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OPEN PREVIEW ISSUE THE OPEN ISSUE 8, VOL 52 2011 OPEN PREVIEW n PETE COWEN’S FULL-SWING SECRETS n ENGLAND’S TOP 100 COURSES n SERGIO GARCIA n LUKE DONALD n MATT KUCHAR

0 TOUPR S1E0S I N CO A NGDE L G N E 32-PA

INSIDE YOUR OPEN SPECIAL

EXCLUSIVE TIPS

ROYAL ST GEORGE’S

F R EEGA Z I N E MA

PETE COWE N ’S

FULL-SWING

SECRETS GET THE TIPS HE GIVES LEE, GRAEME, LOUIS, DARREN...

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GET A BETTER STRIK E BY SERGIO GARCI A CONSISTENCY K EYS BY MATT KUCHAR BUNK ER BASICS BY I AN POULTER

THE OPEN ISSUE

£4.20

THE COURSE IN DETAIL

CURTIS &

DONALD

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

INSIDE

THE R&A BEHIND THEIR DOORS

PLUS

> 2011 BAGS TEST > SCRATCH v PRO > RYDER CUP 2018 > NEW WOODS > CHARL’S FARM

ARIZONA EUROPE’S BEST LINKS BREAK 100/90/80


THE OPEN ISSUE 2011 // www.golf-world.co.uk


TOUGHER, STRONGER, FITTER... IT’S

THE NEW LUKE BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, HE MAY WELL BE RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD. EVEN IF HE IS NOT, HE’S TURNED A NEW LEAF AND IS HEADED FOR THE TOP. BY TIM ROSAFORTE, PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOM FURORE, GETTY

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ony Jacklin was the original British Bulldog, winning two Majors and leading the resurrection of Europe in the Ryder Cup. Two days after the Masters, he made the four-hour drive from Bradenton, Florida, to Palm Beach CC for lunch and a round of golf with fellow Englishman Luke Donald. A mutual friend from Chicago set up the meeting, hoping some of Jacklin’s tenaciousness would rub off on Donald. Mostly, they talked about Jacklin’s role as a pioneer in his country’s golf history. Closing out Majors or golf tournaments never came up. “First of all, he’s a very nice chap, a very personable, nice chap,” Jacklin says, with words that have defined Donald since he graduated from Northwestern in 2001 with a degree in art theory and practice, and a trophy for winning the 1999 individual collegiate title. “I think he’s a hell of a lot tougher than he looks,” Jacklin says. “That would be my assessment of him.” Jacklin was impressed by what Pat Goss, Donald’s college coach, calls Ryder Cup Luke, the fearless, persistent matchplay performer who was 7-1 in two Walker Cup appearances as an amateur and is 8-2-1 in three Ryder Cups as a pro. It’s the Donald who capped a stellar week in Arizona in February with a 3&2 win over PGA champion Martin Kaymer in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Kaymer might have moved to the top of the World Rankings that night, but Donald was the best player

in Tucson, his precise short game resulting in the most dominating week in tournament history, one in which he never had a match go to the 18th hole. That toughness, both physical and mental, has always shadowed Donald. At 5ft 9in, the 33-year-old is playing “small ball” in a “big-ball” era. Except the bulldog that shows up in team competitions does not have that same Jacklin-like tenacity at the end of strokeplay events, as witnessed most recently by the play-off loss to Brandt Snedeker at the Heritage. It was another example of “Luke Donald Disease,” a label coined two years ago by an American writer in an English newspaper for Donald’s failure to win tournaments despite being in contention quite often.

Volvo World Matchplay Championship. That stretch has moved him to second in the world and includes a T4 at the Masters, where he bounced back from a double bogey on No.12 on Sunday with four birdies in his last six holes, culminating with a chip-in on 18 and a rare emotional eruption. Donald headed into the Players with plenty to feel good about – he was first on the PGA Tour in earnings, scoring average and putting. But after making loose shots at the end of the Heritage, Donald left Hilton Head seeking the counsel of a hard-nosed rugby coach from England named Dave Alred who has been helping him with his mindset. Just six days before that meltdown, Donald sat down to lunch at the Bear’s

“I THINK HE’S A HELL OF A LOT TOUGHER THAN HE LOOKS,” JACKLIN SAYS. “THAT WOULD BE MY ASSESSMENT OF HIM” At Harbour Town, Donald missed greens and short putts down the stretch, but his wedge kept him in the game until the third play-off hole, where his 9-iron approach buried in the front bunker. When his par chip hit the hole and bounced out, Donald’s streak of not winning a strokeplay event in the United States since the 2006 Honda Classic continued. It was, however, Donald’s 10th top-10 finish in his last 11 starts worldwide – he made it 13-in-14 with a T8 at the Zurich Classic, a T4 at the Players Championship, and a 2nd in the

Club near his winter home in Jupiter, Florida, to talk about the Masters, the Players (which he led after 54 holes in 2005 only to finish T2 with a final-round 76) and to explain his work with Alred, who is legendary in England for his performance training with rugby players Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood. “With Dave’s rugby background, he loves to see that grit, that determination, that little bit of fire inside you,” Donald says. “You do need to be tough, but again, part of that toughness comes from pushing myself. I’ve learned from Dave ➨

www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


HOW TO MAKE YOUR

SWING

REPEAT

BY M AT T K UC H A R WITH PETER MORRICE

CONSISTENCY TIPS BY ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENT PLAYERS ON THE PGA TOUR.

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few years ago I was bouncing between different instructors, trying to find some consistency in my game. One teacher, Chris O’Connell out of Dallas, said something that really threw me: “I want to take the athleticism out of your swing.” I didn’t know how to take that. The one thing I knew for sure was that being athletic was keeping me on tour. He said that was the problem: I was relying on it too much. That conversation changed everything.

What Chris meant was, my swing required perfect timing, because I had too many things going on. If I flipped my hands just right at impact or got my weight in the right place, I could play great. But I was streaky. So we went to work on simplifying my swing, taking out the moves that are tough to time. Our goal was to make it as easy as possible to repeat. If you struggle with consistency, you probably have timing issues, too. I bet the changes we made can help you.

2011 TOUR STATS: Scoring average 69.76 (rank: 4th) GREENS IN REG: 70.4% (21st) BIRDIES PER ROUND: 4.33 (9th)

AUGUST 2011 // www.golf-world.co.uk


TOU R TUITION

KEY No.1 A STEEPER SHOULDER TURN

KEY No.2 CLEARING THE HIPS

I used to turn my shoulders pretty level, which a lot of golfers think is correct. But that made my swing too shallow coming into impact, so my contact was picky, especially off the turf. We worked on a couple of things to make my shoulder turn steeper. First, I try to stay centred as I swing back, not letting my head move to the right. Staying over the ball allows me to turn my left shoulder downward on a steeper angle. That sets up a steeper downswing for better contact. Next, I keep my left arm pinned

Another major area we’ve worked on is my hip action. Like my shoulders, my hips now turn on a steeper angle to the ground in the backswing. It feels as if I’m sticking out the right side of my rear end as I turn to the top. This move counterbalances my left shoulder turning down: If I didn’t stick my rear end out, that steep shoulder turn would put me out on my toes. On the downswing, it’s all about my left hip – actually, the left knee,

against my chest. This helps me get my arms and body working back together. At the top, you can see my left arm matches the line of my shoulders (below). This connection means I don’t have to realign anything before impact. It’s the simplest way. Another good feel for me on the backswing is to pinch my right shoulder blade in towards the middle of my back. This is my way of keeping my shoulders turning on a steep angle and making a full wind-up.

thigh and hip. I want to feel them clearing out, or turning to my left, so my right side can drive hard. From the top, my hips used to thrust towards the ball, which dropped the club too far to the inside and led to pushes and hooks. Now I think about pushing my left hip out to left field and then turning it behind me (below). That keeps the club coming in steep so I can really pinch the ball off the ground.

TEACH

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www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE


THE FARM THAT PRODUCES EGGS, MAIZE, SHEEP... AND

MASTERS CHAMPIONS

CHARL SCHWARTZEL’S FATHER, GEORGE, GUIDES US AROUND THE HOMESTEAD WHERE THE FUTURE MAJOR WINNER GREW UP. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPH BY BARRY HAVENGA

THE OPEN ISSUE 2011 // www.golf-world.co.uk


CHARL’S FARM

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he Schwartzel family farm of Kruisenentfontein is on the Vaal River near Vereeniging, and not easy to find. “There’s no sign on the gate,” says George Schwartzel, giving me directions to the third-generation farm where his wife Lizette grew up as a girl. I’m greeted by George’s teenage daughter Lindi, and four of the Schwartzels’ five dogs, as George and Lizette are being interviewed by a TV crew. Egg production is the main function of the farm, plus maize and sheep on the side. But I’m not here to talk farming, and neither is George. Golf is what he loves discussing, and over tea, beers and dinner, plus a round of golf the next day, we talk about his life in the game, from his amateur days to playing on the Sunshine Tour, and raising a Masters champion. The farmhouse is a modest building, and the front door is permanently blocked. Half a dozen pro-size golf bags, more than a hundred loose golf clubs, boxes piled high with golf balls, and other odds and ends, clutter the entrance hall. Visitors are

diverted through the lounge sliding door. Lizette shrugs. She is resigned to the fact that all three men in the family, George, Charl and Attie, have a life in golf. The Schwartzels have lived here since 1988. They returned to Lizette’s birthplace after George gave up a job at a quantity surveying firm to learn about the family farm, before Lizette’s father retired. “Becoming a farmer was a huge blessing for my boys’ golf,” said George. “We were fortunate enough to have employed good people on the farm, which allowed me to spend a lot of time watching the boys

practise and play in tournaments.” We play nine holes together at his home club, Maccauvlei, a quiet place with a magnificent course on the banks of the Vaal River which has a great tradition and history. Founded in the 1920s, in that early heyday it was one of the most popular golf clubs in the country, with a list of prominent members who travelled there by train from Johannesburg for golfing weekends. The championship layout hosted four South African Opens, the last of them in 1949. Three of those titles were won by Sid Brews, the other by Bobby Locke. George joined Maccauvlei more than 20 years ago when the family moved to Vereeniging, but remembers playing tournaments there in the early 1970s when the top amateurs would hit a 1-iron on the 207-yard, par-3 4th hole. Today, at 57, he pulls a 4-iron from his bag. “The kids hit it so far these days that you can’t protect a course whenever a professional tournament is played inland. 20-under will always win,” he says. “It’s only at the coast where conditions can make par look respectable. “My whole opinion has changed about ➨

www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


ST GEORGE’S

THE DRAGON ROYAL ST GEORGE’S IS REGARDED AS THE TOUGHEST OF ALL THE COURSES ON THE OPEN ROTA. GOLF WORLD WENT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE TEST FACING THIS YEAR’S FIELD.

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oyal St George’s is the Marmite of the Open course rota – it divides opinion and you either love it or loathe it. Jack Nicklaus, for instance (arguably the greatest ever player) describes the links in this little corner of Kent as his “least favourite”. The fact that he shot a 13-over-par 83 here (with a run of 6, 5, 6, 5, 7 from the 10th to the 14th) in the first round of the 1981 Open, may have a little to do with that. And Tiger Woods (arguably the greatest ever player if you didn’t think Jack Nicklaus was) probably doesn’t have great memories of it either, given that he lost a ball on his first shot there, last time he played. In contrast, Bernard Darwin (arguably the greatest golf writer ever and a past

President of the club) was infatuated by the place. “This is as nearly my idea of heaven as is to be attained on any earthly links,” he said. Part of the reason for this polarization is the layout. Whereas at somewhere like Royal Birkdale the holes run along valleys between huge dunes in natural amphitheatres, at Sandwich, it’s all a bit different. You generally play directly over the dunes; and the dunes are enormous. As a result, there are lots of blind shots and blind drives. At the 4th, for instance, you have to drive a 50-foot high hillock, which has a massive bunker in the face, surrounded by sleepers. Like St Andrews, many of the bunkers have names. This gigantic one is affectionately named after a chap called Reg Gladding, who, in the 1979

Amateur, found his ball plugged in the face, close to the top. Gladding climbed laboriously to the top, and then, after an ungainly swipe, fell backwards, nearly killing himself somersaulting down. Like Muirfield, the layout is not a traditional out-and-back links, but rather two loops of nine. And, just as at Muirfield, the holes run in different directions. As a result, the test is unpredictable, and the wind is never coming from the same direction. And that wind, coming directly off the sea, is usually strong enough to blow the freckles off the face of Rory McIlroy. Between the 1993 (Greg Norman) and the 2003 (Ben Curtis) Opens, the course was lengthened by 246 yards; and it has undergone another ‘stretch’ for this year’s Championship, due to be played from ➨


SWING PETE COWEN REVEALS HIS

SECRETS

IMPROVE YOUR TECHNIQUE WITH SIMPLE TIPS FROM THE HOTTEST COACH IN GOLF.

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ete Cowen asks me how I hit a draw. Mostly in my dreams is the actual answer, but he has me in my address posture with my left arm behind my back and he’s holding my right wrist. “You try it now, with your hand in the position it would be when holding a club. Where does the hand go?” You have to think about it. “A lot of people,” says Pete, “turn their hand through as if looking at a watch, but this is wrong.” He moves my hand forwards on an inside path. “What you really need to do is this,” he explains, moving my hand along the target line and getting the wrist to cock up, as if lifting a fishing rod. It is a simple lesson, but one that had me thinking all the way home from his base near Rotherham. But that’s Pete Cowen. He can reinvigorate your game with exciting new thoughts. Here we take a look at the full swing through the eyes of the hottest coach in world golf today, a man who has worked with three of the last four Major winners.

A WORD ON THE DRIVER

A lot of players get their shoulders parallel to the target line at address, but on a level plateau, where both shoulders are the same height from the ground. In the old days that was acceptable. Players like Ian Woosnam would be more level through the ball and would see a much lower ball flight with the driver. Today, with modern equipment, that has changed. You need to encourage a strike that is on the up.


THE RIGHT SHOULDER

THE ROLE OF THE HIPS When you’re hitting the driver, start with your feet and, more importantly, your hips slightly open at address. Your shoulders can be square, but the lower portion of the body should be aiming a little left.

If your right shoulder gets out of position it’s impossible for the arms to swing on a natural arc. Not enough people get their arms moving on the right arc because their shoulder position sabotages their efforts. It’s easy for the right arm to get left behind as the body rotates in the downswing. The left arm is fine because it gets dragged into position, but the right arm needs to keep up with the shoulder movement. When you throw a ball, it shows all this very clearly.

Hold a tennis ball at address like this.

This is a key move – from here the arm can fold into the right position at the top.

Here the shoulder is stable and in position.

The right elbow has room to drop into place.

Starting open, the hips are more likely to stay parallel to the target at the top. If you allow your right hip to get behind you, it can throw everything out towards the ball as you start down. Start too square and, as you come down, the right hip can get in the way of the right elbow which needs to be tucked in to the body.

Then as you come into the ball the left hip moves out of the way and the right hip works towards the target rather forcing that right knee outwards. You can see a small gap between the legs here, but it shouldn’t be any bigger than that.

And you can release down the target line.


BEN CURTIS EXCLUSIVE

‘A L L I WA S T H I N K I N G A B O U T WA S N O T MAKING A FOOL O F M Y S E L F. . . A N D THE N I WON!’ THE BIGGEST OUTSIDER EVER TO LIFT A CLARET JUG TALKS ABOUT THAT DAY AT ST GEORGE’S... AND HOW IT CHANGED HIS LIFE.

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WORDS BY JASON OHLSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC WAGNER

e qualified at the very last minute. He was the first player to arrive at Sandwich and booked into a little bed and breakfast with his girlfriend, Candice (now his wife). When he first saw the golf course he had no idea where he was going, or what he was doing. No wonder Ladbrokes made him the biggest outsider in the field at 300-1! No wonder no one backed him! The rest, as they say, is history. Though his professional earnings are now close to the $10million mark, Ben Curtis is unlike many top sports stars, in that he steers clear of the limelight. We went to see him at his house in Ohio, to talk about his life, his game and that extraordinary week... Born in Columbus Ohio, you grew up in a place called Ostrander. Where exactly is this? It’s in the middle of

nowhere, almost dead smack between Delaware and Marysville. If you blink you’ll miss it. Seriously, there are no lights, there’s one little stop sign on the main corner, but you can easily miss it. You were a 300-1 at St George’s. How did your week start?

Not that well! I was nervous on the 1st tee. But it was sort of a calm nervous. I knew I was playing well. But I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. That was my biggest concern. It was my first ever Major, so I didn’t want to shoot two scores in the 80s. I was so relaxed though and that helped me focus. At the end of the day, it’s just golf. Having said all that, I snap-hooked my tee shot off the 1st into the long stuff. I had seen Tiger lose his ball earlier. All I could do was play out sideways because I had such a bad lie. I hit it right over the fairway into the thick rough the other side. Then I hit it AUGUST THE OPEN 2011 ISSUE // www.golf-world.co.uk 2011 // www.golf-world.co.uk

onto the green to 20 feet and made the putt for par. I was like ‘OK!’. That calmed me down. I remember thinking it’s just a golf tournament, so get on with it.

In contention with a round to go, were you nervous the night before? It’s a funny story. We’re going to bed, and I was

two shots back, and Candice was like, “How are you feeling?” I was a bit quiet, we were just reading some books, and we had a tiny little place, it wasn’t even big enough to put a bed in it. And she was like, “How do you feel about tomorrow?” and I’m like, “I’m gonna win”. She looked at me, didn’t say a word, and closed her eyes. She said she hardly slept at all. I slept fine. And you’d never played on a links before? Never. It was just one of those feelings. I felt comfortable. I wasn’t like “Holy crap what’s going on here?” Looking back on it, what was I thinking? But at the time I had no idea what I was doing. The night before all I was thinking about was hitting that 1st fairway. It was a fairway I could not hit all week. The fairway was almost an upside-down bowl basically, about 20-yards wide, so even if you hit it in the fairway, it would run into the rough anyway. My goal was, “If I hit that fairway, I’m going to win the tournament.” That’s all I kept focusing on all night. So I never thought about the end product or the finish. Once my ball finished in that fairway, I relaxed. Who knows what would have happened if I‘d missed it? Maybe I’d have shot 80. During that final round, when did thoughts of winning enter your mind? Obviously, when I birdied the 11th, I was

5-under for the day and I get up on the 12th tee, and I’m like, “What am I doing out here? I’m leading The Open.” You don’t just do that stuff. It kind of just fell apart from there. But, you know, I stayed pretty calm. I didn’t let the ➨


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www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


2011 NEW PRODUCTS

IMPROVE YOUR STRIKE

BY SERGIO GA RCI A DEVELOP A COMPACT ACTION AND SWING WITHIN YOURSELF TO FIND THE SWEETSPOT MORE OFTEN. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOWARD BOYLAN

When it comes to accurate iron play, most amateurs shoot themselves in the foot by trying to hit the ball too hard. Swinging within yourself is central to consistent ball striking. It gives your action better balance and better rhythm. With those two, your chances of making good contact are massively boosted; and good contact is the pathway to distance control, something we are all trying to achieve with our irons. Personally, I strike my irons at about 90 per cent of my capacity. This, along with a streamlined action, has helped me become a consistently good iron player. In this article I am going to show you some of the keys I use to keep my action tight and controlled – but these tips will only work if you first make a mental commitment to taking an extra club and swinging within yourself. If a comfortable 7-iron for you travels 140 yards, and you use it for shots from 150, you are at a big disadvantage before you even take the club back.


IN ASSOCIATION WITH

www.taylormadegolf.eu

BACKSWING: STAY CENTRAL

GET ON TOP FROM THE START As we will see, I like to feel I stay on top of the ball throughout the swing; and this feeling begins at set-up, with a central ball position. Yes, as the club gets longer the ball creeps a little further forward in the stance; but the further forward you have it, the more you have to ‘go looking for it’ approaching impact.

Compare my position here, at the top, to my address position, and you can see there has been little or no lateral movement, away from the target. I stay over the ball as I turn. Everyone does it differently, but this central feeling is the one that works for me; if I start moving backwards, away from the target, I find it hard to get back. For me, this consistency in my upper body position helps the consistency of my ball striking. Excessive motion in the swing will always make it harder to develop a repeatable action, and we are all looking for ways of streamlining our technique, making it more efficient. For me, finding my ideal impact position at address – and holding it there throughout the swing – is one way of doing that. So I stay on top, and my feeling is just to turn: I find it easier to control the ball from here.

Two further things I would mention on set-up: n Be ready to hold the club an inch or so down the grip. ‘Shortening’ the club like this really adds a feeling of control, and helps put you in the right frame of mind for a shot that is about accuracy and not power. n Keep checking alignment. On Tour, we monitor how well we are aiming every day. Square feet, hips and shoulders are vital to straight iron shots, so keep on top of this.

www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


THE

EQUIPMENT

THE TEST

2011 BAGS

THE CART AND CARRY BAGS TESTED HERE ARE LIGHTWEIGHT, CLEVER AND STYLISH.

CALLAWAY

OGIO

PING

PING

PRICE £129.99 WEIGHT 8.8lb

PRICE £119.99 WEIGHT 4.4lb

PRICE £123 WEIGHT 4.4lb

ORG 14 STADIUM

ULTRALITE VELOCITY

HOOFER C-1

FRONTIER LT

Features on this new trolley bag include a 14-way divider system with full-length, graphite-friendly dividers, eight pockets including a full-length cool pocket, valuables and mesh pockets with X-Span features, a user-friendly ball pocket and putter tube. Single-strap will be appreciated if you ever use a caddie.

This carry bag is among the lightest in Ogio’s history. A suspension strap system (below) is intended to make the bag seem even lighter, and the thin, ventilated air straps are designed to increase comfort by allowing body heat to escape and cooler air to flow in. A moulded handle on top of the bag nicely separates woods from irons.

The Hoofer’s iconic base stays flush to the ground when the stand is in use to improve stability. Two retractable straps (below) help make it easy to adjust while walking. There are six accessible pockets, and the rubber pads on the base of the bag and its double-bend legs are designed to ensure a more tripod-like stature.

PRICE £113 WEIGHT 4.6lb A 14-way divider keeps things organised, nine pockets, including a large and easily accessible insulated cooler pocket, two apparel pockets, separate hood pocket, large ball and tee pockets, side mesh slip pockets and a velour-lined valuables pocket. Cart strap loop which secures the bag to the trolley includes a durable rubber patch.

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AND THE BEST OF THE REST... CALLAWAY

WARBIRD XTREME PRICE £114.99 The U-shape hip pad on this 5.5lb carry bag offers support and ventilation. A stout base stays flat to ensure stability. www.callawaygolf.com

EXOTICS

XTREME PRICE £69 A great carry bag at this price. The top handle is the sturdiest we’ve seen.

www.touredgegolf.com

MIZUNO

NIKE

www.mizuno.eu

www.nikegolf.com

AEROLITE IV PRICE £119 The Velcro patch near the bottom of this 4.6lb carry bag is a convenient spot to stick your glove.

COLLEGIATE PRICE £140 This five-pound carry bag has fibreglass legs, and the straps are woven with air pockets for comfort.

OGIO

SULTAN PRICE £140 The two highest pockets on this 7.4lb cart bag flip up so the cart strap doesn’t interfere with access to its zips. Four handles ensure easy lifting.

www.ogio.com

THE OPEN ISSUE 2011 // www.golf-world.co.uk


THE TEST

A good golf bag doesn’t get in the way of your game. It plays a supporting role, never demanding too much attention. It ensures you can quickly find and replace all clubs, it conveniently

organises your accessories and gadgets, and it’s light without sacrificing durability. Our team evaluated 77 bags, loading them up with clubs and raingear, checking

to see if the straps were comfortable on carry bags or if the pockets were easily accessible on cart bags. We’ve learned the best ones have rethought the minor details that make a

major difference. In the end, their innovations are highly practical. We will look at the bags offered by the trolley manufacturers when we test the top electric carts later in the year.

SUN MOUNTAIN

SUN MOUNTAIN

STEWART GOLF

TAYLORMADE

PRICE £189 WEIGHT 7.3lb

PRICE £139 WEIGHT 4.7lb

PRICE £129 WEIGHT 6.6lb

C-130

SUPERLIGHT 3.5

WATERPROOF STAND

PURE-LITE 2.0

Every feature on this cart bag is practical and always in the right place. Three rubber handles (below) make lifting the bag easy, and the 14-way top slants neatly from back to front. A cart-strap channel holds the bag in place and ensures access to all nine pockets, including two for clothes, three for valuables and one that’s insulated.

The latest chapter from a company with a history of smart carry bags focuses on the details. This one is light enough to make 36hole days manageable. The bag is also designed to stay put on a cart: A cart-strap slot runs through the right side of the bag (below) to prevent it from twisting, while allowing access to all seven pockets.

A fully waterproof stand bag which features waterproof zips and taped seams to keep even the worst weather at bay. It has dual shoulder straps with a four-way mounting for balance, and a large back pad for comfort. There’s a seven-way divider and pockets for sunglasses, phone, water bottle and valuables.

PRICE £119 WEIGHT 5.2lb You don’t see the webbing system in this bag’s carry straps, but it distributes weight to make the bag seem lighter than its 5.2lb. Details make a big difference: All seven pockets remain unobstructed even when the bag is strapped to a cart; a stand limiter prevents the legs opening too wide (below); and highstrength stitching improves durability.

WWW.S U N M O U N TA I N G O L F.CO.UK

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WWW.TAY LOR MAD EGOLF.E U

4 UNDER PRICE £103 Ping’s lightest stand bag weighs 3.7lb and has two sliding straps that are easy to adjust. The base is designed to stay flat on the ground, even with the stand out.

www.ping.com

SUN MOUNTAIN

TAYLORMADE

www.sunmountaingolf.co.uk

www.taylormadegolf.com

SWIFT X PRICE £129 This minimalist carry bag (3.2lb ) has a large top to easily hold 14 clubs.

CATALINA 2.0 PRICE £139 Nine pockets on this 6.3lb cart bag face forward for easy access.

TAYLORMADE

MICRO-LITE 2.0 PRICE £109 This smallish carry bag (4.5lb) has seven pockets.

www.taylormadegolf.com

TITLEIST

WILSON STAFF

LIGHTWEIGHT STAND PRICE £102 The hip pad on this 4.6lb carry bag features a divider that runs down the middle to provide support and keep air flowing behind your back.

FEATHER PRICE £79.99 Weighing 4.3lb, this carry bag has seven pockets, including a large one for clothing. A hip pad features negative ions to help reduce muscle fatigue.

www.titleist.co.uk

www.wilsongolf.com

© GOLF DIGEST

PING

www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


I N CO R P O R AT I N G

THE

TOP 100

COU R SE S

INSIDE THIS S E C T I ON

128 EUROPE’S BEST LINKS

GOLF 132 DESERT IN ARIZONA

32-PAGE SPECIAL

THE TOP 100 GOLF COURSES IN ENGLAND

N E W S / R E V I E W S / D E S T I N AT I O N S

EUROPE’S PEBBLE BEACH? GARY PLAYER HAS MADE THE CLAIM ABOUT HIS NEW CLIFFTOP COURSE ON THE BULGARIAN COAST.

MONTHLY


THE NEW COURSE

This is the stunning new Gary Player course perched above the Black Sea on Bulgaria’s northern coast – dubbed by the South African as “Europe’s Pebble Beach”. Thracian Cliffs opened for play on June 4. It is part of the Cape Kaliakra golf resort, which features another Gary Player project and the Ian Woosnamdesigned Lighthouse course.

Laid out along three miles of coastline, just about every hole has sea views, but the 6th is the one everyone will talk about. It’s played from a tee some 130feet above an infinity green and from the tips this par 3 can stretch to 240 yards. Player said: “The dramatic nature of the Thracian Cliffs site, from the white cliffs to having holes right on the Black Sea, will allow this course to rival any

golf experience in the world, including Pebble Beach. I’ve been playing golf for 56 years and have never seen a site like this anywhere in the world. I’ve never played on a golf course where you can see the ocean on every single hole.” Green fee: £75. Thracian Cliffs is 45 minutes from Varna airport in Bulgaria and three hours from Bucharest airport. Details: wwwthraciancliffs.com

www.golf-world.co.uk // THE OPEN ISSUE 2011


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