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ISSUE 224 | January 2020 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com | www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com

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TEE TIMES | January 2020

TT MAY 2017 Issue 192_Layout 1 22/04/2017 15:18 Page 3

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Knees-up SUNNIER DAYS THE LADIES AND THE FOR WINNER IS. . . for stars Reflecting on a marvellous Masters: Justin Rose, Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, made us so proud as he played his role in one of the tightest but most gentlemanly showdowns in the history of the event

GOLF SPORTSMANSHIP We will be seeing rather more of European pro golfers – literally. European Tour players have been granted permission to wear shorts NORTH Club Fleet will have for theHants firstGolf time in in competition. to find some more space in its Justin Rose Room to record the continuing exploits of the county’s favourite golfing son.

Long Room will be found for mementoes of and the the short those of it: 2017 Masters to be placed alongside Ernie Els of Rose’s U.S. Open triumph in 2013 and his shows the way Olympic Golf Gold.

But while Rose was pipped at Augusta by Sergio Garcia, the inevitable disappointment for his fans was counterbalanced by a The relaxation of the ruleswhich operated display of skill and sportsmanship was a when credit tothe bothnew men,season and to a sport which began in still pridesAfrica. itself on honesty and fairness. South

Shorts had previously been Yes, the final round between these tworestricted Ryder Cup was and boundpractice to be emotional. Rose to titans pro-am rounds. was edging his way towards a second Major, With temperatures reaching a high of and Garcia was trying to secure his first on 40C during the very(104F) day which would the haveAlfred been theDunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, 60th birthday of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. players were authorised to relax the

But the overriding dress code. emotion for spectators of the final round was the way these two Local favourite Europeans fought theErnie fight. Els said the

change was “great news” and joked:

In“Heatwave the final round,for they toe-to-toefriends.” rivals mywere European but not opponents, supremely competitive The new season begins each onlyother’s four yet gentlemanly, acknowledging skills with a knuckle-touch or aRahm nod. secured days after Spain’s Jon

the Race to Dubai title by winning the Tour Championship finale.

• Turn to Page 4

The new season dawned bright and sunny for women’s golf as a new event was launched and a big prize money landmark was passed. The ladies’ game took a big step forward with an announcement of a planned relaunch of the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit as the Race to Costa del Sol. It means the top player on the money list at the end of the year will get an additional £107,000, with £64,000 for the runner-up and £43,000 for third. The Andalucia Costa del Sol Open, which opened the new season, also saw its 2020 prize money doubled to £514,000). Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord leads the Order of Merit standings, with England’s Meghan MacLaren the highest-placed British player in fifth place. Scotland’s Carly Booth was holding 10th and told BBC Sport the move was “very positive for the Tour”. “It’s been a tough couple of years for us, both emotionally and financially, so it seems to be going in a more positive manner now,” the 27-year-old said.

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TEE TIMES 3 Meghan

INSIDE MacLaren: Highest-placed British player in Jacket the Order of Merit

Rory: My Green wedding wish – Page 4 We meet the 10th tee hell hound Bus Pass Golfer – Page 16 Philip’s second spell as Hants PGA skipper – Page 16

Hampshire Jenny’s Girls Golf Rocks: Apart from improved financial rewards, the England Golf programme lifetime attracts youngsters into the sport for the sheer fun of it accolade – Page 16 “We have so much potential on this tour and people need to see how good we are. People are starting to invest in us, I’m feeling positive about what is next.” Improved prize money was also good news for the England Golf programme named Girls Golf Rocks, which encourages girls to join the sport not only for money but also for the fun of it. For the past five years, over 5,000 girls – including many from Hampshire - have been introduced Well played, Masters mate: At the end and the course, Rose and Garcia were to theongame through a nationwide sporting gentlemen programme of events. And the growing money pot was typified as England’s Charley Hull finished second at the LPGA’s season-ending Tour Championship,

one shot behind winner Kim Seiyoung of South Korea. Was this golf’s Kim picked up $1,500,000, the worst golf, while richest prize in women’s injustice Hull took home $480,000 Hull, 23, fired sixever? birdies, and no – Page bogeys, in a glorious final24 round six-under 66 in Florida.

PLUS Charley Hull: 2 Course Reviews thisPipped month! at the Bird Hills Golf Centrepost for ladies’ golf’s14-15 biggest - page prize purse

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If you would like to advertise in Tee Times, or would like to submit any editorial copy for publication, please call us on: 01329 834360, email us at: peter.teetimes@gmail.com, or write to us at: PGL Services Limited, Shedfield House Dairy, If you would like to advertise in Tee Times, or would like to submit any editorial copy for publication, please call us on: 01329 834360, email us at: peter.teetimes@gmail.com, Unit 3, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, the publishers cannot accept liability for errors or omissions. All articles published herein are without responsibility or write to us at: PGL Services Limited, Shedfield House Dairy, Unit 3, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this on the part of the publishers, in the occasion of loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any views published in Tee Times Golf Publications. COPYRIGHT: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be publication, theinpublishers cannot acceptbyliability forwhatsoever errors orwithout omissions. All articles published are©without responsibility on the part of the publishers, in the occasion of loss or damage reproduced, stored a retrieval system or recorded any means prior permission in writing from theherein publishers. PGL Services Limited 2006.

to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any views published in Tee Times Golf Publications. COPYRIGHT: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or recorded by any means whatsoever without prior permission in writing from the publishers. © PGL Services Limited 2006.

ROMSEY GOLF CLUB - Book an afternoon Golf Society for £25pp - Read our 4 page Course Review on pages 19-22 TEE TIMES | January 2020


Bradley saves his card with a super shot

Under extreme pressure, it needed the shot with a touch of magic. And Bradley Dredge found it. The Welshman faced losing his European Tour card. He was one of 156 players hoping to finish in the top 25, and was one shot adrift as he headed up the 108th and final hole of Q School at Lumine Golf Club in Spain. Dredge fired a 250-yard three wood to within 10 feet to make a crucial eagle that ensured he kept his playing privileges for another year. With ties, 28 players qualified. He said: “It was a tough six rounds, everyone knows the situation and I knew in the last three holes I had to make some birdies,” Dredge said. “I hit two good shots at the last and thankfully managed to hole the putt.” Englishman Laurie Canter, Garrick Porteous, Marcus Armitage, Dave Coupland and Toby Tree also earned 2020 Tour cards, as did Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell.

Plastic tees get the axe

Committee member Richard Hughes said: “Birds pick up the plastic tees that are often garishly coloured and they drop them all over the place, including on the beach and in the sea. We have found tees in birds’ nests before.

From page 3…

It was enough to claim the $1.5m (£1.17m) first prize - the richest in the history of women’s golf. In an event only for the top 60 on Tour, Hull went into the week ranked 51st.

A golf club is joining the global anti-plastics drive by banning the use of plastic golf tees to protect the wildlife that shares its course. The Royal North Devon Golf Club, near Bideford, the oldest in England, and took the decision at a recent committee meeting to allow only wooden tees, which are not as attractive to birds and decompose over time.

Boost for the ladies’ game

She had not enjoyed a top-10 finish in any tournament since May, but she found her game over the weekend, shooting two rounds of 66.


The Royal North Devon: seeking to protect wildlife on its 1864 course

The club shop will sell only wooden tees, and extra “tee bins” are being provided on the course. The National Golf Club Managers’ Association said it believed this was the first club to have banned plastic tees.

“We want to keep the golf course as clean and natural as possible.”

Part of the course, founded in 1864, was washed away in a storm a few months ago, and there are fears that more land could be at risk in the future.

The golf club is located on common land that is grazed by sheep and horses, and it adjoins Westward Ho! Beach.

Mr Hughes added: “Nature has been giving us a hard time recently and we want to placate nature to some extent.”

Hull was in full flow as she ended with three birdies at 16, 17 and 18 and looked set for a play-off until Kim, who had led after every round, found a putt when she really needed it on the final green for her 10th tour victory. It denied Hull the chance to claim only her second LPGA title, after winning this same event in 2016. “I gave it my best shot,” she said. “I told myself on 15, I needed to birdie in to have a chance and I birdied 16, 17, and 18.” Dorset’s Georgia Hall ended in a tie for 11th following a 68, one stroke ahead of fellow Englishwoman Bronte Law. who shot a 71. On a broader front, players are hoping that the Ladies European Tour will benefit after agreeing to ‘unite’ with the LPGA. The joint venture means golfers could be fast-tracked into more lucrative tournaments in the United States.

Pablo’s blistering run Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal survived painful foot blisters and an alarming collapse to capture his fifth European Tour title. Graeme McDowell says it’s a “huge privilege” to be named as host of the Irish Open in 2020 and 2021. The former U.S. Open winner from Portrush will take over from Paul McGinley in the role for the Mount Juliet event in May. Portstewart is set hold the event for a second time in 2021. “I’m really looking forward to taking on the responsibility and adding to the history of this great tournament,” said McDowell.


TEE TIMES | January 2020

The 36-year-old emerged with a one-shot edge to win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. The 36-year-old world number 261 began the final round at Leopard Creek with a three-shot lead but had six bogeys and a double bogey in his first 13 holes. He recovered to hole from inside three feet at the last for his fifth birdie of an eventful three over 75.

His eight under total was one clear of Swede Joel Sjoholm, who had a 69. Larrazabal, who was affected by blisters on his feet throughout his round and Dutchman Wil Besseling were seven under playing the parfive 18th in South Africa in the first event of the new season. But Besseling’s second shot embedded itself next to a stone wall guarding the green. The world number 307, seeking his first European Tour victory, dropped a shot and finished in a

share of third with South Africans Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel, the former Masters champion. Ouch: Larrazabal’s swing showed the pain he was feeling from his feet

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The Way to Better Golf – 5 P’s

As regular readers are well aware my column continually extols the virtues of custom club fitting. I have covered the more common comment “I am not good enough for custom clubs” on several occasions. This month I would like to comment that custom made clubs alone is not the complete answer to game improvement. The best way for complete game improvement is the “5 P’s”. First P – Play It may sound obvious but if you don’t play regularly you game is not going to improve. I often get requests from golfers asking how much custom clubs will improve their game when they only play 2 or 3 times a year. The answer is yes they will improve your game buy do not expect a massive improvement. Second P – Practise Again it sounds obvious but if a golfer spends productive time practicing not just hitting balls without any thought or analysis, it will improve your game. Sadly the majority of golfers do not have the time or inclination for extra practice. Third P – Properly Fit Equipment This where I come in! Proper fit equipment can in nearly all cases bring about noticeable improvements in play and in many cases this will be a very dramatic improvement. Properly fit custom golf clubs can provide great benefits to all golfers but especially to the average and high handicap golfer who may have difficulty hitting the ball straight or long or consistently. Without needing to generate the swing speeds of PGA Tour players, the average golfer will be able to hit the ball farther by being fitted with the right game improvement club heads and properly fitted golf shafts suited to their particular playing abilities and characteristics. Golf sets can be optimized to include easy hitting hybrid golf clubs. This is especially true not only for high handicap golfers but for anybody who may have special requirements such as tall or short golfers, seniors, women and juniors. Properly fitted custom golf clubs factor in many characteristics to help your game such as proper shaft flex for your swing speed, proper shaft length, clubhead lie and correct loft and grip size. All of these can affect how you play your game and all are addressed by having properly fitted custom golf clubs. There are three primary reasons to buy custom fit golf clubs: Custom fit clubs will improve your game. Custom fit golf clubs make the game easier to play because the golf clubs


are built to your playing style and ability. Better players are able to tweak their golf game with custom built and fitted golf clubs. Average golfers will benefit because custom clubs will allow them to consistently hit the ball more solidly, with good direction and proper trajectory For the beginning player, custom golf clubs have increased playability providing a measure of confidence from which they can start to better learn to play the game by using equipment more suited to them. Finally, you can get the most appropriate set-make up for your skill level, playing characteristics, gender and age. You will enjoy playing the game more with custom golf clubs. With properly fitted, quality custom golf clubs in your golf bag, every time you pull a golf club out, you will play with more confidence and less frustration knowing that you can consistently hit the ball. The custom club fitting process is about building and fitting golf clubs that allow you to play better golf. This means that you will be able to: Hit the ball FARTHER Hit the ball STRAIGHTER Hit the ball with more CONSISTENCY Custom clubs will save you money. Contrary to more common opinions, custom built and fitted golf clubs are substantially lower priced over ‘brandname’ golf clubs for equivalent quality. Yes you can buy cheaper clubs but that negates all the benefits listed above. How can a properly fitted, quality set of custom clubs improve your game? Custom golf clubs are matched to your playing abilities and characteristics Your current set make-up can easily be matched and optimized to remove golf clubs that you can’t hit with clubs that you can hit in order to enhance your game. You can take advantage of the latest golf technology and increased playability that custom golf clubs provide. Simply put, custom golf clubs provide enhanced playability and style at a price that is surprisingly affordable - for everyone. Fourth P – Professional Instruction Self explanatory, as long as you find a

TEE TIMES | January 2020

competent teaching professional with an establish and proven track record. Apart from getting on with your teacher he (or she) has got to be competent. Ask around at your club for a teaching professional who can show that they successfully reduce the playing handicap of their students. After all if your handicap is not reduced why pay for lessons! Fifth P – Proper Mental Attitude This is a very popular subject at the moment and the golf magazines are now beginning to print more and more adverts for mind gurus. It is a subject that I personally believe that golfers would improve their games and their scores. My most favourite comment is “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are probably right!” How many times have you heard the comment when standing with

water in the eye line of the tee shot “You watch me hit this ball into the water!” and guess what the ball goes into the water! Indeed, golf is a tough mental game and when it comes to winning...only golfers with a strong positive golf mental attitude succeed. They are more confident and they win the game mentally before even starting to play. Good golfers visualize and win the game in their mind and use their skills to make it happen in reality. This reflects the power of a high positive golf mental attitude! Should you have any questions on this or any equipment matter please feel free to call me at 01256 322007. Alternatively, email me directly at dave@madetomeasuregolf.co.uk or visit www.madetomeasuregolf.co.uk



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MASKED MEN AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN Toxic smoke swirling across the golf course forced officials and players such as Ryan Chisnall, left, as the one on the left to wear face masks during parts of the Australian Open. Bushfires outside Sydney were described as forming a wall of flames the size of the city itself. The unstoppable fires had already been raging for a month when play began at The Australian Golf Club,

five miles south of Sydney’s central business district. New Zealand golfer Ryan Chisnall, who is asthmatic, said through his mask: “It feels like I should shove a bit of salt water up my nose or something. The smoke got pretty quick for a while.” But the players, including England’s world number 14 Paul Casey, soldiered on.

King Jon Rules Europe First, it was Seve who ruled Europe’s golfing hearts and minds. Then it was Sergio, he of the mercurial talent and short fuse. Now Spain has given us the third in the production line of Iberian talent with Jon Rahm. The 25-year-old Spaniar birdied the final hole to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on 19 under par and clinch the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai title. Rahm holed a three-foot putt to finish one ahead of England’s Tommy Fleetwood and win the event for the second time. The win also meant that Rahm pipped Fleetwood, 28, to be the number one in Europe for the year.. Rahm becomes the second Spaniard to achieve the feat after the late and great Seve Ballesteros, who won it six times. “Seve was such an idol for us,” said Rahm. “To put my name there, it’s hard to believe. I can’t believe some of the things I have accomplished.” Any drama on the final green seemed unlikely when Rahm began with five birdies in his first seven holes on the final day to open up a six-shot lead - but he wobbled into tfour bogeys in the next eight. Meantime, Fleetwood was inspired on the back nine, picking up five birdies in his final seven holes, including at both 17 and 18 to draw level with Rahm at 18 under after a best-of-the-day seven-under 65.


The new Spanish hero pips Fleetwood in Race to Dubai European Tour 2019 Race to Dubai final standings

England’s top performer: Tommy Fleetwood


Jon Rahm Spain



Tommy Fleetwood England



Bernd Wiesberger Austria



Shane Lowry Ireland



Matthew Fitzpatrick England


Fleetwood finished on 18 under, meaning Rahm knew he needed a birdie four up the last to take both prizes. He produced an exquisite up-anddown from a greenside bunker to card a closing 68, seal a one-shot victory and claim the Race to Dubai. The victory also takes him up to third in the world ranking behind number one Brooks Koepka of the United States and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who finished

TEE TIMES | January 2020

fourth at Jumeirah Golf Estates after a closing 73. He also secured the biggest winning cheque in tournament golf of $3m (£2.34m) and a further $2m (£1.56m) for winning the Race to Dubai. “It was such an up-and-down day,” he said. “I had a six-shot lead and I came down 18 needing a birdie to win. “But how many times do you dream of having to birdie the last to win a tournament?”

Casey said: “I must admit my eyes are stinging but you know I honestly feel for the people [nearer the fires], because we’re feeling it down here 100 miles away” The event was won by Matt Jones, whose four-foot par putt on the 18th secured a one-stroke victory over Louis Oosthuizen.

Don’t call me a cheat says Reed Patrick Reed says he should not be called a cheat after being penalised for improving the lie of his ball at the Hero World Challenge last month. The 2018 Masters champion moved sand in a bunker with his practice swing, which carries a two-stroke penalty. Reed was criticised by players from the International team in the following competition, the President’s Cup. He said: “I wasn’t trying to improve a lie. If you break the rules unintentionally, it’s not cheating.” Tiger Woods called Reed “a great kid”, saying they had discussed the incident on the plane home. “It was not a lengthy conversation,” he explained. “We kept it short and brief, to the point. “The rules official gave him two shots. He finished at 16 under, two behind (winner Henrik [Stenson), and now we’re moving on.” Reed has been criticised by members of Ernie Els’ International team including Australian Cameron Smith, who said he “doesn’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats”. “I think it’s only natural,” Els said. “These guys are competitors. Obviously they didn’t like what they saw. “Like Tiger, we’re moving on; we’ve got a Cup to play for. It’s got nothing to do with us. It’s basically what’s happened, and I think Tiger’s dealing with it and Patrick’s dealing with that. There’s nothing more to be said.”

Belfast based Chaka Travel Expands English Presence

Looking to their 25th birthday next year, Chaka Travel is building on it’s success and establishing a second office in the South East of England. Seasoned Golfer Sean Gay will head up the new office which will enhance the personal presence of Chaka Travel in the Surrey area. In addition to playing around the Surrey area over the past 20 years, Sean has also lived and played golf in destinations such as Australia & South Africa. “I am incredibly excited to work with Chaka Travel as they have the same level of drive and passion for all things golf and travel as I do. We hope to provide some packages for clients wanting to experience the fantastic golf courses and experiences that Australia and New Zealand both have to offer. These are two incredibly exciting additions to our current destinations.” Sean is passionate about promoting wellness and it’s benefits through golf which is something he will seek to pursue in his new role at Chaka Travel.

For more than two decades, Chaka Travel have been exporting the expert Irish golf knowledge to the world. From their Belfast based office, the small Chaka team have organised thousands of long-haul golf holidays around the world to destinations such as South Africa & The Middle East and have established themselves as the worlds leading Mauritius Golf Tour Operator. The success of Chaka Travel is in no doubt down to the ability to offer an expert personalised service with holidays tailor made to each individual client’s needs.

“My other passions in life include health and fitness, and we are currently planning some exciting golf tours which encompass both golf and wellness.” Mark Marais, Chaka Travel Managing Director said; “We are delighted to welcome Sean Gay to our team as our ambassador for Chaka Travel in the S.E of England. Sean is a seasoned golfer who has played some of the best golf courses across the globe and will add his passion for golf and travel to our team.” Contact Sean today at sean@chakatravel.com or visit chakatravel.com

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Leading the Way in Kent: Littlestone Golf Club hits the Mark with SafeGolf Club Accreditation from England Golf December 2019: Littlestone Golf Club in New Romney has achieved the SafeGolf club accreditation from England Golf and becomes the first club in Kent to do so. SafeGolf is a partnership of UK golf bodies committed to promoting a safe and positive environment for all those participating, working and volunteering in the sport of golf. Littlestone has two 18-hole golf links courses, The Warren and The Championship Links which, in 2020, will host The R andA Junior Open. The club has received the SafeGolf accreditation by demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding children and young people, as well as adults in risk in the sport of golf. Founded in 1888, this top 100 links course has seen its share of prestigious tournaments and welcomed the great and the good into its membership with Lord Balfour, Lord Asquith and Noel Coward among its most famous alumni. The club has hosted Open Final Qualifying on five occasions and is both excited and proud to have been chosen to host The R and A Junior Open next year.

Littlestone’s Director of Golf, James Cunliffe PGA, who has led the club’s push to SafeGolf, said: “Littlestone is a great club. It’s very friendly, welcoming and forward-thinking and has a great attitude towards promoting junior golf. This award helps us to spread that message and to tell people that children and vulnerable adults are safe and secure here.” The award was presented to Littlestone by Allison Boozer, England Golf’s Club Regional Support Officer. “I’m delighted that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf and that its efforts to grow the game can be nationally recognised. This is the first club in Kent to achieve this status and is a shining light for other local clubs to follow.” Along with Littlestone, the Kent Golf Union is also accredited with SafeGolf and is only the second union in England to have achieved this status. The secretary of the KGU, Sarah McDonald said, “We are thrilled that Littlestone has achieved SafeGolf. We want Kent to lead the way in ensuring those who play and work in our county do so in the knowledge their union and golf clubs are committed to providing the safest and most positive golfing environment.” The SafeGolf partnership consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain and Ireland and has been established to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport. Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf. SafeGolf is firstly a website (www.safegolf.org) through which anyone with a concern about the welfare of a player or the behaviour or practice of a coach, volunteer, organiser, parent or a player, can contact the lead safeguarding officer at their national governing body.

The club has grown from strength to strength in recent years and, with a full membership, is one of a handful with an increasingly long waiting list. In the past few years, Littlestone has taken golf outside of the club and into five local junior schools where the professionals offer free lessons to the under 10s, many of whom have gone on to join as junior members. It has also seen great success with the Girls Golf Rocks programme that it has been running for the past two years and offers weekly group coaching sessions and school holiday coaching weeks open to all under 18’s.


TEE TIMES | January 2020

Secondly, it is the safeguarding standard England Golf will promote to all their affiliated clubs to ensure all clubs provide a safe and positive experience to children and young people whilst playing golf. The PGA is also using the standards to apply to all its PGA professional Coaches. Find an accredited coach at www.safegolf.org Coming Soon, a full list of clubs and facilities that uphold the standards of SafeGolf which will also be housed at www.safegolf.org

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The course is immaculately maintained and open all year round, with no temporary greens and full of challenges, ensuring that you’ll enjoy your round of golf at Donnington Grove.

Whether you’re looking for golf club membership, a golf break, a day of golf, a driving range or simply a great round, look no further.

The excellent facilities add to the perfect golfing experience. As well as having a refurbished bar and restaurant with friendly staff, there is a wide range of accommodation in the 18thcentury house or spacious accommodation and lodges, all on- site.

Overlooked by the historic Donnington Castle, this exceptional golf course was designed by Ryder Cup legend Dave Thomas in 1993 and has since delighted and challenged thousands of visitors, from the enthusiastic amateur to the international travelling professional. It’s hardly surprising, then, that this Berkshire golf course has hosted the Challenge tour in 2004, European Pro Tour in 2001, as well as hosting the European Pro Tour and being featured on Sky Sports in 2019 and again in 2020.

The practice facilities boast a 10- bay floodlit driving range, which is also heated for those cold winter days of practice. Playing a round of golf at Donnington Grove could not be easier. Call in, email golf@donnington-grove.com or phone 01635 551975 for tee times and information on society packages and the helpful team will look after all of your golfing needs. www.donnington-grove.com

Donnington Grove offers a winning combination of excellent championship golf course to test golfers of all abilities, a superb clubhouse, tasty food and friendly hospitality. We are located only 4.8 miles from the M4 junction 13 & just off the A34 close to Newbury town centre. Our facilities in 18 hole championship, par 72 – measuring 7108 yards from the whites, driving range, 2 practice greens, buggies available from £30 each, fully stocked ProShop with registered PGA professionals and stunning views of Newbury and Donnington castle.

To book, please contact – Tom Fleming / Golf Manager 01635 581000 ext.220 or email golf@donnington-grove.com Packages can also be tailored to suit requirements, please contact our Golf Manager to discuss.

TEE TIMES | January 2020


West Cliffs given Superstar Status in list of Golfing Greats West Cliffs Golf Links’ journey towards worldwide golfing stardom has taken another significant step forward after Cynthia Dye’s “continental superstar” was ranked in Europe’s top 15 golf courses in an influential new industry list.

and coastal vegetation, and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from each hole.

Barely two years after opening, the spectacular links-style layout on Portugal’s Silver Coast continued its rise up the rankings after being rated 15th in National Club Golfer magazine’s updated table of Continental Europe’s Top 100 Courses’.

Delivering its verdict, the judging panel said: “(West Cliffs is) an instant continental superstar. It has a fabulous coastal setting… this is an epic new seaside course that has within two years become a must play in continental Europe”.

And in a further boost for West Cliffs, its sister course Praia D’El Rey was also ranked highly at number 36, making Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort the only venue in Europe to have two courses included in the top 40.

Francisco Cadete, director of golf at Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort and West Cliffs Golf Links, said: “It’s everyone’s aim at the resort to give all our golfers the best possible experience, and to have two courses inside Europe’s top 40 gives us great pleasure”.

All courses were assessed across nine categories – design, condition, consistency, setting, playability, challenge, variety, routing and charm – with West Cliffs receiving particular praise from the magazine’s judging panel for its setting, charm and variety of holes.

The first Dye golf course in Portugal, the 6,382m, par-72 layout – which was also ranked 17th in Golf World magazine’s recent list of Europe’s top 100 courses – was created across 200 hectares of natural landscape, rolling sand dunes

Complementing it is Praia D’El Rey’s 18-hole championship course, which was designed by Cabell Robinson and is set amidst a combination of extensive pine forests and undulating dunes, and features spectacular views over the Atlantic and the Berlengas Islands beyond. As well as golf, Praia D’El Rey boasts an extensive array of world-class sports, leisure and accommodation facilities including a Marriott hotel, a wide selection of villas, a tennis academy, a luxury spa and health club and numerous watersports and restaurants. Guests have a choice of five restaurants from which to choose, all serving the fresh and authentic produce for which Portugal is famous, while the comprehensive range of therapies and treatments on offer at the Kalyan Spa promise to restore energy and balance to the body after a day on the fairways. www.praia-del-rey.com www.westcliffs.com

Romsey Golf Club


Available 28th October – 29th March 2020

Society Packages Start from Just £22pp (Based on Coffee/Bacon Roll & Golf)

*Booking Restrictions Apply: Monday’s Anytime and Tuesday – Friday after 10.30am

Winter 4 Ball Offer at £80 for Golf & Breakfast Winter Twilight Golf from 12.00 midday at £15pp For more information contact Romsey Golf Club on 02380 734637 ext. 3 or Email: secretary@romseyglfclub.co.uk Romsey Golf Club, Romsey Rd, Nursling, Southampton, Hants, SO16 0XW

12 TEE TIMES | September 2019

Plan your 2020 Golf Day with David Edwards

Why not book David Edwards to make your Golf Day something VERY SPECIAL Ideal for your Captain's Day, Charity Day or Club Celebration TWICE the entertainment with The No.1 David Edwards Trick Shot Show On Course Video Commentary Guaranteed to get the members back to the Clubhouse! Create that extra bit of fun to make your event memorable

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Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club – Ladies Success Report on Annodata Final – Montecastillo Golf Club – November 2019 Who would have thought when the Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club Ladies set out, on the 6 April 2019, to play their first round of the Annodata match play competition against Gosport and Stokes Bay it would finally result in our achieving a semi final place, to be played at the prestigious Montecastillo golf club, in Spain. The journey has been nothing short of magnificent winning against Cams Hall, Stoneham, Corhampton, West Wilts, Worthing and finally Perranporth. This has to be one of the most historical golfing journeys Lee-on-the-Solent Golf club has witnessed since its inception over 100 years ago. To achieve a place in the final, a number of Lee-on-theSolent Ladies have played in the competition, namely our Captain, Jackie Urry, Karen Hirst, Chris Round, Nikki Jackson, Maggie Domican, Carol Fletcher, Cathy Davies, Joan Pendle, Pat Jenkins and Anne Chambers-Glover. Of those Ladies, 5 were selected to play in Spain, namely Jackie Urry (Captain), Cathy Davies, Pat Jenkins, Joan Pendle and Nikki Jackson, and they did us proud, winning our semi-final against Williamswood and only just losing out to Shrewsbury in the final with a nail biting finish on the 18th. It could easily have gone either way, the result was that close. We also had fantastic support from Graham Urry, Bob Jackson, John Davies and Brian Beacham, who caddied for their significant better halves!

It’s worth noting that when we left the UK for Spain the teams combined age was 331, and 332 when we finished, due to Joan celebrating her 79th birthday on our semi-final day. What a fantastic achievement! I asked one of the mens team what their combined age was and it was 111!

This competion peviously the “Mail on Sunday” is now known as the Annodata Match Play competition and is open to both men and Ladies. It is a national competition and this year 690 Teams entered from 530 clubs. Of that, 360 were Ladies Teams and 330 Men’s Teams. It is estimated that over 3,500 golfers, through the rounds, took part in the competition. The 4 Ladies and 4 Men’s teams that made it to the Grand Final, at Montecastillo golf club in Spain, were in the top 1% in terms of clubs entered, so truly making the winners, the UK Golf Club Champions.

TEE TIMES | January 2020


Is the 18th really the hardest hole in golf? TALKING POINT First tee and 18th green of Carnoustie’s Championship Course

By Steve Banks-Smith

I read a recent article wherein the author was seeking to identify the hardest holes in golf. The writer works for an organisation that collates the scores of rounds submitted by golfers of all standards across the UK and a number of other countries and therefore utilised the available data to draw his conclusions. One finding was that the 18th hole was disproportionally difficult and that across the thousands of rounds submitted, the 18th was often the score on which the golfer had scored worst.

The author opined that this was due to factors such as tiredness or simply that the 18th was often the longest or hardest hole on the course. This was supported by data showing the 20 hardest final holes in the UK, with Parklands shown as the hardest with golfers averaging 4.03 shots over par on it. I was interested to note that the 18th at Carnoustie, which I’ll revisit later, came in at 20th with the average score being 2.77 over par. This view that the 18th hole is often the hardest didn’t intuitively feel right to me. I had always been led to believe that on UK courses the last is never a very low stroke index to allow for fairness in matchplay competitions but having tried to

confirm the veracity of this I met with conflicting opinions from the golf clubs I contacted. At the time of writing I had not received a definitive response from the R and A. My own view was that in professional golf the 18th hole often scores low because tournaments are often won or lost on it and therefore the focus is high. Recent examples would be both Rory McIlroy and John Rahm eagling the 18th in Dubai and Bradley Dredge also eagling the 18th to qualify for his tour card at Lumine in Spain. The reverse can be true and perhaps the most-famous would be Jean van de Velde’s 7 on the 18th at Carnoustie in 1999 which

The hardest? It certainly was for Jean van de Velde, whose 7 on the 18th at Carnoustie in 1999 which cost him The Open.

cost him The Open. This would also be true of competitive club golf so perhaps the 18th scores so highly because so many golfers are playing social rounds or the match has been decided before the 18th and their focus is on the 19th rather than the hole they’re playing. I put this thinking to the test on a recent golf tour. There were 8 of us playing 5 courses and the stroke indexes of the 18th holes ranged from 2 to 16. Of the 40 rounds played between us, all of which were competitive, only one round featured the 18th as the worst scoring hole. In fact, the tour winner signed off by birdying the 18th on the final round.

WANT TO WIN? DON’T ORGANISE THE EVENT! One of the pleasures of being semiretired, and there are many, is being able to accept more invitations to play golf than previously. As a result, I’ve just returned from my first overseas golf tour. Not being a member of a golf club, I play on a number of different courses and with a wide variety of characters so thought I’d encountered most of the golfing caricatures, the bandit, the slow player, the excuse-maker etc. Touring golf, however, and particularly when staying at an all-inclusive hotel, introduced me to 2 new ones with


lessons to be learnt from each. The first was the chap who’d organised every detail of the tour and had been doing so for a number of years. He’d done a very good job of it notwithstanding his handicap allocations and adjustments all, a cynic might say, favourable to him. That said, he started the final round in equal first place on the cumulative stapleford scores with the main and a number of ancillary prizes still up for grabs. The last round was played on a challenging course and his nearest rival, playing off 2, was a very

TEE TIMES | January 2020

focused golfer. Said organiser, his mind grappling with penalties for hitting trees, bunkers, water hazards or three-putting, the markers for the nearest the pins and the overall competition, was unable to concentrate sufficiently on the main task in hand and was well-beaten. If you want to win a tournament, don’t organise it. The second was the elder statesman of the party. After breakfast he spent several minutes amassing meats, cheeses, bread and fruit for his picnic lunch to be enjoyed mid or post round as we’d be away from the hotel. This

extensive preparation extended to instructing the chef on how to prepare his hard-boiled eggs the way he liked them. A regular golfer and past captain of 2 clubs, his tee to green game was good. It all unravelled though when he hit the dance floor. A succession of hasty jabs at the ball ensued resulting in a number of 3, and in some cases 4, putts over the course of the week. If you’re going to put all your eggs (and preparation) into one basket, perhaps it should be your putting routine rather than your wife’s Tupperware box.

TEE TIMES | January 2020


McIlroy spurns a pile of Saudi gold

“Onceenthu, thnderree’sd per Stenson ends a morality to my decision

Saudi Arabia offered Rory McIlroy nearly two million pounds just to turn up at their golf tournament on the European Tour. But McIlroy has turned them down. World number one Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson are among big names who will be in action at the Saudi International later this month. But McIlroy’s decision meant that two of world golf’s biggest box office names will be absent. Tiger Woods, 15-time Major winner, has also revealed that he had turned down an offer to play in the event. Amnesty International describes the Saudi regime’s human rights records as “heinous” but the country has been attempting to lure big sporting events to the kingdom, such as the heavyweight world boxing championship in which Anthony Joshua won back three world titles

Rory McIlroy joined Tiger Woods in giving the cold shoulder to this month’s Saudi International

from Andy Ruiz in Riyadh. McIlroy, who did not deny reports that he had been offered a $2.5m (£1.9m) fee, told the Golf Channel: “It’s just not something that would excite me. Asked about his reason for turning down another bumper win-or-lose fee, McIlroy added: “One hundred per cent there’s a morality to it as well. “You could say that about so many countries, not just Saudi Arabia, but

a lot of countries that we play in that there’s a reason not to go, but for me, I just don’t want to go.” The four-time Major winner said his appearances in the early part of 2020 will be confined to PGA Tour events. “I think the atmosphere looks better at the events on the west coast [of America] and I’d much rather play in front of big golf fans and play in a tournament that really excites me.”


A caddie was kicked out of a major international competition after he shoved and swore at a spectator. Kessler Karain, who carries the bag for American star Patrick Reed, was thrown out of the Presidents Cup in Melbourne by the PGA Tour after he laid hands on a fan who shouted at his player. The altercation came after Reed suffered his third defeat against the International team. Reed had been heckled all week after he was penalised for improving the lie of his ball at the Hero World Challenge (see Don’t call me a cheat on Page 8). Karain, who is Reed’s brother-inlaw, had earlier said in a statement: “I don’t think there’s one caddie I know who would blame me. I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives. Security came and I got back on the cart and left.


his two-year title drought

Henrik Stenson won his first title in more than two years at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. The Swede, a former Open Champion, sank an eagle on the 15th to shoot a final-round 66 and finish on 18 under, one shot ahead of defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain. Patrick Reed edged U.S. compatriot Tiger Woods by two shots, while Hampshire’s Justin Rose, world number eight, finished joint fifth. Stenson said: “I found good momentum and sometimes it’s just keep on working hard and grinding it out. “Obviously the shot of the day was that five wood to a couple of inches on 15, so I was very pleased about that.” Stenson, 43, had not won a PGA event since August 2017, when he won the Wyndham Championship. Rahm secured second place in New Providence with an impressive effort down the back nine, hitting birdies at the 14th and 16th and an eagle on the 15th. Tournament host Woods, 43, shot a final-round three-under-par 69 but Reed, 29, finished above him on 16 under for the tournament.

Rob aims high Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre is targeting the Ryder Cup after finishing his debut season on the European Tour as Rookie of the Year.

Caddie Karain with his player, Reed, shortly before the bust-up with a fan

“Unless his bones break like Mr Glass, the most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I’m happy to reimburse him for. As a caddie, one of your jobs is to protect your player. “We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after

TEE TIMES | January 2020

hearing several fans in Australia for three days some had taken it too far. I’d had enough. And this gentleman was one of them.” Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, said: “I respect the Tour’s decision. We are all focused on winning.”

The 23-year-old from Oban shot a final-round 69 at the Tour Championship to finish on six under par – a remarkable 14 strokes ahead of the field. “There are going to be goals that are beyond what I thought I could achieve early on,” MacIntyre said. “If we can keep improving then Ryder Cups and top 50 in the world are all achievable.” He is the 13th Scot to be crowned Rookie of the Year and the first since Marc Warren in 2006.

TEE TIMES | January 2020


Monthly tuition to get you on top of your game by Advanced PGA Lady Professional, Katie Dawkins

One of golfs many perks A new year brings with it resolution upon resolution. We strive to do better, look for more, work harder, score lower. Amongst all this effort we can become complacent about what we already have. What we’ve already achieved and how happy that has made us. I’m not talking just in golf though it’s a good place to start. What does golf give you, personally? We forget to ask ourselves this enough. I know when I’ve done talks for clubs before this has been a key subject. Sitting there and just thinking “what do I get from golf??” One of the most common answers was friendship. We enter this incredible network of people when we join a club or play regularly with a group. I would go as far as saying we enter a family. People who love the game as much as you, but it’s not just that. We meet an array of different characters, some you’d not normally rub shoulders with yet are eternally grateful you have come to know them. To me one of the best gifts golf gives me is the people. The people I teach, the members at the club, the staff members. If you make one resolution this year, make it this. Take that extra 10 minutes to chat to others in the bar. How was their game? Are they local? Did they enjoy themselves out there! So many questions. So much opportunity to get to know people. Yet how many of you simply get into your cars after that round and head back to your own safe familiarity.

‘enjoyable golf and a great deal more’

Come and join us in 2020

Membership categories to suit all ages and abilities

Contact us for further information and to arrange for us to show you around the club

• Enjoy a free draining course with all year round golf • Excellent practice facilities with driving range and performance studio • Club competitions and ‘roll up’s’ • Active Ladies and Vets sections • Members discount card for food and beverage

Cheriton Road, Tichborne Down, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 0PN Tel : 01962 733746 Email:secretary@alresfordgolf.co.uk



Broaden your social horizons this year, make your golf club the friendliest one out there. Talk to everyone and anyone. It’s one of golfs gifts. You may just make someone’s day. It will also aid your game when you’re drawn against the guy you had a half hour conversation with a few weeks back. Your next 4 hours just got far more fun and far more relaxing. Your chances of playing well in that match just rose.

The Manor & Ashbury Hotels The Only Sport, Craft & Spa Hotels in the UK

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Some of you may or may not know I run my own art business when the weather is less than perfect! A few of you may recognise these characters from days gone by at Botley Park where I did caricatures of all the captains. A club that, like Dunwood and many more, is sorely missed and holds a dear place in my heart. Because of the Members and the atmosphere they create. So happy new year and raise a glass to the best golfers you’ve been privileged enough to know and play with, and to those you’re yet to meet. If you’d like a caricature done as a gift to a special golfer in your life, Email me on katiedawkinsgolf@hotmail.co.uk or join my Facebook page Katie Dawkins Art. Visit www.katiedawkinsart.co.uk Here’s to a happy, healthy and friendly 2020.


TEE TIMES | January 2020

more than

70 activities

The 3 Star Hotel with 5 Star Sport & Craft Facilities Okehampton, Devon

0800 197 7582 ashburygolfhotel.com


Creigiau Golf Club

N MEMBERSHIP AVAILABLE M U T AU R E T IiNgiau W 18 holes plus a bar meal e r &C R E lubebr 18 holes of golf and FC F O l1fst Octo o £22 per person G 1 course meal - £25* from l ntiter u n i Wst March 31 e1a D20 7 l

Valid until March 31st 2020

An easy walking wooded parkland course *Advance booking required - quote code: Tee Times with wildlife and water features

Telephone: 02920 890263 email: creigiaugolfclub@btconnect.com


2020 L l a n t w i t R o a d , H e o l C r e i g ia u , C r e i g i a u , C aTEE r d TIMES i f f C|FJanuary 15 9N N


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