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PAUl CASEY

Injury jinx strikes again

wEbb SImPSon Beaten by girlfriend at tennis – took up golf

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Pete cowen takes a look at sergio’s flawless wedge Play HigH tecH yas links Have all tHe tutorial toys swing basics

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Worldwide Golf Executive Editor Since 1999

GARY PLAYER The nine time Major Champion who has witnessed and been a part of some of the most historic and memorable golfing occasions reflects on the game today

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ITH The Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt last month signalling The European Tour’s first ever Champion of Champions event and now the Middle East Swing in full flow it’s an exciting time of the year for world golf. I was surprised that Sergio Garcia didn’t play at Fancourt but I’m delighted that he’s winning golf tournaments again. His enthusiasm for the game is infectious and golf needs characters like Sergio. I found it hard to believe that he was actually considering giving up golf altogether in the months after missing the cut in the 2010 US PGA Championship. It must have been hard for him to miss out on playing in The Ryder Cup for the first time since 1999 later that year, but he still played his part in Colin Montgomerie’s victorious Ryder Cup Team in Wales as a Vice Captain. He didn’t let the fact that he was there in a nonplaying capacity affect his passion for The Ryder Cup and his experience and enthusiasm were vital for the European boys at Celtic Manor. He spent the week encouraging the team and urging them on. That showed the sort of personality Sergio is. He’s played in five Ryder Cups and has been on the winning side three times and the losing side twice. He steadily worked his way into contention during last season and when he won back-to-back tournaments in Spain in October we knew he had returned to the top flight.

CHEERLEADER! Spain’s Sergio Garcia, one of Captain Colin Montgomerie’s Vice Captains, encouraging the crowd at Celtic Manor, Wales, during Europe’s dramatic victory over the United States in The 2010 Ryder Cup.

I found it hard to believe that Sergio was actually considering giving up golf altogether in the months after missing the cut in the 2010 US PGA Championship. He’s announced that his top priority this season is to make José Maria Olazábal’s Ryder Cup Team to play at Medinah in September. In his present form and positive frame of mind he’ll be a big asset to the Team, not only for his playing ability but also for the enthusiasm he generates among his teammates. It was at Medinah, near Chicago, at the 1999 US PGA Championship when Sergio became a golfing hero. The sight of him running down the fairway, jumping up and down, to follow his recovery shot onto the green made him an overnight star. He certainly gave Tiger Woods a run for his money, finishing just a stroke off Tiger’s winning 277 total. It will be interesting to see how he plays in the Desert Swing and then in The Masters. He’s had two top-10 finishes at Augusta National and if he can find the sort of form that earned him the runner-up spot at Medinah he would have to be in with a chance of winning. I’m at home with the

horses in South Africa visiting the sales but I’ll be heading for Rio de Janeiro for the selection of who will design the golf course for the 2016 Olympic Games. Eight companies have been short-listed and I believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity in Brazil.

Excited by 2016 Olympics I’m excited by the project because it will help the growth of the game globally, something I’ve always been passionate about. In my lifetime I have flown over 15 million miles and visited so many countries to help introduce the game to those who previously had no tradition of golf. Today’s game is a truly international sport. The Olympics will expose millions of people in nontraditional golf markets to the game and that’s great for our sport. Brazil is a wonderful country with some of the nicest people I have ever met. I won the Brazilian Open in 1972 and 1974 and the

fans were terrific. Even though I was a foreigner winning their National Championship they treated me as if I were a Brazilian. Having the chance to work in emerging golf markets like Brazil has always been one of the most rewarding parts of my career as a golfer and golf course designer. Golf has given me a life that I could only have dreamed about and I feel that I have a responsibility to give something back to the game. Earlier this year I visited the site for the course at Reserva Marapendi with our design team. It’s a blank canvas similar to the some of the sites in South Africa like The Links at Fancourt, which hosted The 2003 Presidents Cup, the South African Open as well as last month’s Volvo Golf Champions. The new facility should be a catalyst for golf in Brazil long after the Olympics have gone, so the designer will need to be creative to deliver something special and sustainable long-term. n www.wwgolf.biz

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Contents

Gmac to the rescue

THE professional golf season is firmly underway, but is the over-crowded scheule suffocating the players and diluting sponsorship? I guess only time will tell. It wasn’t long ago when the season teed off at The Masters and the curtain fell with the US PGA Championship. Starting with a Major and finishing with a Major I guess made sense . Today golf is big business and The European Tour and US PGA Tour schedules are jammed packed with international sponsors vying for the same prime positions in the calendar. These huge global events outside the United States need the stars to supercharge the highly valued viewing figures. I’m not a believer that mammoth prize money is good for the game in these tough economic times. The same can be said for the huge appearance fees the top boys attract. Having said all that I’ve been around long enough to understand that things can’t be any other way. Tiger Woods was handed $1.3 million just to turn up in Abu Dhabi, which makes the prizemoney almost incidental. But their justification is explained by TV figures increasing by 30 per cent – as this was the first time the event had been showcased in America. So they could argue it was $1.3 million well spent. However, players of that calibre don’t need the money and you can’t guartantee they will make the cut or even be in contension come Sunday. But it’s all about timing. Lee Westwood, for example, has been gearing up for Augusta since October last year. Having spoken to Lee’s coach Pete Cowen a number of times recently, Lee is so focused on having his game dialed in for The Masters and he’s going all out to win his first Major. He’s in the gym twice a day and he’s on a lean, mean diet. Like many of the leading playersLee’s got the Majors at the forefont of his mind. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship was a great event but a few people I spoke to there seemed surprised that Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood were far from their best. Lee has been working on a few short game areas, Luke is just getting back into the swing of things after a hectic 2011 and as for Martin missing the cut – even he was shocked. Speaking to him on the putting green on Sunday, two days after missing the cut, he was still hard at work. He said he was a little rusty tee to green but it was getting there. The thing that concerned him most was how far off the mark he was with the putter. He probably knows the greens at Abu Dhabi Golf Club better than anyone yet he was one of the worst performers with the short stick – averaging 33 putts per round. That might seem Ok for us weekend warriors but for the fourth ranked player in the world you’d exspect that figure to be nearer 28. One Major man who rocketed up the leaderboard at Abu Dhabi was Graeme McDowell. Having broken his well-used Callaway driver on Thursday, when the head went on the 17th leading to a double bogey, he switched the following day to a Cleveland Classic and you could say they’ve got on well together. The 2010 US Open Champion was happy with the new partnership and the club has now become a permanent fixture in his bag. He did admit he wasn’t getting on well with his ‘go-to’ three wood as that heavy draw has crept back in, when it needs to be rifle straight, or even a soft fade for more control. But five under down the stretch including a hole in one at the 12th promises that 2012 could be the year of the GMac. He was in fine form at the Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah. In the relaxed atmosphere of the magnificent Yas Links I managed to grab a brief moment with him during his clinic where he helped solve an age-old swing issue of mine – the flipping of my hands at impact. I’d struggled with it for years but never quite mastered the problem. I hit a few, of course, trying to impress by nailing each one, which turned out to my benefit as I tried to go after the ball to eke out those extra yards. In doing so it exaggerated my problem and he was quick to point out how my body was turning so fast the hips and legs just couldn’t keep up. So in order for me to get back to the ball I’ve got to chase it with my arms and hands – hence the huge hook when I get fast. It’s early days in the season and having the good fortune of seeing and chatting to the top players during the Middle East Swing, 2012 is going to a mighty close battle all season.

Alex Gallemore Editor 6

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features PAUl CASEY

m www.wwgolf.biz

CASEY’S injury jinx strikes again last month PaUl CasEY was on thE vErgE of laUnChing himsElf into his most sUCCEssfUl sEason in rECEnt YEars whEn his injUrY jinx strUCk anothEr CrUEl blow. thE world nUmbEr thrEE in aUgUst 2009 talks ExClUsivElY to mikE gallEmorE aboUt his highs and lows.

P

AUL CASEY was on the verge of launching himself into his most successful season in recent years when his injury jinx struck another cruel blow. Casey was eagerly awaiting his trip to The Links at Fancourt in South Africa and the prospect of keeping possession of the Volvo Golf Champions trophy he battled so hard to win at The Royal Golf Club, Bahrain, this time last year. The likeable Englishman has been dogged by injury over the past few seasons but another bizarre mishap means his 2012 campaign is now on hold. During the Festive break in Colorado he dislocated his right shoulder while snowboarding and it seems he’ll be sidelined until March, missing the Middle East Swing. Over the years, Casey has taken the highs and the lows in his stride but just when he believed his injury problems were finally behind him – it happens again “I really did think that 2012 was going to be a great year for me – and then this occurs,” he says. “I’m very frustrated. I was looking forward to getting off to a fast start to the year. I was disappointed to miss out on defending my title at the Volvo Golf Champions – it looked a great event. I’m also devastated at missing the entire Middle East Swing. “I think The European Tour has done a magnificent

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job in taking the game and the Tour all around the Middle East and Asia. All the players appreciate that times are tough for everyone financially. It would not be a problem for us if the prizemoney had to be reduced. The level of prizemoney is good but we’re playing to win tournaments not to see how much money we can accumulate. “I’d like to see more events back in the UK. It’s been sad to see the disappearance of tournaments like the British Masters at The Belfry and the European Open at the London Golf Club and it would be good to see them return to the schedule before too long.” Casey showed patches of the blistering form that took him to No.3 in the World in 2009, at the Dubai World Championship, where he finished in a share of 16th place, shooting 72-66-70-72. “I played some good golf at Greg Norman’s Earth course and I was mfeeling good about my game. At last I had no niggling injuries and I was raring to go for the new 2012 campaign. But fortunately it’s not a long-term injury. I hope to be back in action next month and I’ve still got a lot of goals I want to fulfil, including making The Ryder Cup Team at Medinah.” After reaching World No.3 two years ago, through victories at the Shell Houston Open on the US PGA Tour and the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship

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Paul Casey in an exclusive interview with WWG goes through the series of injury setbacks that have blighted his career since being World No.3

wEbb SiMPSoN

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SIMPSON arrives in style Words: Richard Bevan

Webb SimpSon talkS about hiS Stunning breakthrough SeaSon in 2011 and hoW he might never have turned to golf had he not been beaten at tenniS by a girl.

AMERICAN Webb Simpson begins his 2012 campaign as one of the hottest names in world golf but this time last year not many people outside the US PGA Tour had heard of him. The 26-year-old started last season – his third on the US PGA Tour – ranked 208th in the world but ended it in 10th after a spectacular run that saw him claim his first two Tour titles at the Wyndham Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He finished second behind Bill Haas in the FedExCup Standings and came within one event of topping the PGA Tour’s money list, only missing out when Luke Donald turned on the burners down the back nine at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and pipped him at the post.

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Webb Simspon describes his 2011 breakthrough season and explains how losing a game of tennis to his girlfriend caused him to take up golf.

Q&A

CHRIS WHITE GENERAL MANAGER, ALDAR GOLF

With a wealth of experience in the UK and in the region’s golf industry Chris White, General Manager, Aldar Golf, knows better than most that despite the acclaim Yas Links Golf Club has received, the challenge is to use it’s reputation to attract more golf tourists to the UAe. With the knowledge of having opened six golf courses in the UK, turkey and the UAe Chris tells Mike Gallemore that in the Middle east golf clubs have to be much more than just places to play golf.

GOLF CAN’T AFFORD TO BECOME CHEAPER IN THE REGION Q: You’ve been in the UAE for many years now and witnessed the growth of golf from its infancy. Have you been surprised by the progress made?

CW: I have now completed 12 fantastic years and have opened three great facilities – two of which have been literally turnkey projects from nothing to finished operating facilities. In many different industries if you have been part of the UAE’s growth you will have been exposed to so many more opportunities than in other parts of the world. The UAE leaders have had a pretty clear vision and mandate to provide the necessary resources and achieve their objectives in double-quick time. The result across many sectors is so many amazing projects, whether it be design, materials used or sheer scale. In my profession it means the creation of great courses, high service standards and amazing tournaments that catch the eye of the consumer and win the business. People want to play golf in this part of the world because the journey there will be part of the dream, the hotel they stay in will exceed their expectations, the weather they enjoy is guaranteed and the gps, fancy range balls, electric cart, bag drop, starter, welcoming receptionist...makes the whole experience different – the challenge is staying ahead and being competitive. Q: With the nearby hotels now opening, do you feel that Yas will become even more popular for local and international golfers?

CW:We should all appreciate the way the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority have embraced golf and clearly and strategically see the game as another vehicle to fill Etihad planes, put heads on beds in hotels and drive exposure of the Emirate. The recent formation of Golf in Abu Dhabi demonstrates a joined up approach to promoting the golf offering – it’s good and healthy to work together. From a local perspective no one should underestimate the value golf provides to a local community. This can be an influencing factor in relocating to the Emirate whether it be because of the real estate that overlooks the course, the junior and ladies programmes that entertain my family or the pure social and business networking associated with being a member of a globally recognised golf club. I know from talking to departing expats they openly admit that out of everything they’ll miss, ‘it’s Yas Links I’m going to miss the most.’

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Q: What are your ambitions for Yas Links – and for golf in the region - for the future?

CW: I hope to see the Yas Links course mature further which can only happen with time. I’d like to see the expansion of some areas of the club’s facilities and, perhaps, the further development of Yas Island. But you have to be realistic. The world has its problems right now and the big difference at present is the need to have a strategic approach to growth and have a strong and healthy business case for growth. This might seem a bit off the wall but from a golf perspective I’d like to see further study into a nine hole AstroTurf course – something that required zero water and almost zero maintenance that could offer AED100 starter golf to feed into our grass facilities.

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Q: With all your experience of golf in the Middle East do you think more needs to be done to increase the number of golfers – locally and internationally?

CW: It’s difficult because the region offers so much. For instance, my

ABOVE: Chris White pictured with his family, wife Lillie, daughter Ella and son Tom at home in Abu Dhabi.

wife’s ‘taxi service’ currently covers rugby, dance class, cricket, scouts, kayaking, karting, golf, skiing, horse riding and shopping malls. So is it right to stipulate that a 10 and 12 year old should knock those on the head and just focus on golf? I believe there should be a greater effort to get young qualified golf professionals into the schools to provide affordable golf within a curriculum, to identify talent and feed that into the golf clubs. That would generate growth. The clubs themselves all have strong junior programmes but the local population has an incredible amount of choice. It’s funny, I know many professionals, myself included, who got involved in the game from part-time summer or weekend work, picking up range balls or dusting pro shop shelves. That sort of ‘casual labour’ can’t exist in this part of the world right now but perhaps such things as Duke of Edinburgh schemes or even UAE Development programmes could be introduced.

CW: With so many excellent golf clubs now in existence is it a case of too many golf rounds available and not enough golfers? A: It depends how it’s viewed. It may be the case, but we shouldn’t consider golf courses as stand alone, self-sufficient facilities. They are expensive assets to maintain and operate and I am sure some are finding it a struggle to break even right now. In a region where grass doesn’t grow naturally, we’ve got to look at golf clubs as an added value to a community, the impact on tourism and the mark-up on real estate. Golf offers the country a lot more than the green fees they provide. After all, the UAE does have four top quality professional golf events that not only get broadcast around the world, showcasing the region, but it also attracts the world’s best golfers.

Q: Although memberships and green fees have become more affordable do you think that with the recession it’s still too expensive for locals and for international golf tourists? CW: Sadly, there is a misconception that golf can be cheaper in the region. In most cases it can’t. An 18 hole course can support 170 eighteen hole rounds a day if you achieved 100% occupancy for 365 days a year (which would never happen) and charged AED200 ($55) a round. The golf course alone would not be sustainable. Now, obviously, there are additional revenue streams (pro shop, restaurants, coaching, membership etc.) but, in truth, the current competitive market has naturally resulted in competitive pricing which, in my opinion, provides both value for consumers as well as ‘cheaper or promotional’ times to play. As operators, like any company, we have to manage our business and ensure that our rate structure still justifies a membership fee, whilst also being able to competitively attract green fees players with a view to giving owners a return on their investment. I do think that a golf outing to some of the UAE’s outstanding golf clubs needs to be looked at as a complete offering. I remember a day out to Woburn Golf Club in the UK was as much about the breakfast, the practice ground, the locker facilities and the whole day’s experience as the round of golf itself. I think ,if time permits, it needs to be viewed not just as a green fee but as day out at the links.

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Chris White, General Manager, Aldar Golf, gives his views on how to run a highly successful golf club at Yas Links and why there’s much more to it. MASTER_SET1.indd 30

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ISSUE No. 134, fEbrUary, 2012 Worldwide Sporting Publications Ltd +44 1663 719926

Printed by: Raidy, Dubai

Published in Dubai by: Prografix, PO Box 24677, Dubai, UAE (Tel) +9714 340 3785

Worldwide Golf specifies that post-press changes may occur to any information given in this publication and takes no responsibility for goods or services advertised.


instruction SERGIO GARcIA

SWING

SERGIO’S SMILE ‘S BETTER UST under 18 months ago Spain’s Sergio Garcia thought about quitting the game he loves for good. Having reached a high of No.2 in the World Ranking after victory at the 2008 HSBC Champions his form deserted him and his confidence drained to an all-time low as he slipped out of the top 50 for the first time in his professional career. After missing the cut at the 2010 US PGA Championship he announced that he was taking a two-month break from the game and it was during those dark days that he considered staying away for good. But Garcia was born to play golf and he knew in his bones that he would always return. He resurfaced to act as a Vice Captain for Colin Montgomerie’s victorious European Ryder Cup Team at Celtic Manor – the first time since joining The European Tour in 1999 that he had missed out in a playing capacity. He started using a claw putting grip at the 2010 Dubai World Championship and when he came back after the winter break something was different about Garcia. The smile was back. Putts started to drop and his results improved dramatically – a top 10 finish at the Qatar Masters and then another one in the US at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Sergio has relaxed arm hang at set up. Its a close shot so he is in close to the ball.

He starts the club on plane and already the club is in an excellent position

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GASP

Take the best technology offers at Yas Links Academy TUTORIAL

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arabian golf Joel Neale WWGPLAYINGEDITOR

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Dubai Irish Golf Society tee off the new year in style

LOCALNEWS

A R A B I A N

GArY PLAYEr INTrODUCTION

SAm PuttlAb

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SERGIO GARCIA talks exclusively to WWG about his highs, and lows that almost led to him giving up the game.

The perfecT pracTice series parT 6

transition to a photo finish:

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If you have been keeping up to date with the WWG tutorials, then you will have noticed the Dubai Creek Professional team featuring the ‘Perfect Practice’ series with Creek PGA professional Kenny Monaghan. If you have somehow missed our words of wisdom, look it up in the Dubai Creek Academy section at www.dubaigolf.com.

Feel the Feet: If you have taken lessons on the movement of the body, I am sure your teaching Professional will have at one point asked you to ‘swing’ with a club only across the shoulders. Well, if done properly this is the most effective way to understand and ‘feel’ the correct weight transfer, turn and transition in the golf swing. My interpretation of this exercise is best understood using aiming sticks. As you will see in the swing sequence above, I placed one stick through the belt loops of my shorts and am holding the other

Following on from Kenny’s tips on how to practice the correct ‘takeaway’ and ‘backswing’, I will be demonstrating how to make sure that doesn’t go to waste with an inapt impact and followthrough position.

KEEGAN BrADLEY QUICK 9

54 my first day at q-school I

rOSS FISHEr COLUMN LOCAL

SCENE

GrEG NOrMAN COLUMN

Ahmed Al Musharrekh chats to Worldwide Golf Playing Editor Joel Neale about the support he’s received from the Emirates Golf Federation, how he believes he could take on Tiger in an arm wrestle and what’s in store for the Arab Games Gold medalist.

GArY PLAYEr COLUMN

What would you do to get more kids to take up the game in the UAE? I think the EGF should start targeting schools and introducing the game to kids at grass roots level just to give them a taster. This is what happens in mainstream sports like football and it works well. If they are brought to the course early in their lives they will have a better understanding of what golf is all about.

PETE COWEN

How supportive has the EGF been in the development of golf in the region? In the past few years, they have been AMAZING. I have had the opportunity to compete in some of the most prestigious amateur events all over the world and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the EGF for their continued support and in particular, Saeed Al Badour and Chris Vallender who are behind all of this. Hopefully it won’t be too long until our Junior, Women’s and Men’s teams are competing competitively at a worldwide standard.

PETE COWEN SWING: SErGIO GArCIA

So, Mr. Gold Medallist – How does it feel to have won Gold at the first Arab Games, representing the UAE? Haha.. I guess you could refer to me as that, just kidding! It feels great not have only represented my country but as a team to bring home two Gold Medals, we couldn’t have asked for any better! How did you prepare for the Arab Games in Qatar? Just like any other tournament I guess. The

more you try to change things the more pressure you put on yourself! Sticking to my normal routine seemed to work well! You received an invitation to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and you’ve just received another for the Dubai Desert Classic due to your achievements. How does this feel? Yes, it’s amazing to be able to tee it up with the likes of Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Rory Mcilroy. I just went out there and tried to enjoy it in Abu Dhabi and I’ll do the same in Dubai.

We understand that you are a student at AUD (American University Dubai). How do you balance your practise, tournaments and studies? It’s kind of difficult I guess –I just somehow manage to scrape together some sort of time management to get things done. What event in the golfing calendar do you look forward to most and why? I’d say the Eisenhower Trophy and Asian Amateur, due to the international class of the fields and how prestigious they are.

What would you say that your strengths and weaknesses are? I’d say that my long game is a disadvantage to me at times but I can recover fairly decently here and there with my short-game.

How old were you when you first broke par? 15 What’s been your best Round? 66 at the Creek What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on a golf course? I once saw a guy flip a golf buggy on its side by not realising he was driving over the lip of a bunker! Another time when I was 10 I was on the eighth tee at the Creek and accidently hit myself in the forehead with my driver and had to get four stitches! Do you reckon you could have Tiger in an arm wrestling match? Haha... I think it would be pretty tight! What is your nemesis hole? Gee.. I’m going to go for the 18th at the Creek... In to the prevailing wind it’s just NASTY.

Henry Law, PGA Professional at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club gives an insight into his background and recommends clubs take the ADCGC route to creating future golfers.

star shots The Emirates Airline Invitational hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah is fast becoming the closest pro-am rival to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this side of the Atlantic. High profile celebrities and top class professionals battling it out in glorious conditions with an underlying goal to raise as much money for charity as possible...what more do you want?

24 Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah

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Editor-in-Chief: Mike Gallemore Executive Editor: Gary Player Editor: Alex Gallemore

Playing Editor: Joel Neale Design Manager: Joanna Eardley Technical Manager: Mark Collinge

Advertising & Marketing Director: Rasha Siriani rasha@wspdubai.com

Publisher: Mike Gallemore

Editorial Panel: Gary Player, Mike Gallemore, Alex Gallemore, Richard Bevan, Todd Staszko

Senior Editor: Richard Bevan

Pictures: GolfFile, Getty Images

June 2009 SSN 1- 46805671 Approval UAE National Media Council: Ref.816 30/5/2007 Trade Licence No. 1/104375/15280 BPA Worldwide Audited Average Monthly Qualified Circulation – 15,401 (July-Dec 2010)

Editors: Todd Staszko, James Reeves, Tabitha Florence

• Five weeks of group lessons (10 hours), AED 995 per player • All equipment is provided • Unlimited use of the practice facilities on lesson days For more information call +971 4 295 6000 or email dcgyc@dubaigolf.com

dubaigolf.com

In n the bag Rescues

Titleist 910H 17 & 19 degrees with Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana ‘ahina 90 gramme S-flex shafts.

3 Wood Driver

Titleist 910 D3 7.75 degrees with a Fujikura Rombax 7Z08 S-flex shaft tipped by 1&1/2”

Titleist 910F 13.5 degrees with Fujikura Rombax 7Z08 S-Flex shaft

Irons

Henry Law

2009 model Titleist AP2 4-PW Project X 5.5 standard length

PGA Professional: Abu Dhabi City Golf Club What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on a golf course? At a Pro-am in Egypt a few years ago I was playing in the group behind my good friend and fellow PGA Professional at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club – Jon Getliffe. The 15th hole was a short par 3. Our group watched them tee off and Jon managed to shank his 7 iron over a road and onto another part of the course. Not only does he have further to go for his second shot than his first but two members of his team are forced into stopping the oncoming coaches as this was the main road into and out of the resort. In true professional fashion he entertained the passenger with the passenger hitting his ball back over the road and onto the green and proceeded to hole his putt for par!

Other notable items

Putter:

Odyssey White Hot 2-ball 34 1/2”

Bushnell Pro 1600 laser Range finder. Alignment sticks

Wedges

How did you get into golf? A golf course opened nearby in the late 90s. My Dad joined and a few mates from school all had an interest in the game. After 12 months, my handicap was 7 and I didn’t look back after that.

Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 52.10 and 58.08 Dynamic Gold Spinner Shafts

Who would be in your dream 4-ball and why? First in, would be my younger brother Dean. I don’t get to play golf often enough with him. Then Tiger Woods – the greatest golfer of my generation and, finally, Ben Hogan one of the greatest ball strikers of all time. Plus I’d like my Dad on the bag as my caddy! If you could change one rule what would it be? I would make the rules much simpler to understand – no matter what the situation. Golfers should be able to play the ball as it lies or, if they choose, take a drop. The drop should be two club lengths away which would incur a penalty of one shot. This would speed up play. Stopping to discuss, whether it’s a free drop and whether it’s one or two club lengths’ etc, is time consuming and slows down play. It would save people the daunting task of trying to find the specific rule in the ever growing Rule Book.

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How would you promote golf in the future? This is easy. If every golf club around the World could have a Junior Academy like ours at The City Golf Club, with more than 250 juniors getting expert tuition every week, there would be more than enough future adult golfers to fill memberships at golf clubs everywhere.

What were your 1st set of clubs? My first full set were a set of graphite shafted Callaway X-12 irons!

What is your favourite course? Again I have two, both back in my home county of Kent: Littlestone Golf Club, a great links course, and Hemsted Forest, a very tight tree-lined course which is always in great condition. Who is your golfing hero? I have a few favourites: Tiger Woods, David Duval, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples.

fairway attraction Germany’s golfing Glamour Girl, Sandra Gal, makes an impression on the women’s game, wins her first LPGA Tour event and plays in Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup Team as a Captain’s pick.

ArABIAN GOLF

IN THE BAG: HENrY LAW

Finishing your golf swing in balance; is crucial in developing consistency. As you can see from the main image on the facing page, I have clearly taken advantage of the stunning architecture of the Dubai Creek clubhouse. The sole of my trailing foot flashing its spikes, belt buckle staring down the target line and my chest fully turned to ensure the correct release of the club. Many of my students question the importance of a perfect ‘posed’ finish and wonder why I ask them to try and hold this finish for a minimum of 3 seconds, just enough time to have a picture taken… well, put simply, “all’s well that ends well”!

If not golf, what sport would you play? I’d have to play football!

THE TNT TrOPHY

JOEL NEALE COLUMN

photo FInIsh:

the ground first (divot shown with an ‘X’). The aim here is to have the divots starting on or slightly after the markers; this ensures a ball divot contact (divot shown with a ‘tick’).

Other that golf what else do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Gym, football and socialising with my friends.

events

DUBAI DUTY FrEE DrIVING rANGE

Night school introduces you to the fundamentals of the game over an intensive five week course

What’s your favourite course? Dubai Creek – it’s where I learnt to play the game.

Joel Neale talks to Mohammed Al Musharrekh, UAE top amateur.

DUBAI GOLF TUTOrIAL

Learn to Play Golf with Night School at Dubai Creek

in tHe bag

STELLA DI MArE INT. PrO-AM

understood the relationship between shoulders and hips throughout the swing, one of the best ways to practice this movement is to use the above drill with aiming sticks, whilst placing a half full bottle of water under your leading heel. The trick here is to assume the top of the backswing position with the weight in your trailing heel, then maintaining the separation in shoulder and hip angles, try your hardest to compress and squeeze the bottle under your leading heel. You should feel a significant amount of effort being exerted through your leading thigh and buttock.

Basics: Correct stance and ball position

Top: Thought I’d stock up on my electrolytes whilst slow play occurred on hole 5 at Qualifying School at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Springfield Village Golf Club in Thailand – no better way to do it than drinking coconut water!

65

across my shoulders. Now, note the sequence. At the top of my ‘turn’, you will see that my shoulders are approximately 90 degrees, while my hips are at approximately 30 degrees. My weight is also planted into my right heel (trailing heel). My first movement towards the target (the transition) will actually see the hip angle decrease slightly whilst the shoulders remain the same. At this point, my weight is shifting towards the target and into my left heel. The key to generating power is to then maintain the separation in these angles all the way into impact. Once you’ve

Impact – the pro move: Many golfers seek what is aptly named the ‘Pro Move’. As in the impact image pictured right, you will see that I am impacting a mid iron in a middle ball position, with my hands leading. This promotes a ‘ball - divot’ impact (divot is taken after the ball is struck). Golfers who seek this position in order to eradicate ‘scooping’ or ‘casting’ from their swing often focus too much on the hands, when in fact improving transition, weight transfer and turn is key to allowing the clubhead to lag behind the hands approaching impact. A great way to assess your striking would be to mark the position of the ball using tees and then hit a few mid-short iron shots. If your divots are starting before the markers, then you are striking

There is a crucial point at the top of any good backswing, where the clubhead reaches the top of its arc and then changes direction to impact the ball. This is called the ‘transition’ and usually involves a movement starting from the ground up. It may seem like an obvious and natural consequence of the backswing, however many golfers fail to implement the correct transition which leads to ‘casting’, ‘scooping’ and loss of power.

Mohammed shows the way with two in a row

by CRAIG WADDEL TEACHING PROFESSIONAL DubAIGolf CREEk & yACHT By: GeorGe Kasparis, GolfPGA professional, DuBai CreeK &GOLF yaCht CluBCLub

30

Understand the transItIon:

rYDEr CUP/WOrLD rANKING POINTS

YAS LINKS ACADEMY TUTOrIAL

YAS LINKS GOLF ACADEMY

by Liam Cregan PGA Golf Professional Yas Links Golf Club

www.wwgolf.biz

TOUr rOUND-UPS

Sergio's arms are softening to balanced follow through. By reading my other swing sequences you will know I'm crticial of even the best in the world. But for once I can't! I think these are great positions and only a technical pureist know how good this is.

Pete Cowen approves of Sergio Garcia’s swing.

Here Sergio responds in an exclusive Q&A with Worldwide Golf.

DIVOTS NEWS ITEMS

Sergio's right arm remains connected and he's changing direction while remaining on plane. This is text book stuff and he makes it look so easyt.

Body arms left, ball on line, clubface stable – everything remains tied in.

48

At the US Open in June he seemed to be back to his old self as he finished in seventh place – his best result in a Major for three years – before scoring another top 10 at The Open at Royal St George’s. Then, in front of his home fans, he fired off two wins in a row at the Castello Masters and the Andalucia Masters to end the season with a bang. He starts 2012 happier than he’s been in a long time, both on and off the course - a blossoming romance with Welsh beauty Nicole Horex seemingly proving the perfect tonic to the pressures of Tour life. Garcia introduced himself to the world 13 years ago when he battled with Tiger Woods down the stretch at Medinah. Golf fans can remember watching him running down the fairway after pulling off a recovery shot of breathtaking audacity reminiscent of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. With his ball resting against a tree trunk, he closed his eyes and swung hard, before bounding after his ball as it rolled onto the green. With the Ryder Cup set for the famous US venue this year, the rejuvenated Spaniard has made it his No.1 priority to make Jose Maria Olazabal’s Team.

www.wwgolf.biz

3 10 11 12 16 29 32 38 40 46 48 50 54

His right arm is connected and in wonderful position. Still remaining perfectly on plane and already setting the wrists

This is a strong position forbut Tiger. All the movements beforeshoulders have square, arms unAll this leads to a perfect delivery position His hips are open, him to make sure the right arm doesn't get trapped. just look at hisallowed right arm ... still connected! der sternum applying pressure to ball ... can't ask for more!!

He's remained connected all they way from the set up position. The key to consistency!

50

18

By Pete Cowen PGA MASteR PRoFeSSIonAL the ACAdeMy At eMIRAteS GoLF CLUB in Association with Pete Cowen

TUTORIAL

J

Sergio Garcia has always been one of the best strikers of the ball with the shot making skills to go with it. Like Lee Westwood he's one of Europe's greatest never to have won a Major. But, like Lee I think it's just round the corner. He's found belief in his putter and that was all that was missing. If he's got that blade working at last year's US Open he'd given Rory a real close run. With two wins last season, his confidence has started to grow and he'll be one of the favourites at Augusta this year - he just needs to keep that putter hot. As you will see with this swing sequence there's nothing wrong with his swing and for once I'm not able to criticise any aspect!

F R A M E B Y F R A M E A N A LY S I S O F S O M E O F T H E B E S T S W I N G S I N P R O F E S S I O N A L G O L F

Sandra

Germany’s Sandra Gal is one of golf’s leading ladies. WWG asks her a few questions...

Gal WWG: What is your first golfing memory? SG: I think I was about six or seven and I was on a vacation in Portugal with my parents and I just loved riding the golf carts.

WWG: Who was your golfing hero? SG: Ernie Els and Freddie Couples. I always admired Bernhard Langer but coming from a swing perspective I’ve always admired easy swings. WWG: What’s your favourite golf event? SG: The first couple of events that we used to have in Hawaii back in 2008, hopefully they’ll come back soon. It was just such a nice start to the season. WWG: What’s your favourite golf course? SG: One of my favourite courses is Oakmont. WWG: What’s your favourite club in your bag? SG: My putter! WWG: Who would be in your dream foursome? SG: Ernie Els, Arnold Palmer and Deepak Chopra. WWG: Do you have any pet hates? SG: Tough one, I don’t really know what gets me upset – probably a lack of respect. WWG: Do you have any hobbies away from the course? SG: I love to paint and I used to do a lot of wakeboarding – not so much anymore but I love it. WWG: Do you have any guilty pleasures? SG: Cold Stone Ice Cream.

N

ow in her fifth year on the LPGA Tour German beauty Sandra Gal made the breakthrough last season when she birdied the final hole of the KIA Classic to defeat Jiyai Shin by a stroke and claim her first title. She made her Solheim Cup debut as a Captain’s Pick and helped Alison Nicholas’ European Team to a memorable 15-13 victory at Killeen Castle in Ireland.

www.wwgolf.biz

7


ADVANCED PERFORMANCE

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Thin steel cradle for more efficient weight distribution. Concentrated tungsten sole weights increase the moment of inertia for better distance control. Advanced, dual cavity, multi-material forged design increase playability and precision.

MORE FORGIVING

Feel tuned, integrated aluminium and elastomer cavity insert for improved sound and feel.

Thin steel sole plate for more efficient weight distribution. Concentrated tungsten sole weight increases the moment of inertia for more ball speed on miss-hits.

across the face for better distance control. Players will also appreciate the AP1’s thinner topline appearance and more compact short irons. And the AP2’s squarer toe and traditional great looks at address help to provide confidence. To experience the new AP irons, visit a Titleist fitter or go to titleist.co.uk and learn how new AP irons can advance your game.

Advanced, dual cavity, multi-material design and enhanced weight distribution increase forgiveness. Feel tuned, integrated aluminium and elastomer cavity insert for improved sound and feel.

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Official WOrld GOlf & ryder cup pOints rankinG RydeR CuP qualifiCation The strength of european golf is such that you could take a snapshot of the people who currently fill the Ryder Cup qualification spots and be confident of them doing the business when the event gets underway at Medinah in September. As it currently stands three Spaniards qualify for Captain Olazábal’s side in the form of Sergio Garcia and would-be debutants Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. The rest of the team reads like a Who’s Who of golf – Donald, Westwood, McIlroy, Kaymer, McDowell… As the season progresses the elite will rise to the top and – without wanting to sound like a broken record – it looks likely to be the strongest european line-up in history.

2012 ryder cup rankinGs Qualification criteria for the 2012 european ryder cup team

Qualification for The 2012 european Ryder Cup Team will be selected employing the following criteria:

The players in Bold currently occupy the ten automatic qualifying places (after the Volvo Golf Champions):

(a) The leading five Members on The Ryder Cup european Points List at the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

euRoPean PointS liSt 1

Martin KAYMER

1284550.37

2

Rory McILROY

WoRld PointS liSt 1 Rory McILROY

137.52

1236326.08

2 Luke DONALD

133.21

3

Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTAÑO 1127185.09

3 Martin KAYMeR

110.29

4

Alvaro QUIROS

1047153.32

4 Lee WESTWOOD

98.61

5

Sergio GARCIA

938511.58

5 G. FDeZ-CASTAÑO

94.43

6

Paul LAWRIe

794755.17

6 Justin ROSE

88.13

7

Michael hOeY

735188.31

7 Sergio GARCIA

80.10

8

Joost LUITeN

697221.62

8 Simon DYSON

75.24

9

Graeme McDOWeLL

679180.81

9 Graeme McDOWELL

70.26

10

Peter hANSON

646533.67

10 Alvaro QUIROS

68.19

(b) The leading five Members, not otherwise qualified (having selected the five Members from The Ryder Cup european Points List) from The Ryder Cup World Points List as of Sunday 26th August 2012 or at the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, whichever is the latter. (c) The Captain, José Maria Olazábal, will choose the remaining two Members following the conclusion of the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. (1) The Ryder Cup european Points List will comprise points (1 point = 1 euro) earned by a Member from all Race to Dubai Tournaments between September 1, 2011 and August 26th 2012 or the conclusion of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012, whichever is the latter. (Money earned by a Member from The Race to Dubai Bonus Pool does not count towards this points list). (2) The Ryder Cup World Points List will comprise Official World Golf Ranking Points won by a Member1 from each tournament in which he participates between September 1, 2011 and August 20th 2012 and thereafter in the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles ONLY. World Ranking Points are allocated to all officially sanctioned tournaments (on any Federated Tour) by the Official World Golf Ranking and are allocated according to the event Rating of the tournament.

Official WOrld GOlf rankinG - as at January 23, 2012 Pos. Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 10

Luke Donald Lee Westwood Rory McIlroy Martin Kaymer Steve Stricker Webb Simpson Adam Scott Charl Schwartzel Dustin Johnson Jason Day Matt Kuchar Nick Watney Graeme McDowell K.J. Choi Phil Mickelson Justin Rose Sergio Garcia Hunter Mahan Ian Poulter Paul Casey Bubba Watson Alvaro Quiros Louis Oosthuizen Kim Kyung-Tae Tiger Woods Bill Haas Robert Karlsson Simon Dyson David Toms Keegan Bradley Bo Van Pelt Martin Laird www.wwgolf.biz

Country

Points

Eng Eng Nir Deu USA USA Aus Saf USA Aus USA USA Nir Kor USA Eng Esp USA Eng Eng USA Esp Saf Kor USA USA Swe Eng USA USA USA Sco

9.89 7.63 7.41 6.20 5.95 5.30 5.24 5.14 5.06 4.93 4.64 4.52 4.45 4.43 4.08 3.77 3.74 3.68 3.66 3.56 3.53 3.50 3.48 3.46 3.44 3.42 3.41 3.41 3.40 3.40 3.33 3.22

33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Brandt Snedeker Bae Sang-moon Rickie Fowler John Senden Jason Dufner Anders Hansen Thomas Bjorn Mark Wilson Zach Johnson Fredrik Jacobson Geoff Ogilvy Francesco Molinari Retief Goosen Miguel A Jimenez Peter Hanson Aaron Baddeley Y.E. Yang Darren Clarke Ryo Ishikawa Gonzalo Fdez-Castano Jonathan Byrd Gary Woodland Jim Furyk Ben Crane Ernie Els Greg Chalmers Ryan Moore Matteo Manassero Robert Allenby Rory Sabbatini Charles Howell-III Toru Taniguchi Alexander Noren Joost Luiten

USA Kor USA Aus USA Dnk Dnk USA USA Swe Aus Ita Saf Esp Swe Aus Kor Nir Jpn Esp USA USA USA USA Saf Aus USA Ita Aus Saf USA Jpn Swe Nld

3.16 3.16 3.14 3.11 3.11 3.09 3.07 3.07 3.05 3.03 3.02 2.98 2.92 2.84 2.83 2.77 2.75 2.70 2.67 2.65 2.60 2.59 2.52 2.45 2.30 2.24 2.24 2.20 2.17 2.15 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.11

67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Sean O’Hair Johnson Wagner Kevin Na Vijay Singh Hiroyuki Fujita Nicolas Colsaerts Edoardo Molinari Chez Reavie Lucas Glover Pablo Larrazabal Ryan Palmer Jeff Overton Thomas Aiken Yuta Ikeda Robert Garrigus George Coetzee Jaco Van Zyl Paul Lawrie Carl Pettersson Harrison Frazar Brendan Jones Padraig Harrington Tetsuji Hiratsuka Spencer Levin David Lynn Branden Grace Gregory Havret Chris Kirk Charley Hoffman Anthony Kim Koumei Oda Camilo Villegas Jamie Donaldson Raphael Jacquelin

USA USA USA Fji Jpn Bel Ita USA USA Esp USA USA Saf Jpn USA Saf Saf Sco Swe USA Aus Irl Jpn USA Eng Saf Fra USA USA USA Jpn Col Wal Fra

2.10 2.06 2.05 2.05 2.03 2.02 2.02 2.01 2.00 1.89 1.89 1.86 1.84 1.84 1.82 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.77 1.76 1.73 1.73 1.70 1.70 1.70 1.70 1.70 1.69 1.68 1.68 1.67 1.65 1.65 1.63


keeGan Bradley Quick 9 1) Do you have any golf superstitions? KB: I always mark my ball on the green using a coin that is heads up. 2) What is your favourite view in golf? KB: The 16th hole at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club in Wyoming.

3) Who isyour favourite musician or group? KB: Mumford and Sons. 4) Who would be in your dream fourball of non-golfers? KB: My dad, Tom Brady and Howard Stern.

5) What is the oldest club in your bag? KB: I have got a 2-iron hybrid, which goes back to 2009 Q-School.

6) How old were you and where did you break par for the first time? KB: It was at Crown Point Country Club in Springfield, Vt., and I think I was 11. 7) What is the best shot of your career? KB: The shots to win the play-off at the Byron Nelson. (His first Tour win, which came last year.) 8) If you could have one mulligan in your career what would it be? KB: The 17th hole in the final round of 2009 Q-School. (He finished two strokes short of earning full exempt status for 2010.) 9) What isyour favourite nonsporting event? KB: Any Boston Celtics game. www.wwgolf.biz

11


neWs diVOts WOODS POSITIVe ABOUT SeASON AheAD

TIGeR Woods, who tied for third place at the Abu Dhabi hSBC Golf Championship last month, is feeling confident about the season ahead after a return to form. The former World No.1 ended a winless drought of over two years with victory in the Chevron World Challenge in December but believes the turnaround actually began at the Australian Open in November. “Australia was big,” said Woods. “I hit so many good shots, especially when the wind was blowing at 30mph, with gusts at more than that. When I went into the World Challenge I was very excited that I had control of my game and it turned out that way. I really controlled my golf ball and on the last two holes (he birdied them both to beat Zach Johnson) it was nice to make a couple of key putts.”

AhMeD AL MUShARReKh SeALS DUBAI SPOT

The UAe’s leading golfer Ahmed Al Musharrekh has been handed a sponsor’s invite to compete at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at emirates Golf Club from February 9-12. The talented amateur, who won gold at the Arab Games held recently in Doha, will join Morocco’s Ahmed Marjan – winner of the MeNA Golf Tour Order of Merit for amateurs – as the only two non-professionals in the Desert Classic field.  “I have grown up seeing top players compete in Dubai. It feels surreal that I will be rubbing shoulders with some of them,” said Musharrekh who also played the Abu Dhabi hSBC Golf Championship. “Dreams do come true. They have in my case.”

dOnald’s driVinG MaJOr aMBitiOn DeSPITe enjoying the season of his career last year, World, european and US No.1 Luke Donald believes the key to finally making the Major breakthrough his talent deserves is a continued improvement with his driver. “Certainly I do believe the key to winning, for me to try and contend and win Majors, is to continually improve my driving,” said Donald. “I think Majors become trickier around the greens, and they are firmer, smaller greens usually. It’s more prevalent to hit it in the fairways at Majors. It’s something Jack Nicklaus told me last year – he thinks he was successful because he drove it very well. I think that’s the area I would love to continue to improve. I certainly made some pretty good improvements last year, but I still have a long way to go.”

FIRST NINe OPeN AT NeW eGYPT COURSe

The first nine holes of the el ein Bay golf development in Ain Sokhna, egypt have opened. The course has been designed by London-based firm Thomson Perrett & Lobb (TPL), the practice founded by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson. TPL principal Tim Lobb said: “Ain Sokhna is a resort town about an hour from Cairo – the closest beach to the city – and is frequented mostly by Cairo residents and expats, so we have designed the course to be playable by the widest possible range of golfers. It’s not the longest course, but I believe it will provide a wide variety of shot-making options, whatever your level of ability.”

hOLMeS BACK IN The GAMe

hAVING undergone brain surgery in September, the big-hitting US PGA Tour star J.B. holmes made his first competitive appearance since the 2011 US PGA Championship at last month’s Farmers Insurance Open where he, understandably missed the cut. “If I really sat down and just thought about it all, yeah, it was extremely scary,” said holmes. “Luckily, I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t study up on it and read everything about the surgery and see what could go wrong. I’ve got to go get surgery, let’s justget it done and do whatever I’ve got to do to get back out here. So it never really crossed my mind that I wasn’t coming back, or I wasn’t going to play again.”

INJURY WOeS CONTINUe FOR LeVeT

FReNChMAN Thomas Levet’s injury woes continued when he was forced to pull out of the Abu Dhabi hSBC Golf Championship after falling and breaking a rib at the Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt last month. The latest setback comes just five months after he broke his shin jumping into to a lake to celebrate his victory at the French Open and the 43-year-old took to his Twitter account to reveal that he expected to be out for three-to-six weeks. “holiday’s are on the way,” he quipped.

ACe GARCIA hAPPY IN ABU DhABI

SPANISh star Sergio Garcia was smiling in Abu Dhabi after recording his first ever hole-in-one on The european Tour with an ace at the 186-yard par-3 12th during the opening round of the Abu Dhabi hSBC Golf Championship. his wonderful seven iron took two bounces before rolling into the cup, prompting the 32-yearold to break into a broad grin and begin an energetic fist pumping session. Garcia went on to finish in a share of 12th place on 8-under.

12

www.wwgolf.biz

ROUND OF The MONTh

Louis Oosthuizen ripped up thecourse at the east Lake Golf Club, London, South Africa, with a second round 11 under 62 – one stroke outside Richard Sterne’s course record – en-route to victory in the Africa Open. The 2010 Open Champion fired nine birdies and a spectacular eagle on the sixth during his blemish-free round.


STATMASTeR

With his back-to-back victories at the Joburg Open and the Volvo Golf Champions at The Links at Fancourt, South African Branden Grace became the first europeant Tour Q-School graduate to win two events the year after qualifying.

QUOTe OF The MONTh “It was the start of December. The mustache was young. I was working out hard. ... My dad thought I was on speed or something. I just had all of this energy from working out and I guess that’s what it was.” – Johnson Wagner discusses the magical powers of his moustache after winning the Sony Open in hawaii.

www.wwgolf.biz

13


11th AnnuAl SAlem trophy 2012 When: Friday 17th and Saturday 18th of February 2012. Where: The beautiful, award winning 5-star Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Host of European Challenge and Senior Tour events. Tournament Entry Fee: 105 euro.

Enjoy the 11th Salem Trophy Week for only 399 euro!

Including: Tournament fee, green fee for two days, one week in a Pool or Royal Wing room on B&B basis, Jolie Ville pro shop gift, gala dinner, BBQ lunch during the tournament days, airport pick up and transfer. *For a non-golfer sharing the room for one week the price will be 299 euro. PLEASE CONTACT THE GOLF RESORT TO OBTAIN AN ENTRY FORM Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort Phone: +2069 3603 200 Fax: +2069 3603 225 info@sgr-maritim-jolieville.com www.jolieville-hotels.com www.maritim.com

Maritim Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula Hotel & Resort Phone: +2069 3604 200 Fax: +2069 3603 199 info@srp-maritim-jolieville.com


Tour NEws

ROBERT ROCKS ABU DHABI ENGLAND’S Robert Rock put in a sensational performance to spoil the Tiger Woods party at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Starting the week ranked 117th in the World Ranking, Rock grabbed a share of the lead with the former World No.1 after the pair shot matching 66s in the third round before the Englishman held on to close out his second European Tour victory with a final round of 70. “I really can’t believe I have done that today,” said Rock after finishing one stroke clear of Rory McIlroy on 13-under 275. “I was just very happy to be playing with Tiger. That’s a special honour in itself.” Woods looked to be heading for his second successive victory on the comeback trail after his win at the Chevron World Challenge in December. But the 14-time Major champion never really got going in the final round, closing with a 72 for a share of third place on 11-under with Thomas Bjorn and the fast finishing Graeme McDowell, who aced the par-3 12th and played the last seven holes in 5-under. “I didn’t hit the ball as I would like to,” said Woods who struggled with his driver and long irons all day, particularly down the back nine. “I was just a touch off – I was righting the ball through the fairways and hitting the ball a little bit further than I thought I would.” McIlroy – runner-up for the second year running after a closing 69 – was left to rue a costly incident in the second round when he brushed sand away from his line on the ninth hole. It would have been fine had he been on the green but as he was six feet off it, he incurred a two-shot penalty. “I wasn’t thinking clearly and just made a very stupid mental mistake,” said McIlroy, who had shared the early lead with Robert Karlsson after a blistering opening round of 67. “It’s one of those things, it happens, and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.” For former club pro Rock, who used work the

Swingers Golf Centre in Tamworth in the years when Woods was building his world beating reputation, it was a dream come true. He waited nine years for his breakthrough on The European Tour, which came last year when he won the Italian Open but his win in Abu Dhabi against a field that included the top four players in the world in Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, as well as Woods, takes him to a whole new level. He managed to keep his nerves in check during a pressure cooker of a final day – probably helped by an encouraging crowd who sung the Rocky theme tune to him on the way round “It’s pretty hard to believe I managed to win today,” said Rock who got a slice of good fortune on the last when his wayward approach stopped just short of the water, leaving him to close out with a bogey rather than the double bogey which would have taken the event to a play-off. “I’m very surprised. I played good so I guess I had a chance from early on and a couple of birdies made the day feel a little bit easier. But it’s difficult playing with Tiger. You expect almost every shot to threaten to go in. It felt a lot of pressure and I couldn’t afford any lapses in concentration at all. So it was a lot of hard work but I’m very happy now.” The biggest surprise of the week came when Martin Kaymer – winner in Abu Dhabi three times in the previous four years – missed the cut after rounds of 77-73.

“It’s difficult playing with Tiger.  You expect almost every shot to threaten to go in.  It felt a lot of pressure and I couldn’t afford any lapses in concentration at all.  So it was a lot of hard work!” – Robert Rock

Pos. Name

Country To Par

R1

R2

R3

R4

Total

Prizemoney

1

ROCK Robert

ENG

-13

69

70

66

70

275

€ 347,024

2

McILROY Rory

NIR

-12

67

72

68

69

276

€ 231,349

3

BJÖRN Thomas

DEN

-11

73

71

65

68

277

€ 107,577

3

McDOWELL Graeme

NIR

-11

72

69

68

68

277

€ 107,577

3

WOODS Tiger

USA

-11

70

69

66

72

277

€ 107,577

www.wwgolf.biz

15


Date: 05 Jan – 08 Jan, 2012 Venue: East London Golf Club Location: London, Eastern Cape, South Africa Winner’s Cheque: €158,500

Event: Africa Open

Name 1 Louis Oosthuizen 2 Tjaart Van Der Walt 3 Retief Goosen

Country To Par RSA -27 RSA -25 RSA -24

R1 69 69 65

R2 62 64 69

R3 67 65 66

R4 Total 67 265 65 267 69 268

LOUIS LOVES HOME COMFORTS

FOR the second year running Louis Oosthuizen displayed his love of playing on home soil by successfully defending his Africa Open title at East London Golf Club. The 2010 Open Champion began the final round tied for the lead with Tjaart Van Der Walt but pulled away with a swashbuckling and aggressive closing 67 to win by two from his fellow South African, while another compatriot, Retief Goosen, finished a shot further back in third.

“It was a real dogfight for most of the day. I remember watching Tjaart when I was an amateur, and it was just great seeing him play to his potential today.” Date: 05 Jan – 08 Jan, 2012 Event: Hyundai Tournament of Champions Venue: Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii Winner’s Cheque: $1,120,000

Date: 12 Jan – 15 Jan, 2012 Event: Joburg Open Venue: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, South Africa Winner’s Cheque: €206,050

STEVE STRICKER’S WINNING START

STEVE Stricker got off to a winning start on the 2012 US PGA Tour with a three-stroke victory over Scotland’s Martin Laird in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Stricker, who only a few months ago was facing an uncertain future after a neck injury left him struggling to swing a golf club, shot a 63 in the second round to open up a five-stroke lead. That lead was cut to two by midway through the third round but he finished with four straight birdies to restore his five shot advantage. His lead was again cut, this time to just one stroke, in the final round but three birdies down the back nine secured a comfortable victory.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s me or anybody else. Always in the final round, it gets close at some point in time. It’s just the nature of our game.” Name 1 Steve Stricker 2 Martin Laird T3 Webb Simpson T3 Jonathan Byrd 16

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Country USA SCO USA USA

Par -23 -20 -19 -19

R1 68 68 68 67

R2 63 70 68 71

R3 69 67 69 67

R4 69 67 68 68

Total 269 272 273 273

FLYING START FOR GRACE

SOUTH African Qualifying School graduate Branden Grace wasted no time in picking up his first European Tour title with victory on home soil at the Joburg Open. The 23-year-old took a three stroke lead into the final round and closed with a 72 to pip the fast-finishing Englishman Jamie Elson by a stroke. Elson, who also gained his Tour card at the 2011 Q-School started and ended the tournament with breathtaking rounds of 63 that left him agonisingly close to his first win.

“It’s a dream come true. It’s nice to win in front of a home crowd and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else.” Name Country Par 1 Branden Grace RSA -17 2 Jamie Elson ENG -16 T3 Michiel Bothma RSA -14 T3 David Drysdale SCO -14 T3 Trevor Fisher Jnr RSA -14 T3 D. Van Der Walt RSA -14 T3 Jaco Van Zyl RSA -14 T3 Marc Warren SCO -14

R1 67 63 68 65 68 70 67 66

R2 66 75 66 72 68 66 69 69

R3 65 70 68 69 69 67 69 70

R4 Total 72 270 63 271 71 273 67 273 68 273 70 273 68 273 68 273


Tour NEws Date: 12 Jan – 15 Jan, 2012 Venue: Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii Winner’s Cheque: $990,000

Event: Sony Open Hawaii Name 1 Johnson Wagner T2 Carl Petterson T2 Sean O’Hair T2 Harrison Frazar T2 Charles Howell III

Country To Par USA -13 SWE -11 USA -11 USA -11 USA -11

R1 68 65 67 67 67

R2 66 67 67 68 67

R3 66 70 68 67 66

R4 67 67 67 67 69

Total 267 269 269 269 269

WAGNER’S LUCKY TACHE

WAGNER’S LUCKY MOUSTACHE JOHNSON Wagner made a pact with himself that if the Tom Selleck-like moustache he’d grown last November helped him get an invite to The Masters, he’d keep it – and the charmed facial hair kept its end of the bargain as the 31-yearold bagged a place at Augusta, courtesy of a two-stroke victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The American started the final round two strokes off the lead but fired a closing 67 to get off to a roaring start in 2012.

“Why stop at top 50? Why can’t I be in the top 10 in the world? I drive it good. I play good golf. I think I just want to be the best that I can.” Date: 19 Jan – 22 Jan, 2012 Event: Volvo Golf Champions Venue: The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa Winner’s Cheque: €350,000

Date: 19 Jan – 22 Jan, 2012 Event: Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Venue: PGA West (Palmer Course), La Quinta, PGA West (Nicklaus Course) Location: La Quinta, California Winner’s Cheque: $1,008,000

AMAZING GRACE DOES IT AGAIN

WILSON WINS IN CALIFORNIA

BRANDEN Grace made it two wins in a row in front of his friends and family when he got the better of his esteemed fellow South Africans, multiple Major winners, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off for the Volvo Golf Champions. Grace had the opportunity to win the Championship in regulation but missed a short putt to create a three-man play-off with all three players on 12-under. He then made birdie on the return trip down the 18th having qualified for the event only the week before.

“I’m really ecstatic. It’s a dream come true to win such a big event – pretty much the best tournament I’ve played in so far.” Name 1 Branden Grace T2 Ernie Els T2 Retief Goosen

Country RSA RSA RSA

Par -12 -12 -12

R1 68 71 72

R2 66 71 68

R3 75 71 70

R4 Total 71 280 67 280 70 280

MARK Wilson stayed on course despite howling winds disrupting play to win the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. With the conclusion of the third round delayed until Sunday morning the American had a mammoth day but he dug deep with a third round 67 before following up with a closing 69, sealing the deal on his fifth PGA Tour title with a birdie on the final hole of the Palmer Course.

“You want somebody to win it, not necessarily lose it. So it was neat to have (Robert) making birdies back and forth.” Name 1 Mark Wilson T2 Johnson Wagner T2 John Mallinger T2 Robert Garrigus

Country To Par USA -24 USA -22 USA -22 USA -22

R1 66 68 67 73

R2 62 67 65 64

R3 67 66 68 61

R4 69 65 66 68

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Total 264 266 266 266 17


SERGIO’S SMILE ‘S BETTER J

UST under 18 months ago Spain’s Sergio Garcia thought about quitting the game he loves for good. Having reached a high of No.2 in the World after winning the 2008 HSBC Champions his form deserted him and his confidence drained to an all-time low as he slipped out of the top 50 for the first time in his professional career. After missing the cut at the 2010 US PGA Championship he announced that he was taking a two-month break from the game and it was during those dark days that he considered staying away for good. But Garcia was born to play golf and he knew in his bones that he would always return. He resurfaced to act as a Vice Captain for Colin Montgomerie’s victorious European Ryder Cup Team at Celtic Manor – the first time since joining The European Tour in 1999 that he had missed out in a playing capacity. He started using a claw putting grip at the 2010 Dubai World Championship and when he came back after the winter break something was different about Garcia. The smile was back. Putts started to drop and his results improved dramatically – a top 10 finish at the Commecialbank Qatar Masters and then another one in the US at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

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At the US Open in June he seemed to be back to his old self as he finished in seventh place – his best result in a Major for three years – before scoring another top 10 at The Open at Royal St George’s. Then, in front of his home fans, he fired off two wins in a row at the Castello Masters and the Andalucia Masters to end the season with a bang. He starts 2012 happier than he’s been in a long time, both on and off the course – a blossoming romance with Welsh beauty Nicole Horex seemingly proving the perfect tonic to the pressures of Tour life. Garcia introduced himself to the world 13 years ago when he battled with Tiger Woods down the stretch at Medinah. Golf fans can remember watching him running down the fairway after pulling off a recovery shot of breathtaking audacity reminiscent of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. With his ball resting against a tree trunk, he closed his eyes and swung hard, before bounding after his ball as it rolled onto the green. With the Ryder Cup set for the famous US venue this year, the rejuvenated Spaniard has made it his No.1 priority to make José Maria Olazábal’s Team. Here Sergio responds in an exclusive Q&A with Worldwide Golf.


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WorldWide golf eXClUSiVe

Sergio garcia

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WWG: Medinah 1999 was where you really shot to fame, which helped secure your first Ryder Cup appearance. How special would it be for you to go back there as part of the European Team this year and how big a goal of yours it that? SG: Obviously I have some great memories of that 1999 US PGA Championship and Medinah is a course I really like. I always look forward to going back there. It’s a special place for me, a special city, so it would be a dream to return as part of the European Ryder Cup Team. It’s an honour to represent Europe in The Ryder Cup so it’s a big goal of mine to be part of it. But there’s still plenty of work to be done before that so I’m just concentrating on my golf. I had a good back end of last season and I’m feeling good so let’s hope 2012 continues in the same vein. WWG: What was going through your mind when you battled it out with Tiger and hit ‘that’ shot on the 16th at Medinah – were you nervous at all and did you imagine success would come so quickly for you? SG: Well, I just thought I’d give it a chance. I guess I was young and fearless at the time, which comes with youth. I can remember I just made the swing and when I hit it I closed my eyes and moved back from the tree just in case I hit it. I ran up the fairway and saw the ball just going left of the green and with a little fade it just made it onto the green. It was an incredible feeling and that definitely is one of the best shots of my career considering the situation and with everything that was going on. I am reminded about that shot quite a bit, which is a nice thing, definitely. I know the greenkeepers at Medinah have had to overseed that little spot because everybody’s been hitting from it over the years! I never imagined what lay ahead, no. I just kept working hard and that’s all you can do. WWG: How difficult was it for you to have to watch from the sidelines as a Vice Captain in 2010 having previously played in every Ryder Cup since joining the Tour? SG: The Ryder Cup is just so special. The atmosphere, the reception you get. The first tee shot is just amazing, so of course it was difficult. To be there as a Vice Captain was still great, though, and I still felt part of a winning team. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring any birdies, so I tried to bring a little experience, a little joy, and just tried to help everybody out as much as I could to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Hopefully, I can play well this year and justify a position in the Team. WWG: It must have been difficult to go from the highs of reaching World No.2 after your win in Shanghai in 2008 to sliding down the ranking like you did. What do you feel were the key factors that led to the downturn in your performances? SG: Well I don’t think you can really put in down to one thing. Golf is a strange game. One day you can feel on top of the world and the next day you feel

Sergio Garcia shares a joke with Tiger Woods. The Spaniard finished runner-up to Woods at the 1999 US PGA Championship at Medinah. Below, Garcia has some fun at the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline.

like you can’t even swing a club. It was definitely hard. I know I have the ability to be in the definitely hard. I know I have the ability to be in the upper rankings but when your form isn’t as good as you know it can be, it’s disheartening. It’s hard to keep motivated when you’re not winning and missing the cut in a number of events gets you down. You know, there were certain things that were going on away from the course that maybe meant I couldn’t spend all my time on my game but I wouldn’t say it was one thing or the other it was just the way it was going. My attitude wasn’t the greatest at certain times but that has improved and is a continuous process. Everything now is a step forward rather than a step back. The important thing is now I am very happy with everything on and off the course. WWG: You’ve said that you thought about quitting the game during that time. What were your feelings towards the game during the darkest period? SG: Golf and I didn’t really see eye to eye for a bit. It’s tough when you’re on Tour and you feel no matter how hard you try it won’t turn around. It’s tough to keep going. Deep down I knew I would never quit the game. I love the sport too much. During my time away from the game I played a

lot of football and tennis, and spent good quality time recharging with friends and family. At the time recharging with friends and family. At the beginning, it crossed my mind about not coming back, but not towards the end. I was ready to play again. Something inside me was missing playing and that’s why I came back. Throughout the winter, I could feel that it was getting much better inside. When I started the 2011 season, I began to feel some different feelings inside with some good rounds. So my enjoyment began to stem from that, and it has just grown. WWG: What brought about your spectacular change in fortune last season. What did you work on both mentally and with your game that led to you getting back to where you wanted to be? SG: Mentally my confidence has got a lot better. I try and stay positive at all times and when things don’t go my way I try not to get too caught up in the moment and don’t let it affect me too much. Recently, if I have had a bad hole then I make up for it by making a birdie on the next. In the past, I probably would have got really frustrated and that would have ruined the next hole for me, too. You learn as you go on, and hopefully I’ll keep on going like that. I feel comfortable with everything I’m doing right now. I’m just trying to stay positive, stay aggressive, and just believe in myself. But at the same time it’s been an ongoing process. It’s been a case of gradually building it up, and my overall game has been getting better and my short game has been getting better. That’s the way I look at it – very positively, and I’m just hoping to keep on getting better. There are a few small things I have tweaked with my swing and, obviously, I adopted my putting grip last year but nothing too major has changed.

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WWG: Your two wins came in quick succession. Was it a case of the first one taking some of the pressure off. Does winning breed winning? SG: Yes it was great to win the Castello Masters and the Andalucia Masters back-to-back in front of my family and friends. I took four weeks off before the tournaments after a long stint in America and I went into those two weeks refreshed and confident in my ability on home soil. It’s hard to say that you expect to fire like I did, but I was feeling good and I’d been improving all year so it was nice for it to come to fruition. The first win obviously took a bit of pressure off me but I wasn’t really concentrating on that. It was nice for me to dedicate that victory to my idol, the late Seve Ballesteros. It was very special to win two in a row. Winning the Andalucia at Valderrama was great. I have so much history there, and unfortunately not all of that history was as good as that weekend! I knew that I had the game, because I had it before, but obviously, when your head is not in the right spot it doesn’t matter how much game you have, your muscles won’t listen. I’m just happy with how 2011 went. We all know how difficult golf is. This is a work in progress. I’ll keep working on it, and trying hard and enjoying it. WWG: You’ve come agonisingly close in Majors throughout your career. Does not having yet won one start to play on your mind when you tee it up at a Major. How much of a target is Major success for you this coming season? SG: It would be great to win Majors, but it’s not a do-or-die thing. If it happens, it would be awesome – if not, it’s not a disaster for me. I have obviously come close and it’s painful when you are in touching distance. But golf is a tough sport and anyone can win on their day, you just have to hope one day that it’s going to be your day. I’m not going to look back at my career when I’m 55 saying I was a failure if I didn’t win a Major. There are plenty of fantastic players out there who haven’t won one but obviously for me if it does come then it would be a dream come true, although I’m not worrying about it. I worry about enjoying my golf and doing what I love and doing the best I can. WWG: Describe the principle behind your ‘claw’ putting grip, why you decided to switch to it and how the new grip has helped you? SG: It was at the 2010 Dubai World Championship that I decided I needed a change so thought I would give it a go. Certain players have been employing the claw grip for a long time now so why not. I’d always been kind of fooling around with it, but I never had the guts to use it in play.

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So in the end I decided, why not try it. It felt good, and I’ve just been sticking with it. I have heard people say that it doesn’t look that pretty but it seems to be working for me. Even a lot of the putts that are not going in, I’m still putting with a good stroke. It’s not like I didn’t putt well the other way, but I felt like I was a little bit inconsistent. I hit a lot of good ones but some really bad ones. With this grip it seems to be consistent. For me the most important thing is to hit the putt and know that it has a chance, and it depends on the speed and read which has improved. WWG: Do you think you’ll ever settle down and get married or will you remain a (not currently eligible) bachelor? Do you enjoy your lifestyle too much for that? SG: Family is very important to me so I’m sure one day that may happen. I’m in a very happy place right now so we will see. Obviously, with being on Tour and travelling around all the time it’s difficult, so I try and spend as much time with my girlfriend, family and friends as I can. I’ve always felt very fortunate about the

people I’m surrounded with. I think that if you’re surrounded by good people, you usually become a good person. I’ve always been very fortunate about that. Sometimes I let myself go and get too caught up in the moment. I think that it’s important for me to realise those things, and you know, at the end of the day, try to enjoy what I do, which is playing golf. WWG: You have an interest in planes - what made you choose Hawker Beechcraft? SG: I just like Hawker Beechcraft’s products. With my previous airplane, a Hawker 850XP, I never missed a tournament so it was a simple decision to purchase a Hawker 4000 and it, too, is proving to be an exceptional airplane. It’s really comfortable and its performance is excellent. Everyone at the company is very friendly and customer focused so it’s nice to be associated with them. It’s nice to arrive at a tournament in your own plane. WWG: You’re good friends with the Inter Milan footballer Diego Forlan – how did that come about, how do you rate him as a player and how good are you at playing football?


WorldWide golf eXClUSiVe

Sergio garcia

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“If I hadn’t become a professional golfer I would have loved to have been a professional footballer. I got a taste of what it is like by playing for my home football club, Borriol. I came on for the final eight minutes against Ribarroja. I should have had a penalty after being fouled in the box.”

Garcia at home with his new Hawker Beechcraft 4000. “It’s nice to arrive at a tournament in your own plane.”

SG:

Yes Diego and I have been close friends for a while now. We met while he played for Villareal, only 20 minutes from Castellon. He’s a great guy and a great player who has played for some great clubs. When I was younger I played a lot of football and if I hadn’t become a professional golfer I would have loved to have been a professional

footballer. I recently got a taste of what it is like by playing for my home football club, Borriol, in the Spanish Third Division. I came on for the final eight minutes against Ribarroja. I played on the left of midfield and should have definitely had a penalty after being fouled in the box! I’m not bad at football but I think Diego’s a little

“I have heard people say that my claw putting grip doesn’t look that pretty but it seems to be working for me. Even a lot of the putts that are not going in, I’m still putting with a good stroke.”

bit better! I think skill-wise I could probably fit in, but unfortunately fitness-wise I can’t run for the amount of time those guys do. I might last between 30 and 40 minutes at the most giving it my all, and then I’d be quite tired. All the sprints are 100 per cent, and every effort you make is 100 percent. It takes a lot out of you. n

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S

COTLAND’S Richie Ramsay was crowned Champion of the 2012 Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah after a blistering course-record round of 10-under 62 at Yas Links Golf Club saw him finish two strokes clear of Thorbørn Olesen and Richard Finch. “It’s fantastic, it’s been a great day,” said Ramsay who donated half of his $100,000 prize cheque to his chosen charities, Help for Heroes and Cornerstones. “Coming out and shooting 62 in one of the best fields in the world for a Pro-Am is unbelievable. Abdullah Al Naboodah has put on a fantastic show here. Everybody’s come out and had a great day. The weather’s been fantastic and it’s good that you can give something to the charities to make a difference.” The Scot had a phenomenal start to his round shooting four birdies and an eagle over his first five holes. His only bogey of the day came at the sixth when his putt for par slid agonisingly past the cup. He got straight back in the groove, sinking a huge putt of over 30 feet for eagle at the seventh and admitted afterwards that after being so quick out of the blocks he had thoughts of a fabled 59. “If I had knocked that putt in on six I thought it could have gone really low and I did think about 59. I could have been 9-under after nine. But I did hole a 35-footer for eagle on seven so you’ve got to take the good with the bad and there was a lot of good in there. I made some nice putts down the stretch to keep the momentum going.

Ramsey home on the Links

Impressed “Kyle Phillips has done an unbelievable job here. You wouldn’t think you could shape the land into something like this and having the water right next to it is beautiful. It plays really well and I’ve been very impressed with it. When you get weather like this it’s great to come out here and playing on a course like this makes it even better.” After winning golf’s most prestigious one-day event in a field that included the likes of Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell, Ramsay, whose only win on The European Tour came in the 2010 South African Open Championship, was feeling confident about the year ahead. “Any win always gives you confidence but it’s the strength of the field here that really does it,” he said. “Pretty much all the pros who teed it up here today are European Tour players and most of them are winners. You’ve got the likes of Garcia and McDowell in there so it’s really nice to chalk up a victory and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.” Joint runner-up Finch was thrilled with his 65, which included eight birdies, having been unhappy with his performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship the day before where he closed with a 2-over 74 for a tie for 30th place. “I was unsure what to expect today but a few things just clicked and it was nice to play well,” said Finch of his first round at Yas Links. “I read an interview that Retief Goosen did last year saying that it helped him not having played the course before as he didn’t know where the trouble was. 24

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Abdullah Al Naboodah presents the 2012 Emirates Airline Invitational Champion with the trophy after Richie Ramsay dominated the leaderboard with a course record 10-under-par 62.

That was certainly the case with me. You just look where you want to hit it to and fire!” Finch was also full of praise for one of the members of his fourball – 11-year-old amateur Jakub Hrinda who had won the junior Golden Ticket to play the event at the Golden Ticket Grand Final at Yas Links the previous week. “He was level par gross after 16 holes, playing off the back tees. He finished 3-over, which for a 9-handicapper, who is 11 years old, is phenomenal,” said Finch. “It was a privilege to play

with him. I’m sure he’s a star of the future. He’s a bit of a Phil Mickelson, being left handed, and an Ernie Els, with the speed of his swing, rolled into one. So that’s a pretty good combination. “I tried to pass on some tips along the way – the one thing I told his parents was to try not to let him get too bogged down with technique. Just keep it simple and enjoy it.”

performance Jakub was overjoyed with his performance alongside playing partner Bradley Dredge after the pair finished tied fourth on 8-under 64. “The players were great company and I played quite well,” said Qatar-based Jakub. “I was at a


different level from the pros but it was great playing with them. Usually, I play with higher handicappers so it was fun to play with people who are so good.” Garcia, making his second appearance at the Invitational but his first at Yas Links, was impressed with the unique desert links. “It was good, it was my first time playing this course and we had a great time,” said the Spaniard who shot 71 before delighting fans by giving up his time with the spectators chatting and signing autographs – he even phoned a friend of one spectator to wish him a happy birthday! “They’ve done a really good job with the course. It’s easier if you know it as there are some tricky lines, as there always is with a lot of links courses but it’s very nice.” Defending champion Retief Goosen was disappointed to shoot 74 on his return to Yas Links but an ace on the par-3 eighth proved a nice bonus. However, unlike last year when the feat would have won him a brand new car, this year the hole-in-one contest – to win a Range Rover Sport - was moved to the 17th! “The hole-in-one was the only good shot I hit today!” said Goosen. “I played horrifically badly – quite the opposite to last year. I heard they moved the contest for the car to the 17th, which is typical – just my luck.”

countback Denmark’s Olesen and amateur partner Rob Hersov took the spoils in the Pro-Am Team section after a card countback with Ramsay and Tejan Fadlu-Deen after both pairs combined for impressive rounds of 11-under 61. Hersov, Chairman of VistaJet said: “This is my second Emirates Airline Invitational and I thought I’d never say this but it just gets better. I’m golf mad and there’s nothing better than playing in a competitive Pro-Am event with top class professionals in a setting such as Yas Links Golf Club. Credit goes to Abdullah Al Naboodah and all the sponsors for piecing all the elements together to make this such a must-play event. “Every amateur dreams of being a professional, even if it’s just for one day and this makes that dream a come true. I’m ecstatic to win the Team Event but it comes down to having a great professional as your partner.” The amateur line up featured a host of former sporting stars including ex-footballers Ruud Gullit, Andrew Cole and Dwight Yorke as well as excricketers Sir Ian Botham, Michael Vaughan and Allan Lamb.

manchester unIted Late entrant and 3-handicapper Yorke, who forged a reputation as one of the deadliest strikers in football alongside Cole in the 1999 Treblewinning Manchester United side, finished tied 10th alongside David Horsey after shooting a combined 66: “I was only passing through to catch up with some friends and I found out about the event. I was a bit disappointed not to be invited in the first place!” he joked. “I knew Andy was playing in a

Abdullah Al Naboodah presents Robert Hersov and Thorbjørn Olesen with the Team Event prize. Hopefully, Olesen will now be able to afford a new pair of trousers!

tournament out here but I didn’t know it was this one. We’re out here in the UAE quite a lot due to our media commitments and we play golf here a lot so I’m delighted I was invited. I’ve played here at Yas Links probably about 20 times before so I’m a bit of a regular around the place and I know where to hit the ball and where not to, which helped.” Cole only began playing golf three years ago after retiring from football but is already down to a 13 handicap. The striker, who is second behind Alan Shearer in the English Premier League’s all-time scoring list with 187 goals, put in an impressive performance in his first competitive outing alongside Oliver Fisher as the pair matched Yorke and Horsey’s round of 6-under. “It’s been a top, top day all round,” he said. “Personally, I was a Steady Eddy but the two pros in our group were unbelievable. Not just the way they played the game but the way they treated me – fantastic. “I can’t speak highly enough of this event, it’s one of the best sporting days I’ve been involved in and it’s an honour for me to be invited. To be given the opportunity to not only come out to the UAE and play on a course as beautiful as Yas Links alongside top pros is amazing.” Al Naboodah Group Ambassador McDowell, hot off the back of a sensational finish at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, enjoyed a great day alongside Garcia as the pair laughed and joked around the course with their amateur partners, despite the Northern Irishman’s disappointing round of 1-over 71. “This is about my fourth or fifth Invitational,” said the former US Open Champion who had played his last seven holes in 5-under-par at Abu Dhabi Golf Club the previous day to finish tied third. “I really enjoy it – Abdullah and the Al

Naboodah Group always put on a really good show. Since Emirates Airline got involved and so many other great sponsors like Hawker Beechcraft and Sunseeker it’s grown into a such a great event. It’s a great field as always, with the likes of Sergio and Goose – top European Tour players – so it just keeps getting better every year and in Yas Links, maybe the Invitational has found its home. It’s a great golf course – an authentic links and I really enjoy it. I had a great time today out there with Sergio.” The star-studded gala dinner that took place at the stunning Yas Viceroy following the day’s play raised US$300,000 from a live auction with a further $25,000 from a silent auction and private donations.

offIcIal charItIes Tournament host Abdullah Al Naboodah was delighted that so many of his friends and associates dug deep to support the Invitational’s Official Charities – the UAE Down Syndrome Association, Friends of Cancer Patients UAE, the Special Care Centre Abu Dhabi and The Tour Players’ Foundation. “Everybody enjoys the event and it makes me proud that so many top pros and amateurs keep coming back to play every year,” he said. “We aim to make it a fun tournament in a relaxed but competitive environment but the bigger cause for us is to support our affiliated charities and it’s wonderful to see so many of our guests putting their hands in their pockets and giving generously.” A $125,000 charity donation was also made from the event’s $500,000 prize fund taking the total raised in just one day to $450,000. With one of the best fields in the world for a one-day event, a top class venue in Yas Links and charity at its heart, the Emirates Airline Invitational is flying higher with every passing year. www.wwgolf.biz

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Graeme McDowell joined in the charity auction by encouraging the guests with deep pockets to bid for a limited edition framed pictured signed by the recent European Tour Major champions. Host Abdullah Al Naboodah and his son present Retief Goosen with his prize after the two-time US Open champion had a hole-in-one at the eighth hole. Unfortunately this year the ‘win a car’ hole-in-one prize had moved from the eigth to the 17th!

Charity is at the heart of Emirates Airline Invitational. Pictured right is a representative from the UAE Down Syndrome Association who gave a moving speech in explaining the challenges faced by sufferers and how the money raised during the event will be used to full effect.

Sergio Garcia, Allan Stanton and Graeme McDowell along with Tariq Al Sowaidi made up the final team which received raucous applause during the closing holes .

star shots The Emirates Airline Invitational hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah is fast becoming the closest pro-am rival to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this side of the Atlantic. High profile celebrities and top class professionals battling it out in glorious conditions with an underlying goal to raise as much money for charity as possible...what more do you want?

Carpetland’s Shariah can’t make his mind up and is for once stuck for words.

Ryder Cup captains José Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie enjoying the day.

Sir Ian Botham rescues the microphone from old friend Allan Lamb during the charity auction. 26

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Yes, there are other pictures on this page!

Cricket legend Allan Lamb, third from the left, was at the centre of all the laughter.

The Hawker Beechcraft team enjoying the action with their pros (Peter Hanson far right and Nicolas Colsaerts far left).

Ruud Gullit enjoys the pre-event players’ party.

A luxury Sunseeker yacht looks spectacular at Yas Marina.

Colin Montgomerie sees the funny side of ‘brolly’gate!

Manchester United’s iconic pairing, Dwight York and Andrew Cole, team up once more. Dwight only just fitted into his shirt!

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GOLF ACADEMY

Everyone says practice makes perfect... We say, it only makes perfect if you practice the right thing.

Before those bad habits become permanent, come and visit the Yas Links Golf Academy today! Yas Links Golf Academy is manned by a team of highly qualified and experienced club professionals from across the globe who provide expert coaching from the fundamentals to the finer points. The facilities at their disposal are second to none. Two state of the art indoor swing studios, six covered hitting bays, a dedicated nine-hole par-three academy course, short game chipping and bunker practice area and a practice range all of which are fully floodlit, allow you to hone your skills night and day. Privacy, accessibility, direction and quality allow you to make the most of your game any time. Contact reception@yaslinks.com Or call 02 810 7777


WWGcolumnist

AND WE’RE OFF – Ross Fisher gets his 2012 campaign underway at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

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’M feeling refreshed after a nice break over Christmas and New Year and I’m enjoying being back out there. We went to our house at Lake Nona in America for four weeks, which was lovely, and a great way to recharge the batteries ahead of the new season. I was only back in the UK for five days and I’d had enough of the cold already so I was glad to get out to Dubai for four days practice with Adam, my caddie. I’m wearing different clothes and using different clubs now after switching to Nike and so far the new clubs feel really good. I’ve also changed balls to the Nike 20 XI. Changing balls is much harder than changing clubs. With a new driver, that’s basically just one shot you have to understand. But a new ball affects all 14 clubs in your bag, and you have to have confidence in how each of those clubs is going to play. It’s not something you can do overnight, but I’m really excited about what this ball is going to do for my game. I got my 2012 schedule underway in Abu Dhabi and although the result wasn’t great, there were a lot of positives to take from the week. After the event I stayed in Abu Dhabi

LAST YEAR IS ovER for the Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah at Yas Links. Again, I didn’t play the best but that’s not really what it’s about – it’s a fun day with the amateurs and trying to raise as much money as possible for charity. We had Sir Ian Botham in our group and we all had a really good laugh. There was a fantastic field this year and I think everybody had a great day. The Invitational is an exciting tournament to be a part of. Abdullah does a lot for golf in the UAE and for golf in general. You’ve only got to look at the players who attend the event to see how it’s gone from strength to strength. When I started playing the tournament four years ago when it was at Dubai Creek it was the Abdullah Al Naboodah Pro-Am, the fact that it’s now got the title sponsorship of Emirates Airline speaks volumes about how much it has grown in a relatively short time. It now has Official European Tour sanctioning which is a great honour and a mark of how highly the tournament and Abdullah are regarded. I’ve been asked

a few times about how I feel about not winning a tournament last year, for the first time in five seasons, and obviously it was disappointing. But last season is gone now and it’s time to look ahead to this year. I learned a lot last season – sometimes the tough times teach you far more than the good times – so I’ve just got to look forward now. I feel like my game is in good shape so it’s just a case of fine tuning and trying to win golf tournaments. My primary goal for the year is to make The Ryder Cup Team – it was an amazing experience being part of it all at Celtic Manor two years ago and once you’ve experienced it, you don’t want to miss one. My other goal is to make it back into the top 50 on the World Ranking so I’ll be doing everything I can to make that happen. n

In the know wIth Ross FIsheR Ross finished in 42nd place in abu dhabi afteR shooting Rounds of 73-72-6873 foR a 2-undeRpaR total. he shot 4-oveR 76 at the invitational in the pRos’ touRnament and 69 alongside paRtneR eRic watson in the team pRo-am.

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Q&A

CHRIS WHITE GENERAL MANAGER, ALDAR GOLF

With a wealth of experience in the UK and in the region’s golf industry Chris White, General Manager, Aldar Golf, knows better than most that despite the acclaim Yas Links Golf Club has received, the challenge is to use it’s reputation to attract more golf tourists to the UAe. With the knowledge of having opened six golf courses in the UK, turkey and the UAe Chris tells Mike Gallemore that in the Middle east golf clubs have to be much more than just places to play golf.

GOLF CAN’T AFFORD TO BECOME CHEAPER IN THE REGION Q: You’ve been in the UAE for many years now and witnessed the growth of golf from its infancy. Have you been surprised by the progress made?

CW: I have now completed 12 fantastic years and have opened three great facilities – two of which have been literally turnkey projects from nothing to finished operating facilities. In many different industries if you have been part of the UAE’s growth you will have been exposed to so many more opportunities than in other parts of the world. The UAE leaders have had a pretty clear vision and mandate to provide the necessary resources and achieve their objectives in double-quick time. The result across many sectors is so many amazing projects, whether it be design, materials used or sheer scale. In my profession it means the creation of great courses, high service standards and amazing tournaments that catch the eye of the consumer and win the business. People want to play golf in this part of the world because the journey there will be part of the dream, the hotel they stay in will exceed their expectations, the weather they enjoy is guaranteed and the gps, fancy range balls, electric cart, bag drop, starter, welcoming receptionist...makes the whole experience different – the challenge is staying ahead and being competitive. Q: With the nearby hotels now opening, do you feel that Yas will become even more popular for local and international golfers?

CW:We should all appreciate the way the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority have embraced golf and clearly and strategically see the game as another vehicle to fill Etihad planes, put heads on beds in hotels and drive exposure of the Emirate. The recent formation of Golf in Abu Dhabi demonstrates a joined up approach to promoting the golf offering – it’s good and healthy to work together. From a local perspective no one should underestimate the value golf provides to a local community. This can be an influencing factor in relocating to the Emirate whether it be because of the real estate that overlooks the course, the junior and ladies programmes that entertain my family or the pure social and business networking associated with being a member of a globally recognised golf club. I know from talking to departing expats they openly admit that out of everything they’ll miss, ‘it’s Yas Links I’m going to miss the most.’ Q: What are your ambitions for Yas Links – and for golf in the region - for the future?

CW: I hope to see the Yas Links course mature further which can only happen with time. I’d like to see the expansion of some areas of the club’s facilities and, perhaps, the further development of Yas Island. But you have to be realistic. The world has its problems right now and the big difference at present is the need to have a strategic approach to growth and have a strong and healthy business case for growth. This might seem a bit off the wall but from a golf perspective I’d like to see further study into a nine hole AstroTurf course – something that required zero water and almost zero maintenance that could offer AED100 starter golf to feed into our grass facilities.

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Q: With all your experience of golf in the Middle East do you think more needs to be done to increase the number of golfers – locally and internationally?

CW: It’s difficult because the region offers so much. For instance, my wife’s ‘taxi service’ currently covers rugby, dance class, cricket, scouts, kayaking, karting, golf, skiing, horse riding and shopping malls. So is it right to stipulate that a 10 and 12 year old should knock those on the head and just focus on golf? I believe there should be a greater effort to get young qualified golf professionals into the schools to provide affordable golf within a curriculum, to identify talent and feed that into the golf clubs. That would generate growth. The clubs themselves all have strong junior programmes but the local population has an incredible amount of choice. It’s funny, I know many professionals, myself included, who got involved in the game from part-time summer or weekend work, picking up range balls or dusting pro shop shelves. That sort of ‘casual labour’ can’t exist in this part of the world right now but perhaps such things as Duke of Edinburgh schemes or even UAE Development programmes could be introduced.

CW: With so many excellent golf clubs now in existence is it a case of too many golf rounds available and not enough golfers? A: It depends how it’s viewed. It may be the case, but we shouldn’t consider golf courses as stand alone, self-sufficient facilities. They are expensive assets to maintain and operate and I am sure some are finding it a struggle to break even right now. In a region where grass doesn’t grow naturally, we’ve got to look at golf clubs as an added value to a community, the impact on tourism and the mark-up on real estate. Golf offers the country a lot more than the green fees they provide. After all, the UAE does have four top quality professional golf events that not only get broadcast around the world, showcasing the region, but it also attracts the world’s best golfers.

ABOVE: Chris White pictured with his family, wife Lillie, daughter Ella and son Tom at home in Abu Dhabi.


Q: Although memberships and green fees have become more affordable do you think that with the recession it’s still too expensive for locals and for international golf tourists? CW: Sadly, there is a misconception that golf can be cheaper in the region. In most cases it can’t. An 18 hole course can support 170 eighteen hole rounds a day if you achieved 100% occupancy for 365 days a year (which would never happen) and charged AED200 ($55) a round. The golf course alone would not be sustainable. Now, obviously, there are additional revenue streams (pro shop, restaurants, coaching, membership etc.) but, in truth, the current competitive market has naturally resulted in competitive pricing which, in my opinion, provides both value for consumers as well as ‘cheaper or promotional’ times to play. As operators, like any company, we have to manage our business and ensure that our rate structure still justifies a membership fee, whilst also being able to competitively attract green fees players with a view to giving owners a return on their investment. I do think that a golf outing to some of the UAE’s outstanding golf clubs needs to be looked at as a complete offering. I remember a day out to Woburn Golf Club in the UK was as much about the breakfast, the practice ground, the locker facilities and the whole day’s experience as the round of golf itself. I think ,if time permits, it needs to be viewed not just as a green fee but as day out at the links. www.wwgolf.biz

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Stella Di Mare – Ain Soukhna

Egypt’s premier golfing destination STELLA Di Mare Golf & Country Club is located just over an hour away from Egypt’s capital, Cairo, on the banks of the Red Sea. Based in the Ain Soukhna area, the beautiful resort boasts three hotels, 18-hole championship golf and many other facilities including a Thallaso Spa and Padi Dive centre. Stella has always been favourite with tourist golfers seeking a mixture of a culture, golf and beach holiday. In fact, the Soukhna area is now fast becoming the most popular beach retreat for locals and residents as the close proximity to Cairo and excellent hotels and facilities make the area very appealing. With the introduction of the ‘Soukhna Golf Club’, a 27 hole project, at the nearby El Ein Bay and Little Venice Resort, the region is fast becoming Egypt’s exclusive golfing destination. El Ein Bay Golf Club has been designed by leading golf course architects ‘Thompson, Perret & Lobb’, headed by five-time Major Champion Peter Thompson. Construction was managed by ‘King Golf International’ and the end product is something unique which adds a different challenge to the ‘Soukhna Golf Coast’. “The addition of another 27 holes to the area to make a combined 45 golf holes, really adds an appeal to the area,” says Stella Di Mare Director of Golf Josh North. “We are working towards being Egypt’s first and premiere golf course destination! “Now we have a mixture of challenging, fun and excellent conditioned golf courses designed by architects such as Karl Litten, John Sanford and Thompson, Perrett and Lobb. “It’s no secret that the avid golfer likes to enjoy a mixture of courses when on vacation, and now Soukhna can provide this. Everything is available, world class golf and service with the added benefit of culture and the luxurious Red Sea.” The links at Stella Di Mare has forged its way to being one of the premier golf clubs in the country hosting many top class events, including the Junior Pan Arab Championship, The ‘Stella Di Mare International Pro-AM’ and the Stella Men’s Open – Starfish Trophy.

Stella Di Mare International Pro-Am ThIS April sees the third staging of the Stella Di Mare International Pro-Am. Past winners of the $41,000 prize fund event include, Steven Tiley (ENG) and former Ryder Cup player Paul Broadhurst (ENG). Already eagerly awaiting the 2012 event are past European Tour and Ryder Cup veterans – Peter Baker, Ronan Rafferty and Paul Broadhurst who have confirmed their participation. The links at Stella have undergone a ‘facelift’ with renovations to the 18th, fourth, seventh and ninth holes sure to add an extra challenge for this year’s event. With so many great events on world class golf courses the Soukhna Golf Coast is shaping up to be a real golfing hotspot. www.stelladimaregolf.com


The 3rd Annual Stella Di Mare International Pro-Am Monday 23rd April – Monday 30th April 2012

Entries Now Being Accepted A fantastic Pro-Am on a world class golf course at a 5-star Red Sea resort... 35 Team places available. Places allocated on a first come first served basis.

“Professionals play for a Prize-Fund of over $40,000” “Guaranteed $6,000 First Place Professional Prize” Professional receives complimentary Tournament Package when accompanying a team of 3 amateurs.

“The best tournament organization I’ve ever seen, anywhere.” – Daniel Belch “I’m already looking forward to coming back to defend in 2012” – Paul Broadhurst

Tournament Package includes 

7 Nights Half Board in 5-Star Golf Hotel

54 Hole Tournament

2 Official Practice Rounds

Transfers To and From Airport

Welcome Cocktail Party & BBQ

Gala Dinner & Entertainment

Tournament Gift Bag

Excellent Amateur Prizes

Prices from just 767 Euros

For More Information, Please Contact: Mr. Josh North, Director of Golf +20 (0) 100 855 7975 joshnorth@hotmail.com golfoffice@stelladimare.com sales.golf@stelladimare.com More information is available at: www.stelladimaregolf.com/pro-Am.aspx www.stelladimare.com

www.facebook.com/stelladimaregc www.twitter.com/stelladimaregc


wEbb SiMPSoN

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SIMPSON arrives in style Words: Richard Bevan

Webb SimpSon talkS about hiS breakthrough SeaSon in 2011 and hoW he might never have turned to golf had he not been beaten at tenniS by a girl.

AMERICAN Webb Simpson begins his 2012 campaign as one of the hottest names in world golf but this time last year not many people outside the US PGA Tour had heard of him. The 26-year-old started last season – his third on the US PGA Tour – ranked 208th in the world but ended it in 10th position after a spectacular run that saw him claim his first two Tour titles, at the Wyndham Championship and the Deutsche Bank Championship. He finished second behind Bill Haas in the FedExCup Standings and came within one event of topping the PGA Tour’s money list, only missing out when Luke Donald turned on the burners down the back nine at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and pipped him at the post.

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m www.wwgolf.biz “I was slow at basketball and I couldn’t jump. So golf was about it for me. Once I started it, the other sports quickly went away.” – webb SImpSOn wEbb SiMPSoN

“I knew I was getting better as a player and hitting shots that I wasn’t able to hit the year before and was feeling more calm under pressure,” says Simpson. “So inside I felt really good with where I was. I was excited last year. I had a new caddie coming to work for me who was well experienced. “I didn’t have huge expectations but I knew it was going to be a year where I was going to continue to do better. I didn’t put any pressure on myself. My caddie helped me a ton, and I’m in a slightly different place than I was a year ago.” Simpson’s breakthrough came, fittingly, in front of family and friends at the Wyndham Championship in his native North Carolina last August, but he had already been knocking on the door. He almost won the Transitions Championship in Florida in March but bogeyed the final hole, leaving Gary Woodland to pick up his maiden title. Then in May he came even closer, losing out to Bubba Watson in a play-off for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and it was that experience which Simpson says gave him the confidence and the belief that he had the game to be a winner on the PGA Tour. “The Transitions Championship was the first time I had really been in contention on Sunday since Las Vegas (the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open) the previous year,” he says. “I was pretty nervous there in Tampa. “In New Orleans when I was playing with Bubba I was able to hit a lot better shots, quality shots down the stretch. That’s when I really felt like I could win and winning was not that far out of reach. “It took a little longer than I wanted it to, but when it finally happened, I had a lot of the same feelings at Greensboro that I did in New Orleans to draw from.”

‘Pretty Awesome’ Simpson was a picture of cool, calm authority in his home event. He took the lead in the third round with a stunning blast of four birdies and an eagle over the last six holes before playing out a solid, bogey-free final round, producing birdies on the 9th, 15th and 16th holes to keep the chasing pack at bay for a three-stroke victory over George Mitchell. “That win meant the world to me,” says Simpson. “You know, I had played pretty well all year. I had a few chances to win but didn’t quite get it done. So I felt the pressure of winning rise a little bit. To win in Greensboro – where I’m from – was pretty awesome. “I had all of my friends and family there to celebrate with me. So, it was great. It was a good feeling walking off the 18th knowing the tournament was done.”

Webb Simpson was pipped at the post by Luke Donald for top honours on the 2011 US PGA Tour Money List. Luke’s unbelievable birdie fest during the closing nine holes at the Disney Classic meant Simpson could only watch in amazement as the World No.1 carded a six under par closing nine of 30!

If his Wyndham Championship victory signalled his arrival as a genuine title contender Simpson’s win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which shot him to the top of the FedExCup Standings, announced him as a potential world-beater. He was given a helping hand when Che Reavie made his only bogey of the day on the easiest hole on the Boston TPC golf course, the par five 18th, to take the contest into a play-off. But having put himself in the mix with a blistering final round 65 capped by a clutch putt at the last, Simpson showed great composure to win the play-off with a birdie at the second extra hole. Despite having the experience of his first win only a couple of weeks earlier, Simpson says it didn’t make it any easier second time around. “I thought it would be a lot easier than Greensboro but it wasn’t that way at all,” he smiles. “It was just as hard. The shots and the putts were just as hard. I think it helped just calm me down a little, but it was like I had never won a golf tournament before.” Simpson enjoyed a successful amateur career prior to turning professional that saw him win a string of prestigious titles. He was a three-time All-American and the ACC Player of the Year in 2008. He also played on the victorious USA Walker Cup team in 2007. But he might never have taken up golf

seriously had he not been beaten by a girl at tennis as a youngster. “I was a pretty good tennis player, and I was 12 years old and had a girlfriend at the time,” he explains. “She was a year younger. We went out and played tennis and she beat me, and I said, ‘All right, if a girl beat me who is younger than me, I’m done.’ So I pretty much put the racquet down at that point. “I was slow at basketball and I couldn’t jump. So golf was about it for me. Once I started it, the other sports quickly went away.” Tennis’s loss was undoubtedly golf’s gain and despite missing out on the top spot in the FedExCup and on the money list last year Simpson still has plenty to smile about. “It wasn’t bad at all,” he grins. “I would have taken it at the start of the season. It was a great year really. I learned so much, and I can’t wait after having a little rest to get back at it.” Webb Simpson’s performances last season signalled his arrival on the world stage and if he picks up where he left off in 2011 you can expect to see his name up in lights this year. n

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WWGcolumnist

fun day raising funds for president clinton

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really enjoyed getting the opportunity to help a friend and play in president clinton’s Humana challenge at la Quinta last month. We had a lot of fun and in the process helped raise money for president clinton’s charity, the clinton foundation. When President Clinton rang and asked if I would play, I said, yes, but there was one condition: ‘Only if we are in the same group one day.’ He managed to pull a few strings and we were paired together on Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and we were only able to get nine holes in, but we had a good time. It was my first competitive event since I was in Australia for the Australian Open and the Australian PGA, so I was a bit rusty, but we still enjoyed it none the less. Next stop, Mexico, where I’m looking forward to competing in the Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon. This is a great event and it’s the only US PGA Tour event in Mexico. 2016 Olympic bid The tournament is staged at El Camaleon which is a course I designed and one that I was very proud to be a part of. It was recently voted the 21st Best Course on Tour by the players of the US PGA Tour and it was the only course built since 1980 in the top 25. Most of the courses were older classic designs built in the early 1900s which says a lot about the quality of this project. It’s been 12 months since my shoulder surgery and I feel as though I’m pretty close to being at full strength. I’m beginning to hit the ball closer to my normal distances. I feel I can compete and hit the ball up to 290 yards, close to 300 yards instead of 275 yards – and that makes a big difference. Hopefully, I will continue to see progress at Mayakoba. I have been working very hard with my golf course design team preparing our proposal for the golf course design for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. We are anticipating that the winner will be announced sometime in February and it’s an exciting time for golf. No matter who gets the job to design the Olympic golf course, it will be a great thing 38

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for the sport of golf to be back in the Olympics as it will help spur the growth of the game in new regions across the world. It will provide a significant boost to those countries with little or no golf tradition and help to generate global interest and bring more youngsters into the game. Golf is truly a global sport and it’s only going to gain popularity with its reintroduction into the Olympics. I was asked at President Clinton’s Humana Challenge about the likelihood of there being a World Golf Tour on the lines of the

tennis ATP Tour and whether my proposals back in 1994 were ahead of the curve. I feel as though, I had the right idea, but the suggestion of a World Tour at the time was just too radical of a change for people to grasp. The structure I suggested back then was different than the ATP Tour but I guess the nearest thing to it is today’s European Tour, which is more like a World Tour than anything else. The European Tour travels all over the world, except the United States, Canada,

Above: Greg Norman in action in the first round of the Humana Challenge. “It was my first competitive event since I was in Australia for the Australian open and the Australian PGA so I was a bit rusty but we still enjoyed it none the less.”


It will be interesting to see what happens in Asia over the next 20 years – that is the sleeping giant. When China lifts their moratorium on golf course construction and begins the grass roots promotion of the game, when India steps up to the plate, which they’re beginning to do, as the rest of Asia has been doing, the world of golf may change significantly. South America and Mexico and they have been at it now for around 14 years, building a global presence as a brand. They have really canvassed the globe in a great way to promote international golf. The US PGA Tour is now trying to play catch up. That having been said, I am encouraged by what the US PGA Tour is currently doing. Geographically speaking, the only places the US PGA Tour can cast their nets are Central America, Mexico and South America, where there are huge opportunities for golf, especially with it’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

The US PGA Tour has been an instrumental leader throughout the Brazilian Olympic golf process so they should have a great future in establishing themselves in the South American market. At this point, I still don’t see a true World Tour coming to fruition any time in the near future. In order for this to happen the US PGA Tour and the European Tour would have to come together as one Tour and I just don’t see that merger happening so I think it will probably stay the way it is for many years to come. If change comes, it may well come through

Above: Greg Norman talks with President bill Clinton during the Humana Challenge on the US PGA Tour.

Asia. It will be very interesting to see what happens in Asia over the next 20 years – that is the sleeping giant. When China lifts their moratorium on golf course construction and begins the grass roots promotion of the game, when India steps up to the plate, which they’re beginning to do, as the rest of Asia has been doing, the world of golf as we now know it may change significantly. One thing is for sure, there is a huge opportunity awaiting the sport of golf, and we all need to play our part to help grow this beautiful game. n www.wwgolf.biz

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WWGcolumnist

Gary Player is a true leGend of the Game. the south african is one of only five Players to have won a career Grand slam of all four majors. he has won a total of nine majors and nine senior majors, amonG 167 tour events worldwide.

AmAzing grAce At the double

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hAt a great event the Volvo golf champions was and what a dramatic finish. Who would have imagined that three South Africans would have contested a play-off and that the outsider of the three would have been first past the post? it was a wonderful endorsement for south african golf and a terrific promotion for the links at fancourt, which also hosted the 2003 Presidents cup and the south african open. it was quite an achievement for Branden Grace to get into a three-man play-off with multiple major winners retief Goosen and ernie els but to beat them both at the first extra hole was incredible. Branden had the chance to win in regulation but missed a short putt and i thought he composed himself wonderfully for the play-off. the win meant it was 23-year-old Branden’s second victory in a row, following his triumph at the joburg open the week before. it was the first time a Qualifying school graduate had won back-to-back tournaments in the first year after earning their tour card.

Dream Come True Branden had played on the european tour in 2009 but had lost his card and had to qualify again at the end of last season. he earned his card for the new season and won in only his second start of 2012 in joburg before following up by becoming the ‘champion of champions.’ he’d said that it was a dream just to play at fancourt and that to stand on the 18th tee with ernie and retief on the first hole of the play-off was unbelievable. to beat them was just awesome. Branden is understandably full of confidence but although he’s only 23 he’s had a lot of experience in the game. he was top amateur in the south african open at the age of 17 and it’s taken him six years to get to where he is today. now he’s in a position to keep his glory run going and have a shot at getting into the world Golf championships-accenture match Play championship in arizona. his 40

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two european tour wins have shot him into 92nd place in the world ranking but he’s going to have to get into the top 64 to make the accenture and he’ll need to make the top 50 to go to augusta. Branden missed the cut at the abu dhabi hsBc Golf championship but he’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve his position in the ranking in the weeks to come. congratulations to robert rock on winning. it was quite a performance.

Golf in the Blood Branden comes from a golfing family and is related to darren fichardt and michiel Bothma. he came through the ernie els and fancourt foundation which helps youngsters with golfing talent. he’s a young man with a lot of talent and a very cool, calm attitude. to win as dramatically as he has done doesn’t seem to have affected him. he could go on to even greater glories and further the reputation of south african golf. many people ask why there should be this sudden upsurge in south african golf.

i can only say that we have all the right ingredients for success in international golf. the weather is perfect for golf, and we’ve got so many magnificent courses and some of the best coaches in the game. i believe that history also has something to do with it. as a country we have suffered years of turmoil and adversity, which makes our sportsmen a hardy bunch. we’ve come a long way from our ‘wild west’ days. we have no feeling of entitlement that sportsmen from other countries sometimes seem to have. our guys are hungry for success and they’re quite prepared to work at it. at the volvo Golf champions there were six south africans in the top 10 with charl shwartzel finishing fifth, louis oosthuizen coming seventh and thomas aiken in ninth, which out of a field of 35 champions on the european tour is a magnificent achievement. there are nine south africans in the top 100, five of whom are major winners, and with many of them on top form we could be in for a very fruitful season. n

Above: branden Grace had his own personal fan club at The Links at Fancourt as he posed with the magnificent trophy after winning the volvo Golf Champions – he even had his own exclamation Mark! Playing in front of family and friends was something special and making it back-to-back victories in winning the Joburg open the week before made it an even more outstanding achievement.


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PAUl CASEY

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CASEY’S injury jinx strikes again last month PaUl CasEY was on thE vErgE of laUnChing himsElf into his most sUCCEssfUl sEason in rECEnt YEars whEn his injUrY jinx strUCk anothEr CrUEl blow. thE world nUmbEr thrEE in aUgUst 2009 talks ExClUsivElY to mikE gallEmorE aboUt his highs and lows.

P

AUL CASEY was eagerly looking forward to his trip to The Links at Fancourt in South Africa and the prospect of keeping possession of the Volvo Golf Champions trophy he battled so hard to win at The Royal Golf Club, Bahrain, this time last year, when he suffered another injury setback. The likeable Englishman has been dogged by injury over the past few seasons but another bizarre mishap means his 2012 campaign is now on hold. During the Festive break in Colorado he dislocated his right shoulder while snowboarding and it seems he’ll be sidelined until at least next month, missing all three events in the Middle East Swing. Over the years, Casey has taken the good and the not so good in his stride but just when he believed his injury problems were finally behind him – it happens again “I really did think that 2012 was going to be a great year for me – and then this occurs,” he says. “I’m very frustrated. I was looking forward to getting off to a fast start to the year. I was disappointed to miss out on defending my title at the Volvo Golf Champions – it looked a great event. I’m also devastated at missing the entire Middle East Swing. I think The European Tour has done a magnificent job in taking the game and the

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Tour all around the Middle East and Asia. All the players appreciate that times are tough for everyone financially. It would not be a problem for us if the prizemoney had to be reduced. The level of prizemoney is good but we’re playing to win tournaments not to see how much money we can accumulate. “I’d like to see more events back in the UK. It’s been sad to see the disappearance of tournaments like the British Masters at The Belfry and the European Open at the London Golf Club and it would be good to see them return to the schedule before too long.” Casey showed patches of the blistering form that took him to No.3 in the World in 2009, at the Dubai World Championship, where he finished in a share of 16th place, shooting 72-66-70-72. “I played some good golf at Greg Norman’s Earth course and I was feeling good about my game. At last I had no niggling injuries and I was raring to go for the new 2012 campaign. Fortunately my shoulder is not a long-term injury. I hope to be back in action next month and I’ve still got a lot of goals I want to fulfil, including making The Ryder Cup Team at Medinah.” After reaching World No.3 two years ago, through victories at the Shell Houston Open on the US PGA Tour


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PAUl CASEY and the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event on The European Tour, Casey suffered a serious rib injury which sidelined him for virtually the rest of that season. He came back with a bang in 2010 – losing out to Ian Poulter in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, then sharing third place in The Open Championship, finishing runner-up in the BMW PGA Championship in the United States, and coming sixth in both the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Dubai World Championship.

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so the Majors and the World Golf Championships events and just winning tournaments and earning ranking points are still on my agenda.” Casey was unlucky to miss making the Team for Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup victory in Wales. Although he failed to qualify outright, many thought he would be one of Colin Montgomerie’s Captain’s picks. It didn’t happen but Casey, who was on the winning side in 2004 and 2006, is determined he’ll be in José Maria Olazábal’s side at Medinah. “Despite this latest setback with my shoulder I’m hungry to start winning tournaments again and get back on that Ryder Cup Team,” says Casey. “With the depth of talent that we’ve now got in Europe, it’s probably going to be the most difficult team to make since I’ve been on Tour. “But I’ve overcome problems and injuries before and I’m determined to get back to my best again as quickly as possible.” Casey has come through a series of injury setbacks that would have left lesser characters in despair but he’s taken the hits with a smile on his face. He’s proved he’s a world-class performer and he’s got what it takes to get back into the top flight. It would be no surprise if he grabbed his first Major this year – and made Ollie’s Ryder Cup Team for Medinah. n

‘Huge Boost’ When he put in a determined fight, with the lead changing hands every few holes in the final round, to win the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain last January it seemed he was back on the glory trail. “Winning in Bahrain was a huge boost for me – not only because I was winning again but because of the manner in which I won,” says Casey. “I really had to scrap my way to the title. It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done. “When I arrived in Bahrain and was shown to my room at the Ritz-Carlton it had 666 on the door. I’m not particularly superstitious but I was tempted to ask for another room. Then I thought,

“When I arrived in Bahrain and was shown to my room at the Ritz-Carlton it had 666 on the door. I’m not particularly superstitious but I was tempted to ask for another room. But I thought, well some things are considered bad luck in some countries and good luck in others. So I stuck with it and it turned out to be a lucky omen for me.” well some things are considered bad luck in some countries and good luck in others. So I stuck with it and it turned out to be a lucky omen for me. “That much-needed win should have been the launch pad to a great season, having overcome my injury problems, but it wasn’t to be.” Just when everything seemed to be going right the 34-year-old was troubled by a lingering foot injury which turned out to be a condition known as ‘turf toe’. His subsequent loss of form and fitness saw him fail to retain his US PGA Tour card for the following season as his career went back on hold.

‘So frustrating’ “It was so frustrating,” says Casey who came within one event of winning the Order of Merit on The European Tour in 2006 before a virus sidelined him during the season-ending Volvo Masters, leaving Padraig Harrington to claim top spot. “I got myself right after my rib injury but the trouble with my toe was that I didn’t realise what was going on until it was too late,” says Casey. “I picked it up in May and battled through it but I didn’t get a full diagnosis until August. By then, it was too late for a medical exemption so I tried to play through it and got into a lot of bad

habits.”Casey revealed that he ended up playing the majority of the season with a plate in his right shoe and his toes taped up, which only made matters worse. “It was a joint in my foot which wasn’t allowing my foot to move correctly and that put pressure on my toe,” he explains. “ What was interesting was that when I did swing the club the way I should swing it, correctly – the way I used to swing it – the toe was fine. But in the meantime I’d picked up some bad habits which led to erratic golf. My weight got back on my heels and the club started to go up rather than around – put simply, it was too steep. “Last year was tough but I still managed to win twice around the world (in Bahrain and at the Shinhan Donghae Open on the Korean Tour) and although I’ve dropped in the World Ranking I’ve still sort of clung on to a reasonable position of 20 – and that’s with playing very average golf for me. If I can get back to where my game was, then I’m confident I can move up the World Ranking and The Race to Dubai – and The Ryder Cup points ranking. “I’ve still got lofty goals I haven’t yet achieved

Paul Casey won the in inaugural Volvo Champions in Bahrain last season and was set to make a strong impact on the 2012 European Tour season. Paul had been working hard on his game to challenge close friend and fellow 2004 World Cup team mate Luke Donald.

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Pete Cowen exClusive

padraig is on the way back to the top Worldwide Golf continues its fascinating series of interviews by Mike Gallemore with the inimitable coach Pete Cowen of The Academy at Emirates Golf Club in Association with Pete Cowen.

T

HE Middle East Swing is an important part of the season for the players who are all looking to get their campaign off to a flying start. The players like playing in the Middle East. The weather’s perfect, the hospitality can’t be bettered and they’re playing on some of the best golf courses in the world, all in superb condition. What more could they want. As an introduction to the new seasosn the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt in South Africa last month gave the 2011 Tour winners along with players with ten or more career Tour wins an excellent chance to brush off the cobwebs and get down to some competitive golf. Most of them were visibly rusty but that was only to be expected. The Links proved to be a difficult course to play and when the wind blew it was tough going. The inaugural event was played last year at The Royal Golf Course in Bahrain as the second event in the Middle East Swing. It was a popular venue and a good event, won by Paul Casey in a real roller coaster final round where the lead was constantly changing hands Last month’s Volvo Golf Challenge had the sort of finish title sponsors and organisers dream for, a play-off between three South Africans. Two of them, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, multiple Major winners plus a virtually unknown player who had won his first Tour title only the previous week – and it was the ‘new boy’ Branden Grace who emerged the winner. Just goes to show that you can’t predict anything in this game. One player I’ve been impressed with recently is Padraig Harrington. He played some outstanding golf in the Volvo event which was ruined for him

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by some really costly holes, particularly on the 18th. Padraig couldn’t be more positive at the moment. He finished tied for 10th in South Africa but he could easily have been in contention. I wouldn’t be surprised this season if he got back to the form that won him three Majors and he’s going to be a real threat in every event he plays. He’s not far off top form now. Graeme McDowell is still a bit rusty but he played well at the Dubai World Championship and he seems to have got himself together at last, now that the euphoria of his US Open win has subsided. It does take time for players to re- adjust. I’ve seen it happen to so many players who get sidetracked by winning their first Major. It’s not unusual for players to get somewhat derailed after winning a Major. Like climbing Everest It’s a big thing for any player to win a Major. The constant demands on their time and the media interest can be just too much. It’s what every player strives for. It’s a bit like climbing Everest. When you’ve done it and achieved your lifelong ambition, what next? It’s so easy to take a big sigh of relief and switch off in your day job. It’s very easy to get carried away with what you’ve done. The knack is to find your way down from the mountain and get yourself motivated to climb another one. I’ve never won a Major, so I don’t know, but I’ve seen so many players struggle to come to terms with it. With Padraig it was different. He just carried on where he left off after winning The Open at Carnoustie. He took the attitude, ‘well, I’ve won a Major, I’ll just have to go and win another one.’ But whether it was a delayed action sort of ‘major

disturbance’, his game slipped somewhat after those glory days. Now it’s good to see him coming back again. Overall, I’m looking forward to a very good season. I’m coaching some very good players who are all capable of winning any tournament. Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, is taken up with his wife about to deliver their baby so it’s understandable that his mind is on other things; Simon Dyson is a bit short of match practice; Alexander Noren and Thomas Björn are both doing well and Darren Clarke is in the mood where he could win the next event he plays in - or he could finish anywhere. Lee Westwood is looking really dangerous. I reckon that tee-to-green, he’s the best player in world golf at the moment. If he can just get his putting together he could have the best season of his life and win that elusive first Major – maybe even more than one. If he were to putt just a little better than average he’d be winning regularly. That’s all he needs to do. Lee really is that good. He’s still improving at the age of 38 which is great. He’s improving physically, he’s improving technically. His short game is improving and his driving couldn’t be much better. He’s also hungry for success. Coupled to all that, he’s super fit. He’s in the gym twice a day, morning and night, working with his fitness trainer Steve McGregor, and practising during the day. He’s on the right diet, no rubbish. He’s putting the right fuel into his body. He’s in the best condition of his life and I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t enjoy the best season of his life this year. It’s going to be an interesting season and I’m excited at the prospect of my guys winning big in the dramatic months to come. n


One player I’ve been impressed with recently is Padraig Harrington. He played some outstanding golf in the Volvo event which was ruined for him by some really costly holes, particularly on the 18th. Padraig couldn’t be more positive at the moment. He finished tied for 10th in South Africa but he could easily have been in contention. I wouldn’t be surprised this season if he got back to the form that won him three Majors and he’s going to be a real threat in every event he plays. He’s not far off top form now.

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SERGIO GARcIA

SWING

Sergio garcia has always been one of the best strikers of the ball with the shot making skills to go with it. Like Lee Westwood he's one of europe's greatest players never to have won a Major. But, like Lee, i think that first Major win is just around the corner. He's found belief in his putter and that was all that was missing. if he'd got that blade working at last year's US open he'd have given rory a real close run. With two wins last season, his confidence has started to grow and he'll be one of the favourites at augusta this year – he just needs to keep that putter hot. as you will see with this swing sequence there's nothing wrong with his swing and for once i'm not able to criticise any aspect!

F R A M E B Y F R A M E A N A LY S I S O F S O M E O F T H E B E S T S W I N G S I N P R O F E S S I O N A L G O L F

Sergio has relaxed arm hang at set up. Its a close shot so he is in close to the ball.

He's remained connected all they way from the set up position. The key to consistency!

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He starts the club on plane and already the club is in an excellent position.

His right arm is connected and in a wonderful position. Still remaining perfectly on plane and already setting the wrists.

This is a strong position for Tiger. All the movements before have allowed him to make sure the All this leads to a perfect delivery position but right arm doesn't His hipsget aretrapped. open, his shoulders are square, just look at his right arm – still connected! arms under sternum applying pressure to the ball ... can't ask for more!!


By Pete Cowen PGA MASteR PRoFeSSIonAL the ACAdeMy At eMIRAteS GoLF CLUB in Association with Pete Cowen

Sergio's right arm remains connected and he's changing direction while remaining on plane. This is text book stuff and he makes it look so easy.

Body arms left, ball on line, clubface stable – everything remains tied in.

Sergio's arms are softening to a balanced followthrough. By reading my other swing sequences readers will know that I'm criticial of even the best in the world. But, for once, I can't criticise this! I think these are great positions and only a technical purist would know how good this is.

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TUTORIAL

by Liam Cregan PGA Golf Professional Yas Links Golf Club

GASP

‘GASP’ is arguably the best video analysis software package on the market today; it sets the benchmark for advanced video analysis. GASP features include; n Simultaneous high speed multi camera capture n Action replay features n On-screen analysis tools n Swing comparirson: the worlds best tour professionals or simply a ‘before and after’ n Online coaching log ‘eBook’: Online lesson notes, voice memos, instructional videos. n Compatability with other coaching software tools: Trackman, forceplate, K-vest, Sam Puttlab. All golfers will have a preferred learning style. Visual perception is possibly the most important and popular source of information when learning golf. A pupil may quite easily get lost in translation during a lesson especially if not familiar with all the golfing terms; swing plane, bowed/cupped wrist position, etc. Visually on camera the pupil will have a greater source of information and understanding which will ultimately speed up and aid the learning process.


YAS LINKS GOLF ACADEMY Regardless of age, gender or ability, as a golfer we all strive for improvement, and I personally believe that we all can. The only thing that stands in our way are those bad habits. Unfortunately those bad habits tend to die hard; we need to find these bad habits and importantly know how to fix them. At Yas Links we are fortunate to have 5 of the industry’s most advanced coaching tools, GASP, Trackman, Sam Putt Lab, Sam BalanceLab and K-Vest. The combination of the coaching systems linked with the expertise of our highly trained PGA coaches, it provides a teaching environment and level of instruction like nowhere else.

SAm PuttlAb Sam Puttlab is a revolution in the teaching of putting. The PuttLab is a unique high-tech mobile putting system that measures and analyses movement details of the putting stroke, even the smallest details of movement; PuttLab can improve your short game to spectacular levels. The PuttLab uses ultrasound measurements to analyze up to 28 parameters of the putting stroke including. n Club face alignment at address and impact n Club head rotation n Swing path direction n Impact spot on the clubface n Swing duration n Rhythm The putter is likely to be used in a round of golf more than any other club, and ironically it is the club we spend the least amount of time with in practice. Your stroke may seem ok, but the ball just won’t drop. By using Sam we can assess why, it maybe a simple as a poor impact position or de-lofting the putter at impact causing the ball to skid and oscillate of its true line. This is something the naked eye cannot possibly see; with Sam we can find all this information and focus on a way to improve it.

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LEAD With StaSof

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YAS LINKS GOLF ACADEMY by Liam Cregan PGA Golf Professional Yas Links Golf Club

K-VESt: ‘K-Vest’ TPI 3D is a state of the art 3D wireless biofeedback system. Simply by using 3 wireless sensors located on the hips, shoulders and glove it will capture your swing both visually and graphically, providing the golfer/coach with an easy to read 3D analysis, as well as the video analysis. A unique feature of K-Vest is that it uses all 3 major learning styles to provide real time visual, auditory and kinesthetic feedback; when a fault is detected the golfer can see, hear and feel where the improvement should be.

tRACKmAN: Trackman is a radar based launch monitor that uses the latest Doppler radar technology to monitor three-dimensional club-head movement and the entire ball flight; from impact to landing. A goal for many golfers out there is too hit the ball longer, especially off the tee; it’s easy to be tempted to buy the latest driver on the market, unfortunately this is only going to work if you have the correct launch conditions and spin rate. E.g. working with our PGA professionals using trackman we can focus on creating the correct angle of attack at impact, ONLY then would you see that ball fly longer; Other features of Trackman include; n Shows the dispersion pattern and landing point with an accuracy of 1-2 yards n

Gives yardages to within 1-2 yards

n

The pupil can see their exact ball flight reproduced on a computer screen, great for comparisons; a before and after

n Posture – static and dynamic postural alignments

n

Skills games and tests; a fantastic way of monitoring progress and keeps practice fun

n Hip rotation – hip rotation on the backswing/downswing.

n

The data collected can be stored for future lessons, or for a Custom Fitting purpose.

K-Vest can measure, display and collect data at any position of the golf swing; n Alignment – static and dynamic alignments

n Shoulder rotation – shoulder rotation in the backswing/downswing. n Kinetic Link – velocities of the hips, shoulders and arms during the backswing/downswing. n Timing – timing/sequence of the hips, shoulders, and arms during the backswing/downswing A common leak in power is that not enough resistance in the golf swing is created; a main source of speed and power comes from good rotation and separation of the shoulders and hips in the swing; imagine your body as a spring, turning the hips and shoulders together you will create little resistance, now if you separate them you create resistance/ torque, the release of this resistance will produce more speed. The auditory and kinesthetic feedback K-Vest provides will give you the correct feeling.

SAm bAlANCElAb: The ‘BalanceLab’ analyses the force generated by the body through the feet from heel to toe at address and all the way through the swing. The balancelab is less than ½ sq. meter and less than 25mm high and contains 2500 sensors. The data analysis is displayed as an animated graph, clearly indicating both location and acceleration of weight throughout the swing. Analysis and information such as this for a coach and pupil alike is vital to ensure the pupil has an efficient swing and the correct balance point. Both Weight distribution and weight transfer are very important components of the golf swing. Poor balance and an incorrect weight transition can lead to poor strikes and loss of power. For instance it is not uncommon for a golfer (RH) to have a reverse pivot, where the weight shifts from the left side of the body to the right during the swing rather than the right side to left. Many golfers have seen themselves on video whether it is from a personal camera or with a PGA coach; ask them where their weight is positioned at set up, and through the swing and the answer is likely to be different from reality. Using the BalanceLab the pupil will instantly see, feel and recognize where their weight is centered and immediately comprehend the feeling of a correct weight transition v’s an incorrect one.

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TUTORIAL

The perfecT pracTice series parT 6

TrAnsiTion To A PhoTo Finish:

If you have been keeping up to date with the WWG tutorials, then you will have noticed the Dubai Creek Professional team featuring the ‘Perfect Practice’ series with Creek PGA professional Kenny Monaghan. If you have somehow missed our words of wisdom, look it up in the Dubai Creek Academy section at www.dubaigolf.com. Following on from Kenny’s tips on how to practice the correct ‘takeaway’ and ‘backswing’, I will be demonstrating how to make sure that doesn’t go to waste with an inapt impact and followthrough position.

Understand the transition: There is a crucial point at the top of any good backswing, where the clubhead reaches the top of its arc and then changes direction to impact the ball. This is called the ‘transition’ and usually involves a movement starting from the ground up. It may seem like an obvious and natural consequence of the backswing, however many golfers fail to implement the correct transition which leads to ‘casting’, ‘scooping’ and loss of power.

Learn to Play Golf with Night School at Dubai Creek Night school introduces you to the fundamentals of the game over an intensive five week course


by CRAIG WADDEL TEACHING PROFESSIONAL DubAIGoLF CREEk & yACHT BY: GeorGe KAsPAris, GoLFPGA ProFessionAL, DuBAi CreeK &GOLF YAChT CLuBCLub

90 o

30 o

Feel the Feet: If you have taken lessons on the movement of the body, I am sure your teaching Professional will have at one point asked you to ‘swing’ with a club only across the shoulders. Well, if done properly this is the most effective way to understand and ‘feel’ the correct weight transfer, turn and transition in the golf swing. My interpretation of this exercise is best understood using aiming sticks. As you will see in the swing sequence above, I placed one stick through the belt loops of my shorts and am holding the other

across my shoulders. Now, note the sequence. At the top of my ‘turn’, you will see that my shoulders are approximately 90 degrees, while my hips are at approximately 30 degrees. My weight is also planted into my right heel (trailing heel). My first movement towards the target (the transition) will actually see the hip angle decrease slightly whilst the shoulders remain the same. At this point, my weight is shifting towards the target and into my left heel. The key to generating power is to then maintain the separation in these angles all the way into impact. Once you’ve

impact – the pro move: Many golfers seek what is aptly named the ‘Pro Move’. As in the impact image pictured right, you will see that I am impacting a mid iron in a middle ball position, with my hands leading. This promotes a ‘ball - divot’ impact (divot is taken after the ball is struck). Golfers who seek this position in order to eradicate ‘scooping’ or ‘casting’ from their swing often focus too much on the hands, when in fact improving transition, weight transfer and turn is key to allowing the clubhead to lag behind the hands approaching impact. A great way to assess your striking would be to mark the position of the ball using tees and then hit a few mid-short iron shots. If your divots are starting before the markers, then you are striking

the ground first (divot shown with an ‘X’). The aim here is to have the divots starting on or slightly after the markers; this ensures a ball divot contact (divot shown with a ‘tick’).

• Five weeks of group lessons (10 hours), AED 995 per player • All equipment is provided • Unlimited use of the practice facilities on lesson days For more information call +971 4 295 6000 or email dcgyc@dubaigolf.com

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understood the relationship between shoulders and hips throughout the swing, one of the best ways to practice this movement is to use the above drill with aiming sticks, whilst placing a half full bottle of water under your leading heel. The trick here is to assume the top of the backswing position with the weight in your trailing heel, then maintaining the separation in shoulder and hip angles, try your hardest to compress and squeeze the bottle under your leading heel. You should feel a significant amount of effort being exerted through your leading thigh and buttock.

photo Finish: Finishing your golf swing in balance; is crucial in developing consistency. As you can see from the main image on the facing page, I have clearly taken advantage of the stunning architecture of the Dubai Creek clubhouse. The sole of my trailing foot flashing its spikes, belt buckle staring down the target line and my chest fully turned to ensure the correct release of the club. Many of my students question the importance of a perfect ‘posed’ finish and wonder why I ask them to try and hold this finish for a minimum of 3 seconds, just enough time to have a picture taken… well, put simply, “all’s well that ends well”!


COLIN

SMITH

Behind the scenes Colin Smith is the Director, International Business Development, Middle East and Asia for The European Tour, based in Dubai. He is responsible for the commercial footprint and profile of The European Tour in the region, including the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (formerly the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World). The event is the final golf tournament in The Race to Dubai and will take place on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 22-25th November, 2012. Colin Smith talks to Worldwide Golf about his background and the overwhelming success the climax to The European Tour’s season-ending Grand Finale has achieved in just three years. Q: When did you come to Dubai and what brought you to the Emirate? CS: I moved to Dubai in 2008 having lived in Switzerland for three years with my wife Jen and two young daughters. I was working for UEFA and was offered a role as the Sales & Marketing Director of Leisurecorp. A move into the golf industry, the launch of The Race to Dubai and the lure of the sunshine of Dubai, was too good an opportunity to turn down. Q.: What is the history of your career? CS: I have worked in the sports industry for the last 17 years in a variety of operations – marketing, commercial and senior management roles throughout Europe and West Africa. The core of my career has been spent in the football industry where I have been fortunate enough to work on some of the world’s largest sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup 2002 and the UEFA European Football Championships in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Q. What was your background in golf – when did you start to play and where? CS: I grew up in Bangor Northern Ireland, where we were surrounded by a large choice of courses, both municipal and Championship layouts, including Royal County Down and Royal Portrush. I first picked up a club aged 10 and played at Carnalea Golf Club, a picturesque municipal course with a very active junior programme. Golf has always been a great passion of mine and I enjoy playing wherever I am in the world. Q: What logistical problems did you face in staging the first event at JGE? CS: Staging a world-class sporting event inevitably brings a number of challenges and year one of the 56

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Dubai World Championship was definitely the hardest. Not only was it a brand new event, but the key challenge was a race against the clock to get the infrastructure ready in time. The course was in great shape but was not open to play before the Tournament week and the temporary clubhouse was finished a matter of weeks before the event started. It was a great team effort which brought all the different strands together in order to deliver what was universally regarded as a hugely successful event attracting more than 50,000 spectators.

With one of the biggest combined purses in golf, plus valuable Ryder Cup points at stake, it’s not a week any of the players would want to miss.

Q: It has been announced that the 2012 event will be played on the Earth course again – is the Fire course likely to host the Championship in future years? CS: The Dubai World Championship has been staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the last three years and has proved to be very popular with players and spectators alike. Last year’s overseeding in particular worked well and the course has never been in better condition. The Fire course is spectacular and is certainly up to Championship standards, too, so it’s something to consider for the future, but for now, we’re very happy to keep it on the Earth course. Q: Is there an argument to say that it would have been better to put the bonus pool money into the total tournament prize money and make it the biggest purse in world golf? CS: The aim of the Race to Dubai concept has always been to reward the players for their performance

over the course of The European Tour season. The $8 million prize money for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, is already a huge prize fund and this, combined with The Race to Dubai bonus pool, provides a very significant purse. The Race to Dubai offers a season- long build-up and is a fairer way of rewarding the consistent performers, culminating with the final event at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where The European Tour’s No.1 golfer is crowned.

Q: Or do you think that it’s not the prize-money that attracts the top 60 players on The Tour it’s the fact that they want to become Europe’s No.1? CS: I’m sure if you ask any player on The European Tour they are continually aware of their European Tour and World Ranking and are naturally striving to become No.1. The Race to Dubai structure is such that only the top 60 in The European Tour rankings (following the conclusion of the penultimate event) are invited to compete in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. With one of the biggest combined purses in golf, plus valuable Ryder Cup points at stake, it’s not a week any of the players would want to miss. Q: The players like to come to the Middle East and particularly Dubai. Why do you think that is the case? CS: The UAE and Middle East events are always a highlight on The European Tour calendar for many players. They seem to love coming here. The weather’s good, the courses are great and they enjoy first class hospitality in some of the best


Luke Donald earned his place in golf's history books at last year's Dubai World Championship when he became the first golfer to win both the European and PGA Tour money lists in the same season. Alvaro Quiros showed the world he's got the touch along with the power to master the Earth course.

hotels in the world. Being the season-ending event, the Dubai World Championship (now DP World Tour Championship, Dubai) has always proved popular with the players’ families, too, who take the opportunity to relax and enjoy a few days holiday in Dubai, following a long year on Tour. Q: It was announced at the event that work will soon commence on completing the villas at JGE – will this be visible at the 2012 event? CS: It is our understanding that contractors on the estate are being remobilised with work being carried out and progressed on the infrastructure and residential properties. We are in constant contact with JGE and will monitor the completion times which have an impact on the Tournament. Q: Do you think there should be a greater emphasis put on each stage of The Race to Dubai worldwide to raise even more awareness of Dubai and the Order of Merit? CS: The Race to Dubai concept is still relatively young, entering now into its fourth season. It has proven to be a very straightforward and successful formula demonstrating significant growth in media value year on year. This trend can only continue and grow further with the recent announcement of the three year extension. Q: What do think could be done to make the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, an even bigger and better event than it already is?

There is obviously a limit to the number of world class golf events any market can sustain in terms of sponsorship but we continue to look at new and relevant opportunities to host more golf events in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

CS: Each year, as part of The European Tour’s debrief we review the event and look at ways to enhance the player and spectator experience and what we offer to key stakeholders such as media, TV broadcasters and sponsors. This includes activities in the Championship Village, food and hospitality, player facilities and bespoke sponsor activities. We have always been keen to reach out to non-golfers to come and enjoy the event – there’s so much going on, that you really don’t have to be a golf fan to enjoy the event. We are always actively exploring new ideas to make the event bigger and better, but in the end it’s also important to remember that the primary focus is on delivering a first class golf event.

Q: What do you think the future holds for golf in the emirate of Dubai, as far as UAE Nationals, UAE Residents and tourists are concerned? CS: There’s no doubting that the golf facilities in the UAE are world-class and there are more and more people taking up the game. Global coverage of the high profile European Tour events in the region

certainly has a huge impact in terms of putting the UAE on the golfing map. The Emirates Golf Federation is committed to making golf more affordable and accessible to the local and younger population. For tourists, the prices still remain quite high so there is work to be done requiring the combined efforts of hoteliers, airlines and the golf clubs to make Dubai a more affordable golf destination.

Q: Do you see The Tour’s Middle East Swing growing in the coming years, perhaps with the return of the Volvo Champions to Bahrain and the introduction of Oman? CS: Over the last decade the UAE has seen an explosion in attracting high profile global sports events from Formula 1, football, golf, tennis, sailing and cricket. The European Tour schedule now features a run of three back-to-back weeks in the region (Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai) early in the year, followed by the season finale at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. There is obviously a limit to the number of world class golf events any market can sustain in terms of sponsorship but we continue to look at new and relevant opportunities to host more golf events in the UAE and the wider Middle East region, including events on the European Senior Tour and European Challenge Tour. n www.wwgolf.biz

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Driving Range porsche panamera 4

P

orsche didn’t experiment when it came to the Panamera design. They stuck with the philosophy that form should follow function. Nothing else would have made sense. Nothing else would have produced a four-seater Porsche. How can you tell whether it has the Porsche DNA? From the distinctive proportions and lines. The wings are slightly higher than the bonnet and, at the rear, they are distinctly muscular and form the typical Porsche shoulder line. The silhouette of the Panamera models is therefore typically Porsche. It is dynamic without being overbearing, and exudes elegance rather than extravagance. In its class, the total length of less than five metres is to its advantage. The front, shoulders and rear all have instantly recognisable Porsche traits. Particularly striking are the side air outlets behind the front wheels – paying homage to the Carrera GT. Whatever kind of journey you are making – short or long,

for business or pleasure, or even just routine driving – the Panamera offers something a little bit different. When you sit inside a Panamera, four things immediately stand out: first, the elevated centre console; second, the four individual seats; third, the amount of space in the rear where taller passengers will find plenty of leg and head room; and fourth, the versatility of the luggage compartment thanks to the folding rear seats. Why four individual seats? Only these satisfy Porsche’s requirement for high performance driving and a high level of seating comfort. Conventional rear bench seats cannot fulfil this requirement and instead made way for a centre console. If you regularly spend time as a passenger in the back, you can customise your surroundings with a range of optional equipment and packages, such as the large centre console, the roll-up sunblinds for the rear side windows and behind the rear compartment, or the rear interior lighting package.

ENGINE

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www.wwgolf.biz

Layout / number of cylinders Displacement Engine layout/Drive Power Max. torque (Nm) at rpm

Manual 6 3,605cm³ Rear-wheel drive 220 kW (300 hp) 400 Nm at 3,750

Urban in l/100 km (mpg) Extra urban in l/100 km (mpg) Combined in l/100 km (mpg) CO2 emissions in g/km

Manual 12.8 7.2 9.6 225

Top Speed Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Elasticity 80-120 km/h (50-75 mph)

Manual 257km/h (160 mph) 6.1secs 4.4 secs


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Driving Range the legendary porsche 911 Interior design In terms of Porsche design, the Panamera models are, admittedly, a little different from what we are used to. It’s no wonder, as they are the first Porsche vehicles to have four individual seats but that’s not all. What strikes you immediately is the elevated centre console. It doesn’t look like a saloon, does it? That’s good, because it does look distinctly like a sports car. even more importantly, it handles like one. This is thanks partly to the extremely short distance between the gear lever and steering wheel – to be more precise, the sports steering wheel with smooth-finish leather rim, which is fitted as standard and adjusts for height and reach. Steering wheel heating is available on request.

Seven Speed The seven-speed PDK – fitted as standard in the Panamera 4, Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo models and available as an option in the Panamera and Panamera S – has both a manual gearshift and an automatic mode and enables smooth gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. Gears 1 to 6 have a sports ratio and top speed is reached in 6th gear. The 7th gear has a long ratio, which reduces fuel consumption even further and keeps engine revs comfortably low even at high road speeds. PDK is essentially two gearboxes in one and this requires two clutches. This double clutch provides an alternating, non-positive connection between the two half gearboxes and the engine by means of two separate input shafts (input shaft 1 is nestled inside the hollowed-out input shaft 2).Available as an option in conjunction with PDK or Tiptronic S is the SportDesign steering wheel with gearshift paddles for an even sportier look. In conjunction with PDK or

POWER PLANT Tiptronic S, the sports steering wheel – standard on the Panamera, Panamera 4 and Panamera Diesel – has two ergonomic sliding switches for changing gear. One press forward with the thumb and the transmission shifts up. One pull backwards with the index finger and it shifts down. either the right or left hand can be used. even if the gear selector is set to automatic, you can still use the switches to change gear manually at any time. In this way, even in automatic mode, you can achieve a short burst of speed for an overtaking manoeuvre. The system reverts to automatic mode if no manual inputs are detected for approximately eight seconds. Using the gear selector, you can also change gear manually in a separate one-touch manual shift gate. The control concept mirrors the logic of the switches on the steering wheel – press forwards to shift up, pull backwards to shift down.

The Panamera and Panamera 4 models are equipped with an efficient and lightweight 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 engine based on the V8 power unit. A balance shaft reduces vibration to ensure very smooth operation. Direct fuel injection (DFI), VarioCam Plus and integral dry-sump lubrication are standard features. The engine delivers 220 kW (300 hp) at 6,200 rpm. Maximum torque of 400 Nm is achieved at 3,750 rpm. This impressive power output enables the rear-wheel drive Panamera with manual gearbox to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in only 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 261 km/h. With the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), these figures are an even more impressive 6.3 seconds and 259 km/h. Thanks to PDK and the active all-wheel drive of Porsche Traction Management (PTM), the Panamera 4 completes the sprint in 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 257 km/h.

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Call UAE: 800 4333; Bahrain: +973 17349199; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 800 244 2222; Kuwait: 222 64 222; Jordan: 06 593 1966 to find out more.


Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club: Venue for Round 1 – February 24

THE TNT TROPHY 2012 TNT has earned a reputation over recent years for its initiative in sponsoring and organising arguably the most sought-after and popular corporate golf series in the Middle East. From the experience of running the region’s most successful amateur tournaments they are launching The TNT Trophy – a seven event qualifying series which begins at Dubai Creek on February 24 and climaxes with the Grand Final at Yas Links on October 5. The TNT Trophy has all the hallmarks of becoming the most prestigious corporate series in the GCC, taking in some of the UAE’s finest golf courses. Each qualifying tournament will be an 18-hole individual event, played in a Stableford format to three-quarter handicap. Each player must have an approved EGF handicap, which will be audited by the hosting golf club. The top 12 finishers from each qualifier will go into the Grand Final.

Entry into the TNT Trophy is via the participating golf clubs – Dhs195 for Club Members and Dhs495 for Guests. If each qualifier is not fully subscribed up to a limit of 100 players, entry will be made available to visiting players. If a player fails to qualify at one event they can enter one of the other events. Each competitor will receive a TNT goody box which includes that month’s copy of Worldwide Golf and a 7 Days promotional item plus other gifts. The top three players in each of the qualifying rounds will receive a crystal trophy in the shape of a TNT-branded aircraft. There will also be prizes for Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive. The leading 12 players in each event will receive their invite packs to the Grand Final at Yas Links. The overall winner will receive a crystal trophy in the shape of a golf ball. The two runners-up will receive smaller crystal trophies. There will also be Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive prizes.

The TNT Trophy Qualifying Events

Yas Links Golf Club: Venue for The TNT Trophy Grand Final – October 5

n Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club n Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth course n Al Badia Golf Club n Emirates Golf Club Majlis course n Jumeirah Golf Estates Fire course n Arabian Ranches Golf Club n The Address Montgomerie, Dubai

February 24 March 10 April 14 May 26 September 7 September 28 September 28

n Yas Links ‘Grand Final’

October 5

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Dubai Irish Golf Society tee off the new year in style A TOTAL of 74 players took part in the first meeting of the Dubai Irish Golf Society at Arabian Ranches last month and taking top honours in the pairs scramble format were Liam O’Connell and Cian O’Sullivan after they scored 50 points. In the on-course prizes Charmaine Bruwer took home the Ladies Longest Drive award.

Dubai Irish Golf Society members were out in force and lined up for a quick snap before play.

Big-hitting Charmaine Bruwer blasts her way to winning the Ladies Longest Drive.

LOCALNEWS

A R A B I A N

Mohammed shows the way with two in a row MOHAMMED Al Musharrekh recorded backto-back victories in the UAE Nationals Monthly Tournament in December to consolidate his position at the top of the Order of Merit. Al Musharrekh carded an impressive 40 points at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, to beat his nearest challenger Ahmed Khalifa by one point with Sohail Al Marzouqi finishing third with 38points. Khalid Yousuf, who featured in the UAE team that won a Gold Medal in the Arab Games in Doha, made his presence felt, winning the prestigious best gross prize with a solid levelpar 72. Competition was equally intense and close in Division ‘A’ where Saleh Al Ameri emerged victorious with 35 points while Abdulla Al Muharrani reigned supreme in Division ‘B’, winning the title on a countback after he signed off with 35 points. Mohammed Al Musharrekh, whose three sons – Abdullah, Ahmed and Hassan –

have won many laurels for the UAE while representing the National Teams, is himself becoming a force to be reckoned with. He won the opening event of the Nationals Monthly Tournament series held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club with 44 points and kept the momentum going with another inspired performance to top the Order of Merit. Saeed Albudoor, General Manager of the Emirates Golf Federation, congratulated Al Musharrekh, saying: “Age is just a number. If you are good enough, you are good enough. At 50-something Mohammed is giving the youngsters a run for their money and that shows just how hard he is working on his game. “Once again, we had a good turn out and the competition in each division was close. I would like to thank all players and the management and staff of Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, for their support in making the event a great success.”

The winning pair of Liam O’Connell and Cian O’Sullivan receive their prizes from Captain Paul Byrne (left) and Kevin Morris (right), of sponsors SIGMA. Any players wishing to play with the Society should contact Paul Byrne on paulbyrnedubai@gmail.com

EGF General Manager Saeed Al Budoor (third from the left) presents the prizes to all the winners on the day. www.wwgolf.biz

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emirates golf federation

ContaCt: Tel : +971 4 2952277  Fax : +971 4 2952288

www.emiratesgolffederation.com

Q&a MohaMed arar

AMNA Al MARzouqI CRoWNED ‘MoST IMPRovED PlAyER’ AMNA Al Marzouqi has been crowned the Most Improved Golfer at a Junior Development Programme session held at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. The talented youngster fought off strong competition from more than 30 girls which made up the total of 73 juniors who participated in the coaching session which lasted eight weeks. Amna, who diligently attended every class, was quick to learn the basics of the game and demonstrated a marked improvement with each passing week. The coaching sessions, which are all held at different clubs, are part of the ambitious National Junior Programme which was launched last year to give young Emiratis an insight into the game with lessons on rules, etiquette and sportsmanship. “It was nice to see these youngsters respond to the classes with such enthusiasm – that’s what mattered to us,” said Saeed Albudoor, General Manager of the Emirates Golf Federation. “We are not expecting results overnight. We want the children to have fun while learning the basics of the game. At the same time we want them to have a feel for competition which is so important to improving their game. “I congratulate Amna for winning the award which, I am sure, will motivate others to work hard on their game. “All of us at the EGF, would also like to thank all the clubs for their support in promoting the game among National juniors. Such initiatives will go a long way in unearthing fresh talent for our junior teams.”

Fawaz cool under pressure while omar al Shehi tops the Junior Division NAWAF Fawaz shrugged off a strong challenge to emerge victorious in the uAE National Monthly Tournament, organised by the Emirates Golf Federation, at the Els Club last month. Playing consistently from tee to green, Fawaz carded a solid 37 points, beating his nearest rival Jamal Bin Marghoub by one point with Adel zarouni finishing third on 34 points. Khalid yousuf, a member of the uAE National Team, made his presence felt, winning the prestigious Best Gross prize with an impressive 4-over-par 76. Saleh Al Amiri dominated the

SaIF arar

age: 15 From: abu dhabi Golf Club: abu dhabi City GC Programme: Junior Programme

age: 15 From: abu dhabi Golf Club: abu dhabi City GC Programme: Junior Programme

Q: how long have you been playing golf? A: Just over five years.

Q: how long have you been playing golf? A: About five years.

Q: Who is your favourite golfer? A: Paul Casey

Q: Who is your favourite golfer? A: Rory McIlroy

Q: If you could play with any three golfers as a fourball group who would it be? A: My friends

Q: If you could play with any three golfers as a fourball group who would it be? A: People interested in football so we can have a good chat and also enjoy our golf.

Q: What is your favourite golf course? A: Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Q: What’s your favourite movie? A: Sherlock Holmes Q: away from golf, what other activities do you like to do? A: I love playing football Q: If you could have your pick of any car what would it be? A: A Nissan GTR Q: If you could have just one ‘super power’ what would it be? A: Be the fastest human ever! Q: What’s your favourite subject at school? A: Physical Education

omar al shehhi, winner of the Junior division.

Junior players competing at the els Club.

proceedings in Division ‘A’, taking the honours with 32 points while Mohammed Al Bana reigned supreme in Division ‘B’, also with 32 points. The nine-hole Junior Division event produced a close affair with omar Al

Shehi moving ahead of the field with some solid golf. Playing off the silver tees, Al Shehi carded a gross 47 on the front nine, beating Ahmed Skaik by one shot. “Competition in all divisions again

Q: What is your favourite golf course? A: Abu Dhabi National Golf Club. Q: What’s your favourite movie? A: Fast & Furious 5 Q: away from golf, what other activities do you like to do? A: If I’m not playing golf – football. Q: If you could have your pick of any car what would it be? A: A Bentley coupe Q: If you could have just one ‘super power’ what would it be? A: Flying Q: What’s your favourite subject at school? A: Maths

was pretty close which shows that any player on their day can win the event. This is a good sign for the tournament which has been well received by the Emirati players,” said Saeed Albudoor, General Manager of the Emirates Golf Federation. “I would like to thank all the players and the Els Club for their support in making the tournament a great success.” Mohammed Al Musharrekh, who won the first two opening events of the monthly tournaments, continues to lead the order of Merit table which is based Stableford points. www.wwgolf.biz

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Joel Neale WWGPLAYINGEDITOR

Hin, Thailand – the Qualifying School, Hua Here we go! Asian Tour dreaded 16th Tee

Pictured with my caddie Matt and fellow playing partner from Dubai, Sebastian Heisle – coincidently we played our first two rounds together! Congratulations to Sebastian on getting through to Final Stage.

my first day at q-school I T had been on my mind from the moment I decided to turn Pro. That dreaded first qualifying event. Would I be good enough or was it all going to end in tears? Last month I bit the bullet and did it. I competed in the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Hua Hin, Thailand, to put my skills to test in order to obtain playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2012 season. I didn’t really have any high expectations before I went but I was in a positive frame of mind. I knew that it was going to be very difficult to secure my card but whether I achieved that goal or not, one of my main aims was to gain some valuable experience in such a high-pressure situation. I’m a firm believer that the more you experience these things the easier they become. The first stage of Q-School was held from January 11th-14th and due to the record number of entries – 599 players, all competing for just 40 cards – it was played over four courses. We had to pick which of the four courses we wanted to play on and knowing that the final stage was to be held at Springfield,

Top: Thought I’d stock up on my electrolytes whilst slow play occurred on hole 5 at Qualifying School at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Springfield Village Golf Club in Thailand – no better way to do it than drinking coconut water!

I made this my first choice. I was lucky enough to be granted my wish so I was off to a good start. The Springfield Village Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus, so I expected lots of large fairway bunkers with tricked up pin locations and slick greens. I knew I had my work cut out for the week! In order to make it through to the Final stage, and be in contention for my Tour card, I needed to finish in the top 20 per cent at Springfield. On the whole, my game was there – it was just a few holes that didn’t quite suit my eye, causing me to drop unnecessary shots. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the final week (January 18th-22nd) but I did make the cut in the first stage to obtain my playing rights on the ADT (Asian Development Tour), which comprises 15 events commencing March 8th in Malaysia – which was something positive to bring back. I joined three other juniors who also progressed through the JDP (Junior Development Programme) , Calum Mills, Chris Davies and Sebastian Heisle.

Coincidentally, for the first two rounds I was drawn to play with Sebastian, a good friend who was also good company away from home. Calum unfortunately missed the first cut at Stage 1 while Chris Davis made the cut just like I did and again missed out on the Final stage. Sebastian made it through to the Final but unfortunately missed the first cut there. All in all, it was a fantastic experience to play in such a strong field and it was a real ‘eye opener’ in terms of showing me what I need to do to get myself to where I’m competing at such a high level week in, week out. It was great to see so many of the former juniors from the JDP competing. Hopefully I can take this experience forward and put it into practice to take my game to the next level. It’s experiences such as these that help us aspiring golfers to improve. I’d like to offer the bet of luck to all those who graduated at the Asian Tour Qualifying School this year – and I hope they have a great season! www.wwgolf.biz

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LOCAL

SCENE

Ahmed Al Musharrekh chats to Worldwide Golf Playing Editor Joel Neale about the support he’s received from the Emirates Golf Federation, how he believes he could take on Tiger in an arm wrestle and what’s in store for the Arab Games Gold medalist.

What would you do to get more kids to take up the game in the UAE? I think the EGF should start targeting schools and introducing the game to kids at grass roots level just to give them a taster. This is what happens in mainstream sports like football and it works well. If they are brought to the course early in their lives they will have a better understanding of what golf is all about. How supportive has the EGF been in the development of golf in the region? In the past few years, they have been AMAZING. I have had the opportunity to compete in some of the most prestigious amateur events all over the world and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the EGF for their continued support and in particular, Saeed Al Badour and Chris Vallender, who are behind all of this. Hopefully, it won’t be too long until our Junior, Women’s and Men’s teams are competing competitively at a worldwide standard. So, Mr. Gold Medallist – How does it feel to have won Gold at the first Arab Games, representing the UAE? Haha...I guess you could refer to me as that, just kidding! It feels great not only to have represented my country but as a team to bring home two Gold Medals, we couldn’t have asked for anything better! How did you prepare for the Arab Games in Qatar? Just like any other tournament I guess. The

more you try to change things the more pressure you put on yourself! Sticking to my normal routine seemed to work well! You received an invitation to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and you’ve just received another for the Dubai Desert Classic due to your achievements. How does this feel? Yes, it’s amazing to be able to tee it up with the likes of Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Rory Mcilroy. I just went out there and tried to enjoy it in Abu Dhabi and I’ll do the same in Dubai.

We understand that you are a student at AUD (American University Dubai). How do you balance your practice, tournaments and studies? It’s kind of difficult I guess –I just somehow manage to scrape together some sort of time management to get things done. What event in the golfing calendar do you look forward to most and why? I’d say the Eisenhower Trophy and the Asian Amateur, due to the international class of the fields and how prestigious they are.

What would you say that your strengths and weaknesses are? I’d say that my long game is a disadvantage to me at times but I can recover fairly decently here and there with my short-game.

How old were you when you first broke par? I was aged 15. What’s been your best Round? I shot 66 at the Creek. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on a golf course? I once saw a guy flip a golf buggy on its side by not realising he was driving over the lip of a bunker! Another time when I was aged 10 I was on the eighth tee at the Creek and accidently hit myself in the forehead with my driver and had to get four stitches in my head! Do you reckon you could beat Tiger in an arm wrestling match? Haha... I think it would be pretty tight! What is your nemesis hole? Gee.. I’m going to go for the 18th at the Creek... into the prevailing wind it’s just NASTY. What’s your favourite course? Dubai Creek – it’s where I learnt to play the game. Other than golf what else do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Gym, football and socialising with my friends. If not golf, what sport would you play? I’d have to play football! www.wwgolf.biz

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LOCALGAme Chris Vallendar, UAE National Team Coach, assess the swing of Ahmed Al Musharrekh

Ahmed has a good setup, stands nice and tall and his arms are relaxed. His lower back is nice and straight.

At the start of the down swing Ahmed pulls the club more out and around, negating lag/distance between the clubhead and his hands, rather than down and through. His club remains well on plane.

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AHmed HAs A very repetitive swing wHicH Allows Him to Hit tHe bAll consistently well. He HAs A very big upper body wHicH Allows Him to generAte enormous power, but it Hinders His flexibility somewHAt, wHicH, in turn, does not Allow Him to use His body effectively to creAte tHe clubHeAd speed He sHould be getting. i believe tHAt tHe one Aspect tHAt AHmed must work on is His Hip rotAtion botH in His bAckswing And forwArd swing.

His take away is slightly outside the line and his arms and shoulders have maintained the triangle position well.

At impact his hips have still not cleared, causing a slightly cramped position. He then straightens his spine angle to create space, resulting in loss of clubhead speed.

His head has moved slightly to allow his shoulders to turn fully, a result of his hips not turning enough on the backswing. His position is a little flat at the top of the swing. i would like to see his hands more above his shoulder, which will prevent the closed clubface at the top of the swing.

Ahmed maintains good balance despite the adjustments he makes to get the clubhead through the ball. His hips still do not face the target.

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SAIF-Zone GoLF SoCIeTY LeAGUe

ContaCt: Tel : +971 6 548 7777 info@golfandshootingshj.com

www.golfandshootingshj.com

GOLF SOCIETY LEAGUE

Worldwide Golf League

Played

Won Lost Tied Points

Dubal

8

5

2

1

16

Dubai Divots

8

5

3

0

15

MasSin 1

8

4

4

0

12

Filipino Golf Society

8

4

4

0

12

DIGS

8

3

5

0

9

The ‘Ackerdemicals

8

2

5

1

7

SNTTA League

Played

Dubai ExPutts 1

8

Won Lost Tied Points 6

1

1

19

MasSin 2

8

5

3

0

15

KEGS 2

8

4

2

2

14

EPC Hole Diggers

8

4

4

0

12

FIGME

8

2

5

1

7

Dubai ExPutts 2

8

1

7

0

3

LEAGUES SET TO GO DOWN TO THE WIRE THE penultimate round of fixtures in the Worldwide Golf and SNTTA Leagues proved exciting affairs as eight from the 12 participating societies can still progress to the quarterfinal knock-out phases, which start in March. Although Dubai ExPutts 1 seem in control of the SNTTA League on 19 points they play fourth placed EPC Hole Diggers, who, if achieving a 6 – 0 whitewash still stand a chance of sneaking into the second qualifying slot. KEGS 2, in third place, have the easiest fixture on paper, playing bottom of the league Dubai ExPutts 2 while Massin 2, who currently sit in second place, play second bottom FIGME. Dubai ExPutts 1 take on the EPC Hole Diggers. Pundits expect MasSin 2, the defending champions, to progress safely to the quarter finals, however there are a number of familiar

faces within the two societies and MasSin will not turn up expecting an easy ride. The Worldwide Golf League is even tighter with only four points separating the teams in first down to fourth place with The Ackerdemicals and DIGS propping up the table. Neither can qualify and they play each other in the final fixture, making it a decider to determine who will finish bottom. This leaves the top four face an intriguing head-to-head battle to secure the all important spot in the top two to progress to the semi-finals. Any team in the top four who achieve a 6 – 0 whitewash is certain of qualification but Dubal (16 points) and Dubai Divots (15 points) hold the upper hand should the fixtures be tight as Massin 1 and the Filipino Golf Society sit third and fourth respectively on 12 points.

SAIF - Zone League Darjeeling Golf Society

Great weeks for Darjeeling and Motts B AN interesting week in the SAIF-Zone Golf and BMW Leagues meant it was all change in the league tables again. In the SAIF Zone league, on a roll from last month, the Lebanese Golf Society leapfrogged to tied second with two wins against S.L.A.G.S. These losses saw S.L.A.G.S. knocked off the top spot but two wins in the final round could still see them qualify. The Sultans of Swing are now bottom of the league having suffered two losses to Darjeeling, who jump to the top of the league. An impressive 7 & 5 win by Chris Dommett and Nick Harvey helped secure the top spot. KEGS 1 and Gulf Rock each won one of their matches and Mel Stewart’s birthday was made even more sweet by winning his match with Lars Liden 6 & 5. It was an exciting week in the BMW league as Mott Macdonald A faced Mott MacDonald B with The Bs showing no mercy, comfortably whitewashing their colleagues. It remained fairly even in the other matches with Etihad wining one and losing one against the Nepalese Golf Society and TOILers winning one and drawing one against Sharjah Golfing Buddies. This saw SGB just pipped for top spot by Mott MacDonald B.

Golf Society Teams

Played 8

Won Lost Tied Points 5

3

0

15

Gulf Rock

8

4

3

1

13

Lebanese Golf Society

8

4

3

1

13

S.L.A.G.S.

8

3

4

1

10

KEGS 1

8

3

4

1

10

Sultans of Swing

8

3

5

0

9

BMW League

Played

Won Lost Tied Points

Motts B

8

6

0

2

20

Sharjah Golfing Buddies

8

5

1

2

17

Etihad Golf Society

8

3

3

2

11

Nepalese Golf Society

8

3

4

1

10

TOILers

8

2

5

1

7

Motts A

8

1

7

0

3


OPEN CHALLENGE EVENTS Come and join our Monthly Open Challenge Stableford Events, enjoy 18 holes of golf in a tournament format rounded off by our Chef’s sumptuous buffet. The perfect way to experience our magnificent Championship Course. Book early to avoid disappointment. TOURNAMENT DATES

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8:00 AM Shotgun

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Non-Members

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295 Dhs

Round of Golf

To enter please call 07 244 7474 or email: golfdesk@alhamragolf.com

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Tech access INTeRNaTIONaL PaIRs

Presented by Cadillac

International-Pairs-Uae

www.golffrontiers.com

Mallinson wins at Al Hamra – Buxmanns tops at Tower Links TECH Access International Pairs UAE Presented by Cadillac started 2012 with a ‘Ras al Khaimah Swing’ as members of the northern emirate’s clubs played their Qualifiers over a single weekend. The Al Hamra Golf Club 2011-12 Qualifier witnessed its first successful defence of a club title albeit with only half of last year’s winning team earning a place in this season’s International Pairs UAE finale. Phil Mallinson, who won the 2010-11 Al Hamra event with wife, Karen, this time joined forces with Ivan Kraemer to guide the pair to victory by a solitary Stableford point from Jae Koh and Andy Spavin. After a creditable showing in the inaugural UAE National Final, Mallinson’s golf took a backseat due to injury and having only recently returned to the course, his expectations for a repeat of his last year’s performance were not high. However, the adage “beware the injured golfer” proved the case as he and Kraemer stormed home with 24 points on the back nine for a total of 42.

Al Hamra Golf Club Qualifier winners, Phil Mallinson and Ivan Kraemer, pictured with Golf Professional Karl Rowe.

First Lady Third place went to the husband and wife pairing of Donnie and Cindy Rials with 37 points. Steady scoring was never going to be good enough to win but the Rials will doubtless be back for a third attempt next year. The following day, Manilyn Buxmann, with husband Johan, became the first lady to win a place in June’s UAE National Final when they won at the UAE’s northernmost club, Tower Links. As usual, the course was immaculate and in perfect weather conditions it was always going to be a close affair. Manilyn and Johan, who boast respectable handicaps of 12 and 5 respectively, eventually won by a point from Joe Wivou and Yuki Pellerine. Wivou, who also finished second in the 2010-11 Tower Links Qualifier came up just short once again despite an excellent inward nine of 23 points that featured a net eagle and two net birdies.

Tower Links Golf Club Qualifier winners, Johan and Manilyn Buxmann, pictured with General Manager, Simon Payne.

Johanssons joy in beating big Montgomerie Dubai field THE Montgomerie Dubai produced the largest field in International Pairs UAE history when 84 players took to the course last month as the 2011-12 Tech Access International Pairs UAE Presented by Cadillac qualifying schedule reached its halfway stage. Just a week after Manilyn Buxmann with husband Johan won at Tower Links Golf Club, to become the first lady to take her place in the June National Final, a husband-wife pairing was once again at the top of the leaderboard as Swedes, Tom and Pia Johansson left the field in their wake. Returning a staggering better-ball score of 46 Stableford points, the Johanssons got their round of to a near-perfect start when they fired four net birdies in their opening five holes. This led to a better than average front-9 of 22 points but proved to be just a warm-up for the inward nine where they made seven net birdies earning 24 points. The Johanssons’ three-point victory margin was easily the largest of the series so far and this formidable pairing will go into the June Final as one of the favourites. A run of six birdies to complete their round would ordinarily have given Alex Kuk and Valeriy Zabrodin the belief that their 43 points would secure a win but it wasn’t

Montgomerie Dubai Qualifier winners, Tom and Pia Johansson, with Club Captains, Paul Pitman and Anne Allan. to be and they had to settle for the runners-up prize. Four pairs finished on 40 points but it was the duo of Rob Moody and James Amos who prevailed in the scorecard countback for third place. www.wwgolf.biz

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EmiratEs Golf Club www.dubaigolf.com

ContaCt: Tel : +971 4 380 2222

EmiratesGolfClub

Inspired Harradine wins the Club Championship MICHAEL Harradine followed a superb opening 66 with a 74 to win the Club Championship with a 5-under-par score for the tournament. On Friday he produced his 7-under par 66 over the Faldo course that included no less than eight birdies and just one dropped shot on the 17th, the tough 218-yard par-3. This was an amateur course record from the blue tees of the Faldo layout which measures 6,868-yards. He took an eight shot lead into the final round over the Majlis course from

defending champion Pontus Fredriksson and he continued his consistency into day two by dropping just one shot on the opening nine of the Majlis. He then returned in 38 strokes to win comfortably from Fredriksson with the reigning Sheikh Rashid champion, Daniel Hendry, taking third place after rounds of 79 and 72. Rohit Gupta won the Division ‘A’ title with a net 146 total, four ahead of Peter Mackenzie while Suresh Shewakramani topped Division ‘B’ with a 149, two clear of Arun Khehar.

Club Captain mike sim presents michael Harradine with his prize.

Night Clubbing Access Card introduced NIGHT Golf on the floodlit Faldo course enables golfers to enjoy a full round of championship golf after dark in the heart of Dubai and EGC have now introduced the Night Clubbing Access Card, providing great value for money for golfers who want to enjoy a round in the evenings. The Night Clubbing Access Card is available for just AED 1,500 for three months and includes three 18 hole rounds of night golf and discounts on additional rounds including 18 holes for the price of 9 and AED 205 for 9 holes. The Faldo course is the only fully floodlit 18 hole course in Dubai, open to the public and members alike with highly competitive rates for 18 holes and 9 holes. Offering flexible tee times to fit in around a busy schedule, players are able to tee off as late as 9.55pm on the championship course. “Typically, work constraints and limited tee off times, especially at weekends, means securing a round on a quality course in Dubai at times suitable for the guest are a constant challenge,” said Andrew Whitelaw, Club Manager. “But with night golf we believe that we have made golf more accessible, allowing golfers to fit in a round around their personal schedule.”

Harradine on song in BMW - Rivoli Monthly Medal

MICHAEL Harradine was at his consistent best again to win both the gross and net prizes in the second edition of the BMW – Rivoli Monthly Medal. The scratch golfer fired a gross 74 over the Faldo course and his net 74 earned him the top honours in Division ‘A’ (hcp 0-10) after a countback win over Rohit Gupta with Lionel Smith taking third. Division B (hcp 11-20) was keenly

contested with Peter Mackenzie signing for a 3-under-par 70 to clinch the top prize by two shots from Naveed Kamal with Brian Edwards on 74. Prem Amarnani clinched Division ‘C’ (hcp 21-34) with an excellent two under par 71. BMW and Rivoli have teamed up to sponsor the 22 Monthly Medals across both Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

scratch golfer michael Harradine is presented with his prize from Club Captain mike sim.

© PING 2011

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Dubai Creek Golf & YaCht Club www.dubaigolf.com

DubaiCreekGolf

ContaCt: Tel : +971 4 295 6000  e-mail: dcgyc@dubai.com

dubaicreekgolfandyachtclub

Mirza crowned Omega Dubai Creek Men’s Amateur Open Champion THE first EGF Order of Merit event of the 2012 season saw a field of over 100 leading amateurs battle over 36 holes for the prestigious Omega Dubai Creek Men’s Amateur Open. After two superb days of golf home player Miki Mirza was crowned champion after scores of 76 and 71 gave him a solid five over par 147 total, one shot clear of uAE National Team member Khalid yousuf. yousuf had held an overnight lead but struggled on the final day, carding a 6-over 77 to let in Mirza. “Being five shots off Khalid and with a few players between us I felt I had to get some birdies in early to narrow the gap and put some pressure on Khalid,” smiled Mirza. “I was hitting my irons much better today and gave myself a number of birdie chances

early on but couldn’t convert. Then on the 7th hole I got a break when my bunker shot rattled the flagstick and dropped in for a birdie. “On the back nine I missed short birdie putts on 10 and 12 but eventually made two on 13 and 16, and with a great par save on the 17th I was 2-under playing the last hole with a three shot lead. Nerves got the better of me though and the double bogey on 18 meant that I had to anxiously stand by greenside to see if Khalid would birdie and force a play-off. In the end I got away with it!” Collecting third place on a countback on 155 was Craig Forrest from Jumeirah Golf Estates who would have finished third on his own if it wasn’t for dropping four shots in the last two holes. Fourth place went

Jacklyn Quadras (Marketing and Pr Swatch Group high end brands), Champion Miki Mirza, Christopher D’Abreo (Brand Manager Omega, rivoli Group) and Stephen hubner (head Golf Professional, Dubai Creek).

to stuart Cameron – also from JGE – while Michael Harradine of Jebel Ali Golf Resort & spa took fifth. Although the event is primarily a gross competition there were trophies for the best net score and taking the honours was new Dubai Creek member Adam Priestley from Australia as he shot rounds of 75 and 68 for a 143 total and a one-stroke win over fellow Creek member Paul Chader. In his speech at the prizegiving Dubai Creek’s Head Golf Professional stephen Hubner thanked Omega for their valuable contribution to the event over the years. “The support of Omega is very much appreciated and allows us to run a smashing event which all of our local and international players enjoy very much,” he said.

AsHOK AHuJA MAsTERs THE WIND TO WIN BMW-RIvOlI JANuARy MEDAl THE BMW-Rivoli January Monthly Medal saw over 80 members take to the course in testing windy conditions and winning with a net score of 1-under 70 was Ashok Ahuja who was a double winner on the day as he also managed to guess the distance of the opening tee shot of new Club Captain Ara Nakhnikian which flew 261 yards. The lowest score of the day came in the junior category posted by 11 year-old Rishi Nair who played some excellent golf to produce a round of 90 for a net score of 2-underpar 69. Winning the ladies division was young Henna Jodha with a net 72. Henna, who has just returned to the club, was delighted to win her first event and even more happy to see her father, Ishwar, winning the first prize in Men’s Division ‘A’ with a score of net 71. The winner of Men’s Division ‘B’ was Haridas Kondath with a score of 71. Dubai Creek club champion and recent Men’s Amateur Open champion Miki Mirza won the gross ashok ahuja receives his prize from head Pro Stephen hubner and Club Captain ara Nakhnikian. prize with a score of 74 – an impressive effort in the strong wind.

BERTHA REINKE GETs OFF TO A WINNING sTART IN the first event of 2012 it was Bertha Reinke who took top honours in the Dubai Creek Golf and yacht Club January Park Hyatt strokeplay event thanks to a score of net 67. Bertha Reinke’s round, which included two threes, saw her finish two strokes clear of yuko

Tsukiori and she was pleased with the way she closed out the victory. “The course was lovely today and as ever I was in good company,” said Reinke. “I seem to have hit some form recently so I’m hoping it’s a good sign for 2012.” www.wwgolf.biz

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Al BAdiA golf cluB www.albadiagolfclub.ae

ContaCt: Tel : +971 (0) 4 601 0101 Fax: +971 (0) 4 601 0102

Email: albadiagolf@ichdfc.ae

AlBadiaGolfClub

AlBadiaGolfClub

2012 gets off to a flyer with the Al Badia Trophy THE New Year began with the prestigious Al Badia Trophy, one of the main events of the calendar, and emerging victorious with a 9-under gross for a net 58.3 were the team of Lynn and John Cimino, Anthony Taylor and Nawaf Fawaz. Runners-up with a score of net 58.6 were Tina Bogale, Clive Stanley and Russell and Martin Launder while finishing third with a 58.7 were Kieran and Jaqui O’Connor, Mike Groves and Stewart Adams.

Winning Team: Anthony Taylor, Nawaf fawaz and lynn and John cimino.

Two new Professionals join the team

Al Badia Golf Club has appointed two new Golf Professionals to their team at the Golf Academy: Ed Chapman and Thomas Rhee. Chapman is a Class AA PGA Qualified Professional with six years experience and has spent the last five years at a prestigious private members club gaining valuable knowledge as a coach. He is experienced at coaching all levels from beginners and juniors to elite international amateurs. New Yorker Rhee moved to Korea at a young age, where he developed his passion for golf. On returning to the USA, he gained qualification from the PGA of America and graduated from Campbell University, North Carolina, with a major in PGA Golf Management. He has worked at Keith Hills CC, North Carolina and Closter Golf Academy, New Jersey.

January Rivoli Monthly Medal winner Brett Armstrong receives his trophy from new Academy Professional Thomas Rhee.

Another great result for Brett Armstrong

BRETT Armstrong took advantage of the excellent playing conditions by taking the honours in the January Rivoli Monthly Medal with a score of 69. A solid level-par front nine set him up for victory and with a back nine of 33 he cruised through for a comfortable victory. In Division ‘A’ Nick Groves found the groove and won with a 72 ahead of Laurent Girouille, while in Division ‘B’ a 71 helped Ning Li prevail, two clear of Chris Vasey.

The AddRess MoNTgoMeRie duBAi www.themontgomerie.com

ContaCt: Tel : 971 4 390 5600 Fax: 971 4 360 8981

theaddressmontgomeriedubai

Super scores in Rivoli Guest Day

SCORES were as low as they had been all year in the Rivoli Citizens Day – the final event of a memorable 2011. Reigning Men’s Open champion James Yeoman put on a clinic to help his father, Russell, to a gross 64 and a six-shot win in the Gross Division over three other pairs. Taking second place outright on a countback were Shankar Mejrekar and Nadir Modhammadi due to their superior closing six holes. Arshad Khan, coming off recent wins in individual events, paired with Qamar Rasheed to win Division ‘A’ with net 63, ahead of Maneesh and Rahul Dungerwal on 65.25. Division B was won with the score of the day – a net 62.5 – which was put together by Gurbax and Randeep Singh, finishing ahead of Sam and Katie Constance.

Pictured (left to right): Angela Calvert, Malcolm Gray, Jane Gray, Kamphan Kantasee, Ananya Sharma, Qamar Rasheed, Alex Kuk and Valerie Zabrodin.

Valerie victorious while David gets it done ANOTHER full field competed for the December BMW Stableford and it was Valerie Zabrodin who shot the best score with 45 points, defeating Alex Kuk by two strokes to win Division ‘B’. Division ‘A’ was considerably closer with David Russell relying on his better back 9 holes to beat John Millar after both players scored 40 points. Kerry Fitzpatrick took the Ladies Division with 33 points while Anne 80

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Clark defeated Samantha Harwood on a countback to take second place after both players scored 32 points.

Sharma shines, Millar muscles in, Rasheed takes Div. A and Valerie wins by four JOHN Millar made his claim for scratch team selection by beating 17 players with a lower handicap in the Ecco Medal. His 77 matched the score of the ever-consistent Malcolm Gray but was gross winner on back nine countback – his finest gross performance. Qamar Rasheed took the Division ‘A’ prize with a net 69 ahead of Joon Eun and Arshad Khan while Valerie

Zabrodin won Division B with a super 63, four strokes clear of Alex Kuk. The ladies net was won by Ananya Sharma, who continued her handicap improvement by shooting a solid 70, to finish ahead of Jane Gray on 72, who took second on a countback over Ladies Captain Anne Allan. In the gross division Angela Calvert shot 90, just finishing ahead of Kamphan Kantasee who shot 91.


ARABIAN RANCHES GOLF CLUB www.arabianranchesgolfdubai.com

ArabianRanchesG

ContaCt: Tel : +971 4 366 3000  Tel : +971 4 366 3355

arabianranchesgolfclub

Winners on the day: Catherine Hut, Karen Evans, Adrienne Fullerton, Edoardo Galeppini, Kevin Barrett, Simon Crane, Gleb Fenwick and Club Captain Andy Scanlan.

edoardo galeppini wins rivoli january medal EDOARDO Galeppini continued his rich run of form by returning a gross two over par 74 to win the January Rivoli Monthly Medal supported by Speed Cleaning. Galeppini, one of Arabian Ranches’ top performers, had a steady round and got the job done on a day perfect for good scoring as nines of 37 and 37 took

him to his winning score. “I’m very happy with my performance today because this is a special event to win,” he said. “My thanks go out to the sponsors, Rivoli and Speed Cleaning, for their generous support and my congratulations to all today’s winners.” The net round of the day belonged to Division ‘A’

Champion Kevin Barrett who shot a gross 76 for a net 66. The Ladies Division was dominated by Adrienne Fullerton who won the gross title with a superb 77 while Karen Evans won the ladies net prize with another brilliant performance as she posted an excellent 5-under par 67.

mark and james sayer inFiniTi golF day champions

Pictured from left: Catherine Hut, J.C. Hut, James Sayer, Mark Sayer and Club Captain Andy Scanlan.

MARK and James Sayer scored 47 Stableford points to win the INFINIT Golf Day two-player team event. The format for the event was Betterball Stableford with each player using their handicap index as the allowance to be taken at the appropriate stroke index holes. The best net score between the two players was recorded in Stableford points at each hole. A net score of par gives you 2 points, net birdie 3 points, net eagle 4 points and a net bogey gives you 1 point. The winners’ card consisted of two halves of 24 and 23 points as they won by one point from two teams on 46 points. Taking second place due to their better back nine of 23 points were John Parsons and Matthew Derrick, relegating Boff Anderson and Malcolm Beattie to third place. In the Ladies/Mixed Division J.C. Hut and Lady Captain Catherine Hut took the spoils with a great performance, scoring 40 Stableford points. They had to fight hard for their victory after Tony and Ksenia Grayling took the early Clubhouse lead by posting 39 points.

edoardo and beaTrice galeppini crowned sian evenTs series champs EDOARDO and Beatrice Galeppini were crowned champions of the first SIAN Events Golf Series after they combined perfectly to score 79 Stableford points to win the Grand Final last month. On a perfect day for playing golf and with more than 40 two-player teams competing for the honours, the Galeppinis managed to secure a one-point victory over the pairing of John Parsons and Shahid Mir with duo Mark and Karen Evans taking third place with 77 points.

The prizegiving presentation was conducted by Simon McDonald, Chairman and Founder of SIAN Events, and he announced that the first event of the second series will take place next month with a date yet to be confirmed. “The Series has been a tremendous success with more than 80 Golfers competing in each of the qualifiers and also in the excellent Grand Final, and the second SIAN Events Golf Series promises to be even more popular and exciting,” he said. www.wwgolf.biz

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Jumeirah golf estates www.jumeirahgolfestates.com

ContaCt: Tel : +971 4 390 3333 Fax: +971 4 367 9584

Jumeirah-Golf-Estates

Pascal sets the pace in the first Medal of 2012 GRAHAM Pascal set the early pace for 2012 by returning a 2-under-par 70 to win the best gross prize in the Rivoli-sponsored January Monthly Medal. Pascal, one of a number of scratch golfers at Jumeirah Golf Estates, had two equally great nines of 35 in blustery conditions on the Fire course and rightfully took home the honours. Nicholas Wright claimed the first place net prize in Division ‘A’ with a steady 70 and was closely followed by Graham Hallett who returned a 71 to be the outright runner-up. Three players carded sublime scores of 6-under-par net 66 in Division ‘B’ but it was Bob Symons who triumphed after a card countback. David Merritt and Kari Stenman took second and third place respectively. A card countback was also required in the Ladies Division to separate Deepa Subba and

Brian McCarthy (left) accepts his prize from JGE General Manager Geoff Hunter.

Tania Gelasini who both finished with a one over par, net 73 and it was Suba who took the spoils by virtue of her better inward nine.

McCarthy Champion of Champions BRIAN McCarthy was crowned the Champion of Champions in the 2011 Rivoli Monthly Medal Winners Final thanks to a net score of 73 from a gross 75. Johan Andersson took second place with a net 75 while in third place, two strokes further back, was Craig Forrest. The best gross score of the day was returned by Jumeirah Golf Estates’ lowest handicapper – Graham Pascal, whose 77 claimed the prize, following a card countback.

Division ‘B’ winner Bob Symons, pictured right, above, is congratulated by Alasdair Danson-Webster.

Masusa, Lewis, Cowgill, Fennell shine in Stableford THE Earth Championship course provided a dramatic venue for all participants taking part in the first of three Stableford events in the Stableford Series In Division ‘A’ Akira Masuda compiled 36 points to win from Martin Fernandez while in Division ‘B’ there were five players finishing within six points of each other with David

Yas liNKs golf Club yaslinks.com

YasLinksGC

Joe Howell wins with a gross 85 JOE Howell shot a gross 85 in tough conditions to win the first Members Medal of 2012 last month. In the Net Division Grace Groves topped the pile with a net 74 while Brian McClure took second place one shot back with Jane Lee third on 76.

ContaCt: Tel : +971 2 810 7777

Lewis coming out on top with 38 points. Adele Cowgill took the honours in the Ladies Division with a countback victory over Anangha Pangakar after both players scored 37 points. The overall winner, and taking a commanding lead into the second round, is JGE lady member Denise Fennell after she recorded a tremendous total of 43 points.

info@yaslinks.com

YasLinksGolfClub

Barwell wins ‘3-Clubs and a Putter Challenge’ DAVID Barwell shot an impressive 32 points to take the honours in the ‘3-Clubs and a Putter Challenge’ held last month. Using just his 3-wood, 5-iron, 8-iron and his flatstick, Barwell cruised to a two-point victory over Nick Chittenden with Simon Hutcheson finishing in third placeon 28 points. Defending champion David Harvey was in the hunt but finished outside the podium places.

Brian McClure wins the Member’s Medal BRIAN McClure took the honours in the January Member’s Medal with a countback victory over the unfortunate Jane Lee after both players had shot a net 73. Taking third place, one shot further back, was Alex Barclay while a 73 from Roman Hawaczak saw him take the Gross honours.

Pictured above, left to right: Brian McClure, Jane Lee and John Lee.

‘3-Clubs and a Putter Challenge’ Champion David Barwell is pictured with Victoria Hasset (left) and Sales Executive Carly Tjader. www.wwgolf.biz

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abu dhabi city golf club www.adcitygolf.ae

ContaCt: Tel : +9712 445 960

Abu-Dhabi-City-Golf-Club

rotana junior league gathers pace

A HUGE turn out of 107 aspiring young champions turned out to play for the honours in the third round of the 2011/2012 Beach Rotana Junior Golf League and the scoring was excellent throughout. The 10 Hole boys event was taken by Spencer Cain who scored a very steady 16 Stableford points and he sealed the victory by virtue of a countback over Nathan Loveridge. The girls’ 10 Hole event was taken by Alex Karkaby who scored 13 points while Vosgan Arzoumainian completed three holes in 14 strokes to win the boy’s 3-Hole event by one from Harry Sanders and Connor McDonald. In the girls’ 3-Hole event it was Kashvi Mahajan who came out on top with a 22. The ‘nippers’ 2-Hole competition went to Yann Deschpande who won the boy’s section with 15 shots while Freya McDonald took the girl’s title with 17. The ‘Most Improved’ trophies went to Matteo Dummar and Greta Bocaletti.

Hada secures Grand Final spot A LATE scramble for the last few places in the Volvo Order of Merit Grand Final occurred in the seventh and final qualifier recently and it was 12-year-old Tanmaya Hada who produced a superb score of 41 points to clinch victory and a well deserved place in the finale. Jonathon Craig was edged into second place on 40 points with Mark O’Sullivan third on 39 points and Rajesh Kholy (35) and Murray Barber (35) claiming fourth and fifth respectively after a countback. The Grand Final for the top 40 players on the Volvo Order of Merit Series will take place on February 3rd.

abu dhabi golf club www.adgolfclub.com

New initiatives and coaches the abu dhabi Golf institute has announced new initiatives to kick off 2012 that will enhance the experience at the club. V1 branded academy: Improve your swing by getting a recap of any video lessons forwarded directly to your email or smart phone by signing up to the V1 Branded Academy. The initiative allows easy swing comparisons with videos from previous lessons and is a sure-fire way of helping players reach their full potential. Golf in the Garden: Attention all new lady golfers! ‘Golf in the Garden’ is for you! Join the Abu Dhabi Golf Institute for a monthly ‘Golf in the Garden’ event where expert golf coaches conduct a one-hour golf clinic, 9 holes of golf from the new ‘development’ tees and a buffet lunch with prizegiving on completion. It’s the ultimate way to ease into the full golf course experience, meet new and like-minded golfers and test your golf game in a friendly modified competition.

future falcon Programme: The 2012 Future Falcon programme picks up where it left off in 2011. Children of all ages are benefiting from the holistic programme that teaches children how to swing a golf club and how to play the game. Improvements include monthly golf events (age and ability specific) and new Future Falcon development tees to enable beginners to benefit from a better transition into the game. The Future Falcon Programme has now expanded to The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, so now the same quality programme can be experienced at the venue of your choice.

ContaCt: Tel : +971 2 558 8990

Abu-Dhabi-Golf-Club

john hunt wins january stableford WITH the National Course in supreme condition ahead of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, John Hunt prevailed to win the Division ‘A’ title in the January Rivoli Stableford with a score of 38 points. Hunt finished five points clear of Faris al Azzawi who took second place after a countback from Jim Harvey. In Division ‘B’ Adebowale Adejumo and Peter De Beer claimed the prizes with 34 and 32 points respectively while the Ladies Division saw Shawn Lunday win by one stroke from Lady Captain Muriel Gosselin.

south korean jae Min lee is welcoMed as new coach JAE Min Lee from South Korea has been unveiled as the newest member of the Club’s award winning coaching team at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Lee comes from the Troon-managed Alpensia Golf and Country Club, where he was Director of Instruction. He successfully obtained Bachelors Honours in Agribusiness and Professional Golf Management from the Arizona State University and has worked as an Instructor at golf clubs such as Mountain Brook Golf Club, Palm Springs Golf Centre and Castle Creek Golf Course. Lee is a natural teacher. He has also taught as a skiing instructor and has worked as a Sunday School teacher. Lee is committed to enhancing and expanding the Troon Golf Experience for the Korean expatriate community, the Golf Institute development programmes and golf in general in Abu Dhabi. www.wwgolf.biz

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al ain equestrian shooting & golf Club www.aesgc.ae

golf@aesgc.ae

ContaCt: Tel: +971 3 702 6400  Fax: +971 3 768 3331

Golfin Alain

BRADlEy DREDGE CliNiC AND 2012 ExHiBiTiON MATCH EUROPEAN Tour stalwart Bradley Dredge held an hour-long golf clinic for the AESGC Members and Guests, wowing the onlookers with his ability and passing on some game-improving hints and tips. The crowd was treated to a trick shot display and the two-times winner on The European Tour, who represented Wales in seven World Cups, winning the Cup in 2005 with Stephen Dodd, offered an insight into life on Tour during the informal question and answer session. Following on from the clinic was the 2012 exhibition match play event which teamed up Bradley with AESGC Head Teaching Professional, Fraser Mclaughlan, against fellow European Tour player Steven O’Hara and Ras Al Khaimah’s very own Simon Payne, while on-course commentator Bob Connor was on hand again to keep the crowd up to date with the match situation. The first four holes were halved before a birdie from Scotsman O’Hara on the par-4, fifth broke the deadlock. The lead was extended to two holes by the time the players reached the turn but was cut back to one hole after the group had played the par-3, 15th. When Mclaughlan’s birdie putt slipped past the hole on the 16th the lead again went to two holes, and when all the four players made par on the short 17th hole the match was over with O’Hara and Payne victorious with a 2 and 1 scoreline.

Left to right: Fraser Mclaughlan, Simon Payne, Steven O’Hara and Bradley Dredge.

TEAM SHERiDAN TRiUMPH iN PRO-AM THE final event of the Bradley Dredge Weekend took the form of the Zayed Sports City AESGC Pro-Am and with Professionals from The European Tour and from the various Emirates a strong field of 18 teams made up the field. Richard Sheridan from the Butch Harmon School and his three amateur partners Rattan Sehra, ishpal Singh and Alistair Purves were in exceptional form as they returned a score of 22-under-par (120 net total) in the ‘best two from four’ format. Second place went to Simon Payne from

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Tower links Golf Club and his amateur partners of Dave Clark, Troy Richardson and Roger Floyd. They didn’t have the best of front nines but got it going over the closing holes, picking up 14 shots to give them their total of 122. Third place was decided on a countback and was taken by the team of David Gray, Sharon Hall, Muriel Gosselin and Chris Emmerson with their total of 17 under par, 125. Dredge was on hand at the prize presentation as well as Matt Jones from the event’s main sponsor, Zayed Sports City.

North America 1 wins the AESGC International Handicap Cup THE quartet of Jason Neese, Adam Suski, Jordan Eaton and team Captain larry Benson came out on top of the 25 teams as their ‘North America 1’ team landed the third edition of the international Handicap Cup on the opening day of the 2012 Bradley Dredge Weekend last month. Their consistent net scoring of 76, 70, 73 and 69 gave them a six point advantage in the overall table. The team was originally made up of four Americans, but with the late withdrawal of Tom leach, Canadian Adam Suski was brought in to complete the team and keep within the tournament rules of the four players representing the same country or region (North America). Second place in the handicap results went to the team of Phil James, Peter young, Sharon Cotgrave and Tommy Cotgrave who hailed from the United Kingdom. James (64 net) was partnering young (68 net) and they united to post the lowest combined net score out of all the pairs on the day and with the consistent rounds of the Cotgraves they secured the overall runner-up spot. The final team to make it on to the podium was the Scottish team of Jeff Glasgow, Billy King, Jimmy Muirhead and Alistair Purves with their overall point’s total of 82 points. The international Scratch Cup went to the pre-tournament favourites Ahmed and Hassan Al Musharrekh, Khalid yousuf and Sohail Al Marzouqi who all from the United Arab Emirates.


stella di mare golf & country club www.stelladimaregolf.com

ContaCt: Tel : +201 02 433 991 golfoffice@stelladimare.com

stelladimarehotels

amr abou el ela wins starfish trophy EGYPT’S number one amateur golfer Amr Abou El Ela won the 2012 Stella Di Mare Men’s Open ‘Starfish Triohy’ supported by the Egyptian Golf Federation by one stroke from fellow Alexandria Club Member Mamdouh El Sheikh while Abdelmonem El Shafei finished in third place with a bestof-day second round 74. After battling through the tough, breezy conditions for a 79 on the first day Amr returned a 75 on the second day to recapture the title he won back in 2010. With his victory Amr went to the top of the 2012 EGF Order of Merit after two of the nine events on the 2012 calendar. The net prize was won by Jordanian Golfer Faris Homoud who followed an opening day net 75 with a fabulous second round net score of 63 which included a gross birdie at the monster par-5 third hole, the only birdie scored on that hole over the two days.

sHarM Boys in teaM triuMPH

SAMIR ZAKI SCOOPS EPGA PRO-AM EGYPT’S number one professional golfer Samir Zaki (Mirage City Golf Club) won the recent EPGA ProAm at Stella Di Mare. After a tight first day, where Zaki, Will Lambert and Chris Geraghty were within a shot of each other, the same three players battled for top spot on the final day. Zaki scored a 75 on day two, following a 73 on day one, to give him a winning total of 4-over-par 148. Tied for second place were Stella Di Mare Pros Geraghty and Lambert just one shot behind on 5-over-par 149.

Al GhAzAl Golf Club www.alghazalgolf.ae

SHARM el Sheikh golfers Jimmy Jewell, Jon Ritchie and Andy McKnight joined Professional Samir Zaki to win the EPGA Pro-Am Series Grand Final by an impressive four-stroke margin in testing windy conditions. The team followed up their superb Friday score of 16-under-par with a closing 10-under to triumph ahead of three chasing teams, including the one led by Stella Di Mare’s Director of Golf Josh north, with a winning score of 26-under.

ContaCt: Tel : +971 2 575 8040  Fax : +971 2 575 8041

Al-Ghazal-Golf-Club

ROB JEnnInGS TOPS THE PILE ROB Jennings shot a net 70 to take the Division ‘A’ honours in the January Medal, two clear of Ken Ritzal, while David Tait took home the wooden spoon for finishing bottom of the pile and therefore earning a free golf lesson from Head Professional Mark Ireland. In Division ‘B’ Rob Malone shot a 76 to win by one from Ruben Jamora

while taking home the spoon prize was Larry Clarina. Abdul-Rahman took the Division ‘C’ Medal with a 76, one shot ahead of Alan Dickman with Stanley Mirossay bringing up the rear to win the spoon prize. The Ladies Division was won by Lady Captain Deborah Castle with a 75 with Bobo Bradley taking the spoon prize.

Pictured above, left to right: Murray brown, Captain Peter McManus, Walter Tiamfook, Ibrahim Al Marzouqi, Sponsor Adam Pomeroy, Abdul-Rahman Al laggitti, lizette breytenbach and Steve Coulson at the prizegiving presentation ceremony.

Marvellous Murray wins in style

left to right: Ruben Jamora, bob Malone, lady Captain Deborah Castle, bobo bradley, Ken Ritzal, Rob Jennings and Abdul-Rahman.

MURRAY Brown scored an incredible 45 points to win the Men’s Division in the recent Ballentine’s Stableford Eclectic. Runner-up was the previous week’s winner Walter Tiamfook as he scored 41 points, four clear of third-placed Steve Coulson. The Ladies winner – also with an impressive 41 points – was current Club Champion Lizette Breytenbach. The AGGC Stableford Eclectic competition, sponsored by Ballentine’s and Gray Mackenzie, is being played throughout the 2011/12 golfing season with competitors hoping to improve their hole by hole scores each time they play in this running event. At the end of the season the player with the most overall points/best score will be crowned the Ballentine’s Stableford Eclectic 2012 Ladies and Men’s Champions. www.wwgolf.biz

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Sharjah Golf & ShootinG Club www.golfandshootingshj.com

ContaCt: Tel : +971 6 548 7777  info@golfandshootingshj.com

Sharjah-Golf-Shooting-Club

JAE YOUNG kIM WINS CORAL BEACH RESORT STABLEFORD THE twice monthly Coral Beach Resort returned to Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club on Sunday 15th January. The format for the day’s event was to be the ever popular Stableford. The first CBR of the New Year attracted a healthy field who were all eager to kick start 2012 in style. The korean contingent were out in force again and managed to bag all three prizes for the evening’s golf. Jae Young kim secured his first victory on SGSC soil by blasting the field away with a superb 26 points over the 9 holes. Winner of Division Two, just two points adrift was fellow korean k.J. Lee who scored 24 points. Four koreans tied on 21 points, however, and with the Division Two prize having already been awarded the Division One prize for golfers with a handicap index of 14.4 and below went to D.H. kim. All the winners celebrated receiving pro-shop vouchers to be used at SGSC plus some luxurious food vouchers courtesy of the Coral Beach resorts. SGSC gave thanks once again to CBR for providing such superb prizes which can only attract more competitors into the events.

Winner of the CBR Monthly Stableford – Jae Young Kim

S. I. Lee holds the trophy flanked by Wafa Balaswad of SAIF Zone and all the weekend’s prizewinners.

LEE RUNS AWAY WITH SECOND SAIF-ZONE SHARJAH CUP SEUNG In Lee produced an emphatic display in the second SAIF Zone Sharjah Cup to take the title by an unprecedented 16 points. Lee collected 41 points after the opening round to create a one-point lead but then romped home to victory with a flawless 43 to win by a huge margin. Abdulwahed al Qasem (EGF), who was second after the opening day, struggled on day two and finished down the leaderboard while Robert Gayle collected 31 points on day two to take second place while Trevor Marshal managed to sneak into third place on 66 points. “What a fantastically exciting weekend it proved to be,” said Martin Duff, Director of Golf. “On Day Two the live leaderboards and having the leaders paired together made for a real tournament atmosphere that few higher handicap golfers get to experience. “If Mr Lee hadn’t been in such imperious form it would have been quite a battle for the title. His 43 points score, considering the conditions, was phenomenal. “

YOUNG PARk SEALS DEAL IN kEMPINSkI

S.I. LEE TAkES CORAL BEACH RESORT BOGEY vICTORY The ever popular Coral Beach Resorts midweek bogey format competition returned to Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club on Tuesday 24th January. Thirteen golfers all lined up in the 6.30pm shotgun start and it was S.I. Lee, who recently hoisted the SGSC Sharjah Cup, who continued his fine form of late to take the victory with a score of 4+ over the 9 holes. He marginally beat his fellow countryman kwang Jae Lee on a scorecard playoff. kwang had to settle for victory in the division 2 category. With only 2 division 1 golfers in the field, it proved to be a real head-to-head shoot-out between J.S. Park and Michael Conneely with the korean

PARk WINS AGAIN – IN POWERPLAY SHOOTOUT Winner of the CBR Bogey – S.I. Lee making it a full podium finish for the koreans by beating Connelly on a scorecard playoff after both players had posted very steady rounds of -1. All winners received pro-shop vouchers plus attractive meal vouchers to be used at Coral Beach Resorts, Sharjah.

SHARJAH Golf and Shooting Club hosted the second of five events in the Serco Northern Emirates Power Play Series recently and taking the honours was Young Park as she cruised to an 11-point win with a superb score of 35. Michael Connelly took the top spot in Division ‘1’ while in Division ‘2’ Abdul Moiz khan finished strongest to clinch the title. Order of Merit points were distributed to the top 20 and the top 12 on the ranking at the end of the series will play in the Grand Final at Tower Links Golf Club in April.

YOUNG Park led the way at a recent kempinski Hotel Ajman Medal with a superb score of net 27 (7-under-par) through nine holes. The event, which is held twice a month, saw Westley Burke seal a bittersweet victory as he lost out to Park on a countback for the main prize but did secure the honours in Division ‘2’. Leading the way in Division ‘1’ was Hassan Yazdi who also managed to sneak through on a scorecard playoff by beating SGSC professional Purna Sharma. Yazdi returned a very creditable 33 net for the 9 holes.

Winner Young Park is pictured after play. www.wwgolf.biz

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Graeme “G-Mac” McDowell

WORLD RANKING - # 5

AVAILABLE AT YOUR NEAREST GOLF RETAILER


the royal golf club bahrain www.theroyalgolfclub.com

RoyalGolfCLub

ContaCt: Tel : +973 17 750777

TheRoyalGolfClub

A Busy New Year at The Royal Golf Club THE Royal Golf Club was a busy place this New Year as Members gathered to bid farewell to 2011 and welcomed in 2012. Nearly 100 members participated in the annual Hogmanay Scramble on New Year’s Eve and taking the honours was the team of Tim Backhouse, one of the Club’s PGA Teaching Professionals, John Wilson, the club’s Golf Operations and Events Manager, and members Andy Wieser and Russell Mack as they scored a brilliant net 57.4 The following morning saw the new Club Captains do their annual

Captains Drive In as Ebrahim Esbai and Danni Sheppard teed off at noon to start their tenure as 2012 Men’s and Lady Captains. A Texas Scramble event was held on the Club’s Montgomerie Championship course shortly after and the team of Mohamed Al Naomi, Hamad Mubarak, Abdulla Sultan and Nasser Al Mahasni were crowned the winners with a net score of 57.5. Outgoing Lady Captain Debbie Lane, her husband Rob and Aqdas Ahmed and Kevin Ross finished in second place on net 59.5.

New Year’s Eve Results: Hogmanay Scramble: 1st. John Wilson, Tim Backhouse, Russell Mack, Andy Wieser (57.4 net) 2nd. Barry Hobday, Jason Smith, Dan Owen, Sam Hobday (57.6 net) Nearest the Pin: Hole 7: Karin Lutz (hole in one), Hole 12: Paul Dossor

2012 Ladies Captain Danni Sheppard drives off.

2012 Men’s Captain Ebrahim Esbai drives off.

Captains’ Drive In: 1st. Mohammed Al Noaimi, Hamad Mubarak, Nasser Al Mahasni, Abdulla Sultan (57.5 net) 2nd. Debbie and Rob Lane, Kevin Ross and Aqdas Ahmed (59.5 net) Closest Prediction to the Men’s Captain’s Drive: Dave Sowards Closest Prediction to the Lady Captain’s Drive: Sam Jones Nearest to the Captain’s Drive Hole 10: Lucck Kwik Nearest the Pin Hole 2: Abdulla Sultan Longest Drive Hole 14: Danni Sheppard

February Dining at the royal golF Club

Maureen Anderson wins White Christmas raffle

Tuesday 14th: – Valentine’s Dinner at the Links Lounge and Lounge & Restaurant. Four-course dinner with live classical music, a rose for the ladies and a sparkling welcome drink (or non alcoholic alternative) for all. 7.0pm to 11.0pm. Visitors BD34 net/Club Members BD30 net per person.

MAUREEN Anderson became the proud owner of a full set of TaylorMade CB irons after her lucky number was drawn for the top prize in the Club’s TaylorMade White Christmas promotion, which ran from November 1st to December 24th. Customers at the Club’s golf shop paid just BD 2 to purchase any one of 400 raffle tickets for their chance to win some fantastic prizes from the TaylorMade range of hardware and accessories.

Every Friday – Carvery Feast Links Lounge & Restaurant Classic roast carvery buffet with all the trimmings plus live cooking stations. Special buffet table for the kids. Crèche available for younger children at only BD3 per child per hour.Midday to 4.0pm. Visitors BD16 net. Club Members BD14 net. Kids under 12 BD8.500 inclusive of selected soft drinks. Every Saturday – Kids eat for free Links Lounge & Restaurant For every adult main course ordered in Links on Saturday lunch time, a child under the age of 12 years can order a dish from the kids’ menu absolutely free. From 11.0am to 3.0pm. Every day Links Happy Hour Links Lounge & Restaurant Enjoy fantastic discounts every day on selected beverages. From 5.0pm to 7.opm. Sunday - Thursday Links Business Lunch Links Lounge & Restaurant 2-course lunch and selected soft drink for just BD 8 per person From 11.30am to 3pm. BD 8 net.

Maureen Anderson receives her set of TaylorMade CB irons from Paul Crowe, Director of Golf Operations.

FuLL LIST oF WINNERS: 1st Maureen Anderson – Set of CB Irons 2nd Dave Sowards – Burner Superfast Driver 3rd Raymond Santiago – TMX Stand Bag 4th Rebecca Fisher – Spider Ghost Putter 5th Bijan Majidi – Burner Rescue Wood 6th Alasdair Shiach – Microlite 2.0 Stand Bag 7th Philip Eckles – Travel Cover 8th John McIsaac – ZTP Wedge 9th John Webb – a dozen Penta golf balls 10th Neil Doson – Performance Shoe Bag 11th Karin Lutz – a dozen Burner TP golf balls 12th Danni Sheppard – R11 Cap

February Sporting eventS at the royal golF Club Date Friday 24th every Saturday every Sunday every monday every Wednesday every thursday

event tihama power Sponsored Golf Day Wee monty Family Day – BD15 per adult Junior Saturday Series medal Ladies taylormade Stableford ecco monday Stableford a&e monday madness night Golf Series Ladies golf competition – different formats midweek Stableford

time 7.30am shotgun 10am to 12pm 3pm shotgun 8.30am shotgun 1pm shotgun 6.30pm shotgun 8.30am shotgun until 2pm

Open tO all all all juniors all ladies all all all ladies all

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Thinking of taking up golf? Join as Academy Member for OR 500 Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club has the perfect package for you: The Academy Membership offers a 10-week tuition programme where you will be taught how to play golf by one of our PGA qualified instructors and you will also have access to the golf course at off-peak times to try out your new skills and continue your journey of learning this wonderful game. As an Academy member you also enjoy other membership benefits such as retail and F&B discounts and invitations to our many social activities.

To sign up or for more details please contact our Marketing Manager Nora Dimitrova at Nora@muscatgolf.com or call (+968) 2451 4080. Take your first steps to learning a game for a lifetime.

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Muscat hills golf club www.muscathills.com

MuscatHills

ContaCt: Tel : +968 245 14080  Fax: +968 245 10277

Email: ray@muscatgolf.com www.muscathills.com

Muscat-Hills-Golf-Country-Club

4TH OER-CEO GOLF DAy ANOTHER BIG HIT THE fourth annual OER-CEO Golf Day took place on the 12th January at Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club with more than 200 CEOs, managers and business leaders taking part in a day of competitive golf, high-powered networking, sophisticated ambience and mind-blowing entertainment. There were 108 of the top CEOs of the Sultanate entered in the 18-hole Texas Scramble tournament. HE Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas and Samir Fancy, Chairman Renaissance Services, were amongst the competitors. There were also 57 non-golfing executive managers such as

Ross Cormack, CEO Nawras, and Divyendu Kumar, Managing Director, Infiniti, who were introduced to the game by participating in a special golfing clinic hosted by Muscat Hill’s PGA golf professionals. The champions of the day were Ravi Narayanan, Chandra Sekhar Das, Debabrata Mukerjee, and Pamela Mouries, however the most coveted prize of the day was won by Samir Hamamji who walked away with a Rolex watch for winning the longest putt shoot-out. Following the golf tournament, guests were entertained by a fabulous golf trick show by Michael Scholz. The entertainment continued well into

New Chef, New Food Temptations from Jeet

MUSCAT TOUR OPERATORS REGARD MUSCAT HILLS A MUST-SEE DESTINATION MUSCAT’S leading tour operators recently took part in the inaugural Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club Golf Academy Challenge at Muscat Hills. Thirteen tourism managers and sales agents from six different tourism agencies took part in the challenge which was organised by Muscat Hills G & CC to familiarise them on what Muscat Hills had to offer their clients, including the game of golf itself and the benefits of utilising golf as an intrinsic tourism product. The event was run by Muscat Hills Head Professional Alex Day who introduced the participants to the basic rules and principles of golf along with an introduction to playing the game through a short game clinic. Following the clinic a small competition was run to identify the “Best

the evening with a gala dinner and prizegiving presentation ceremony where guests were further entertained by an illusionist show and music. Presented by Nawras Business Solutions for the fourth consecutive year, OER-CEO Golf 2012 was powered by Infiniti while Rolex, from Khimji’s Watches was the Official Timekeeper and the Times of Oman and Al Shabiba were Publicity Partners. Samsung, Capital Stores, Left Bank, Patchi & Bateel, Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club, OUA, Travel Point, Silver Senses Salon and Mumtaz Mahal, City Seasons Hotel and Agility were the prize partners.

Tour Operator golfers” which was won jointly by Zahara Tours and Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre, with Discovery World in third place. The other tour operators participating were Travco Oman, Elite Travel & Tourism, and Mark Tours. Following the event all the tour operators agreed that golf was certainly a product that they would include in their packages and programmes and that Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club was one of the leading tourist products that Oman has to offer. “We all had an excellent time here at Muscat Hills and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of trying golf for the first time” said Mohamed Al Ryiami of Discovery World. “Muscat Hills is beautiful and a must-see destination for our inbound clients,” he added.

NEW culinary temptations await members and guests of Muscat Hills following the appointment of their new Head Chef, Jeet Bhati. Jeet, an Indian national, has a wealth of international experience having worked at the Millenium and Copthorne Hotels in the UK, the Marriott hotel in Baltimore USA and most recently at the Northlands Golf Club in Vancouver. Jeet’s first job has been to work in conjunction with Muscat Hills Club House Manager Janneke van Veen in developing the new menu, designed to match the local golf community preferences – casual, quick and diverse but at the same time offering a variation of food, local specialties for multicultural diners.

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LEAP INTO FEBRUARY @ Tower Links Golf Club Ras Al Khaimah,UAE

Friday & Saturday: 1,320 AED Sunday - Thursday: 1,170 AED To redeem the offer please tear off the perforated token and present it to the reservation desk before playing.

* No other discounts apply. * Offer is only applicable to groups of 4. * Token must be presented to validate offer. * Offer is valid only until February 29, 2012. P.O.Box: 30888, RAK, UAE Tel: +971 7 2279939 - Email: golf@towerlinks.com


Al HAmrA golf club www.alhamragolf.com

ContaCt: Tel : +971 7 244 7474

AlHamraGolfClub

Al-Hamra-Golf-Club

donny rials finishes 2011 in style to win the last stableford of the season thE last open stableford of 2011 saw donny rials finish top of the pile with a haul of 38 points, one clear of Mohammed darwish and John May. taking second place after a card countback was May thanks to his better back nine of 21 points while darwish took home the nearest the Pin prize on hole 11. gregory trinh took home the other on-course prize by knocking his tee shot closest on the 4th hole.

EngElbrEcht gEts thE goldEn tickEt thE december monthly medal was again played in perfect golfing conditions and the event was run alongside the Emirates Airline invitational Qualifier in which the winner collected a golden ticket to qualify for a place in the grand Final at Yas links in Abu dhabi just a few days before the Pro-Am itself. Finishing top of the pile with a five-shot victory after a gross 77 for a net 68 was rita Englebrecht. bill grosser took second place with a net 73 with dan blomstrand taking third on 76, one clear of fourth-placed david thomas.

rae kondes takes the first event of 2012 with the new year’s day Cup thE first tournament of the 2012 season – the new Years day cup – got underway in perfect golfing conditions and after a fine day’s play rae kondes took the honours with a haul of 40 stableford points. Finishing in second place, two points back, was Monina gudaca while bill grosser took third place with 35 points. grosser also won the nearest the Pin prize on the 7th hole which turned out to be the only on-course prize as no participants hit the 15th green!

Tower links golf club www.towerlinks.com

ContaCt: Tel : +971 7 227 8555 membership@towerlinks.com

Tower-Links-Golf-Club

the rak seniors ClassiC announCed for marCh

rEgAn ridEs to victorY MArk regan returned to the winner’s circle last month in the ‘no Woods’ individual stableford. regan, long-regarded as one of the most natural swingers of a golf club at tower links, proved the pundits correct as he shot 23 points using his trusted set of slazenger irons to win by one from Andy klein. klein, who is renowned for his occasional animated outbursts, wielded his irons to perfection in what was one of his best performances for some time. Julian nutting finished in third place after shooting a splendid 21 points and he claimed a share of the prizes in the twos competition. derek Fisher took home the wooden spoon after posting just four points, and, as usual, the excuses were flowing as freely as the captain Morgan.

thE rAk seniors classic will take place at the end of March hosted by the two northern-most courses in the UAE. the event is a collaboration between ras Al khaimah’s tower links golf club and Al hamra golf club. the tournament is the first of its kind in the Emirate. it will be played over two days at the two courses and is open only to amateur senior golfers, men 50 years of age and over, and women 45 years and over. tower links golf club will host the first day’s play on March 30 and Al hamra golf club will stage the second day’s play on March 31. the tournament has been created to give the senior golfer an opportunity to compete on a more level playing field and enjoy the game for what it was meant to be about – fun and enjoyment. rAk gas has recognised the niche in the golfing sector to cater for the senior golfer and as the Major sponsor for the event sees the scope to grow this tournament into one of the major events on the UAE golfing calendar. With the assistance of support sponsor ras Al khaimah tourism, the event will attract senior golfers from all over the region and abroad and showcase ras Al khaimah as the latest golfing destination in the U.A.E.

dave Clark and troy riChardson romp to blaCk & white viCtory dAvE clark and troy richardson steamrollered the field in the 2012 black and White challenge after recording an astonishing 49 points in the better ball stableford format to win by 12 points. clark and richardson followed an outward half of 24 points with an inward 25 to cap a remarkable day’s play. Finishing in a share of second place were the mixed couples of Johan and Manilyn buxmann and gerry gibson and Young nam chang who both scored 37 points. After a back nine countback the buxmanns were handed the runnerup position outright with gibson and change settling for third place.

more magiC from mohamed islam MohAMEd islam shot +5 in the individual bogey format last month to take the honours as he breezed through the course with relative ease. Paul harrison and gerry gibson had a competitive tussle for second place with harrison edging it over his rival after a last six countback with the scorecards locked at +3. spooning on the evening was a tight affair as both Phil Madin and claire carlick scored -9. Fortunately for Madin, carlick performed a fraction worse to take the spoon after a recent bout of gout decided to rear its ugly head.

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Y O U R

O A S I S

O F

G O L F

I N

S A U D I

A R A B I A

Dirab Golf & Country Club is the only grassed 18-hole Par-72 championship and 9-hole Par 27 Academy golf course in Riyadh, Kingdom Saudi Arabia. Located 45 kms south west of Riyadh City and nestled in the picturesque Tawfiq valley, the club features lush tree-lined fairways and perfectly manicured greens. Open all year round, the course offers a driving range and practice facilities- 9holes are floodlit, enabling play after sundown. Having hosted the 1st Saudi Arabian National Amateur Championship in 2001, 10th Annual GCC Golf Championship in 2002, BMW World Qualifier Tournament in 2004, Dirab Pro-Am Golf Tournament in 2005, 28th Pan Arab Golf Tournament in 2008 and Saudi Oger Amateur Golf Championship in 2009, Dirab Golf & Country Club is equally suited for seasoned golfers and for those wishing to learn the sport.

7,280 yards (Men’s Tee) / 5,590 yards (Ladies Tee) Driving Range with Practice and Teaching Facilities (Practice Putting Green, Chipping and Pitching Range) Club House and Restaurant Flood Lit 9 Holes Fully equipped Golf ProShop Swimming - Tennis - Horse Back Riding - Polo American Football - Rugby 5000 acre farm suitable for camping-Quad Bike hire

Dirab Golf & Country Club P.O. Box 71, Riyadh 11411 Saudi Arabia Reservations: Tel + 966 1 498 0017 / 498 0018 Email: info@dirabgolf.com

Ibrahim Abunayyan Sons Group www.dirabgolf.com


doha golf club www.dohagolfclub.com

ContaCt: Tel : +974 4496 0777  info@dohagolfclub.com

Doha-Golf-Club

MYLES, STEVE WIN DHL GOLF DAY THE second annual DHL Express Qatar Golf Day was held recently and the team of Myles Magnussen and Steve Williams beat 64 corporate guests to win with a score of 68.8. Special guests were flown in from the uAE and Bahrain to participate in the event which saw players compete in a two-man Texas Scramble format. A countback was required to separate second and third place with Hiram Diggines and Nick Baker finishing in second with 69.4 and Carl Windley and Bachi Spiga finishing third. Stuart Feeney won the Nearest the Pin award while the Longest Drive prize went to Wayne Merrick.

MARTIGNONIS WIN THE MIxED OPEN AFTER a tough couple of days in wet and blustery conditions the team of Jorge and Julia Martignoni prevailed in the 10th edition of the InterContinental Doha Mixed Open with a score of net 143. Over 100 couples were competing

in the greensomes format and finishing second, just two strokes back, were Sang Orn Sompach and Young Souk Choi. Ian and Anne-Marie Wallace took third place with a 146 net while Albert Dalton struck an ace in what was a memorable event.

dirab golf club

ContaCt: Tel : +966 1 812 6671 Email: info@dirabgolf.com

www.dirabgolf.com

SALHAB’S TEAM TRIuMPHANT IN FIRST ETE PRO-AM THE team led by promising Saudi youngster Faisal Salhab took the top spot in the first Pro-Am Tournament at Dirab Golf Club recently and Salhab topped a successful day by winning the Longest Drive challenge on the opening hole.

Asian Tour representative Lee Han Bin, second Left, with DGCC General Manager Bouchaib ElJadiani, Saudi Golf Federation President Khaled Abunayyan, Kingdom Golf Academy Marketing Director Miran H. and Kingdom Golf Academy Director Jo Tae Hwan.

The Pro-am group pictured with the Pro-am winners.

MENA PIP THEIR SOuTH KOREAN COuNTERPARTS A TEAM representing MENA nabbed the January 2012 Ryder Cup-themed tournament held between MENA and the South Korean Team recently. Kingdom Dirab Golf Academy and Dirab Golf organised the teams comprised of Saudi Arabian Golf Federation members, MENA and their South Korean counterparts to promote better ties among the groups.

South Korean and MENA group and MENA winners

ASIAN TOuR LOOK TO HOST EVENT IN SAuDI ARABIA AN Asian Tour official said Asia’s major golf Tour would like to have a professional golf tournament next year in the Kingdom as part of its mission to develop golf in an emerging market. Speaking in an interview, Lee Han Bin, the Asian Tour’s Event Development Senior Executive said Saudi Arabia is a very important market in the Middle East. “As a part of Asia we can support each other in this emerging market,” he said during his visit to Saudi Arabia by invitation to the Kingdom Dirab Golf Academy, through Jo Tae Hwan. Lee said he is looking at November and December – when the cooler weather avails – as possible months to stage a first-ever Asian Tour event at Dirab Golf & Country Club while another option could be between January and February in 2013. To start preparations for the Saudi Swing of the Asian Tour, Dirab Golf Course owner and Saudi Golf Federation President Khaled Abunayyan, who also sits on the Kingdom Dirab Golf Academy Board as Vice Chairman, said Lee will

again visit the Kingdom in early 2012. “We would like to introduce to the people of Saudi Arabia how golf is a great sport. They only know football,” said Lee, who sees a vast potential for growth of golf in the country. “We have had Asian Tour events in Cambodia, Vietnam and Brunei, among other countries in the region. In Vietnam, the country never had a professional event until we created one. Now, Vietnam has a professional golfer, Michael Pran, playing on the Asian Tour. “To find a title sponsor for the event the Asian Tour will work together with the Saudi Golf Federation. It’s really important to take the first step and work together.” For his part, Abunayyan said bringing Asian Tour players to the Kingdom would go a long way in boosting the game in Saudi and will inspire young Saudi golfers to develop a career in golf. Present at the meeting between Lee and Abunayyan were DGCC General Manager Bouchaib El Jadiani, Tae Hwan and Kingdom Golf Academy Marketing Director Miran H. www.wwgolf.biz

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T H E R I YA D H G O L F C O U R S E . . .

. . . E X P E R I E N C E A PA R A D I S E F O R ALL GOLF LOVERS IN SAUDI ARABIA

P.O. Box 84329 Riyadh 11671 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia www.riyadhgolfcourses.com In for m a t i o n a n d t e e -t i m e s c a l l : + 9 66592315787 or e - ma il: r gc .re c e pt ion@ hot ma il.c om


In n the bag Rescues 3 Wood Driver

Titleist 910 D3 7.75 degrees with a Fujikura Rombax 7Z08 S-flex shaft tipped by 1&1/2”

Titleist 910F 13.5 degrees with Fujikura Rombax 7Z08 S-Flex shaft

Titleist 910H 17 & 19 degrees with Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana ‘ahina 90 gramme S-flex shafts.

Irons

Henry Law

2009 model Titleist AP2 4-PW Project X 5.5 standard length

PGA Professional: Abu Dhabi City Golf Club What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on a golf course? At a Pro-am in Egypt a few years ago I was playing in the group behind my good friend and fellow PGA Professional at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club – Jon Getliffe. The 15th hole was a short par 3. Our group watched them tee off and Jon managed to shank his 7 iron over a road and onto another part of the course. Not only does he have further to go for his second shot than his first but two members of his team are forced into stopping the oncoming coaches as this was the main road into and out of the resort. In true professional fashion he entertained the passenger with the passenger hitting his ball back over the road and onto the green and proceeded to hole his putt for par!

Other notable items

Who would be in your dream 4-ball and why? First in, would be my younger brother Dean. I don’t get to play golf often enough with him. Then Tiger Woods – the greatest golfer of my generation and, finally, Ben Hogan one of the greatest ball strikers of all time. Plus I’d like my Dad on the bag as my caddy!

How would you promote golf in the future? This is easy. If every golf club around the World could have a Junior Academy like ours at The City Golf Club, with more than 250 juniors getting expert tuition every week, there would be more than enough future adult golfers to fill memberships at golf clubs everywhere.

Odyssey White Hot 2-ball 34 1/2”

Bushnell Pro 1600 laser Range finder. Alignment sticks

How did you get into golf? A golf course opened nearby in the late 90s. My Dad joined and a few mates from school all had an interest in the game. After 12 months, my handicap was 7 and I didn’t look back after that.

If you could change one rule what would it be? I would make the rules much simpler to understand – no matter what the situation. Golfers should be able to play the ball as it lies or, if they choose, take a drop. The drop should be two club lengths away which would incur a penalty of one shot. This would speed up play. Stopping to discuss, whether it’s a free drop and whether it’s one or two club lengths’ etc, is time consuming and slows down play. It would save people the daunting task of trying to find the specific rule in the ever growing Rule Book.

Putter:

Wedges

Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 52.10o and 58.08o Dynamic Gold Spinner Shafts

What were your 1st set of clubs? My first full set were a set of graphite shafted Callaway X-12 irons!

What is your favourite course? Again I have two, both back in my home county of Kent: Littlestone Golf Club, a great links course, and Hemsted Forest, a very tight tree-lined course which is always in great condition. Who is your golfing hero? I have a few favourites: Tiger Woods, David Duval, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples.

www.wwgolf.biz

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Sandra

Germany’s Sandra Gal is one of golf’s leading ladies. WWG asks her a few questions...

Gal WWG: What is your first golfing memory? SG: I think I was about six or seven and I was on a vacation in Portugal with my parents and I just loved riding the golf carts.

WWG: Who was your golfing hero? SG: Ernie Els and Freddie Couples. I always admired Bernhard Langer but coming from a swing perspective I’ve always admired easy swings. WWG: What’s your favourite golf event? SG: The first couple of events that we used to have in Hawaii back in 2008, hopefully they’ll come back soon. It was just such a nice start to the season. WWG: What’s your favourite golf course? SG: One of my favourite courses is Oakmont. WWG: What’s your favourite club in your bag? SG: My putter! WWG: Who would be in your dream foursome? SG: Ernie Els, Arnold Palmer and Deepak Chopra. WWG: Do you have any pet hates? SG: Tough one, I don’t really know what gets me upset – probably a lack of respect. WWG: Do you have any hobbies away from the course? SG: I love to paint and I used to do a lot of wakeboarding – not so much anymore but I love it. WWG: Do you have any guilty pleasures? SG: Cold Stone Ice Cream.

N

ow in her fifth year on the LPGA Tour German beauty Sandra Gal made the breakthrough last season when she birdied the final hole of the KIA Classic to defeat Jiyai Shin by a stroke and claim her first title. She made her Solheim Cup debut as a Captain’s Pick and helped Alison Nicholas’ European Team to a memorable 15-13 victory at Killeen Castle in Ireland.


Introducing the Night Clubbing access card AED1,500 for three months. Includes three 18 hole rounds of night golf and discounts on additional rounds, including 18 holes for the price of 9 and AED205 for 9 holes. For further information please call +971 4 417 9999 or email kphillips@dubaigolf.com

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Worldwide Golf February 2012 Issue 134. Middle Easts Number One Golf Magazine