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and exterior styling with chic interiors designed for modern living, perfect for those looking to live near the coast – and ideal for those who enjoy entertaining at home.
You can savour that leisurely lifestyle all year round in one of the fantastic new homes now available at Redrow West Country’s Dawlish developments, The Copse and Warren Grove, with a choice of two, three and four bedrooms.
I’d encourage anyone looking for their dream home near the coast to take a closer look at The Copse and Warren Grove.
The area has so much to offer those who enjoy the good things in life. Several high quality golf courses are within a short distance, so these new homes are ideally positioned for those who grab every opportunity to get out in the great outdoors and work on reducing their handicap. Desirable A short stroll from these new homes is the Warren Golf Club, while other desirable golf courses like Woodbury Park and Exeter Golf and Country Club are within easy driving distance. Both The Copse and Warren Grove offer sought-after family homes in an idyllic location just two miles from Dawlish Warren’s beach and nature reserve. Leisure and shopping facilities are available in the nearby town centre. There are mainline rail connections to Newton Abbot, Exeter and beyond, with access to international and UK flights from nearby Exeter Airport. As part of its celebrated Heritage Collection, Redrow’s latest two, three and four bedroom homes combine traditional build quality
Dream home The Copse and Warren Grove have something for everyone. Down-sizers, couples, families and first-time buyers will find what they are looking for here, thanks to a range of styles including detached and semi-detached houses and a detached bungalow option. Redrow’s Area Sales Manager, Louise Frost, commented: “I’d encourage anyone looking for their dream home near the coast to take a closer look at The Copse and Warren Grove”. Prices at the The Copse range from £362,000 to £525,000 and at Warren Grove from £278,000 to £354,000. Sales Centres (Shutterton Lane, Dawlish, Devon, EX7 0PD) are open daily from 10am to 5.30pm. Call 01626 221 983 or visit www.redrow.co.uk/thecopse
000-AG&L02-Welcome_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 17:13 Page 4
Editor Richard Simmons M 07554 427259 email@example.com Creative Design Tony Seagrave M 07790 374182 firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Director Peter Simmons M 07827 995080 email@example.com
National Finals to showcase the quality of West Country golf PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY JAMES LOVETT
Contributing Photographers Action Images, Mark Newcombe/Visions in Golf, Matthew Harris/The Golf Picture Library, Harry Lawlor/Cartel Images, Phil Inglis, David Cannon/Getty Images Professional Teaching Panel Sir Nick Faldo, Peter Cowen, David Leadbetter, Jean-Jaques Rivet, Dr Paul Hurrion, Richard Sadler, Mark Rowe, Darren Gass, Matt Tucknott, Derek Michell, Gary Lenaghan, James Ruth, Chris Gill, Jonathan Yarwood, Jonathan Lamb
Atlantic Golf & LifeStyle Published by Atlantic Golf & LifeStyle Ltd in association with Simmo Golf Media. Company Number: 10502503 Registered Office: 8, Tower Hill Gardens Rhind Street Bodmin PL31 2FD AG&L
#2 SEPTE MBER /OCT OBER
MY! tals ADEndamen R AC Fu JUNIO
6 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
former England Golf Development officer here in the South West who is now behind an inspired new initiative, Golf Access. You can find out how it works on page 98, where Simon is filling the role of Guest Speaker this issue, but suffice to say that anything designed to get kids and new players into golf gets our vote and we are delighted that so many have taken advantage of the work Simon and his network of pros are doing across the region. Finally, I was delighted to receive a note from the secretary of Came Down Golf Club, up in Dorset, to say that one of his members had returned from a holiday in Cornwall with the launch issue of Atlantic Golf & LifeStyle – and so impressed was he by it that he wondered if it might be possible to include their golf club in our distribution. As things stand AG&L circulate freely to all golf clubs in Cornwall and Devon, however a compromise has been reached whereby we will be sending 50 copies per issue to Came Down Golf Club for the modest cost of delivery. Should any other golf clubs like to enter into a similarly arrangement we’d be only too happy to oblige... Enjoy the issue. Richard Simmons, Editor
Regular Contributors Clive Agran, Peter Alliss, Jeremy Chapman, Anthony ffrench Constant, Tom Cox, Richard Gillis, Robert Green, Ed Hodge, John Hopkins, John Huggan, Peter McEvoy, David Purdie, Jayne Storey, Paul Trow
’ in UN e ‘F g th tin Put
First up, a huge shout-out of thanks to all of the clubs across Cornwall and Devon that have given their invaluable support to the launch of Atlantic Golf & LifeStyle and embraced our goal of creating something special for golfers here in the West Country. Copies have been disappearing fast at every single one of the 70-odd clubs supplied across the region and it’s hugely satisfying to all involved to know that the magazine has been well received. And so to our second issue...and another bumper package of features and instruction that we hope entertains as much as it offers some wellobserved practical advice to help you get more out of your game. One thing all the top coaches featured within these pages would agree on is the benefit to be had watching good golfers in action – and there are some great opportunities on the horizon with the English Club Finals at East Devon (Sept 23-24) and the English County Finals at Trevose (above) a week later (Sept 29-Oct 1). AG&L will be distributing copies of this latest issue at both of these events and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at East Devon and Trevose. My thanks also to Simon Wood, a
For all editorial, production, marketing or design enquiries please call 07554 427259
Printers Deltor Communications Ltd, Long Acre, Saltash Parkway, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 6LZ Tel: 01752 841717 deltoruk.com
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mpg consumption figures quoted are sourced results Directive and Regulation 692/2008), provided for comparability purposes and mayurban not reflect your actual driving experience. OfficialThefuel figuresfrom inofficial mpgEU-regulated (l/100km)testfor the(EU Ford Mondeo Vignale range: are urban 27.2-100.9 (10.4-2.8), extra 47.9-68.9 (5.9-4.1), combined 37.2-67.3 (7.6-4.2). Official CO2 emissions 176-99g/km.
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000-AG&L02-Contents_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:43 Page 8
ISSUE NUMBER 2 contents
THE FRONT NINE 19th Hole Q&A: Editor Richard Simmons talks to former European Tour winner-turned TV personality Nick Dougherty…Sir Nick Faldo @ 60 – so what did his party guests have to say about the career of Britain’s greatest golfer? Gear & technology: Mizuno unveils the alluring MP-18 Series while Ping unleash the G400 range...Golf Access off to a flier...2-Minute Lesson: a simple swing drill that will help you to get better ‘connected’, with the game’s No.1 coach, David Leadbetter...
Comment: Newly qualified referee, Peter McEvoy on slow play & more
Perspective: Cornwall Golf Union captain David Kneebone reflects on the highlights of his two years’ in office
Guest speaker: A brand new initiative, Golf Access, is helping kids get into golf, as Simon Wood reports
FEATURES OPEN REVIEW The Great Escape Jordan Spieth turned potential farce into one of the great final flourishes in Open Championship history to claim the third leg of a career Grand Slam. Robert Green reflects on the extraordinary events at Royal Birkdale
In My View: The Open Championship is never short on drama – and this year didn’t disappoint says Peter Alliss
AG&LIFESTYLE MOTORING Practically unbeatable: AG&L’s motoring correspondent Anthony ffrench Constant takes to the wheel of the rugged yet refined 2017 Land Rover Discovery
PROPERTY Which comes first – the dream design or the plot? Nicola Oddy sets out the ground rules that can take the stress out of a potential new-build project
RESTAURANT 2 minutes with: Nathan Outlaw Inspired by the county he is proud to call home, Nathan Outlaw is the seafood sheriff of Cornwall. Editor Richard Simmons talked to him
CLASSIC COURSE: East Devon A glorious step back in time: One of the West Country’s finest traditional clubs – East Devon – plays host to the English Club Finals this September, and thanks to the craft of head greenkeeper Paul Newcombe, the classic Harry Colt/James Braid-inspired layout will be the star of the show, writes Tom Cox
TRAVEL THE FINEST COURSES TO PLAY, GREAT PLACES TO STAY 58
LOVING LAS COLINAS The luxury golf & lifestyle community at Las Colinas, just 40 minutes’ from Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca, offers much more than a stunning Cabel B. Robinson layout, as Clive Agran discovered DUBLIN’S PARS & BARS Is there a better place to combine a love of the links with celebrations at the 19th hole? Probably not. The fair city of Dublin is second to none when it comes to the golfing craic, writes Andy Marshall
8 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
Portmarnock Links is a ‘mustplay’ on any tour of Dublin – for the ‘craic’, see page 92
For one who wants to drive somewhere different
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Call 0330 159 5418 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit brittanyferries.com/golf
000-AG&L02-Contents_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 17:41 Page 10
ISSUE NUMBER 2 contents
PLAY BETTER GOLF WITH AG&L’S EXPERT PANEL
WITHIN FRONT NINE
How to ‘link up’ your swing
We are delighted to count the world's No.1 coach David Leadbetter among our teaching panel – and here ‘Lead’ demonstrates one of his favourite drills for better arm/body coordination
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE NEWMAN
Truro’s Sarah-Jane Boyd is one of the most impressive women golfers in the country – and there's much we can all learn from her athletic and powerful swing. Coach Nigel Bicknell provides the analysis
St Mellion’s Darren Gass is quietly earning a reputation as one of this country's finest instructors – and with the help of Wiltshire’s Ben Stow, ‘Gassy’ kicks off a new series that can seriously improve your golf
Richard Sadler shows you how to develop a more effective routine on the putting green in practice….which will save you countless shots on the course when it matters MATT TUCKNOTT’S
How do you put the ‘fun’ into fundamentals? Simple, you invite Cornwall’s Director of Junior Development, Matt Tucknott to reveal his secrets to helping kids get off to a flier…
If you are a West Region PGA professional and would like the opportunity to put forward your coaching ideas in the pages of Atlantic Golf & LifeStyle, drop editor Richard Simmons a line – we wlll be shooting new material on location throughout Cornwall and Devon later this summer email@example.com
10 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
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000-AG&L02-FrontNine_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:58 Page 14
THE FRONT NINE
POLISHED PERFORMER A three-time winner on the European Tour, Nick Dougherty has proved himself equally adept in front of the cameras in a second career that promises to be the making of the man – a consummate professional with the confidence and repartee that not only engages his audience but adds a playful, refreshing vibe to Sky Sports’ coverage. After nine years travelling the globe as a player, 35-year-old Dougherty is now into his third season as a presenter and analyst with golf’s most innovative broadcaster – and it’s a role that suits one of the game most likable personalities to a tee. Editor Richard Simmons caught up with Nick during the Open at Royal Birkdale
We’re on the range at Royal Birkdale, the ‘Open Zone’ is buzzing with activity and here you are enjoying banter with the fans – life is good? Yes, I’m loving being a part of the Sky Sports team and really enjoy getting out in front of the fans – especially here in what is, more or less, my home town. The role I have suits me perfectly as it gives me a great blend of work and family time. The difference when you are playing this game for a living is that you never really switch off from the day job. But with TV, when the red light goes off, that’s it. Job done. I can go back to being a dad and that’s what I really like. It’s a normal life. And with a young family now that’s important. 14 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
You were a full-time golfer from a relatively young age and a touring professional for over 10 years – do you miss the competitive element? I really don’t. It’s funny, I actually feel guilty saying that. I just don’t miss being a tour player at all. I still love playing golf, don’t get me wrong. And I love being involved with the professional game in my role with Sky Sports, travelling with and being around the players, but I don’t ever get that feeling of missing out. It’s strange. I think I should have those feelings but I don’t. Was there a single moment you can identify in your career that you actually thought to yourself, ‘You know this is just not working out, it’s time to walk away...’? I think a big part of the problem I had with my game during the latter years of my playing career was simply that I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing and I wasn’t playing well either. The two pretty much go hand in hand. If this makes any sense at all, at the end I just had this burning desire of wanting to play well for one week, so I could prove something, and then walk away. I made the decision that my last tournament would be the Dunhill Links in 2015 as I felt St Andrews was the right place to call time on it all. Not only do I have great memories of winning the Dunhill in 2009 but Di and I were married in St Andrews, so it felt right. But if I can rewind a couple of years back, the moment that I knew it was over occured at Fancourt. I was standing on the 17th tee and I knew I was about to be disqualified for running out of golf balls – I couldn’t keep it on the planet with my
000-AG&L02-FrontNine_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:58 Page 15
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY SKY SPORTS
driver! And I had this overwhelming sense of relief at not having to post a score in the upper 90s! I remember seeing my ball disappear into the jungle and thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s good. I’m finished!’ That really was a horrible point in my career. So, to fast-forward to the Dunhill Links in 2015, and to finish 29th, it was like winning again! When I reflect on it all now, I think my dissatisfaction started in Germany in ’09 when I won the BMW Championship, my third and final tour event. It just didn’t fulfil me as much as it should of done. A lot of that has to do with my mum passing away suddenly in 2008 and the fact she was no longer around for me to make proud, if that makes sense. Rather like Rich Beem you appear to have made a seamless transition to the TV studio – the playing background obviously helps? The playing background is a massive asset and the key, really, is that the players trust me. I love the game and I love talking about it. The creativity at Sky Sports at the moment is fantastic. The Open Zone has been a massive success, where we invite players to talk through their golf swing and demonstrate their skills. It’s so important that golf interacts with the fans. It’s a fun job and the bit I really like is it’s a completely different skill set. Who has been your main inspiration as a broadcaster, who have you learned from? David Livingstone has been incredible. There are an awful lot of good people at Sky to advise you but I have always
admired David and so I asked him a lot of questions when I started and he has been incredibly supportive. I’ll give you an example. I was due to interview Jack Nicklaus at The Memorial this year and I was nervous as hell. I’m not nervous around many players but Jack is Jack and I wanted to be prepared. I asked David if he had any advice for me – how do I get the best of Jack Nicklaus in a oneon-one situation? Twenty-four hours later I get this email from David offering me all sorts of advice and insight, the style of questioning, the importance of making and maintaining eye contact, and so on. He told me that Jack likes to be chatted with, to engage with him, to create a conversation and to be interested in his answers rather than looking down at your notes for the next question! It must have taken David an hour to write this email and it goes to show the class of the man.
In his element: after 10 years on tour, England’s Nick Dougherty has found his niche with Sky Sports and is widely regarded as one of golf’s most likeable and knowledgeable analysts
Is there any comparison between playing and broadcasting in terms of feeling pressure? It’s identical. The fear of failure, the pressure of getting things wrong when the camera comes to you, like the 1st tee, going blank, wanting to produce your best performance, the pressure of wanting to be perfect – terrible for TV, terrible for golf! You try too hard – exactly as you do in golf. That’s what I have learned. Whether it’s golf or TV your’re in the wrong job if you’re looking for perfection. With golf I used to have these negative thoughts and they would take a hold on me. The best players develop technique to bat away negative emotion, and replace it with positive karma. That’s what separates the top guys. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 15
000-AG&L02-FrontNine_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:59 Page 16
THE FRONT NINE What’s it like working with your other half, Di? It’s great. We don’t actually work together on set most weeks – the Open being the exception. We met when I was a player, so to speak(!) and she was presenting. I was given the heads up that she might be quite keen and so I asked her out for a drink, which thankfully she was up for. It was a slow burner but all good. We both love the travel and we are apart a lot, which I kind of like. It’s funny, as a golfer you get used to a life of having your own space. That’s no reflection on Di...it’s just the way that I am after the career I had. I’m a very lucky man. We have two kids – Bridgette is two in December and Max is five – and between the two of us and juggling nannies we just about cope. It’s a balancing act. My little boy, Max, gets upset and is now just starting to ask why I am going – it tears my heart out. I can’t imagine still playing and being on the road for a month. That’s a tough gig for all tour players who have a young family.
With its classic tour profile the Black Cat driver begs to be hit. A moveable weight bar on the sole allows for spin bias fade /draw control
“I have to say I absolutely love the Lynx brand and the values the company upholds in the industry. It’s a family-owned business and I’m proud to be an ambassador. The muscleback blades were a revelation when I first tried them – I was calling the numbers and I can honestly say I’ve never struck my irons better.”
What’s life all about away from golf? Di is really into health and fitness and so we are both gym bunnies. We do loads with the kids. Di loves rambling, walking the countryside and so on. I don’t, particularly, but I show willing! I’m on the road for 16 weeks a year so home time is precious and it’s all about the kids and what they want to do. We live in Sunningdale and occasionally pop up and play the par-three course at Wentworth. Max loves that and I get the same thrill any dad does taking his son to play golf. How did your tie-in with Lynx Golf come about? I was a Callaway player my whole career and they were great. But when Di – who is a Lynx ambassador – suggested that I take a look at their gear and try it I thought, why not? I went out and put the whole range to the test. I like to use blades and the Lynx muscelback is amazing. And then there’s the Black Cat driver which is as long as anything I’ve ever hit. I can honestly tell you that my iron striking has never really been better – with a blade you can call numbers, and be within a couple of yards. I genuinly love the product and what Lynx as a brand stands for. The niche market, in my mind, is the kid’s gear – it is absolutely fantastic. The custom-build aspect of it is very impressive. We are all aware of the importance of having clubs that are the right length and weight so that kids can get off to a good start in the game and Lynx make it very easy to get that aspect of your purchase right. It’s affordable, too. In terms of growing the game do we really expect new players to fork out £500 on a set of clubs? Di would kill me if I didn’t say the ladie’s gear is fantastic too! Di loves it as much for the colour coding as she does the performance! Anyone old enough to remember the ‘Boom Boom’ days of Fred Couples in the 1980s and 90s will know the power of the brand. 16 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
The 2017 Parallax iron is a stainless steel cavity-back with a high lustre finish. Standard set is 5-PW. Kids are equally well catered for in the the shape of the Lynx Junior range
000-AG&L02-FrontNine_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:59 Page 17
GOLF ACCESS PROVING A BIG HIT ACROSS THE REGION Golf Access, a new and innovative project aimed at attracting new players into the game is fast becoming the West Country’s most successful campaign of recent years – as these happy faces at Teignmouth Golf club will testify. The man behind the project is Cornwall’s Simon Wood, our Guest Speaker this issue, and on page 98 you can find out more about a programme that has enabled young and new players to get a taste of the game in a format that makes it less intimidating than the traditional route to the tee. As for these youngsters pictured with Teignmouth professional Rob Selley, the popularity of the scheme appears to speak for itself. golfaccess.co.uk
000-AG&L02-FrontNine_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:59 Page 18
THE FRONT NINE
SIR NICK FALDO AT 60! Britain’s greatest ever golfer turned 60 on the Tuesday of Open week at Royal Birkdale where editor Richard Simmons took the opportunity of asking selected party guests for their personal in the career of the six-time major champion PHOTOGRAPHY MATTHEW HARRIS // TGPL
Team Faldo celebrate the big 6-0 (leftto-right) son Matthew, eldest daughter Natalie, Emma & Georgia
“Nick Faldo joined the European Tour shortly after I came into the administration of the game. In fact he was one of the last pros who came in and served probation, which meant that he couldn’t take prize money for 6 months. Always focused, Sir Nick embodied what I would define as the ‘model’ professional. You could tell that. Of course there are many highlights over the years, both on and off the course. How well I remember dinners at Augusta on the Saturday night – that was special. But after the Open at St Andrews in 1990, which he describes as the best golfing week of his life, he took over the boardroom in the Old Course Hotel, with just a handful of close friends, a large glass of red wine – which remained untouched at the end of the evening – and he was just drinking in the atmosphere. That, to me, was a great privilege. The other moment that sticks in my mind occurred shortly after Europe’s 9-point Ryder Cup defeat in 2004, Bernhard Langers’ captaincy in Detroit, and we were assembled at Burhill Golf Club for the final of the Faldo Junior Series, with a certain Rory McIlroy among the competitors. Faldo made this wonderful speech. The passion that he has for
18 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
the Ryder Cup came across loud and clear as he told the youngsters that we will never rest until we win the Ryder Cup by nine points again with someone in this room on that team. He listed what he believed were five key points that the youngsters had to focus on to get to that level. And Rory remembers that to this day.” George O’Grady, Former Chief Executive of the European Tour “My first memories of golf with Dad were at St George’s Hill, where we lived for a while, and the Par-3 Course at Wentworth, which was a favourite playground. I had my first lesson on the range and I can remember Dad telling me over and over again, “Matthew, the ball doesn’t lie.” Only when I started at secondary school did I really begin to understand who my Dad was. You start hearing it around school, I had never really taken much interest or taken it that seriously before. I was born in 1989 so by the time I was a teenager Dad had enjoyed the best years of his career. But the last 10 years it’s been great to be able to get on the bag whenever he has played, to caddy at the Open and at Augusta. A Sunday game before the Masters
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is a family tradition now, to stay there and play the course. It’s just phenomenal – but it all goes by too quickly!” Matthew Faldo “I think my favourite single moment is that final putt in 1987 at Muirfield to complete 18 pars on Sunday. You just knew that four-footer was to win – and with nerves of steel he nailed it. My favourite picture? I think it has to be the 2-iron second shot to the 13th hole at Augusta in 1996. That ranks as one of the greatest shots I’ve ever seen – and one of the classiest rounds in Masters history.” David Cannon / photographer “Back in 1996 I was just three or four years on tour and I was playing the Benson & Hedges at the Oxfordshire. Nick had beaten Greg [Norman] in the Masters earlier that season and I rather audaciously put my name down to play a practice round with him. Now, as everybody will tell you, as a player Nick was not known for being a buddy-buddy type of guy. He was somewhat aloof and he was intimidating. I was nervous as could be but it turned out to be one of the best practice rounds I’ve played. I plucked up the nerve to ask about the Masters – it was an exhibition in the mental game, what was the secret? His answer was so profound. It sounds simplistic when I repeat it to you now: He said, “In golf you’ve just got to be good.” You know, there’s a lot talked about the mental game. But I’ve always remembered that – and he was right. If you’re not able to play the shots you’re not going to beat anybody.” Paul McGinley, Europe’s 2014 winning Ryder Cup captain “I was with Nick, on the bag for fourteen years – longer than most marriages! The Ryder Cup obviously holds a lot of special memories, notably the wedge shot at Oak Hill in 1995, which was incredible. I even helped him line up that putt, and he nailed it dead centre. But if I have to single out one moment, it would have to be the 1990 Open at St Andrews. He played about the greatest golf he ever played that week and when we were walking off the tee at the final hole – he had hit a great drive and we knew he had won – he turned to me and said, “Just take a look around and enjoy this moment.” I wouldn’t have done that without him saying it. He waited for me and we walked across the Swilken Bridge together. That was amazing and will stay with me forever.” Fanny Sunesson “There are many things. I’m personally very thankful for his friendship. I met him for the first time at Lake Nona when he was working with Lead – I was 13 and for some reason he took a liking to me and took me under his wing. So I have been able to spend a lot of time with him, to hang out, learn from him, play practice rounds and so on. We share a locker at Augusta National, which is special. I’ve learn so much from his professionalism, the way he would unlock golf courses, the strategy, the way he would ‘own’ his golf swing and understood all the shots – so many things that I have learned over the years.” Trevor Immelman, 2008 Masters Champion
“I told Nick earlier tonight, I said you know when I look at the champions of the game, to be classified as someone who is a true ‘great’ you have to win four, five or six major championships. I have won two majors and I don’t put myself in that category. Nick Faldo is clearly in that category. He was so methodical. He was so precise. He wasn’t a player who could overpower a golf course but he was a master chess player. He was the ultimate competitor. He wore down the golf course. And you know, I played a little part in Nick’s rebirth as a golfer, if you will. In 1982 I had struggled, I was at Pinehurst and I met up with the coach Hank Haney. I was not playing at all well and I wanted to improve my swing, to create a more rotary motion, more on plane and to take the hands out of it. In the spring of 1983 I had Nick over to dinner in Dallas and we talked at length about the golf swing. I told him all about the work I had been doing with Haney, using the bigger muscles in the body to create a better rotary motion, and so on. And I mentioned this new coach on the scene – some guy called David Leadbetter – who was making a name for himself using this very concept. The next thing you know he goes to work with Leadbetter and what happens? They revolutionise teaching. His mindset is that way. The rest is history. He built such a sound, mechanically solid golf swing he knew where that ball was going all the time!” Mark O’Meara, 1998 Masters and Open champion
No jacket required: fellow Masters champions Trevor Immelman and Phil Mickelson enjoy the revelry at chez Faldo
“Nick is one of the greatest players in the game, he has won six major championships and numerous other tournaments, but when I look at him there is something that has always perplexed me: look at him, he’s 6’ 5” tall, 240 lbs, he’s as astrong as an ox, but he hits it so short. That’s always baffled me. I think it’s one of the great mysteries of the game, to be honest.” Phil Mickelson SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 19
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GEAR & TECHNOLOGY
MIZUNO’S MODERN FAMILY The all-new MP18 series is a triumph as the legendary skills of Mizuno’s master YORO craftsman create the ultimate ‘modern family’ of players’ irons To the connoisseur of forged craftsmanship the launch of a new series of Mizuno’s revered MP Series irons is nothing short of seismic; and this season it’s a gift aimed not only at elite low-handicap players but one that promises the benefit of classic forged iron design and performance to players of all abilities. Simply stated, the MP-18 has been designed to bring out the artist in every player. The ultimate blend of looks, feel, playability and ‘workability’ is not confined to the pure ‘muscleback’ blade – moreover, the lineage of the classic head shape can be found in the two accompanying models that make up Mizuno’s ‘modern family’ – the subtle graduation to a split-cavity iron (MP-18 SC) and a fullblown game-improvement model (MMC). The launch of the new MP-18s thus heralds a new era in Mizuno’s offering and is set to enhance the company’s reputation even further when they arrive at retail across the UK from this September. With three distinct forged designs there is greater scope than ever before for players to ‘mix-and-match’ models to create the perfect ‘custom’ set to suit their needs – indeed, so subtle is the transtion across the range you could conceivably create a mixed set featuring irons from all three. Grain Flow Forged at Mizuno’s exclusive Hiroshima plant, the crafted nuances of each head shape bear the signature of Mizuno’s legendary master-craftsman, ‘Turbo’, the man responsible for working on Nick Faldo’s irons in the 1980s and 90s. “The eye for detail and the skill with which he is able to grind movement into the head shape is phenomenal,” says the six-time major champion. “The look of the MP-18 range is very much a throwback to the pure design of the 1990s – this is club-making as an art form.” For elite players the temptation to mix 16 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
the MP18 muscleback with the MP18SC will be hard to resist. From every playing position, the two models blend beautifully as a mixed set, offering the opportunity to favour the blade in the shorter irons and complement them with, say, a 4-, 5- and 6-iron split-cavity model. Equally, the impressively engineered MMC model – the fruits of a three-year project led by Mizuno’s master craftsmen to develop a highly stable, forgiving multi-metal construction iron which also satisfied their aesthetic desires – will flow beautifully into any MP-18 split set, the degree of offset carefully calculated to sit alongside the MP-18 and MP-18 SC (once lofts have be adjusted). Even with both lightweight titanium and heavier tungsten components sealed within its 1025E mild carbon steel head, the MP-18 MMC retains that recognisable ‘tour ready’ profile. “We literally shifted the balance of science and art with the MP series,” says Chris Voshell, Mizuno’s Senior Club Engineer. “You can instantly notice a greater input from the master craftsmen in that the MP-18 is more like the blades that made Mizuno famous – just more precise in its flow and manufacturing. At impact, this is just about perfection.” The biggest dilemma for fans of this exquisite Japanese craftsmanship is likely to be the configuration of the ‘perfect’ set. Ultimately, that will boil down to the look and the feel that suits a golfer’s personal preference. Feel and performance comes as standard. A feat of engineering, indeed.
Pure artistry: the MP-18 muscleback represents a lifetime’s experience as Mizuno’s master-craftsman, ‘Turbo’, delivers a club bearing the hallmarks of the company’s definitive model, with a shorter blade length, a cambered top line and signature low heel grind
RRPs and options MP-18 £135/€ 175 per iron (#3-PW, Right Hand only); MP-18 SC £135/€ 175 per iron (#3-PW, Left and Right Hand) MP-18 MMC £150/€ 195 per iron (#4-PW, Right Hand Only) golf.mizunoeurope.com
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So subtle is the transformation from muscleback to a cavity-back that the MP18-SC offers all of the aesthetic pleasures of golf’s ultimate players’ iron with the lower centre of gravity and peripheral-weighted benefits of a Split Cavity
MIZUNO CLUB-FIT COMPETITION
Highly stable and dynamic, the MP-18 MMC (Multi Material Construction) delivers a beautifully engineered game-improvement iron that retains that distinctive tour profile – offering out-and-out playability while at the same time blending seamlessly into a mixed set
AND THE WINNER IS... The opportunity to win a full set of custom-fit Mizuno irons saw a flood of entries to this fantastic competition announced in our launch issue. Our congratulations go to our lucky winner, Philip Jewell, Barnstaple. Details of Philip’s experience following his date at Mizuno’s regional fitting centre at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club will appear in a future issue.
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GEAR & TECHNOLOGY
PING G400 SERIES
Attention to every slightest detail is the secret to the triumph in engineering that is the all-new PING G400 Series, featuring a wholesale re-rack of the company’s premium product
BUILT FOR SPEED, ENGINEERED FOR DISTANCE At 445cc the G400 is fractionally smaller in volume than its predecessor but significantly more aerodynamic for increased clubhead speed while at the same time raising the MOI (moment of inertia) above that of any previous model. In addition to the space-age streamlined shape, Ping engineers have incorporated a thinner, more responsive forged clubface for optimum ball speeds while a high-density tungsten back weight and ‘Dragonfly’ sole design combine to create the lowest centre of gravity of any driver on the market. The result is the most forgiving driver in golf and – say Ping – the most consistent in terms of dispersion when tested against the leading opposition
PING G400 IRON Forgiveness and control: that’s been the promise of Ping’s legendary game-improvement irons over the years and in the shape of the G400 the company believes it has raised the bar higher still. COR-Eye technology and a new top-rail undercut combine to increase the flexibility of what is an ultra-strong and thin face, producing a catapult-like effect delivering faster ball speeds. A composite back-cavity badge of titanium and elastomer provides great acoustic feedback. “We call this our game-enjoyment iron,” says Ping’s John K. Solheim. “Golfers can expect to hit one club less to the green with a ball flight of two clubs less.” Available in 4-9, PW, UW, SW, LW in 10 colour codes SRP: £110 per iron with steel shaft, £120 graphite. pinggolf.co.uk
DE-STRESS WITH THE PING CROSSOVER Kiss those long irons goodnight... Ping’s second-generation Crossover combines the precision and control of an iron with the promise of increased ball speed and playability courtesy of an easy-up Hybrid. Available in lofts 3 (19 degrees), 4 (22) and 5 (25). RRP £200 22 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
SOLID LOOKS, SOLID SOUND Not only is the G400 Ping’s fastest driver yet but the acoustics and the feel at impact together add to the satisfying experience of letting fly! The powerful sound is the result of computer simulation coupled with music theory to identify the audio feedback – the internal architecture then fine-tuned to deliver the frequencies that give a deeper, more muted sound at impact (further enhanced by the forged face). Three head options are available according to desired ball flight and swing characteristics, along with several loft options 9, 10.5 (std), 8.5 & 10 (LST) and 12 (SFT). RRP £389
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Quinta do Lago lays down the Challenge
Following Clive Agran’s report on the fabulous year-round golf destination that is Portugal’s Algarve in our launch issue (see Portugal’s Playground Awaits), readers may be interested to learn about the 22nd Hotel Quinta do Lago Amateur Golf Challenge (Oct 28-Nov 4), regarded as the highlight of the golfing and social season. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World since 1988, Hotel Quinta do Lago is one of the most
exclusive five-star luxury hotels in Portugal, set in one of Europe’s most prestigious beach and golf resorts. From the hotel’s elegant rooms and suites guests enjoy a view over the Ria Formosa’s tidal lagoon while the pleasure of walking access to the nature trails of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and golden sand beach of Quinta do Lago only adds to the experience. Faro international airport is just 30 minutes’ from the hotel and with
direct flights available from regional airports (including a new seasonal Ryanair service from Newquay), Quinta do Lago makes for the perfect short-haul European escape. For more information on the Quinta do Lago Amateur Golf Challenge, which promises 7 days of great golf – featuring Quinta do Lago South, Laranjal and Monte Rei among others – email: email@example.com or telephone (+352) 289 350 400.
Stay & play: Hotel Quinta do Lago enjoys one of the finest settings in the Algarve while (the Laranjal layout (inset) is one of several top courses on the fun-packed 7-day itinerary
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GEAR & TECHNOLOGY ALL-NEW SRIXON AD333 The best-selling two-piece ball for the last 11 years is now even better than ever. Featuring a low compression core, the AD333 responds to regular swing speeds while the third-generation ‘SpinSkin’ outer covering delivers consistent feel and spin contol approaching and on the green. Available in Pure White and Tour Yellow, RRP: £22 per dozen. srixon.co.uk
CLEVELAND CBX WEDGES Cleveland has revealed a new line of wedges aimed at the 84% of golfers who use cavity-back irons – the CBX being a revised take on the traditional wedge for players who use the game-improvement irons. The CBX is designed to be easier-to-hit than classic tour-inspired wedges, while at the same time providing more spin (courtesy of Rotex face) and sole-design versatility than you typically find in set-matched wedges. Available in both men’s and ladies’ models, 46 - 60 degree loft option. SRP: £109 per club. clevelandgolf.co.uk A WORLD FIRST AS COBRA LAUNCH ONE LENGTH Inspired by the custom club-fitting preferences of mildly eccentric American golfer Bryson De Chambeau, Cobra has launched the world’s first matched set of one-length irons – the F-MAX ONE LENGTH promising consistent ball-striking performance in a super-lightweight game-improvement low profile iron model. The F-MAX ONE also feature Lamkin REL 360 midsize grips that deliver a lighter swingweight and improve consistency. The 5 irons in the ‘set’ (6-PW) are all based around a standard 7-iron length, low-profile heads promising easy launch while a progressive offset hosel adds a draw bias. Clearly this is not a concept that is going to suit everybody but you can’t fault the logic – and there's only one way to find out – book yourself a test through your local cobra golf retailer or professional. SRP: Men's ONE LENGTH Set (£449 / £549 Graphite, 5-piece set, 6-PW); Women's ONE LENGTH Set (£549 - 5-piece set, 7PW + SW). cobragolf.co.uk
SCOTTY CAMERON FUTURA 5.5M Scotty Cameron has added a high-MOI mallet to his new Futura line of putters – the Futura 5.5M combining the forgiveness of a mallet with the feel of a blade. “The idea for the Futura 5.5M began as a prototype when Justin Thomas came to the Putter Studio looking for a new option,” says Scotty. “He wanted a smaller mallet that he could easily align but one that also promoted the arced putting stroke he preferred. We welded a flare neck to a Futura X5 Tour putter and sent him on his way. The wheels started turning from there and now we have a mallet with more toe-flow for players who like that arcing feel in their stroke, but who also want more forgiveness while maintaining the feel of a blade-style putter.” Milled from lightweight 6061 aircraft grade aluminium, integrated with precision-milled 303 stainless steel – the materials used in construction enabled weight to be moved back from the face and out to the perimeter for a compact mallet-shape head with enhanced MOI (resistance to twisting). The Futura 5.5M is available from selected Titleist retailers. SRP: £335. titleist.co.uk ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
The compact 5.5M mallet – about 10% smaller than the similarly-shaped Futura 7M – is designed for easy alignment with built-in toe flow
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The art of paying attention! Concluding a two-part feature, Jayne Storey examines how to strengthen your voluntary attention (the skill of champions) and explores how to take advantage of the reduction of involuntary attention during a quiet afternoon’s golf to access the zone or flow state, which research shows is the way to
he ability to focus on specifics, excluding other stimuli, forms the basis of attention which can be considered a concentration of consciousness. However, that’s just half the story. Attention comes in many forms from voluntary (the ability to deliberately focus on a chosen subject), to involuntary (the endless stream of data reaching us from the outside world), day-dreaming and others, and the game of golf requires that you use different forms of attention depending on the task at hand. Strengthening Voluntary Attention Ultimately, what you decide to pay attention to (before, during and after a round) shapes your very experience as a golfer. It’s important to understand that there is an endless stream of thoughts tumbling through the mind at any given moment and the reduction of incessant mental interference is the key to breaking through any plateau in performance and reaching your potential as player. In fact, reducing mental interference is part of the formula for accessing ‘the zone’ (the other ingredients are having skill and passion!). To this end, many of the world’s top stars – including Jason Day and Justin Rose – are now practising Meditation, the act of deliberately focusing on the breath, with the aim of reducing mental interference and increasing relaxed focus. The golfers I’ve worked with, from committed amateurs to tour professionals are constantly amazed at the benefits a quieter mind can bring to their game. The ability to focus on the breath is a skill that can be learned and then incorporated into any part of the game where you feel nerves, anxiety and mental chatter can distract you from the present shot. I like to use the mantra “One breath at a time, one shot at a time, and one hole at a time”, to emphasise the importance of voluntarily focusing the attention in the present moment.
cal part of their mind and simply engage with their surroundings. A morning on the golf course should be an enjoyable experience as urban noise is now absent and the gentle stimulus of nature comes to the fore. If you can stay with your senses and learn not to over-ride this with typical mental-game inner chatter (thinking about thinking!) or overly working your technique (thinking about movement!) you will, as one of my students put it, “feel curiously happier”.
Switching Off Involuntary Attention In our modern lives there is an endless stream of ‘noise’ reaching us from the outside world and to which our attention is involuntarily given (mostly trying to filter out the sound while we concentrate on a particular task). Our minds get so used to this data-overload that when you step on the golf course, the tendency is to bring all of this noise with you, from rushing to the first tee, over-thinking, fiddling with your grip, thinking about technique in the middle of a game – all of which contributes to a game I call “search for a swing”. This phenomenon affects even the most experienced players if they cannot unplug the analyti-
The Power of Day-Dreaming Letting your mind wander is a natural default-state when voluntary attention is rested and this is something that often happens when you’re walking to the ball between shots. However, left unchecked the mind will start to ruminate on unresolved issues and problems and on the golf course this is likely to manifest as bringing to mind all the times you shanked it on the next hole or ended up in the water or any number of negative scenarios which undermine confidence and start a chain reaction of anxiety (shallow-breathing, overthinking, searching for a swing and – hey presto – a repeat performance of exactly what you were trying to avoid!
26 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
In ‘the zone’: Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama put on a masterclass of focus and control during the final round of the WGC Bridgestone Championship to produce one of the great final rounds in golf – a 9-under-par 61 that literally brought Firestone to its knees
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But day-dreaming can be useful if you take control and get productive with it. For instance, as you’re walking down the fairway, whatever the outcome of the previous shot and whatever you’re facing, if you can see yourself going through your pre-shot routine, breathing deeply, quieting your mind, standing strong at address, this will help you prepare well. Research has always shown that visualisation is a key component of sporting achievement but we now understand that simply visualising a good shot isn’t enough, you must see yourself going through the process upon which a good shot is based. Perhaps this is why Jack Nicklaus’s technique of ‘going to the movies’ on every shot paid such handsome dividends – he wouldn’t step in to execute a shot until he has a clear visual in his mind of the desired outcome. ‘Soft’ and ‘sharp’ focus at address Also called narrow and broad focus, each have their strengths and weaknesses – the key is learning how to manage them and when to switch to one type of focus or the other. When setting up for your shot you will initially have a soft or broad focus of attention as you expand your peripheral vision, take in the course, find your target and go through your pre-shot routine. When getting ready to take the shot however, the sharp or narrow focus typically takes over as you go through your swing thoughts and look at the ball, but this isn’t always as useful as it might seem. Research has shown that a sharp focus increases negative emotions while a soft focus helps us to feel more relaxed and positive – so how do you maintain a soft focus while standing over the ball? Learning to quieten your mind is the first step here, in the style of Jason Day standing with his eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths before committing to the shot, but that’s only half the picture. If your attention can be on your own physical body – perhaps feeling the pressure of your feet on the ground or your hands gripping the club – this will help move you out of sharp focus and into the realm of sensation and feeling. Once the analytical mind is given a time-out, it stops trying to control everything with its running commentary and distrust of your abilities and allows the body to move freely, effortlessly and with a relaxed, natural power.
will help to steady both mind and body Post-Shot 5. Open up your senses and engage with your surroundings. Breathe in the full experience of the golf course – be aware of your surroundings 6. As you walk to the ball visualise the process of playing the next shot as well as the hope for outcome 7. Silently repeat the golf performance mantra – ‘One breath at a time, one shot at a time, one hole at a time’ – to stay in the present moment. On the Greens 8. Notice how your breathing becomes quicker and shallower and your grip tightens when anxiety sets in; slow it all down, deepen your breathing and relax your grip – ‘just enough’ is all you need. To sign up for Jayne’s newsletter, visit: JayneStorey.com
Launceston Golf Club Spectacular views over the Devon and Cornwall border
Top Tips for Getting into Flow State Game Preparation 1. Sit quietly focusing on your breath for 5-10 minutes, making everything quiet inside; follow this by placing a golf ball on the ground approximately 3 feet in front of you and continue to meditate while looking at it with calm detachment Pre-Shot 2. On the tee, keep your focus soft and expand your peripheral vision while taking a few deep breaths to fully relax your body in readiness for motion 3. Take your time with your practice swings; rushing things will only get you you out of ‘flow’ 4. Before making your swing, bring your awareness to your physical self, perhaps feeling your feet on the ground which
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This exercise is designed to be used with a short iron, a 9iron or a wedge, making just a three-quarter length swing back and through to develop the feel for the synchronisation between arms and body
As the left elbow folds, focus on keeping your chest moving all the way to the finish. Use this drill as a warm-up to get your body rotation and armswing working ‘in sync’ before moving on to the longer clubs
How to ‘link up’ your swing GET YOUR LEFT ARM AND CHEST WORKING IN SYNC One of the things I try to impress on my students is the importance of having the arms and chest ‘linked’ during the swing – a concept that is central to the success of my ‘A-Swing’ principes aimed at helping all golfers to enjoy making an easier, more coordinated move. And this idea of ‘linkage’ is just as important in the through-swing as it is in the backswing. Lodging a headcover high under your left arm and then keeping it there as you hit a few shots with a short iron is a simple and effective way of improving this element of your swing (and the overall symmetry of your movement generally). Just a few minutes’ rehearsing this exercise will improve the relationship between the left arm and chest, while at the same time coordinating this ‘linkage’ with your body. The shot over the camera illustrates the benefit clearly. 28 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
I advise using a short iron to do this. Make a three-quarter backswing and then focus on the soft folding away of the left arm as you rotate through the shot and collect the ball en route to the finish. Keeping the left arm and chest linked creates a much stronger unit and a more efficient release of speed through the ball – and the more often you practice this the more effectively you will strengthen the heart of your swing. I’m a big believer in developing the core rotation that this drill promotes as a means to improving the mechanics of your full swing in the long game generally. The more you sync-up the arms and the body, the more efficient and reliable your full swing will be as you simply lengthen the swing arc with the longer-shafted clubs. davidleadbetter.com
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PETER ALLISS Major drama on both sides of the Atlantic
his year’s Open at Royal Birkdale was a strange mixture. We had the usual spectrum of weather and – as is so often the case in our great Championship – many players found themselves lucky with regards to the timing of their first two rounds. You can certainly get bitten by the draw. When the poor weather came in it was short and sharp but pretty horrid. Record crowds came for an English venue – they always do in this golf-mad corner of England – and it was splendid to see so many young people. The scoring was quite remarkable due, primarily, to the lack of rough, although there had been lots of rain on the West Coast for some inexplicable reason the Birkdale/Southport area seemed to miss a lot of it – what’s that wonderful saying – “We have our own micro climate here”! The BBC’s two-hour highlights show each evening was a great success. I think the initial figures suggest an audience of 1.3 million, which really is fantastic. I always marvel at the skills of the video analysts and technicians who can watch the golf all day and then piece together sections of play which are easy to follow and give the viewer at home a complete picture of how the day went and who is leading the way. The R&A, as usual, did a wonderful job in running the show, although it did make me chuckle when the new secretary of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, had a dig at the BBC for being antiquated and behind the times. A case of the pot calling... well, you know where I’m coming from. As I’ve got older I hope I’ve become more of an observer than a critic, although there are moments when the old war horse in me rises when I think of all the talk that’s gone on over the years as to what’s going to happen in the world of golf but, at the end of it all, very little changes. Of what do I speak? Well, take slow play. The R&A, God bless ‘em, and their various officials, have pontificated for more than 60 years about the speed of play and yet nothing is done. This year’s Championship threw up some chronic cases of disobedience to the rules. On the last day the final pairing – yes, I know they were the leaders – were up to 2½ holes behind the pair in front and, for most of the round, at least 1½ - 2 holes behind. They were warned on the 10th but not put on the clock; it made no difference. Then we had the debacle of Jordan Spieth’s very wayward drive at the 13th which resulted in officials from both the amateur and professional ranks walking, talking, pondering, pointing. Somewhere in the distance I thought I heard Elvis Presley’s voice singing out, “A little less talk, a little more action”. Spieth escaped, miraculously, as he had done several times that round, and ended up on the hole with a bogey five. Which must have felt like a birdie. Then, for reasons nobody will ever know, he walked onto the next tee, hit the ball at the green and it went within a yard of the hole for a 2. He then missed certainly three out of the next four fairways yet somehow managed to go birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, par to win the Championship and receive the huge accolades that followed. 30 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
He’s a funny one, isn’t he, Spieth. A petulant streak runs all the way through him, a very complex character masquerading beneath that rather boyish facade. Of course, had he and Matt Kucher been penalised for their tardiness it would have caused a major incident – President Trump would have been tweeting, letters would have been written to The Times. God knows what might have happened, and yet the R&A and all the other golfing bodies continue to moan and groan about slow play and...do nothing. And so to the USPGA – and an unexpected stint at the BBC’s Manchester studios where we were installed over the four days adding commentary to the US live feed. Not easy. I’m told the powers that be in America were not happy with the viewing figures on the satellite channel and so, at the 11th hour, the BBC were offered access to the game’s fourth major for the first time in a number of years. The contracts ongoing are sketchy (Augusta grant TV rights for the Masters on a year-by-year basis, so it will be interesting to see what they choose to do...) but I wonder if we will ever return to the days when the BBC had the rights to cover golf’s majors championships so golfers could once again enjoy the luxury of old-fashioned TV golf with no gismos or adverts. Ah, sheer bliss! There’s something of a Cinderella story about the rebirth of the USPGA. It used to be regarded rather disparagingly and there was even talk for a while of adding a 5th major elsewhere in the world to make up for its perceived weakness. Not any more. Over the last fifteen or 20 years the USPGA has been restored and this year’s championship played over the redoubtable Quail Hollow layout was a huge success. In Justin Thomas the game of golf has a true champion and he was very, very impressive over the closing stretch. What a striker of the golf ball, too. It was disappointing that a number of our top players didn’t make it for the weekend but what a find we have in Wiltshire’s Jordan Smith. The former Brabazon Trophy winner and Walker Cup player earned his maiden victory on the European Tour at the Porsche Open in July and his confidence is growing by the day. He played well, spoke well, and to my eye fits right in with golf’s new group of young superstars – Spieth, Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepke. Suddenly the game seems to have a crop of young and stylish players at the top of the tree. Lastly, a note on Rory McIlroy. I’m concerned about him. He’s just not firing on all cylinders – whether that’s physical or mental I don’t know. I mentioned during commentary that he reminds me of Arnold Palmer, he appears to have the golfing mindset of Palmer and not Jack Nicklaus. He makes silly mistakes. In my entire career I never saw Jack Nicklaus play a stupid shot – like Jason Day did at the final hole on Saturday. Jack never did that. In this game you learn to hit the ball and then you learn to play. We all know that Rory knows how to play, maybe he just needs to reassess his strategy. More Jack, less Arnie.
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000-AG&L02-Column.McEvoy_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 15:59 Page 32
PETER MCEVOY Getting up to speed with slow play...Birkdale & more
t’s common these days to hear people moaning about the powers that be not doing enough to stamp out slow play. For the game’s governing bodies, not keeping up with modern trends or the requirements of today’s “Millenium” generation is a regular accusation. Well, I am now in a position to dispute these assertions. As a new member of the R&A Championship Committee I was required to both take the Rules exam (that was a shock after 40 years!) and to do some refereeing. Like so many with a playing background I really only had a cursory knowledge of the Rules. The exam is tough but I survived and was let loose as a ref. Straight in at the deep end, my first assignment was the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily, a full European Tour event. Heavily protected by the Tour I still managed to make my maiden mistake. It wasn’t a mistake that affected anyone’s score...although I was with the leader at the time! Taking the hit I radioed in to own up. “I have just made my first mistake” I confessed. “No” replied Mike Stewart, the Tournament Director. “Your first mistake was the ruling – you have just made your second by broadcasting the first to all and sundry on the radio!” Well, you learn from these things I suppose. What I really learned, though, was just how hard the game works to keep play moving on. Timing on the course is the overwhelming issue occupying – I would hazard a guess – over 90% of the attention of referees. Players dropping just a minute or two behind schedule are reported, monitored and acted upon if necessary. This pattern has been repeated in R&A events that I have subsequently refereed at, including the Open. I can say now with complete certainty that the game and its administration could not be trying harder to keep players moving. Having said all that I do not think slow play is really just a golfing problem. All sports are plagued. In the 1960s Fred Trueman and Brian Statham bowled 20 overs an hour. Now, off the same runs, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad bowl 12. Look at how long it takes Raffa Nadal to serve or the time it takes to set a scrum. Everything has slowed down. Much of the problem can be laid at the door of coaching in my opinion. Players seemingly have to enter a trance, as advocated by their shrinks, and go through pre-shot routines of increasing complexity. Of course it would be unfair to point the accusatory finger at coaches to an absolute extent as they are only reflecting greater cultural moves. People take themselves more seriously than they used to. That’s what it all amounts to. The “because I’m worth it” society needs more time. Fuelled by social media echo chambers we are encouraged to give ourselves more and more attention. Ultimately, this manifests itself in things taking longer and sport is not excepted. So don’t just blame the coaches and certainly don’t blame the game, blame everybody! 32 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
I am increasingly amazed at the emphasis put on caddies these days. It reared its head again when Rory McIlroy sacked his longterm caddy and the media went into a frenzy. Why? I realise that a good caddie is an asset but I am not sure it’s the game breaker some would have you believe. Additionally, if it is a critical factor – and I don’t really believe it is – then wouldn’t that diminish the sport somewhat anyway. It is a bit like Formula One is diminished (in my eyes anyway) because not all drivers are in the same car or horse racing because not all jockeys are on the same horse. I appreciate that many will disagree vehemently with this but my only interest is in seeing who is the best player. Any distortion of the level playing field, be it car, horse or caddie, simply muddies the waters – to mix my metaphors. I always liked to have a caddy who was a good companion. Having a chat on the way round was the most important thing, especially in long pro event rounds. Thereafter I only would take advice very rarely and only if I was in a state of real uncertainty and only when my caddie really knew my game. Even then a caddy cannot know how strong or weak you are feeling, how aggressive or defensive, how confident or the myriad of other factors that can go into making a decision. In the amateur game caddies were often imposed on you, say at an away Walker Cup. Often such a caddy would offer early advice, say on a putt – “An inch outside right lip” for example. My response was always to ask politely for no unsolicited advice. It was obviously rubbish anyway as how did the caddy know how hard I was going to hit a putt? Hell, I didn’t know how hard I was going to hit it! No, I think it is all overstated. A good companion is the main thing. If that relationship goes stale, then time to change. Great Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Scoring was low when conditions were benign – and some players did get lucky with the draw. Birkdale is a tough test but it buckled under the power of the modern player when weather defences were absent. Many are happy to see low scoring. I am not so sure. I was amazed at the number of short irons being hit in to greens. Low scoring is inevitable in these circumstances. I remember caddying in a tournament called the Classic International at my home club, Copt Heath, in the late 1960s. Clive Clark, a Walker Cup player, who would go on to play Ryder Cup, was playing in his first tournament and was paired with the player for whom I was caddying. In soft conditions but no wind Clark hit woods on to the green at each of the first three holes. Not one of them was a par five. Just two-shot holes and greens hit in regulation. This just can never happen now and the players would be in uproar if it did. It really is a different game these days.
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DAVID KNEEBONE CGU captain full of praise for talented, spirited squad
ith just two fixtures remaining in this year’s Channel League campaign my tenure as captain of the Cornwall Golf Union is drawing all too rapidly to a close – but what a privilege and experience it has been. I have cherished every moment of the journey in my two years at the helm and, indeed, the two years before that as vice-captain to [AG&L editor] Richard Simmons. Of course, the role is made a little easier when you have a number of high-calibre players in your squad and the Cornish golfing Gods certainly dealt an incredible deck to play with over the last few years with arguably the finest group of young players the county has seen in the traditional black and yellow. The quality of the golf that we are seeing these days in regular Channel League fixtures – and notably at our much-coveted South West Week in June – is quite phenomenal. In the last four seasons we have seen Cornwall twice qualify for the English County Finals – winning for the very first time at Royal North Devon in 2013. This achievement is put into perspective when you are reminded that the Duchy has qualified just three times in its history. So I can say with a fair degree of confidence that we really have been riding the crest of a wave – and I have every reason to believe that we will see continued success when my vice, Ian Veale, takes over later this year. Ian will make a wonderful captain. His standing in Cornwall golf and his love and respect for the history of golf in the county is second to none. The squad itself is nicely balanced. We have some terrific young talent coming through in the shape Joe Reynard and George Leigh – both of whom have represented England at Boys level and players, in my mind, who will be ready for South West week next June. In the more established players in the team – such as our county champion Conor Wilson, our international superstar Harry Hall, Joe Cruse, Robert MacGregor and Tom Fox – these youngsters have extraordinary talent around them and their golf will only improve in their company. As far as our Channel League ambitions for this year are concerned, our two recent victories at home – a 15-0 thumping (ouch!) of Gloucester at Perranporth and a narrow victory over Somerset at Trevose in early August – sets us up for a realistic tilt at winning the title with just two matches left to play (away to Wiltshire and finally at home – at St Enodoc – to Devon). Fifteen-nil. That result would have been unthinkable in my era, but it simply underlines the spirit and determination of our players. I have to say I did feel sorry for Gloucestershire as they arrived at Perranporth with just one of their South Western team present, but you still have to go out and put the numbers on the board and our players did that superbly. After a clean sweep of 34 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
the morning foursomes we were always in control and there were some fine individual performances in the afternoon. I was especially impressed with Joe [Reynard], four down through 7 holes he dug in and showed real quality in winning his singles match. Towards the end of the afternoon it was quite funny, because with just Conor’s match to be decided the Cornwall boys all started to cheer on the Gloucester player, almost willing him to get himself and his team a point. Then Conor produced a birdie at the 17th to seal the visitor’s fate: 15-0. I’m just happy it will be Ian and not me facing up to Gloucester when the teams next meet! My highlight without a shadow of a doubt was the manner in which we won the strokeplay at St Enodoc last June. I asked them
to keep the ball on the fairway and play from the short grass. I remember Joe Cruse saying you are better off 150 yards from the green on the cut stuff than 50 yards away in the long grass. Come to think of it, that philosophy is one that works pretty much everywhere – good golfing to you all! Diary marker: After a scintillating strokeplay display in the qualifying medal in this year’s South-West Week at Weston earlier this summer, Somerset will be representing the South West Counties in the English County Championship Finals at Trevose Golf Club from Sept 29 - Oct 1. I urge all of you to try and make it to Trevose over the three days of competition where you will witness some of the finest amateur golfers in the country on what is one of Cornwall’s great courses. The CGU will be in attendance during the week and we look forward to seeing you there.
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On the back of a stellar amateur career that included victories in both the English and the British Women’s Amateur Championships – and nudging fifty appearances for her country – Truro’s Sarah-Jane Boyd is striving for a berth on the Ladies European Tour. And the swing keys she works on to develop her game just might inspire you to play better golf
DRIVING Swing analysis by Nigel Bicknell PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE NEWMAN SHOT ON LOCATION AT WEST CORNWALL GOLF CLUB
Strike a pose: if ever you needed reminding of the central role of the body pivot in a sound, repeating golf swing, then these images of Sarah-Jane in action should do it. The view from the 12th tee at West Cornwall Golf Club ain’t all bad, either SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 39
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Athletic set-up with a driver, lovely slant across the shoulders and arms comfortably relaxed
Terrific leg action as SJ reverses momentum – you can almost feel the traction her feet have with the turf! As the body unwinds the arms fall into a great hitting position
40 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
There’s a wonderful flowing quality to the moves in these initial frames – SJ is gathering momentum as the clubhead works away nice and low
“In summary, looking at the swing from this angle, the lesson all golfers can take away is the benefit of creating flow in a golf swing – i.e. to coordinate the movement of the arms, body and clubhead from the first move away and to gather momentum with the emphasis on the rhythm of the motion. That is how all good golfers create clubhead speed – and it’s a skill that is particularly evident in the technique of elite women players.” - Nigel Bicknell
The wrists are now beginning to hinge the club up and the shoulders are about to engage their journey
A great example of ‘body-release’ for impact – the left side clears and left leg braces for impact while the head is steady behind the ball
000-AG&L02-OPEN/Spieth_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:02 Page 44
Eighteen minutes. That’s how long it took for Jordan Spieth to negotiate one of the most bizarre penalty drops in major championship history – before settling matters at Royal Birkdale with one of the most ruthless, exacting five holes of golf WORDS: ROBERT GREEN // PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES
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Crisis? What Crisis? Having blocked his drive into thick scrub 80 yards right of the 13th fairway, a clear-thinking Spieth made the most of the fact that the practice range was not OOB but an integral part of the course...
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 45
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hen Rory McIlroy won the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2014 he had won three of the four legs of golf’s Grand Slam. He’s still waiting on the Masters. When Jordan Spieth won the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale this past July, he had won three of the four legs of golf’s Grand Slam. Aged not quite 24 (which birthday arrived four days after he had holed the winning putt in Southport), he joined Jack Nicklaus as the only golfer to have won three by the tender age of 23. You know something fairly astonishing has occurred on the all-time record lists when Tiger Woods is not your go-to comparison, and what Spieth did over the closing holes at Birkdale was indeed also astonishing. Standing on the 13th tee in a tie for the lead with his playing partner, Matt Kuchar, having led by three at the start of play, Spieth proceeded to hit a drive that was so wild it left the golf course to the right. Fortunately, the bit where it departed from the charted terrain was not designated as out-of-bounds. It was, however, about 80 yards from where he’d been aiming. By the time he had figured out where to take a drop under penalty, which happened to be on the practice range, 18 minutes had elapsed, this occurring with regard to a two-ball that had been put on the clock at the beginning of the back nine. Still, this was starting over, and that’s what Jordan duly did. He had a shot of about 230 yards and he went at it with his driving iron. He got his ball close to the green, hit a nifty chip to eight feet and downed the putt. The great escape having been successfully planned and executed, his putter was back on song. It had been dreadfully behaved on the front nine, culminating in a miss from two feet at the 9th, but as if inspired by getting away with a bogey five on a hole where he probably deserved to have taken seven (his caddie, Michael Greller, said as they left the green: “Hey, that’s a momentum shift right there”), Spieth went to work with a vengeance. He’d kept Kuchar waiting a very long time – “I apologised profusely to Matt for the amount of time it took,” he admitted. “I didn’t feel that was necessarily fair to him but I needed to do what I could” – and now he was going to make him suffer. Spieth hit his tee shot to four feet at the par-three 14th. Birdie. On the par-five 15th, he had a 50-footer for a three. Eagle. On the 16th, a 30-footer went down for another birdie. On the 17th, it was a 10-footer for birdie, which by then pretty much looked like a gimme. At 12 under par he led poor Kuchar, who had made two birdies of this own in this stretch and rapidly lost ground, by two. A par for Spieth at the last, where he shockingly failed to sink a 40-
footer, and a bogey for his compatriot meant the final margin was three. “All the majors I’ve won have been totally different experiences,” declared the new champion as he sat with the claret jug beside him. “But this one, two years on from the others and after plenty of chances in between to win [he was a shot out of the playoff for the Open in 2015, the year he also finished runner-up to Jason Day at the USPGA Championship], is extremely satisfying. This one, we had to work even harder, mentally and physically. I will never forget this. This is special.” Referring to their respective places in history, a gracious Jack Nicklaus said later that day: “Much was said about the fact that Jordan and I were able to win three legs of the Grand Slam before the age of 24. But if you look, he’s won 11 tournaments and I had won eight before 24. If you look at his victory total, his win at the Open and the way he won, Jordan has shown an amazing display of maturity for one so young.” (BTW, it took the Golden Bear just 16 majors to get to win No. 3; it took Spieth 19. Tiger took 20.) Given the lead Spieth held on Sunday morning (other than Kuchar, no one else was within six strokes of him),
46 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
...I apologised profusely [to Matt Kuchar] for the amount of time it took. I didn’t feel it was necessarily fair to him but I needed to do what I could...
PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
000-AG&L02-OPEN/Spieth_AG&L-2017 16/08/2017 16:04 Page 48
and the thoroughly composed manner in which he had played throughout the week, the view of most people was that it was already over. But then people remembered what had happened at the Masters last season and wondered if Spieth might blow this one as well. And when he sent his drive into the middle of nowhere on the 13th, such thoughts resurfaced and that word ‘choke’ sprang horribly to prominence. At the 2016 Masters, Spieth had held a five-shot lead with nine holes to play. What’s that I hear you say – “everyone knows the Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday”. Well, in our house it was over. I tamely conceded possession of the remote to my wife and got on with something else. By the time I got the zapper back, Danny Willett was playing an exquisite chip shot from over the back of the 17th green to set himself up for the green jacket and, judging from the leaderboard, something quite shocking had happened to Spieth. As I soon found out, he’d bogeyed 10 and 11 and then taken seven on the 12th. “This one will hurt,” he said in the immediate aftermath of that. “It will take a while.” This year he admitted to thinking about ‘How could I not close out a five-stroke led with nine to play?’ He added on Sunday evening at Birkdale: “Closing today was extremely important for the way I look at myself. Thoughts came in from my last scenario when I was leading a major on a Sunday. I put a lot of pressure on myself thinking this was the best opportunity I’ve had since the 2016 Masters. I knew another major would be the one thing that would get me completely over the hill.” And it probably has, although only time will confirm that. There are fine margins in play here. Like I said, on the front nine at Birkdale he putted horribly, resembling nothing like the man who has routinely been the hottest clutch
putter since Woods was in his prime. But when it really mattered, really mattered, that golden blade of his came through. I then remembered a piece in Golf Digest, written between Spieth’s wins at the Masters and US Open in 2015. For an instruction article, he was putting down a 90-foot corridor in the Sawgrass Marriott Hotel, the intended target being a cocktail glass. After a few misses, Jordan noticed a kink in the carpet. “Move the cup like just that much to the left,” he said, meaning by an inch. The next one went in. After a couple more misses, he nailed three in a row. From 90 feet! Into a highball glass. With a putting stroke like that, it’s perhaps hardly surprising that by the end of many a tournament week he has frequently been the low ball. OK, so after events in the USPGA Championship at Quail Hollow in mid August, Spieth is still waiting on that career Grand Slam. Rory McIlroy will have the same target in mind at Augusta next April. Whoever might get there first, there are two men potentially on the threshold of soon joining that exclusive club which presently has admitted only Messrs Jones, Sarazen, Hogan, Player, Nicklaus and Woods.
This [major] victory we had to work even harder, mentally and physically. I will never forget this. This is special
48 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
The author has a blog at robertgreengolf.com and you can follow him on Twitter @robrtgreen
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 49
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MOVES with Darren Gass
Performance Manager, Tournament Golf College & Head of Coaching St Mellion International Resort
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE NEWMAN â€¢ SHOT ON LOCATION AT ST MELLION INTERNATIONAL RESORT, CORNWALL
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INSTRUCTION COVER STORY
The goal for every player is to repeat a great impact position. But what you have to remember is that impact is simply a fleeting moment in motion, it’s not a position you can over-control but the result of a chain-reaction of moves, key among them being the ‘loading’ of the levers (arms, club & torso) during the backswing and the uninhibited release of that energy through impact. Wiltshire’s tour star Ben Stow provides a great model for all aspiring players looking for more power, more control
Coiling the spring... a strong backswing pivot, trail shoulder moving up and out of the way whilst ‘loading’ the levers with a full wrist action – arms, body and club all working in sync
THE ENERGY CYCLE
The key to storing (and indeed increasing) that energy lies in unwinding from the ground up, the upper torso closely following the firing of the hips
Through the ball it’s vital that you rotate and extend: the body pivots up and around as the arms release the club towards the target
FOR EFFICIENT SPEED, IT’S ALL ABOUT ‘LOAD’, ‘STORE’ & ‘RELEASE’
Long time student of mine, Ben Stow is one of the UK’s most promising young Tour players. Ben’s game is very much of the modern era, strong and accurate, built around not just speed and power but also high levels of consistency; as such he is able to dominate tournament golf courses with not only long drives but pin-point iron play. The 2014 Brabazon Trophy winner enjoyed a hugely successful amateur career that saw him reach the top-20 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and qualify for the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield before eventually turning professional in 2016. In his debut season Ben twice finished runner-up on the European Challenge Tour thus gaining status on the European Tour for the 2017 season. Frustratingly, a serious knee injury (torn ACL) disrupted his plans this season but with a medical exemption for 2018 Ben should be in action soon. Most satisfying to me personally is that Ben was a student at The
Tournament Golf College (he graduated in 2013) which we operate both here in the UK at the St Mellion International Resort and at Amendoeira in Portugal where we run a winter training camp from Jan-April. Arriving at the TGC as a county player just four years ago Ben progressed quickly – as we all thought he would – and it’s going to be exciting to watch his progress when he gets back to full fitness. Ben’s formidable game is based on creating a full and efficient body pivot, loading energy into to club by fully setting the wrists and then holding nothing back as he moves into his lead side coming down, exploding off the ground and releasing both the body and levers fully through impact. With a driver in his hands Ben can achieve a swing speed in excess of 120mph and ball speeds 180mph, carrying it 300 yards through the air – right up there with the longest guys in world golf. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 51
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Ben creates a strong and athletic set-up, the Y-shape clearly formed between the arms and the club
The arms and upper torso initiate the backswing, the buttend above the middle of the trail (right) foot at this checkpoint
The forearms and wrists now ‘load’ the club, turning the Y into an L-shape at this halfway-back position. Width is then maintained to the top as the body completes the pivot
Note the trail (right) shoulder rotates up and behind – this maintains the width as the body completes the pivot
‘LOAD’ THE LEVERS FOR POWER
GET YOUR HANDS, ARMS, CLUB & BODY IN SYNC
To maximise the power created by the body pivot it’s vital the arms and hands ‘load’ the club effectively. In my coaching, the trail arm (i.e. right arm for a right-hander) plays a crucial role in this ‘setting’ that you see here in the backswing. As Ben displays beautifully, the trail wrist is encouraged to cock and hinge back before the lead arm is parallel to the ground. At the same time the trail elbow starts to rotate and fold away (a great checkpoint to make is that the butt-end of the club is pointing down to the ball as you reach this midway position). With the pivot half complete and the trail elbow and wrist fully folded, the club is ‘loaded’, with the clubshaft and lead arm forming a distinct L-shape. Achieving this loaded halfway back position is key for Ben in terms of then being able to ‘sync’ his arm-swing and body pivot to the top of his backswing, where he displays a fully rotated body position and compact 10 o’clock left arm. The width of the swing is maintained to the top, where again we can identify the L shape intact. Just look at the athleticism here; this centred and ‘loaded’ backswing is common to many of today’s modern, athletic players and it’s the secret to being able to deliver his power with maximum control. 52 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
Only by keeping the trail elbow ‘soft’ and pliable – so that it is able to fold in gently towards the side of your chest – will the muscles and tendons in the wrists be free to hinge up correctly. Ben works hard on this combination of moves to get ‘loaded’
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LOAD STORE RELEASE WORK ON YOUR Y-TO-L-TO-Y POSITIONS!
The weight shifting into the lead-side as the pivot unwinds from the ground; the legs and hips lead, the torso following closely with L-shape maintained
Through impact the arms are extended to recreate the letter Y, the body rotating in, up and around – fantastic speed and pressure delivered into the ball
A full follow-through is completed. The head and chest are up, the trail shoulder closer to the target, all balanced and supported above the lead leg
This sequence gives you a good visual of the concept Ben and I work on, which is central to the theme of ‘loading’, ‘storing’ and then ‘releasing’ energy. We work on creating simple shapes – i.e. a distinct Y-shape at set-up which is turned into an Lshape by halfway back with the loading of the shaft. The L shape is then retained into the downswing before Ben fully extends his levers and releases energy through impact to recreate the Y-shape once more. If you are going to load the wrists going back – a must if you want to generate any speed – you need to release them fully through the ball!
EASY DRILLS TO FEEL ‘LOAD’ & RESISTANCE MORE POWER, GREATER CONTROL
Use the split-hands drill to accentuate the sensation of ‘loading’ the wrists and club correctly
CH ET TR ES TH EL FE !
Here’s a simple way to isolate the sensation of folding the trail arm while at the same time increasing the ‘set’ in your wrists that gets the club properly ‘loaded’ in the early stages of the backswing. To start, take your set-up with a short iron but then split your hands on the grip as I am demonstrating here. As you then rehearse your backswing move you will be very much aware of the leverage you create as you push down with the lead (left) hand while pulling up with the trail (right) hand – you will immediately feel your trail elbow fold and the lead wrist fully load. After a few minutes’, once you have the “feel” from this drill, make a regular grip but right down the grip towards the metal (inset). Now, repeat the feel from the split-hands drill and when you reach this halfway back checkpoint look to see that the butt-end of the club is pointing down towards the vicinity of the ballto-target line. When it is, you are pretty much on track and ‘loading’ the club correctly.
Resistance training with a strong piece of elastic band (trapped under your lead foot, held tight beneath your grip) is a terrific way of developing a good pivot while at the same time improving the quality of your hand and arm action to ‘load’ the club against that resistance
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A BETTER BODY ACTION: THE PIVOT DRILL Hold a club across your upper torso in readiness to rehearse the pivot motion. Turn the grip back and behind your head as the lead shoulder works under the chin
The shaded area between the inside of the trail foot and the ball position is the area into which your head can move as it rotates to ease the rotation of the shoulders
GOLF’S GO-TO EXERCISE FOR GENERATING AND STORING POWER As the engine of the swing the pivot can create or cost a huge amount of power. In an effort to create width too many golfers ruin their pivot. They take the club away from the ball too low and wide for too long, the trail-side of the body does not turn and the head and torso shift laterally away from the ball. From there it’s now almost impossible to return to impact with any consistency. To create the perfect pivot, stand in posture with a club across your upper torso, the grip extended out to the trail side. Place
At set up, check you are squarely aligned and then rotate around the axis of your spine to create this Tshape as you complete the pivot motion
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another wedge on the ground just inside the trail foot. The space created between the ball position shown and the club on the ground give an idea of the area we want the head to stay in when we pivot. Then, keeping your head in this fairly small window, your goal is simply to turn the grip back up and in behind your head, allowing the lead shoulder to work down under your chin. Your head remains fairly centred between your feet with no excessive lateral shift. If you are less flexible use more hip rotation to complete your pivot.
The pivot is angled or tilted forwards, hips and shoulders pretty much matching, the shoulders and spine forming a T-shape when complete. The trail hip is also higher and the knees have changed flex from address. Looking at this image of Ben at the top of his backswing you can appreciate the way in which combining the ‘load’ with the body pivot rewards you with a strong and on-line backswing, the body and arms moving in harmony
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Subtle rolling of the trail foot and the gentle kink -in of the knee characterise a good lower body action
ALL ABOUT IMPACT HOW TO FEEL THE DYNAMICS OF THE STRIKE
When it comes to the all-important movement through the impact zone I see a lot of club players who tend to stay back on their trail foot, or who try to keep their head down when in fact the opposite is needed as you unwind freely towards the target. These and other faults simply deny you the ability to release your speed efficiently – in other words, they cost you power and distance. So how do we fix it? With Ben the focus is on keeping the chest turning on top of the pelvis so that he shifts his weight smoothly across into his lead leg, allowing the lead (i.e. left) shoulder to clear both up and around as the arms fully extend through impact. When we talk about what a good impact position actually feels like, Ben describes it as the handle (i.e. the grip) pulling up as the clubhead pulls outward, thus creating a powerful stretch of the levers from his lead shoulder to the ball. This creates tremendous speed and pressure on the back of the ball with a shallow angle of attack. When you practice, find something firm to press a club against and rehearse what good impact feels like. If I were to ask you exert maximum pressure you would automatically brace your body left of target in order to get purchase on the clubface/clubshaft – and that’s exactly what you want to feel as you unwind into the ball.
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As the body unwinds to the target, the left hip and shoulder pull up and around to allow for the delivery of the club on the ball – the pressure arrows here illustrate the dynamics of the movement as the left side braces and clears for impact
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THE TRUE ‘RELEASE’
THE SECRET TO MAXIMISING YOUR SPEED POTENTIAL No matter how good the ‘loading’ action in the backswing, or the quality of your transition as you reverse momentum from the top and start down for impact, unless you are prepared to commit to fully releasing the club and torso towards the target you will fail to realise your true speed and power potential. As I mentioned at the start of this article, impact is not a position you can control – it is a moment in motion that you pass through via a series of related good moves. But you can certainly improve your chances of achieving good impact if you appreciate the sensation of correctly releasing the hands, arms and club through the ball. Post impact we are looking for both arms fully extended with the
chest and head turning up and around. Contrary to popular belief, a good feeling for the club player to allow the body to release fully would be to allow the head to lift and rotate slightly in order to follow the flight of the ball. This will encourage the arms to extend post impact and frees up the room for the body – along with the wrists and the club to fully release towards the target. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate a movement in practice in order to understand and get better acquainted with a feeling you want to then re-create in your swing. Make a few rehearsal moves, extending the arms as you see illustrated here, not over-rotating the forearms, simply keeping it all neutral and together.
Allowing the head and eyes to rotate to look down the shaft of the club frees the way for the full rotation of the body to the finish – a freewheeling release
To create greater pressure on the ball at impact, work on turning your chest through and extending your arms as Ben demonstrates to beautifully. Your goal is to create this Y-shape post-impact, which will enable you to enjoy a more solid and ‘centred’ strike and improved clubface control for stronger, straighter golf shots
Head of Coaching at the St Mellion International Resort, Darren Gass is also Performance Manager for the Tournament Golf College. Contact 01579 352006. Visit tournamentgolfcollege.com
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destination COSTA BLANCA / SPAIN
LOVING LAS COLINAS With regular flights into Alicante available from both Newquay and Exeter airports, one of Spain’s most talked about luxury resorts – featuring award-winning golf from architect Cabell B Robinson – is just a short hop away. Clive Agran reports
A shot for home: The par-five 18th hole is a suitably glorious – and challenging – conclusion to your round at Las Colinas 58 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
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AT A GLANCE LAS COLINAS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB WHERE? On the Costa Blanca, within the Province of Alicante, just 40 minutes’ south of from Alicante Airport FACILITIES: 18-hole layout designed by the American architect Cabell B. Robinson. Golf services managed by world-leaders Troon Golf. Fully serviced clubhouse featuring Enso Sushi Bar. There’s also tennis, swimming & fully equipped gym ACCOMMODATION: Low-density luxury apartments & villas positioned on the hilltops with panoramic views of Mediterranean woodland and beyond to the Mar Menor BEACH CLUB: Guests at Las Colinas have access to the private beach club, a have surrounded by palm trees on the seafront MISC: Las Colinas is set on 330 hectares of unspoilt woodland and nature trails. The International School of Falconry Las Colinas offers the unique opportunity of flying a bird of prey on a private walk through the woods. OTHER: Homes are available from € 250,000 while building plots are available for those interested in creating their own piece of Mediterranean real estate. lascolinasgolf.co.uk SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 59
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destination EVEN THE IMPOSING ENTRANCE through a man-made gorge blasted between towering rock faces doesn’t adequately prepare visitors for the impressive panorama that greets them at Las Colinas. Spread out beneath – and seemingly to the far horizon – is a golf resort that looks destined to eclipse mighty La Manga, and all others in the Costa Blanca, to become a truly world-class destination. Top quality and enormous care are evident in every aspect of this low-density, upmarket development that’s hidden between the hills just 45 minutes from Alicante airport. Everything from the comfortable contemporary clubhouse to the magnificently maintained flowerbeds sensitively stocked with indigenous plants is absolutely first class. As they say in Las Colinas, “Welcome to a world apart.”
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A shot-maker’s paradise: the beauty of Las Colinas’ design is that the screw is turned the closer you get to the green – a real test of skill, and a thorough examination of the short-game
Only a blue-chip corporation with huge resources and a proven track record in real estate could confidently undertake such an ambitious project at this time. With its substantial mostly commercial portfolio and unrivalled expertise, Gmp is just such an organisation. Not interested in making a fast buck, its here for the duration and can afford to take a long-term view of its considerable investment. Throw into the mix the huge specialist knowledge and experience of world-renowned upscale golf management company Troon Golf and you have a dream team that is already delivering on its promise to create something really special. The undisputed jewel in this sparkling Spanish crown is the truly outstanding golf course that overlooks the sea and rolls around the gently undulating hills, through val-
leys, up escarpments, between lakes and alongside citrus groves in a delightfully entertaining and enjoyable way that frequently challenges, often surprises but never intimidates. It’s a wonderfully generous and forgiving lay-out that has been imaginatively designed by the American architect Cabell B Robinson (responsible for several other notable layouts in Spain, including La Reserva, Sotogrande, and Finca Cortesin). Now living in Spain, the renowned Mr Robinson has created this course first and foremost to be fun. With so many modern courses seemingly determined to turn golf into a war of attrition with tight fairways, tough carries and punishing rough, how enormously refreshing to be able to smile the whole way and not have the round regularly punctuated with tedious searches for
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balls lost in deep undergrowth or impenetrable jungle. Don’t, however, for a moment make the mistake of imagining that Las Colinas is a pushover. You’ll dump balls in the five lakes, tangle with a quite a few of the 128 jigsaw-piece-shaped bunkers, be blocked out by an olive tree that’s almost as old as golf itself and three-putt frequently on the magnificent but mysterious greens. But you’ll do all these things with a smile at having been outwitted by the subtle defences of an intriguing course that administers its gentle punishment in a benevolent rather than brutal fashion. The two loops of nine twist out and back along a valley floor rather like a double row pearl necklace around the throat of the small mountain in the middle with the clubhouse acting as the clasp. By
spinning around, the course disorientates you in an appealing way. Don’t worry where the clubhouse is but enjoy the intimacy that isolation and seclusion brings. Concentrate, because if you miss the pleasinglyshaped bunkers from the delightfully elevated tees and hit the fairway, you will almost invariably have a chance of making par. However, clever contouring and the numerous humps and hollows will quite likely deny you a flat lie. But it’s on and around the expansive greens – built to USGA spec, typically 10.5+ on the stimpmeter – with their subtle borrows that the better players will show their class and scores will be made or mauled. Nearly 6,200 yards from the sensible yellow tees, 6,600 from the whites and just a tad under 7,000 yards from nasty blacks, used exclu-
Actress, singer and dancer Denise Van Outen is a new convert to the game – and it was a case of love at first sight when she discovered the Spanish jewel that is Las Colinas
DENISE VAN OUTEN Q&A AT LAS COLINAS How and why did you get into golf? Not one member of my family plays golf, so it was a bit of a surprise move for me. I turned 40 two years ago and for my 40th birthday I wanted to learn a new hobby. I wanted something that would be a new challenge for me. Two of my friends play golf, and they’re women, and they asked me if I’d ever thought about golf. I said, ‘No, it’s never crossed my mind.’ So then they went out and bought me a set of golf clubs for my 40th! And they said ‘Here you go…now go and book a lesson.’ So I booked a lesson in the UK – and one lesson became ten. Then ten lessons became 20 lessons! Before I knew it I was playing 18 holes with my friends in the UK. I just loved the game! I played off 36 as a beginner, and then I wanted to find somewhere I could get my handicap down and break 100. I’ve had a lot of lessons and been lucky enough to play a lot of courses at home in the UK, but I needed to spread my wings and wanted to play somewhere where the sun puts in an appearance a little more often – for me Las Colinas was the perfect place to come and break 100! What is it that grabs you about this crazy game? It’s a number of things. I really enjoy the social aspect of it. I like the fact that I’ve probably talked more to my friends on the golf course than I have in a long time, because we all have children and work commitments. For the past five years everything has been a quick phone call with them, whereas with golf you’ve got 18 holes and four hours of conversation. So for me it’s re-ignited friendships, but there’s also the fact that my boyfriend plays. He’s been golfing for 20 years and it’s something we do together to relax and, again, talk. So it’s good for relationships. Unless one of you plays really badly, that is. Then it’s bad for relationships. I find it hard to switch off in my day to day life. I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter and I SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 61
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work. So golf for me is like a form of meditation. The focus is there and I think of nothing else but the game. This place is my dream. To be here at Las Colinas is amazing, because there’s the game that I love. But even if you don’t play golf but someone in your family does, to come here is still perfect because you still get to enjoy the clubhouse and the great sushi. For me that sushi is a thing that makes this place amazing, because to find good sushi after a game of golf is very rare. Then there are the surroundings: very calm, very quiet, very private. It’s lovely. How has your experience as a lady golfer been and how would you encourage other women into the game? I’ve only ever been supported on the golf course. There’s a perception that it’s a man’s sport, but it’s becoming more and more popular with women. I think that perception about women has no place – I’ve never felt unwelcome in any golf club. I think I speak for a generation of women who are very career minded. We’ve got our own money, and if we play something we’re playing because we want to play it. I’ve got groups of friends who play golf and we’re lucky enough to be in a position where we can get a flight and come and stay and have a girlie weekend. I always say golf’s like night-clubbing for the middle aged! It’s perfect because it’s cool and it’s social. Is Las Colinas a good family holiday option? Yes! I know I could have family members here and happily go off and play golf and know that the villa is lovely and clean, safe, and the security is tight. The clubhouse is lovely, the people are friendly…it’s a dream place. I’d love to have a house here and be one of the regulars. What are your golfing ambitions in the next few years? I want to make golf more popular with women. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get involved here at Las Colinas. It’s the perfect place for women to come to and I want to spread the word. I’d love to do a TV show eventually, introducing golf to a generation of women who probably think it isn’t for them but would realise that it really is! It would be good to teach them the basics. Other than that I’m also writing a film that’s almost finished and doing a show later in the year in the West End. I can’t say much about the film but it’s for women…kind of like a contemporary version of Shirley Valentine. 62 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
sively by massochists and visiting tour players, the course is certainly plenty long enough. Half the holes are par fours, there are five par threes and four par fives. Although there is no official signature hole as yet, there are 18 strong candidates worthy of serious consideration. But Las Colinas is more than just a great golf course. Unsurprisingly, since it was built by a real estate company, there are some fabulous properties to be found among its 815 acres. Scattered sparingly on a few of the hillsides overlooking the course is a mix of magnificent villas and beautiful two and three-bedroom apartments. By the way, it’s the apartments that are available to golfers wishing to stay on the resort. For those that do, there are 20 other courses within half an hour, making Las Colinas the perfect base from which to explore the Costa Blanca. Or, should you ever tire of making pars, there are plenty of other facilities to enjoy including tennis courts, a gymnasium, swimming pools and a nature trail. Undoubtedly the most popular
non-golfing activities will be centred on the superb private beach and executive beach club, which is little more than ten minutes away. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, it really doesn’t come any better than this. TRAVEL PARTNERS // GOLF TEE TIME SERVICE To further whet your appetite, here are just a couple of offers currently available from our travel partners, Golf Tee Time Service. Note: Flights are not included in the listed prices. Direct flights into Alicante can be booked using scheduled services from Newquay and Exeter airports. 4 Nights’ B&B + 3 Rounds of golf, £335.00 per person (based on Double/Twin Rooms) 7 Nights’ B&B + 5 Rounds of golf £545.00 per person (based on Double/Twin Rooms) For further details call Golf Tee Time Service on 01822 618181 // golfteetimeservice.co.uk
Cliff-top Golf with a Portuguese twist... Take advantage of direct flights from Newquay to Faro and you could be enjoying a round in the dazziling sun of the Algarve.
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motoring LAND ROVER DISCOVERY Td6 HSE LUXURY
PRACTICALLY UNBEATABLE While the overt curvaceousness and shameless luxury visited on Land Roverâ€™s fifth generation of the iconic Disco model comes at a price, its virtue is intact, writes Anthony ffrench-Constant
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You'd be forgiven, on catching a first glimpse of this fifth generation Discovery, for coming to the conclusion that the process of painting Land Rover customers into a style corner is now complete. Following the recent demise of the Defender, those that couldn’t or wouldn’t steal someone else’s turned to the last generation Discovery a la recherche du boxiness perdu, and all the practicality that said packing crate appearance promised. So, whilst those that really want a doer not a poser wait with baited wallets to see just how much stylising the Defender brand can stand, it’s interesting to assess the extent to which the added voluptuousness visited upon the Discovery has blunted its much vaunted capabilities as a go-anywhere all rounder, if at all. This all-new curvaceousness is certainly costly. Though you can buy a new Disco for as ‘little’ as £43,495 (powered by a 2.0 litre turbodiesel that most will favour), this range-topping, V6 turbodiesel variant comes in at £64,195, or, once laded with optional goodies in the specimen I drove, over £75,000. Seventy five grand for a Discovery... That used to be Range Rover territory. Happily, though the new car is fractionally larger than its predecessor, it shares its new Range Rover siblings’ predilection for weight loss. With the bodyshell now 85% aluminium, the lightest new Discovery weighs a substantial 480kg less than its lightest predecessor. It still tips the scales at over two tonnes, however, which sounds a deal for a 2.0 litre diesel to lug around... Francis Bacon once wrote that ‘There is no beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion’. This certainly applies – for those that find it good looking – to the smaller Discovery Sport. Mercifully, the Discovery proper has the length to merit a proper aft section, not only making for far more comfortable proportions, but also far more comfortable occupation of the third tier of seating. Indeed, the only strangeness on dis-
Body beautiful: first impressions count... and there’s no denying the attraction of the all-new Disco, the out-and-out definition of the term ‘recreational vehicle’.
play is the off-centre positioning of the rear number plate; a nod to the asymmetrical tailgate of yore. The demise of the old twin-set tailgate has not gone down well in Discovery circles, but there is now a fold-down flap which can bear the weight of a pair of Purdeys, and their owners. On board, the interior receives an upgrade even more dramatic than that of the exterior. Those familiar with Range Rovers of all sizes will feel instantly at home in a cockpit borrowed shamelessly, and to excellent effect, from the posher brand. The opulence of leather abounds, particularly above muddy
Wellington-top level, and both build quality and the standard equipment specification are acceptably high in an arena in which cars such as Audi’s Q7 constitute the opposition. Though this somewhat hastily constructed frame has yet to be entirely convinced by Land Rover long-haul seat comfort, the cabin is undeniably spacious. The sliding/reclining second row seats boast some 960mm of legroom and, more significantly, it is actually possible for grown-ups to not only access, but also – unlike aboard the Discovery Sport – sit in, the third row. Better yet, an Intelligent Seat Fold system allows for the powered
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manipulation of both rear tiers, in any combination, from either the touchscreen or buttons on the loadspace wall, and even using a smartphone app. As an idea, the latter isn’t as daft as it sounds, particularly since the 10” centre console multimedia touchscreen is – though largely intuitive and good looking – far too slow to respond to fingertip inputs. We seem to have reached a point on British roads where the benefits of the high seating position offered by an SUV have now been entirely negated because everyone else is in one too. The Discovery addresses this simply by sitting its occupants so high that not only can you see over the roofs of lesser rivals, but also enjoy a fresh perspective on the surroundings of roads you thought you knew well. This nose bleed altitude, allied to the overall quietness of the V6 powertrain, the smoothness of the eight-speed automatic transmission and the cushioning of electronic air suspension, engenders an entirely pleasing sense of splendid isolation from lesser traffic and, indeed, the rest of the world. From a standstill, the Disco does take a moment or two to hitch up its petticoats and respond to the throttle, but once on the move it responds with an engaging combination of bustle and waft; the engine thrumming over two tonnes of machine to 60mph in under eight seconds. Like all vehicles from the Land Rover stable, the Discovery handles far better than something of pocket battleship size has a right to. Within reason. The accurate, appropriately weighted steering never lets you forget just how much mass you’re in charge of, and nor does a suspension set-up which allows for the reminder of a degree of body roll through the corners. Ultimately, then, though undeniably brisk, progress has more to do with sitting back and soaking up the scenery than subjugating it. Let’s not forget, however, just how able the off-road Disco is when it comes to the latter. Despite its new, monocoque 66 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2017
Space machine: a lavishly upgraded interior feels more Range Rover than Land Rover – and all the better for it. The ingenious three-tier seating system provides first-class levels of comfort front, mid and aft
construction, the car still boasts a ground clearance of 284mm, 500mm of wheel articulation and a wading depth of 900mm. Land Rover says it’s the most capable car off-road they have ever made – including the Defender... All of which makes driving the Discovery something of a unique experience; an indomitable car that will take you anywhere in the world you wish to go, and then ruthlessly isolate you from your destination with an irresistible combination of comfort, calm and undeniable charisma.
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY TD6 HSE LUXURY Price:
£64,195 (£75,965 as tested)
3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel, 254bhp @ 3750 rpm, 443 lb ft @ 1750 rpm
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LOOKS JUST AS GOOD ON PAPER The Range Rover Evoque Five-door will impress even the most demanding company accountant thanks to Ingenium engines. CO2 emissions are as low as 113 g/km and fuel economy is up to 65.7 mpg. The Range Rover Evoque is made for business. Business Contract Hire. Initial rental in advance of £1,872 +VAT followed by 35 monthly rentals of £312 +VAT. 10,000 miles per annum. VAT payable at 20%. Model pictured including (optional corris grey metallic paint and optional privacy glass) from £328 a month +VAT, plus initial rental in advance of £1,968 +VAT. Mark Littlewood Matford land Rover Waterbridge Court, Matford Park Road, Exeter, EX2 8EL 07974 362084 email@example.com matford.exeter.landrover.co.uk Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Range Rover Evoque Five-door range in mpg (I/100km): Urban 29.4-56.5 (9.6-5.0); Extra Urban 43.5-72.4 (6.5-3.9); Combined 37.2-65.7 (7.6-4.3). CO2 Emissions 173-113 g/km. Official EU Test Figures. For comparison purposes only. Real world figures may differ. *Important Information – Business users only. Based on a Range Rover Evoque Diesel Hatchback 2.0L eD4 150HP Manual 2WD SE 5DR with 18MY standard specification, non-maintained. Excess mileage charges (at 9.2p per mile +VAT). Must be returned in good condition to avoid further charges. Contract Hire subject to status. This promotion cannot be used together with other manufacturer’s promotions and is subject to availability at participating Retailers only for new vehicles ordered by 30th September 2017. Contract Hire is provided by Land Rover Contract Hire, a trading style of Lex Autolease Limited, Heathside Park, Heathside Park Road, Stockport SK3 0RB. Model Pictured is Range Rover Evoque Diesel Hatchback 2.0L eD4 150HP Manual 2WD SE 5DR 18MY with optional corris grey metallic paint and optional privacy glass.
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property WEST COUNTRY SELF-BUILD
WHICH COMES FIRST, THE DREAM DESIGN OR THE PLOT? Nicola Oddy, consultant to the property industry in the South West, assesses the self-build market
ere’s the dilemma for a would-be self-builder: do I create the design for my dream home and then look for the perfect plot to sit it on, or do I search for that elusive plot in a preferred location and then design the house to fit the specification? Perhaps the best place to start is to look at your situation and personal priorities. First and foremost, are you looking at the project as a longterm home for you and your family or as a commercial opportunity to build and sell it on to others? If you are looking at this as a ‘forever’ home then likely as not it’s the one opportunity you will get to indulge your passions and fulfil your dreams “Grand Designs” style. On the other hand, if the project is going to culminate in a sale, the first priority is to be 100% sure of your target market, to understand current buying trends and the commercial reality of bringing it in on budget and in profit. Ben Standen of Jackson Stops Estate Agents in Cornwall believes
Do you have a West Country property angle that you’d like to see featured? Contact Nicola: nicoddy@gmail. com
68 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
that the “site is everything”, emphasising that the right plot is crucial to a successful outcome. Finding land suitable to build on can take years. According to Robert Bedner, architect at Research + Design in Plymouth, Devon, “local people with local connections are the key”. Having assessed your personal priorities it will be important to pinpoint how far up the wish list location sits in relation to house style. If location is more of a priority than style put the plot search first. If style of the property is key talk to designers first – but bear in mind it could take years to identify the plot that can accommodate your dream design. If location and style are equally important you might need to rethink your priorities. Robert Bedner again: “From an architect’s point of view I can only stress over and over again that the client needs to be very aware of their own limitations and to have clearly identified their expectations before employing third parties to assist in the project. It is a great skill to be able to express
what you are looking for from your tea and make informed decisions based on their input.” As an architect, Robert Bedner divides his clients’ requirements between the immeasurable (emotions, dreams) and the measurable (realities, the “real world”). “Ideally everybody should gain inspiration from the sites materials, location and orientation. In practical terms the project will rely on the interplay between time, cost and quality. ”If you have the time and the resources” says Robert, concentrate on quality.” Robert encourages any clients daunted by the self-build process to look online at Irishvernacular.com – which he describes as a ‘cook-book for house building’. “If you go out to a really good restaurant you wouldn’t expect to go into the kitchen and serve the food yourself.” How much of the project will you do yourself? Not many of us can claim to have the skills required to see a self-build project through from start to finish
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8 TOP TIPS TO MINIMISE THE STRESS OF A NEW-BUILD 1.Be prepared to compromise. Don’t get preoccupied with the negative aspects unless they are total deal breakers. Plots are few and far between, it may be worth finding a way to work with the drawbacks rather than rejecting a plot altogether. 2. Before you begin, spend some time researching the self- build market using current magazines such as Self Build and Design, Build It and Fine Home Building. 3. Add your liquid assets to your borrowing capacity in order to reach your budget…then add another 10-15% in order to calmly face the challenges as they arise. Subtract the land cost from the total in order to pin down the maximum building cost. Any design must be able to be built within this figure.
without involving others. The Self Build Portal, produced by the National Custom and Self Build Association identifies three common methods of self-build; a self-build one off home, a contractor built one off home and a kit home. If you have the time, enthusiasm and skillset to manage the design and construction process in its entirety the self-build one off home is an option. The alternatives are to manage the design process yourself while selecting a contractor for the construction or to simplify things by purchasing a home in “kit” or modular form that the supplier erects for you. For many of us, the thought of living in a high quality, light, low maintenance and energy efficient house is most appealing. Turning the dream into reality is not always so easy, but is helped by the knowledge that there are companies you can turn to for a solution. One such company is the German off-site manufacturer WeberHaus who offer a fully integrated service and architectural flexibility to suit their clients preferences.
“The hardest part of the journey is often finding a suitable plot of land”, says Chris Drury of WeberHaus in the UK. “With this in mind, many end up buying an existing run-down building and demolishing it” or “obtaining planning permission on part of their existing garden or land they already own.” WeberHaus are completing a build for a client, just north of Exeter – the client owned the old vicarage in the village and is putting a contemporary house in the grounds. Chris Drury emphasises that the design was driven by the plot and surrounding landscape and incorporates features to blend with the rural countryside. The answer to the dilemma of which comes first, the plot or the design seems to be weighted heavily towards the plot for both practical and aesthetic reasons. However, as with many decision making conundrums there are no wrong answers, just plenty of advice from selfbuilders who have found their own route to a dream home. firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Treat the owners of neighbouring properties as you would like to be treated if the boot was on the other foot. Take the time to get to know them and listen to them. Fear of the unknown is often the key to neighbour issues during a self-build project. Your neighbours may also prove to be an invaluable source of local knowledge. 5. Don’t be tempted to use expensive branded products for the sake of the logo or brand name. Take the initiative, use your imagination and take the time to communicate your ideas to possible suppliers. Your enthusiasm for the project can be catching and will often convince the supplier to go the extra mile. 6. Most financially stable contractors pay wages and material costs in arrears. There is no need for you to pay large sums in advance, which will also help you to keep control of the project. 7. Learn as much as you can about the planning process both locally and nationally before you start looking at designs. There is often a temptation for you to get preoccupied with a small detail that is not agreeable to the authorities. 8. If you are offered the chance to look at previous work done by a builder you are planning to use take it up. You would be amazed how many people offer references that are never acted upon. This is a missed opportunity quality check the standard of work against your personal expectations. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 69
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restaurant FIVE MINUTES WITH...NATHAN OUTLAW
THE SEAFOOD WIZARD Nathan Outlaw currently holds four Michelin stars across his portfolio of exquisite seafood eateries – two of them right here in Cornwall, including the flagship Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, in Port Isaac. Turbot with tartar sauce and crispy Porthilly oysters, anyone?
You have a reputation as a thoroughly dedicated student of your art – but where did the original love for cooking come from? Like most kids, I started out helping in the kitchen at home with my Mum. She used to let me roll out the leftover bits of pastry or help with making fairy cakes. Then I starting going into my Dad’s big industrial kitchen when I was about 8 and I used to help with traying up sausages for breakfast or flipping toast. I really liked the banter and the teamwork that is needed in a kitchen and the adrenalin that rises as service looms. At school I took Food Technology as an option (partly because there were lots of girls in the class!) and realised that I was quite good at it! My first ‘real’ job was at the Intercontinental Hyde Park Corner in London. It was a steep learning curve but I had the opportunity of working with the late, great Peter Kromberg and with brilliant chefs from all over the world who were happy to share their ideas with me. I became fascinated by fish cookery and, at the time, that meant I had to work with Rick Stein! I got on a train to Cornwall and arrived on his doorstep. Luckily, he took me in and between him and his then Head Chef, Paul Ripley, they gave me a really good grounding. I’ve been inspired by lots of people over the years and still am. I’ll never stop learning – I have a collection of over 400 cookbooks at home! – and I’m also inspired by the people who provide my ingredients, the fishermen, the growers, the farmers. They all have something interesting to say and I’m always ready to listen. 70 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
Inspired by the county he has made his home, daily menus at Outlaw’s restaurants in Port Isaac feature the finest locally-landed seafood
Who has impressed you most in the kitchen? What have been the greatest lessons you have learned? Probably Rick Stein. He’s just a legend. He knows so much and he’s so enthusiastic, even at 70 years of age! He taught me that when you use the very best ingredients you can get, and treat them with respect, you can’t go wrong. I’d say that I’ve learned from virtually every chef I’ve ever worked with. Most of the time it’s been learning what I should do. Mind you, sometimes I’ve seen what they’re doing and learned what not to do as well! Why Cornwall? What is it about this county that inspires you and what do you enjoy most about it as a family with two children? Virtually everything! The sea, the greenery, the clear air, the laid-back pace of life… It’s a great place to bring children up. And I’d also add that being in Cornwall keeps your feet on the ground. It also has what I consider to be the very best fish in the world in the waters around it. And the microclimate we enjoy means that we can grow virtually anything too. Your working life is hectic with restaurants in Port Isaac, London and Dubai – what’s the secret to getting the life/work balance right? If I knew the secret of work/life balance I’d tell you, but I’m still looking for it! As for dividing my time between operations, I’m lucky to have built up a really solid team around me, all of whom share my vision and are able to step in for me
when I’m elsewhere. Without them I couldn’t do what I do. At present I spend 4 days a month in London, 6 days in Dubai every 6 weeks and the rest of the time I’m in Cornwall. My Mum is also my PA and she juggles my diary. It can be quite a challenge at times so I just do what I’m told! Your latest book Home Kitchen is your first non-seafood cookbook – presumably a cathartic experience to explore everything about food and not just limited to the sea?! The idea for my latest book came from my children. My son is now 14 and is beginning to think about what he wants to do as a career. This is probably going to mean he’ll have to
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leave home for college so I had the idea to write a cook book containing a collection of all the recipes he could possibly need in order to feed himself and his friends properly. It’s a collection of favourites from home and some more tricky recipes so that he can progress and tweak things as he gets more confident, as can anyone who buys it. It always makes me smile when people are surprised that I can cook meat. What do they think I did during my training? How do you describe the work and creativity that goes in to having the only seafood restaurant in the world – Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – with two Michelin stars? It’s always a challenge and never boring! No two pieces of fish ever behave the same way when cooked. It depends on lots of factors, how fresh it is, where it’s been swimming, the condition of the animal and so on. You can also never be certain what you’ll get at market. I only use fish from small boats and it only takes some bad weather and the fishermen can’t get out so there’s no fish. Not good when that’s all you serve. Sometimes we have to be quite inventive! We also invest a lot of time into the staff. Not only in terms of training but also personally. That way we get the best from them and they feel valued. They work very hard and for long hours so relationships are very important. This industry isn’t for everyone and some fall by the wayside very quickly but for those who take to it, it can be a very rewarding career both in terms of money and personal achievement. I’ve never courted accolades, I just do what I think is right and try give our customers the experience that I’d want if I was spending my money in the restaurant. How does the food you serve here compare with the impossible luxury of the 7-star Burj Al Arab Jumeirah? The food is the same in terms of quality and how it’s prepared, very simply but with complex layers of flavour that compliment rather than SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 71
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mask the natural flavours of the fish. In fact, one of the reasons I went to the Burj al Arab was because when I went to look around, the fish they were serving was from Cornwall! Dubai is something you have to see and experience to believe. There are no words to describe it. Great golf I’m told, too. Have you ever been tempted onto the golf course? I’m afraid not. I don’t really think I’d make a good golfer. Formula 1 is my sport. Not that I’ve ever driven an F1 car! I also like rugby; my son plays for a local team. My brother is an avid golfer and is pretty good at it too. What have been the highlights of the seafood menu this season? This year the lobster is very, very good. I have no idea why. Last year it was crab but they aren’t coming up so good this year. As I said before, the fish and seafood I use is wild so I have no way of telling where they’ve been swimming or what they’ve experienced over their life time. Very slight variations in sea condition or temperature can make a vast different to the seafood living it. But this year, the lobster is extraordinary. On a less glamorous note I love the flavour of good mackerel – and the smoked mackerel and beetroot salad is quite easy preparation-wise and well worth trying (right). What are your favourite days out in Cornwall? And if you had to eat out where would you be headed, other than your own kitchens? I like exploring quiet beaches and rock-pooling. And I like visiting places of interest. Rough Tor is one of my favourite spots. It’s so peaceful at the top and the 360 view is amazing. I also like the National Trust places here and about. To eat out, I’d say Kahuna in Newquay (Pan-Asian food), Craftworks Street Kitchen (great burgers and burritos) in Truro, Porthminster Beach Café (seafood and more), St Ives and if you want to splash out, The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. nathan-outlaw.com 72 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
SMOKED MACKEREL AND BEETROOT SALAD WITH HORSERADISH MAYONNAISE Serves 4 8 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned 300g raw beetroot, peeled olive oil for cooking and to dress 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced 50ml red wine vinegar
This is one of my favourite combinations of flavours – smoked mackerel and earthy beetroot with a touch of zingy hot horseradish and salty capers… I could enjoy it all day long. I like to serve this on a platter in the middle of the table for all to share. It works well with smoked salmon too. Check the smoked mackerel fillets for pin bones and break into large flakes. Slice the beetroot very thinly, using a mandolin if you have one.
3 tsp chopped dill
Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
When hot, add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until translucent. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine vinegar. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Horseradish mayonnaise... 2 egg yolks juice of ½ lemon 2 tbsp horseradish cream 200ml light olive oil
Put the sliced beetroot, shallots, chopped dill and a good drizzle of olive oil into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good mix with your hands and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.
To serve mustard cress crispy capers extra horseradish cream (if you can handle it!) .
For the horseradish mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, lemon juice and horseradish cream into a bowl and whisk together for 1 minute to combine. Slowly add the olive oil, drop by drop to begin with, then in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until the mixture is emulsified and thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and reserve in the fridge. Arrange the beetroot on a large platter and scatter the pieces of smoked mackerel on top. Dot the mayonnaise randomly all over the platter, using a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle for a neat presentation if you wish. Scatter the mustard cress and crispy capers over the mackerel and serve, with extra horseradish mayonnaise on the side if you like
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Stand tall with weight evenly spread between the feet and extend your arms, holding the puttershaft horoizontal, checking the putterface is square (i.e. vertical)
Slowly bring your elbows in towards your mid-rif, so you feel a little pressure is exerted on your chest
Hey, none of this instruction is original â€“ but all of it is 100% relevant to you honing a better stroke, holing more putts and shooting lower scores. So grab your flatstick and make a commitment to becoming a better player on the greens...
with Richard Sadler
IMAGES BY HARRY LAWLOR / CARTEL IMAGES SHOT ON LOCATION AT TREVOSE GOLF CLUB 74 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
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classic courses EAST DEVON GOLF CLUB, BUDLEIGH SALTERTON
A GLORIOUS STEP BACK IN TIME The finest amateur golfers representing clubs from all corners of England are in for something of a treat when they arrive at East Devon Golf Club for the English Club Finals in late September. The James Braid/Harry Colt inspired layout is everything you hope and expect to find in a classic golfing experience, as Tom Cox discovered
THE CLIFFS OF ENGLAND’S SOUTH coast don’t get much redder than in the area just to the east of Budleigh Salterton. You can’t see it from the fairway as you play the hole, but just to your right, over the heather and gorse and goatsbeard and orchids which line the 16th is a vast fearsome wall of clay. Hop over the fence to the South West Coast Path beyond it, gaze out into the waves, and you can imagine the patterns of evening sunlight on the waves as ghosts: the golfers who first came here in the early 1900s, playing their tee shots, then a little closer to the shore, their mid 20th Century peers doing the same, before the sea cut dramatically
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into the steep earth, and part of the hole was lost again. There’s every chance the teeing areas will have to be moved inland further still – long serving Head Greenkeeper Paul Newcombe gives it at least fifteen years before it will become a necessity – but even in its compromised, 21st Century position, it’s still in a breathtaking spot which, on a clear day, gives you a view out over the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve, past the landslips of Beer and Branscombe all the way to Lyme Bay, where the cliffs have a change of heart and go albino. Peter Alliss, who played in an exhibition match here with Bernard Hunt, Dai Rees and Dave
Thomas in 1966, called it “the best view in golf”. East Devon has snuck its way into top one hundred English golf course lists recently, and in years long gone it’s been a favoured haunt of – as well as Alliss – Henry Cotton, the Prince Of Wales and the Australian cricketer Don Bradman, but it’s unlikely to get much better-known than it is right now. It’s only 6206 yards, which the likes of Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson might view nowadays as pitch’n’putt golf, and it’s unlikely to get much longer. For a start, there’s not really anywhere else for it to go. The coast is so in and out here that at times it feels like water – whether it’s the Exe
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Estuary or the Channel – surrounds the course on every side. But you sense that even if it had a bit more room to stretch its wings, East Devon wouldn’t be particularly interested in doing so. It appears happy with its modest size, content to provide trouble in the form of subtle double-breaker putts, tricky fringe hollows and sucker pins. Newcombe tells me the pins are in kind positions when I first visit, which makes me wonder what unkind is: so many of the positions – the one just over the bunker on the par-three third, for example – coax me into overly bold short irons, but that’s perhaps just the nature of the shapes
of the greens, and the bunker positioning. Almost every pin is a sucker pin here. You can tell the course is prepared and nurtured each week by a very good golfer, which Newcombe, after decades of playing top quality county golf, still is. There was a moment when as a young scratch player in the early 80s, Newcombe thought briefly about turning pro, but then he played with Gordon Brand Jr, saw an extra bit of artillery in Brand Jr’s psychological make-up that he didn’t have, and made a pragmatic decision to stick to the amateur game. If East Devon itself were a person, you could imagine it making a similar decision, deciding to stick
in its own comfort zone, just behind the big boys, staying humble but with no sacrifice to quality. Before I go out I ask Newcombe if he had one bit of advice for me playing the course, what would it be, and he says, “Leave the driver in the bag wherever possible.” I am tempted to silently scoff a bit at this for a few holes. The fairways look deceptively wide from the tee, but in the landing area they often cut in or twist awkwardly. The parfive sixth, which occupies another high spot of the course, offering spectacular views of patchwork farmland, scissor-cut cliffs and eclectically lit saltwater, invites me to really open my shoulders off the tee, but my drive runs into the
Nature’s glorious gift: East Devon is by no means a long course and yet with an abundance of fern and gorse to complement the mature woodland the layout is more than capable of defending itself
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classic courses joining this merry band involved an initiation right called “gorsing”, where a newcomer was picked up by an arm and a leg and hurled into a prickly patch such as this. “Little Charlie, why is your eye bleeding and the entire left side of your face and neck covered in scratches?” you can imagine a West Country mother asking of her son in the 1930s. “Do not worry,” he might have replied. “I merely got gorsed. It won’t happen again, now I’ve done it. And, on the bright side, look – I have been paid handsomely this week. I
earned two entire apples!” Both of the two par fours of what might be viewed as “modern length” are temptresses: downhill, inviting big smackeroos, their slopes flattering to the ego. The latter of the two is called Hamer’s Way, allegedly after a long hitting member who repeatedly chose to thread his tee shot down a narrow path cut through the heather and bracken. The fairway is wide, but anything off it, on either the drive or approach is dead. The 465 ninth – where the longest drive in English golf was once recorded – is
PHOTOS: COURTESY EAST DEVON GOLF CLUB
semi rough. I’m cocky about only hitting a five-iron to the green, but the club turns in the long grass and my ball clips the trees where they cut in close left to the green, then races off down a steep muddy footpath, never to be seen again. Perhaps it was just overkeen to reach the seventh: a delightful short par four where, once again, the dogleg hits hard at the landing area. Vast nests of gorse guard the left side. During the early part of the 20th Century, the club had a large community of caddies, and part of
(Above left): The dramatic drop in elevation makes hitting the 17th green anything but easy, while at the much friendlier 18th there’s every chance of signing off with the birdie. (Main image): East Devon is blessed with a number of wonderfully old-fashioned green sitings – this being a view of the 15th
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(Below): The run for home begins at the tumbling par-four 16th hole, with the glorious view to Budleigh Beach and Lyme Bay beyond. (left) Both the 17th and 18th play directly to the clubhouse – and you will have certainly earned your refreshment!
PHOTO: COURTESY EAST DEVON GOLF CLUB
even more of a taunt. I’m hitting a sand iron for my second but I blow it. I’m seven yards left of the pin, dead, in some heather. Two thinned wedges later, I have a double bogey. I’ve already pulled my wrist on the third, trying to thrash a seven-iron out of the same stuff. I’d found a crater, which I don’t think was the same crater on the same hole created in dramatic fashion in 1995 by forked lightning. There are a lot of craters here so a new one probably didn’t make that much difference. What is underneath your club at East Devon is either nice or nasty. There’s very little in between. Once you’re off the fairway, stuff gets thick and wiry very quickly, as nature strives to return to the clifftop to the haven for adders and rabbits and foxes that it was before 1893, when the son of a local Lord and a retired army office going by the name of Tosswill decide to shape it into a space for sporting self-abasement. When you’re not getting your tendons wrenched by the nasty stuff, you’re playing off beautiful crisp lies to perfectly smooth, receptive greens. Everywhere you look outside the clubhouse, there are short game practice facilities of all shapes and sizes, and there’s probably a very specific local reason for that. Shine up your pitching and chipping here, get a feel for slope and borrow, and leave that driver in the bag – actually, go further than that, take the driver to Scandinavia first, then leave it there – you could really get the most out of this course. But my chipping at present is anything but shiny, just like the rusted faces of my wedges, which mirror the hue of the cliffs around me. With every further jolt to my dodgy left wrist, I lose more feel. On my first visit to the club, I cut my losses and quit midway through the back nine, opting to experience the final part of the course as a pedestrian. For ease, I hide my clubs deep in some ferns beside the 17th. It’s less than an hour before I am back for them, but they’re gone. After a chat with
Diary marker: The English Club Finals are due to be staged at East Devon over two rounds of play, September 23-24. Tiverton Golf Club will be representing the host county while Cornwall will be represented by Tehidy Park Golf Club. Spectators are warmly invited to come along and enjoy the golf, the scenery and the hospitality
a baffled assistant pro and a fruitless journey back out with him to the undergrowth on the club’s sole buggy, we return and find my clubs have been kindly handed in at the Nineteenth. “How eagle-eyed would you have to be, to spot a
dark golf bag, dozens of yards from the fairway, buried in some ferns?” I wonder. But then I remember a story from the depths of the club’s history, in which a young caddy found the lost engagement ring of the partner of the former club pro, in one of East Devon’s thickest patches of gorse, and was rewarded with a sovereign to take home. Perhaps being unusually eagle-eyed simply goes with the territory. If you are a regular here, you probably soon get a knack for finding balls, out of sheer sporting – and probably financial – necessity, and, as a natural extension of that, pretty soon you get a knack for finding everything else, too. eastdevongolfclub.co.uk SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 81
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The secret to success around the green lies in having the visual skills to ‘see’ the right shot to suit the situation – and then fixing your focus on the ideal landing point
Player: Jonty Jenkin // Age: 12, Hcp 20 // Club: West Cornwall
Jonty maintains a lovely Y-shape throughout the swing which helps to deliver consistent results. Regular practice in this fashion will work wonders for your chipping technique
Maintaining the unity between the alignment stick, the top half of the body and the club encourages a simple coordinated stroke which leads to a crisp contact with the ball as you brush the grass on the way through the strike zone and on to the target SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 85
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Player: Archie Fox // Age: 11, Hcp 13 // Club: Falmouth *Archie is the current Cornwall Under 12s Junior Champion
Playing ‘Ladders’ makes for a great test of a junior’s versatility, challenging the ability to manipulate the loft on the clubface to keep the ball low or cut it up high
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All the drills that you have seen here are designed to provide a visual stimulus, perfect for all golfers as they help to take the mind off of technique and focus it instead on processes needed to complete the task. By developing your mental skills, your physical abilities will improve as well. The chipping drill Charlotte is enjoying uses an alignment stick to illustrate different trajectories needed to get the ball to land on the target and then the corresponding results of how far the ball might run out if the height was altered. Once again I would get the golfer to experiment with different clubs releasing the ball higher or lower than the alignment stick and observing the results – again, Trial & Discovery! This final putting drill Jonty is demonstrating is all about recognising what the putter is doing throughout the stroke whilst also enabling both the coach and the player to discuss other fundamentals. Place two alignment sticks together and line them up at your “aim-point”, hit a few balls down the channel formed between the sticks and check to see how good your stroke and roll is. Assuming the clubface is under control, repeat the same exercise but this time with your eyes closed so that you can start feeling the control and stroke, whilst having FUN!
The challenge here is to roll the ball the length of the alignment canes on its way to the hole – any hint of a wonky stroke and the ball will come off the rails!
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DUBLIN’S PARS & BARS Is there a finer city in the world to indulge in liquid celebration after a day on the links? No, of course not. Dublin has it all – a selection of world-class golf courses matched only by the craic in a traditional pub. Andy Marshall
olf: a sport where grown men and women use several different bent sticks to hit a ball into an area with very short grass surrounding a hole in the ground. Yep, that’s pretty much the gist of it, and the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle love it – alongside a good drink, of course. And where in Ireland is perfect for both? Well, none other than the capital itself. Just a short drive from Dublin’s city centre there are dozens of top quality courses waiting to be discovered. A few miles north of the city, golfing options include Royal Dublin, Portmarnock Links and the lesser-known St Anne’s Golf Club. To the west, are top-class parkland tracks like the K Club and Rathsallagh. To the south, quick road connections lead to County Wicklow and championship courses such as Druids Glen and The European Club. And when it comes to enjoying a pint or two after your round, there’s no shortage of 19th holes in a city crammed full of iconic watering holes. “A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub,” wrote James Joyce in Ulysses. Little has changed since Joyce penned his classic
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novel and Dublin’s approximately 800 pubs are still the hub of social life summed up in that famous Irish word, the “craic.” So whether you are negotiating one of The European Club’s long par-fours through the dunes or sampling a few beers and traditional folk music in O’Neill’s back in Dublin, here are 18-holes of golf clubs and pubs. Enjoy your, er, rounds...
FRONT NINE THE GOLF CLUBS HOLE 1 – THE EUROPEAN CLUB Crafted out of tumbling dunes by Pat Ruddy, The European Club features 18-holes (plus 2 bonus par-3s) of exciting links golf with dramatic views of the Irish Sea. This is seaside golf at its very best, with fast-running fairways, greens that invite the pitch-and-run approach, acres of tall, waving marram grass, strong winds and the taste of salt in the sea air. Look out for the 470 yards par-four 7th, voted one of the world’s greatest 100 golf holes. Tiger Woods set the links course record at 67, shot on July 12, 2002. On the
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Ruddy marvellous! The 7th green at the must-play European Club, designed by the inimitable Pat Ruddy
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tees of several of the par-fourss he asked: “Is this a parfive? Wow…what great optical illusions!” HOLE 2 - DRUIDS GLEN & DRUIDS HEATH Situated in a scenic location 30-minutes south of Dublin, this double-header venue boats two championship courses to test your golfing skills. Holder of the Irish Open four times in a row between 1996 and ’99, Druids Glen – often referred to as the ‘Augusta of Europe’ – is a challenging parkland layout that can be tough to negotiate with water being a threat on several holes. Elevation changes, historical landmarks, mature trees and vibrant floral displays add to the interest. The other course, Druids Heath runs through undulating and mainly open terrain with the mountains, sea and rolling Irish countryside providing stunning vistas throughout. Two Bernhard Langer-designed courses make for a real treat at Portmarnock, a golf club that celebrates the purity of traditional links golf
HOLE 3 – ST ANNE’S GOLF CLUB While not as famous as some of the other courses on Dublin’s north coast, St Anne’s Golf Club is an impressive links layout that’s lucky enough to be situated on one of Ireland’s most important ecological attractions: Dublin Bay’s Bull Island Nature Reserve – a great spot to ensure at least a few birdies of the feathered variety.
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HOLE 4 – MALAHIDE GOLF CLUB Malahide Golf Club’s course features a 27-hole layout originally designed by Eddie Hackett. It rests in the scenic landscape between the coastal county Dublin villages of Portmarnock and Malahide. With woodland features such as copses, ponds and rivers thoughtfully woven throughout the course’s ample fairways, Malahide Golf Club offers a challenge to golfers of all handicaps. The course is arranged in three sets of nine holes each, which – as you might expect – can be played in any order. HOLE 5 – THE ISLAND GOLF COURSE The Island Golf Course has a proud history stretching back into the late 1800’s and was one of the very first golf courses founded in Ireland. This unique course can be found in the estuaries of Donabate in county Dublin. The coastal landscape of sweeping dunes plays host to a wide range of stunning flora and fauna. Players may find themselves distracted by the beauty on display, but the challenging mix of holes on this links course will soon demand their full attention. HOLE 6 – POWERSCOURT GOLF CLUB There are not many places in the world like Powerscourt
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Golf Club, only 30 minutes from Dublin airport, you feel like you have entered a different world. The two championship golf courses are situated among the truly magnificent Powerscourt Estate which is home to 1,000 acres upon which layouts by both Peter McEvoy and David McLay Kidd enjoy a gloriously unspoilt setting. The resort was voted Ireland’s Best Overall Parkland Venue 2014 while the quality of the two courses is such that both the Irish PGA Championship and Irish Senior Open have been staged here on several occasions. The conditioning of the layouts alone is worth the 30-minute drive out of Dublin! HOLE 7 – ROYAL DUBLIN GOLF CLUB On Dublin Bay’s Bull Island Nature Reserve you will discover a natural links fashioned in a classic style in the early part of the last century by the renowned golf architect Harry Colt. Over the years, many legends of the game have played here including Nicklaus, Trevino, Ballesteros, Langer, Norman and Faldo. Martin Hawtree has now enhanced this top-drawer links for the modern era; making one of Ireland’s greatest golfing tests, well, even greater. HOLE 8 – THE K CLUB West of Dublin is the K Club’s Palmer Course and the dramatic scenes of that famous European victory over the USA in the 2006 Ryder Cup. One of Ireland’s finest parkland courses, the closing stretch is a classic. The 16th is an all-or-nothing twoshotter, where an accurate drive must be followed by a long and precise approach over water to an island green. The 18th dares the golfer to drive over the top of a bunker-strewn hill and then tempts you to fire straight at the flag in search of that heroic Ryder Cup finish. The K Club’s other course the Smurfit, would best be described as an inland links, with dune-type mounding throughout. HOLE 9 – PORTMARNOCK GOLF LINKS Widely recognised as one of Ireland’s premier golf resorts with a golf course (designed by two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer), that combines all the charms of a traditional links layout with the challenge of the modern game. Gently-undulating fairways lead to large fast greens that must be negotiated through 98 strategically-placed bunkers; while hillocks, wild grasses and gorse await wayward shots. The 1st tee and 18th green are conveniently situated just a wedge shot from the hotel and clubhouse.
BACK NINE THE PUBS HOLE 10 – THE PALACE BAR, 21 FLEET STREET, TEMPLE BAR A short stroll from Temple Bar’s cobbled streets, the Palace
Bar is often said to be the perfect example of an old Dublin pub. Established in 1823 victorian era décor dominates the interior and as you enter the snug, with its ornate mirrors and wooden niches, you can imagine the historic meetings that have taken place here, or the back room with its high ceiling and stained glass, where literary stock used to gather. Flann O’Brien and Harry Kernoff were regulars, and the Palace Bar became one of Dublin’s great literary pubs. An advertisement published in the “Where to drink Guide 1958” adorns the wall and says: “Internationally famous also for its intellectual refreshment.”
Just a few of the great Dublin experiences, both on and off the course: The Palace Bar, Guiness Storehouse & Gravity Bar and the imposing vista of Carton House
HOLE 11 – JOHN MULLIGAN, 8 POOLBEG STREET Once a working-class drinking man’s pub, this brilliant old boozer is another virtually unchanged over the years. Established in 1782, its main claim to fame is a perfectly poured pint of Guinness – it’s known as “the home of the pint” – and the colourful crew of regulars who are considered experts on the subject. Quirkiness pervades its atmosphere. Over the years Mulligan’s has attracted a mixed bag including former US President John F Kennedy and it also featured as the local in the film My Left Foot starring Daniel Day Lewis as Christy Brown. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 ATLANTIC GOLF & LIFESTYLE 95
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The majestic setting at Powerscourt, just 30 minutes’ outside Dublin, where two fabulous parkland challenges await; The Temple Bar – one of the city’s most photographed pub facades
HOLE 12 – GROGAN’S CASTLE LOUNGE, 15 SOUTH WILLIAM STREET Known among regulars simply as Grogan’s, this city centre institution is a favourite haunt among painters, writers, bohemians and alternatives. From the street, not much can be seen through the lace curtains, but once you go through the door it’s like stepping into someone’s living room. The actor Brad Pitt became a local here to help him soak up the Irish atmosphere, while working on the movie Snatch. HOLE 13 – O’NEILL’S, 36-37 PEARSE STREET Granted the James Joyce award for being an authentic Dublin pub, O’Neill’s has existed as licensed premises for over 300 years. Featuring five bars and numerous alcoves and snugs all of which attract a different clientele and age group, from students and lecturers at nearby Trinity College, to busy city traders and lovers of the arts and theatre. As an added bonus, O’Neill’s has special beer-dispensing tap tables, where customers can pour their own Guinness without the interminable wait for the barman to put the shamrock in the froth. Taps on the tables are linked to kegs behind the bar and customers leave their credit card to pay for a given number of pints. Hole 14 – LONG HALL, 51 SOUTH GREAT GEORGE’S STREET Backing onto Dublin Castle, the Long Hall is one of Dublin’s most beautiful and best-loved watering holes. Although very much a locals’ pub, many visitors come to experience the evocative atmosphere and full Victorian splendour with an ornately carved bar, elegant chandeliers and a pendulum clock more than 200 years old. Hole 15 – TEMPLE BAR, 47-48 TEMPLE BAR Slap bang in the centre of the tourist area of the same name, on the South Bank of the River Liffey, vibrant red Temple Bar (also known as Flannery’s) has the most photographed pub façade in Dublin, if not the whole world. Not the kind of place to go for a quiet pint with the locals,
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as it’s usually wall-to-wall with visitors. But it’s still a good ‘craic’ and has all the right ingredients with traditional musicians and a lively atmosphere. HOLE 16 – RYAN’S, 28 PARKGATE STREET Located just a few sips of the black stuff away from the Guinness Storehouse across the River Liffey, Ryan’s of Parkgate Street (established in the 1890s) is well worth a visit. It is one of only a handful of city pubs that has retained its Victorian décor virtually intact, and boasts an original oval-shaped mahogany bar, magnificent stained glass and walls decorated with an outstanding collection of antique gilt mirrors advertising various products sold at the turn of the 20th century. HOLE 17 – DUBLIN LITERARY PUB CRAWL A great way to learn more about Dublin’s pub culture, history and its literary associations is to take the Literary Pub Crawl. It’s a guided tour by Colm Quilligan and other actors who perform humorous extracts from Dublin’s best-known writers in some of the city’s best-loved drinking establishments. “We were a band of unemployed actors doing entertainment in pubs,” says Quilligan. “It was a natural fusion of the two ideas and a great way of legitimising the pub lifestyle.” HOLE 18 - GUINNESS STOREHOUSE & GRAVITY BAR ST JAMES’S GATE No ‘Pubs and Golf Clubs’ visit to the Irish capital would be complete without a pilgrimage to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate, where you’ll learn plenty about this world famous stout including the brewing process and the Arthur Guinness story. After you have seen how it’s made, it’s time to taste the famous product. Hovering above the roof of the Storehouse is the Gravity Bar, and with a pint of Guinness in hand and incredible 360-degree views over the streets of Dublin, it’s the perfect position to contemplate James Joyce’s puzzle…
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SIMON WOOD ‘Golf Access’ gaining traction across the region
ith the advent of technology and the digital age, the leisure patterns of young people are increasingly focused towards an online world. As a result, sport faces growing challenges when it comes to attracting new participants and, indeed, retaining those they already have. Golf, in particular, has suffered in recent years. Individual sports traditionally find it harder to attract the younger generation and – to compound this – golf is often perceived as being an older person’s game. With golf clubs looking for new and innovative ways to attract members, there has been much discussion about why participation has fallen in the last 10 years, and how best to change this. Cost, time and a dowdy perception are three of the most common reasons given. There is another reason, one which is not often considered, but which is significant. Golf can be a very difficult game to play and, unlike most sports, the playing field – i.e. the golf course – is practically inaccessible to a beginner. The prospect of standing on a regular tee-box within the shadow of the clubhouse is unimaginable for the beginner. Why as a sport, have we not created a set of tees accessible for beginners and juniors, much further forward, so they play from a starting position far more suited to their ability than the red or yellow tees? Even with the great work being done by the national and county bodies, golf as a sport seems to focus its energies on teaching beginners how to swing a club on the driving range indefinitely rather than getting them learning on the golf course itself. Practice does not equal participation. A new initiative called Golf Access is addressing this. Golf Access is a new scoring system for golf played from a shortened version of the main course. The maximum length hole is 250 yards and a set of permanent tees are located on the front 9 holes of the course. There are 9 different coloured scoring levels for players to attain, with each level represented by a corresponding wrist band and certificate for juniors and a poker chip ball marker for adults. The initiative provides beginners a step-by-step map of their progress in the game. It also gives them incentives to improve their scores with the ultimate goal of preparing themselves to attain a club handicap and progress to the standard tees. After a golfer has completed Golf Access, they progress onto Golf Access+ and obtain a handicap of 54. Similar to Golf Access, there are 9 coloured levels to progress through, with a handicap reduction at each level achieved. When a player has completed Golf Access+ they have reached a level of ability ready for an official CONGU handicap. In the short time since its inception over 30 clubs and short courses have signed up to become Golf Access Centres. Two for-
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ward-thinking Devon clubs – Teignmouth and Wrangaton – along with Cornwall’s Newquay Golf club are already seeing the benefits of Golf Access. Newquay report having attracted over 30 juniors to weekly sessions on a Friday evening which involve coaching and the opportunity to play on the golf course using the Golf Access scoring system. “Golf Access is perfect for us at Newquay as most of the juniors are fairly new to the game and the structure gives them incentive to strive towards each new level before they are ready to attain a handicap,” says PGA Professional Josh Hancock. “We have seen a lot more juniors play in their own time since signing up to Golf Access and it’s great to see each of them motivated to practice and play more to try to get their next wrist bands and certificates.” Teignmouth’s Director of Golf, Rob Selley, confirms a similar story on the English Riviera. “Golf Access came at a really good time for us as a club – we were struggling to convert the juniors from the Saturday morning coaching sessions into regular club players with CONGU handicaps. We now organise a junior night every Monday evening off the forward tees using the Golf Access programme, and the response has been fantastic.” Teignmouth has seen an immediate benefit, with between 20 and 30 juniors regularly turning up on a Monday evening during the summer and with food provided on completion of the golf both juniors and their parents stay on to socialise in the clubhouse afterwards. Selley continues: “The Golf Access structure gives the juniors the motivation to improve through learning the game on the golf course and all they talk about is progressing to the next level and earning their next certificate! We had several juniors graduate to a CONGU handicap this summer who only embarked on Golf Access at the start of the year.” Wrangaton Golf Club has created a Golf Access course with holes ranging in length from 100 to 250 yards. “The Golf Access initiative is a fantastic way for juniors and new golfers to get out onto the course from a starting position that is simply more relevant to their ability,” says head pro Stuart Barrett. “We are proactive with the Get into Golf scheme and yet going out onto the golf course for beginners after the initial couple of lessons can be daunting. The Golf Access programme offers new players a more positive experience and the feedback we have had is that it is a great stepping stone before becoming a member of a club and going on to achieve a club handicap.” Now that’s what you call progress. If you would like more information about the Golf Access initiative, contact Simon Wood on 01752 847600. We’d love to hear from any readers who fancy the gig as Guest Speaker! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The West Country's number 1 premium golf magazine - published by the creators of Golf International. Essential reading for the serious golf...
Published on Sep 7, 2017
The West Country's number 1 premium golf magazine - published by the creators of Golf International. Essential reading for the serious golf...