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RYDER CUP PREVIEW ISSUE OCTOBER 2012, ISSUE 11 VOL 53

How McIlroy’s PGA win will shape the future of the game

EURO STAR G-MAC VOWS...

Olazabal v Love

Who has the edge? By John Huggan

Unseen images

The first Ryder Cup in pictures

2012 RYDER CUP DEFINITIVE GUIDE Starring...

CUP SPECIAL ER

PING'S NEW ANSERS TESTED

DER CUP SP RY

18

MATCHPLAY TACTICS

THE RORY ERA?

> Westwood > Donald > Poulter > Lawrie > Rose

PECIAL ● RY D PS

McDOWELL, WESTWOOD, DONALD, POULTER, LAWRIE, ROSE

Seve’s impact

By the director of his new film

By Poulter, Harrington, Nicklaus, Azinger & Stockton ● Y R D E R CU

‘We will bring the Cup home’

PLUS...

IAL EC

THE 2012 RYDER CUP PREVIEW ISSUE

JACK’S MAJOR THREAT?

TAYLORMADE’S BIG IDEAS

FIRST TEST OF PING’S NEW ANSERS

PLUS: Why golf holes should be 15 inches in diameter


10 THINGS We’re talking about in golf...

Golf World October 2012


Trophy, not girlfriend

1

Rory McIlroy’s breathtaking US PGA win has seen conversation turn from off-course distractions to Tiger Woods comparisons.

R

ory McIlroy’s long US PGA Sunday had begun with a weighin to settle a bet. He had made it with his dad, Gerry, in March at The Bear’s Club in Florida, where Rory is based during the winter. If Gerry could get down to 12 stone, or 168 pounds, by the final day of the PGA Championship, Rory would buy him any car he wanted. At the time of the bet Gerry was 195 pounds, before he gave up drinking. When he stepped on the scale at 6:30am on Sunday, the numbers read 167.8. But that night Gerry had a few drinks. There was so much to celebrate and a room full of Irishmen to celebrate with. What Gerry’s boy did that day on the Ocean Course legitimised comparisons to Tiger Woods. Rory was younger than Tiger when he won his second Major. He was also more efficient: McIlroy needed only six Majors to validate last year’s US Open win; Woods needed 11 to follow his 1997 Masters win. “I think it’s only natural,” McIlroy says of the comparison to Woods. “Tiger and I won two Majors at the age of 23. I feel better equipped for those comparisons and the scrutiny I might come under.” McIlroy has been scrutinised this year. He admitted at the BMW PGA in May he’d taken his eye off the ball; but when he finished T-60 at the Open and the muttering that his relationship with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki was affecting his golf increased, it was different. It had become personal. “It’s OK when your game is scrutinised,” he says. “But what you’re doing off the course, when that starts to get people talking or asking questions, it’s not very nice. I think today, for lack of a better phrase, shut people up. I’ve always felt totally committed to this game, and I have two Majors to show for it.”

McIlroy’s off-course time at Kiawah illustrated that commitment. Every afternoon he would come back from the course and go to the beach near his rental home for a strenuous workout that included sprints and physio-ball work with performance coach Steve McGregor. Unlike Woods, McIlroy didn’t grow up with Jack Nicklaus’ Major championship record on his wall. “I’ve never thought of breaking any records,” he says. “I’ve got no targets, no records. I’m not that kind of person. If they add up to whatever number it is at the end of my career, I’ll be happy.” Also unlike Woods, McIlroy has some Arnold Palmer in him. Late on Sunday, a two-year-old boy called his name. McIlroy heard, stopped and acknowledged the lad with a sweet “Helloooooo.” The boy’s grandfather then related a scene he witnessed on Monday, when a father embarrassed his daughter by yelling out, “Hey Rory, how about a kiss for my daughter?” Cringing, the girl tried to save the moment by saying, “I’ll take a hug.” Hearing that, McIlroy pivoted and went back to give her a hug. “I’d much rather have people say, about me, that he’s a nice guy rather than a great golfer,” McIlroy says. “I’m not better than anyone else because I play great golf. If someone wants a picture or an autograph I’m going out of my way to help them, give them my time. I know how I felt when I was a kid when I got one of my heroes autographs or got a picture. Just that split second it takes to do that makes someone’s day or week or year. I still remember how that feels.” As he posed with friends with the Wanamaker Trophy, McIlroy commented that the trophy was heavier than he thought. But as Rory has graphically shown, he has no problem dealing with the weight of expectations.

October 2012 Golf World


QUICK TIPS Upper body rotates, hips are quiet. This creates torque.

The shoulder turn rules this backswing.

Head has not changed one iota, laterally or vertically.

© GOLF DIGEST

We call this set-up “equally proportioned.” Patrick’s ready for action.

Ready for the big time

How good can Patrick Cantlay be? We look at the new pro’s swing American Patrick Cantlay turned pro in June after a terrific amateur career highlighted by a mind-bending 60 shot while playing on a sponsor’s invitation at

Golf World October 2012

the Travelers Championship in 2011. His achievements are one thing, but it’s his dynamic golf swing, crafted from the age of eight under instructor Jamie Mulligan, that

invites wonder as to how good he might be. An early sign of Cantlay’s talent manifested itself when he attended one of Mulligan’s junior golf camps. “There were 98 kids there, and I offered a Snickers bar to those who could throw a golf ball and hit a tree a short distance away,” Mulligan says. “They all threw the ball hard and missed the tree, except for Patrick, who


Think: on plane and retained. Try to keep the clubshaft bent.

Remember: The hands are angels – they’re just along for the ride.

Left wrist is a bit bowed; the club’s toe won’t pass the heel.

tossed it softly and rolled it up against the tree. It showed the innate gift you can’t coach.” The swing Cantlay and Mulligan developed is a throwback in terms of rhythm and the absence of violent effort. But with a big shoulder turn performed against a relatively quiet lower body, it’s also a more contemporary, aggressive style. “We love generating speed and ball

compression,” Mulligan says, “but you need to combine them with rhythm and timing. Patrick has excellent length, which stems not just from swing speed but from solid contact.” Mulligan says Cantlay’s fairly neutral positions, beginning with his set-up, allow him flexibility in choosing his shot type. “The goal has always been a swing that allows him to hit different

You don’t see many full, on-plane finishes like this one.

An unrestrained finish brings to mind Payne Stewart.

types of shots. He’s been creating the shots he sees in his mind from a very early age.” There is work to be done, however. “Patrick’s hands can get too active. His body and the golf club can get out of sequence.” But with this swing, there is little of what Mulligan calls “cleaning up” left. “This has been Patrick’s dream forever,” Mulligan says, “and now he’s living it.”

October 2012 Golf World


EQUIPMENT ANSER FAIRWAY WOOD LOFTS: 14.5º, 16.5º, 18.5º SHAFT: TFC 800F (soft R, R, S X) PRICE: £220 The compact head makes this hugely versatile, but the real plus is the loft adjustability. The 14.5º version can be lowered to a genuine driving option at 14º. The leading edge is squared off to aid alignment, but with the loft on the face, the club still sits nicely behind – and under – the ball.

ANSER DRIVER LOFTS: 8.5º, 9.5º, 10.5º, 12º SHAFT: Four options PRICE: £355 A low spin design with the CG positioned low and far enough back to provide a mid to high launch with great stability on off-centre hits. Fitted with a Fujikura Blur Red shaft and maintained at the 10.5 loft setting, the club performed admirably. Although Ping says it has minimised face angle changes when adjusting the loft, you could still sense a small difference. Technically, the ball flight will change with alterations, but in practice you need a very consistent swing to notice. Does that matter? Not really. The Anser ticks all the boxes.

to hit longer and straighter shots without having to resort to hours spent on the practice range. As one of the big players in golf hardware, Ping have been relatively late onto the scene, but the company were keen to get things right and analyse what the consumer really needs. The new Anser range features adjustability in the driver and fairway woods, but not in the hybrids. And for Ping it seems like the bottom line on adjustability is that ‘less is more’. We are talking here of clubs that have an adjustability factor of one degree. So if you were to buy a 10.5º Anser driver, then you could alter it to either 10º or 11º. “When we sat down to do this,” says one of Ping’s leading designers Mike Nicolette, “we had one thought in mind and

Golf World October 2012

that was to create an adjustable club without any loss of performance at all.” It was company chairman John Solheim who made that stipulation and it was achieved by designing a hosel that could not be differentiated from the original in size or weight. Size was important for the aerodynamics and weight because added mass in the heel would mean an appreciable change to the flight dynamics. Ping like to call their new system ‘Trajectory Tuning’ which means finding the right shaft to fit the player (there are four options with the driver) and then allowing the golfer to alter his launch angle to suit the conditions, the course or any change in his swing.


New Releases

ANSER HYBRID LOFTS: 17º, 20º, 23º, 27º SHAFT: TFC 800H (soft R, R, S X) PRICE: £180

Latest equipment revealed

Ping rightly saw little need for adjustability in the hybrid and the finish and dimensions are perfect. Depending on the loft, the centre of gravity has been changed to create the ideal ball flight – lower and further back in the 17º version for a better launch and spin. They are as easy to hit as they look, delivering a consistent feel.

TOUR EDGE

Exotics Xrail, fairway & hybrid £tbc; www.touredge.com Both clubs feature variable face thickness and boosted stability over the models they replace. Multi-metal heads feature sole designs to aid clean contact from heavier lies.

TOUR WEDGES LOFTS: Standard sole – 47º, 50º, 52º, 54º, 56º, 58º, 60º; Wide sole – 54º, 56º, 58º, 60º; Thin sole – 58º, 60º SHAFT: CFS or TFC 169i PRICE: £113 (steel), £135 (graphite) Ping’s new offering come with standard soles (SS), wider soles (more bounce) or thinner soles (less bounce). The wedges also feature Gorge Groove technology, giving the sharpest, deepest grooves the R&A allows.

Generally speaking, adding loft to a club in this way also closes the face, while subtracting loft makes the club look more open at address. Ping have looked to tackle this by minimising the effect. They claim that changing the loft on its clubs will not move the clubface open or closed quite as much. “There is another factor worth pointing out and that’s the centre of gravity,” adds Nicolette. “If you change the loft on the club, then you’re actually lifting and dropping the centre of gravity in the clubhead. This is the main reason that we’ve kept the adjustability down to half a degree each way. Any more than that and we feel that the playability of the club would be meddled with too much.”

ADIDAS

Puremotion £74.99, Crossflex £64.99; www.adidasgolf.eu Inspired by barefoot training, lightweight Puremotion boosts awareness of the ground; Crossflex is even lighter, and is designed to give comfort, grip and multi-directional support.

EZICADDY

Ezi Range from £199; www.ezicaddy.com A trio of powered options from the Kent firm, ranging from the no-frills One to the Digital EZi5. Prices include plug ’n’ play battery, charger and free delivery within the UK.

October 2012 Golf World


Golf World October 2012


ryder cup 2012

Roar Power

In setting up Medinah for a birdie blitz, US captain Davis Love III hopes to harness the energy of 40,000 vibrant Americans. Words: Tim Cronin PHOTOGRAPHy & Graphics: PGA of America

October 2012 Golf World


RYDER CUP 2012

Meet the Captains

‘They both have great passion for the matches.

They are both gentlemen. It will make this a much more genteel Ryder Cup’ PETER KOSTIS Expect more civility and less hostility from the teams of Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal. WORDS: John Huggan PHOTOGRAPHY: Getty Images


ryder cup 2012

man Renaissance Paul Lawrie reflects on a Major career – and why getting beaten by his son sparked his march to the brink of a Ryder Cup return. Words: Chris Bertram PHOTOGRAPHy: Howard Boylan, Getty

P

aul Lawrie motions to join him in a quiet corner of the clubhouse bar, sits his soft drink on a table and settles back into a large armchair. As Golf World fumbles with a tape recorder, the 1999 Open Champion adopts the sort of confident pose which says: ‘Come on then, do your worst’. His body language is friendly but purposeful, relaxed but assured. It wasn’t always this way. Lawrie now appears contented; happy in his own skin and, perhaps more importantly, happy in his own achievements. The Paul Lawrie of 2012 is a different man to the one who won a Major championship in the middle of a period of American dominance, and excelled in a rumbustious Ryder Cup. That’s not merely conjecture – he admits as much himself. Perhaps the swish surroundings are helping to relax Lawrie. We are in the clubhouse at Skibo Castle, to which Lawrie has recently become attached as a result of his long friendship with the exclusive retreat’s director of golf David Thomson. Thomson, a former Tour player who has transformed Skibo into a linksy championship challenge likely to enter the top 50 of our next GB&I Top 100, coached Lawrie as a youngster. Now 43, Lawrie still lives in Aberdeen – eschewing a move to glamorous Surrey gives one an indication of the man – and has remained in touch with Thomson. An informal chat between the two led to his association with Skibo, and subsequently Lawrie hosting the Pro-Am of his thriving Foundation at the Highland estate a day before his preparations began for the Scottish Open, an hour’s drive south at Castle Stuart. While the Scottish Open was a surprise low in a season of

Golf World October 2012


YOUR GAME

The importance of the takeaway

First six inches make the shot. With the takeaway, it mostly comes down to jerkiness or smoothness. If you snatch the club away from the ball then it can lead to all sorts of problems, from taking the club up too steeply to coming on the inside too soon. A good takeaway means that the club stays low to the ground as it is doing here. When the pressure is on, make a concerted effort to make the first move from the ball slow and deliberate.

Here at the nine o’clock position the club’s shaft needs to be parallel with your feet, but still slightly out in front of you. All you have to do from here is let the arms turn to the top.

Golf World October 2012


If the smooth takeaway is matched by an equally smooth transition, then you have a much better chance of keeping your swing in sequence. Don’t hurry any of the moves; build up the power gradually. Keep the tempo and you’ll get yourself into a great hitting position like this one. Once you get here, then very little can go wrong. If you get across the line at the top then the club is going to feel heavier and you are going to have to make adjustments on the way down to save yourself.

Keep the club ‘light’

A balanced club is on plane – and on line. I believe in keeping the club in positions where it’s at its lightest. This is when it is properly supported and on plane. When it’s above your shoulders at the top of the backswing, it should feel at its lightest. It’s when the club is off plane, either too much on the inside or too wide, that you are fighting

against its natural mass. The club’s weight should help not hinder, so you can almost freewheel through impact. The next tip is to complete your turn. You must always commit to a golf shot and getting short and jerky is the very opposite of that. Under pressure, start slow and complete the backswing.

The followthrough should be a result of what happens in the backswing. If I make a bad backswing I tend to flip the club over coming through. Just remember that with a good tempo you can get away with a lot of faults in your technique, that have a nasty habit of showing up under pressure.

October 2012 Golf World


RYDER CUP 2012

PHOTOGRAPHY: Oldgolfimages

First Ryder Cup

A confident British team at Waterloo station, ahead of their drubbing…

A

fter unofficial matches at Gleneagles in 1921 and Wentworth in 1926 (in which the home team triumphed with some ease) the Editor of Golf Illustrated and team manager, George Philpot (far right) raised funds for a trip to take on the Americans again. Samuel Ryder (centre with dog) got the train with them to Southampton on May 21, 1927 prior to them boarding the Aquitania, for the six-day trip to New York. The week started badly when Abe Mitchell (second from right) who was Ryder’s personal professional, went down with

appendicitis, just after boarding. The team went with the dual purpose of bringing back the Ryder Cup, to be played at Worcester, Massachusetts on June 3-4, and the US Open at Oakmont, to be played a week later. They returned home with neither, thrashed 9½ – 2½ in the Ryder Cup, where George Duncan (far left with hands in his pockets) was the only man to win his singles. Commentators reckoned the Americans had won because they had been better at ‘holing out’. How many times has that been the difference between the sides since?


LEFT: Sam Ryder, with his

daughter, Marjorie, on the train to Southampton, where they would see off the British team.

MAIN: Making their way to Southampton are (from left) George Duncan, Archie Compston, Fred Robson, Ted Ray, Sam Ryder, FG Gadd (secretary of PGA), Charles Whitcombe, Arthur Havers, Abe Mitchell and George Philpot.


courses

The world’s best places to play

Golf World October 2012


Kidd in a playground

Designer’s money-no-object Scottish course will be a private paradise. Scot David McLay Kidd has brought us some of the best new courses of the last decade, notably the Castle Course in St Andrews and Machrihanish Dunes. He’s also responsible for one of the few new courses set to open in the British Isles this year, gWest – an ultra-private enclave, close to Gleneagles, where money was no object. He said: “This plot bears the same amazing topography as James Braid’s King’s

course at Gleneagles. Without question, it’s the best inland site I have ever seen for a golf course. The tumbling, rolling landscape covered by solid heathland makes this an exquisite anomaly in nature.” gWest will not be open to the public. Some 170 homes built around the site will cost from £3 million, plus there will be a 180-bedroom hotel. www.gwest.co.uk

October 2012 Golf World


Golf World In This Issue October 2012