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GOLFPUNK + MAGAZINE

Kaboom Town!

Top 10 New Drivers for 2018

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Natalie Gulbis

The GP Classic On The Comeback Trail

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Left Shoulder, Right Foot! How To Hit Longer Drives With Maria Verchenova

Planet Golf

Learjets, Whisky & Golf: GolfPunk Discovers Islay In Style

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GolfPorn

The Bonkers Bad Little 9

MONEYBALL THE INCREDIBLE LIFE STORY OF GOLF BILLIONAIRE BOB PARSONS ISSUE 03 | JUNE 2018


Faster Face

Machined maraging steel increases ball speed and doubles flexing, creating our longest, highest-flying iron to date.

Powerful Design

The hollow body and cavity geometry amplify flexing for big distance, a higher trajectory and extreme forgiveness.

VISIT A PING FITTING SPECIALIST OR PING.COM TODAY. © PING 2018


GOLFPUNK

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GOLFPUNK @GolfPunk_Mag

@golfpunkhq

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M A G A Z I N E

ISSUE III|JUNE 2018

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hat would you do if you became a billionaire? Bob Parsons decided to start his own golf company. He was crazy about the game and – truth be told – an absolute stone-walled golf geek. And so PXG was born. The Bob Parsons story is, quite simply, incredible. How he got from Baltimore (“as poor as a church rat”) to building the GoDaddy empire, via getting blown up fighting in Vietnam is the stuff of legend, a Herculean tale of triumph over adversity. Over 30 of his employees got over a million bucks when GoDaddy took off. One of the girls, who helped come up with the name, made $200m! But his real passion was golf. Well, an obsession really. So immersed in finding the latest, greatest equipment, Bob spent a staggering $350,000 on golf equipment in one year. Seriously. This is the absolute definition of ‘must read’. Elsewhere in the new mag we have the Return Of Natalie Gulbis courtesy of GolfPunk Classics; We pick 2018’s Best New Drivers; Colin Montgomerie and Gary Lineker go toe to toe in 007 Iron; GolfPunk takes a Learjet to the island of Islay to play the sensational Machrie Links, stay in luxury at Islay House and get very familiar with the islands finest whiskies; ‘PLUS: It’s all white sandy beaches, cocktails and caper as we go on a dream golf adventure to Mauritius. We’ve also got a new feature Most Wanted where we bring you some fancy stuff that may or may not be golf related, it just caught our eyes. And not forgetting our resident Instruction Goddess Maria Verchenova, who shows us how to hit it longer and straighter. It’s all about left shoulder-right foot apparently. Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the corking weather and getting plenty of golf in. Until next issue, enjoy the mag and … 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 JEFF RITTER 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

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IN THIS ISSUE...

G P D I G I T A L : I S S U E III

CONTENTS COVER STORY

THE GOLF BILLIONAIRE EXCLUSIVE BOB PARSONS INTERVIEW REGULARS

006 A QUICK LIVENER TOP 50 GOLFPUNKS: JACK NICKLAUS

018 GOLFJUNK PHOTO: GRAHAM KUHN

OUR FAVOURITE SHOP THIS MONTH'S BEST E-SHOP PICKS

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023 TOP 10

THE RETURN OF NATALIE GULBIS

041 PLANET GOLF

GP CLASSICS

WE PICK OUR TOP 10 DRIVERS

027 MOST WANTED

FEATURING THE BENTLEY GOLF BAG

042 DRIVING RANGE THE BMW X3

043 GOLF INSTRUCTION LEFT-SHOULDER RIGHT-FOOT – THE KEY TO LONG DRIVES

WWW.GOLFPUNKHQ.COM

GOLF & WHISKEY: 24 HOURS IN ISLAY & MAGNIFICENT MAURITIUS


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


A QUICK LIVENER

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IT’S GOLF... BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT!

TOP

50 GOLFPUNKS OF ALL TIME

HELP THE GRAVY...  The staff at Biggin Hill, especially Sally, who let us set up a golf course in the airport lounge when we were fog-bound for four hours Helping The It’s-The-Only-SensibleOption-When-There-Are-Golf-SticksHandy Gravy!!  Adam and JC at Sports Impact and Duca Del Cosma for sending the Ed a fancy pair of Duca golf shoes Helping The Fashion-Meets-TheFairway Gravy!

#6

JACK NICKLAUS

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don’t believe a few paragraphs can do justice to the magic this man performed in the game of Golf. Dubbed the ‘Golden Bear’ he really was golden in every sense of the word. After being involved in designing over 271 Golf Courses he has clearly left his mark on the world of course construction. Harbour Town Golf Links and Muirfield Village – which hosts the Memorial tournament – were just a few of the masterpieces he has been involved in. Oh, and don’t forget the 18 Major Championship wins and 73 Career Wins. Solid enough. He’s also an accomplished pilot and once had to make an emergency stop in none other than a farmer’s field! Imagine that, only the greatest golfer of all time landing in your back garden. ‘Play through, Jack’, is one of the pithy things you would have wished you’d said two hours after the event... One of his greatest moments on course was at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale. A young Tony Jacklin had a two foot putt to avoid the US team retaining the Ryder Cup and, despite invoking the fury of his team Captain and his nation, Nicklaus famously conceded the putt, saying to Jacklin afterwards: “I didn’t think you were going to miss that putt, but I didn’t want to give you the opportunity”, thus entering golfing folklore as one of the greatest moments of sportsmanship the game has ever witnessed. 

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 Tim from adidas golf for sending The Brigadier a pair of adidas Tour360 Boost shoes Helping The Time-To-Treat-YourTootsies-With-Some-QualityCloggers-Gravy!

BUNCH OF ARSE...  GDPR Bunch Of Wasting-Everyone’s-BloodyTime-For-No-Bloody-Good-BloodyReason Arse!!  People who suddenly start playing guitar and singing when you’re the only other person in the room Bunch Of Not-SureWhere-To-LookShould-You-Try-ToJoin-In-EvenThough-TheWholeThing-IsMaking-YouFeel-VeryUnusual? Arse!!


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A QUICK LIVENER


A QUICK LIVENER

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20 YARDS IN 10 MINUTES WITH JEFF RITTER

BUILD A LAUNCHING PAD

BOB PARSON'S

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e’ve all imagined designing our own golf course..., well, I have anyway, but it’s a stretch to think anyone could come up with anything like this. Welcome to The Bad Little Nine, a wild golf tapestry spread out over 1,000 yards in Scottsdale, Arizona. With an average distance of just 108 yards, it’s menace lies in the detail. And what detail... The course was built by no one other than our cover star, billionaire PXG founder Bob Parsons (who also founded GoDaddy.com) whose passion for golf led him to create the stunning line of highend golf clubs. He also bought Scottsdale National and has expanded the private club from 18 holes to 45, with a dramatic new 18-hole layout – The Other Course – which was unveiled last year along with The Bad Little Nine. Both courses were created by Jackson Kahn Design. Bob picks up the story: “They said to me, `You know Mr. Parsons, if we’re going to do this,

CLUB CLASSICS

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you’ve got to have a theme for the course that gives people a reason to play it. We can’t think of a better theme than making it incredibly difficult,’ They were dead right. This was all their idea. “Somebody comes here and brings a group; they’ll go play 18 or 36 holes and then at the end of the day they’ll grab some cocktails and go over to the par-3,” Parsons adds. “They’ll go over and they’ll laugh their asses off because it is so difficult. But if you make that one shot, you’re on top of the world.” The Bad Little Nine is littered with dangerous bunkers and wild humps, bumps and hollows, crowned off by tricky mounds right in the middle of greens which require telescopic precision in order to stay on the dance floor. If you do manage to stay on the green you’d be very unlucky to face a long putt, as the putting areas are often no bigger than a gym mat. 

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High-Skore Golf Ball

icking over the random slice of sporting history thrown up on Google, it’s possible to find many different High-Skore sporting goods produced in different eras and corners of the world. There’s a 1978 instruction manual for a snooker/billiards game, paddleball racquets, ping-pong bats and balls, ten-pin bowling balls and shoes. There’s also several mentions of our latest sub-quid

eBay prize, the Solid State High-Skore Golf-Ball, which comes proudly emblazoned with its very own guarantee of quality: “Made in Korea.” You can almost picture the ads in the Far East’s golf mags of the 80s: “You Too Can Shoot An Amazing HighSkore!” “Play High-Skore And It’s All Downhill, Right From The First Tee.” That’s downhill as in effortless and inviting. Obviously. 

A powerful swing needs a powerful base. When playing a driver, adopt a stance slightly wider than normal. Play your ball forward off the front heel. Finally, tee it high to let it fly. The “Hot Spot” on most new drivers in nearer the top of the clubface. A high tee height will assist with the club’s launch and carry capabilities.

STRONG GRIP = STRONG FLIGHT

Most recreational players have a “weak grip” where the hands are turned too far to the left on the grip at address. Guess what? A weak grip creates a weak flight. For more power, adopt a stronger grip where both hands are turned a little more the right hand side of the club. Strong grip = Strong hit. It’s as simple as that.

LET IT RIP

To generate more speed, makes some swings with your club elevated as if you were hitting a ball waist high. Soften your arms and make a series of swings with some zip. Each swing should be faster than the one before it, really trying to feel some handspeed and snap though impact. The louder the “swish” the faster the speed and farther your shot will carry. Place the clubhead behind the ball and make the same motion. 


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GOLF PORN


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SCOTTSDALE NATIONAL, AZ The Bad Little Nine at Scottsdale National GC


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DR BOB... THE GOLF BILLIONAIRE Bob Parsons has made billions from the Godaddy group he founded in 1997. So when – against all the odds – you’ve made it, I mean really made it… what do you do? You set up your own golf company and determine to make the best golf clubs in the world. They call him Dr Bob Parsons, and this is his, and PXG’s, incredible story…


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EXPERIENCE IS KIND OF LIKE A YOUNG GUY WALKING INTO JAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME.YOU LEARN A LOT OF LESSONS”

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y name is Bob Parsons, I’m the founder, CEO, Chairman and chief janitor of PXG, Parsons Xtreme golf. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. I grew up in Baltimore, poor as a church rat. My mum and dad were gamblers. Someone,q who doesn’t make much money, as a gambler, they end up having no money. I learned fractions from my mother showing me how to read the racing form. I was a terrible student. I failed the fifth grade.There was a clerical fluke and I somehow I ended up going into the sixthgrade. My pals, who had also failed saw me in the sixth-grade queue, and they were like “WTF?” I’ve been lucky like that ever since. I was failing most of my subjects in high school, except for gym, and lunch, and lunch wasn’t graded. Two friends of mine approached me in the locker room one day and they said “We're going to talk to the Marine Corps recruitment, come down with us?” So I went down and joined up. If any of you have a child struggling through school, the military might be a neat trick to get them through it. I served in Vietnam with the Marine Corps rifle company. In early 1969 I was in the bush for a month, then I was wounded. I hit a tripwire walking at night. I was evacuated to Japan. I recovered and I was reassigned to Marine Corps Intelligence. I was a Courier for the rest of the war, much safer. I got a job in a steel mill when I left the army. I quickly decided I didn't want to do that anymore. There was a program for people who had served in the military to go to college,

grades didn’t matter, and the government even paid your tuition. So I went to the University of Baltimore. They asked me what I wanted to major in, but I didn't know, I was the first person in my family to go to college. I opened the book and the first major in the book was accounting. He said “are you good with maths” and I said "I'm good at fractions." I’d like to think if I'd opened the book backwards I’d have been a zoologist. I came out the Marine Corps a different man. I understood discipline. If you have a commitment, whatever it takes, you see it through, doesn’t matter if you like it or not. I did rather well in college, graduating magna cum laude. None of my friends could believe it, and I became a certified accountant. I found myself in California to evaluate a company and went to the Stanford University bookstore. This was in 1975 when personal computers were just beginning. I bought a book on basic programming language. It just so happened to be computer programming. I had 12 hours to kill before the flight. I read the book and wrote my first computer program on that flight back to Baltimore. We actually had a computer terminal in our office that I could get this program to work with. I finally got it to work and I would write programs to help me in my work. It became my hobby. By 1984 my software was good enough to sell. I named it Money Counts. When you go into business for the first time, particularly when you don't have anyone guiding you, your experience is kind of like a young guy walking into jail for the first time. You learn a lot of lessons. 


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I had $15,000, all the money I had in the world, I put it into this business. I priced my software at the same price as everyone else, $149. Lost my whole $15,000. The next year I kept improving my software and managed to scrabble together $25,000 from credit cards and I put it into the business. Dropped the price to $49. And lost it all. There was this little computer magazine called Computer Bargain Line, out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. If you can find Fort Dodge on a map you're very good. They had an ad for the front page of the magazine for sale. Should have been $15,000, they offered it for $5,000. Even though I always lost money, I'd always paid my bills on time. So they thought I had a lot of cash. I took the deal and had an ad made up. It said “Money Counts, but it only costs 12 bucks”. I'd dropped the price to $12. I got rid of all the protection, I said if you want to make copies do it, give it away, fine. Do anything you want. But it's $12. And it worked. I doubled my money. And then I started buying big ads. Big ads make you look like you've got some significance, and people believe in you. And in 1984 I made $287,000. I quit my real job and started working full time on it. Ten years later, I decided to sell the company, it had grown to 1000 people, and $100,000,000 in sales. We decided if we could get $40 million we would accept it. A company called Intuit offered me $60 million. I didn't go to Harvard, but I knew enough to tell them I was insulted. Got the price up to $64 million and sold. I got divorced, she got more than half and I moved to Arizona. l In 1997 I used the money that I had to start Jomax Technologies. All I knew was I wanted to be involved in the internet. I hired some smart people and we tried a bunch of different things. We found that building other people's websites was making money. As we started doing this, in 98, 99, people were asking me, rather than spend $10,000 on building a website couldn't they pay less and build it themselves? And that made sense. We built that software and it's sold to this day. But we couldn't get anyone to buy it back then.


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THERE WAS A GUY MY AGE PARKING MY CAR, HAPPY AS A LARK, AND I THOUGHT THIS GUY’S PARKING CARS AND AS HAPPY AS CAN BE. I’VE GOT $6M AND I’M MISERABLE. IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT I CAN ALWAYS PARK CARS OR WORK THE CRAPS TABLE"

Domain name companies were expensive. So we decided to start our own, and then we could sell the software to them as well. We decided to change the name from Jomax Technologies to a name more easily remembered. After about 500 names and a little bit of Bourbon, someone goes “how about FatDaddy”. "BigDaddy?" And then someone brought up this go command that AOL used. GoDaddy was available. We bought it as a joke. Told everyone the next day we're going to call the company GoDaddy.com. The first domain name we sold was called GhettoJustice! When I first started GoDaddy I had $35,000,000 in the bank. When I got down to $6 million in 2000 I decided I'd close the company down. There wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel, I still had $6 million, and you can do a lot with $6 million. I decided to take a trip for a week to Hawaii to figure it all out. I had an epiphany there. There was a guy my age parking my car, happy as a lark, and I thought this guy's parking cars and as happy as can be. I've got $6 million and I'm miserable. If it doesn't work out I can always park cars or work the craps table Something later that year changed everything. The dotcom

bubble burst. When that happened, GoDaddy was born. Company after company folded. I had more friends than I thought I had because I was one of the few guys paying his bills. I still had $6 million. We turned the corner that October and the company has never missed a month of being profitable. So a lot of people got to me, where did you learn to program a computer? Stanford. By 2004 we had a $10,000,000 war chest to grow the company. We decided it was time to do a SuperBowl ad. The ad had to get their attention. It was the year after Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction and exposed her nipple to millions of people at the Superbowl. So they were pretty strict about risque ads. Most of ours was shot from the back. Her cleavage is blurred. You see nothing in this ad. Right after they approve it the guys from Fox Sports says you want to buy another ad? He cuts me a smoking deal, I don't have time to cut another so I run the same ad. It's now approved twice in writing. The ad ran the first time. Then we get a call saying the NFL have complained about it being too racy. The ad got replaced with a Simpson’s trailer. 


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My staff were stomping around. I turned to my chief operating guy and said “Could we be this lucky? This has never happened before." I wrote a blog article that night, it got picked up all over the world. All TV stations ran the ad that got censored, every radio station played it, it was in the newspapers. And every story told their readers what GoDaddy did. Our market share went from 16% to 25%. Today GoDaddy's market share is over 70% worldwide. In 2011 I did a deal with GoDaddy that valued the company at 2 and a quarter billion dollars. Over 30 of my employees got over a million bucks. One of the girls who helped come up with the name GoDaddy, she got over $200 million. I'm still the single largest shareholder. I started investing in other things. My company is called YAM Worldwide. It's an acronym for a term we use in Baltimore which means You're A Mess. Employees love it. We are worth $2.4 Billion and have no debt. We have 15 ventures. We own the largest Harley Davidson dealership in the world. It's 150,000 square feet. It has a wedding chapel, I married the first couple. I went online to get ordained, it cost me $5. It's got a tattoo and piercing studio, lingerie boutique, it's got a cinema, a photography studio. All that and it sells motorcycles. There's also the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation. My wife and I have given away $127 million dollars over the last 5 years to charity. Everything I've ever accomplished I owe to the Marine Corps. I can tell you as long as I've got a dime they'll get a nickel. For the past several years we've given them $10,000,000 a year. I've always been a golf fanatic. When I got successful the first time, I took the game up with some of my colleagues. I got to be about a 10 handicap. What I noticed was if I had the right equipment it made a difference.


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MY FRIENDS HAD FANCY CARS. I HAVE BUDDIES WHO ARE BIG GAMBLERS. ME? I'D SPEND MY MONEY ON GOLF CLUBS. I'D BUY WHATEVER CAME OUT. I'D TRY IT AND I COULD TELL IN A FEW SWINGS WHETHER IT SHOWED ANY PROMISE OR NOT. IF IT DIDN'T I'D GIVE IT AWAY.

My friends had fancy cars. I have buddies who are big gamblers. Me? I'd spend my money on golf clubs. I'd buy whatever came out. I'd try it and I could tell in a few swings whether it showed any promise or not. If it didn't I'd give it away. I was spending $200,000-$250,000 on new clubs. The last year before PXG I pulled all the bills, it was $350,000. Someone asked me how I spent that much on golf equipment. I said with cheques and credit cards. The cycle of quick upgrades didn't deliver on their promises. Sometimes they did, but often they were just new clubs. I had the idea that it would be neat to make clubs that were really better. I own Scottsdale National, it's one of the finest clubs in the US. It has a lot of wealthy members. As I got to know them and their golf, I realised if I could I could give them 10 yards on their drive, they'd do anything I asked them! They'd paint themselves blue and break dance in the street for 10 yards! Just by knowing them I thought that there was a market for PXG. I was tight with a guy named Mike Nicolette who worked at Ping and I talked to him and said “Mike, if I start a company where we can make golf equipment and really spend whatever we need to make it better and you can take as much time as you want to take, do you think we can make a big difference?” He said “It'll be sure as hell fun to try”. So him and Ping's lead engineer, Brad Schweigert came onboard. In our first year they had a non-compete with Ping and were not allowed to do any club design work. So they designed a golf ball. Our ball wasn't bad but the best ball we found, distance, control, dispersion, was the Titleist Pro v1x. There is not a better golf ball on this planet. One day I asked them, "What you doing? “We're seeing how far you can hit a golf ball off a 3 ft tee with a frying pan at the end of a six-foot pipe.” The answer is apparently 400 yards. We decided to start with irons and the guys wanted some direction. "I want to see an iron that looks like a blade, that has

little offset, a touch larger, very sexy to look at. It should hit the ball further, but without the lofts being jacked up, it needs to go higher. It ought to feel wonderful, it needs a huge sweet spot and it must be incredibly forgiving. "They go “Is that it?” We made the irons hollow. But without anything in there you needed a solid face. The ball went like hell, but the club felt like shit. I was thinking fill it with urethane like the cover of a golf ball but they came up with a Thermoplastic polymer. It was our breakthrough. And that's our current 0311 series irons. They brought a set to me and they asked “how will customers know that our sets are worth the money that we'll ask for them?” And I said “they'll hit them.” When we release a product it will be the best product available. The market for PXG is much bigger than I'd ever realised. We will have people fly into Scottsdale in private jets, come over to the club and get fitted, buy four sets for the different courses they play at. They don't even ask what it costs. You know what that percentage of that trip is the golf clubs? Not much. I had two guys fly in from India. They're the record holders. My dad told me when I was a young guy and I first started dating, “The number one thing you want to look for in a girlfriend, is that you want one that likes you.” All out Tour pros have come to us and liked our clubs. How do I judge success? By the satisfaction of our customers when they turn to me and they hit it and they have that ‘wow’ moment. I've had a text from an A list celebrity recently. It read “I've just hit your irons. Wow man. Fucking wow man. I mean Wow wow wow.” I can tell you we are working on our second generation irons. It's difficult making them better. It looks like we're going to have to spend some money on it to make a set of irons that are significantly better. But then we’re PXG, nobody makes golf clubs the way we do.


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GOLFPUNK

GOLF JUNK

GOLF_JUNK //

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OUR FAVOURITE SHOP EDITED BY DAN OWEN

There’s so much awesome new golfjunk out there that we decided to put each month's 10 most eyecatching items into our favourite golf emporium. Dive on in…

ADIDAS BOOST CROSS KNIT 2.0 GOLF SHOES (RRP £119) Adidas always make cool looking and ultra comfortable golf shoes and Boost Cross Knit 2.0 is a splendid new addition to the range. Created on a “running” shoe platform with full-foot boost and a “spikeless” outsole, these are as light as a feather and perfect for wearing on and off the golf course with an ultra modern aesthetic and golf specific performance. The unique CIRCLEKNIT upper has been especially engineered to provide lightweight breathability and comfort through the enhanced stretch, while lateral stability is still on offer with the elasticated closure bands. The iconic Adi Boost cushioning ensures maximum comfort for all day use, while the strategically placed traction nodules provide just as much grip as any other spikeless golf shoe on the market. The soft fitfoam ankle bootie fits you like a sock. Lovely stuff.

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GOLF JUNK: OUR FAVOURITE SHOP

CALLAWAY XR SPEED DRIVER (RRP £339) Callaway’s new X Face VFT X Face VFT is the latest evolution of Callaway’s VFT (Variable Face Thickness) designed to maximise ball speeds across the entire face. X Face VFT is the lightest, most flexible and hottest face Callaway has produced. Carbon Composite Crown To Increase MOI The inclusion of a carbon composite crown on XR Speed is 45% lighter vs the XR 16 titanium crown, which significantly improves the mass properties and lowers the centre of gravity for improved forgiveness with increased distance. Faster head speed from a refined Speed Step Refined aerodynamic efficiency with improved airflow over and around the head thanks to the latest Speed Step for faster club head speeds. Ultra-premium shaft as standard One of the most premium aftermarket shafts available (used in the super-premium Epic Driver), the Project X HZRDUS shaft is now available in the new XR Speed Driver.

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3 SHOT SCOPE V2 GPS WATCH (RRP £225) The innovative new Shot Scope V2 combines advanced GPS technology with industry-leading automatic performance tracking to give users the ultimate golf watch. And there are now even more reasons to locve the Shot Scop V2 as they have released a new firmware update with enhanced features to improve the V2 watch. V2 will now provide golfers with dynamic front and back distances to bunkers and water hazards in addition to its existing front, middle and back of the green GPS distances. In addition to the improved GPS technology, Shot Scope has relaunched the Performance Dashboard as part of the update, which allows golfers to review their automatically tracked performance data on an interactive and immersive platform. Shot Scope’s Performance Dashboard features great statistics such as your “Never up, Never in” putting percentage and the breakdown of your short-game shots which make it into the “red zone”, enhancing functionality to help golfers understand their weaknesses. All you’ve got to do now is get out there. New Advanced Penalty Identification allows golfers to classify a penalty on their watch during the round, reducing time spent editing scores post-round. Users can also flag a provisional shot, which starts a five-minute timer to search for a lost ball.

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GOLF JUNK: OUR FAVOURITE SHOP

PING GLIDE 2.0 STEALTH WEDGES (RRP £130.00) At the end of the day, choosing your wedges comes down to how you feel when you have one in your hands. Do you immediately like the cut of their gyb? Well, the gyb-factor went through the ceiling when we got our mitts on the PING Glide 2.0 Stealths. The look and feel is pure liquid golf. The 8620 carbon steel head and precision-milled grooves deliver a softer feel and higher-spinning shots for greater control. The tour-inspired Stealth finish, which yields less glare and makes the head appear smaller, is applied using a QPQ (Quench Polish Quench) process for added durability. This wedge fits the game and the eye of players for whom performance and appearance go hand in hand. In other words, spin it like you mean it.

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J.LINDEBERG SLATER BRIDGER BELT £65.00

The slater 40 pro belt, a true J.Lindeberg classic. Made in Italy, this leather belt is out of the highest standard materials and features the Signature JL buckle in a 40mm size.

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COBRA KING FORGED TEC BLACK IRONS (5-GW RRP £799) COBRA Golf has introduced its KING Forged TEC Black irons with softer feel, improved power and a new, dark finish, which are now available in a traditional variable or ONE length set make-up.  Utilizing a dynamic combination of cutting-edge face, finish and feel technologies, the KING Forged TEC Black irons provide golfers with the ideal balance of form, function, distance and feel. Like all 2018 COBRA KING equipment introductions, the KING Forged TEC Black will feature the innovative COBRA CONNECT™ Powered by Arccos System providing Tour level analytics that help players gain insight into their game so they can make smarter, data-driven decisions and improve faster.  Electronically embedded sensors in the grip automatically record the distance and accuracy of every shot so golfers can track their improvements round-toround. The fully connected set works in conjunction with the award-winning Arccos 360 smartphone application, which provides advanced rangefinder GPS distances for more than 40,000 courses. And you can’t say fairer than that!

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VOLVIK VIVID LITE GOLF BALLS (RRP £40) Volvik, the market leader in multi-coloured performance golf balls, is expanding its highly successful VIVID golf ball range with the introduction of two more balls offering even greater spin and feel – the new VIVID Lite and VIVID Soft. Unlike the penetrating colours of the pioneering multi-coloured VIVID balls, the latest 3-piece premium balls from Volvik feature a new Soft Feel Matte Technology and exclusive Technicolour the VIVID Lite in bright shades of orange, pink, yellow & blue and VIVID Soft in pink, green & white. The VIVID Lite is a true multi-performance golf ball. It offers golfers with a clubhead speed between 50-80 mph a mid-high trajectory and improved visibility – resulting in  straighter ball flight and accurate dispersion off the tee. The 85 compression ball features 322 dimples and also provides mid-high spin to attack the flag and achieve complete control around the green.

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GOLF JUNK: OUR FAVOURITE SHOP

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TAYLORMADE SPIDER TOUR RED PUTTER (RRP £279.00) Designed for Jason Day and adopted by a host of his fellow pro tour players including Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm, the Taylormade Spider Tour Red putter is the talk of the tour. The putter is deigned to provide great stability and help with distance control, especially on long putts. The way the Spider is set up means you may not even have to hit your best roll on short putts to see them drop.  And they look like filth...

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PING QUINN POLO (RRP £35) Nice and punchy, this polo will give you the look of a man who’s just vanquished his nemesis 7&6, walked into the bar and declared the drinks are on him. His opponent, that is… On the technical side, this is a colour blocked baby pique polo shirt, including rib collar with contrast tipped edge and piping on the back shoulder panels. Performance properties include moisture moving, quick dry and stretch. Nice.

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TOP 10 drivers Words: Dan Owen

TOP 10 DRIVERS Welcome to Kaboom Town Central. Time to get yourself a new big dog. Here we bring you the 10 best new drivers for 2018.

WILSON C300 (RRP £349) The C300 driver looks fantastic with its Deep Matte Red finish, and features four power holes – two on the sole and two on the crown – spaced towards the heel and toe of the 460cc clubhead. Wilson Golf claims this increases the overall Face Deflection and adds seven yards in extra distance. The heel and toe Power Holes combined with new Reactive Face Technology provide greater balanced performance across the entire club face. With its three adjustable weights, the driver can be set for neutral, fades, or draws.

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GOLFPUNK

TOP 10 drivers

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CLEVELAND LAUNCHER HB (RRP £279)

The Launcher was always an absolutely beautiful driver behind the ball, with a classic pear shape. And the new Launcher HB is no exception. They’ve added a version of the Hi-Bore dropdown crown that helps increase ball speed by flexing at impact, and we think it helps for alignment too. The Launcher HB uses a cup-face design, where Cleveland have attached the face by welding it on around the side of the head. We find this helps the driver achieve more forgiveness across the face. A unique FlexFin design on the sole compresses at impact and transfers more energy back to the ball for longer drives, especially on miss-hits.

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VERTICAL GROOVE (RRP £399)

The most unique-looking driver on the market at the moment, the Verical Groove Golf driver has proven its chops on the Champions Tour, with wins from John Daly and Kenny Perry (US Open). Deep-faced and squat front to back, it’s smaller looking than most drivers. However, the two-tone crown looks great at address and is super easy to line up with the long green alignment aid. The real story is the Vertical Grooves which are designed to increase accuracy by reducing side spin. It’s a low-spinning monster for big hitters.

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TAYLORMADE M3 & M4 (RRP £479 & £369)

TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology rethinks the way driver faces are designed to help everyone hit the ball straighter. Twist Face is featured in both the new M3 & M4 drivers, and is TaylorMade’s solution for golfers’ most common misses. Specifically, those resulting from shots hit high on the toe, and low on the heel. They’ve moved the bulge and roll on the face diagonally, so the face is more open, with more loft high on the toe and less loft and closed low on the heel. Both models feature a carbon crown while the M3 features a Y-track movable weight system for fine-tuning launch and spin.

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TOP 10 drivers

COBRA F8 (RRP £329)

The Cobra F8 drivers are digitally connected with their Cobra Connect sensor powered by Arccos. Automaticatically tracking your stats and relaying them to your mobile, you’ll have hard quantifiable data to help you realise where you need to improve on the course. More obvious technology at first glance, though, is the CNC milled driver face. Not just form over function, the fully-machined driver face utilises a unique multi-directional CNC milling pattern that delivers the highest level of precision. Compared to traditional drivers, CNC precision milling allowed COBRA engineers to achieve precise face thickness and tighter tolerances, resulting in a face that is 3% thinner and 10% lighter for maximum ball speed across the face with distance and accuracy.

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MIZUNO ST180 (RRP £399)

The Mizuno ST180 is a change of direction for Mizuno. Rather than concentrating on maximum adjustability, the focus is on raw low-spin power. The Amplified Wave sole has been used on fairways and hybrids, but this is the first time it’s been used in the big dog. Essentially it concertinas at impact, compressing, and then expanding to increase energy and deliver more ball speed to your drives. On top of that, weight is moved low and forward in the head, which massively drops spin rates. Featuring a Forged SP700 Ti multi-thickness face – according to Mizuno – it’s noticeably faster off the face. Internally, a waffle crown design saves weight that can be added low in the clubhead.

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PXG 0811X (RRP £875)

PXG don’t just introduce drivers for product cycles, they release them when they feel there is a significant improvement. PXG added a patented honeycomb TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) insert in this driver. A high-performance compound with vibration-dampening characteristics, TPE enhances sound and feel. The honeycomb structure increases efficiencies and helps to reduce the overall clubhead mass. An ultra-strong, lightweight carbon fibre crown allows the weight to be repositioned in the sole of each club for optimal launch conditions. The matte black crown also reduces reflections and helps to eliminate distractions.

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GOLFPUNK

TOP 10 drivers

PING G400 MAX (RRP £389)

This driver does exactly what is says on the tin – it’s the G400 maxed-out. With the G400 they made the decision to make the head a little smaller to help with aerodynamics, and potentially increase swing speed. And it was still the most forgiving driver Ping had ever produced. But they knew they could do more. The G400 Max is a full 460cc and is designed for maximum forgiveness. Its MOI (Moment Of Inertia) is higher than the standard G400, which was already the highest on the market. The small amount of distance you might have lost out on the occasional perfect drive with a G400, you’ll make up with the G400 Max as it’s so damn easy to hit straighter consistently.

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CALLAWAY ROGUE (RRP £469)

Ping and TaylorMade are trying to sell a straighter drive this year. Callaway are still talking distance. Epic, with its Jailbreak tech, was a huge hit, but Rogue moves it up a step. They’ve made the Jailbreak rods behind the face lighter by thinning them out in the centre, but without losing the strength and stability they add to the head for longer drives. They’ve also removed the sliding weight that was present in the Epic. By saving the weight they can move elsewhere in the head for maximum forgiveness. If you need a draw-biased head they now offer a Rogue Draw, while there is also the low-spin Rogue Sub Zero, so Callaway still has something for everyone. 

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MOST WANTED

★★★★★

MOST WANTED

★★★★★

A RUMMAGE ROUND SOME FANCY CUPBOARDS…

BENTLEY GOLF BAG (RRP £2,300.00)

European luxury car manufacturer Bentley makes more than just cars. Not too long ago they entered the golf game and offer a wide variety of clubs and accessories. One of which is this golf bag which is almost as luxurious as their automobiles. It features ultra-soft premium waterproof leather and zipper pockets for maximum storage.

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golfpunk

most wanted

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★★★★★ PURE EVOKE DIGITAL RADIO (RRP £199)

If Apple did digital radios… Nice, retro DAB with tuner, an FM tuner and Bluetooth – so get your phone out and start wiggling. The sound is bassy and loud.

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ETIQUS (RRP £179 - £299)

Etiqus, the British brand of patented, quality timepieces exclusively for golfers. Check out the face design and other nice features. All ETIQUS watches are beautifully designed with Swiss made movements and sapphire crystal glass as standard, and come in a choice of 72 different models across five collections for both men and women. Thanks to ETIQUS’ e-business ethos, customers can enjoy a high-quality golf timepiece for between £179 and £299… around the price of a driver.

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GP CLASSICs

S

GPCLASSICS

THE RETURN OF NATALIE G U L B I S

he got herself to World Number 19 in 2006 but Natalie Gulbis made her mark in more ways than one. She brought a much welcomed sassy attitude and provocative approach to the women’s game. She even had her own calendar which upset a lot of golf’s more conservative types. On top of that she won o ver $1million dollars in her fifth year on the LPGA and continued to blaze it up winning close to that figure a further three times. She had seven top 10s in the majors and won the Evian Masters in 2007. After a series of back injuries saw her drop down the world rankings in recent years, Natalie was more often seen and heard commentating. It got so bad she even contemplated retiring last year but, three bouts of back surgery later, the 35-yearold made her first cut in three years at the HUGEL-JTBC L.A. Open. Her final round 68 (the third best on Sunday) got her into a tie for 42nd place and demonstrated that the fire is still burning. “There’s a lot of things I still can’t do,” Gulbis said. “I can’t practice as much. I’ve never seen a range ball I didn’t wanna hit, but now I have to have different discipline. My workouts are different. I have to be smarter. Everything I do has to have a purpose.” Gulbis and her coach Butch Harmon have decided to organise her schedule as a “mini season.” This was the first event, and in the coming weeks she will continue to play consecutive events. After her impressive final round at Wilshire, there are a lot of positives Gulbis can focus on. “Win a tournament, that’s my only goal,” Gulbis says. “I love to compete, that’s the only reason I do it. It’s my only motivation.” Welcome back, Nat!. 

Shot 1: Own label for Adidas, black studded belt by Golddigga.Shot 2: Gold glittery hoody top by Golddigga, denim jean skirt by Urban Stone, wedge shoes by Vic Mattie.Shot 3: Black vest top by Red or Dead, black frill denim skirt by Fabric of Life, belt by Stoned & Waisted, wedge shoes byVic Mattie. Hair and Make up: Bea Burton using Dermalogica and Paul Mitchell. Thanks to theBali Hai Golf Club, 5160 Las Vegas Blvd, South Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA.


THE RETURN OF NATALIE GUBLIS

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I’M COMFORTABLE WITH MY IMAGE AND THE THINGS I DO OFF THE COURSE. PEOPLE SAY I’M MAKING GOLF SEXY. GOLF IS COOL, GOLF IS SEXY. AS LONG AS I’M HAVING FUN DOING WHAT I’M DOING THEN I’M HAPPY.

D AT E : M A R C H 1 S T 2 0 0 5 L O C AT I O N : B A L I H A I G O L F C L U B , LAS VEGAS PHOTOGRAPHY: GRAHAM KUHN S T Y L I N G : N ATA L I E N I C O L A O U INTERVIEW: IESTYN GEORGE


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P L A N E T G O L F : I S L AY

PHOTOS: DAVID CORBETT

24 HOURS W O R D S :

W

e are the guests of Stratajet, which was created by former RAF Tornado pilot, Jonny Nicol, to revolutionise the private jet market. Jonny recognised that the private jet market was intrinsically inefficient, as many jets dropped their passengers at their desired destination, and then returned back to their base passenger-less. Jonny calls this the ‘empty leg’, and he set out to find a solution to this problem.  And his solution was Stratajet, a business dedicated to transforming how we think about and engage with private jets. That’s all well and good but it must cost a fortune,

J O H N

D E A N

right? Think again. If you have a group of 4-8 golfers, the trip will cost you no more than if you took a commercial flight. Plus, there is no hanging around in queues, you simply rock up at the airport (Biggin Hill in Kent was our location), announce yourself to the staff and get on the plane. Your clubs go in the hold and, when you get to your destination, a car will be waiting on the runway to pick you up. We were above the clouds in seconds, the 8-seater jet seamlessly powering its way through the UK fog. Time to crack open the champagne and daydream about nailing that first drive at Machrie. Islay (pronounced ‘Isla’) is a bit of a

&

T I M

S O U T H W E L L

paradox in that is both remote, and yet accessible. It’s only 137 miles as the crow flies from Glasgow Airport, but you can’t fly direct from anywhere else in the UK on a commercial flight – you have to fly into Glasgow and get a connecting flight to Islay. And that adds both time and cost.  So, with a clear run at it, you could be on the tee in less than two hours, depending on where you are based. There’s nothing cooler than disembarking from your learjet after an 80-minute stressfree flight and hopping into a waiting taxi. Especially when that taxi is taking you straight to the Machrie Links, a five-minute drive from the airport. 


032

As 24-hour whirlwind golf trips go, this is about as good as it gets. We’re flying to the beautiful island of Islay, the southern most of the Inner Hebrides, to play the magnificent Machrie Links, drink fine single malt whiskies and eat like kings at the splendid Islay House Hotel. And we’re going by Learjet...

ON ISLAY “

THE WINDS TEARS THROUGH YOU LIKEA 747 JET TAKING OFF ON THE MORE EXPOSED HOLES, WHILE YOU SUDDENLY FIND YOURSELF IN VIRTUAL SILENCE WHEN YOU’RE IN ONE OF THE MANY ROLLING VALLEYS AND TROUGHS. .


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P L A N E T G O L F : I S L AY When you talk to people who’ve played the Machrie Links, they tend to go all misty-eyed and romantic. It’s my first time and as soon as I walked onto the first tee I already kind of knew why golfers love this place so much. It might be blowing a gale (even the locals were kind enough to say it was ‘lively out there’) but whenever your first shot looks out to the ocean you’re immediately in love. The Machrie Links is situated on Laggan Bay and was designed by Willie Campbell in 1891 (three years before he emigrated to the USA to become the first pro at Brookline). It was modified in the 1970s by Donald Steel to make it more challenging. These links give you the feeling that you are literally on the edge of the world. Until very recent alterations, Machrie had more blind shots than any other golf course in the world. It was always considered a ‘throw-back’, a golf course that belonged to another, simpler time. And that was, apparently, very much part of its magic. Unfortunately, the course and accompanying hotel fell into financial difficulties in 2011. The resort (terribly run down as it was) was bought by Gavyn Davies (former global chief economist for Goldman Sachs & chairman of the BBC) and his wife Sue Nye (formerly Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s right hand woman). They paid about £2million for it but lord only knows how much money they have pumped in since. Whatever, we should all be very grateful that they stepped in to resurrect this wonderful place. The new hotel is a matter of months away from completion and will have over 50 bedrooms, making it Machrie’s biggest hotel by some distance and making Machrie an even more bona fide destination for golfers, whisky freaks, bird watchers and travellers in general. Halfway down the first fairway we are joined by Machrie’s Director of Golf, former Muirfield greenkeeper Dean Muir, who talks us through the changes to the course, made by ex-European tour pro DJ Russell, with some help from Ian Woosnam and Dean himself.

IT’S MY FIRST TIME AND AS SOON AS I WALKED ONTO THE FIRST TEE I ALREADY KIND OF KNEW WHY GOLFERS LOVE THIS PLACE SO MUCH"


034

STRATAJET How on earth do they make the price so affordable? The clever stuff lies in the algorithm that Jonny Nicol has created. The algorithm factors in over 2.5 million different computations to identify the flight that is right for you. In Europe alone, there are 4,437,432 different airfield combinations meaning the odds of finding an empty leg travelling from your location to where you want to go is basically zero. Unless you go to Stratajet.com.

CLICK FOR MORE 

“It’s turned into a very new golf course,” Dean says. “The old holes were played at from very different directions. We’re using seven of the original green sites so a lot of what was there is being used in a different way. “At first we thought of building a golf course within a golf course and keeping the original,” adds Dean. “But the magic of Machrie is its solitude. I believe we’ve embellished that. It’s taken the best part of three years to put it together. The views are so improved, because we have been able to raise the golf course up onto higher levels.” Islay is Scotland’s secret Jamaica - OK the weather isn’t quite the same, although it does have its own Gulf Stream micro-climate, but there are distinct parallels, and I say that as someone who lived in Jamaica for three years. Part of it is simply island living, and the sense of being cut off from the mainland, which creates its own, different pace of life. That’s a key paradox of Islay - it’s remote, yet surprisingly accessible. It does require you to make an effort to get there, for which you will be well rewarded. But there is now the Stratajet work around.  With a population if just 3,200, there is a bit of mañana time on Islay, but that’s not to say that the island doesn’t deliver great service. First and foremost, everybody is chilled out, and super-friendly. It’s a place to check-in your own ego and enjoy the company of the Islay islanders. 


035

P L A N E T G O L F : I S L AY

I S LAY WH ISK EY Islay has indeed become a place of pilgrimage for whisky aficionados from across the world, with the USA in particular leading the way. They come to experience at first hand the wonders of the eight different distilleries that are based on this island of only 620 square kilometres. Yes, there’s Laphroaig, which is one of the best known Islay malts, with a reputation for its strong peaty flavour, with more than a hint of iodine. It has 40 parts of peat per million, but if you’re staying at Islay House and you ask nicely Calum can serve you one with 300 parts per million! Other famous Islay whiskies waiting to be sampled include Lagavulan, Bowmore, and Ardbeg but with the whisky tourist business getting bigger and bigger, there is scope on Islay for many more distilleries.

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ISLAY HAS INDEED BECOME A PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE FOR WHISKY AFICIONADOS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD, WITH THE USA IN PARTICULAR LEADING THE WAY"


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IS LAY HO U S E HOTEL

Whilst some of the purists lament the loss of Machrie’s ‘blind alleys’ the views are incredible to behold. The winds tears through you like a 747 jet taking off on the more exposed holes, while you suddenly find yourself in virtual silence when you’re in one of the many rolling valleys and troughs. Silent, except for the glorious sound of the waves rolling in. There may well be Pebble Beach-style hold ups at the 6th and 7th greens as golfers stop to take as many photographs of the sea and beach as they can before the group behind give them a nudge. Further out on the course there is a vast expanse of peat moorland at the 11th, and a stream winding along the fairway which is the deepest brown, coloured by the same peat that makes Islay’s whiskies so famous. The changes to the course were squarely aimed at making it more accessible and attractive to visitors who maybe don’t play of scratch. I’d never played it before, so I can’t really comment. What I will say is that this version of the Machrie Links has gone straight into my top 10 golf courses I’ve ever played. To the dudes getting the hotel ready for opening… save me a bedroom! 

Recently renovated Islay House is not a hotel. Rather it is meant to be more an extension of your own home, and is relaxed and informal, whilst delivering to the highest standards. Steven Haag, the new and proud owner, is quite upfront about why he decided to invest in renovating this building which dates back to 1677. He fell in love with Islay when he first visited back in 2008, and saw from first-hand experience just how the word about Islay’s fabulous trove of single malt whiskys was acting as a magnet for North American visitors. And the whisky offering in the bar is extensive — make that encyclopaedic – in terms of what is on offer from across all eight, and soon to be nine, distilleries on the island. Our host Calum also knows exactly how to lead you on a tasting journey through the vast panoply of tastes that the island’s distilleries produce. He’ll start you off on something not too peaty, and then lead you through to some seriously heavy duty peaty whiskys. Islay House ticks all the right boxes, with fantastic rooms, and now amazing food, as they have just recruited a Michelin starred chef who grew up on the island, spent over a decade working in Brazil, but who has now returned to the island of his birth to serve up some sensational food, with a touch of South American flavours. 

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ISLAY HOUSE IS NOT A HOTEL. RATHER IT IS MEANT TO BE MORE AN EXTENSION OF YOUR OWN HOME, AND IS RELAXED AND INFORMAL, WHILST DELIVERING TO THE HIGHEST STANDARDS"


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PLANET GOLF: Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius

PLANET_GOLF_ TRAVEL //

YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY STUNNING VIEWS AND AN AMAZING ARRAY OF COLOURFUL FLORA AND FAUNA. DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU SEE A WILD BOAR, DEER OR A GAGGLE OF MONKEYS EITHER”


038

MAURITIUS

PARADISE

FOUND WOR D S : T IM SO U T H WE L L

We arrived at Heritage Le Telfair at lunchtime after our 11-hour flight via Dubai. After being introduced to some local cocktails and drums, we were whisked off to our apartment. And when I say apartment, I mean luxury mansion. It was a staggering piece of architecture, a five-bedroom palace with its own infinity pool.  Heritage Le Telfair is a very ambitious set up. The 7,084 yard championship course was just about to host the Mauritius Open which  combines the European, Asian & Sunshine tours. So you’re guaranteed quality golf.   As we departed the clubhouse on our first visit to the course, the spectator stands were up and we were feeling like tour pros who’d turned up a week early to get a good look at the course.Then we got to the first tee and any such aspirations were quickly dispelled. And we could hardly blame the course. It was in absolutely immaculate condition from tee to fairway, bunker to green. 


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PLANET GOLF: Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius

PLANET_GOLF_ MAURITIUS//

The range of hills that tower over the Heritage Golf Club course can help keep wind at bay on one side but when it gets up you can find yourself clubbing-up three to four clubs on occasion. And then, just like that, the wind is gone and a magnificent tranquility descends upon the place. There are currently 27 holes here, the 18-hole championship course and a great little 9-hole Par-3 course. Both were designed by architect and ex-European Tour pro Peter Matkovich. We found generous fairways and some great views of the lagoon and nature reserve. You are surrounded by stunning views and an amazing array of colourful flora and fauna. Don’t be surprised if you see a wild boar, deer or monkeys either. The monkeys are extremely cheeky and not averse to pinching your golf ball on occasion.  The signature hole is the 9th. We played it with Head Pro Ryan Dodds. Technically, you can drive the green here. Technically, Ryan did this the first time of asking. And he holed his 25-foot putt for eagle. The Heritage Golf Club has become one of my Top 10 favourite golf courses (alongside Prestwick, Troon, Spy Glass, St Andrews, The Green Monkey, Doonbeg, Ballybunnion, Burnham & Berrow and Pulborough (West Sussex) if you’re interested... Why? It’s just an ace track. Plenty of risk and reward short par-fours mixed with demanding shot-making holes and some stunning vistas. As a resident of Heritage Le Telfair, you are also granted privileged access to two other courses nearby, the Tamarind and Le Paradis. Both courses offer something totally different to the Heritage experience. Tamarind feels like it is literally in the middle of nowhere. You are surrounded by lush vegetation and the trees are alive with beautiful monkeys. It’s one of the most tranquil golf escapes we’ve ever experienced. Le Paradis, by contrast, runs along the sea under the watchful gaze of the spectacular Le Morne mountain.  After a rousing round of golf there was only one place we were going, the villa’s infinity

AFTER A DAY OR TWO YOU’RE LULLED INTO A BLISSFUL TROPICAL SEMI-COMA. IT WOULD BE A BRAVE MAN WHO WOULD TRY TO STOP US GOING BACK…


040

DID YOU KNOW? The dodo bird is the national symbol of Mauritius. But did you know it took just 175 years since discovering it for us humans to make it extinct?

pool: golf-off, trunks on, fall in, submerge, surface, place arms on edge of infinity pool, sip ice cold beer and watch the golfers coming up the 7th fairway which runs past our palace. Golf is only half the story here. The Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort is a luxury 5-star hotel and a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. There’s nothing you could ask for that isn’t here: extremely friendly people, fine restaurants and bars, the Seven Colours Millesime Spa, a 600 m2 outdoor pool, a 175m2 indoor heated pool, and an impressive array of sea and land adventures await for your pleasure. The Heritage resort is situated on the Domaine de Bel Ombre in the unspoilt south of Mauritius which offers up a pretty persuasive combination of beach, nature, relaxation and adventure. Stretching from the hills to a turquoise lagoon, the “Domaine of Experiences” will have you gasping in awe. If, like us, you are partial to exploring the local restaurants and bars you might be a little surprised to hear that they don’t really exist in Mauritius. Not in rural areas, anyway. You can find plenty in the bigger coastal towns but inland, instead of going to bars and restaurants, they socialise at each others’ houses. The food was what really knocked us out at Heritage Le Telfair. Several gourmet chefs

await your every culinary command, cooking up Mauritian, Japanese, French, Asian, British, Italian, great steaks, amazing seafood, traditional Mauritian cakes and teas. And then there were the pizzas. Best we’d ever tasted. Heritage Golf Club has, for the fourth consecutive year, been voted the Best Course in the Indian Ocean at the World Golf Awards. And things just got even better at Heritage Le Telfair as they’ve just announced Louis Oosthuizen is taking on his first golf course design project, partnering with the championship course designer Matkovich on a new 18-hole course.  Almost every tee box will have a spectacular ocean view, and the overall theme of the golf course is to create a forest feel with the ebony trees that abound here.    “I’m thrilled to be working with Peter (Matkovich) on this project,” says the 2010 Open champion. “It’s a dream to be designing a course in Mauritius, and at one of the most beautiful resorts on the island, Heritage Le Telfair. I’m looking forward to helping create a golf course which perfectly balances the challenge of a championship layout with the critical element of fun that needs to be incorporated into any course.” Amen to that Louis… see you in the infinity pool... 


GOLFPUNK

DRIVING RANGE

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DRIVING_ RANGE//

BMW X3 WORDS: TIM SOUTHWELL

W

e needed a motor to take us on a golf adventure to Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort in the Cotswolds. We got a BMW X3, the newest generation of BMW’s large SUV. The two previous X3s were criticised for being a bit half cut but the new version has stepped up to the mark and thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the SUV category. From the moment you take your seat you get a feeling of being in charge. You’re up nice and high and have a commanding view of your surroundings. Driving round town, you barely notice speed bumps or pot holes and on motorways it’s an absolute joy.

The X3 virtually drove itself the four hours to the Cotswolds and when we arrived we were straight out on to the Tewkesbury golf course, the journey having barely touched the sides. Over taking is an absolute thrill in this beast. The 30d makes 265bhp and you’ll rarely have to call upon the far reaches of the accelerator, as you glide on 458lb ft of torque. Inside, the new X3 has dispensed with previously unambitious interior design and now boasts a cool, flowing design while the different sections are better integrated. It has real premium feel and the materials used for dashboard and surrounds have a reassuringly expensive feel.

The new X3 finally delivers a genuinely classy vehicle, and the car mags are suggesting it could take on – and even beat – its illustrious competitors (Audi Q5, Mercedes GLC, Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Macan, Range Rover Velar) in road testing. There are all manner of adjustable setting for seats, cabin etc and the et al, and the entertainment system and sat nav are state of the art. Oh, and you can get eight carry-on suitcases in the boot. Or three sets of golf clubs (probably four but we only had three with us).

B M X X 3 - £ 3 8 , 6 2 5 – £4 6 , 6 2 5


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GOLF INSTRUCTION

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MARIA_ VERCHENOVA_ GOLF_ FITNESS// @mariaverchenova

Maria Verchenova is what’s known in the business as a baller. She hits it miles off the tee. You don’t set an Olympic record for low round (62 -9) in Rio without being able to smash it. Here she has a brilliant tip for us mere mortals. It’s really quite simple: If you want to hit it straight and far, just remember… left shoulder-right foot. Take it away, Maria…

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#3 LEFT SHOULDER RIGHT FOOT.. MARIA TAKES US TO KABOOM TOWN...

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If you want to hit perfect drives, you’d best be introducing your left shoulder to your right foot. Maria takes us to Kaboom Town... AKA shot on location at the fantabulous PGA Catalunya

THE METHOD:

1 Often when you’re faced with a big wide fairway, you just think it’s going to be easy. But I see so many players thinking exactly that, and they are too confident and they don’t take the shot as seriously as they would if they were confronted with a water hazard or a really tight fairway. As a result, they hit a poor shot and miss the chance of making a good score on the hole. 2 Most players have a left or right bias. This fairway is about 30 metres wide so it’s easy to

think ‘I’ll just blast it down there’. The problem is you’re not focusing on a specific point on the fairway, so if you do actually make the fairway it’s as much down to luck as anything else. 3 When you are behind the ball, make sure you choose your line, choose a specific point – you could go between the two bunkers or you could aim at the flag. Concentrate really hard on the point you want the ball to land, visualise the shape of the shot. 4 Don’t forget to turn your shoulders, and don’t get your wrists involved in your back swing. Get ready, look at the point you want to hit your shot to, take the club back down the line, turn your shoulders – it’s important to get your left shoulder all the way back to your right foot – and then just hit through the shot and watch the ball sail straight down the middle. 

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GOLF INSTRUCTION

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GolfPunk Digital Magazine Issue 3  

The Golf Mag for the Rest of Us

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The Golf Mag for the Rest of Us

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