The GP Staunchie 2018 Reader Awards Including Drivers, Irons & GolfPunk Of The Year
The Best New 2018 Gear
A Quick Livener
Golf’s Biggest Hitters, Fibber The Golfin’ Dolphin, Golf Porn and Biscuits...
Keep Yourself Nice Best Golf Shoes for 2018
Squire Adam Scott
Caribbean Golf Caper
WIN A Luxury Golf Holiday In Slovakia
HOW TOMMY FLEETWOOD HAULED HIMSELF FROM NOWHERE TO THE WORLD TOP 15 ISSUE 01 | MARCH 2018
THE SHI RE LONDON
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M A G A Z I N E
ISSUE ONE|MARCH 2017
elcome to the first issue of GolfPunk digi-mag 2018, the latest offering in our digital portfolio. GP-digi is coming to you every month, bringing you exclusive photo shoots and interviews; the latest equipment; amazing golf travel destinations and golf fashion, plus a large helping of what we here at GP Towers like to call ‘fun’. We all know how hard golf can be. Hell, it can make a grown man burst out crying when things go wrong…, but we wouldn’t keep coming back for more unless it brought us moments of unbridled joy. The joy of a perfectly executed 7-iron. The joy of ‘just-for-a-second-thereI-was-playing-so-well-I-probably-could-have-turned-pro’ moment. The joy of that moment when a 20-foot putt decided to do precisely what it’s told for once. Just ask Tommy Fleetwood, the game was bamboozling him so much a while back he questioned what it was all about. And look at him now. You can’t wipe the smile off his face. We travelled to the 2017 Race To Dubai winner and World Number 12’s home town and spent a rather amenable day chewing the golf fat, getting dressed up in fancy suits and taking a lot of photographs. What a lovely fella. Elsewhere in the issue we bring you Our Favourite Shop, which is basically 10 of our favourite new golf items, plus the Top 12 new golf shoes. There’s also a chance to win a fantastic golf break at the magnificent Black Stork Golf Resort in Slovakia. Yes, Slovakia. It’s brilliant, check it out on page 40. Also, if you want a daily GolfPunk fix, visit our lovely website http://www.golfpunkhq.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And if you’re wondering what the pic above is all about: It’s Joe Strummer R.I.P. and some GolfPunks at V2000. The ultimate GP pic. Until next month, Keep Yourselves Nice,
TI M SO UT HWEL L E D I TO R - I N -C HI EF
EDITOR IN CHIEF TIM SOUTHWELL Tim@golfpunkmedia.com ART DIRECTION & DESIGN KARL BARR KARLBARRCREATIVE.CO.UK G O L FJ U N K DANIEL OWEN Dan@golfpunkmedia.com CONTRIBUTORS GAVIN NEWSHAM KEVIN MURRAY UNA DEAN STEVE READ MARIA VERCHENOVA SOPHIE SOUTHWELL ADVERTSING & SALES BEN MOFFATT Ben@golfpunkmedia.com MANAGING DIRECTOR JOHN DEAN John@golfpunkmedia.com FOUNDERS TIM SOUTHWELL, JOHN DEAN
W W W. G O L P U N K H Q . C O M
013 COVER STORY
THE GUVNOR EXCLUSIVE TOMMY FLEETWOOD INTERVIEW
CONTENTS FEATURES 042 2017 STAUNCHIE AWARDS
WHO DID YOU CROWN GOLFPUNK OF THE YEAR? 046 MARIA Vâ€™S GOLF FITNESS REGULARS
TOP 50 GOLFPUNKS: MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ SEAL OF APPROVAL: HUBLOT TEAMS UP WITH DJ THE RETURN OF GOLF PORN PLUS THE TOP 10 KABOOMERS
049 017 GOLFJUNK
021 KEEP YOURSELF NICE
ROUND-UP OF THE BEST NEW GOLF SHOES GP CLASSICS: ADAM SCOTT
031 PLANET GOLF
GP GOES GOLFING IN SLOVAKIA THE GREAT CARIBBEAN GOLF CAPER
OUR FAVOURITE SHOP AKA 10 OF THE BEST NEW LAUNCHES FOR 2018
HARMONY OF GOLF, RELAX, WELLNESS AND GASTRONOMY IN THE HIGH TATRAS MOUNTAIN
excellent dining & high quality services wellness centre & massages
27 HOLES GOLF COURSE 30 % FREE DISCOUNT free use of practice area (driving range, putting green, chipping area)
GOLF BREAKS from 79â‚¬/person/night & breakfast & wellness & unlimited green fee ONLY 2 HOURS FROM LONDON-LUTTON
A QUICK LIVENER
IT’S GOLF... BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT!
KABOOM TOWN! THE TOP 10 HITTERS ON TOUR RIGHT NOW… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BRENDAN STEELE GARY WOODLAND NICOLAS COLSAERTS DUSTIN JOHNSON JAMIE SADLOWSKI BROOKS KOEPKA RORY MCILROY RICKIE FOWLER PAT PEREZ TONY FINAU
327.8 yards 325.2 yards 324.6 yards 322.4 yards 321.4 yards 321.3 yards 320.7 yards 319.8 yards 316.2 yards 314.6 yards
A QUICK LIVENER
The Swiss watchmaker has joined forces with world #1 golfer, Dustin Johnson, to unveil a watch that is dedicated to the ultimate precision sport – golf.
ublot has designed, developed, manufactured and assembled a module to equip its new UNICO movement, which has been specifically created for golf. The MHUB1580 movement allows golfers to seamlessly calculate their score whilst on course. Hublot’s mechanical golf watch features aperture displays and is ultra-lightweight, providing true sports performance.
50 GOLFPUNKS OF ALL TIME
MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ FIBBER: THE GOLFIN’ DOLPHIN
f ever a golfer was living his life on his own terms, it’s Miguel Angel Jimenez. To the casual observer you’d be hard pressed to assume he was a professional anything, let alone a competitor in the dog eat dog world of tournament golf. Jimenez brings a casual swagger to every event he plays in – his big smile, pony tail and trademark stogie blazing it up wherever he goes. But he’s not all style over substance. 21 European Tour wins and some ferocious Ryder Cup performances lay testimony to a true competitor’s beating heart lurking beneath the cigar smoke. Nicknamed ‘The Mechanic’ due to his penchant for fast cars. Miguel made world headlines when he fronted Keegan Bradley out over a drop situation at the WGC Matchplay. This ultimately led to the delicious ‘The Mechanic & The Tool’ headline, that we wish we’d made up! Even at the age of 54, Jimenez is still treating us to his trademark sword-slot-into-the-holster celebration when he makes yet another cracking shot. Just a couple of weeks ago he finished 7th at the Hong Kong Open, showing the whippersnappers exactly how it’s done. When asked the secret to his success and longevity, Miguel, pulled his cigar slowly from his mouth, blew out a plume of smoke and replied candidly: “There is no secret – good food, good wine, good cigars and some exercise!” Lovely stuff.
The Swiss watchmaker has joined forces with world #1 golfer, Dustin Johnson, to unveila watch that is dedicated to the ultimate precision sport – golf.
A QUICK LIVENER
PAIRINGS WE’D PAY TO SEE...
#1: IAN POULTER
I USED TO BE A CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE MAN BUT THE COMBINATION OF BISCUIT AND CHOCOLATE MAKES IT A REAL TOUGH DUNKER. MY DAUGHTER HAS GOT ME INTO JAMMIE DODGERS. THE DOUBLE BISCUIT MEANS YOU CAN DUNK FOR AT LEAST TEN SECONDS, AND THE LONGER YOU DUNK, THE WARMER THE JAM IS WHEN YOU BITE INTO IT. CORKING”
CLUB CLASSICS Maruman Conductor, 1982
LEADERS DRIVES Willian H. Taft 1857-1930
or a while Maruman were the hottest manufacturer on the planet, signing the cream of the golfing crop around the world, but it’s Woosie who made the Conductors famous with his victory at the ’91 Masters. A classic muscleback, the Conductors were for golfers who could benefit from the control the tiny heads gave them. The thin, rounded sole design allowed you to hit down into the back of the ball without worrying about it digging into the ground. The sand-iron that Woosie used to win the first of his three Match Play championships in 1987 hangs on the walls of Wentworth today.
sgolfing pioneer with an uncontrollable appetite William H. Taft became President of the USA rather than seeking out the position. A close mentor to Theodore Roosevelt he preferred the office of Chief Justice to the oval office, but when Roosevelt declined to seek re-election in 1904 and put forward his pal as his nomination, the weight of his popularity carried Taft into the White house. Thing is, Taft loved to play sports. He was the first President to take up golf, triggering a boom in the sport’s popularity, and on the same ticket triggering others to label him an immoral atheist. While this may be harsh, what wasn’t harsh was people calling him fat. Taft suffered huge weight problems, ballooning to 300-plus pounds and on one occasion getting wedged in the presidential bath. But his battle with the bulge didn’t stop his golf as his physician’s diary revealed: 29/7/1910: “The President played golf with steel magnate Henry Frick this morning and in spite of the bad ankle defeated him three down. 30/7/1910: “The President went to Myopia to play with Judge Grant, but his ankle was so painful he couldn’t play.” Good to see that matters of welfare, foreign policy or health weren’t troubling him though...
A QUICK LIVENER
RUDE NOT TO... UK golf courses you need to make a B-line for…
No.1 The London Club
t may be a dank and damp February, but that’s not going to stop us getting our sticks out, and today we visit the London Golf Club to try their Winter Golf Package. The weather is set fair and we are raring to go. The first thing to note is that the London Golf Club is dead easy to get to if you are based in London or for that matter anywhere in the South East. You get off the M25 at Junction 3, head on down the A20 southbound towards Brand Hatch, pass under the M20 motorway, and you’ll be there before you know it. Widely renowned as one of the finest downland courses in Europe, the Jack Nicklaus designed International course is a pleasure to experience, and allows us to get away from the boggy clay courses of our home county, West Sussex. Being a true downland course, it drains well because of the chalk, and is therefore a proper 365 day a year course. The Winter Golf Package that we are here to try kicks off with a welcome bacon and sausage muffin and a cup of tea or coffee. Then it’s time for a proper warm-up, as access to all the practice facilities are included within the package, as are free range balls. So it is well worth getting here early, and making a full day of it, and all the excellent facilities that are on offer. Oh, and there’s a LGC branded gift for you included in the package to boot. It may be a downland course, but there’s no shortage of water, which is very much classic Jack Nicklaus style. And there’s water on the first, to keep you on your toes right from the off. It’s an all downhill slight dogleg left Par
5 measuring 568 off the tips, and well protected by bunkers at the dog leg. The green is protected by water, making it a classic opening hole. The course is known for its fast, undulating fairways and is characterized by risk and reward tee shots over water. The next water you will encounter is on the 8th, which is challenging 201 yard Par 3 with water to the right of the hole, and a constant breeze. Not for the fainthearted. And you won’t get much respite, as there is water again on the Par 3 190 yard 12th - but this time there is no where to hide, as it is all over water. Thanks for that Nicklaus Design Team - put me down for a five with a wet one. I know I am banging on about water, but it is so Jack’s Design Team, and one of the courses key defences. And it comes into play again on the Par 5 13th, which reminds me of the 18th at Sawgrass. OK so Sawgrass might not be a Jack course, rather the work of the notorious Pete Dye, but this lovely hole follows the same principles. Keep it to the right, or take on the water. The choice is yours. Simples. Our round finishes with the 542 yard Par 5 18th. Avoid the heavy bunkering on both sides of the green as you drive, then dial in a long iron or fairway wood to leave yourself a pitch into a hogs back green. But your day is not yet done, as you get a delicious two course meal after your round as part of their Winter Golf Package. So come on down to the London Golf Club if you want to make a proper day of it this winter.e 2017 Race To Dubai, seeing off the likes of Sergio Garcia, John Rahm and Alex Noren.
A QUICK LIVENER
Find out more: www.londongolf.co.uk
BOCA RATON, FL 13th. Par 3. 132 yards. Drool Central...
T H E “
MY ULTIMATE GOAL IN LIFE IS TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. THAT WILL ALWAYS BE THE SAME. WHETHER I ACHIEVE IT OR NOT IS ANOTHER THING BUT I’LL ALWAYS STRIVE FOR THAT.”
Wow. One simple word. Wow. And that’s all you need to sum up the last 14 months of Tommy Fleetwood’s career. It feels like he’s been around for ages, competing at the top end of big tournament leader boards and charming us with his humorous, self-deprecating post round interviews and winning us over with his cheeky smile...
U V N O R T
he fact is though, not so long ago, Tommy was floundering around in the upper reaches of the world’s top 200, failing to live up to the massive buzz that surrounded his turning pro. Sure he’d won the 2013 Johnny Walker at Gleneagles but one victory scarcely justified the billing he had received on turning pro. Tommy had a stellar amateur career, finishing runner-up at the 2008 Amateur Championship, winning the 2009 Scottish Amateur Stroke Play Championship and playing for Great Britain in the Walker Cup. In 2010 he won the 2010 English Amateur and got to number 1 on the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings. Anyone in the know was telling anyone who would listen that this kid was “going to be big”. He turned professional in 2011 winning his first Challenge Tour title at the Kazakhstan
Open, securing his 2012 European Tour card. Fast forward to the 2013 South African Open. After a testing first year on the European Tour, Tommy was looking down ‘the barrel’. If he didn’t finish in the Top 10 he would lose his tour card and have to start again. When that happens, the golfing demons can turn even the finest player into a nervous wreck. Enter Tommy Fleetwood 4.0. He made the Top 10 in South Africa and set about ‘sorting himself out’. His putting had been the stuff of nightmares with self-doubt creeping in when he was over every putt that he should make. The claw grip isn’t the prettiest thing to set eyes on but, hey, if it worked for Sergio… And boy is it working for Tommy. He won the 2017 Race To Dubai, seeing off the likes of Sergio Garcia, John Rahm and Alex Noren.
COVER STORY If anyone thought he’d put his feet up and call for his finest pipe and golf slippers, they were very much mistaken. On January 21st 2018, Tommy soared through the field with a final round 65 to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and followed that with a 6th place finish at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. It would appear that Tommy Fleetwood has acquired ‘quite the taste’. Tommy now sits at 12th in the Official Golf World Rankings. His humble misdemeanour wouldn’t care to admit it, but Tommy Fleetwood is entering superstar territory. We meet Tommy and Claire – his fiancée and mother of their first child Franklin (and also Tommy’s manager… Claire that is, not Franklin…) – at the fancy Belle Époque hotel in Knutsford, Lancashire. The Belle Époque is a local haunt of Tommy and Claire’s and, as we fire up the cameras for our shoot, Tommy gives us the lowdown on where he’s at, where he’s been and where he’s going…
AT THE TIME PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT IT WASN’T THE RIGHT CHOICE AND I NEEDED MORE EXPERIENCE ON THE BAG… I WAS PLAYING HORRENDOUS AND HE HAS A FAMILY… HE SHOWED A LOT OF FAITH IN ME.”
WE WERE WALKING DOWN THE FAIRWAY AND HE JUST STOPPED ME, PUT HIS HAND ON MY SHOULDER AND SAID “HEY, HOW GOOD IS THIS?!... TRYING TO WIN A WGC??” …” TS: You’ve blazed quite a trail over the last year or so, but it hasn’t all been gravy and chips,... what was scarier, having to finish top 10 in South Africa in 2012 to keep your card, or trying to win the US open last year? TF: Trying to keep my card by a mile. It was horrible really. You can put it into perspective now, but anyone that’s been through it – and you see it every year – there’s always two or three people that have to do something on the last tournament to keep their card. “I think what was worse about the day was my dad was over with me, we were in South Africa, and at the same time that year there was Hong Kong on, so Hong Kong and South Africa were the same week, both the last events of the season. “So I’ve sat in the middle watching Hong Kong on TV, watching a couple of guys that were in the same position as me, get their card. You’re thinking ‘great, you’ve got your card’,… now I’ve got to go out and play, it’s my turn. “But the whole week it was so un-enjoyable, every shot, everything I did wrong, every decision I made that might not have been right, or everything that didn’t quite come off, every putt that missed it just gets to you that much more.” TS: It must be almost sickening. TF: “Yes, I was very nervous. Luckily, I played really well, I think I hit 16 or 17 greens that day, and shot 69 so I actually didn’t have that much stress on me by the way I played. I didn’t have to do too much but it’s not something I ever want to have to do again.”
TS: How does that mindset differ – from sheer survival to going out into this year’s Abu Dhabi – where you’ve got Rory, Stenson and Dustin Johnson to beat? TF: “Yes, that’s a lot more enjoyable and the way I’ve always looked at it is – especially on days like that – a win changes my year, changes my season, it doesn’t change my career long term but it changes my career for the near future. “And if I don’t win then it doesn’t, nothing changes, but if I do then it changes for the good. It’s not a win-win situation per-se, but my mindset is that I can only win.” TS: Obviously 2016 was a dip in form and then suddenly you won in Abu Dhabi, you finish second in the Shenzen, and second again in the WGC, what have you done to yourself? TF: “The dip really was July 2015 to July 2016, I had a really bad year and I was effectively out of the game, I was hopeless. I started to change my swing a bit and it didn’t work. I was pretty much top 50 in the world, on the cusp, I’d been top 30 in the order of merit for a couple of years so I was getting into bigger events. “Basically, I was getting into tournaments like WGC Mexico and Doral and I looked at the best players in the world and figured I had to do something to compete with them. “You’re suddenly playing with people like Henrik Stenson or Graham McDowell, and I might not have been playing great myself but when I watched them I thought they were
much more comfortable with the game – they were doing much more than me and I wanted that. “To be honest, I just think they were a lot more mature in the game, and they understood the swing, which I feel I do now. I decided that to get to the next level to be world class I needed a world class coach – and I went to see Pete Cowan and Mike Walker and started working with them, and I actually started off on fire, but eventually what we were working on and their teaching and structures I couldn’t grasp, for whatever reason. TS: Were they trying to get you to shape the ball differently, right to left or left to right? TF: “I’ve always had a bit of a draw, sometimes it turns into a bit of an overdraw. The more neutral the better, but I’ll always want to be able to fade it consistently which I can do now to a certain extent but I would always want to draw it more than fade it. “I really loved working with Pete, he’s a brilliant coach but I just couldn’t grasp what we were trying to do so the technique side of it wasn’t working for me, we just couldn’t work it out and eventually when I really started struggling it was time to change. “So I went back to Thommo and he could see straight away – from knowing me as a young lad – what wasn’t quite right. That was my naivety to think I don’t have tendencies and that I can change my swing and do what I want but it turns out everyone has their own problems and they’re all different and it’s a case of understanding why you hit the bad shots, especially when you’re playing. “It was a combination of getting back with Thommo and then asking one of my best mates Ian Finnis to come and caddie for me that seemed to kick start things. Again, we’d know each other for a very long time, he’d caddied for me way back when I was an amateur. This was July 2016 when I wasn’t doing great so it was a big risk for him.”
I’LL ALWAYS HAVE 2017 RACE TO DUBAI NUMBER ONE. IT’S A VERY BIG THING TO ACHIEVE, BUT THE BIG EVENTS, THEY WILL ALWAYS BE ON MY MIND. I’D LOVE TO HAVE A COUPLE OF MAJORS BY THE TIME I’M DONE.” TS: “Blimey, he’s made the right choice though, hasn’t he? Mr 10%... TF: “Yeah, (laughs) it’s gone very well. At the time people might have thought it wasn’t the right choice and I needed more experience on the bag… I was playing horrendous and he has a family… he showed a lot of faith in me. “As we got going, we were doing really long days working really hard on my game and I felt a lot more comfortable having one of my best mates. When things were going bad it felt nicer having someone there who I knew so well and neither of us complained about early mornings or late nights… “Then you can push it to the other extreme when we’re at the WGC in Mexico and we’re coming down the stretch and trying to win the WGC…. I hit my tee shot at the 14th and we were walking down the fairway and he just stopped me, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Hey, how good is this?!... trying to win a WGC??” … and I’ve said “Yeah! It’s really good isn’t it!” … it just goes to show the two ends of the spectrum…
THAT WAS MY NAIVETY TO THINK I DON’T HAVE TENDENCIES AND THAT I CAN CHANGE MY SWING AND DO WHAT I WANT…”
TS: So now you have arrived at this level, competing with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory et al for WGC titles… when did you first realise you were destined for greatness? TF: (Laughs) “I don’t know I’m still waiting!… The last 18 months or so I think I’ve proved to myself that I belong. Until you actually do it, you can half believe in yourself but you can never truly believe you can be there on a Sunday with a chance to win. I’ve now proven to myself that, if I’m playing well, I’ve got a real chance. “My ultimate goal in life is to be the best player in the world. That will always be the same. Whether I achieve it or not is another thing but I’ll always strive for that. “I’ll always have high expectations but we’ll see where we can go. Like I said, the ultimate goal and I think everybody in the profession should have that goal - is to try to be number one in the world. “I’ll always have 2017 Race to Dubai Number One. It’s a very big thing to achieve, but the big events, they will always be on my mind. I’d love to have a couple of majors by the time I’m done.” Only a fool would bet against it. Tommy Fleetwood’s surge to prominence has been nothing short of breathtaking. This guy has, as the astronauts used to say, got the ‘right stuff ’. Right now, he is well and truly the guvnor. Tommy Fleetwood, GolfPunk salutes you.
GOLF JUNK: NEW LAUNCHES
EDITED BY DAN OWEN
There’s so much great new golfjunk out there that we decided to honour our favourite 10 golf ‘things’ every month. Dive on in…
EVNROLL ER9-10K (RRP £279) Bushnell Pro X2 (RRP £449.00) Putting guru Guerin Rife has been dazzling us with his EVNROLL putters since they launched a couple of years ago. With a growing trend for high-MOI mallets on tour, as the world’s best golfers seek to take nerves out of the equation when they stand over high-pressure putts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, Rife set himself a challenge to design a putter with double the MOI of many of the most popular high MOI head designs on tour. The result is this beauty, the ER9-10K “I noticed more and more lately that many players on the PGA Tour are opting for high MOI oversized putter head designs,” said Guerin. “They have to stand over a 4-foot putt worth $200k to $1m that will change their life. The pressure can be paralysing.” Fear no more, the ER9-10K is here… on March 1st that is…
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BUSHNELL PRO X2 (RRP £449) Bushnell Golf has progressed the Distance Measuring Device (DMD) market once again, with the launch of its most advanced laser rangefinder to date, the Pro X2. Engineered with a host of premium features including innovative Slope-Switch Technology, the Pro X2 provides the ultimate laser rangefinder for amateurs and professionals alike and for all forms of the game.
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GOLF JUNK: NEW LAUNCHES
HOLE MORE PUTTS (RRP £449)
If this can work for our Editor Tim (a self-confessed five foot 3-putt wobbler), it can work for you. You can’t shut him up about how many putts he’s holed after using the Hole More Putts tablet. HMP analyses and diagnoses the face angle, impact point, path, speed and attack angle of your putts. You sync your smart phone up with the Hole More Putts tablet device, make five putts and it’ll tell you – in fine detail – what the situation is. You can use it pretty much anywhere, we’ve used ours on the golf club locker room carpet and at home in the lounge.
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TAYLORMADE PROJECT (RRP £40) Since its inception in 2014, the Project (a) golf ball has been designed to deliver golfers Tour-level performance in a three-piece construction at an attractive price point. The original Project (a) gained notoriety by being designed with a cast urethane cover to provide Tour-level spin for the average golfer, a performance attribute unmatched by anything in the category. The new Project (a) is a three-layer design that incorporates a new Dual-Distance core and a new 322LDP seamless dimple pattern which combined increase driver and long iron distance while maintaining excellent greenside control and feel. The Project (a) now uses the same 322 dimple pattern as the TP5 & TP5x golf balls resulting in superior distance through a more aerodynamic dimple pattern. Less drag = more speed = more distance.
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POWAKADDY COMPACT C2 (RRP £599) Compact is the word. After more than two years development by PowaKaddy’s UK based expert designers and engineers, the all-new Compact C2 introduces an innovative simple-2-foldTM system that allows the sleek trolley to be set up and packed away in just two simple folds. The Compact has been designed to help save time, as well as space, with the easy folding system taking just two to three seconds to operate. At 9.8kg, the Compact C2 also offers one of the lightest options in its product category. A full colour widescreen display is a notable highlight, as is the USB Charging Port that facilitates the charging of GPS devices and smartphones. Adding to the list of impressive product features is a special compartment for balls, tees and pencils, which sits conveniently above the trolley handle for easy access. There is also an integrated scorecard holder and a soft touch handle that can adjust to three different positions to fit the height of the golfer’s hand. The Compact C2 is powered by PowaKaddy’s innovative Lithium battery – with 18 and 36-hole options both backed by full five-year warranties. powakaddy.co.uk
PING GLIDE 2.0 STEALTH WEDGES (£130 STEEL/£140.00 GRAPHITE) Engineered from 8620 carbon steel to provide a soft, responsive feel, the new Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges are highlighted by an all-black QPQ (quench/polish/ quench) finish that is highly durable, improves ball interaction and gives the head a more compact appearance at address. Precision-machined, loft-specific grooves provide control, precision and spin consistency on full and partial shots, with the addition of a 1/2 groove low on the lead edge of the higher lofts (56º and above) further improving engagement with the ball, in particular with strikes low on the face, to increase spin. Four versatile grinds – standard, wide, thin and eye – enable players to be fitted for their typical divot depth and playing conditions, while steeper sidewalls throughout the lofts increase groove volume for improved performance on full shots and maximised spin on chips and pitches. Plus, they look awesome.
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GOLF JUNK: NEW LAUNCHES
DUCA DEL COSMA KUBA (RRP £190) Wow. That’s all anyone could say when we first laid eyes on the Duca del Cosma golf shoes. That’s what you get when you ask an Italian fashion brand to design you a golf shoe – something that totally stands out from the crowd and hits you right between the eyes like a 7-iron off the hosel. Duca del Cosma pioneered ultra-lightweight spikeless golf shoes more than a decade ago, and now they’re back. These shoes might not float the boat of your more conservative golfer but, well, I guess that’s the whole point. The GolfPunk in you will be screaming out for you to take the plunge.
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VERTICAL GROOVE GOLF 3 WOOD (RRP £229)
PERRY TECH MID JL NAV (RRP £99) JL have been socking quality golf threads to us for as long as we can remember at GP. And this is another belter. The Perry tech mid is brand new for this season from J.Lindeberg. Made from breathable, four-way stretch material, this mid layer will help you keep comfortable while on the course. It features a big bridge graphic on the front, elasticated cuffs and a half zip opening. The signature bridge logo is on the left chest with J.Lindeberg written down the left sleeve.
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VGG made their big move in 2017 with the launch of the John Daly & Rocco Mediate-endorsed Vertical Groove Golf Drivers. The new VGG 3 Wood shares many characteristics with the VGG Driver. Namely, penetrating accuracy and huge carry. The unique patented vertical groove pattern mitigates sidespin to reduce hooks and slices. When you give this club a try, look for very narrow dispersion stats on your launch. Available in lofts of 14 and 15 degrees, the 14 degrees is the front-weighted Tour model with low-launch, low-spin properties. The new 3 Wood has great turf interaction, and we found it easy to get the ball in the air. If you’re unsure, think on this, John Daly is currently #1 Driving Distance on PGA Tour Champions playing the Vertical Groove Driver. Even more impressively, Doug Garwood is currently #1 Driving Accuracy on PGA Tour Champions playing the Vertical Groove Driver (Doug was 50th in D.A in 2017, before he started using the VGD). Available from March.
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GOLFPUNK LIMITED EDITION EMBROIDERED STAND BAG (RRP £249) We only made five of these bags. We should have ordered more as there are only three left… Maybe we will. Anyway, here it is. The GolfPunk golf bag. It’s got pockets to put things in and straps for your shoulders. In fact, it’s got an insulated water bottle pocket and a velour valuables pocket with waterproof zips on the valuables and apparel pockets. The fabric is lightweight pu vinyl… Nice.
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SPRINGGSUMME R 2018 NOW AVAIL ABLE
SHOT ON LOCATION AT: WEST CLIFFS , PORTUGAL
KEEP_YOURSELF_ NICE //
11 PAGES OF THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE...
25 2018 Footwear We Pick Out Our
Favourite Golfing Treads
31 GP CLASSICS Adam Scott Gets A Makeover!
Words: John Dean
GOODY 12 SHOES You can’t mess around when it comes to choosing your next pair of golf shoes. Here are 12 of the very best…
NIKE LUNAR CONTROL VAPOR 2 QS SHOES These look sensational. The cleat combines some of the features Nike sneakers have become known for, such as a Lunarlon midsole insert for extra cushioning and the use of the brand’s Flywire material to reduce the weight. The shoe’s upper is also built with the same NIKESKIN material we’ve seen used for the brand’s football cleats that also provides a lightweight feel.
ADIDAS TOUR 360 BOA 2.0 The new adidas TOUR360 2.0 golf shoes look awesome, and features adidas’s most advanced BOA Closure System with IP1 incremental pull & push structure conveniently located on top lateral eyestay for more customisable micro adjustability. The new TOUR360 features subtle, yet significant changes from the previous model including a new outsole top plate, SPRINTSKIN™ 360WRAP technology, classic toe-down appearance, new premium heel execution, and increased outsole flexibility make it one of adidas Golf’s best shoes on the market.
FOOTJOY PRO/SL FootJoy’s Pro/SL shoe has had an explosive year, becoming the most sold model in the UK by some considerable margin. As an example of the line’s popularity at retail, more than one in every ten shoes sold within the UK in 2017 was a Pro/SL helping to support yet another season in which FJ have achieved over 50% footwear market share.
PUMA IGNITE SPIKELESS The iconic IGNITE spikeless franchise now has more style and more power. Athletic styling combines with premium leather accents for a modern silhouette designed to step up your fashion game on and off the course. An innovative non-stretch waterproof mesh, PWRFRAME reinforcement and a TPU PWRCAGE provide the
SKECHERS GO GOLF FOCUS 2 The GO GOLF Focus 2 sees Skechers push the boundaries of stability and comfort even further in this 2nd generation shoe. As the official shoe of PGA Tour star Russell Knox, the Focus 2 targets players looking for maximum solidity during the golf swing in a sleek and contemporary design. This has been achieved through a sleek, low to the ground, full contact bottom and a dual TPU outsole that secures the foot strongly. Comfort comes in the form of responsive 5-GEN and a Resamax insole, combining with a microfiber synthetic upper allowing for improved comfort and support. The Focus 2 also showcases brand-new OutDry patented waterproof protection which creates a waterproof, breathable barrier.
ECCO COOL PRO: If it’s good enough for Freddy Couples and Lydia Ko… Danish golf footwear innovators ECCO GOLF unveil their latest creation ECCO COOL PRO which combines several of the company’s flagship technologies. By combining the performance-focused ECCO SPYDR-GRIP®outsole, which debuted in ECCO CAGE PRO, with the pioneering GORE-TEX® SURROUND®technology (first introduced in ECCO COOL), this new design represents the ultimate blend of form and function. The revolutionary SPYDR-GRIP® outsole utilises an organic structured design for outstanding grip. This combines with a GORE TEX® SURROUND® membrane upper which facilitates an advanced air channeling system within a grid-shaped sole structure, providing 360° breathability without compromising on waterproof protection.
SPIETH 2 Embedded in every fibre of the Spieth 2 is Jordan’s maniacal focus, fierce intelligence, courage to fight and infinite creativity. A bold evolution of last year’s ground breaking Spieth 1, the Spieth 2 was rigorously tested by Spieth himself and built to help him accomplish one main goal: to score. New technology in the Spieth 2 includes Gore-Tex waterproofing, which delivers total protection from the elements without sacrificing breathability. Derived from Under Armour’s rich history of material innovation, the Spieth 2 also features innovations including ultra-strong TPU fibres directly woven into the upper, resulting in structural support even lighter than the Spieth 1.
IGNITE PWRADAPT PUMA BLACK PUMA”s signature shoe for 2018, these look the absolute business and are as comfy as they are great looking, Specifically, IGNITE PWRADAPT gives you the power to adapt. Revolutionary and proprietary PWRADAPT Technology provides more traction and comfort with every move you make. The new full-length IGNITE Foam cushioning platform and PWRADAPT Technology provide responsive comfort and 3-dimensional traction that adapts to the way you move. More Traction + More Comfort = PWRADAPT. These come in three versions – the Ignite Pwradapt, Ignite Pwradapt Disc and Ignite Pwradapt Leather.
ECCO BIOM® HYBRID 3
MIZUNO NEXLITE SL:
Mizuno boasts a long and rich heritage in footwear, which has been put to good effect with the addition of the ultra–lightweight NEXLITE SL golf shoe. The NEXLITE SL IS an ultralight 275 gram shoe engineered by Mizuno’s award–winning running team and packed with technology to make walking the course as pleasurable and comfortable an experience as possible.
Flag bearers of golf hybrid footwear, ECCO GOLF, have unveiled their latest innovation, ECCO BIOM® HYBRID 3 featuring the groundbreaking new TRI-FI-GRIP™ outsole. TRI-FI-GRIP™ ensures multi-purpose zonal performance through three segments; one for stability, another for durability and a third for rotational support.The zonal structure is a product of intensive research and data analysis in the ECCO GOLF Lab. Each is formed from ultra-durable T.PU, meaning the shoes can be worn on and off course without affecting performance.
STUBURT GOLF SHOES Stuburt is offering a great selection of affordable shoes and boots in its new collection, which features performance footwear showcasing state-of-the-art materials: shoes and boots that will stand up to the harshest conditions and deliver great value for money.
G/FORE MID/STREET DISRUPTOR GOLF SHOES: G/FORE has gone back to the streets for inspiration with its latest eye-catching addition to the footwear range. The striking Mid/Street Disruptor is designed to be worn away from the golf course, but maintains the trademark G/FORE style with a smart, yet casual look and is brimming with all of the performance and technology associated with the Californian brand’s wide range of footwear.
GP CLASSICs “Hi, is that Mr Adam Scott? It’s GolfPunk here. We’ve got some country squire threads that we think you’d look divine in. Plus we’ve also got some shot guns and some nice dogs and a very attractive model lady here. Would you like to do a cover shoot for us? You would?! Well, that’s just marvellous. See you there.” And while he had a moment spare, we asked him which jobs his fellow pros might have had if they weren’t golfers. Golfers’ actual answers included. Let’s see if he got any right…
GPCLASSICS ADAM SCOTT
D AT E : S O M E T I M E I N 2 0 0 7 L O C AT I O N : F O X H I L L S G C , S U R R E Y SHOTGUNS: C/O BOSS & CO (Â£55,000.00 EACH) DOGS: C/O SURREY BLOODHOUNDS PHOTOGRAPHER: STEVE READ S T Y L I S T : N ATA L I E N I C O L A O U
IF I WEREN’T A GOLFER…. When someone sent through a joke job-predictor we couldn’t help but find out what the best players in the world would be doing if they weren’t playing golf. Here’s what Adam thought.
WHAT WOULD… JUSTIN ROSE BE? “Justin is a wannabee gangster…” Actual: Second hand car salesman. “So kinda the same thing really.”
WHAT WOULD…COLIN MONTGOMERIE BE?
WHAT WOULD… RORY SABBATINI BE?
“If I’m a personal shopper then Monty would be something like a chauffeur.” Actually: Monty would play for Rangers. “Of course he would, football, sure.”
“Rory would be unemployed.” Actual: Supermodel. “Sabbo, a supermodel? Now I know that me being a professional shopper is just ridiculous.”
WHAT WOULD… SERGIO GARCIA BE?
WHAT WOULD… HENRIK STENSON BE?
“He’d be a waiter I reckon.” Actual: Housekeeper. “That’s not bad though, same service trade.”
“He’s got to be some sort of salesman.” Actual: Garden gnome. “Nice, that’s a promising future.”
WIN A LUXURY
GOLF HOLIDAY AT MOUNTAIN PARADISE
PAGES OF GLORIOUS GOLFING ESCAPES... 37 GOLF IN SLOVAKIA... WHO KNEW? 41 THE GREAT CARIBBEAN GOLF CAPER
PLANET GOLF: SLOVAKIA
PLANET_GOLF_ TRAVEL //
S L O V A K I A
THE GOLF FRONTIER WO R D S : T I M S O U T H W E L L
hen you’re landlocked, 800 miles from the nearest beach and surrounded by Hungary, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic – you know you’re going to have to work hard to attract the attention of world travelers, and especially golfers. The words Slovakia and golf are not often mentioned in the same breath but this place is actually making great strides in the golf world. Slovakia may only have been its own country since 1993 but its golfing history dates back more than a century. The first 9-hole course was created in 1907 at Tatranska Lomnica by the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy for the pleasure of wealthy types staying at the surrounding luxury hotels and spas. In 2017 alone, four new courses have opened in Slovakia. Golf seems to be properly catching on and there are now over 20 courses across the country. Our own Slovakian golf adventure has taken us to the Black Stork Golf Resort at the foot of the Tatra mountains – just down the road from that original Slovakian course in Tatranska Lomnica course – in the little village of Velka Lomnica to be precise. The Black Stork Golf resort is a little golfing oasis. 27 holes wind their way around the hotel and spa, reaching out to the mountains and giving you incredible views as you’re lining up a putt or preparing for Kaboom Town off the tee. There is also an excellent short game area and fullyloaded range. The Hotel International features 28 double and twin rooms, and a wellnesscentre with indoor and outdoor pools. The air is thin here. You’re already 639-metres above sea level before you’ve even taken the James Bond cable car up to the top of Tartranska Lomnica mountain where you can actually hire apartments to stay overnight. You might want to test yourself for vertigo first, the Lomnicky Stit pinnacle is 2,634 metres above sea level. Even down at the golf course you’re aware that walking 27 holes at this time of year (October) as Winter approaches, takes more out of you than usual.
PLANET GOLF: SLOVAKIA
PLANET_GOLF_ TRAVEL //
Signature holes include the par three 4 over water and the par four 27 th which sees you hit a tee shot down into a valley with a sharp dogleg to the right over a wide, shimmering stream. The green, like a few here, is tiered and if you’re on the wrong side, you’re faced with either a razorquick downhill with multiple breaks, or a demanding uphill charger which, as we all know, can go either way. You’re always aware that your immediate neighbours in the surrounding woods and hills are a varied and noble tribe: deer, wolves, bears, wild boars and lynx all roam freely in the surrounding wilderness. After 27 holes, you need some down time and the Black Stork spa and wellness hub has you covered. Whether you’re in the indoor or outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, or one of the sumptuous steam room or saunas, it’s kick back central. We genuinely didn’t want to leave. The Black Stork resort recently achieved the prestigious PGA Golf Course Brand Of Distinction award, becoming only the 19th course in the world to achieve the honour. So you’re in good hands. The Faldo Series also hold events here and there are plans for Challenge Tour events. Golf in Slovakia. Time to take it seriously. th
Slovakia in 2017 is not what I expected. In fact, I didn’t know what to expect as I’d honestly rarely given it any thought. But what I found were picture postcard houses, restaurants and hotels, pleasant people, and extremely low prices. For example, a pint of Pilsner Urquell will set you back a meagre €1.80. Sometimes you just have to appreciate a bargain, and Slovakia offers it up in spades. It might not be as fashionable as Switzerland or Italy but you could be forgiven for thinking you were in either: Beautiful scenery, stunning mountains and delicious food. And golf. It’s difficult to say which if the nine hole loops is the best at The Black Stork course. There are The Braid, Vardon and Taylor separate 9s. The greens are all very large, which can be quite disconcerting when you’re trying to figure out which club to take for your approach. It all looks a lot closer than it actually is. The greens might be accommodating but they are surrounded by weighty bunkers, some of which look like the local deer have been having some kind of equine orgy in them overnight, until the green keepers come to the rescue with a laugh and a shake of the head that suggests this is not the first time they’ve had to re-rake the deer-damage.
LONDON LUTON - POPRAD (2HR FLIGHT - 15MIN TRANSFER)
BRISTOL, LIVERPOOL, EDINBURGH OR BELFAST - KRAKOW (2HR FLIGHT - 2HR TRANSFER)
THE AIR IS THIN HERE. YOU’RE ALREADY 639 METRES ABOVE SEA LEVEL BEFORE YOU’VE EVEN TAKEN THE JAMES BOND CABLE CAR UP TO THE TOP OF TARTRANSKA LOMNICA MOUNTAIN
PLANET GOLF: COMPETITION
OUR TOP PICKS MOUNTAIN PARADISE
Mountain Paradise has a four-night golf package for £699 per person or a two-night package for £499 per person. Both packages include return flights from the UK to Poprad or Krakow including return airport transfers, accommodation at Hotel International with breakfast and four course evening meal, unlimited access to spa and wellness and unlimited rounds of golf.
WIN A GOLF HOLIDAY IN
PENATI GOLF RESORT, SENICA:
About an hour’s drive north of Bratislava, the Heritage course at Penati is often referred to as Slovakia’s best course, though the other 18, the Legend is a Jack Nicklaus designed course which gets rave reviews also with trademark water-protected greens and wooden buttresses.
GRAY BEAR, TALE:
200 miles north of Bratislava, and designed by US architect Bob Walton, Gray Bear is located in the foothills of the Tatras at the ski resort of Tale. It became the first 18-hole built in Slovakia in 2002 and marauds through wild forest. They had the Ladies European Tour Slovak Open here between 2010 and 2014.
BEST OF THE REST:
Also worth checking out are Borsa GC at Green Resort, Hruba Borsa (27 holes); Black River at Bratislava Golf & Country Club in Bernolakovo (amazing chateau clubhouse). The newest of the lot is Sedin Golf Resort in Velke Ulany and is located on the floodplain of the Little Danube River. Look out for the Sedin to be hosting a big event soon, it’s over 6,500 metres long.
Our pals at The Black Stork Golf Resort in Slovakia have sorted you guys out with a great competition prize. Click below for your chance to win a 3-night luxury stay at the Hotel International in Velka Lomnika at the foot of the magnificent Tatra Mountains. Hang out with bears, wolves and the odd bunker-partying deer, and play the superb 27-hole Black Stork golf course. Prize includes 3-nights B&B and unlimted golf for 2 people. Lovely stuff.
Q. ARE YOU CAPABLE OF CLICKING THE LINK BELOW? Closing date 22/03/2018. Click the link below to enter:
THIS WAY TO
PARADISE WORDS: TIM SOUTHWELL | PHOTOGRAPHY: KEVIN MURRAY
Now there are golf capers and there are golf capers. And then there is the Caribbean golf caper.
he big fella in the sky is clearly a GolfPunk. Otherwise, why would he have created the world’s most glorious islands and then send out a memo to the Three Wise Property Developers advising them to build golf courses left, right and centre? For gold, frankincense, and myrrh – read lush fairways, superb greens and swanky clubhouse bars that look out across the ocean and make you think: “Well, whatdyaknow?… maybe I am a millionaire after all.” All the talk on the plane was about The Green Monkey golf course, part of the world famous SandyLane resort where fancy people go on holiday in order to be surrounded by other fancy people. Sandy Lane is owned by businessman John Magnier, horse racing overlord JP McManus, and Celtic FC’s major shareholder, Dermot Desmond. They have three golf courses – The Old Nine, The Country Club, and The Green Monkey. The Country Club played host to the 2006 World Golf Championship so it’s no mug. And yet we barely talk about it the whole week. What we’re obsessed about is how we’re going to weasel our way on to The Green Monkey. There is one brief tee-time slot every day – between 8.30am and 9am. And you can only play if you’re residing at Sandy Lane. Or, if you’re a guest of a Sandy Lane resident. And then you have to quite literally pray & pay.
IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU COME CAN HOME FROM YOUR HOLIDAYS ABLE TO BOAST THAT GWYNETH PALTROW WAS STAYING THERE, TOO
OUR MISSION WAS TO SAMPLE AS MUCH CARIBBEAN GOLF AS OUR SEVEN DAYS WOULD ALLOW, BUT THERE WAS REALLY ONLY ONE MONKEY ON OUR BACKS
Firstly you pray that there is an available space during the half hour slot, and then you pay.And boy, do you pay. $1,000 US to be precise. No wonder The Green Monkey is one of the most talked about, least played golf courses in the world. And that’s exactly how JP & Dermot like it. It’s virtually their own private golf course. Designed by Tom Fazio and always in mint condition, The Green Monkey is carved out of a vast quarry and designed to take full advantage of its disparate elevations.
One minute you’re on top of the world, the next you’re staring up out across a vast lake and high up into the huge quarry walls. Or so we are told. Our overall mission was to sample as much Caribbean golf as our seven days would allow, but there was really only one monkey on our backs. For now, The Green Monkey would have to wait.
irst stop, The Royal Westmoreland resort. Built in the 1990s, this is luxury villa central. What’s more, its 6,870 yard, par 72 golf course is an absolute belter. Ian Woosnam, no less, says that this course has some of the finest par threes in world golf. Furthermore, Woosie says that the course demands you use every club in the bag. Well, I think we’ll be the judge of that thank you very much Mr Ryder Cup hero. We’re greeted in the bar at Royal Westmoreland by head pro and former European Tour pro Bill Longmuir. Bill has eight Seniors Tour wins under his belt so when he talks you listen. “Right, wanna play some golf?” he ventures. And boy, were we listening... Before we know it, we’re teeing it up and aiming straight down the first. The Caribbean Ocean glistens in the distance, little green monkeys dance across the fairway (which is usually the safest place when we’re playing) and three very happy individualss tride off into stage one of our adventure.
Did I say the monkeys were green? Well, they’re not. Whoever saw a green monkey? They’re actually brown like normal monkeys, but because they live in Barbados they think they can call themselves what they like. Maybe when the sun sets and twilight catches hold they might strike someone as having a green tinge. But only if you’ve got green contact lenses in and will believe anything. Royal Westmoreland is no place to come if you’re struggling with your game. It may look stunningly beautiful but it’s got teeth sharper than a crocodile at a tooth-filing convention. There seems to be an obscene quota of 80ft drop-offs which, should you enter one, makes any search party futile. You’re much better off conceding the hole and getting on with the rest of your life. RWM is the type of place you’d have expected to run into David Niven or Errol Flynn in bygone days. Nowadays, it’s home-from-home for the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Freddy Flintoff and you’d be well within your rights to expect to see any one of them striding down fairways or running down monkeys in their golf buggies. The bar at RWM is one of the world’s truly great experiences. Set out in a large, semi-circle, you’re surrounded by the great and the good as you sip on ice-cool beers, or commission Bob the barman to invent a cocktail based on your name. Soon enough, when the cocktails have begun
IT PRESENTS YOU WITH SO MUCH GOLF PORN, YOU CAN’T STAY UPSET WITH YOURSELF FOR LONG their giddy journey, you’re all: “That 20 footer at the 12th!” and ‘Pity the poor blighters back in, errmmm, Blighty.” Not only do we get to play golf at the place, but we’ve also been assigned one of the resort’s luxury villas with its own pool. In Monty’s own words, fantastic, superb! After a couple of days our routine was down pat. Get up, sunbathe for a bit, dip in the pool, have something to eat, sunbathe a bit more, another dip in the pool, play 18 at Royal Westmoreland, drink in the bar, head off to the bright lights of St Lawrence Gap, eat like kings, have a bit more to drink, taxi home, quick nightcap, collapse into bed. If you could choose a ‘Groundhog Day’ to come to, this’d be the one. Royal Westmoreland, we salute you.
ut GP are no one’s lollygaggers. We’ve got exploring to do and, now that we’ve found our island feet, we change tack. It’s time to set sail to Sandy Lane. And by set sail, I mean, take a five-minute cab journey down Sugar Hill. We’ve all heard the talk but for many this place is out of reach. It’s not every day you come home from your hols able to boast that “Gwyneth Paltrow was staying there, too.” Each night there is a cocktail party at the bar. This is essentially a networking opportunity next to a swimming pool. Which is great for people watching. I mean, where else can you see Gordon Strachan debating the merits of abolishing the back-pass rule with Rihanna? Some big events have been played at Sandy Lane’s Country Club and you can see why. At 7,060 yards and winding its way round the hills of Barbados with scintillating views of the ocean, azaleas left right and centre, it’s a golfing mecca. It’s not playing as tough as Royal Westmoreland. The fairways are wider for a start and it’s a par 74. But the greens are as hard to read and it’s just as well we’ve got caddies to show us the way. It’s always a bit embarrassing having a caddy. They’re really just for the pros aren’t they? It’s especially disconcerting when you manage a
shank on the first with your driver. You just can’t get off the tee quick enough. Later in the round you realize just how important these guys are. If it wasn’t for a large amount of inside knowledge I’d have six-putted every green. Thankfully, The Country Club course is one of those rare and generous courses that “lets you back in”. It nurtures you and, like Royal Westmoreland, presents you with so much golf porn, you can’t stay upset with yourself for long. It’s a golfer’s paradise, I tells ya!
f it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That’s what I’ve always been told. There was nothing broken or needed fixing about Barbados. We had so much golfing luxury it was silly. Yet, here I am sitting in a twin-propeller plane that seems to be uncertain as to which altitude it should be flying at. For a few moments it seems content to bump along at 25,000ft. But then it gets bored of that and drops to 20,000ft. And then it reconsiders that action and decides it was better off where it had been previously. So it lurches back up to 25,000ft and has an immediate argument with itself and drops back to 20,000ft. When I was originally informed that I would be “Island hopping” I had pictured myself swanning up to a charming wooden by-plane, tied to a jetty on the beach, boarding alongside guests such as Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo. We’d get acquainted and have a spot of bubbly, while the plane effortlessly glides 50ft above the water line as the sun sets over the enchanting island destination. Done and dusted in roughly 30 minutes. Not so. There’s nothing wrong with island hopping in the Caribbean. It’s a positively marvellous thing to do. But you need to prepare yourself. Brace yourself. It’s two hours from Bridgetown to Antigua and by the time you get there you are in immediate need of libation in the airport bar. Your hair is standing on end and your pupils have dilated to the size of 10p coins. You’ll not get me up in one of those things
WE HAD SO MUCH GOLFING LUXURY IT WAS SILLY. YET, HERE I AM SITTING IN A TWIN-PROPELLER PLANE THAT SEEMS TO BE UNCERTAIN AS TO WHICH ALTITUDE IT SHOULD BE FLYING AT
again, you swear. But you’ve no choice. It’s the only way to St Kitts. By this time you’ve overbraced yourself rigid and it’s all you can do to shuffle your way out on to the runway towards the plane, which I’m sure just winked at me. “Air hostess, another rum punch, sharpish, if you please.” I cried as the plane started bodypopping at 20,000ft. “But, sir,” came the reply. “It’s medicinal,” I pleaded, “have a heart.” “But we’re descending, sir.” “Well, if that’s your altitude.” On landing in St Kitts, it took me a good three minutes to prise my fingers out of the seat rests, but soon enough we were in arrivals being greeted by our ex-pat host Owen, who is out here fronting a property development high in the hills. Next thing we know we’re teeing it up at Royal St Kitts golf club. Off the tips this is a hell of a challenge – 6,900 yards, par 71 with water hazards on ten holes. Everything seems interesting enough over the first few holes. And then you get near the turn and the ocean rises up to say hello. So you say hello back. And it says hello again and you soon realize that, as oceans go, it’s quite big and if you
wanted to say hello to all of it you’d be there all night. So we tried not to get too involved with it after that. This is our first taste of linksy golf Caribbeanstyle and I challenge anyone to find me a more stunning range of holes than is found on the back nine here. You’re hitting drives out over the water and watching with unparalleled satisfaction as your ball comes back over dry land and nestles on another perfect, lush fairway. A delightful spot of dinner is followed by a “let’s just go for one” moment at The Shiggidy Shack bar on the beach. Which is basically karaoke Caribbean style. It’s mid-May and the place is packed with travellers shaking their flip-flops and yelping with glee while some Austrians murder the life out of Boston’s More Than A Feeling. It’s 4am before you know it and we are reminded of the fact that in four more hours we are due at Turtle Beach to catch the morning boat to Nevis. There’s a song there somewhere.
evis looks like Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs. As you glide along the waves by the beach, all you can see is a vast expanse of forest, which is only occasionally
punctuated by the odd wooden house bedded into the hillside on stilts. There’s a Four Seasons Hotel in there somewhere, but it’s only when you sail right up to the beach that you can really see it. As far as architecture and morality go, this is about as empathetic as you’ll get. I feel like a proper golfing pioneer and if thousands of other people hadn’t already played here, I’d have a point. And lo, I see a triangular red flag fluttering. It can mean but one thing. Golf. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, The Four Seasons Nevis Golf Course, is a stunning 6,682 yards (par 70) of golf adventure, hugging the side of Nevis Peak, a towering mountain which dominates the area. Soon enough, we’re the golfing equivalent of mountain goats. Except that you don’t see many mountain goats driving buggies. It’s not their scene. But given the blood/alcohol ratio we’re suffering, it’s the only humane way to play this spell-binding collection of hills and valleys. Hangover golf can go either way. You’re either so loose and dizzy that you don’t think about it and just twat the blazes out of the ball and it goes everywhere you aim it. Or you’re so loose and dizzy that you can barely focus on the horizon, let alone your ball. Thankfully, today is one of the
NEVIS IS LIKE JURASSIC PARK WITHOUT THE DINOSAURS. AS YOU GLIDE ALONG THE WAVES BY THE BEACH, ALL YOU CAN SEE IS A VAST EXPANSE OF FOREST, WHICH IS ONLY OCCASIONALLY PUNCTUATED BY THE ODD WOODEN HOUSE BEDDED INTO THE HILLSIDE ON STILTS
JUST AS YOU’RE ABSORBING THE BEGINNINGS OF THIS GOLFING MASTERPIECE, YOU STROLL UP OVER A HILLOCK AND, SUDDENLY, THE GROUND JUST DISAPPEARS AND AN ALMIGHTY CHASM OPENS UP BENEATH YOUR FEET good days, and some fairly respectable numbers go on the card - mostly fives and sixes but hey, give us a break, we’re hungover here! At the 18th, we are greeted by frozen towels and margaritas. Nice.
ourteen hours later and we’re standing on the first tee. And not just any first tee. This is the first tee at The Green Monkey. As boxer Lloyd Honeyghan used to say: “We’re not here for the season, we’re here for the reason.” Whatever that means. After six holes snapper Kevin Murray asks me a simple question. “Notice anything about this course yet?” What, the super-slick, immaculate greens that bend your putts halfway to Crazy Town? The super-smooth fairways that gather your Sunday best drive and leave you with your favourite distance to the green? The brown monkeys? The nice lady with the iced-beer wagon? “No, what I mean is, have you noticed the fact that on each hole we’ve played so far, you can’t see any other hole at all?”
He’s right. Each of these opening holes, whether a par three, four or five, is completely secluded in its own little universe. There could be a riot going on in the monkey asylum on the next fairway, but you can’t see or hear anything other than the hole you’re playing. And then, just as you’re absorbing the beginnings of this golfing masterpiece, you stroll up over a hillock and, suddenly, the ground just disappears and an almighty chasm opens up beneath your feet. To the right, seemingly stretching halfway to the end of the world, is a vast quarry wall. Beneath it, an equally big lake glistens up at you. And to the left, hugging the lake, a green monkey carved out of grass in the middle of the greenside bunker on the signature hole 7th, a 142yard par three. We stand there, and we gasp. And feel invigorated. And blessed. And bloody bloody bloody!!! Where’s my five-iron? Who’s got it, have you got it, where is it then, oh right there it is, what’s it doing in your bag? Oh, it’s my bag. Well, anyway, just watch it... Let’s blast this green-ward. And there it goes, the ball soaring high
into thin air and then beginning its almighty descent down and down and down and… straight into the green monkey bunker. Why, you little! Beg, steal, pretend to be Bill Gates, do whatever you have to, just make sure you play the Green Monkey before your eyes start going. Your legs will follow. There’s only one way to follow that. Dinner at The Lone Star with the waves gently lapping just feet away and the finest bottle of Sancerre I’ve ever tasted. Images of the five sensational courses we’ve played merge into one big golfing Lollapalooza in my mind. Shots I played – all straight and true – come flooding into the mix. That 30ft putt on the 16th at St Kitts; unleashing the Cleveland Stauncher on Nevis; the 7-iron to 12ft on the third at Westmoreland … and The Green Monkey. Memo to The Three Wise Property Developers: Like what you guys have done in the Caribbean. Like it a lot. Now, have you thought about the Isle Of Wight? It’s a lot more convenient for us, don’t you know.
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
THE STAUNCHIE READER AWARDS 2017! THE VOTES HAVE BEEN COUNTED AND YOU’ VE CHOSEN YOUR FAVOURITE PLAYERS, COMMENTATORS, BUNCH OF ARSE AND HELP THE GRAVY MOMENTS OF 2017...
he driver market was dominated by Callaway and TaylorMade in 2017 but you have a clear winner with the TaylorMade M2 which grabbed 29% of the votes compared to Callaway Epic GBB/ Epic Sub Zero. Ping and Titleist also made good showings but the M2 is the GolfPunk Driver Of The Year 2017.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 5)... TAYLORMADE M2
CALLAWAY GBB EPIC / EPIC SUB ZERO 22% PING G400
TITLIEST 917 D2/D3
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
FEMALE GOLFER Lexi Thompson
o doubting this result. Lexi Thompson pulled in over 50% of the votes with only Georgia Hall offering any real resistance. Lexi started the year brightly with a second place at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and continued her stellar form throughout the year, notching 12 Top 10 finishes and winning The Kingsmill Championship in May and the brilliantly titled Indy Women In Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim... Try saying that with a mouthful of kebab. Lexi would have had her second major at the ANA Inspiration in March had it not been for a 4-shot penalty handed out retrospectively after a TV viewer called in (the next day) and suggested Lexi had not replaced her ball 100% accurately. Lexi got 2 shots for the ball marking misdemeanour and another 2 shots for handing in an incorrect score for the hole, despite not realising her mistake. She lost the tournament by one shot. (See Bunch Of Arse Staunchie Award).If that wasn’t bad enough, Lexi missed the chance to finish the year as world number one after missing a 2-foot putt at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, losing the tournament after Ariya Jutanurgarn fired two finishing birdies. However, Lexi did still win the overall Race to the CME and a nice $1 million bonus. On top of that Lexi bagged herself almost $2million in prize money. All she needs in 2018 is a major or two, and for TV armchair viewers to mind their own...
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 4)...
Sergio’s Green Jacket
ersonally, I thought the US Open was major of the year. Erin Hills looked spectacular on the TV and the antics of Koepka, Matsuyama, Fleetwood and Fowler had me on the egde of my seat the entire four days. But what do I know? They say that nothing worth finding is easily found and Sergio will be saying amen to that after surprising us all with his majestic Masters triumph. Paul Casey and Thomas Pieters had us thinking it could be a European win but the final day was dominated by Sergio and Justin Rose who both finished at -9 and could not be separated after 72 holes. Cue the playoff and Rose’s woods-bound tee shot at the 18th. Sergio eventually had two putts from 12 feet to win. He needed just one and a vast, crippling weight seemed to fall from his shoulders as he celebrated like a man posessed.Sergio’s Masters was your clear winner and you can’t argue with that. The poor lad had been waiting longer for his first major than someone who’d been waiting ages for something which kept not happening and then... (Stop it now – Ed)...
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 4)...
SERGIO’S MASTERS TRIUMPH
JORDAN SPEITH WINS THE OPEN
SUN HYUN PARK
BROOKS KOEPKA WINS US OPEN
JUSTIN THOMAS WINS USPGA
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
THE STAUNCHIES 2017 FASHION BRAND
Titleist Pro V1
rikey, you guys really love the Under Armour golf threads. 31% of you voted in favour of the US brand, with Swedish fashionistas J.Lindeberg runner-up with 17%. But, let’s face it, we’re all winners when we’ve got our fancy golf clobber on and are heading to the golf links.
nother Staunchie for Titleist and you could have bet your house on this being the result. The ProV remains the most trusted golf ball in the business, whether you’re choosing it because your level of play demands the best, or you’re teeing it up more in hope than expectation, with the expectation being that a freshly unwrapped ProV1 will not be seen again after your first tee shot. 41% combined voted for the Prov1 & ProV1X. New kids on the block TaylorMade TP5 have made inroads, while Callaway Chrome Soft continues to impress. It will be interesting to see what the voting looks like in 12 months time.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 5)... UNDER ARMOUR
MID-HANDICAPPER IRONS OF THE YEAR PING G400
ow, this was close, but the winner of the 2017 GolfPunk Mid-Handicapper Irons Of The Year is... Ping G400. Between Ping and Mizuno, they cornered 47% of the vote. PXG will be encouraged with taking a decent slice of the vote also.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 8)
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 5)... PING G400
CALLAWAY STEELHEAD XR
TITLEIST PRO V1
TITLEIST PRO V1X
SRIXON Z STAR/XV
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
BEST GOLF SHOE Footjoy Pro/SL
ou just can’t trouble them. 35% of your vote went to the world’s most established and trusted golf shoe brand. But there is real competition with 37% combined voting for adidas, PUMA and Ecco, while Nike and Skechers also make a good showing. Right now I’d settle for playing in a pair of flip-flops if the weather would just cheer up a bit!! Golf Shoe Of The Year 2017... Footjoy Pro/SL
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 3)... TAYLORMADE M2
CALLAWAY GBB EPIC / EPIC SUB ZERO 22%
TaylorMade Spider Tour
This is no surprise as the TaylorMade Spider Tour was the talk of the pro ranks in 2017. Scotty Cameron and Odyssey were always going to be in the mix but with the likes of Jason Day and world number one Dustin Johnson using the Spider and rolling the ball in for fun, it’s no wonder you have declared the 2017 Putter Of the Year to be... TaylorMade Spider Tour. Elsewhere in the voting, new kids on the block EVNROLL culled an impressive 16% of the votes for the ER7, while Odyssey and Scotty Cameron clearly had excellent years also.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 3)... TAYLORMADE SPIDER TOUR
SCOTTY CAMERON FUTURA
ODYSSEY 0-WORKS 7
OUTERWEAR Galvin Green
his was a straight shootout between Galvin Green and Under Armour, but Galvin ended up a comfortable winner with an impressive 36% of the votes. In bronze position is JL’s fellow Swedes Oscar Jacobson, with PUMA just behind them.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 5) GALVIN GREEN
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
BEST COMEBACK Tommy Fleetwood
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 5)...
t just goes to show you how popular Tommy Fleetwood is with the GolfPunk readers. Despite Tiger’s re-emergence in December, you voted TF as the clear winner in this category. 18 months ago he was something like 200 in the world. He’s now 12th. Now tha is a comeback.
BUNCH OF ARSE! Armchair Referees
was so hoping that you guys would give it both barrels to the madwoman from the TUI advert but you dutifully focussed on the golf and, whilst you are clearly livid with the R&A over their no-readmissions policy at the Open, you voted en masse to condemn TV armchair golf referees, specifically the person that waited until the next day (the final day of a major) to register their concerns about where Lexi had or hadn’t replaced her ball at the ANA Inspiration. Golf’s governing bodies have since declared that they will no longer accept such information. But that’s no consolation for Lexi who – even with the 2-shot penalty she received halfway through her final round for a misjudged placing – would still have won the tournament by a shot if it hadn’t been for the extra 2-shot penalty she received for unwittingly signing for the wrong score the day before. The world’s top golfers joined together in condemnation at the way it was all handled but Lexi trudged off in tears. Bunch Of Arse indeed.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 3)... THAT BERK WHO PHONE IN TO SAY HE THOUGHT LEXI’S BALL WAS NOT 100% ADJACENT TO HER ORIGINAL MARKER
THE R&A’S NO-READMISSIONS POLICY AT THIS YEAR’S OPEN
US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP FOR GIVING GOLF A BAD NAME
SWINGIN’ SIREN Paige Spiranac
ell, you’ve certainly all made your feelings clear in this department. Paige’s closest competitor was our Carly with 17% but your overwhelming Swingin Siren Of The Year is Paige Spiranac. Now signed up to PXG, Paige has turned golf social media into an art form with a combination of swing tips, insights into her daily routine and general tomfoolery. Paige is also committed to anti-bullying and is a spokesperson for The Cyber Smile Foundation. Paige has suffered at the hands of cyberbullies herself and has even been accused of being a ‘disgrace to golf ’. What a load of nonsense. Paige is a topnotch online influencer who is bringing a colourful, fun and empathetic approach to golf to a new audience. Paige Spiranac is good for the game. Paige Spiranac bombs it. Paige Spiranac is GolfPunk Swingin Siren Of the Year 2017.
HOW YOU VOTED (TOP 10)... PAIGE SPIRANAC
LILY MUNI HE
DENISE VAN OUTEN
MARK LEISHMAN WINNING AT BAY HILL
THE STAUNCHIES 2017
never really know what to make of it when Peter Alliss wins the GolfPunk Commentator of the Year Award. He does it every year, despite the fact the BBC have got virtually no golf TV rights. It doesn’t say much about what you guys think of Sky’s coverage. We always thought Sam Torrance should have been Alliss’s successor-elect. He’s funny, has a bag full of cracking anecdotes and has won multiple times on the European Tour. Plus he’s a Ryder Cup legend. But Sky obviously have other ideas. Nick Dougherty had a good showing as did David Feherty at CBS, whilst Radar (not on the grid below because we had to cut the list in edit) got himself 5% of the votes for at least trying to inject some humour into proceedings. Energy is not a word you would immediately associate with Peter Alliss. His is a languid – glass of port on the side, log fire on the go – approach. It is perfectly reasonable for him to ignore the golf completely and reminisce about some ne’erdowell pal of his called Sydney from his schooldays. Alliss has the playing credentials of course and was a staunch Ryder Cup player. But it is his no-nonsense, take it or leave it style that draws us in. Not to mention his rye observations and obsession with giving shout-outs to Colonel Pine-Coffin and his mates at Royal North Devon who are organising a golf jamboree or Turkey Bingo or whatever. It never ceases to tickle my funny bone. He used to drive me nuts when I was younger but I’ve grown to absolutely love him. Peter Alliss is our TV golf guilty pleasure and we’ll miss him if he decides the 2017 Masters was his last gig.
GOLF PUNK OF THE YEAR Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston
can see this result recurring for some time to come. Beef is the ultimate GolfPunk: Brilliant at golf (a given); funny; selfdeprecating; humble; generous and most definitely ‘one of us’. I followed Beef round the first two days at last year’s Shell Houston Open and his interaction with the crowd was quite simply wonderful. If there was a quicker way to get from green to the next tee, he’d duck under the ropes and walk with the fans, chatting and laughing before re-entering proside and getting his game face on before his next shot. It seemed like the ultimate GolfPunk thing to do: No airs and graces, no ‘them and us’, just Beef being Beef.
GolfPunk went to war with the Two Mikes on TalkSport in the summer after one of them had labelled Beef a ‘clown’ during the Open. What a genuinely unpleasant and misguided thing to say about a guy who just happens to be as close to ‘what you see is what you get’ as anyone in world sport. Beef can play. He won at Valderrama and only the finest players get to do that. He has thrilled us with his displays at US and British Opens, made us giggle like school kids with his antics while being interviewed by Valderrama the GP sock puppet, and he’s bought us a pint. Or three. Andrew Beef Johnston – GolfPunk Of The Year 2017.
THE TOP 10 GOLF PUNKS 0F 2017 SBEEF
SEE THE FULL WINNER’S LIST NOW AT GOLFPUNKHQ.COM
MARIA_ VERCHENOVA_ GOLF_ FITNESS//
Golfing Olympian Maria Verchenova didn’t get a reputation for being one of the longest hitters on the Ladies European Tour without getting her glutes in shape. We’re happy to introduce her as our GP Fitness Instructor. Over to you Maria…
Hi there GolfPunk readers! I’m Maria and I’m here to get you in shape to hit the ball farther than you ever have. First up is a great routine for getting your glutes stronger. The glutes are the most important part of the body used to get good distance with the shot and stop you getting up too quickly. Sometimes people say ‘I don’t feel my glutes’ and that’s because most of the time people don’t use their glutes, they use ham strings and legs but glutes are really hard to feel. So I’m going to show you an exercise that will really make you work your glutes.
So you lie on your back with bent knees, feet about six inches apart, and lift your glutes (bottom) up as high as you can. When you get your glutes up you tense them for a few seconds. If that’s too easy for you, straighten and lift one leg up. At the same time, you can also clasp your hands and extend them up so you are resting on your shoulders and one foot. Then raise and lower your bottom in this position, – don’t forget to breathe! Do this 10 times and change legs. You are going to do three repetitions with each leg so it’s going to really hurt! Cool, have fun! Photography: David Corbett Shot on location at PGA Catalunya Resort: www.pgacatalunya.com
GOLF FITNESS: GLUTES
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Published on Feb 23, 2018