings. The Goodwood amateur made an encouraging start to the new season last month when he and fellow rising Sussex star Toby Tree reached the semi-finals of the Sunningdale Foursomes. He followed that up by finishing runner-up in the South of England Youth Championships at Rye, and third in the McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath. Later this month he travels to Arizona to represent England in the 54-hole Thunderbird International at Scottsdale. Penge said: “I had a really good year last year, so it will be tough for me to better that, but I’m a year older and the fact I’m full time now means I can prepare better for tournaments. I’ve set myself the target of breaking into the top 100 of the world amateur rankings this year, and if I perform the way I know I can then that is realistic. He added: “The Junior Ryder Cup is being held in Scotland in September and I want to play in that, and I’d love to make it to the Walker Cup next year. My ultimate goal is to turn professional, but I’m not too sure when I will do that as it depends how things pan out. I’m going to go to Tour school at the end of the year for the experience, but if I did do well and won my card then I’d have to make a big decision. I’d like to play a few events on the European Tour this year, as there is a possibility I might be able to get some invites, which would be a really good experience.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
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Datchet counts the cost of winter floods While hundreds of golf clubs across the UK were damaged by the devastating floods that hit large parts of the country over the winter, few were as badly affected as Datchet Golf Club in Berkshire, whose course was completely submerged when the River Thames broke its banks in February. The club made national headlines, and became even more famous around the world after Prince William and Prince Harry arrived to help move sandbags on Valentine’s Day. The course, which had to be shut for two months, is now playable again, but the club lost thousands of pounds due to the floods. The water subsided in March when the club’s greenkeepers cleared debris from the greens, fairways, ditches and tee areas, and worked on damaged grass, at a great financial cost. However, a £250 million River Thames Scheme, developed by the Environment Agency and the government, will deliver aid to areas damaged by the floods, and the golf club is set to benefit. “Datchet Golf Course is within the area that would benefit from the scheme that Simon Davies
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is currently being developed,” said an Environment Agency statement. “We are working with our partners to agree £120m of funding needed to secure £136m from the government.” Jim Staniford, club secretary, said: “Staff have worked very hard to get the course back into shape, and it’s nice to see people back in the clubhouse again enjoying their rounds, even if there are a few moans and grumbles. I wouldn’t like to say how much it has cost us to repair the course, because it’s frightening me just thinking about the bills coming in.” He added: “I imagine we will lose a few members, but I hope to retain everyone. Now we just want to push forward with the open days and golf sales that were due to go ahead in February.”
Soccer stars in action on TP Tour
The opening event of the TP Tour schedule held at Sandy Lodge Golf Club in Watford comprised the usual mix of rising young professionals and those more experienced players looking to keep their hand in the game, plus two hopefuls whose names are more commonly linked with a sport involving a slightly larger ball. As well as four former European Tour winners, including Nick Dougherty, Raymond Russell and Van Phillips, there were two former premier league footballers, Andriy Shevchenko and Simon Davies, in the field. The 39-year-old former Ukrainian striker, who played for Chelsea between 2006 and 2009, found the going slightly tougher on the greens than he did on the pitch, recording a nil return, while 34-year-old former Wales international Davies, who left Fulham at the end of last season, carded a more respectable 78 in the tournament to finish nine shots behind the winner, Richard Edginton (Royal Wimbledon). The TP Series 2014 schedule comprises over 25 events throughout the South East, with tournaments most recently held at Royal St George’s, Worplesdon, The Oxfordshire, and The Berkshire. Edginton currently leads the order of merit, with Sean Whiffin in second place.
Chislehurst boosts Cancer Trust coffers A cancer trust in Kent has received its highest ever single donation from Chislehurst Golf Club in Kent. The Chartwell Cancer Trust, which provides financial support to the Chartwell cancer and leukaemia unit at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington was handed a cheque for £30,000. Chislehurst captains Peter Skinner and Susie Matthews presented Michael Douglas,
trustee of the Chartwell Cancer Trust, with the cheque at a lunch held at the club. The sum was the result of fundraising by the club and its members in 2013, including a charity golf day followed by dinner and auction. Douglas said: “To date, this is the largest single donation the Trust has ever received. We are all most grateful for the support from the captains and the efforts they have made throughout the year.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Windlesham to host Jeremy Kyle (golf) show! TV presenter Jeremy Kyle is returning to Windlesham Golf Club later this summer to host his popular charity golf day. The Jeremy Kyle Golf Classic, which is now in its fourth year, will be held at the popular Surrey venue on June 10, with entries available for teams to help raise funds for the host’s two chosen charities, HEROS and Team Sophie. The former is the Homing Ex-Racehorses
Organisation Scheme, which is dedicated to retraining and re-homing former racehorses, while the latter is a fund to support local Surrey paralympian Sophie Christiansen, who was born prematurely with cerebral palsy. Defying doctors’ expectations, she has gone on to become Britain’s first triple gold medalist after winning gold in the dressage at the last three Paralympic Games.
Camberley to restore classic Colt course Camberley Heath Golf Club is to undertake a major restoration of its historic heathland course, with the aim of reviving some of the original features designed by Harry Colt when the club first opened just over 100 years ago. The project, which is to be overseen by Frank Pont of Dutch-based architects Infinite Variety Golf Design, will focus on restoring the bunkering across the course, while some work may also be done on individual tees, fairways and greens. “Camberley is a great Harry Colt design set in the beautifully undulating heathland landscape of Surrey,” said Pont. “The routing is enormously varied. The par-three holes are superb, and despite the moderate size of the site, the course feels rather spacious. However, over the last 30 years it has has undergone various changes, a number of which, unfortunately, have not improved the golf course.” Pont will assist the club with both the preparation of a detailed plan for the course and the carrying out of the proposed restorations and alterations. “Our particular focus at this stage will lie in restoring the bunker style to the heather style that Colt used so successfully at neighbouring courses such as Swinley Forest and Sunningdale Old and New,” said Pont. “In my view there is no reason, given the quality of the underlying design, why Camberley Heath won’t be held in the same high regard as these famous Colt courses after we are done with this restoration project.” Richard Broderick, head of the club committee managing the restoration, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Frank to assist us in our vision of returning our course to its original Harry Colt design.”
Horton honoured by Royal Jersey
The day, which is being covered by Sky Sports, promises a great round of golf over Windlesham’s testing parkland course, with an impressive line up of stars drawn from the world of entertainment and sport. Comedian Bobby Davro will be hosting the evening’s entertainment. The day costs £600 for a team of three, which includes dinner and evening entertainment. For tickets, call 01488 638820.
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A commemorative bust to celebrate Tommy Horton’s career has been unveiled at Royal Jersey Golf Club – the venue where he grew up as a boy and was later head professional. PGA chief executive Sandy Jones spoke at a special presentation in honour of Horton, who combined traditional club pro duties with an illustrious playing career. The bust includes a plinth with a record of his tournament achievements on the European Tour and Senior Tour, which included 23 career titles, and two Ryder Cup appearances. Horton has long ties with the club, and despite being born in St
May 2014 / Issue 232
Get competitive at Cooden Beach Golfers looking for a week of fun but competitive golf by the Sussex seaside this summer, should consider taking time off to play in this year’s Cooden Beach Open Week. The five-day festival takes place at the Bexhill venue from July 7-11, with a host of open events for golfers of all skill levels to enjoy. The week tees off with a Teams 6s Stableford, followed on Tuesday by a Delaney Scramble, which is a modified version of Texas Scramble. All four players tee off, and the player whose drive is chosen cannot hit the second shot. After the second shot, the player who is chosen
cannot hit the third shot, and the format is continued until the ball is on the green, at which point all the players can putt. On Wednesday there is a Pairs Betterball, with separate competitions for men, women and mixed teams, while Thursday offers a Pairs Medley, involving six holes of betterball, six greensomes, and six foursomes. The week wraps up with a Texas Scramble for any combination of four players. Breakfast and lunch will be available for players every day, including a special buffet at the end of the week, which is free to competitors. To download an entry form, visit www.coodenbeachgc.com.
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Helens on Merseyside, moved to the Channel Island aged five and lived close to the course. He later spent 25 years as head pro there, and Jones hailed the 72-year-old as the last of a breed of pros that combined club pro life with playing tournaments. “He represents a generation of PGA professional that probably doesn’t exist anymore in that he had two fairly significant club pro jobs for 40 years while also sustaining a successful tournament career and also worked hard in the tournament administration side of the game,” he said. “Tommy still retains a huge passion for golf
and gives a huge amount back to the game with advice for young pros both on tour and on the club pro side. He is a tremendous credit to golf and the association, which he has represented with distinction as a past PGA captain and PGA Cup captain in 1978.” Horton, who was awarded the MBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List for services to golf, was also awarded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour in 2012, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the game, as a player, coach and administrator.
Chelmsford’s James Allan shot a new course-record 67 to win the prestigious Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier in impressive fashion at Effingham Golf Club. Allan’s record-breaking performance included seven birdies as the plus-two handicapper finished on fourunder-par, two strokes clear of the elite field of 132 of the top up-and-coming amateurs at the Surrey venue. The 19-year-old headed a list of 30 players who qualified to contest The Brabazon Trophy – the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship – at Seaton Carew from June 25-28 next month, with the event ending in dramatic fashion with eight players competing in a sudden-death play-off for the final seven places. Allan made the perfect start to his round on the 6,800-yard layout with birdies at the first two holes and reached the turn in two-under-par, with a birdie at the short seventh making amends for dropping a shot at the difficult par-four fifth hole. The Essex star looked set to return an even lower score as he added four further birdies on the back nine, but bogeys at two of the final three holes meant he was forced to settle for a 67. His score is the lowest at Effingham since the club made significant changes to its course, including re-designing its 18th hole, with the previous record of 63 on the old layout set by AC Locke in 1959 and Surrey star Curtis Griffiths in 2009. Toby Thorne, championship manager for England Golf, said: “Effingham proved to be the perfect venue for the Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier. The golf course was an ideal test for the competitors and as a result, we found 30 worthy qualifiers. The player feedback we received was excellent, with all of them praising the preparation of the course and the subtlety of the greens.”
May 2014 / Issue 232
News in Brief
Centurion begins clubhouse construction
THREE-WAY TIE AT KNOLE
Barber cuts down county rivals at Sundridge
Honours were shared three ways in the PGA South region’s Knole Park Pro-Am on May 2, with Woodcote Park’s Kieran Staunton, Prince’s Robert McGuirk and Nevill’s Jamie Harris matching each other with three-under par 67s. Each picked up £555 for the shared win, while Benn Barham kept up his fine form this season with a 68 for fourth.
OAKS PARK MARATHON MEN A team of four golfers is taking on the challenge of playing the 18-hole course at Oaks Park in Carshalton four times on June 16, as part of a campaign to raise funds for four worthwhile charities. The team, which has named itself the 4x4x4s – four golfers, four rounds, four charities – will be splitting the funds raised equally between Macmillan, Cancer Research UK, Meningitis Trust and Age UK. For donations, please visit www.justgiving.com/ teams/4x4x4.
An artist’s impression of the new clubhouse at Centurion Club
Work has started on the second phase of development at England’s newest golf venue, the Centurion Club near St Albans in Hertfordshire. The private club has begun the construction of a new clubhouse and greenkeepers’ complex to supplement the temporary building erected when the club opened last summer. Work started on the greenkeeping facility in March and is expected to take up to four months complete, while the new clubhouse, which will overlook the 18th green, is scheduled to be open by next summer. The clubhouse will be a contemporary two-storey structure, built using traditional
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Marnie Barber won the Kent County Ladies Championship after beating Kim Morris 5&4 in the final of the matchplay event held at Sundridge Park. The two finalists came through two 18-hole stroke play qualification rounds and four match play encounters before the title was decided. Sundridge Park won the
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materials such as limestone and slate. Facilites inside the building will include a restaurant and bar, locker rooms, and private rooms for banqueting, conferences and meetings. “This is an exciting time for Centurion Club and its rapidly growing membership,” confirmed managing director, Scott Evans. “The construction of our new club building represents the latest phase in our plan to provide members with a private club of unrivalled quality. We have had some terrific comments on the course from visitors already, and I’d like to think our new club building will attract similar acclaim when it opens next year.”
team shield for the best three stroke play scores, with Sophie Bargeron, Kim Morris and Ainee O’Connor all contributing. The Senior Lady Championship was held at the same time, with Kent Ladies’ captain Ingrid Long triumphing 6&4 over Gina Phillips.
Pair of Ascot aces Royal Ascot Golf Club celebrated a rare feat last month when two of its members hit holes-in-one on the same hole within hours of each other. Bob Viney, who plays off 19, pitched in with a 9-iron on the 139-yard 8h hole at the Berkshire venue, and just two hours later 22-handicapper Vera Barker achieved the same feat with
a 9-wood. Royal Ascot’s general manager David Boyce said: “A hole-in-one is a rare enough, but to get two in one day, on the same hole, is incredible. The even more unbelievable thing is that the day before, another member, Dave Falls, also aced the eighth. I think I shall pick my next lottery numbers when standing on the eighth tee next time!”
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in every 16 players Valid July, August and September
How to find us: Centrally located on the Kent, Surrey and Sussex borders. Just 15 minutes from junctions 5 & 6 of the M25. Hever Castle Golf Club Hever Road, Edenbridge Kent TN8 7NP Telephone Claire: 01732 701003 Email: email@example.com www.hever.co.uk
May 2014 / Issue 232
DJ Nelson Swingers’ season off prepares to to a flyer at West Hill rock The Shire Golfers at The Shire in North London will be rocking to the sounds of award-winning DJ Trevor Nelson next month, after the renowned broadcaster agreed to host a golf tournament in aid of cancer charity Prostate UK. The Trevor Nelson Swing event, which take places at the Potter Bar-based club on June 20, promises to bring urban golf to the suburbs, with a wide range of sound-based entertainment, including a nightclub-themed gazebo, a mobile bar with its own DJ, and sound systems on the patio and practice range pumping tunes out across the 27-hole course. The laid-back event allows players to wear jeans, while errant shots can be replayed for a £10 donation to the charity. A car is up for grabs for an ace at the par-three fourth, while there are lots of other prizes on offer for the top scores. After golf, there will be a meal in the clubhouse with soul food and music, and Nelson himself will be giving out the prizes. “We’re having 2014’s coolest golf day, and we want to raise the maximum amount for Prostate UK,” said Nelson. “All proceeds are going directly to charity, so we really want people to come along to The Shire, join me in having fun on the golf course, and relax afterwards.” Teams cost £399 (individuals £100), with a gift pack including Nelson’s latest Sony album, The Trevor Nelson Collection 2, and a golf shirt. For bookings, email golf@ theshirelondon.com or call Trevor Nelson 020 84417649.
A new Cleveland decade Golf, of Virgin Trendy Atlantic Golf, Flying Club SunDog Swingers and is now SkyCaddie, underway Iain also with the won a first of its place popular in the society exclusive days haven Virgin taken place Atlantic Winners from the Swingers’ West Hill event at West Hill Gold Golf Club Member’s in Surrey. day at Goodwood in June. It was a fitting With the course in fabulous condition as prize for Iain, giving him the opportunity the club prepared for their annual Father’s to return to the scene of his Season 3 Final and Son’s tournament, the event saw a appearance some seven years earlier. mixture of regular Swingers and firstSecond place went to Chris Offer, with timers come together on the day. former finalist Martin Derrick taking third, After receiving a Virgin Atlantic goody both players coming away with an array bag filled with Srixon golf balls and a of prizes. towel, as well as some Bajan rum cake in With the second UK day taking place celebration of the Season 11 Final heading this month at Ashridge, quickly followed to Barbados, the sun-blessed course saw by days in Los Angeles and New York, some impressive golf. Flying Club Swingers is rightfully Given how early in the season it was, establishing itself as one of the most breaking par was no easy task, yet three unique and enjoyable amateur golf players ended up with 37 points – all firstcompetitions on the global stage. timers on the course – while a further 11 The final will take place on the fairways passed the 30-point mark. of Apes Hill and Royal Westmoreland The winner was Iain Clark, who on the Caribbean island of Barbados in previously played in both the Season 4 November. To register, visit and Season 5 finals. As well as prizes from www.flyingclubgolfleague.com.
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News in Brief BOYD WINS HAMPSHIRE ROSE English champion Sarah-Jane Boyd won the 2014 Hampshire Rose at North Hants by three shots, with a seven-under par total for 36 holes. The Truro player had 10 birdies during the two rounds, including seven in her final round 69, which was the lowest score of the day. The runnerup was Lizzie Prior from Surrey, with Berkhamsted’s Alice Hewson in third.
SOUTHERN STARS GET CURTIS CUP CALL Great Britain & Ireland’s team for next month’s Curtis Cup includes a strong representation from the south east, following the selection of Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth), Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), Gabriella Cowley (Hanbury Manor) and Gemma Dryburgh (Beaconsfield) for the eightstrong squad. All four will be making their Curtis Cup debuts at St Louis Country Club in Missouri form June 6-8. Only two Stephanie Meadow and Bronte Law were part of the team that won the cup in 2012, with the other two debutants being Charlotte Thomas and Eilidh Briggs.
May 2014 / Issue 232
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This fabulous prize will also include a host of accessories, including an umbrella holder, connector for golf GPS/iPhone holder, water bottle holder, and a trolley carry bag with wheels. SMALL IN SIZE, BIG IN TECHNOLOGY Compact, lightweight and with a footprint of only 27cm x 30cm x 42cm – which is smaller in size than a copy of Golf News laid flat – the QOD trolley takes away the effort of transporting clubs and kit around the course, leaving players free to keep their minds on the game. Winner of Golf Europe’s Product Award for 2013, QOD’s unique telescopic design makes it easy to handle and transition from storage to play in super-fast time. Constructed from lightweight, tough modern materials, including stainless steel, nylon and glass fibre, which provide high mechanical strength and excellent wear resistance, QOD is tough enough to handle the most challenging of courses and terrain despite its tiny size. Packed full of innovative features, QOD’s ‘whisper quiet’ 180-watt motor features a 25-to-1 gear reducer to ensure constant speed up hills, and the trolley includes a digital display and variable speed control, along with a three-option distance control
function. QOD is easy to store and is small enough to fit into most golf club lockers, as well as the smallest of car boots. Its compact and lightweight design also means QOD is ideal for junior and lady golfers. It comes with an ultra-lightweight lithium battery as standard, which is capable of covering 36 holes in a single charge, and includes ergonomically-designed soft grip handles. The nylon wheels run on a unique tracking system, to ensure the trolley runs straight throughout the game, and travels consistently round after round. BAGS OF ACCESSORIES QOD has a wide range of accessories, including bespoke QOD golf bags; umbrella holder; umbrella; connector for golf GPS/ iPhone holder; water bottle holder; trolley carry bag with wheels; towels; and a wet weather cover. Available to buy online at www.qodgolf. com and from a growing number of proshops across the UK, QOD retails at £595 and comes with an exceptional after-sales service and a comprehensive two-year ‘no quibble’ warranty. For further information visit www.qodgolf.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org TO ENTER To be in with a chance of winning this superb prize, simply answer the following question, and email your answer to email@example.com, with ‘QOD Competition’ in the subject line. The closing date for entries is June 12, 2014. Normal competition rules apply. THE QUESTION How many watts does the QOD electric trolley’s motor produce? 1) 140 2) 160 3) 180
May 2014 / Issue 232
With three days of tour trucks, tour pros, top tips and tremendous savings on the latest gear, Silvermere is the place to be from May 24-26
BANK HOLIDAY BONANZA! Golfers looking to rub shoulders with some of the biggest stars of the European Tour, test out the latest equipment, bag some bargains in the superstore, and check out the brand new driving range, should make their way to Silvermere Golf & Leisure in Cobham over the May Bank Holiday, where three days of action-packed golfing action await. Everyone is welcome to attend this unmissable, unique and free event, which is being laid on to celebrate the official opening of the brand new £2 million driving range and customfitting facilities at the popular Surrey venue. Ideally located close to the M25 and the A3, thousands of golfers are expected to attend the fun-filled three-day festival, which is also handy for those visiting the nearby BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Three action-packed days will include custom-fitting sessions for all the major equipment brands’ latest launches, many of which will be able to be taken away on the day; while Monday 26th will see a host of top European Tour players hot-footing it over from Wentworth to take
part in a range of special activities, including clinics on the range, question and answer sessions, and even playing a few holes on Silvermere’s superb parkland course.
RUB SHOULDERS WITH THE STARS The current line up of players attending on Monday includes Ryder Cup stars Francesco Molinari and Thomas Bjorn, 2013 BMW PGA Champion Matteo Mannasero and rising French talent Victor Dubuisson. The Ladies European Tour will also be represented, with Solheim Cup veteran Trish Johnson being joined by Welsh star Becky Brewerton. Trick shot specialist Paul Barrington will be on hand to show that there is more than one way to hit a golf ball, and will give visitors the chance to take him on in a number of fun challenges. DRIVE OFF IN STYLE AT THE NEW RANGE The spectacular 52-bay, two-tier driving range will be the main centre of attraction over the Bank Holiday weekend. Visitors will be able to hit high quality Srixon range balls on the 280-yard facility, which is capable of handling even the longest of drivers, while the newlook
outfield features an array of specific targets and greens, allowing golfers to dial in their distances and provide more focused practice scenarios. The entire range is also floodlit, making it ideal for year-round practice, and after work in the evenings.
TAKE YOUR GAME TO NEW HEIGHTS Besides being a place to practice, the new driving range will also provide the opportunity to enjoy first-class teaching, with Silvermere’s team of 14 PGA-trained professionals on hand to offer a range of bespoke coaching programmes. Golfers can also enjoy executive coaching on the new full swing simulators, which will not only allow lessons and custom fittings to take place away from the elements, but also enable the use of the very latest fitting technology, including Foresight Sports’ GC2 HMT swing analysis software. Used by dozens of the world’s leading tour players and coaches, it directly measures ball-flight data at launch using ultra-high-speed cameras. TAKE AWAY CUSTOM-FITTED CLUBS Over the weekend, TaylorMade and Wilson Golf’s Tour Trucks will be on site at Silvermere, offering the opportunity for golfers to be customfitted for clubs to take them home the very same day. Pre-booking is essential for this option, as it is sure to be popular. Other major suppliers supporting the three days include Callaway, Cleveland, Srixon, Cobra, FootJoy, Mizuno, Nike, Ping, Titleist and Yonex. And with an additional elite team of six skilled fitters from Silvermere on
hand, golfers can be sure to receive the best possible service and advice when looking to invest in new equipment.
BAG YOURSELF SOME BARGAINS There will be some great savings to be had on equipment and clothing in the Doug McClelland Superstore over the three days, with exclusive deals across all of the brands, plus unique offers on clothing – all of which are strictly limited to the Bank Holiday weekend launch. MAKE A DAY OF IT With free parking and free entry, visitors can bring the whole family and make a day of it. There’s superb food and drinks available at the stunning Inn on the Lake, and the unrivalled shopping experience in the Doug McLelland Superstore.
Appearance by Thomas Bjorn
For more information, or to book your demo online, visit www.silvermere-golf.co.uk or call 01932 584 325. Silvermere Golf & Leisure, Redhill Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1EF.
TIMETABLE OF EVENTS Saturday, May 24 9am - 5pm Multi-brand custom fittings available TaylorMade & Wilson tour trucks Sunday, May 25 9am - 2pm Multi-brand custom fittings available TaylorMade & Wilson tour trucks Monday, May 26 9.30 - 11am Nearest-the-pin competition with Victor Dubuisson & Silvermere PGA Pro Chris Gane 10 - 11am Short-game clinic with Trish Johnson & Becky Brewerton 11am Appearance and signings with Thomas Bjorn 11am Appearance and signings with Matteo Manassero 11am - 12pm Trick-shot show with Paul Barrington Noon
Driving range official opening
12 - 12.30pm Meet and greet with players 12pm-5pm Multi-brand custom fittings available TaylorMade & Wilson tour trucks 2.20pm Short game clinic with Francesco Molinari 2.50pm Q&A with Francesco Molinari Target practice: the new-look range offers full size greens to aim at
(Subject to change.)
May 2014 / Issue 232
News in Brief FREE LESSONS AT WEST HERTS West Herts Golf Club is offering free lessons on Saturdays in an attempt to encourage more people to try the sport. The Croxley Green-based venue is giving a free taster session between 2pm-4pm for adults of all ages and levels of ability. Clubs will be available to borrow at no charge. For bookings call 01923 236 484.
UPCHURCH TO HOST CANCER CHARITY DAY A charity golf day is being held at Upchurch River Valley Golf Club in Kent on July 2 to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital. The day, which will include breakfast, 18 holes, a three-course meal, and an auction, costs £50pp, which includes a £15 contribution to the charity. For tickets call George Aston on 07885 250863.
Leaderboard signs top ladies’ tour pros Ladies European Tour professionals Trish Johnson and Becky Brewerton have signed up as brand ambassadors for the Leaderboard Group, owner of four prestigious golf clubs in the South East. The golf and leisure group, which owns The Oxfordshire, Chart Hills, Dale Hill and Sandford Springs, has chosen the two players to represent the brand on tour, help develop ladies’ golf at the venues, and to pass on their expertise to club members. The duo will be conducting a series of masterclass days at each of the venues for members and guests during the season, as well as offering video tips, tutorials and interviews for LeaderboardTV, the group’s YouTube channel. London-based Johnson has claimed 22 tour victories in a professional career that has spanned over 25 years. The
48-year-old has also played in eight Solheim Cup teams and joined forces with Laura Davies to represent England in the Women’s World Cup of Golf in 2007. Her last win was the Tenerife Open in 2010. Speaking about her new role, Johnson said: “I’m very proud to be a Leaderboard brand ambassador. I’ve always had a passion for making a significant change for
ladies in golf and this is a great opportunity to help bring more women into the game.” Welsh-born Brewerton turned professional in 2004, and has won three times, including twice on the Ladies European Tour, with her first win coming at the Ladies English Open in 2007, which was held at Chart Hills. She is equally excited at the new tie in with a venue that is so close to her heart. “It really is a pleasure to become a brand ambassador for Leaderboard. They have a clear vision of making a real difference in ladies golf and I hope that Trish and I we can inspire a new generation.” The timing of the signing coincides with the group’s recent launch of seven-day flexible membership across its range of clubs, which was piloted at The Oxfordshire last year to great acclaim, with membership numbers increasing by over 25 per cent.
Hove’s pitch and putt course is to be renovated this summer
Hove pitch ‘n putt on course to reopen Golf could return to the seafront in Brighton and Hove this summer after plans were revealed to bring a popular pitch and putt course in Hove back to life. Mini Golf South East has applied for permission to reopen the Kingsway pitch and putt golf course in Hove in time for the summer. The owners of the Splash Point course in Worthing are also hopeful of creating an 18-hole mini golf course on the site in time for next summer. The Worthing course in Denton Gardens is currently home to the British Minigolf Association British Masters title and Mini Golf South East director Anthony Pope is confident that the newly-proposed course could play host to a similar topquality competition. The Hove course has been unused for more than 18 months, but Brighton and Hove City Council is expected to give the plans the go ahead when it meets to discuss the future for the site in June. Mr Pope said: “The whole area around Hove Lagoon has become quite popular with families who want to come down and use the seafront, and there is a nice collection of attractions already down there which we think we can add to. Subject to planning permission, we would like to get that up and running as soon as possible, but the mini golf will maybe be next year, as we might have missed the window for this summer and there is little point in starting building in November.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
News in Brief
West Surrey earns GolfMark status
CHESSINGTON DIGS DEEP FOR CHARITY!
IMG BAGS RAC CUP
West Surrey Golf Club has recently secured the Golfmark accreditation which recognises the club’s support for junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities. The assessment covers three areas – coaching and playing, club environment and child protection and duty of care. With a new professional team of Duncan Giblett, Adam Taylor and Ross Higham, the club now offers junior coaching
at three levels: Tri Golf, a fun way to introduce youngsters aged four to sixto golf; Golf Roots Golf Passport, a structured learning programme for ages six to 12, which brings youngsters up to readiness for club membership; and Junior Academy, which involves practical coaching and instruction leading towards a player’s first handicap. Coaching camps are
arranged during school holidays, and the club also has an adult academy for those new to golf, or returning and wishing to brush up their skills. Christine Staff, the club’s junior organiser, said that working through the process has given the club a better understanding of the junior section, and it was now looking forward to welcoming many more juniors to the Godalmingbased club.
High-profile names from the worlds of motorsport and the motoring media turned out at the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park Golf Club for the third annual Charity Cup. In a good-natured, but keenly-contested match, sports and media management company IMG lifted the cup with 94 points, with Nicky Grist Motorsport team taking second with 89, and News International a close third on 87. “We’re delighted to win,” said James Dale of IMG. “This year marks the first year that IMG Motor Sport has promoted the FIA World Rallycross Championship, so it’s only fitting that we entered our first team into the Royal Automobile Club’s Charity Golf Cup. And it supports two very worthy charities.” Former Sky Sports golf presenter Di Dougherty won the nearest-the-pin competition, while GT racer Ollie Millroy secured the prize for the longest drive. Among the stars on show were former F1 world champions Damon Hill and John Surtees, with the latter presenting the prizes. The day concluded with a raffle to raise money for the Henry Surtees Foundation and BEN, the UK’s only charity for those who have worked in the automotive industries.
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A forfeit bunker set up at Chessington Golf Club in Surrey to raise funds for a local charity has raised almost £2,500. With golfers paying 50p every time they landed in a specific bunker, a total of £2,451 was donated to the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation, a Leatherhead-based charity which works with people with physical and learning disabilities.
CRABB CATCHES MID AGE TITLE Darren Crabb (Dartford) won the Kent Mid Age Championship after shooting rounds of 69 and 72 at Prince’s Golf Club to win by four shots from Lloyd Godwin (Mid Kent). The winner, who was three under par for 36 holes, was the only player in the 70-strong field to finish in red figures at the Kent links.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Chapman on course for the ‘senior slam’ If you want to find the Englishman with the most successful recent record in the major championships, then you need look no further than Roger Chapman. The 55-year-old from Ascot re-wrote the record books in 2012 when he captured both the US Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open, and in a couple of months’ time he will have the chance to complete an historic hat-trick of senior major titles when he joins a star-studded field for the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. Despite a slightly iffy record in his domestic open in recent years – he’s made the cut once in five attempts, and was forced to retire at Turnberry two years ago when he was going for the ‘clean sweep’ of senior majors – Chapman is keen to make up for those past frustrations at Wales’ first Senior Major in July, as he seeks to become the first European to complete the senior grand slam. “It would be a dream come true to win the Senior Open and to have won all three senior majors,” he said. “To do the grand slam would be cracking – you’d have to pinch me to wake me up.” He adds: “It was a bit unfortunate that I had to pull out injured at Turnberry a couple of years ago when I was playing so well. To win the Senior Open would be the icing on the cake of my senior career. “I’ve always seemed to play better in the US Senior PGA, and I’ve always struggled a little in the Senior Open for some reason. At Sunningdale and Carnoustie I missed the cut, then at Turnberry I had to pull out, and at Birkdale last year I also missed the cut. I haven’t covered myself in glory in our Senior Open, so maybe I’m due one.” Chapman played in the Coral Welsh Classic at Royal Porthcawl in his first season on the European Tour in 1982 – a tournament won by his close friend Gordon Brand Jnr – and he returned to the Bridgend links for the Wales Senior Open in 2009 and 2010. Four year on, he is looking forward to another stern examination of links golf when it hosts its first major from July 24-27. “It’s a great golf course,” he said. “It is a good test of golf. We are playing it slightly differently, with
Chapman is hoping to add to his major haul
the 18th as the first, but if the wind blows it is a beast of a golf course.” Since his senior major double two years ago, Chapman has enjoyed his new status amongst some of the game’s greatest names, such as Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer and Tom Watson, all of whom will be in the field at Porthcawl. “It’s great rubbing shoulders with the top players, and it rubs off on you,” he said. “They make you feel confident. They are a great bunch of guys, and I hope a lot of them come over and support our Senior Open.” American Mark Wiebe won last year’s renewal at Royal Birkdale, defeating two-time Masters’ champion Langer in a play-off. The championship delivered the best of senior golf, with Wiebe and Langer joined by stars such as Couples, Sandy Lyle, Watson, Ian Woosnam, and Colin Montgomerie. This year sees the Senior Open debut of Miguel Angel Jiménez, the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour, who will be short odd to make a winning start following his fourth-placed finish in the Masters. Tickets for the 2014 Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl are on sale now and can be obtained by calling 0800 0232557.
Brocket to upgrade Melbourne course Brocket Hall Golf Club in Hertfordshire has unveiled a five-year plan to upgrade the playing experience on its Melbourne Course. Ovberseen by course designer Guy Hockley, the upgrades at the historic venue will include bunkering enhancements, a redesign of selected greens, and general improvements to the playing surfaces. Work will begin this summer and the renovation programme will improve the overall aesthetics of the course and parkland will ensure that the course continues to challenge golfers of all skill levels. The Melbourne Course is to benefit David Griffin, director of golf from a major renovation project operations at Brocket Hall, said: “Together with Guy, we have constructed a comprehensive plan that will see the Melbourne Course continue to compete with the best courses in the country. We take great pride in our commitment to provide our members with the best possible facilities. Numerous improvements have been made at the club over the past 12 months, and the enhancement of the Melbourne Course will only add to this success.”
Poult Wood launches a BRAND NEW golfing opportunity We have introduced a range of great value for money golf memberships, ideal for the regular golfer. Membership offers unlimited access to our excellent 18 and 9 Hole courses. Membership options are as follows: 7 Day Annual Membership £780 or £65 a month Direct Debit 5 Day Annual Membership £510 or £42.50 a month Direct Debit Junior Annual Membership* £120 or £10 a month Direct Debit
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Harry’s Fulwell to host on his ‘awseome’ charity challenge game
SW France Golf Properties by Allez-Francais
Golfers participating in a fundraising 72-hole golfing marathon at Fulwell Golf Club in June will be able to add a dash of style to proceedings after brightlycoloured clothing brand Royal & Awesome teamed up with organiser Sparks, the children’s medical research charity. Eighteen teams will attempt the gruelling endurance test, from dawn to dusk on June 23 at the Twickenham-based venue. Each competitor will be provided with a pair of Royal & Awesome trousers, food and drink during the day, and a well-earned celebration to finish. The Sparks Challenge – playing as many holes of golf as you can in a day – may be completed at any golf club, with Royal & Awesome rewarding teams of two or more players who raise a minimum £400 for the charity with a free pair of trousers for each team member. Since 1991, Sparks has raised more than £26 million through initiatives to fund vital research and this new partnership will see Royal & Awesome support the charity’s golf events throughout 2014. To register for the challenge or to find out more, visit www. sparks.org.uk/golf.
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at the Masters!
Talented Sussex youngster Harry Callow stormed to a staggering 17-shot victory in the inaugural Junior Masters Golf Tournament held at Lichfield Golf & Country Club in Staffordshire on April 12-15. The seven-year-old star from Midhurst recorded a final round of 32 over the nine-hole Spires Course to win the 5-8 year old category by a wide margin. The 36-hole event aims to replicate the experience of a professional golf tour, with the tournament played over four days, with girls and boys aged from five to 17 competing in four categories. Next stop for Callow is the Callaway World Junior Championships, which takes place at Torrey Pines in California in July, followed by the US Kids World Golf Championship at Pinehurst in North Carolina. Both tournaments attract 1,200 juniors from between 4056 countries each year. Callow, who is a member at Golf AT Goodwood, will be away from home for three weeks with his father Matthew, who gave his son his first set of clubs for his fifth birthday. The youngster been inspired over the last 12 months by Goodwood’s international ambassador and US Open Champion Justin Rose, whom he had a lesson with last season. Rose was so impressed with the youngster’s natural flair that the pair exchanged mobile numbers and the Florida-based Ryder Cup star has sent him tips and words of encouragement throughout the season. Callow had an outstanding 2013 season, winning the Junior Trailblazers Order of Merit in his first competitive season, after winning all six events he played in.
Play Broke Hill after 12 Midday and receive the following: • • • • •
Light lunch before your round Complimentary range balls 18 Holes of Golf Pitcher of Becks per four ball Organiser receives a two ball voucher
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To book call Sally on 01959 533225 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org *Minimum of 12 golfers *Offer available 1st June 2014 to 31st July 2014 * First tee time must be after 12 midday and is subject to availability
May 2014 / Issue 232
McGuirk lords it at Prince’s to claim second Kent Open
Moor Park prepares to host Carris Trophy The most talented young amateurs in the world are preparing to descend on Moor Park Golf Club, host for this summer’s Carris Trophy. The coveted title, which is contested by leading boy golfers under the age of 18, started out life as the Moor Park Junior Open almost 80 years ago, and the Hertfordshire based-venue is regarded as the event’s spiritual home, having hosted the event from 1935 to 1987. The tournament is an open event, with players from all over the world competing for the prestigious title that sets them on the road to golf royalty, as it did for US champion Justin Rose, who won the Carris Trophy in 1995. The standard of golf is exceptional, with all competitors sitting in the one and under handicap bracket. The tournament was taken under the wing of England Golf in 1988 and visits other courses around the UK, but Moor Park continues to host the event every five years, and July’s renewal will be the tournament’s 79th anniversary. A former host to the Bob Hope Classic, the
Spalding Silver King, and Woolmark Ladies European Match Play, the club’s two Harry Colt-designed courses, the High and the West, are no strangers to hosting top-class events. And Callum Shinkwin, an honorary Moor Park member and winner of the Carris Trophy in 2010, is confident that it has the credentials to test the very best. “The greens at Moor Park are fantastic,” he said. “The juniors playing in the Carris Trophy will find them quick and slopey. I have played on many courses around the world, and they are nowhere near as good.” Moor Park’s chief executive, David Cook, is looking forward to welcoming players to the tournament, which takes place from July 2225, and hopes local golf fans will come out to support the next generation of talent. “Moor Park is very proud to be hosting such an amazing tournament, and we encourage everyone to come and support these boys, as they are honing their skills in what will prove to be a great four days of golf.”
Kent PGA professional Francis McGuirk shot a stunning final round of 66 around his home course at Prince’s to snatch victory in PGA Kent Open Championship over former European Tour player Van Phillips. Played in testing conditions on the Open Championship venue in Sandwich, McGuirk’s three rounds of 67, 70 and 66 were particularly impressive. A new member of The PGA in England (South), Phillips shot a terrific final round of 67 to take second place, while Richard Edginton’s (Royal Wimbledon) took third thanks largely to a superb second-round 65. Played over the Shore/Dunes combination, McGuirk’s final round started with a bogey, but the damage
was immediately repaired with a birdie at the next hole. Another followed on the fourth to take him under par, and then an eagle on the seventh turbo-charged his round. A birdie at the ninth left McGuirk making the turn in great shape at 11-under. Despite dropping another shot at the short 11th, he made good with two more birdies at the 13th and 14th, and then a spectacular two at the 217-yard 17th put him out of reach of his rivals. “I made the most of the opportunity to play, which arose at the last
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minute when someone else dropped out,” said the winner. “I hadn’t played much until quite recently at an event at Royal St. Georges, but it was terrific to play my home course under full tournament conditions. I certainly enjoyed some good form over the three rounds on a course that was in great shape.” Despite being pipped to the post over the last few holes, Phillips was pleased with his result. “Prince’s is a terrific venue for this event, and to play well here was very satisfying. I’m certainly looking forward to the next Order of Merit event at Wildernesse in May, which is a very different kind of challenge to Prince’s. The field will be highly competitive again, but I’ll be working hard on my game to make sure I measure up.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
DIG OUT YOUR OLD BAGS AND HELP MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE Crown Golf launches ‘equipment amnesty’ to help disadvantaged kids at home and abroad • Crown Golf appeals for golfers to surrender unwanted golf bags • Drop off points at 25 Crown Golf venues across the UK • Amnesty also applies to unwanted golf clubs • Golfers can donate items in the period spanning US Open to Ryder Cup 2014 • Donations will be redistributed in UK and rest of world by The Golf Trust • Grenada trip prize for two people supplied by Jason Roberts Foundation • £20 Callaway Golf bag voucher for all those who donate items
CROWN GOLF VENUES WHERE YOU CAN DONATE YOUR OLD EQUIPMENT 9 of Herts, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1JS Addington Court, Croydon, Surrey CR0 9AA Batchworth Park, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1JS Blue Mountain, Binfield, Berks RG42 4EX
Golfers with unwanted golf bags or clubs that are lying neglected in the cupboard under the stairs, are being asked to donate them to a charity that aims to find new homes for them among disadvantaged people in the UK, as well as some of the world’s poorest countries. The golf equipment amnesty is being launched by golf club operator Crown Golf at its 25 venues across the UK, with the aim of re-homing the millions of old golf bags and unused items of golf equipment that is currently languishing in garages up and down the country. Golfers can take their unwanted bags and clubs – no clothes, shoes or balls please – to any Crown Golf venue between 12 June and 28 September, where drop-off points have been created to cope with what it hopes will be a mountain of second-hand equipment. All items donated will be shipped to a warehouse set up by golfing charity The Golf Trust for re-distribution to golfers with physical and mental disabilities in conjunction with organisations such as Special Olympics GB and the Disabled Golf Society. The Golf Trust will also involve the donated goods in its outreach work in inner-city projects within the UK, and will also send them to countries such as Grenada and India, where it is helping to grow the game. One lucky participant will win a trip for two people to Grenada in the autumn, when
the winners will be actively involved in the distribution of bag amnesty items to the island’s schools and parishes, and will also have the opportunity to play on Grenada’s only golf course, interacting with schoolchildren as they enjoy their newly-supplied equipment. Everyone who donates a golf bag or golf club during the amnesty will also receive a £20 voucher, which can be used against the purchase of a new Callaway golf bag from a Crown Golf pro shop during the amnesty period. “With the bag amnesty, we are setting out to liberate abandoned golf bags and clubs from garages, stair cupboards, storage rooms and garden sheds across the UK,” said Stephen Towers, Crown Golf’s chief operating officer. “This initiative will genuinely help large numbers of people young and old, around the world, who do not have golf equipment of their own. I hope that many thousands of golfers and members of the public respond by each bringing in an item or two.” Cae Menai-Davis, co-founder of The Golf Trust, said: “Please respond to this call to action!
We are ready to receive and re-distribute as many golf bags and clubs as people can throw at us. So come on, be generous, and have a good clear out – we can certainly put everything to good use in our various projects. “And thanks to the Jason Roberts Foundation, which is dedicated to providing opportunities for young people both in the Caribbean and the UK to take part in sports, we’re looking forward to taking a Crown Golf prize-winner plus a friend on an unforgettable trip over to Grenada, to see for themselves the effect this generosity will have in the schools and parishes over there”. Guy Riggott, Director of Operations at Crown Golf, is the man with the task of organising the amnesty. “The Bag Amnesty 2014 takes in three of golf’s Majors, and you could say that this is our own Major this year. We all have our sleeves rolled up, and will be ready to start taking in people’s old bags and clubs when Justin Rose starts his defense of the US Open in June. It will be a logistical challenge, especially if the public really takes it to its heart, but we want a big response from golfers everywhere and we are delighted that we found the perfect partners in The Golf Trust, the Jason Roberts Foundation and Callaway Golf.” Crown Golf has 23 venues in the South East, including Hampton Court, Pyrford, Merrist Wood, Cams Hall Estate and Mill Green. To locate your nearest Crown Golf course, visit www.crown-golf.co.uk.
Cams Hall Estate, Fareham, Hants PO16 8UP Chesfield Downs, Stevenage, Herts SG4 7EQ Eccleston Park, Prescot, Merseyside L35 4PG Hampton Court Palace, Kingston-uponThames, Surrey KT1 4AD Milford, Godalming, Surrey GU8 5HS Mill Green, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 4TY Oak Park, Farnham, Surrey GU10 5PB Paultons, Romsey, Hants S)51 6AN Pine Ridge, Camberley, Surrey GU16 9NX Pyrford, Pyrford, Surrey GU22 8XR Sherfield Oaks, Hook, Hants RG27 0HB South Essex Golf Centre, Brentwood, Essex CM13 3LW South Winchester, Winchester, Hants SO22 5QX Sunbury Golf Centre, Shepperton, Middlesex TW17 8QA Stapleford Abbotts, Stapleford Abbotts, Essex RM4 IJU St Mellion Resort, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 6SD The Bristol, Almonsbury, Bristol BS10 7TP The Hertfordshire G&CC, Broxbourne, Herts EN10 7PY Traditions, Pyrford, Surrey GU22 8UE Wickham Park, Fareham, Hants PO17 5PJ
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May 2014 / Issue 232
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Golfnews has teamed up with bag specialist Sun Mountain to offer two lucky readers the chance to win a premium H2NO waterproof bag, plus a lightweight ClubGlider travel bag, to prepare for the demands of the season either at home or abroad. Sun Mountain became the first brand to introduce a waterproof bag back in 2007 and now two winners will be treated to one of the standout models in the new range. The H2NO Lite, which retails at £169, is constructed from a super-lightweight nylon fabric with a 2000mm coating to protect golf clubs and accessories from the elements. It also boasts waterproof YKK zippers and taped seams, as well as an accompanying rain hood, to enable year-round use. Weighing less than 2.1kg, the H2NO Lite offers a host of features, including four waterproof pockets for clothing and valuables. A 9.5” oval, four-way top with integrated handle ensures complete ease-of-use when moving clubs in and out of the bag, while an E-Z Fit® Dual Strap System provides maximum comfort when carrying.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Reigate family day proves a big hit Monaghan scoops Lucas Spoon Reigate Heath Golf Club in Surrey celebrated the next phase of its clubhouse re-development by hosting a family day earlier this month. Blessed by some wonderful weather, the fun-filled event proved to be a great success, with over 140 members and guests taking part. The day teed off with a nine-hole Texas scramble for the Windmill Decanter Trophy, sponsored by Vini Italiani, with 10 teams of five competing for the title. The decanter was won by the Perkins family – Hugh, his wife Rachael, and their children Katherine and Luke, plus the fifth member of their team Chris Milton. This was followed by a nearest-thepin shootout for juniors on the par-three ALTNWD_SSP_GolfNews_GUIDE_1.qxd
18th, which was won by Ethan Quantick. Reigate Heath member Bill Longmuir, the popular winner of eight Senior Tour titles, took on the club’s new head PGA professional Clifford Gough to see who could get neares the pin from the 10th tee in front of the clubhouse to the 1st green – a distance of 297 yards. Despite an adverse wind, both men reached the green, but Gough’s ball won as it finished 34 feet from the flag. Longmuir performed the opening ceremony for the
club’s latest developments, which include the creation of a new entrance, hall, club communications room and ladies changing rooms. Club manager Scott Patience was delighted with the way the Family Day went. He said: “We’re always encouraging people to be ‘part of the club’, and it was great to see so many people doing just that. We’re planning to do a lot more of these kind of events, because golf’s about everybody – beginners, kids, parents, grandparents, whatever – being a part of the club and having fun.” He added: “Our new head pro specialises in coaching for youngsters, and although he’s just started here, he’s already building relationships with local schools, so we’re looking forward to seeing a lot more Reigate children – and Bill Longmuir opens the latest phase of their parents – getting the clubhouse development at Reigate into golf.” 31/01/14 12:59 am Page 1
SUMMER SOCIETY PACKAGES
Walton Heath’s Darragh over par on the more Monaghan has become difficult back nine. the second successive Monaghan, 13, joins Surrey U14 Elite Squad a stellar cast list of member to win the players to have won Laddie Lucas Spoon the prestigious title held at Princes Golf that includes Justin Club in Sandwich. Rose, Chris Wood The five-handicapper and Oliver Fisher. In Darragh Monaghan with was four-over par on addition to the coveted Princes’ captain Mike Thomas the Sandwich-based trophy, an additional venue’s Shore/Dunes layout, scoring prize for the winner was an invitation 32 Stableford points to tie the scores to attend the Ian Poulter Invitational with Luke Green (Newbold Comyn). He tournament at Woburn on July 21, won on countback after being three where he will meet the Ryder Cup star.
Thorpeness to stage golf festival Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club in Suffolk is to host a four-day festival of golf in July. The festival comprises four days of competition played over its James Braid-designed heathland course from July 28-31. It will also include a variety of coaching clinics, trick shot shows, social events and evening entertainment, with competitors able to book
accommodation at the resort’s 36-bedroom hotel, which is just a minute’s walk from the first tee. The cost of taking part in the festival is £449pp, which includes four nights’ accommodation, dinner, bed and breakfast, plus entry into all competitions, and a coaching clinic. To book a place, call 01728 454926 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dougherty joins forces with Bearwood Lakes
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Three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty has become Bearwood Lakes Golf Club’s attached tournament professional. The 31-year-old star, who is currently playing a mixed schedule on the Challenge Tour and the European Tour, signed terms with the Wokingham-based club earlier this month, as he bids to recapture the form that has seen him collect three Tour titles during his 12-year professional career. Dougherty first visited Bearwood Lakes 18 months ago, and was so impressed with the quality of the course and, in particular, the outstanding putting surfaces, that he was quick to return. Following a short negotiation, terms were agreed for him to use the club as his base for the year.
Speaking about the new relationship, Dougherty said: “I am over the moon to be based at Bearwood Lakes. It is a wonderful golf course and has excellent practice facilities. The ambience is incredibly relaxed, and I am also looking forward to working with the club’s juniors to develop their talent.” Martyn Norris, head of marketing at the club, said: “We are delighted to be associated with Nick. He is a very fine player and we recognise not only his potential, but also his very likeable personality that our members will benefit from. We are thrilled that he has also offered to support our junior programme, which is a key development area for the club. He will be very welcome here, and I am certain our outstanding club will support him in achieving his goals.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
PLAYS THE NUMBERS GAME Chingford-born Tour pro Ollie Fisher talks about the narrow margins that separate the good from the best on the European Tour Word by Alistair Tait
Oliver Fisher knows all about the fine line between success and failure. The 25-year-old from Essex fell south of that line last year and lost his European Tour card. He has no idea why. Fisher finished 118th on the money list last year – three spots adrift of the allimportant top 115 – and lost full playing rights. He was 23 places further down the Race to Dubai than he was the year before, yet he feels that his game improved in 2013. “I was really steady last year,” Fisher says. “If you look at my scores, stroke average, greens in regulation – it was all moving in the right direction, rather than being a bit scrappy. Yet I didn’t keep my card. That’s how hard it is out here.” Fisher isn’t just trying to talk himself up. Even a cursory look at his stats in 2013 proves that he did make progress as a player. His stroke average was 71.54, against 72.32 the year before. He drove it on average four yards further, hit more greens, and improved his putting slightly, dropping to 30.44 putts per round from 30.64 in 2012. Yet he earned €207,329 last year, compared to €253,418 the season before, and those figures pale in comparison to the career high €594,587 he pocketed in 2008 when he finished 51st on the money list. Fisher also made more cuts in 2013, 15 of 28, than in 2012 when he only made the weekend 11 times in 24 events. The difference came on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I just didn’t go low enough on the weekends,” he admits. “I’d make the cut and be lying 25th, but then tail off on Sunday and finish 50th. If you shoot one-over, one-over, you haven’t played badly, yet you finish 50th. You need to shoot under par on the weekend after a decent start, and that’s what I have to do this year.” He’s made a pretty good fist of that so far. Playing on sponsor’s invites and taking his chances at the bottom of the European Tour food chain tournaments, Fisher stood 47th on the money list with €212,329 in earnings after the Volvo China Open. He made the cut in eight of nine events, and is well on his way to keeping his card this year. A second place finish in the Africa Open, after losing a play-off to Thomas Aiken, accounted for over half of his earnings – €115,000 to be precise. He’d improved in every statistical category, too. His driving accuracy from nine events stood at 66.31%, and he hit 75% of greens in regulation. Most importantly, his stroke average was under 70, standing at 69.88. No wonder he isn’t worried about his future. “Even though I lost my card last year, I’ll get plenty of events off my ranking. I’d back myself to keep my card if I got 20 starts, and I should get that. The difference is I can’t plan my schedule the way I’d want to do because I’ve got to play when I get my chance. Sometimes that’s a good thing, because you know you have to play well. He adds: “It’s one of those seasons where everything’s going to be a bit last minute,
so preparation isn’t going to be as good as it was in previous seasons – but I will still have plenty of chances.” For many, losing a tour card would be a cause for panic. Not for Fisher. “I haven’t changed because of last year. I’m still trying to do the same things, keep it simple, keep working hard, and see what happens. If I play half as well as I know I can, then I won’t have a problem.” Fisher has clawed his way back to 258th in the world rankings after finishing joint 36th in the China Open – an improvement on his status as the world’s 498th ranked player last year. However,
“If I play half as well as I know I can, then I won’t have a problem”
Representing his club (West Essex), county (Essex), and country (England) at all levels, the Chingford-born youngster rose to wider fame when winning the Faldo Series Final for three consecutive years from 20032005, bringing himself to the attention of the sixFisher with long-time mentor Nick Faldo time major winner in no uncertain he’s nowhere near the level fashion, and in the process expected of him when he cementing a relationship that became the youngest player has carried on to this day. to play in the Walker Cup in As soon as he walked off 2005. He was just 16 years old the course at Chicago Golf at the time, but Fisher is used Club in the Walker Cup, to doing things earlier than Fisher turned his attentions most other people. Coached to the professional game, by Crowlands Heath’s club and the battle between the professional, Chris Jenkins, equipment companies to from the age of nine, Fisher sign him to a club contract had star quality stamped on began. That particular race him from the moment he was won by Nike, which, lifted his first cut-down driver. like Fisher, was only just
establishing itself in the eyes of golfing world. Having a young and talented British player on its books was a key part of its marketing drive in Europe. Little did he, or they know, that it would be a full five years before his immense ability would turn itself into a winning combination at the 2011 Czech Open. That overdue victory came on the back of a season that had started with 20 miss cuts from 21 events, and the winner’s cheque couldn’t have come at a better time. Although he would have loved to won by 10 shots in a canter, the reality was slightly more nerve-wracking. “I kind of tiptoed over the line,” admits Fisher, who lost a three-shot lead with three bogeys over the back nine at the Prosper Golf Resort, before rallying at the finish to hold off Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg by two shots. “I was guilty of getting ahead
of myself, and thinking about winning, rather than the shots in hand. It all goes through your head. It’s massive to win out here.” But let’s not forget, Fisher is still just 25, with many years left to make his mark in the game. With the easy transition into the professional ranks made by contemporaries such as Rory McIlroy and Matteo Mannesero, it’s easy to think that top amateurs can simply take the step up to the pro game in their stride, but Fisher was under no illusions about how hard it was. “There are players like Rory and Matteo who have glittering amateur careers and move straight into glittering professional careers, but you have to be realisitic,” says Fisher. “It’s not something that happens very often. Myself, I have my share of hiccups.” Although he confesses to having thought about giving it all up during his lowest ebb, golf is pretty much all he knows, so there was nothing to fall back on – there’s was no Plan B. “The more I thought about it, the more I realised there was nothing else I could do,” he says. “It was a terrible time. There I was, working my butt off, and asking myself over and over, “Why wasn’t anything happening?” he says. The answer was to believe in his abilities, and to trust that the spark that Faldo, and so many other knowledgeable observers had seen during his early career, was still there. The good news is that it was – all he has to do now is to hold on to it.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Horton Park Golf Club’s golf school is emerging as one of Surrey’s most popular destinations for quality coaching for all standards of players.
The new Trackman system is an ideal coaching tool and for custom-fitting clubs
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AT HORTON PARK GOLF SCHOOL’S OPEN WEEKEND Founded six years ago by the club’s PGA Professionals, John Terrell and Brendan Howell, Horton Park Golf School now has a staff of six PGA professionals, and has recently completed a £25,000 refurbishment project, which has seen the addition of a private outdoor coaching area, a new coaching studio, and the installation of a state-of-the-art Trackman swing analysis system. The Golf School is hosting an open weekend May 24-25 to showcase all that is has to offer, with the chance to meet the professionals, check out the facilities, and also have your swing
checked. There will be shows to watch, Trackman clinics, and an exhibition match between the professionals. “From our humble beginnings, it is incredible how we have grown the school, but our success has massively been helped by the improvements made to the club by the new owners,” said Terrell. “We have a great relationship with the owners and it shows in how we have been able to progress the golf school. One of the keys to the school’s success is the ability to coach all types of golfers, from beginners through the Get into Golf programme, to the Kids Golf Programme for juniors, which is a 10-level programme.
system, and with the amount of really gifted amateur golfers we work with, we knew a machine such as this would be invaluable. There are many machines on the market, but everyone knows Trackman has the superiority and is the most accurate, so that’s what we went for. The response from the players we work with has been tremendous and love the feedback the Trackman can present them with.”
For adults and our good junior players we offer private coaching programmes, which help everyone get to where they want to be faster.”
Howell added: “We are really excited about getting Trackman. We have known for a long time that our only weakness was the fact we did not own a launch monitor
To book a free appointment at the Horton Park Golf School Open Weekend or for more information, email info@ hortonparkgolfschool.co.uk or call 0208 3942626.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Heythrop appoints new director of golf
The lake view members and visitors can enjoy from the refurbished Birchwood Park
Birchwood unveils new function facilities Birchwood Park Golf Centre in Kent has upgraded its function and events offering following the opening of a new purpose-built suite that overlooks the 18th green at the Dartford-based venue. The new Lakeview room, which can accommodate 120 guests at the public pay-and-play centre, is part of a springtime revamp at the venue, which coincides with new laws allowing civil marriages to take place in non-traditional settings. The centre has also unveiled a fresh look to its café, bar and grill. “A full redecoration, with chic leather-look seating, and stylish roman blinds has transformed the lounge and dining rooms and infused a bright and crisp feel,” said Melanie Drake, Birchwood Park’s general manager. “I look forward to welcoming wedding, golf and other private parties to our spruced-up events space.” Modernisation work began two months ago, as part of an ongoing effort to improve the venue for private parties, corporate events and weddings. In addition to the Lakeview Room, guests may also book the Kelvedon Suite, which boasts panoramic views over the golf courses and wider Kent countryside.
Heythrop Park Golf Club in Oxfordshire has appointed Tim Good as its new director of golf. Good will look to raise the profile of the Oxfordshire course and he joins a club that has just undergone a major refurbishment. The 7,088 yard par-72 was designed by Tom Mackenzie and is set a 440-acre estate near Chipping Norton, with over 350 hotel rooms at two hotels, the De Vere Heythrop Park and the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Good said: “Heythrop Park is certainly one of the most significant golf courses to have opened in the United Kingdom over the last decade, but I am aware that it has not yet fulfilled its promise. I have heard Heythrop described as English golf’s sleeping giant, and when you come here you can instantly see why. The size of the facility is impressive: everywhere you look there is history, scale and quality, and it has everything you need for the ideal stay-and-play golf break.” Good has already worked at several high-profile golf clubs, having most recently held the director of golf position at De Vere Mottram Hall. Before that he was golf operations manager at Marriott Hanbury Manor, and he originally started as a trainee PGA pro at Celtic Manor.
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The lake members and visitors can Good forview business: Tim Good enjoy from the refurbished Birchwood Park at Heythrop Park
A taste of Wentworth in the heart of Kent Canterbury Golf Club was designed by the legendary golf course architect Harry S Colt and opened in 1927. Colt and his associates designed some of the most famous golf courses in the world including Wentworth, Troon, Sunningdale, Royal St Georges, Moor Park and Royal Lytham & St Annes to name just a few. Apart from minor changes to a couple of holes, Canterbury has changed very little from Colt’s original design, and over the years has matured into one of the top courses in the South East of England.
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CANTERBURY GOLF CLUB
May 2014 / Issue 232
GNeditor reveals what has caught his eye in the golfing headlines in recent weeks
Why holes the size of pizzas won’t increase golf’s appeal I almost had to check the date to see if I had missed an April Fool’s prank when I read about the head of the US Professional Golfers Association’s idea to increase the size of a golf hole from four inches to 15 inches in order to attract more people into the game. Apparently a pilot scheme is being rolled out at 100 courses across America to see what sort of reaction holes with the dimensions of a family-sized pizza receive from golfers. What they’ll find is a lot more money spent in clubhouse bars following a sudden surge in holein-ones, while you’ll have to score at least 60 points to make the top six in the Sunday morning roll-up. Meanwhile, the twos’ pot will be shared among every player, rendering it instantly pointless. Golf is meant to be hard, which is why the best players get paid so much. It is also why the best players use the back tees, while we play off the yellows. To make every putt a virtual kick-in robs the sport of one of its most important skills – the ability to put the ball in the hole. As the old saying goes: ‘Drive for show, putt for dough’. If we’re staying with the pizza analogy,
what are you left with when you take away the dough? Just some boring old tomato sauce and some grated cheese. Which isn’t a great tasting pizza, or even a pizza at all. It’s the same with golf. Take away the art of putting and you may as well just go to the driving range. Increasing the hole by an inch or two may well speed up a few rounds – and lower scores considerably – but enlarging it to the size of a dustbin lid is a (w)hole new ball game. It’s akin to making the stumps wider in cricket, lowering the height of a basketball hoop, or doing away with the net on a tennis court. These are intrinsic elements of their respective sports. Widening the cup to the size of a wheel hub will only serve to increase our agony when putts lip out, as they surely will, on a six-footer for the match. Only with such a big target, this time it’ll be hugely embarrassing, rather than merely frustrating. In purely physical terms, putting is arguably one of the easiest of the skill sets to master, with so few moving parts, and little in the way of strength required to execute a shot. Anyone with a
Give us a Daly break
modicum of hand-eye coordination can become a better putter – with practice. The same cannot be said for pounding balls on the range with a driver, where all manner of things can go wrong. I’m not being a complete stick in the mud here, and if a handful of clubs want to go down the big-hole route – as many did with the two-flag game that failed to catch on – it won’t cost them more than a few minutes of the greenkeeper’s time to cut an oversized aperture to boost beginners’ confidence, but let’s not pretend that it’s the panacea to golf’s PR problems, which run much deeper than the depth, or in this case, width, of a golf hole. Ultimately we can all kid ourselves that we’re great at golf, mark down a string of pars and birdies, and pat ourselves on the back for being so clever. Or we can grow up, take a good look at ourselves and try practising. Instant gratification is over-rated.
After he shot a career-worst round of 90 in last month’s Tampa Bay Championships on the PGA Tour, the annual question as to whether the time has come to stop handing out sponsors’ invitations to John Daly is being asked in many quarters. The decline in the skills of the crowd-pleasing 48-year-old has been played out all too publicly in recent years, with cricket scores being racked up on courses all around the world, but still tournament sponsors insist on having him on the guest list. Besides denying an aspiring player the opportunity to take part in the tournament, Daly’s presence at elite events gives credence to the belief that professional golf at the top level is dull, and that tournaments need some sort of freaky side show in order to detract spectators and TV audiences from the tedium of identikit pros making pars and birdies. “What we want is JD to come out there, make a bit of noise, wear some loud pants, and take an 11 on the par three!” is the sponsors’ all-too familiar cry. “That’ll get us some coverage in the papers and on TV!” Well, I know quite a few people who could go out and shoot big numbers in front of paying customers, but it doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Daly has had more than his fair share of moments in the spotlight. Dual major winner or not, these days he’s just not good enough to be playing alongside true professionals, and I wish he would just slip away from view until he turns 50 and see Daly: Too much of a bad thing? what the Champions Tour has to offer.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT FARLEIGH Massive investment by its new owners has seen what was formerly known as Farleigh Court turned into one of the South East’s most contemporary and exciting golf venues
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Farleigh currently offers eight membership packages, with seven-day membership costing £1,200, and five-day £850. Colt membership costs £560 (18-23) and £765 (24-29), while annual junior membership (under 17) is priced at £250. To book a free trial round, or for a guided tour of the facilities, call 01883 627711, quoting Golf News.
Visitors to the completely refurbished clubhouse and remodelled golf course at Farleigh in Surrey will find a club barely recognisable from the one in existence just three years ago. Formerly known as Farleigh Court, the club, which first opened in 1997, was bought by the owners of Foxhills Hotel & Golf Resort in 2010, with the intention of transforming it into a sister club to the upmarket venue in Ottershaw. Renaming it as Farleigh, the Hayton family, which has owned Foxhills for over 30 years, has invested over £3 million in transforming the Croydon-based venue into a high-end club that offers five-star facilities both on and off the course. The first part of the redevelopment project saw the 27-hole course’s original architects, John Jacobs Associates, brought back to carry out a £500,000 upgrade to the 350-acre layout, which also benefitted from a new fleet of greenkeeping equipment. The Blue, Red and Yellow courses have all now undergone an impressive makeovers, with the addition of new features and challenges on each of the nines, while a new irrigation and drainage system has helped to take the playing conditions to new levels. The greenkeeping team is led by course manager Michael Mann, who has done a superb job in getting the course up to its current standard in the face of some very challenging weather conditions.
With the three nines on offer, golfers can choose to play a variety of configurations: Purple (Red/ Blue), Green (Yellow/Blue) and Orange (Yellow/Red). The Purple is the longest at 6,627 yards, while the Orange is the shortest at 6,395 yards. And with each nine starting and finishing at the clubhouse, golfers can mix and match to suit their needs. It makes an especially entertaining 27-hole society or corporate day and ensures that members and guests can rub along easily. With so many people struggling to find the time to play a full 18 holes, the choice of playing nine is a popular option for many visitors, with a 9-hole green fee costing from as little as £16. The courses, which very much have the feel of an inland links, previously had a reputation for fearsome rough and although these elements have been tamed slightly to make for a more enjoyable round and less time spent hunting for balls, it’s still vital to keep it on the short stuff if you are to score well around here. Other than that, golfers will find superbly-presented fairways, quick but true USGAstandard greens, and sense that they are in splendid rural isolation, despite being less than 30 minutes from the centre of London. Practice facilities include an open-ended driving range (which is currently awaiting planning permission to be covered), a putting green, a chipping green, and a practice bunker. There are also currently plans in place to develop a par-three
course on a parcel of land to the right as you drive into the club, which will only add to Farleigh’s attraction to the local community. While the golf course has received plenty of love and attention under the new ownership, so to has the 1,500-square metre clubhouse. Last year saw the completion of a £1.6 million transformation at the hands of architects DesignLSM, whose award-winning work includes London restaurant Galvin La Chapelle and the refurbishment of The Runnymede Hotel in Egham. The new interior gives the clubhouse a cool, contemporary and sophisticated feel and provides an ideal setting for members, visitors and corporate guests to enjoy a wide range of facilities, including the Nineteen at Farleigh restaurant, which offers brasserie-style home cooking that is proving popular with golfers and local business people alike. As well as modern, well-equipped changing rooms and an impressive professional’s shop, the clubhouse also benefits from a state-of-the-art games room, whose centrepiece is Europe’s first widescreen HD indoor golf simulator, which ensures golfers can get their fix on over 50 of the world’s best courses, whatever the weather conditions outside. In addition to providing a fun evening’s entertainment with friends, a few holes on the simulator can be added onto a society day, with golfers finishing their day with a nearest-the-pin challenge at Pebble
May 2014 / Issue 232
Beach or other iconic venues. It can also be used for tuition with one of the club’s PGA professionals, and when linked up with a sound system, the big screen also provides a cinema-like experience for watching golf tournaments and other big sporting events. The clubhouse also offers a choice of four private function rooms, which are capable of hosting anything from a small business meeting to a large golf society or corporate function, or a 150-seater wedding reception. With a range of terraces and patio areas to spill out onto in the summer months, the brides of Surrey have the ideal venue for a wedding day to remember. The club also has a marriage licence, so if you find love on the greens, this is a place to make it official! It’s fair to say that few other clubs in the UK have received such investment in recent years, so if you haven’t been to Farleigh in recent years you can’t fail to be impressed with the transformation. Whether you choose to make it your new home club, or simply want to pay a green fee or book a table for lunch, it’s high time you took a fresh look at Farleigh.
BOOK YOUR NEXT ROUND AT FARLEIGH Visitor green fees can be booked online for as little as £18 per round for weekdays and £29 for weekends. Golfers who register their details on the club’s website can qualify for a free midweek taster round. For more bookings, visit www.farleighfox.co.uk or call 01883 627711.
Club Class: The impressive clubhouse includes an indoor simulator which is ideal for society and corporate events
Farleigh’s 27-hole layout has never looked better
The chic and stylish restaurant
Capital Choice: Farleigh is just 30 minutes from the centre of London
May 2014 / Issue 232
Storybehindthepic James Braid and Ted Ray Downs Course, Goodwood, West Sussex, May 30, 1914
ater this month will see the members of Golf At Goodwood celebrate the centenary of the opening of the club’s Downs Course with a special tournament. The Gordon-Lennox Trophy takes place on May 30, exactly 100 years to the day that James Braid and Ted Ray played a 36-hole exhibition match to officially open the Downs course. At the time of the match, pictured here, Ray had won the 1912 Open at Muirfield, while Braid, who designed the course, had already won his five Opens and was making a successful transition to a career in course design. With the untested greens described as being ‘not all that could be desired’, neither player’s score was recorded, but a jolly time was had by all, with lunch served in the yard
of the kennels that were later to become the clubhouse, where a hound box doubled up as a bar for the members. By the time the course opened in 1914, the membership comprised 137 men and 75 ladies, who paid two guineas and one guinea respectively for annual membership. Although a rough course build by estate workers existed on the Goodwood estate at the turn of the 19th century, it was only in 1912 that Lord Bernard Gordon Lennox, third son of the Duke of Richmond, engaged Braid to design the Downs Course that we know today. Given a free hand, and a construction budget of £1,500, Braid created an 18-hole, 6,033yard course that threaded its way through woods and valleys, before opening up onto the South Downs from which the course takes its name. Its par was 74.5, although the handicap score of 77 reflected
its difficulty. Sadly Lord Lennox died only five months after the inaugural match, killed in action during the opening salvos of the First World War, but his passion for golf was continued by his brother, Gordon, who took
over the captaincy of the club in 1915. Despite reworkings by Henry Cotton in 1964, Fred Hawtree in 1967, and most recently, Howard Swan in 2003, the classic downland course still displays many of Braid’s
original trademark features, including the numerous dogleg holes which he is credited with inventing. Braid also introduced blind tee shots to test commitment and maintain the mystery of the hole, while the clever positioning of
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bunkers and landing zones still perplex golfers today when judging distances. Swan’s intervention saw the biggest upheaval at the course in its 90-year history, with the creation of six new holes (1, 2 and 3 and 16, 17 and 18) in 2003, which lengthened the course to 7,104 yards from the championship tees. Elsewhere, tees, greens and bunkers were rebuilt on the remaining 12 holes to incorporate an automatic irrigation system and improve sight lines, as the course meanders through dips and hillocks of the downland below the famous racecourse. Today, the Downs Course is ranked well inside England’s top 100 courses, and together with its sister course, The Park, is home to over 2,000 members, many of whom are part of the credit-based scheme which charges a small annual fee and rounds on a pay-as-youplay basis.
May 2014 / Issue 232
MEET THE PRO PGA Professional Ben Glover offers the inside scoop on life as Golf Operations Manager at Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire How long have you been a PGA professional? Two years. What is your day-to-day role at the club? My role includes looking after the needs of our members and guests; maintaining the golf shop; ensuring first-class standards around the club, and providing tuition to all. What’s the best thing about your job? It has to be working in a sport that I am so passionate about. Every day is different, and you meet some fantastic people. And the worst? It would have to be the lack of time I get to actually play golf. It seems once you start working in the industry, you rarely get the chance to do what you love doing the most!
Tell us something about the facilities and the playing experience… We have some great facilities at Heythrop Park, with an 18-hole championship course where every hole is unique. We also have a large short game area, and a open driving range with grass surfaces to hit off. In a tough economic climate what have you done to keep existing members and attract new ones? Our price points are very good, with membership available from just £325 – which is very good value for money. We are working hard on the course to attract new members that can say they are part of a great venue. We have a great atmosphere within the clubhouse, and we are working hard to give back to our members for being
loyal to us. What is the club doing to attract juniors? Heythrop is working towards being a part of GrassRoots and achieving the GolfMark award, all as part of raising awareness of junior golf and increasing participation. We are re-introducing Saturday schools for the summer and summer camps specifically designed for juniors. How much time do you spend teaching? Not as much as I would like. Very little through the winter, as we do not have a covered range, but in the summer it can vary from five to 10 hours a week. What’s selling well in the pro shop at the moment? We have a new brand called
UKKO London. They produce golf/casual shirts, which look great on and off the course, and have proven a success in the shop over the last six months. What’s the best swing tip you’ve ever received? Not a swing tip as such, but the best advice I was given was to be creative. You never hit the same shot twice after all, so especially in practice, I like to play different shots: high, low, draw, fade. I like to try new things, see what works and what doesn’t. What has been your career highlight as a player?
Shooting the course record at my home club was a great achievement for me. As a junior I was always tipped for getting the course record one day, and when I finally broke it, it was a great feeling, a sense of achievement, and that the hard work had paid off. What’s your favourite course in the UK, and the world? Stoke Park in the UK and, although I’ve never played it, and probably never will, Augusta National. It excites me more than any other course, and it would be a dream come true to play it one day! Who is your golfing hero and why? Rory McIlroy. He seemed to come on the scene just as I
was progressing as a player, and he inspired me to work hard in order to achieve what I wanted. Who inspired you to take up golf? My grandad put a golf club in my hands when I was 13, and I’ve had one in them ever since! Which three other people would be in your dream fourball? Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Jack Nicklaus. What would you have done if you hadn’t have been a pro? I would have worked in sport, maybe down the sports science route, with aspirations of working with tour professionals or elite athletes.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
JAMIE FINDS HIS
MAGIC TOUCH Welshman Jamie Donaldson is on the cusp of securing a place in the Ryder Cup team after rediscovering his form following an injury lay-off In a sport that has become almost obsessed with the hyping of teenage prodigies, it’s almost refreshing to come across a player who is considered to be a late developer. In most sports, a late developer might be someone in their mid-20s, but in golf, which can be played competitively into your 60s, Jamie Donaldson is almost a spring chicken. The 39-year-old Welshman is happy to admit that he falls into the ‘late developer’ category, although the stats do speak for themselves. It took him 255 attempts before he won his first European Tour title at the 2012 Irish Open, but his rise since that breakthrough has been as rapid as it has been impressive. At the end of 2012 he finished 19th on the European Tour money list, and last year he took his game, and his world ranking, up several notches when he finished fifth in the rankings, bagging a second tour victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finishing runnerup in the Turkish Airlines Open. A second-placed finish at the lucrative Nedbank World Challenge in December lifted him comfortably into the world’s top 50, and giving him the opportunity to play in the biggest events this year. Moving into 2014, he grabbed a share of second place in March’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, with the $738,000 prize money taking his career to an exciting new level amongst the world elite, and alerting an American audience to a player now in the reckoning for a spot in Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in September. The Pontypridd-born man has now taken up temporary membership of the PGA Tour as he bids to build on his success, and he is renting a house with his wife and two young children in the professional golfers’ gated community at Lake Nona in Florida. His landlord? Ian Poulter. Donaldson’s upward trajectory has surprised
few people in Europe who have kept close tabs on a player whose career was interrupted by a back injury in the mid-2000s. Nor does it surprise the player himself, who has quietly gone about the task of self-improvement over the last decade, achieving a year-on-year rise in the world rankings since 2007, to his current healthy position at 26th, just four places behind his landlord. “I’ve always been a late developer in pretty much everything I’ve done, really,” says Donaldson, in his lilting Welsh tones. “I left school before I could develop anything there, so I had no choice but to play golf, really.” After a relatively successful amateur career, Donaldson turned professional quite late by modern standards, joining the wannabe-paid ranks aged 24. Having failed to come through the European Tour’s qualifying school in 2000, he predominantly played on the Challenge Tour in 2001, where he won events in Russia and Sweden on his way to finishing second in the end-of-season ranking. He also made the most of limited opportunities on the European Tour, making five cuts from seven events, with two top-10 finishes, as he ended the season inside the top 100 on the Order of Merit to earn his European Tour card for 2002. Donaldson spent the next few years playing on the European Tour, reaching a best of 58th in the Order of Merit in 2003, before the aforementioned back problems brought his career to a painful and abrupt halt in 2004. “My career has been very up and down,” admits Donaldson, with a wry smile. “Early on, I started off pretty well, but my injury set me back four years, and I just had to regroup and keep believing that I had the talent. Back problems are not nice injuries for golfers, given the stress you can put on that area playing the game. The low point was in the middle of 2004, when I would be
Sitting pretty: Donaldson is finding his feet on the PGA Tour after a dramatic rise up the rankings
May 2014 / Issue 232
Patshull Park Golf and Resort Hotel Pattingham, Nr Wolverhampton WV6 7HR “My lowest point was in 2004, when I would be scared of stepping off a kerb, just in case my back was going to go.”
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April to Oct 2014, now 54 holes of golf scared of stepping off a kerb just in case my back was going to go.” When one doctor advised him to call a halt to his career, Donaldson was having none of it. “I couldn’t hear that – that wasn’t what I wanted to hear,” he says. “To be honest, as soon as somebody says that, you just go and see somebody else.” That person was London-based spinal rehabilitation specialist Jon Bowskill, and he gave Donaldson a programme of core stability exercises that enabled him to resume playing. “It’s a bit like riding a bike really. Once you’ve done them for so long you’re training balance muscles that you never had before,” he explains. “I haven’t done any for quite a while now, but I think there will come a point where I actually need to. At the moment it’s not broke, so I’m not trying to fix it.” After three years spent sorting out his back, Donaldson returned to the Challenge Tour in 2007, and showed an instant return to form, picking up his third Challenge Tour win at the Abierto Telefonica de Guatemala on his way to fourth place on the money list. By the following year he was back on the European Tour, and was again inside the top 100 on the Order of Merit to maintain his playing rights for the 2009 season. He performed consistently in 2010 and 2011, finishing in the top 50 on the Order of Merit, and finally won his maiden European Tour title at The Irish Open, where he finished four shots ahead of the pack after closing 66 at Royal Portrush. That same season he finished seventh in the US PGA Championship and ended the season ranked 19th. Last year his world ranking earned his first invitation to the Masters, where, despite missing the cut, he came home with some coveted crystal after bagging a hole-in-one at Augusta’s fearsome sixth hole. In his second start of the 2013 season, Donaldson won his second European Tour title in Abu Dhabi, where he held off Justin Rose and Thorbjørn Olesen by a single shot in the nervefilled final round. He finished the season ranked
fifth in Europe, and with all thoughts of his dark days firmly behind him. Last month he made his second appearance at Augusta, and featured prominently in the opening rounds, before a third round 76 saw him slip back into the pack before he rallied with a final round 70 to finish tied 14th. “I wasn’t quite on it at Augusta last year,” admits Donaldson. “But it was a massive learning curve for me, and it’s made me a better player for it. It’s a tough golf course and the greens are brutal – it’s like putting on the roof of a house.” While competing in America and contending in the majors are both on the agenda for this year, so to is the chance to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Ian Woosnam and Philip Price. “The Ryder Cup is obviously in the plans, but I’m not really thinking too much about it,” he says coyly. “There’s a lot of good tournaments to play before then, but the good news is I’m playing well in the tournaments to keep the rankings. To get on that team would be cool, but it would just be because I’m playing well, so I just have to keep doing what I’m doing to get myself on the team. I don’t really know what I have to do to get in, as I haven’t been paying attention to the qualifying system. I’ve just been trying to play as well as I can every week, and to put myself in position more often to win tournaments. But it takes time and I just have to keep grafting until I push the doors open.” That patience has served Donaldson well so far, and could yet be vital to his continued improvement. Where that will ultimately take him, only time will tell. “The graphs just keep going up, so all I have to do is keep doing the same things, and trying to find little ways of improving to put myself in a position like now, where I’m playing my best golf,” he concludes. “I’ve secured my US Tour card for next year, but I won’t decide until the end of this year if I’m coming back.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Smith claims Hampshire Salver
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England international Jordan Smith’s attempt to retain his Hampshire Hog title came up short at Blackmoor last month, but his performance in the event, coupled with victory in the Selbourne Salver, saw the talented youngster come home with the Hampshire Salver, which is awarded to the player with the best combined totals in both events. Smith, who made his debut in the Walker Cup last year for GB & Ireland, won the Selbourne Salver with a pair of 68s – making a birdie at the final hole at Blackmoor to snatch the win by one shot. He then attempted to defend his Hampshire Hog title at North Hants the following day, but bad weather cut the event to 18 holes, and Smith finished the first round two over par 72, which left him tied for eighth behind winner Sam Edwards from Devon. However, his combined score from the Selbourne Salver and the Hog gave him a level-par total of 208 and a one-shot win to claim the Hampshire Salver.
“I’m very happy to go one better than last year and win the Hampshire Salver, which has kicked off the year nicely,” said the 21-year-old Smith, who is attached to Bowood Golf & Country Club in Wiltshire. “I played pretty solidly over the two days. Saturday was better weather-wise, but Blackmoor’s greens are tricky, so being patient was key. The weather was awful the following day at North Hants, Jordan Smith which made things tough. I didn’t make any real mistakes, but just didn’t make the birdies I needed either. I’m very excited by the year ahead. I feel I’m improving all the time and I’m looking forward to a successful season.” He added: “It’s been quite a year since winning last year’s Hampshire Hog, the highlight being the Walker Cup. Although the result didn’t go our way in America, it was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot from that, and will try and build on that on the amateur circuit this year before another go at the Qualifying School.”
Membership Tariff 2014
5 Day £550
• 20% discount on the selected food and beverage in The Tempus bar and restaurant • 10% discount on retail • Reduced Rate for Leisure Club Use • Members may book tee off times up to 14 daysin advance • A full schedule of Members competitions and events • Access to a Full English Golf Union Handicap • Golf Trolleys are permitted all year round • Annual or monthly payment options are available • Full Grass Driving Range and 5 Bay undercover range • A fleet of 20 Buggies
7 Day £960 Junior £200 Corporate (5 Day only) £2500 5 Day Golf & Leisure £840 7 Day Golf & Leisure £1400
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Don’t miss out... Read Golfnews online at www.golfnews.co.uk Tamarind Hotel
WOAH, THEY’RE GOING TO
BARBADOS! Sign up for this season’s Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Swingers competition and you could find yourself taking part in a Ryder Cup-style event in the lap of luxury on the tropical island of Barbados
When you think of Barbados, you might picture yourself lying on its white sands, sipping a rum cocktail, and listening to the sound of calm, crystal clear waves lapping against the shoreline, while the gentle breeze sweeps over you. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well if you’re an avid golfer, which chances are you must be if you’re reading this, you might also want to picture lush fairways, memorable holes, and incredible sea views. And if you’re a registered Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Swinger, the airline’s innovative online golf league, you can even start picturing yourself representing Europe against the Rest of the World on those fairways this November! THE COURSES: APES HILL & ROYAL WESTMORELAND Lying in the very heart of the island is Apes Hill Golf Club. One of the newest championship courses in the Caribbean, its combination of lush grassland, coral stone quarries, wooded ravines and sparkling lakes, all in natural surroundings, make this a memorable challenge for golfers. The 7,150-yard, par-72 course has been built with multiple raised tees, offering panoramic views in all directions, including the wild Atlantic coast and the contrasting calm, but equally beautiful Caribbean Sea. Just down the road from Apes Hill is Royal Westmoreland. Set among one of the most exclusive estates in the Caribbean, it boasts a 7,045-yard course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr. With lush tropical landscape and a design that calls for every club in your bag, the tricky greens, ocean views, inviting halfway house, and an audience of resident monkeys, place this course among the world’s best. THE SWINGERS FINAL The lucky finalists in this year’s Flying Club Swingers Final will get the opportunity to play three rounds of match play on these two fantastic courses – fourballs at Royal Westmoreland, sandwiched between
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foursomes and singles at Apes Hill. It’s the sort of event that every amateur golfer dreams of being part of. Team captains, chosen from within each team, host team meetings each night, where the all-important pairings are announced for each day’s play and tactics are decided. Hearing your name read out over the PA on the first tee ‘representing Europe’, sends a tingle down your spine – just ask the likes of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. Every putt and every shot is not just for yourself, but for your team and the Swingers they represent at home who didn’t make the final. By the end of it, finalists have not only had a memorable experience, but have also made lifelong friendships. THE ACCOMODATION Staying at Tamarind, one of Barbados’ premier resorts, finalists can relax in style when they are not on the course. Spread out along a 750-foot-long stretch of coastline on the Platinum West Coast of Barbados, Tamarind is the new contemporary classic when it comes to island enjoyment for all ages. Of course, only 24 finalists across the world can qualify for this unique experience, but everyone who registers for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Swingers can take advantage of three fantastic exclusive offers from Apes Hill and Royal Westmoreland, giving all keen golfers the chance to head to the Caribbean to experience sunshine golf at its best, whilst also saving money. What’s more, flying to Barbados with Virgin Atlantic means even more savings. With Virgin Atlantic your golf clubs travel free, and if you’re signed up to the Flying Club, you can earn Flying Club miles, giving you more money-saving opportunities and other benefits for travel in the future. There’s never been a better time to become a Flying Club Swinger. So why not sign up today and begin your journey to Barbados. To register, visit flyingclubgolfleague.com.
Summer golf days for 12 people or more starting from just £18.50 for seniors (senior 62+) and £26.50 per person (adults) 1 in every 15 players goes FREE and every player will receive a Free small bucket of balls for use on the range. Call the office on 01344 302030 for availability and prices. Downshire Golf Complex Easthampstead Park, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3DH Tel: 01344 302030 Fax: 01344 301020 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/downshiregolf Facebook: www.facebook.com/downshiregolf
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May 2014 / Issue 232
THE GEAR EFFECT WINNERS’ BAGS ON TOUR MATT KUCHAR RBC Heritage Driver: Bridgestone J40 430 (9.5) Fairway Wood: Ping G25 (15) Hybrids: Ping Anser (20), Ping Anser (23) Irons: Bridgestone J40 Cavity Back (5-PW) Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Black Oxide (52), Cleveland 588 RTX (58), Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (62) Putter: Bettinardi Signature Model 1 Ball: Bridgestone Tour B330-S LEE WESTWOOD Maybank Malaysian Open Driver: Ping G10 (9.5) Fairway Wood: Ping G25 (15) Hybrid: Ping G25 (17) Irons: Ping i20 (3-PW) Wedges: Ping i20 (52), Ping Tour Gorge (60) Putter: Ping Ketsch Ball: Titleist ProV1x MICHELLE WIE Lotte Championship Driver: Nike Covert 2.0 (9.5) Fairway Wood: Nike Covert 2.0 Tour (13) Hybrid: Nike VR_S Covert (18, 24) Irons: Nike VR Pro Combo (5-6), Nike VR Pro Blade (7-PW) Wedges: Nike VR Pro (52), Nike VR X3X Toe Sweep (56, 60) Putter: Nike Method 006 Ball: Nike RZN Black MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ Greater Gwinnett Championship Driver: Ping i25 (9.5) Fairway Woods: Ping i25 (14, 18, 21) Irons: Ping S55 (4-9) Wedges: Ping Tour Gorge (52, 60) Putter: Ping Scottsdale Pickmeup Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV MARCO CRESPI NH Collection Open Driver: TaylorMade JetSpeed (10.5) Fairway Wood: TaylorMade SLDR (14) Hybrids: TaylorMade SLDR (17), Adams Idea Super DHY Proto (21, 24) Irons: Mizuno JPX-825 Pro (5-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM4 (50, 58) Putter: Odyssey Versa BWB Tank 7 90 Ball: Titleist Pro V1 X JB HOLMES Wells Fargo Championship Driver: TaylorMade SLDR 430 (12) Fairway Wood: TaylorMade SLDR (15.5) Hybrids: Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro-h (19, 21) Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC (4-9) Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX (48, 52, 56) Putter: Odyssey Metal X-Milled #7 Ball: Srixon Z-Star MARTIN KAYMER Players Championship Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (8.5) Fairway Wood: TaylorMade SLDR (14) Hybrid: TaylorMade SLDR (17) Irons: TaylorMade TP MC (3-9) Wedges: TaylorMade TP MC (48, 54, 58) Putter: Ping Karsten 1959 Anser 2 Ball: TaylorMade Lethal DANIEL BROOKS Madeira Islands Open Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5) Fairway Wood: Titleist 913F.d (13.5) Hybrids: Titleist 712 U (18, 21, 24) Irons: Titleist AP2 712 (5-PW) Wedges: Titleist SM4 (54, 60) Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
American Golf solves stock shortages with in-store iPads Customers visiting any of American Golf’s 101 stores across the UK will now be able to order equipment online, following the launch of a new iPadbased ordering system. The system means that should a specific item of equipment or clothing be out of stock in the store, customers can order the item from the company’s central warehouse for next day delivery to their nearest store or to their home address. The iPad-based system will also give American Golf’s staff immediate access to all of the styles, sizes, colours and specifications for every product. “This really is a
fantastic new service for our customers, because if it’s not in store, it’s just a few clicks away,” commented Trudy Hills, trading director of American Golf. “Making sure that we have the exact style and size for every single customer that comes into one of our stores is a constant challenge, but with this new ordering
system we are increasing the likelihood of achieving this objective.“
Wilson Golf launches online fitting challenge Wilson Staff has launched an online club-fitting service to help golfers find the irons, woods and wedges most suited to their games. The 12-club online fitting tool asks golfers a series of questions on playing style, shot trajectory, and short/ long game preferences to determine whether they are a ‘Feel’, ‘Control’ or ‘Distance’ category player. Those who complete an online fitting before June 1 can post their recommended Wilson iron model on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #makeitpersonal to be entered into a competition to win their set of 12 clubs and accompanying neXus bag. Three winners – one for each playing category – will be selected randomly once the competition closes.
The online fitting service provides golfers with a detailed breakdown of their 12 prescribed clubs and allows them to watch videos explaining the performance-enhancing technology involved in each model. The service also incorporates a video featuring Padraig Harrington, Kevin Streelman, and Ricky Barnes that explains the F-C-D system in more detail. To complete the online club fitter questionnaire, visit www.wilson.com.
Jacklin joins forces with iconic brands Two-time major winner Tony Jacklin has been signed up as an ambassador by two of the most iconic brands in golf. The winner of the 1969 Open and 1970 US Open has signed agreements with clothing brand Lyle & Scott and equipment company Lynx Golf, both of which enjoy a rich history in the game. Lyle & Scott weaved its way into the fabric of the golf fashion landscape in 1967 with the launch of its first golf range, and the Golden Eagle logo quickly became the choice of top professionals. During this time, Jacklin sported the Hawickbased company’s knitwear on course, and continued to do so during many of his outstanding achievements. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with heritage golf brand Lyle & Scott,” said Jacklin. “I wore it a lot during my many years of success on tour. Everyone has their own memories of wearing Lyle & Scott – mine were achievement, performance, and style to the highest level. This affinity with a brand is rare and something that I look forward to reigniting it.” Jacklin has also joined the Lynx Golf UK team as a brand ambassador, representing the family-owned brand as it continues to build its presence in the UK market following its relaunch. Lynx Golf’s UK CEO, Steve Elford, said: “We are building a young, dynamic, exciting team at Lynx Golf, with a huge determination to be a genuine British success. When you look at what Tony achieved as a player and Ryder Cup captain, alongside his own values of being passionate about golf, then he is the ideal ambassador for Lynx.” The 69-year-old star will play the Lynx Boom Boom 3 driver and woods, alongside the company’s new ‘double cavity’ Boom Boom irons.
TAYLORMADE EXTENDS ‘LOFT UP’ CAMPAIGN Taylormade’s campaign to get golfers to understand the importance of loft when dialing in their driver set up, has been extended to run until the end of the summer following an impressive reaction from consumers. The ‘Loft Up For More Distance’ promotion, which is being run together with participating TaylorMade retailers, enables golfers to buy either the brand’s SLDR or JetSpeed driver with the reassurance that if the loft is either too high or too low for them, or they haven’t
gained distance, then they can either return the driver for their money back or exchange it for the correct loft.
Both drivers feature head designs which place weight forward in the face, which promotes faster ball speed and lower spin, and resulting in the need for golfer’s to add loft to gain extra distance. “Since launching the Loft Up Guarantee offer we have had an incredible amount of golfers participating, and with the recent announcement of complimentary products being added to our 2014 product line, we will add the SLDR White, SLDR S and SLDR Mini Driver to the offer,” said Jason Howarth, TaylorMade’s European brand director. “Sales in the UK increased by 77% during the first month of the promotion, and due to this we are extending the offer until August 31, so that more golfers can take advantage of this fantastic deal.”
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May 2014 / Issue 232
TOM LEWIS TIPS FROM THE TOUR
BUILDING A BETTER BACKSWING European Tour professional Tom Lewis explains why getting all the key components working in harmony is the key to creating a consistent, repeatable and powerful golf swing 1
1 THE TAKEAWAY All good backswings start with a coordinated movement of the hands, arms, body and club away from the ball. The first 10-12 inches set the tone for the rest of the swing, and will have a huge bearing on whether the shot is successful or not. I am a great believer in maintaining my width in the backswing, and that starts with a solid one-piece takeaway, in which the club, hands, arms and chest are all working as one unit. I like to feel as if the first movement is initiated from my sternum (inset), and thinking about that helps me to eliminate any independent movement of my hands or arms.
Tom Lewis is a brand ambassador for Marriott. The photographs were shot at Marriott Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire. For details visit www. marriott.co.uk or download the Marriott app from iTunes.
2 THE WRIST HINGE
3 TOP OF THE SWING
When the backswing is initiated by the sternum, everything works in sync, and it is only about half way back when your wrists will start to hinge. Looking from face on at this point in the swing, your right forearm should be just visible above the left, and your right elbow should be well away from your right side. Your legs should be braced and supporting your turn. Note that at this point there has been very little independent hand action, which is important, because if you use too much at the start of the swing, you are likely either to take the club back too far inside the line, or else pick it up too steeply. Both will be harmful, and will lead to inconsistency, because they necessitate additional manipulation to get the club back on track.
This is a good example of what I mean when I say I try to maintain my width in the backswing. One of my key aims as I move to the top of the backswing is to keep my left hand as far away from my head as possible. This will work well for anyone who overswings or often collapses at the top of the backswing. Another thing to remember is to make a full shoulder turn, with the left shoulder turning under your chin. One of the most common mistakes I see amateurs make is failing to turn properly. Many players simply swing with their hands and arms, which leads to a massive loss of power. One final thing to look out for is the position of the clubhead at the top of the swing. The toe of the club should be pointing down towards the ground, in what is called a neutral position, which is something else to copy. If you get the club into that position, you can simply swing the club down and through without having to make any additional movements to manoeuvre it back into the correct position.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Scottish Open attracts strong field hoping to replicate Mickelson’s route to Open glory Woods on ‘slow road’ to recovery World number one Tiger Woods hopes to return to competition this summer, but is more concerned about ensuring his long-term fitness. The 38-year-old has not played since the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, and has since had surgery on a pinched nerve in his back. His practice is currently restricted to ‘light’ chipping and putting. “My recovery from surgery is coming along, but it’s a very slow process,” Woods said. “I’m still sore. Not from the procedure itself, but the incision. I am speaking with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is. It’s tedious because it’s little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it.” Speculation on Woods’s return to competitive golf is simply that. Even he doesn’t have a date in mind. “As for my return to golf, I really don’t know,” Woods said. “Some people heal up in three months, some people take four months, some people take longer. I just don’t know.” Mark Steinberg, Woods’s agent, added. “This is about the next 10 or 15 years, not about the next 10 weeks. He’s doing a little bit more and more each day, but this is not about targeting any specific tournament. If he needs to wait one or two or three extra weeks he will. He’s thinking about this very, very long term.” Woods, who won the most recent of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open, is highly unlikely to be fit for this year’s renewal at Pinehurst in North Carolina, which starts on June 12. The season’s third major, the Open Championship, begins on July 17 at Hoylake. The Merseyside links venue is where Woods captured the last of his three Claret Jugs in 2006.
After providing Phil Mickelson with a platform for his victory in last year’s Open Championship, this year’s renewal of the Scottish Open looks set to attract its strongest field in a long time, with a host of big names looking to follow the ‘Mickelson method’ to Claret Jug glory. Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter are all down to play in the £3 million tournament, which takes place at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club from July 10-13. Rose is the latest major champion to add his name to the elite field, following confirmation that defending champion Mickelson will also be teeing up in Aberdeen,
preparation for The Open. I’ve not played as well as I would’ve liked in The Open over the last couple of years and so, having seen what Phil did in 2013, I was keen to change my preparations and play at Royal Aberdeen.” Poulter is equally excited about returning to the tournament. “I’m really looking forward to returning to the Scottish Open after a few years’ break. I’ve heard a lot of positive comments about the quality of Royal Aberdeen, and can’t wait to play a good old-fashioned links course the week before going to Hoylake.” Tickets for the Scottish Open are on sale at aamscottishopen.com or by calling 0800 023 2557.
as he continues his build up to the defence of his Open Championship title at Royal Liverpool the following week. “I’m really looking forward to going to Royal Aberdeen and playing in the Scottish Open again,” said Rose, who finished tied 14th on his last appearance at Castle Stuart in 2011. “It should also provide the ideal
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Westwood back on track in Malaysia Lee Westwood captured the 41st title of his career when winning the Malaysian Open by seven shots. One shot ahead going into the final day, Europe’s former No.1 was four clear after 11 holes, when the threat of lightning suspended play for four hours. After the resumption, the 40-year-old added two more birdies to complete a round of 68 and an 18-under-par total. Westwood, whose last win came at the Nordea Masters in 2012, credited the recent changes he had made to his game for the revival. “I started working with a new coach, Mike Walker, a few weeks ago, and Billy Foster came back on the bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before, because it had worked,” said the world number 36. “It’s started to work already – the last couple of weeks I played well in Houston, and at the Masters, and this week I’ve obviously played very well. I putted well, and the short game is good.” Louis Oosthuizen also shot a final round 68 for second place, while England’s Andy Sullivan, who began the final day in second after a 66 in round three, carded a triplebogey seven at the second hole to finish with a 78 and a share of 13th.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Jimenez wins on senior debut but sets sights on Ryder Cup
Caddie dies during Madeira Open
Miguel Angel Jimenez won his first event on the US Senior Tour last month, but promptly shifted his focus back to qualifying for the Ryder Cup. The 50-year-old Spaniard held off Bernhard Langer to win the Greater Gwinnett Championship, becoming only the third player to lead from start to finish in his debut on the senior tour. Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Masters, Jimenez closed with a 67 to finish two strokes ahead of Langer at TPC Sugarloaf. After lighting up his customary post-victory cigar, Jimenez said: “I showed my game is in very good shape now. I’m very happy with my age and the way I’m doing. The last 15
Zimbabwean caddy Iain McGregor died of a heart attack during the final day of the Madeira Open. The 52-year-old, who was carrying Alistair Forsyth’s bag, suffered a heart attack at the ninth hole at Santo da Serra, and passed away despite the efforts of medical personnel. The tournament was suspended while doctors attended the scene, but after consulting players and other caddies, European Tour officials decided that the event should carry on after a minute’s silence. Reduced to 36 holes because of previous fog delays, the tournament was won by Daniel Brooks following a playoff with Scott Henry. “Everybody is in shock,” Forsyth said. “To see that happen to someone in front of your eyes – I don’t know how or when you get over that. I met with tournament officials and spoke to European Tour chief executive George O’Grady on the phone before taking the decision to play on. Iain was far too young for this to happen. He was the life and soul of the caddies’ lounge, and a nice guy who will be sorely missed. I’m absolutely numb.”
years is when my best golf is coming. I certainly have no complaints about turning 50.” Despite his success, the veteran Spaniard is unlikely to play another event on the Champions Tour this year because of his goal to qualify for the Ryder Cup team, although he is expected to play in the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl in July. “It’s not about money,” Jimenez added. “It’s about having goals to make me feel proud. To me it would feel nice to play on the Ryder Cup once more.”
Kaymer is back in the Ryder Cup reckoning following his Players victory
Kaymer proves he can still play Former World No.1 Martin Kaymer showed some of his old form to capture golf’s unofficial fifth major, The Players’ Championship, with a front-running display at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The 29-year-old German, who held the No.1 spot for several months after winning the US PGA Championship in 2010, opened up with a nineunder par 63, and kept his lead to the end, closing with a 71 to win by a single shot from another resurgent player, Jim Furyk. Sitting on a three-shot lead with five holes to play, Kaymer’s bid for victory was almost derailed by a 90-minute storm delay. He doubled-bogeyed the 15th hole on resumption, and then saw his ball narrowly miss going in the water on the iconic parthree 17th – and then holed a 30-foot putt for par, before getting up and down from off the green at the last to seal his first win in 19 months. Victory took Kaymer back into the world’s top 50, and into contention for a place in the European Ryder Cup team. European players also filled the minor places, with Sergio García taking third, and Justin Rose tying for fourth with Jordan Speith. Rory McIlroy finished sixth alongside Lee Westwood, following a closing 66.
Join Team Titleist at titleist.co.uk
May 2014 / Issue 232
So far, more than
20,000 WEDGES have been traded in!
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Cleveland Golf will be a part of a unique demo event being held this month at the recently-renovated Silvermere Golf Club in Cobham. Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, from Saturday May 24 until Monday May 26, the event, hosted by Silvermere, will give golfers the chance to be custom fitted and to save £100 on iron sets through the Cleveland Golf iron trade-on promotion, and £25 off any new Cleveland Golf 588 RTX wedge. Catering to one-hour long fitting sessions, Cleveland Golf can assist golfers in building the right set for their game with one of its expert custom fit technicians, making it the perfect opportunity for golfers looking to get a comprehensive custom fit right the way through the bag.
Our superb original Cleveland Golf trade-in offer has now been extended to July 31st 2014.
588 RTX WEDGES: THE NEW FACE OF SPIN
So there’s still time for you to upgrade to your choice of Rotex face pattern 588 RTX wedges. Trade in any old wedge for any brand new 588 wedge and get
or trade in up to 3 old wedges and get £75 OFF any 3 new 588 wedges, giving you the perfect loft for every wedge shot Offer closes 31/07/14 – for terms and conditions, go to www.clevelandgolf588.co.uk Cleveland Golf Europe @ClevelandGolfEU
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Cleveland’s 588 RTX wedges proved so popular in 2013 that over 20,000 golfers across Europe traded in their wedges for the new 588 RTX model. 588 RTX wedges feature Rotex Face technology and 16% larger U-grooves to maximise spin on critical scoring shots – especially out of the rough, sand, and in wet conditions. The Rotex face, dubbed ‘the new face of spin’, features a directionallymilled pattern that adds roughness and imparts maximum spin on openface wedge shots, where the impact tends to be closer to the toe. With a more durable and advanced form of laser milling, the Rotex face creates more friction at impact, helping golfers generate even more spin on chips, pitches and partial shots from any lie. New for 2014, Cleveland Golf has launched an online wedge-fitting tool, full of advice on gapping wedges, and information on the various loft, bounce and finish options that are available. Golfers can check this out now and start building their perfect set of wedges by visiting www.wedgefitting. clevelandgolf588.co.uk.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Surrey venue’s May bank holiday demo event offers big discounts on customfitted clubs from Cleveland Golf
FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T PLAY ON TOUR
588 IRONS FAMILY: A HEAD FOR ALL HEIGHTS The Cleveland Golf 588 family of irons is made up of three different head types, engineered to offer differing levels of flight, feel and forgiveness, and aimed at suiting every level of golfer. Each Altitude, MT and TT iron head is fully interchangeable, meaning Cleveland Golf technicians can build a set to work with an individual swing for each individual iron. With the 588 Altitude, as the name would suggest, hitting the ball higher and longer has never been easier. This hybrid-iron is sure to be popular with golfers who struggle to hit their longer irons. The 588 MT, or mid-trajectory, offers golfers easy-to-hit long irons and more traditional short irons. The long irons have proved incredibly popular with Cleveland Golf’s staff players, with both Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley putting the 3- and 4-iron in their bags last season. Finishing the family is the 588 TT iron, engineered for tour trajectory. As the name would suggest here, they are for players who want to get a more controlled and penetrating trajectory with their short irons, coupled with forgiving long irons. To find out more about Cleveland Golf’s trade-in promotions and products, please visit www.clevelandgolf588.co.uk. To book a custom-fitting slot at the Silvermere demo day, please call 01932 584 323, or visit www.silvermere-golf.co.uk and use the online booking facility.
THE NEW SRIXON AD333 TOUR FEATURES A SUPERSOFT URETHANE COVER FOR TOUR-LEVEL PRECISION COMBINING SUPERIOR DISTANCE, CONTROL AND FEEL; SPIN SKIN ™ TECHNOLOGY FOR UP TO 20% INCREASED FRICTION WITH THE CLUB FACE FOR MORE SPIN ON APPROACH SHOTS AND SHORT GAME CONTROL; HIGHLY RESILIENT IONOMER MID-LAYER FOR REDUCED DRIVER SPIN, GREATER DISTANCE AND IMPROVED FEEL.
*Source Golf Datatech Retail Audit 2013
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Honma TW-U Driving Iron RRP: £225 Contact: honma.co.uk Although hybrids more commonly bridge the gap between fairway woods and long irons these days, many golfers still prefer the shot-making control advantages of playing longer shots into the green with a clubhead which is closer to a conventional iron shape. Step forward Honma’s hand-built Tour World TW-U, a powerful new driving iron with a rounded heel for a clean-cutting and consistent strike on long approach shots. A club for the more aggressive ball-striker, the muscular-looking TW-U clubhead is cast in steel with tungsten weights on the back combined with a wide sole to give it a deep, low centre of gravity. Available in 2i, 3i and 4i lofts, the TW-U is fitted with the Nippon NSPRO 950GH steel shaft as standard, but golfers can specify a choice of shaft when they visit a Honma stockist for a fitting.
SHOP Ping Sensor Cool Polos RRP: £42-£55 Contact: ping.com Ping’s new range of Sensor Cool polo shirts incorporates technology that holds moisture movement, and draws excess perspiration from the skin. This keeps the golfer dry for the duration of a round. Each garment is crease-resistant and made from stretch fabric designed to work in harmony with the golf swing. The four designs – Beacon (£41.99), Reef (£49.99), Wylie (£41.99) and Rockaway (£54.99), ocome in a range of colours, all of which are being worn by Ping staff players Louis Oosthuizen and Brandon Stone this summer.
GolfBuddy BB4 RRP: £199 Contact: gpsgolfbuddy.eu Part of a range of four new GPS units being launched by GolfBuddy this season, the BB4 is a piece of wearable tech that comes in the form of a sleek wristband that gives you the numbers you need out on the golf course. Slimmer and lighter than a watch – although it also tells the time – the BB4 looks like Nike’s Fuelband, but instead of counting calories it offers yardages to the front, centre and back of greens on more than 37,000 courses worldwide. Boasting automatic course and hole recognition, it measures distances from the golfer’s angle of approach, rather than from fixed points, and offers measurements in metres or yards. It also can be used to track shot distances, and doubles up as a pedometer when not being used for golf. The battery is USB rechargeable and lasts 10 hours. It is available in black or white.
Mizuno Aerolite Micro 06 RRP: £100 Contact: golf.mizunoeurope.com Mizuno is looking to make a big impact with the launch of its new little bag, the Aerolite Micro 06, which is among the lightest and smallest stand bags on the market, weighing in at only 3lbs with a top width of just six inches. However, while it’s compact enough to fit two in a flight bag, it can still hold a full set of 14 clubs, with room for all your golfing guff. Features include three-way club dividers, a padded sliding strap with self-adjusting balance point, a pelican pocket, sturdy retractable legs, and a waterproof top. It is available in a choice of bold two-tone colours, with green and red accents.
Nike Golf VRS Covert 2.0 RRP: £249.99 Contact: nikegolfeurope.com Called the Covert driver because of its alarming red crown, a new matt black version of the club has been launched which offers all the same bells and whistles as its predecessor, but without the ‘look-at-me’ graphics. To complete the turn to the dark side, the new driver also features a black Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip, and a black Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage shaft. It is only available in a right-handed version, so lefties will have to stick with their red lollipops for now.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Callaway X2 Hot Ball
Voice Caddie T1
RRP: £24.99 for 12 Contact: callawaygolf.com Available in two models – the X2 Hot and X2 Hot+ – this two-piece ball is designed to promote long, straight ball flight. The + model is aimed at swing speeds of 90mph, while the standard X2 Hot is for slower speeds. Both feature a three-piece multi-layer construction, which sees a Fast Tech mantle combined with a trionomer cover and Hex dimples to create a ball that offers low spin off the tee – reducing hooks and slices – without compromising on touch around the green.
RRP: £149 Contact: voice-caddie.com
Footjoy Hydrolite RRP: £87.50 Contact: footjoy.co.uk FootJoy’s new HydroLite range offers a choice of ultralightweight waterproof performance shoes that are ideal for play in all conditions. Available in seven spiked and three spikeless designs, the HydroLites boast a combination of comfort, stability, flexibility and durability features. With full-grain leather uppers, a low-profile outsole, and FootJoy’s unique performance insert cleat system, they are ideal for year-round play. The spiked HydroLite is available in white/white tumbled, white/taupe tumbled, black/black tumbled, white/red, and white/black, while the spikeless HydroLite SL (£79.95) comes in white/black, white/lime and white/white.
Nite-Hawk Ball Predator RRP: £17.90 Contact: nite-hawk.net If you’re fed up with losing balls in the rough, then this handy little gadget might save you a fortune – providing you’re playing at dusk. Working best in low-level light, the Nite-Hawk emits short-wave light that makes golf balls light up in the dark. It should be noted that balls lost on golf club premises are deemed to be owned by the club, so don’t go hunting for balls other than your own without the club’s permission.
TESTED TaylorMade SLDR Mini Driver Rating: RRP: £199 Contact: taylormadegolf.eu
Titleist DT Solo RRP: £18 for 12 Contact: titleist.co.uk The super-soft compression DT Solo has been redesigned to provide the best combination of soft feel and distance in a DT yet. With its soft compression core and ionomer cover, the 2014 model features a new 376 tetrahedral dimple pattern that contributes to even longer driver and iron distance, while retaining soft feel and consistency.
Most players who lose confidence with their driver tend to reach for the 3-wood in order to find more fairways. While this may work for some, most fairway woods are designed, as the name suggests, to be hit off the fairway, and not the tee. Their shallow faces and weight placement make them more suitable for lofted second shots rather than booming drives off the tee. That void between product design and product use led to TaylorMade’s engineers developing the SLDR Mini Driver, which is longer off the tee than a 3-wood, while still being extremely accurate. Featuring a 260cc head (200cc smaller than most drivers) and a 43.5-inch shaft (two inches shorter than a driver shaft), the SLDR Mini features the similar low-spin-producing centre of gravity location found on the SLDR drivers. The club also has the now familiar Speed Pocket slot in the sole that’s designed to improve ballspeed on shots hit lower on the face. And although it’s primarily designed to be easier to tee off with than a 3-wood, it also boasts a smooth sole, which makes it simple to use off the fairway as well. In the hand, it looks and feels very much like a driver did 15 years ago, and performs like one too, offering back control and workability, while compromising on distance. I’m not sure it deserves the SLDR name, given there is no adjustability on offer, but it’s certainly worth a go if you struggle with your driver and play on relatively short courses. There are two versions of the SLDR Mini, standard and TP, with the later costing £249 owing to the inclusion of Fujikura’s heavier Motore Speeder 7.3 shaft.
Offering 30,000 pre-loaded courses and no annual fees, the T1 offers automatic course and hole recognition, yardages to front, back and centre of greens, shot measurement capability, digital scorecards, and the time, date and alarm functions of a standard watch. It also acts as a fitness watch, with a speed, distance and calorie counter, while there is also swing analysis tool that measures swing tempo and shows your swing path to reveal whether you’re on plane or not. A single charge offers 10-hour battery life in GPS mode. Available in black or white.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Golfstream DV.8 RRP: £999 Contact: golfstream.co.uk Built in partnership with fellow trolley specialist Greenhill, Golfstream’s DV.8 is one of four new trolleys in the company’s line-up for 2014. Key features of this top-ofthe-range model include sprung suspension, mudguards, anodised metal fittings and a rear stabiliser wheel. The DV.B can be operated manually via controls on the T-bar handle or by remote control courtesy of a separate handset. The handset controls the trolley from up to 100 metres away. It also has a reverse function for when turning is awkward, while the rear stabiliser wheel prevents tipping on steep slopes. The fold-down mechanism is easy to operate, with the front wheel folding under the frame for compact storage. It is available with lead or lithium batteries, in a range of coloured frames.
Motocaddy M3 Pro RRP: £449/£599 Contact: motocaddy.com Motocaddy’s top-of-the-range electric trolley is a hybrid of the brand’s M1 Pro and S3 Pro models, offering the same two-bar frame and compact folding mechanism as the M1, alongside all of the features seen on the S3 Pro, including adjustable distance control, nine speed settings, a timer (including a five-minute lost ball timer), clock and battery meter, plus a full-colour digital screen. It also offers a security device that allows a pin code to render the trolley useless to a would-be thief, while Motocaddy’s new EASILOCK technology removes the need for a lower bag strap to lock in the bag – providing you have one of the brand’s new trolley bags, which feature two locking pins in the base. It is available in matt black or alpine finishes, with a choice of lead and lithium batteries.
OUR ELECTRIC Gokart Automatic RRP: £299 Contact: gokart.co.uk
Powakaddy Freeway FW7 RRP: £445-£610 Contact: powakaddy.com The FW7 is the premier model in a range of three new PowaKaddy trolleys, all of which feature the new Plug ‘n’ Play battery cassette system, where both wireless lithium and lead batteries slot neatly into a tray. Another new design element is a lightweight frame, which combines with a low-profile chassis to create a sleek yet robust trolley suitable for all terrains. Other handy features include a redesigned keylock base, which is fitted with bungee straps, and a new ambidextrous grip. Among the other key features are a colour LCD screen with a battery power indicator; a USB point for charging devices; an automatic distance function that can move the trolley any distance between five and 50 yards; a progressive electronic braking system; and a security pin lock which locks the wheels of the trolley until you need to use it.
Designed and manufactured in the UK, GoKart is available in two options: manual (£269) and automatic. The former has a handoperated adjustable speed control, while the latter offers an active grip, which automatically adjusts the motor speed to match your walking pace. Both models can be powered by 18 (£65) or 36-hole (£85) lead batteries, or a 36-hole lithium battery (£199), all of which feature wireless battery connectively. The trolley, which is made from durable plastic, can be given a splash of colour with a choice of six clip-on colour accents, while there is a wide range of accessories, including golf bags (£89), GPS cradles, umbrella and drinks holders, a seat, hedgehog wheels, and a carry case. They are available with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Stewart X9 Follow RRP: £1,499 Contact: stewartgolf.com
PURE RRP: £1,990-£3,490 Contact: pure-trolley.co.uk
Hand-made to order, the X9 Follow is the flagship model for the brand that first brought remote control technology to the power trolley market. The X9 takes this concept to the next level, with a ‘follow’ mode that essentially turns the X9 into a stalker, literally tracking your every move at a respectful distance. You stop, it stops. You amble in a zig-zag, it ambles in a zig-zag. An automatic downhill braking system ensures it doesn’t catch up with you on slopes. It also has a handheld remote control for those that find the follow mode a bit creepy, and it can be operated like a standard trolley with the remote placed in the cradle. Standard accessories include a scorecard holder, pencil and towel clips, ball holder, adjustable cradle, and bag straps. The X9 is powered by a 36-hole lithium battery and is available in white, black, silver and racing green.
Made in Germany, the Pure is available in three materials: steel, titanium, and carbon fibre. The latter two tip the scales at 6kg (including the battery), while the slightly heavier steel model weighs 8.5kg. The flagship Carbon trolley features a carbon fibre-coated titanium frame and offers stepless cruise control, a reverse gear, a freewheel mode, and automatic stop control at distances of 10, 20 and 30 yards. An electronic braking system engages when driving downhill to create a charge that is delivered back to the battery to increase its life. The lightweight lithium battery can be stored inside a golf bag or in a cradle that clips onto the frame. A full range of accessories is available, while wheel colour trims, leather handles, and laser monogramming are optional extras.
Cruise the fairways in comfort with the latest power trolleys
QOD RRP: £595 Contact: qodgolf.com
Greenhill Pts Ultra Air RRP: £799 Contact: greenhillgolf.co.uk Using technology developed in F1 racing, the PTS Ultra features a unique kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), which puts an end to constant battery recharging. Lightweight (10.5 kg), yet robust, with every hinge made from aircraft-grade aluminium, the PTS folds down to just 26 inches high for easy storage. A digital controller offers efficient speed adjustment and a threelevel distance function, while an electronic braking system offers control on gradients. Other design features include an ergonomic T-bar handle and mudguards. It is available in black/titanium or black/green, with a choice of four batteries (two gel, two lithium) and three wheel options – disc, sports, or air tubeless rubber. A wide range of accessories is also available, including a seating system.
Compact, lightweight and with a footprint of only 27cm x 30cm x 42cm, QOD’s unique telescopic design makes it easy to handle, store and transport. Constructed from lightweight yet sturdy materials, including stainless steel, nylon and glass fibre, features include a 180-watt motor, a 25-to-1 gear reducer to ensure constant speed up hills, a digital display and variable speed control, along with a three-option distance control function. It comes with an ultralightweight lithium battery as standard, which is capable of covering 36 holes in a single charge. There are a wide range of optional extras, including QOD golf bags; umbrella holder; umbrella; connector for GPS/ iPhone holder; bottle holder; trolley carry bag with wheels; towels; and a wet weather cover.
May 2014 / Issue 232
FootJoy has fitted new shoes for over 1,100 golfers since March as part of its new fitting programme
Golf News talks to Russell Lawes, FootJoy’s head of European marketing, about how correctly-fitted golf shoes can enhance your game from the ground up
There are a lot of different fits for FJ shoes, with models like the M:PROJECT having a much roomier toe section, while others, like the Icon, are much more supportive around the heel and the mid-foot. Does this make trying before you buy even more important? We would always advise a golfer to try on a pair of shoes before purchasing them. Our shoe ranges are built on a variety of lasts, which have an impact of the shape of the shoe. With M:PROJECT and D.N.A. we have created lasts that are slightly wider in the forefoot. The reason for doing this is to allow the toes to spread and act as an anchor during the swing. This helps golfers generate their own stability, as opposed to relying 100% on the technology in the outsole. The FJ ICON is slightly different. This is a fashion-forward shoe which requires a sleek look. As a result, the last it is built on is structured differently to that of an M:PROJECT or D.N.A. and will give a slightly different sensation in regards to fit. Golfers demand comfort ‘out of the box’ these days. How has that impacted on the way you design FJ golf shoes, and the materials used? Golf is a walking sport, so comfort is vitally important. A game of golf can take between four and five hours to play, so having a comfortable pair of shoes is a must. The in-shoe technology we have invested in guarantees the ultimate walking comfort. This can come in many forms, from memory foam collars and tongues to provide a custom- like fit, cushioned fitbeds, such as FTF (Fine Tune Foam, which provides a cushioned platform to walk on), and not forgetting the premium leathers used in FJ shoes, which helps make them waterproof as well as breathable. What role has technology played in improving the way an FJ shoe fits a golfer? Shoe technology has definitely helped contribute to improving the fit of golf shoes. The examples below are just some technological advancements which contributes towards a great fitting golf shoe, include the Memory Foam collars and tongues, which are moulded to match the shape of the ankle, to give custom comfort and a personalised fit; the BOA Closure System, which provides exceptional fit and can be altered during the round; the SnugFit Tongue
Soft, a thin athletic design to shape to the foot; the 3D FoamCollar, which moulds to the heel and collar for ideal support and custom fit; and the variety of lasts, which enable us to offer a variety of shoe shapes to fit different shaped feet.
“Around 70 per cent of golfers are currently wearing an incorrect shoe size”
In your experience, what percentage of golfers get their feet measured when they go into a pro shop to buy a pair of shoes? It’s tough to put a figure on this but, in our opinion, more people should be professionally fitted before purchasing a pair of golf shoes. This is one of the reasons why we have embarked on a shoe fitting initiative this year, which involves placing three FJ shoe-fitting technicians on the road to carry out shoe fitting education for both consumers and golf retailers alike. The aim is to educate people on the benefits of being fitted for the correct size shoe. Our research shows that up to 26% of power can be lost as a result of an incorrectly fitted shoe. The feedback from this initiative has been phenomenal, with golfers delighted to learn that, in fact, the shoe size they thought they were was incorrect and had a negative impact on their performance and comfort. Would you like to see more pro shops kitted out with more hi-tech feet-measuring equipment? The simple answer here is no. We recommend that all of our retail partners use the Brannock measuring device. This gives three key measurements: arch length, heel to toe length and width. The one thing we would say is no measuring device should ever replace actually trying a pair of shoes on. The Brannock cannot take a three-dimensional measurement of the foot, which is one of the reasons that we state that taking the foot measurement is only the first stage of the shoe fitting process and must be undertaken alongside trying shoes on. FJ provides Brannock to all FJ shoe partners free of charge. What’s the most common mistake people make when buying a pair of golf shoes? ‘I know what size I am. I’ve always been this size’. Golfers need to understand that feet can change size and shape over time. Every time you buy a pair of shoes, we recommend that a professional fitting takes place. From our research, around 70% of golfers are currently wearing an incorrect shoe size.
Can you explain the role that shoe width plays during the phases of the swing and why FJ has always offered such a wide selection, if you’ll pardon the pun? The widths are there to ensure the shoe correctly fits the foot. What we tend to find is golfers who have a wide foot, at times have to buy longer shoes in order for the widest part of their foot to be accommodated inside the shoe. This has many negative impacts, such as power loss, rubbing as a result of excess room, and a quicker-than-normal deterioration of the properties of the shoes. Offering a large size run, from three extra narrow to 16 extra extra wide, reinforces FJ’s commitment to shoe fitting. With a significant percentage of people having one foot larger than the other, can you ever see a time when shoes will be sold singly, rather than in pairs? Honestly, I cannot see this happening any time soon. Trying to forecast inventory is a tough enough task as it stands. Offering this service would make the task almost impossible. We feel our MyJoys programme is the best solution to this. People cannot only design their golf shoes as they wish, but they can also order the shoes in a different sizes to correctly fit both feet. From our findings, we know that 90% of golfers have differently-sized left and right feet. FootJoy pioneered the use of lace-free BOA system in golf shoes. What has been the general reaction from golfers, and has it been more or less favourable than you first expected? The reaction to the BOA lacing system has been great. There is some scepticism from people who are unsure as to the reliability of the wire lacing mechanism. This part of the system is made from aircraft-grade steel and we are always saying to golfers that if the steel lace breaks, we are never flying again! The biggest challenge for us is getting golfers to try BOA. Once the product is on people’s feet they love the ease of the shoes, as well as the custom-fit that can be dialled in via the mechanism, which we house at the back of the shoe. BOA technology is extremely popular in the Far East, with many of the styles offered over there coming with the BOA lacing system as opposed to traditional laces. Golfers who struggle with traditional laces, maybe as a result of arthritis, will also really benefit from the BOA lacing system.
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©2014 Golf Pride. Golf Pride is a registered trademark of Eaton.
May 2014 / Issue 232
YOUR GATEWAY TO GREAT VALUE GOLF
The Gateway to Golf Pass is your passport to great value golf on a choice of 26 courses in Dumfries & Galloway
With an absence of crowds, great value green fees, a temperate climate, and access to the stunning coastline of south-west Scotland, the unspolit region of Dumfries & Galloway is the ideal choice for a golf break at any time of the year. With a variety of golfing trails to be enjoyed that take in a mixture of the region’s top tracks and undiscovered gems, there has never been a better time to visit this re-emerging golfing destination. The best way to enjoy a selection of the stunning courses Dumfries & Galloway has to offer is to purchase a Gateway to Golf Pass. Allowing play from a choice of 26 courses across the region between April 1 and October 31, the passes can either cover three rounds (from £80) or six rounds (from £120). Both are valid for five consecutive days and provide a great way of exploring the golf that the region has to offer over a short break stay. With your pass you can also choose to focus on one of the region’s three golf trails – Tiger, Challenge or Little Gems – or you can mix and match the trails to suit your desired itinerary and course preferences. Each trail has been devised with golfing ability, time and budget in mind. Kicking off the Tiger Trail, and without doubt the jewel in Dumfries & Galloway’s crown, is Southerness, which lies a few miles south of Dumfries. Routinely
recognised as one of the top 100 courses in the UK, the majestic links is set hard on the Solway coast and offers amazing views of the Solway Firth, the Galloway Hills and the Lake District. A regular venue for leading amateur tournaments, Southerness is links golf at its best. Measuring only 6,500 yards off the championship tees, it’s short by modern standards, but the par of 69, and no fewer than eight par fours longer than 400 yards, ensure that it’s never easy to break par here. Up next is nearby Powfoot, a mixed course of parkland and links, which provides a fine example of the work of James Braid. With the wind blowing off the Solway Firth, Powfoot is proper bump-and-run territory, and provides a real challenge to most golfers. More of Braid’s handiwork can be found at Stranraer on the south-west tip of the county, which has the honour of being the final course that the prolific architect designed. An undulating parkland layout on the shores of Loch Ryan, boasting breathtaking views of the Isle of Arran and Ailsa Craig, Stranraer is certainly worth a few hours of your time. Panoramic views of the Galloway Hills and the Dee Estuary add to the charm of any round at Kirkcudbright, an excellent par 69 course where accuracy and skill outweigh the power of a big-hitter, while a few miles inland, the small but perfectly formed nine-hole parkland course at Castle Douglas awaits to be played.
More great links golf is to be discovered at Wigtownshire County beside the lovely Luce Bay, with its subtle sloping greens and the changing sea breezes creating a stiff challenge, while moving inland to join the Challenge Trail, Newton Stewart is a parkland gem in the heart of the Galloway Hills, which provides a memorable game and will suit the majority of players. At Moffat Golf Club, the moorland course has some testing holes full of natural undulations and hazards. To uncover the best of Dumfries & Galloway’s ninehole courses, experience the Little Gems Trail and discover some splendid layouts to keep you on your toes. These include the stunning St Medan, which is laid out on the shores of Luce Bay and offers 18 tees to nine greens. A visit to the historic Dalbeattie is also a must, with the delightful nine-hole parkland course rewarding visitors with some truly magnificent views along the Urr valley, north to Cairnsmore of Fleet and south to Kippford and the Lake District. Meanwhile, a warm welcome always awaits at Colvend, a recently-renovated 18-hole parkland course near the Solway coast which features treelined fairways, as well as some local ruins to negotiate! Also worth a look is Dumfries & Galloway. A club with a rich history, it was here that the great Willie Fernie – a former Open champion – played around the turn of the 20th century. Today, the course is every bit as enjoyable, offering a great challenge from start to finish. At Thornhill, golfers can follow in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s finest players of the modern era, former Ryder Cup star Andrew Coltart. Its course is a fine mixture of park and heathland. Two more excellent courses can be found at Portpatrick on the far south-western tip of Scotland. The 18-hole Dunskey offers a firm but fair challenge, whilst the 9-hole, par-3 Dinvin course can be enjoyed by families, as well as experienced golfers keen to perfect their short game. Best of all, each course provides fantastic views over the North Channel to Ireland from its seaside location, whilst Portpatrick’s mild micro-climate makes play possible virtually all year round. For something totally different, Solway Links, lying close to Southerness, is well worth a visit. A friendly ‘pay and play’ facility, it is also home to Scotland’s first and only ‘Golf Cross’ course, where oval balls and goalposts take over from round balls and holes. Whichever shape of ball you prefer, Dumfries & Galloway has got all the angles covered, so book your break soon, before the rest of the golfing world finds out what they’re missing! YOUR GATEWAY TO GOLF PASS To buy your GATEWAY TO GOLF PASS, or to find out more details, call 01387 245566 or order online at www.visitscotland.com/dumfriesgalloway-golfpass.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Live like a king at Tudor Park Awarded 5 Star Gold Award by British Tourist Board
Visit Our 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 £67.95 pppn including Dinner, B&B and FREE GOLF l l
MAY 4BALL OFFER: Coffee & Bacon Baguette 18 Holes of Championship Golf l Lunch from the Menu l l
A £4.5 million renovation has transformed Tudor Park
Was £40.00pp NOW ONLY £30.00pp! (min 4)
on the challenging 6,085-yard parkland course that boasts delightful views over this picturesque corner of Kent. Featuring an enticing mix of long and short holes, many offering tight fairways bordered by mature pines and other woodland areas, the par-70 layout is certainly no pushover, despite its relative lack of length, with the introduction of a number of new bunkers helping to focus the mind off the tees. Green fees are £35 from Monday to Thursday, and £45 on Fridays and at weekends, while room rates start from £68pp/ pn on weekdays. For details of the latest rates, visit www.marriottgolf.co.uk or call 0800 221222.
Bring 12 or more and the ORGANISER GOES FREE!
DORSET’S PREMIER GOLFING VENUE NOT TO BE MISSED!
TELEPHONE NO: 01929 472244
FREE GOLF At The UK’s Largest Golf Resort
- The Only Sport, Craft & Spa Hotels in the UK
Set in the foothills of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. The Ashbury Hotel is the ideal venue for your golf break.
Oakwood 16th 172 yards, Par 3
complex, which comprises no fewer than are four sports halls. The largest houses four badminton courts and may also be used for activities such as five-a-side football; then there are two halls which are used for archery, pistol and rifle shooting and laser clay pigeon shooting. The fourth hall is used as a gym and there is also a table tennis room. Three swimming pools, which can be used free of charge alongside saunas, steam rooms and hydro baths. Other sports facilities include a 28-table snooker hall; a bowls hall with 13 rinks; 10 lanes of 10-pin bowling; 11 tennis courts; and a children’s games room with pool, table football, air hockey and four Sony Playstations. For the more artistically-minded guests, two craft centres offer 17 tutored crafts, including pottery, glass engraving, hot press printing and woodwork - all tutoring is free, so guest only pay minimal material costs. There are just under 400 rooms on offer across the two hotels, and all breaks are full board. For the latest packages, call 0800 389 9892 or visit www.ashburygolfhotel.com.
Summer Sizzlers 2014
17/7/14 - 31/8/14 •FREE GOLF •£5 BUGGIES •PRACTICE FACILITY TOKENS
Ashbury 6th 410 yards, Par 4
Kigbeare Pines Beeches Oakwood Ashbury 9 + Pines Front 9 Ashbury 9 + Pines Back 9 Willows
Par 72 Par 72 Par 69 Par 68 Par 69 Par 71 Par 54
At least 27 holes of FREE golf with each night of stay!
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Pines 17th 442 yards, Par 4
“I’ve never played such fantastic courses.” Stephen W - Trip Advisor
August Weekends - 3nts from £251pp Full Board! Additional Facilities FREE to residents of our hotels Family Racket Sports Leisure Bowls Funhouse Swimming Tennis Table Tennis Badminton Spa & Sauna Gamezone 5-A-Side Waterslides Snooker Squash Basketball Short Tennis Play Area Ten-Pin Sports
Ranges Archery Air Pistols Air Rifles Lasers
yd NE ro W Sp a!
Ashbury offers total sporting action!
If variety is the spice of a golfer’s life, then you should look no further than the Manor House and Ashbury Hotels in Devon for your ‘staycation’ golfing break this summer. The popular Dartmoor-based resort boasts no fewer than seven 18-hole courses – and 99 holes – all on the same 600-acre site. This unique complex offers three full-length 18-hole courses (the Kigbeare, Beeches and Oakwood), three 18hole loops made from perming two of the Pines, Forest and Beeches nines, and a further 18-hole par-3 course, the Willows. The golf courses, which offer stunning views of Dartmoor and the rolling Devon countryside, utilise the natural features of the landscape – making the most of mature trees, hedgerows and ponds. The golf-break package at the popular Okehampton-based venue is stacked with extras, including free 27 holes of golf per day throughout your stay, and golf buggies for as little as £5 per round. Away form the golf courses there is plenty to keep families occupied, even more so now, following the opening of the Ashbury sports
27 holes of fantastic golf
Golfers looking for a royal golfing retreat this summer should take a look at Marriott Tudor Park Hotel and Country Club in Kent, which has recently undergone a £4.5 million renovation. The Maidstone-based resort might be only an hour’s drive from the centre of London, but the atmosphere is much further removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. The club, which nestles in a 200-acre former deer park three miles east of Maidstone, and deep in the heart of the Garden of England, is a tranquil spot and a great place for golfers of all abilities to while away their leisure hours. With three on-site bars and restaurants, there is plenty of choice for wining and dining, while the hotel has recently urenovted its 120 guest rooms, restaurant, conference rooms, and bar, and offers a comfortable place to stay during any golf or leisure break, with other facilities including an indoor swimming pool, sauna, solarium, and a health and beauty spa. The main attraction, of course, is Tudor Park’s 18-hole championship layout, which is the handiwork of acclaimed course architect Donald Steel. His skills are much in evidence
PLUS unique Craft Centre featuring 17 tutored crafts, including Pottery, Woodwork, Glass Engraving and Hot Press Printing.
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May 2014 / Issue 232
Stapleford launches residential tuition breaks
Take time out at Turnberry Host venue for some of the most memorable Open Championships down the years, the Turnberry Resort is an iconic venue that every golfer should have on their ‘bucket list’ of places to play and stay. The stunning Ayrshire property, which was recently bought by American billionaire Donald Trump, is currently offering some great deals on late spring breaks, where guests can take advantage of special weekend rates of £145 per person per night (sharing a twin or double room), including a full Scottish breakfast. Guests can also indulge in 20% off ESPA treatments at The Spa at Turnberry, a restful haven with a stunning infinity pool overlooking the Irish Sea. Twilight rounds on the legendary Ailsa course
are available after 3pm from £99, or on the equally challenging Kintyre course from £55. Families can explore the 800 acres of Scottish countryside surrounding Turnberry with an extensive programme of activities, which include quad biking, horse riding and water zorbing. New for 2014 is the Wildgoose GPS treasure hunt, with families challenged to explore the grounds to find hotspots on Samsung Galaxy tablets, which are loaded with a special GPS App. Youngsters can go wild in Turnberry’s Wee Explorers playroom, splash in the swimming pool, or have a round on a pitch-and-putt course designed for younger children. For more information and details of the very latest offers, visit www.turnberryresort.co.uk.
Golfers looking to sharpen up their games should consider booking a golf break to Stapleford Park in Leicestershire, which has recently launched a range of residential tuition breaks. Guests can stay in one of the resort’s exclusive cottages with up to five friends on the two-day golf school, which is hosted by the venue’s PGA Professional, Richard Alderson. The coaching courses, which can be full or half days, are tailored to all standards, from beginner to advanced, with the beginner’s course giving newcomers to the game the confidence to venture out onto a golf course. The package price, which costs £250 for two half days and £350 for two full days (based
on double occupancy), includes unlimited use of the golf course and driving range, and preferential room rates for extra nights before or after the course. The resort’s championship golf course was designed by Donald Steel and hosted the European Seniors Tour’s Senior Masters in 2010. Laid out in Capability Brown parkland, the course wraps around the heart of the 500-acre estate in two extended loops, never being more than two holes wide, making a round feel similar to that found on many great links courses. For bookings call 01572 787019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Golf and mudbaths prove ideal spa-ing partners at Dartmouth Golfers who enjoy a bit of post-match pampering should check into the new-look Dartmouth Golf & Country Club in Devon, which has recently unveiled a new £850,000 spa facility, where a number of relaxing treatments are available for weary limbs. Following a four-month renovation, The Dartmouth Spa boasts a new indoor pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and fullyequipped gym. The spa also includes three treatment rooms, a dual treatment room for couples, manicure and pedicure areas and relaxation room. Among the new treatments on offer is the unique Rasul experience – renowned for its detoxifying properties – which involves specially formulated muds, infused steams and a dedicated Rasul bathing chamber. Jamie Waugh, managing director at
The spa facilities at Dartmouth are top notch
Dartmouth Golf & Country Club said: “We take great pride in offering our customers the best possible facilities – whether they are spa lovers, golfing fanatics or hotel guests. The latest transformation of The Dartmouth Spa is part of our ongoing commitment to make the club one of the top places to enjoy an affordable spa experience in the south west.” Two-day spa breaks, including bed and breakfast, a two-course evening meal, and a choice of beauty treatments are available from just £75 per person. Situated in 225 acres of south Devon countryside, just outside the beautiful town of Dartmouth, the resort boasts 27 holes of golf, luxury self-catering cottages, and a 35-bed hotel. For more details call 0800 043 3669 or visit www.dgcc.co.uk.
The moment you find yourself standing in Robert the Bruce’s back yard.
A GOLF BREAK IN DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY & 2 TICKETS TO THE RYDER CUP
The moment has come. In 2014, The Ryder Cup will return to Scotland, the Home of Golf, for the first time in over four decades. Amongst Scotland’s golfing regions, Dumfries & Galloway is famed for its selection of courses on the great value Gateway to Golf Pass and three golf trails for visitors looking to find Scotland’s best kept golfing secrets. So whether you’re relaxing in the clubhouse at Thornhill or even exploring the 200 mile long coastline, you’ll find plenty of moments to treasure forever.
To find out more, go to visitscotland.com/dumfriesgalloway-golf Aston Hotel, Dumfries
Lochmaben, Dumfries & Galloway
Dumfries & Galloway. A place of brilliant moments.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Sarah Stirk finds an invitation to play the exclusive Renaissance Club on the East Lothian coast a hard one to turn down, and it’s not hard to see why
THE RENAISSANCE REVEALS ITSELF I’ve always had a strong affinity to Scotland. I was lucky enough to learn to play golf at Gleneagles, as my uncle lived there, and I loved it so much I spent a summer season during university working at the hotel. I go back with family every New Year, but returning there for the Ryder Cup later this year will be something special. Surprisingly, given my frequent visits north of the border, I haven’t sampled nearly enough of the top Scottish courses, so a recent invitation to play the exclusive Renaissance Club was one I simply couldn’t turn down. Located between Gullane and North Berwick, it opened as a private members’ club in 2008 on the Archerfield Estate. It’s a pitching wedge away from the famed Muirfield Links, home of last year’ Open Championship, but with far better views over the Firth of Forth. It’s getting rave reviews and has big ambitions to hold global tournaments. The man behind it is Jerry Savardi, a savvy American businessman who has invested over £30 million in the project, along with his brothers and close associates. The aim was simple, to combine time-honored Scottish tradition with the finest in modern amenities and service. The architect they employed to realise this vision is, to my mind, one of the best in the business, Tom Doak – the creative genius behind Pacific Dunes, Cape Kidnappers and Ballyneal. The Renaissance Club was Doak’s first opportunity in Scotland and he grabbed it with both hands. Golf in Scotland always sells itself, but this year, with the Ryder Cup, there’s an extra push – and Scotland’s golf coast in East Lothian is getting considerable attention as a much-celebrated golfing region. It’s only a 30-minute drive from Edinburgh airport and as expected, Renaissance felt exclusive, but without the stuffy, pretentious atmosphere of many top private clubs. I had the same relaxed feeling when I played Queenwood, and just like at the Surrey layout, the staff and attention to detail was superb. The clubhouse has panoramic views out to sea and on a cold May day it was hard to leave as we ventured out to brave the elements. Doak has created a series of compelling holes, several carved out of the coastal pine forest, and others stretching along the coastline high on the cliff tops above the firth.
The fifth hole is the shortest par four on the course, and reachable with the wind in your favour; however, on either side of the driving zone juts a distinctive hazard that adds challenge and character to several holes—the remains of a centuries-old stone wall. It’s also prominent on the 18th hole, where it splits the fairway. My drive landed just short, but if you get too close with your tee shot it makes for an interesting second! The green complexes are superb, but put yourself in the wrong spot with your approach and you’ll face some testy twoputts. The design of the three-tiered green at the fifth derived inspiration from the 12th at the Old Course at St Andrews. However, there’s one hole that really stands out, The new 10th hole is one of the best par fours you’ll ever play and there’s no question it will become one of the most photographed holes in golf. On the very edge of the headland sits the 10th tee, a par four which leaves your speechless, not to mention slightly apprehensive! Curving 400 yards right-to-left along the edge of a cliff, it’s a ‘be as brave as you dare’ tee shot, followed by a nerve-jangling approach to a green perched on the precipice. I actually felt quite fortunate; my playing partners meandered back to the back PLAY tees, while off the reds it’s not quite as The club is offering a special onedaunting. Having said that, I still hoiked time ‘Renaissance experience’ for one left into the sea! Just offshore sits visiting golfers wishing to play. the white lighthouse of Fidra Island, For rates please contact said to be the inspiration for Treasure email@example.com Island. Sadly, there was nothing magical about my golf, but the views were mesmerising. JOIN After the round, it was back into the Renaissance is a members-only salubrious surroundings of the locker club. For membership enquiries room for a Jacuzzi and steam room, please contact Jordan Whyte at before lunch in the clubhouse. The food firstname.lastname@example.org is exceptional and the quality of the accommodation is on a par. FLY Scotland for me always exudes Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red daily calm and tranquility, and that’s exactly service from London Heathrow how you feel at the Renaissance Club. to Edinburgh charges no fee for It’s a unique place, with impeccable golf bags. (virgin-atlantic.com) standards, and a superb course set to further stake its claim on the global golfing landscape.
BOOK YOUR RENAISSANCE EXPERIENCE
May 2014 / Issue 232
Fulfilling the Masters’ dream Four lucky golfers from Bristol were among the select few that witnessed Bubba Watson’s victory at last month’s Masters first hand, after winning an all-expenses paid trip to Augusta courtesy of Golfbreaks.com
Mike and Min Woodward, along with longtime friends and golfing partners, Adrian and Cynthia Miller, booked a break to the DeVere Belfry in May – and thanks to Golfbreaks.com, that two-day visit to the Ryder Cup venue became their ticket to one of the most exclusive major championship venues in golf. The competition began in April, as part of the company’s 15th
birthday celebrations, with any booking made during an eightweek window qualifying for the draw. Thousands of golfers entered in the hope of landing the grand prize of a five-day trip to Augusta, including flights, accommodation, a couple of rounds of golf, and the all-important tickets for the Saturday and Sunday of the Masters. “We were absolutely stunned when we heard that we had
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won,” said Mike Woodward, a 15-handicap member at Farrington Park in Bristol. “I have been watching the Masters for as long as I can remember, and have always dreamt of one day making it to Augusta. At first I thought it was somebody playing a trick, but thankfully it wasn’t!” And so it proved, as the four players enjoyed a superb trip to South Carolina and Georgia, which they extended by a few days to take in Kiawah Island and Charleston, before heading over to the hallowed turf of Augusta National. “It was the most amazing experience – truly the holiday of a lifetime,” said Mike. “Both Kiawah and the Masters exceeded our wildest expectations and formed a brilliant combination. We flew into Charleston and hired an eightseater Dodge Caravan for the trip, which was easily big enough for us and all of our golf gear.” He added: “After a stunning few days at Kiawah Island – which we cannot recommend highly enough – we headed over to Augusta, where our hotel was located within a short bus ride of the course. The course was amazing, and we were made to feel very welcome. To see the world’s top golfers at such close range, and to see the drama of Amen Corner on Sunday, is every golf fan’s dream. It was simply two of the best days of my golfing life – and I didn’t even play a shot!” In addition to marking 15 years in business, the Masters competition celebrated the Golfbreaks.com’s big push into the United States. As well as selling Masters packages for the first time this year, the company has also unveiled a host of new American destinations, including California, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina. Earlier in the year, a US office was also opened, enabling the company to source the best deals at the leading resorts and venues. Steve Hemsworth, managing director of Golfbreaks.com., said: “Whether it’s playing at Kiawah Island, Pebble Beach or Sawgrass, or walking the fairways of Augusta National, the United States is undoubtedly one of the world’s premier golf destinations. We’re sure that many more of our customers will enjoy discovering what this great country has to offer.” For the latest breaks to America, and details of next year’s Masters Tournament package, visit Golfbreaks.com or call 0800 279 7988.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Do it like Darren at Donnafugata
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El Rompido Golf Resort, Southern Spain Donnafugata Golf Resort in Sicily has launched a series of new residential golf academies that have been inspired by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke. Having opened in March, the Darren Clarke Centre of Excellence will provide guests at the five-star resort with a choice of three tuition programmes, with prices starting from €275. Darren Clarke Golf opened its first full-time school in Antrim, Northern Ireland, and has achieved great success developing players such as Allan Dunbar and Paul Cutler, who have now progressed on to the European Tour. The Azzurro academy is an intensive two-day programme, which provides six-and-a-half hours of expert tuition, including a 90-minute playing lesson, while the Emerald academy offers the same quantity of tuition, but spread across three days. The Claret programme has been designed for guests who wish to balance daily tuition with plenty of time on the resort’s two championship courses, and runs over a full week, with a 50-minute lesson each day, and one 90-minute playing lesson. It is priced at €310 per person based on two students. Open to golfers aged six years and above, the
Package includes 7 nights Semi all inclusive with 5 rounds of golf on 2 courses, all transfers. Available from most UK airports.
SPECIAL REOPENING OFFER Isla Canela Golf Hotel, Ayamonte, Spain
pp per week + flights to Faro
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Includes 7 nights half board and 5 rounds of golf. Contact Brian for full details.
new centre is Clarke’s first in mainland Europe, and offers expert teaching under the guidance of the resort’s head professional, Davide Terrinoni. Featuring two 18-hole championship courses - the Parkland and the Links – and extensive practice facilities – Donnafugata has won widespread acclaim since opening in 2010 and was the venue for the 2011 Sicilian Open. In addition to its top class golf facilities, Donnafugata has 202 rooms, a spa and health club, two swimming pools, and three restaurants. For more information call 00 39 0932 914 200 or visit donnafugatagolfresort.com.
£520 (based on 2 sharing)
Airport transfers: £30pp based on 4 sharing, £60pp based on 2 sharing.
CONTACT US FOR A QUOTE FOR YOUR NEXT GOLFING BREAK. WE BEAT MOST COMPANIES FOR PRICES!
Tel: 01207 562322 or Mob: 07889 943753 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.golfnorthumbria.com Northumbria Golf Breaks, The Office, Ravenside Farm, Hedley, Stocksfield NE43 7SX Your holiday package is protected through our ATOL Licence
Alpenclub Bavaria Golf Break GOLF IN THE BAVARIAN ALPS FROM: £ 219,- PP. 2 nights dinner bed and breakfast, 2 rounds of hill/park land golf, from £ 219,00 pp. 3 nights dinner bed and breakfast, 2 rounds of hill/park land golf, from £ 299,00 pp.
Packages include Munich daytrip and/or a Bavarian beer brewery experience. With the 4 star Alpenclub Resort Bavaria being only 50 km from Munich and within close proximity to the golf clubs, this golf break offers quality and affordability! A Bavarian golf package at a great price and even includes a €20,- per person drinks voucher! Staying at: Alpenclub Resort Schliersee Bavaria Including access to Spa wellness areas. Playing at: The Mangfalltal Golf club or Castle Maxlrain Golf club. See more packages on our website. We also offer tailor made packages to suit your agenda.
Alpenclub Resort, Kirchbichlweg 18, 83727 Schliersee, Germany, T: +49 8026 6080, E: email@example.com
May 2014 / Issue 232
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Betting on this year’s football World Cup in Brazil has been spiced up thanks to golf travel operator Your Golf Travel. Golfers who book a golf holiday through the company during May will be given the chance to predict the winning nation. If that team goes on to lift the trophy in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, they’ll receive a full refund on the price of their holiday. Punters can select from any of the 32
participating countries. Brazil is the current tournament favourite at 3-1, while Argentina (5-1) and Germany (11-2) are also fancied. Spain is 7-1 to make it back-to-back World Cup wins, while for the true believers, Roy Hodgson’s merry England is priced up at 33-1. This offer is only available to new bookings made through Your Golf Travel between May 1-31, and full payment must be received at the time of booking. For more details, visit www. yourgolftravel.com/world-cup-promotion.
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Working on the premise that fantastic fairways and fine food make for a winning combination, Golf Planet Holidays has launched a range of short breaks that are designed to appeal to the gourmet golfer. The breaks, which include packages to France, Italy and Belgium, all offer top-class golf and a wealth of gourmet treats, from high quality brasseries to Michelin-starred restaurants. And with accommodation ranging from four-star luxury inns to five-star palaces, the Essex-based travel company has also ensured that guests have somewhere suitably stylish to relax after all that driving and dining. In northern France, gourmand golfers have a chance to stay at the Hostellerie le Bas Breau in Barbizon, a few miles south of Paris, and enjoy dinner at L’Axel in Fontainebleau, a modern French restauant rated the best in the area by the current Michelin Guide.
Golf is offered at the stunning tree-lined course at Fontainebleau, which was designed by Tom Simpson and rated inside the top 20 courses in Europe, and another 18 holes at nearby Chateau Augerville. The package price of £759pp, includes return travel on Eurotunnel, four nights’ B&B in a twin or double room, a welcome dinner at the hotel, and the meal at L’Axel. For more details, visit golfplanetholidays. com, call 01277 284284 or email info@ golfplanetholidays.com. Fontainebleau
STAY IN A HISTORIC SOUTHERN PLANTATION, ENGLISH RUN B&B • PLAY LEISURELY GOLF ON FABULOUS CONDITIONS COURSES • EXPERIENCE THE SLOW PACE AND CHARM OF “SMALL-TOWN MID AMERICA” • RELAX AND UNWIND AFTER GOLF BY THE POOL BY SIPPING “MINT JULEPS” • LUXURY EN-SUITE ROOMS WITH GOURMET BREAKFASTS AND CONCIERGE SERVICES • GOLF BOOKED AND ARRANGED TO YOUR LIKING • CHOICE OF MORE THAN 20 COURSES WITHIN A 35 MINUTES DRIVE • FIND US A 30 MINUTES DRIVE SOUTH OF CHARLOTTE AIRPORT
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Contact by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone: 001-803-581-8681 www.innonyorkstreet.com Hostellerie le Bas Breau in Barbizon
May 2014 / Issue 232
Home&Away Golfbreaks.com has selected two great destinations for you to consider when thinking about your next golf break. Whether staying at home or heading further afield, there is a stunning range of venues to choose from... With a collection of outstanding links to rival any in the world, it’s no wonder that Wales is proving such a popular destination with pros and amateurs alike
WALES: WHERE CHAMPIONS ARE BORN AND MADE Ask famous amateur Gary Wolstenholme – and many have done – the site of his finest hour, and the name of Royal Porthcawl will immediately be proffered. For it was on this venerable South Wales links that he claimed the ultimate scalp in the 1995 Walker Cup, taking down a promising youngster by the name of Tiger Woods, winning 1-up. Just 18 months later Woods won the US Masters by 12 shots. That we should have had to wait almost 20 years for names of that calibre to grace the rumpled fairways of this superb course again is a real shame. But thankfully, this
summer it will happen as the Senior Open Championship rolls into town, bringing with it some of the legendary names that only this spring graced the leaderboard at Augusta. That means players of the stature of Jimenez, Watson, Langer and Couples, plus home favourites such as Woosnam and Montgomerie, will all be taking on this fearsome links on the Glamorgan coast in what is Wales’ first hosting of a major. One of the few courses in the world where the sea is visible from every hole, this is seaside golf in its purest form that professionals and amateurs alike can savour. On such a challenging course, it should be quite a week. Of course, Wales can already look
Praia d’El Rey
back with pride at the hosting of the 2010 Ryder Cup at the magnificent Celtic Manor Resort. Built specifically for the event, the 2010 is a stadium course that builds steadily to a closing stretch of epic risk-reward proportions, culminating in the par-5 18th to a raised green over water. As finishing holes go, it’s worthy of settling any contest, from Ryder Cup to society bragging rights! Elsewhere, Wales can boast an amazing collection of links courses to rival anything in the world, with cracking layouts – all at great value prices - running all the way along its coastline. Top billing goes to the stunning Royal St David’s. Standing
Golfbreaks.com provides a one-stop service that makes booking golf breaks as simple as possible. ABTA and ATOL-bonded, it is the only golf travel company to reward customers for their loyalty through its Breakpoints rewards programme, which earns money off all future bookings made with Golfbreaks. com and sister companies Teeofftimes. co.uk and BookaSpa.com. THOUSANDS OF BREAKS FROM AVAILABLE ONLINE
in the imposing shadow of Harlech Castle, this is possibly the hardest par 69 in the world. Rumour has it that the links land was originally used by one of the founders for boomerang practice - and given the strong winds, heavily curved shots are still a very common occurrence today. And then there’s Nefyn, Wales’ answer to Pebble Beach, and Pennard – the links in the sky – with its famous pub, the Ty Coch Inn, down on the beach next to the 15th. If you want a true hidden gem, try Aberdovey – it’s probably the best links you’ve never heard of. The handiwork of Messrs Braid, Colt and Fowler, this is ‘old school’ golf, right down to the railway line that skirts the course and can drop you just yards from the clubhouse. Add in the likes of Asburnham, Southerndown, Pyle &
Kenfig and Machynys Peninsula, and there’s a course for every golfer and every budget in Wales. PACKAGES: Senior Open Package – Two nights’ B&B at the Dragon Hotel, two rounds of golf (Pennard and Gower), plus a day ticket to the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl, from £189pp. Celtic Manor – one night’s B&B and 36 holes (Roman Road and Montgomerie) from £109 (save £50). The Vale Resort – one night’s dinner, B&B plus 36 holes (Wales National & The Lakes), from £99 (save £91). For bookings, more information or other packages, visit www. golfbreaks.com or call 0845 543 6673.
LESS IS MORE WHEN IT COMES TO LISBON What it lacks in quantity, the area around Portugal’s capital city more than makes up for in sheer quality when it comes to world-class golf courses Oitavos Dunes
With its magical combination of superb golf courses, gloriously natural scenery and great value – not to mention the easy availability of direct flights from the UK – it’s not hard to see why Lisbon is becoming more and more popular with travelling golfers. Little wonder that the golf tourism industry body (IAGTO) named it Golf Destination of the Year a few years back. In terms of courses, Lisbon might not have the sheer number of options that can be found in the Algarve, but the quality is unquestionably there. In fact, Lisbon’s big three – Oitavos Dunes, Praia d’El Rey and Penha Longa – all rank in the top half of Golf World magazine’s Top 100 courses in Europe, and should
be on every golfer’s itinerary. With Royal Obidos, the last design of the late Seve Ballesteros, having also opened a few years back to rave reviews, there really is some stunning golf to be enjoyed. You can divide Lisbon into three approximate areas. The Silver Coast, to the north, is where you’ll find the likes of Bom Successo, Royal Obidos and the magnificent coastal layout of Praia d’El Rey. The central area is home to the region’s iconic layouts, including the manicured Quinta da Marinha and beautiful Portuguese Open venue Penha Longa, where the famed Atlantico course awaits. The star of the show is undoubtedly the remarkable Oitavos Dunes.
Located within the beautiful surrounds of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, it’s ranked among the very best courses in Europe. Set among the dunes and lined by pine forest, it’s a wonderfully natural place to play, with one of the best back nines in all golf. Further south, the Blue Coast awaits, with some more great golf, including the ‘Wentworth of Lisbon’ Aroeira, and the tranquil Quinta do Peru. But it’s not just about the golf.
The stunning city of Lisbon – and its surrounding towns and villages, such as Cascais and Estoril – has so much to offer away from the course. It’s a beautiful city that is steeped in history and culture, and will really suit people who want to experience the real Portugal, as well as enjoying some quality golf. Once there, it’s easy to see why it’s so enjoyable. The golf is great, with the courses being a little quieter and a bit better value than the Algarve – both
of which are obviously massive factors for golfers. The climate is also perfect for golf, with the Atlantic providing a cooling breeze in the heat of summer. Lisbon will never overtake the Algarve in terms of numbers, but it is fast emerging as an excellent option for the discerning golfer looking for a quieter alternative to Portugal’s south coast. PACKAGES: Praia d’El Rey Resort 5* – Four nights’ self-catering, three rounds (Praia and Bom Successo), plus golf transfers, from £149pp (save £100). Penha Longa Resort 5* - Three nights’ B&B, unlimited golf on all courses, from £269 (save £70). For bookings, more information or other packages, please visit www.golfbreaks.com or call 0845 543 6673.
May 2014 / Issue 232
Me&MyTravels BBC television presenter Nick Knowles was bowled over by Kauri Cliffs and is planning a trip to play the Green Monkey in Barbados My most recent holiday Gerringong, New South Wales was to...New Zealand. I went all over the country with a mate. I don’t want to drop names, but Helen Clark, the former prime minister, is a friend of mine and she helped arrange a few things. While we were there, I played Kauri Cliffs, which is probably the most beautiful course in the My ideal world, and I also played The Hills holiday in Queenstown, which recently fourball hosted the New Zealand Open. It’s would a fabulous country and we had a include... great time. Sir Walter Raleigh (right) My favourite golf course is... a who is the greatest tiny course called Gerringong in Englishman who ever New South Wales. It’s a municipal lived. King Hussein of Jordan, course with an honesty box into who I met once, who’s probably the which you drop your green fee. greatest statesman who ever lived – There are more flies on it than at and Sophia Loren, who is curvy and a sewage works, and very few, if gorgeous. Although she’s over 80, any, people. But I have a strange she’s still hot. affection for it. If I’m allowed one in this country as well, it would be My most memorable ever St Enodoc in Cornwall. round was at... Quinta do Lago
I took eight balls before I eventually got over the hazard, and my brother laughed until he was senseless. My favourite golf resort is... Gleneagles. I went there recently and it’s magnificent. There were snow-capped St Enodoc, Cornwall mountains all around and it was so beautiful. I always travel with... an unloseable golf ball – which I found.
in Portugal. My father bought my brother and I a golfing holiday in the hope we would bond. Anyway, this round we played at Quinta do Lago was wonderful. It was a perfect day and we laughed and talked the whole way round. There’s one par three right on the cliffs, and
The best hotel I’ve ever stayed in was... Soho Sanctum off Regent Street in London. It’s got a hot tub on the roof and a bar that is open all night. On one occasion I was up there with Biffy Clyro, the rock band, and we enjoyed an unforgettable night. My favourite city in the world is...
London. I love it. Rome, where I got married recently, is a close second. My worst holiday experience was... in Tunisia years and years ago. We stayed in this place where, when you put the light on, the whole floor would appear to run away. But it turned out all right, as it persuaded us to go on a five-day trip to the desert where we found this amazing amphitheatre. I’m planning a golf trip to... Barbados with a mate. The wife’s coming as well, but she’s pregnant and so will want to stay by the pool while we go off and play Royal Westmoreland, Sandy Lane and Green Monkey. My top travel tip is... talk to people. I met some of my longeststanding friends on holiday, so I recommend chatting to strangers.
Nick Knowles presents DIY SOS, Who Dares Wins and Perfection on BBC1.
IT’S A DISTANCE IRON
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