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ISSUE 206 | July 2018 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: |

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U.S.Open: Toughness AND THE gone mad

Hampshire’s Rose Joins Sir Nick On Cloud Nine

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

WINNER IS. . . GOLF SPORTSMANSHIP Several thoughts linger as we look back on the farce that was this year’s U.S. Open Championship. 1. U.S.Hants officials, theirinobsession with NORTH GolfinClub Fleet will have making the event tough, went too far to find some more space in its Justin (again). Having set upthea continuing torture chamber Rose Room to record of a course at county’s Shinnecock Hills, they had exploits of the favourite to apologise golfing son. to players and public for the carnage, which saw marquee names such Room will beand foundMcIlroy for mementoes the and as Woods miss theof cut 2017 to be placed alongside those on not aMasters single player eventually finishing of Rose’s U.S. Open triumph inBrooks 2013 and his par or under. (Champion Koepka Olympic Golf Gold. carded one over for the four rounds). Thewhile message to the USPGA is: by But Rose was pipped at Augusta Get your actthe goether, gentlemen. Sergio Garcia, inevitable disappointment for was counterbalanced by a 2. his Thefans stand-out Brit was Tommy display of skill and sportsmanship which was Fleetwood, second on plus two, a shining a credit to both men, and to a sport which light after Justin Rose and Ian Poulter still prides itself on honesty and fairness. faded from promising positions. Keep it going, are going Yes, the Tommy. final roundWe between these to twoneed Ryderyour skillstitans in the Ryder Cup. Cup wasapproaching bound to be emotional. Rose was edgingthe his way towards a secondarose Major,from 3. Sadly, biggest headlines and was trying to secure his first on head PhilGarcia Mickelson’s rush of blood to the the very day which would have been the when he trotted after his trundling putt 60th birthday of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. to purposely hit the moving ball back up thethe green. Foul,emotion cried many, disqualify But overriding for spectators of himfinal shouted the the Twitterati. the round was way theseRead two the rules, dummy, the response: Europeans fought came the fight. ungentlemanly but not a disqualification in all, event was rivals Inoffence. the final All round, theythe were toe-to-toe but not opponents, unedifying. Let’ssupremely hasten oncompetitive to Carnoustie yet eachwhere other’swe andgentlemanly, The Openacknowledging Championship, skills with a knuckle-touch or a nod. will hopefully find a course that is tough but fair and the highlight is not another molehill made into a mountain. • Turn to Page 4

Justin Rose: Vctory in Fort Worth brought him level with Sir Nick Faldo’s record of the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman since World War Two.

Justin Rose, Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, has chalked up another milestone in an achievement-loaded career. To his personal roll of honour, which includes Major champion and the first modern Olympic golf champion, he can now rank himself alongside Sir NickFaldo in terms of success across America. The 37-year-old, who has been linked with North Hants Golf Club since he was a teenager, claimed his ninth PGA Tour title with victory at the Fort Worth Invitational. It meant that Rose tied with Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman since World War Two. The world number five carded a six-under-par closing round of 64 to progress with a 20-under total, three clear of nearest challenger America’s Brooks Koepka.

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It was Rose’s fourth global success since November 2017 and put him in fine fettle for the U.S. Open He said: ‘I am delighted the way I played this week.’ Rose opted to skip the flagship European Tour event, the PGA Championship at Wentworth, to satisfy a new PGA Tour rule that requires players to appear in at least one event in which they have not competed in the past four years. It meant Rose was playing the course for the first time in eight years. He began the day with a fourstroke lead, hit six front-nine birdies on the way to a sixunder-par 64 at Colonial Country Club that left him one shot off the tournament record score of 21-under 259 set by Zach Johnson in 2010. In 2014m North Hants set up The Justin Rose Room at the club to honour the achievements of the world star who was once a played, Masters mate: At the end and junior Well member. on the course, Rose and Garcia were sporting The walls ofgentlemen the room are adorned with both his personal honours board and a host of photographs taken throughout his career to date. His greatest achievement so far has been the US Open win at Merion in 2013.

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Women and families INSIDE saviours of our Rory: My Green Jacket sport?wish – Page 4 wedding - Page 4 10th tee We meet the hell hound oh, the pain of Bus Pass misssing the cut! Golfer – Page 16

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SECURING GOLF’S FUTURE He may have been daydreaming about a birdie or two when this golfer set off on his round. But not the type he got. When Isaac Couling teed off on the seventh and was strolling down the fairway, he suddenly got the feeling that he was not alone. A Canada goose, weighing 14lb with a six-foot wingspan, had decided that Isaac was intruding on its

airspace and launched an aerial attack. The bird gate-crashed a high school golf tournament at Blissfield, Michigan, and targeted 16-year-old Isaac, a member of the Concord High School team. Broadcaster CNN quoted Blissfield Golf Coach Steve Babbitt: ‘The group were aware of a goose nest on their left which they were looking

at but not bothering when from behind them and to the right came the guard goose, the one protecting the nest.’ Isaac said he was fine but: ‘My golf clubs fell out and the goose guarded them, so I had to finish with my teammate’s clubs, ‘The coaches had to go out with golf carts to chase it away while I finished the hole.’

Women and families the saviours Golf has gone ‘flat’ and has to change, to attract female players and families, says the chief executive of the game’s governing body. Martin Slumbers was speaking as the R&A launched a Women in Golf Charter in a bid to encourage and increase female participation, the BBC reported. The Charter also aims to improve the recruitment, retention and progression of women working in golf. ‘Doing nothing is not an option,’ Mr Slumbers told BBC Sport. ‘The majority of golf clubs are struggling because their product is aimed at a target market which is shrinking. ‘At best we are flat and that has to change. When you look at raw statistics, it is women who bring children to play not men. It is just such a compulsive story. ‘We want to make sure the R&A is modern and relevant to today’s

Female players and families are vital to the sport’s future, says R&A chief Slumbers, right

society and we see our overall goal that golf is thriving 50 years from now.’ It is only four years since the St Andrews-based Royal and Ancient Golf Club voted to admit women members for the first time. The club is linked to the R&A, which runs The Open Championship and, along with the United States Golf Association, administers the rules of the game. Established clubs have struggled to maintain membership levels in recent years, with figures showing a 7.9 peer cent drop in registered golfers in the UK since 2012.

Female golfers are seen as potentially key drivers to reverse this trend, and England Golf has signed up to the Charter. Mr Slumbers said the R&A would have to have ‘difficult conversations’. ‘I think if you spend your whole life looking backwards you never achieve anything,,’he said. ‘I think the R&A has changed and changed very quickly and has embraced its new world. We are a pretty equal organisation but we know we are not perfect. The important thing is we have got to lead and bring the industry with us. ‘We know we need to change so I’m very confident. Will it take longer than it should? Yes probably, but that doesn’t matter - you have to get going. Everybody working together will make it happen. ‘Time will tell, but I’d like to think for club golf, amateur golf, today is a very important day.’

Stars support short-form rounds A number of the world’s leading golfers are demonstrating their support for shorter forms of golf as new figures reveal a significant increase in competitive nine-hole scores being submitted. Stars of the sport, including Padraig Harrington, So Yeon Ryu, Jon Rahm, Charley Hull, Mel Reid and Richie Ramsay feature in a new series of videos produced by The R&A with the support of various national bodies about their memories of playing nine hole golf and their enjoyment of the shortened format. ‘Nine-hole golf is a shorter form of the game that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy together and can

4 TEE TIMES | July 2018

be played after work, after school and at the weekend,’ said Ramsay, a three-time European Tour winner. Dame Laura Davies said: ‘For amateurs and fun things it’s a great concept.’ Charley Hull added: ‘It’s a great way to get into the game.’ The work being achieved by golf’s governing bodies in Great Britain and Ireland to promote nine hole golf and shorter formats as a way of enjoying the sport in less time, either recreationally or for handicap purposes, is illustrated by new figures which demonstrate the rising popularity of competitive nine hole golf. 

Key findings on nine hole golf have revealed: • E ngland Golf has reported a 50% increase in nine hole competitive scores returned between 2014 and 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, competitive nine hole club rounds by males increased by 17% and 6% by females. • In Ireland, from 2016 to 2017, competitive nine hole club rounds by women and girls increased by 64% and by over 200% by men and boys. •W  ales Golf has reported a 28% increase in nine hole competitive scores returned between 2016 and 2017.

Oh, the pain of missing the cut... The wife of former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover has been charged after the golfer was injured following his early exit from a lucrative tournament. Krista Glover is accused of domestic violence battery and resisting arrest. Police were called to the American pair’s rented Florida home and told by the world number 104 that ‘every time he plays a bad round of golf, Krista proceeds to start an altercation’. It came after Glover missed the cut at the Players Championship, a tournament with a $10.5m (£7.79m) purse, with the winner collecting $1.98m (£1.47m). According to the report from St Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the incident involved the couple, who were married in 2012, and the player’s mother. Krista Glover, 36, initially claimed to have been attacked by her mother-inlaw, who suffered cuts to both arms. The report says Lucas Glover told police that ‘Krista had been drinking throughout the day and, after playing a bad round of golf, she began yelling at him’. According to the report, Lucas Glover told police his wife did not put hands on him and insisted he received a bruise to his right arm while trying to break up the altercation between her and his mother. The 38-year-old, who was the 2009 U.S. Open champion and has career earnings of $20m (£14.8m), later posted on social media: ‘Everyone is fine’ • Scottish Golf has reported a 30% increase in nine hole competitive scores returned between 2016 and 2017. Golf’s professional circuits are also embracing shorter formats of the game with the exciting GolfSixes event recently played on the European Tour and the popular junior GolfSixes League expanding through new partnerships across Europe. Meantime, England Golf and the European Tour have just announced a partnership which will start by engaging members at over 1,900 clubs through GolfSixes.

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Clubs in the boot

DARWIN AND ABERDOVEY The coastline of Wales is dotted with wonderful links courses, North, West and South, land perfectly suited and then sculpted by the hands of the great course architects, Harry Colt, James Braid and Henry Fowler, but only one has the hand of all three maestros impacted on the same course, and that is Aberdovey. This superb links course has one additional factor, truly unique and which makes it extra special.

Whenever I play there the anticipation is tangible, standing on the first tee, the hole does not look particularly significant or different, but the feeling remains. It is the magic of Bernard Darwin, recognised as the greatest golf writer, and this is the club to which he was a passionate devotee and where he spent so much of his leisure time. The writings of Darwin, who spent his holiday times with his family, from an early age at nearby Machynlleth, were populated with references to the course that he loved. So much so that that this simple fact has designated the club one of the must visit locations for all golfers with literary appreciation. Golf arrived in Aberdovey thanks to the advancement of the railway system, making the journey manageable from the Midlands and from London. The club was formed in 1892, though there is evidence that golf was played over the land well before that, perhaps as early as 1882. The set of hickory clubs in the clubhouse which were presented to the club were accompanied by a note stating that they were used in that very year. The first holes were laid out thanks to Colonel Arthur Ruck and his brother Major R M Ruck, legend has it that the holes were flower pots, but another version has it as jam jars. Whichever it be, it heralded much more important days, the first Welsh Golf Union Championships were held at the club in 1895, and from then on the club never looked back.

6 TEE TIMES | July 2018

Set in the narrow corridor of land that lies between the coastal railway line and the dunes (the line that you have to cross over footbridge to get to the clubhouse from the car park), this is the archetypal site for golf, the classic out and back layout identified with such courses. Like many of them, it has signature holes, Aberdovey has Cader, the chair, the challenging par three played as a blind tee shot over the dunes to a bowl shaped green, protected at the front by a deep grassy hollow. In the past this grassy hollow was a terrifying deep bunker, but that was long ago. Mark down a par and be proud at passing the first real test, then ring the bell and continue on.

The names that were originally attributed to each hole by Major Ruck have long passed into disuse, just two or three remain, the third is Cader, the fifteenth called The Crater and the fourth, which is Snowdon, but more often referred to as The Pulpit by the old hands. The course however remains much as it was from the 1920’s; it has been lengthened and tweaked, but the true character remains, a test not of length from the tee, but of skill and placement, and the ability to manage the golf course. The Welsh motto of the club is “Os nad wyt gryf bydd gwfrwys” it means If you are not strong be cunning. There are many memorable holes on this classic links, and each golfer will have his or her favourite.

I will talk of mine and simply state that I respect any alternatives. The first is always special as I have said, the third I have already described, and then there is the 7th, the first par 5, and a good chance for par after a good drive, to restore some respect to the scorecard. All the par threes on the course are good, but the 12th, with its elevated plateau green, and fabulous views of the coast is a gem. Sadly it has suffered badly in the storms in recent years, and extensive maintenance has had to be done to maintain it. My next is a short four, the 16th, running alongside the railway, with a narrow sloping fairway, and the perfect risk and reward hole. Then it is on to the last and one of the best finishing holes in Wales, a hazard running along the left, a cluster of bunkers and out of bounds near the green. My numerous selections, and tempered perhaps by the results obtained at various times, but overall a course that is a challenge and delight to play, but a devil when the wind blows. It is an interesting fact that of the 700 members over 60% are golfers who do not reside in the area.

In keeping with the theme of my tour, the railway connections, apart from the modern usage, is the Snowdon Mountain Railway, just a short drive away. Since 1896 visitors have travelled to the village of Llanberis to experience the majesty of the rack railway journey to the summit of the highest mountain in Wales and England, at a height of 3560 feet, it is Snowdon. The views on a fine day are breath-taking, above the clouds on the train that is the only heritage railway in the United Kingdom that has operated uninterrupted since it opened to the public.

A fitting start to the second phase of our tour in Wales, a location full of nostalgia and satisfying all the conceived criteria, fine scenery, nature in abundance, a steam railway and to cap it all a magnificent golf course rated in the top 100 in the United Kingdom. It simply does not get any better. Michael Rees

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Why is the winner in a bath robe? Because she made a splash on the course

It was an unusual sight, the winner of an international golf tournament accepting the trophy wearing a bath robeIt was an unusual sight, the winner of an international golf tournament accepting the trophy wearing a dressing gown. But world number 95 Pernilla Lindberg threw decorum to the wind as she delightfully recorded her first Major victory. Moments earlier she had joined her caddie in the lake around the 18th green at the ANA Inspiration in California and did not have time to dry off before the trophy presentation. Lindberg, 31, beat South Korea’s seven-time Major winner Inbee Park in an epic eight-hole play-off, winning in style with a birdie putt from 25 feet. The Swede’s previous best in a Major was fifth in the U.S. Open three years ago and she said of her triumph: ‘It felt like too big a dream to come true but it has.’

England’s Charley Hull finished in a share of sixth on 13th under. But world number 95 Pernilla Lindberg threw decorum to the wind as she delightfully recorded her first Major victory. Moments earlier she had joined her caddie in the lake around the 18th green at the ANA Inspiration in California and did not have time to dry off before the trophy presentation. Lindberg, 31, beat South Korea’s seven-time Major winner Inbee Park in an epic eight-hole play-off, winning in style with a birdie putt from 25 feet. The Swede’s previous best in a Major was fifth in the U.S. Open three years ago and she said of her triumph: ‘It felt like too big a dream to come true but it has.’ England’s Charley Hull finished in a share of sixth on 13th under.

Design that will put the Into the golfing experience A new guide which shows how good design can make golf clubs more customer friendly has been produced by England Golf. The Customer Focused Facility Guidance aims to help clubs and golf centres to match the design, character and appearance of their course and clubhouse to the needs of their members and visitors. Abbie Lench, England Golf Head of Club Support commented: ‘This is so important. The look and feel of your club will directly affect customers and influence their decision to return – or not.  e first step to designing a successful business is to understand what customers want. ‘This will also help clubs tap into new markets to attract more players and members, become a hub for the local community and create better products and services.’  The guide has been produced with the support of Sport England and input from Golf Business International (GBI), a consultancy which is one of England Golf’s Preferred Partners and offers a wide range of knowledge and expertise across all areas of golf business including course architecture and facility management. A wide range of golf facilities have also contributed information. 

8 TEE TIMES | July 2018

It looks at ways to improve the playing and social environment both within existing facilities and as part of any new build project. It steers clubs through the process of reviewing their facilities – both on and off the course – and comparing them with the local competition, identifying areas for improvement, looking at all the options and drawing up a statement of requirements.  The guide considers everything from signage on the site to the features of the clubhouse, including its appeal from the road or pathway, the welcome of the reception area and how this links with other areas such as the bar, the changing rooms and the professionals’ shop. Transport links and car parking are among the other areas for consideration.  It suggests possible solutions which range from simple steps to remove barriers or improve navigation around the site, to completely new facilities to attract a wider customer base, such as a coffee shop.  On the course it looks at ways to increase customer appeal and capacity such as variable tees positions for all abilities, programing to offer Speedgolf, Footgolf or play over short loops of holes, and the customer flow, both around the course and from the clubhouse to the course and back. 

Langdon enjoys the seaside Ross Langdon won the third Titleist and Footjoy Sprint Series event beside the seaside at Minehead and hopes to land one of the five sponsorship packages. The Brickhampton Court teaching professional, now in his final season in an event restricted to assistants and players under the age of 30, made a remarkable start. He was six-under-par after the opening nine with an eagle two at the 378-yard second when he holed a 60-yard wedge and birdies at the first, fifth, sixth and ninth. But, after another birdie at the 11th, like the majority of the field, he struggled on the tougher back nine into the wind and returned in one over 36 for 67. ‘It was brutal on the back nine into the very strong wind,’ he said. ‘But I just managed to hold on. I would probably have been better placed in the OOM if I had played the first event at Radyr but I didn’t think I was eligible this season as I am 30.’

Rewards ‘But later Rob Moss (the regional manager) said I did qualify so I am playing the rest of the events. It’s a really good competition and the rewards are good.’ Another seasoned player James Ruth (China Fleet) eagled the seventh and three further birdies took him out in 32 but three bogeys left him three shots behind the leader. Mark Pitcher (Stinchcombe Hill), the winner at Radyr, made five birdies in 71 to share third with the consistent Adam Curtis (Bude) who made three birdies in a steady round. Craig Melding (Neath) and Tom Jessamine (Exeter) were  a further shot back and the Welshman now assumes fifth place in the Order of Merit.  Curtis leads Ruth by nine points with Pitcher third and Langdon has risen to fourth, despite missing the first round. The next leg of the five-stage series is at Cumberwell Park on May 10 while the final standings will be determined at Yelverton on May 22.

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Barry’s handicap restored A keen golfer who collapsed after having a massive heart attack miraculously survived because the player behind him had just been on a ‘Heartstart’ first aid course. Barry Duxbury had initially tried to wave his saviour through to play ahead of him, but David Price declined saying he was a slow player too. He watched as Barry struck a magnificent drive up the middle of the fairway at Dorset’s Parley Golf Centre then set off after it along with his playing partner Colin Cox. However, when David looked back up Barry had collapsed and plugged onto the fairway, face down. He rushed to him and was able to put the new skills he had learned into action and began CPR while his playing partner Kelvin Holmes called 999. David worked on Barry for 15 minutes before the paramedics arrived and took over, and got Colin to help him because the physical effort was so great. Bournemouth Freemason Barry, 77, was taken to hospital where he amazed doctors by making a full recovery. The first thing he did on being discharged was buy a defibrillator which he donated to the club opposite Bournemouth Airport. Grandfather of two Barry, a retired shop proprietor, said: “The last thing I remember is walking towards the tee. The next thing I recall is waking up in hospital and being told what had happened.

“I can’t thank David, Colin and Kelvin enough because without them I wouldn’t be here. The doctors told me that only four per cent of people survive what happened to me, and of that four per cent the majority are brain damaged. “Parley is a wonderful, friendly club and I’ve had so much support and kind messages. As soon as I was able I was back in the driving range, on the practice area and playing the new course. I also went out and bought a defibrillator – which hopefully will never be needed. My only regret is that I have no memory of the tee shot which I’m told was brilliant.” David, 69, said: “I remember Barry waving myself and Kelvin through but we are quite slow and were in no hurry so I declined. “Then Barry hit a fantastic tee shot, right down the middle of the fairway – the best shot he’d hit in months apparently. He set off after it with his partner Colin. “As I set my ball down I looked up and saw Barry face down. I rushed over to him and his glasses had cut his face and he wasn’t breathing. “Luckily I had been on a British Heart Foundation Heartstart course two weeks before so I did what I had learned and cleared the airways and started CPR. “I found it very difficult to keep up so Colin helped me and Kelvin was on the phone relaying the information from the emergency services. It was a real team effort. “The paramedics arrived and were so glad that we were doing something. They then took over and got

On the spot where Barry collapsed: (l-r) David Price, Barry Duxbury, Colin Cox and Daryl Dampney

a defibrillator and worked on him for another 15 minutes on the grass, then another 15 minutes in the ambulance. If Kelvin and I had gone ahead of Barry we wouldn’t have seen him collapse. And if I hadn’t been on the Heartstart course I wouldn’t have known what to do, and certainly wouldn’t have had the confidence to try anything. Straight afterwards Kelvin and his wife booked themselves on a course and I would recommend it to everyone. It is literally a life saver.” Daryl Dampney, manager of the pay-and-play course, said: “We are so grateful for David, Colin and Kelvin for saving Barry. “And we’re grateful to Barry for the defibrillator; we are planning to run some courses here so our staff and members can learn how to use it and what to do if something similar happens.” Parley Golf Centre invested £250,000 last year into a practice centre and a new course.

Chelsea Foundation Offers Summer Football Fun In The Spanish Sun The inaugural Chelsea FC Foundation Soccer School at La Manga Club has been hailed as an overwhelming success, and places are set to be in high demand when the next two junior academies take place at the Spanish resort this summer – with prices starting from €295 per person. Boys and girls aged from six to 16 from all over the UK and Europe gathered at the famous resort in Murcia, south-east Spain, over Easter for the chance to train using the same methods the Chelsea Foundation employs around the world. The summer Chelsea Foundation soccer schools will be held at La Manga Club from July 2-14 and from August 20 to September 1 and are expected to be equally as popular – with all participants receiving up to three hours’ daily training from the Foundation’s team of expert coaches as well as an array of other Chelsea Foundation training items. Chelsea FC Foundation coach Matt Wilder said: “It was a fantastic opening week for the Chelsea FC Foundation and La Manga Club Academy, with more than forty boys and girls being put through their paces on the Fifa-regulated pitches. “The standard was very good and we had the opportunity to invite one of the boys to our Foundation Development Centres back in England. ‘We look forward to the next soccer school and plenty more in the future.” Prices to attend the summer academies start from €295 (approx £260) per person for a week-long training programme, while a family of four can book a sevennight stay in a two-bedroom apartment in the resort’s four-star Las Lomas Village including two soccer school places from €1,413 (approx £1,225).

10 TEE TIMES | July 2018

Boasting extensive facilities including eight Fifa-approved grass pitches, the resort is a popular choice as a destination for domestic and international teams seeking a warm-weather football training break. In addition, La Manga Club is the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and offers unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination including three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 15 bars and restaurants. For more details on the Chelsea FC Foundation Soccer School at La Manga Club and to book, go to For further information about La Manga Club, visit

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German Golfer Erb Is A Hole Lot Closer To A Million German golfer Corinna Erb proved all good things come to those who wait after she scored an ace playing the popular Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) competition on the final round of her golfing holiday in Portugal. Erb, from Berlin, Germany had already played the Old Course, Victoria, Pinhal and Laranjal before tackling Vale do Lobo’s Royal Course on the final day of her week-long holiday, where she netted her first ever hole-in-one on the par-three seventh hole. The 27-handicapper, who is a member of Gatow Golf Club, in the German capital, used an eight iron to land her inaugural ace after 18 years of playing golf, hitting the front of the green before rolling up the slope and into the cup. Her pinpoint shot means she will now line up in MDHIO’s grand final, which will take place in Augusta, USA during the Masters next April, where a repeat of those heroics will land her a stunning $1million jackpot.

MDHIO’s popular par-three challenge gives competitors the chance to win a selection of golf prizes for landing on their shot on the green, while a hole-in-one at one of the 40 associated courses across Europe earns a chance to shoot for the $1m jackpot. The 2019 grand final takes place in Augusta during the Masters weekend when Erb will join the other finalists, while former England and Newcastle United football ace Alan Shearer, the ambassador for sister company the Million Dollar Club (MDC) is expected to be in attendance, as he was at last year’s final held at the prestigious Golf & Spa Resort Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, in Austria. MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and 2000 in Europe, has grown in popularity over the years with more than 50,000 people each year now trying their luck at the various par-three holes at courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Mallorca and the UK. More than 50 golfers have

achieved their ace playing MDHIO in Europe, while more than twice that number missed out by not entering and acing the hole. To discover where MDHIO can be played visit www.

Ryder Cup Veteran Aims For Foxhills Glory “I’m hoping to get through qualifying for the Senior Open, which is on the Old Course at St Andrews this year. If I can put in a good performance at Foxhills, it can give me a bit of confidence going forward and act as a springboard for the season. “But there is always a big entry at Foxhills and these guys are seriously good golfers so I know I’ll need to play well to compete with them.”   Paul Way - who made his Ryder Cup debut in 1983 and then famously starred for the victorious European team at The Belfry in 1985 - is also on the entry list and is the more experienced campaigner of the pair in the senior ranks at the age of 55. Although both men each have three European Tour victories to their name and both challenged for the Majors during their peak, they face stern competition for the honours over 54 holes at Foxhills’ two courses. The tournament continues its theme with an opening round on the Bernard Hunt course - named after another Ryder Cup veteran - followed by a second round on the Longcross before a final round, for those who make the cut, on the Bernard Hunt course from May 16-18. There is more European Tour pedigree in the ranks in the shape of another winner - Gary Emerson - who lifted the Russian Open in 2004, while there will be a return to Foxhills for the victorious PGA Cup-winning captain, Albert Mackenzie, after he famously steered the GB & Ireland team to success over USA last September at the same venue.

A former European Ryder Cup star is looking to use Foxhills as a springboard to the Senior Open Championship at St Andrews ahead of the Silversea Senior PGA Professional Championship. Steve Richardson - who represented Europe at the infamous ‘War on the Shore’ Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in 1991 - will face a rather different atmosphere in the salubrious surroundings of Foxhills Club & Resort as he continues to take his formative steps in senior golf at the tender age of 51. And Richardson, based at Hayling Golf Club in Hampshire, is hopeful Foxhills can be a catalyst towards earning him a place in the Senior Open Championship at St Andrews later this year. Richardson said: “I love playing at Foxhills and I really like the contrast between the two courses. The Longcross is tighter and the Bernard Hunt is a bit more open but you still have to think your way around.

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But they will need to wary of the twin Scottish threat posed by Bishopbriggs’ Robert Arnott, who took the honours in 2016 and defending champion Fraser Mann of Carnoustie, who also won the event in 2015. As well as the pursuit for prize money, the top-15 will qualify for the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship on the Staysure Tour, which will be staged at the London Club in August. Foxhills director of golf, Chris Fitt, said: “It shows the calibre of this tournament that some of the biggest names in British senior golf are competing. “Some of these guys inspired us to take up the game back in the day and have competed at the very highest level of the sport. It should be a fantastic event, the course is in great condition and it should be a great test for the players.”   Entry is free for spectators for all three days of the tournament. For more information, visit

TEE TIMES | July 2018 11

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Destroying Another Myth By far and away the most common request I have for my services goes along the line “I am getting on a bit and I need more distance”. Sadly the vast majority of golfers have been seduced by the mainline magazines and television. Every time you read these magazines or watch the golf on television all we hear is about distance. The never ending message is that the elixir of golf is distance. From high handicappers to single figure golfers now believe that if they hit the ball further they will play better golf. If that was really the case that would mean that the long distance driving champion would be the worlds best golfer. I would be very surprised that if even one of Tees Times readers can name who is the current long driving world number one( in case you are wondering it is Justin James– exactly not a house hold name!). Another thing to bear in mind is all the claims that the manufacturers make with the latest drivers. If you believed all the marketing hype, each year’s new driver would add 10 yards to your drive ( as well as being straighter ), so compared to ten years ago, we should be hitting it an extra 100 yards! Obviously an unobtainable situation, but we still keep buying new drivers.

shortest hitter in his group he was being penalised. After a full discussion with him, I ascertained that truthfully he was hitting the ball about 230 yards and hitting the fairway about 80% of the time. In an effort to save him money and put him on the correct track. I finally persuaded him to try an experiment, which is well worth doing if you are thinking that you to need a new longer hitting driver.

I am sorry to break the bubble but the real key to lower scores is not distance but consistency. I am aware of the dangers of statistics but irrespective of your handicap about 80% of your shots are within 100 yards of the green. That is the area where golfers need to concentrate their efforts in order to improve their game.

This experiment will show if your game will really help from extra distance. What you need to do (only in a friendly game when you have discussed this in advance with your playing partners), is after every drive pick up your ball and walk in the direction the ball was going another 10 yards. At this point drop the ball and continue playing from this position. I will strongly suggest that your average score will not change by any significant margin and in fact may even go up, as in many cases your ball will be even deeper in the rough. As the renowned golf guru Harvey Penick said “The trees are full of long hitters!” At this point you then need to look at your score card and identify all shots within 100 yards and how many wasted shots this contains. Relating another story from a high handicapper who “needed” a new driver, after we analysed his game he admitted that he took an average of 3 putts per green. I brought his attention to the fact that this was 18 wasted shots per round and his original request for a new driver would not address this problem.

For clarification, we can consider two cases, the low and the high handicap golfers. Taking the high handicappers initially, the average handicap is between 18 and 19. This means that the vast majority of all golfers can not play to 18. Stating the obvious, that means most golfers have a shot per hole. The average (that word again) par 4 is in the order of 320 yards. Thinking logically if a golfer can hit the ball “fairly” consistently 150 yards, a par 4 is two hits with his 150 yard club and a short pitch onto the green. Followed with 2 putts and instantly we have an 18 handicap golfer. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is all golfers believe they “have” to make the green in two. You only “have” to make the green in two if you are a scratch golfer. Golf has a handicap system for a reason, sadly when playing, most golfers ignore it. For low handicap golfers, the short game is definitely the way to go. Only last month I had a request from a 6 handicap golfer who thought he required more distance. He believed, that as he was the

12 TEE TIMES | July 2018

golfer! The actual distance each iron goes, within reason, is actually unimportant. If you hit your 5 iron 75 yards, you are never going to be a reasonable golfer, but you can go and buy about half dozen clubs and still have fun. But if your 5 iron goes 130, 140, 150, or 180, it does not really matter as long as it goes within 10% each time and each iron is matched around it. So hopefully I have at least planted a seed of doubt and before you rush out and buy the latest “Pingaway Made” Driver, you will think irons and short game.

For more information or to receive the benefits listed above, contact David on the numbers below, to arrange an appointment. A copy of this and my previous articles for Doyle’s Dilemmas can be found online at Should you have any questions on this or any equipment matter please feel free to call 01256 322007 or 07859 920055 Alternatively, email me directly at dave@ or visit my web site

About ten years ago Butch Harmon made a statement that is as true today as it was then. He said that to be a scratch golfer (note he said scratch golfer not single figure), you need to be able to carry the ball 200 yards. However, with your irons, each iron had to go constantly within 10% of its nominal distance. That is still the big secret, that is how you become a scratch

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In the last few years, golfers have been looking for far more from their clubs than eighteen holes, however good those may be. At the beginning of the last century this was recognised in the USA, and with that realisation came the birth of the country club concept. They offered so much more to attract the golfer and his family, and also to create a community atmosphere. A concept that blossomed initially among the wealthy, but one that extended on an enormous scale.

For those Hampshire residents and visitors looking to enjoy the same experiences and benefits there is a solution on the doorstep. Skylark Golf & Country Club provides the facets that a discerning sportsman would look for in his most precious asset, his leisure time. Set in one hundred and ten acres of glorious Hampshire countryside, it has an eighteen hole manicured golf course, award winning restaurant, relaxing spa, indoor swimming pool and excellent gym facilities. With staff committed to the concept of delivering quality, variety and value for members and visitors alike. Skylark Golf & Country Club is a newcomer on the block in Hampshire, which boasts some of the oldest clubs in the land. It was opened twenty years ago, construction of the course began in 1997 and when it first opened it was christened Fareham Woods. It was then renamed and became Quindell in 2006 and finally took the present name, Skylark Golf & Country Club. It was acquired by the present owners, locally based Just Develop It. in 2013. Following that event the metamorphosis began, and it continues still. Since the acquisition the owners have applied their name to the task in hand and assessed what they had bought and simply began to develop it. Progress has been dramatic, with substantial sums committed, over £1.5 million ploughed into the course so far, for major and extensive new drainage to guarantee all year round availability, new bunkers, all riveted in traditional style, and eight new tees to enhance the playing area. The duckling has become the swan.

There are the usual categories of membership for golf, with seven day and five day options. Seven day golf membership costs £70 per month, and five day £54 per month. The combined package of golf and leisure activities is just £95 per month, and if paid as an annual sum, the cost is eleven times the monthly fee, an attractive discount. For golfers who are considering joining the club, there is an offer for them to come to play a complimentary round to sample the course and the other facilities, the invite is come and try it, you may like it enough to join, which would be no surprise. The club also offers inducements to Corporate members, with discounts for affiliated employers in the area.

Society golfers are welcomed on any day of the week, society packages can be tailored to suit groups of visiting golfers, and the only restriction is that the minimum number is eight golfers. Pa Lane Jackson, the outstanding all round sportsman and founder of the Corinthians Club, would probably be delighted to see that the concept that he brought back from his sporting tour visit to the USA in 1903 and introduced at Stoke Park on his return would continue so successfully over one hundred years later. The superb arrangements at Skylark Golf & Country will carry on the tradition.

Although the course itself may be the crown jewel in the package more has been spent on the ancillary facets of the club. Over £2 million has been committed for major re-design and construction work. The main bar has been totally refurbished in new style, as has the Function Room, a new Sports Bar, total renovation of the swimming pool and surrounds, re-equipping and revamp of the gym area, and the new Dining Room. With a totally new Admin Centre for the operation staff, the whole environment reflects the positive advances of the club. The new extended terrace will add the finishing touch to the clubhouse, with panoramic views out over the golf course and the wider Hampshire countryside. Skylark Golf & Country Club is a proprietary members club, and with all the enhanced facilities is endeavouring to make the golfing public aware of the excellent value membership of the club offers.

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The heart of the club is without doubt the golf course. Whatever the quality of the ancillaries, a good test of golf is undoubtedly the best inducement to come to visit or to join the club. The investment made in the course has reaped tremendous results, thanks in no small measure to the team headed by course manager Simon Bell-Tye. Simon learned his trade at the Royal Winchester and Botley Park golf clubs, before bringing his knowledge and experience to capitalise on the support given by the management of the club.

on all good courses, the mettle is tested to the very end, and the 18th is no exception, a demanding par five, terminating in an elevated green protected by a huge bunker, the ideal way to end the round.

Skylark golf course is set out on rolling parkland, with changes in elevation that give the course an added bite, particularly when there is a climb to the green, and accentuated when there is a dogleg thrown into the equation. It is an unusual layout, with four distinct sectors, each returning to the vicinity of the clubhouse. Unlike the customary front nine back nine arrangement, the holes of the two halves are intermingled. The first five holes run out and back to the north west, with two par threes, one defended by a water hazard, all in the initial sector, it is important to have the putter working to get a good start. Popular opinion has it that the 5th, is the signature hole, but there are several contenders for the title later in the round.

It will be interesting to measure the performances of the top professionals when the first Pro Am Tournament is held at the club on the 3rd September 2018. A very healthy prize fund should ensure a strong field, and a good opportunity to see how the best meet the challenge.

The second sector starts with a superb dogleg, teeing from outside the clubhouse to a rising fairway, and an elevated green, where a par will be cause for celebration. The front nine concludes with another testing dogleg, long and with pockets of land left to nature, a delightful chance to see and enjoy the wild life which is so abundant. In the words of Walter Hagen never hurry, never worry and always remember to smell the flowers along the way. The 10th and 11th are in their own little segment, both will test the shot making ability as they dogleg in different directions. Then it is out into the country again, two holes before one of the most charming and at the same time challenging holes , the par 3 14th. A delightful test with a green protect by water lily strewn ponds, and with little mercy for any shot lacking in length, good club selection essential. The par threes on the course are all top quality and the 17th is another, dips and hollows, water for the pulled shot and pleasure for a par. Like

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At 5540 yards from the white tees, the course in by no means long, but the subtleties and the changes in direction on the doglegs make the standard scratch of 67 a tall order, proof of the pudding is that the course record is held by Thom Cullen with a round of 65. Overall a course to be enjoyed, and never to be bored with, what more can you ask.

With such a quality environment, the club is a very popular venue for meetings, and those special occasions and celebrations where the successful venue is so important. It is in high demand as a venue for wedding parties, and members can use the club and the facilities with confidence that their requirements will be met. The Dining Room has an excellent rating with Trip Advisor, first class food served every day from noon till late. The club also hosts regular entertainment nights, with very successful tribute artists making appearances. The autumn has two high quality functions with a Frank Sinatra Tribute in October and George Michael Tribute in November, dinner and entertainment offering an enjoyable evening out. For those who are more day-birds, Skylark offer an afternoon tea which is reckoned to be the very best around. Since it was introduced into service it has proven to be very popular, and most affordable at just ÂŁ20.00 per head, and the ideal opportunity to spoil yourself after a game or a social visit. Skylark Golf & Country Club is impressive, excellent facilities for sport and leisure, excellent dining and a venue to come to relax and savour gracious living. Michael Rees

TEE TIMES | July 2018 15

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Scarlett with County President Grace Burke on the right and County Captain Tracy Bryant on the left.

14 Year Old is Dorset Ladies County Golf Champion 2018 14 year old Scarlett Williams of Parkstone Golf Club has won the title of Dorset Ladies County Champion 2018. She and Alice Webb, also from Parkston Golf Club played some fine golf in the final of the Championship held at Dudsbury Golf Club last week. After a 36 hole qualifying round on Friday they went on to play another 4 match play rounds over 2 days with Scarlett winning the final match.

IRELAND DEBUT The Lahinch club in County Clare will stage the Irish Open for the first time next year. Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley will host the event at the links course on 4-7 July. The hosting role will be rotated each year between McGinley and major champions Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell. They are taking over from four-times major winner Rory McIlroy, who secured victory in the 2016 Irish Open.

EYES ON PARIS Frenchman Alexander Levy did a lot to boost his chances of qualifying for a Ryder Cup debut on home soil with victory in the Hassan Trophy in Morocco. The world number 66 finished with a 70 for an eight-under total - one clear of overnight leader Alvaro Quiros. Levy began the final day a shot behind the Spaniard but had three birdies and a bogey in his first eight holes. He bogeyed the 16th but birdied the 17th to secure his fifth European Tour title. The Ryder Cup takes place at Le Golf National near Paris from 28-30 September.

16 TEE TIMES | July 2018

Mum’s the word for retiree Gwladys France’s Gwladys Nocera right, has retired from golf. And as she made the announcement, the 43-year-old also revealed she was four months pregnant. Nocera, 14 times a winner on the Ladies European Tour, called time on her career after the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, an event she has won twice. Nocera earned a place on the tour in 2003 and made four Solheim Cup appearances between 2005 and 2015.

‘It’s been 15 years. I gave everything I had to achieve what I did,’ she said. ‘I decided to announce this here because Morocco has always had a special place in my heart.’

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‘enjoyable golf and a great deal more’


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Owen Grimes Wins Hampshire County Championship Romsey Golf Club member Owen Grimes made history for the club by winning the final of the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship when he defeated Rowlands Castles Tom Robson in the tense final at the County Championships played at Liphook on Sunday 10th June. Defeated finalist Robson, the assistant Secretary at Rowlands Castle, was left cursing his luck when he tasted defeat in the Hampshire County Championship for the third time in four years. The 29-year-old who won the Sloane Stanley Challenge Cup the last time the championship was held at Liphook in 2009, found Owen Grimes a really dogged opponent, and despite having been in front for five of the 18 holes, he would not be shaken off in a dramatic see-saw final. 19-year-old Owen Grimes, who recently returned from his first year playing junior college golf in the United States came with an incredibly sharp short game, and eventually made the crucial putt

18 TEE TIMES | July 2018

that gave him his birdie on the par five final hole, a putt which earned him a hard fought victory after Robson missed his opportunity to match it. Ironically, Robson had just completed his first year at Jacksonville State University in Alabama - the same college that Masters winner Danny Willett attended – when he won his title at Liphook, beating Hayling member Toby Burden at the second extra hole nine years ago. The experience gained playing faster greens in the USA helped him to cope with Liphook, dubbed the “Augusta of Hampshire” with putting surfaces running at around 12 on the stimp meter, making them quicker than most in the country and certainly the county. Robson took the lead early at the third hole with a birdie, but Grimes won the fifth only for Robson to get his nose in front on the sixth after the younger golfer made a bogey five. Grimes, who attends Murray State, in Oklahoma, got up and down well from the back of the seventh to claw it back to all square and got his nose in front for the first time making a 15-footer for a birdie two at the par three 11th.

Robson survived a let off at the 12th when Grimes for once failed to convert from around eight feet. A mistake by the youngster, who came into the championships believing he could win when few others would have had him down as a possible champion, it was all square again at the 13th as a five for par was enough for Tom to take the hole. Robson then won the uphill 15th with a par four after a great second shot from the rough, and looked to be in charge with just three to play. Owen was having none of that, having knocked out the defending champion Shanklin & Sandown’s Jordan Sundborg in Saturday’s quarter-final at the 19th – after having been four down with seven to play – Grimes then produced  a massive birdie putt at the par three 17th from all of 30 feet to draw level for a third time. Signalling a possible change of fortune for the Romsey man, after being under pressure for so long in the match. Just as he had the previous afternoon, he produced a Patrick Reed-like Ryder Cup response charging around the green as the emotion came pouring out.

That tipped the momentum going up the last when both found the green in two – but when Grimes first putt from 30 feet curled from the top left of the sloping green to come up seven feet below the hole, putting first he needed his nerves to hold for one last time, and when Robson’s six-footer came up short, the trophy was on its way back to Romsey. The club has a well deserved County Champion, and for the very first time. Not content with a superb win in the County final, Owen continued his run of excellent form by winning The Army Open Championship the following weekend. A week with two wins, a clear indication of excellent form and a very competitive commitment to his game. It remains to see what the rest of the summer holds for this very talented golfer.

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PEOPLE IN GOLF • Europe captain Thomas Bjorn has picked Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald as vice-captains for this year’s Ryder Cup, the BBC reported. Westwood and Harrington have previously expressed an interest in the captaincy and could be rivals to succeed Bjorn and lead Europe in the 2020 contest at Whistling Straits in the US. Bjorn, who has already selected Sweden’s Robert Karlsson as a vice-captain, said: ‘All five are widely respected throughout the game, are all current players who are well known to the players who will be in our team come September and they also all possess a knowledge of what to expect from the course at Le Golf National.

The BBC said the case threatens to reopen issues of gender discrimination in golf, ‘a sport that has been beset by such controversies’. ‘We are in the minority and because of that we need a leg-up and we need to be able to go in those men’s slots,’ Ms Roberts, 37, told BBC Sport. ‘But they are unwilling to see that and they don’t care.’ Cottrell Park Members’ Association chairman Andy Mogridge insists his organisation is not discriminating against women. The golfing gods were finally smiling on 93-year-old Ben Bender as he hauled his creaking hips through his last round of golf after more than six decades. It did not begin well. He started with an eight at the opening hole at Green Valley, Ohio, and followed it with a seven.
































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A woman golfer is considering legal action because she claims her golf club is discriminating against her on gender grounds. Lowri Roberts says women are no longer allowed to play in prime Saturday morning slots at Cottrell Park Golf Resort, Cardiff. ‘I was told there are plenty of grounds through the Equalities Act if I wanted to do something about it,’ said Ms Roberts, who has long campaigned for women’s rights at the Welsh club.


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An ace at last for Ben, 93

Armed with his trusty five-wood, the former three handicapper launched his tee shot over the lake at the 152-yard par-three third hole, and watched with delight as it found the green and trickled into the cup. An ace, his first in a lifetime of golf. ‘I’d come close to some hole-in-ones, but this one was level on the green before it curved towards the hole and went in. I was in awe watching it,’ he said. It proved to be one of the last shots he would strike - as he had already decided to hang up his clubs that very day. ‘I played a few more holes, but my hips were hurting and I had to stop. It seemed the Lord knew this was my last round so he gave me a hole-in-one.’ A Green Valley Golf Club employee told BBC Sport: ‘Physically, Ben was not able to golf any more. He played on our senior section for years and he will still come to the club to see us.’

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TEE TIMES | July 2018 19

Discover… Championship Golf at Donnington Grove, Newbury tel: 01635 581 000 also shows that the club was visited by David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, two political giants of the past. In the town there are numerous good eating establishments, including the world famous Black Boy Inn. It is one of the oldest inns in Wales dating back to 1552 and situated within the town walls. Serving first class locally produced food, they have the perfect motto – eat fresh not fast !.

ROYAL TOWN OF CAERNARFON GOLF CLUB The Town of Caernarfon can boast the world famous castle (a World Heritage site) at the apex of the River Seiont and the Menai Strait, the terminus of the Welsh Highland Steam Railway running to Porthmadog, a beautiful scenic location and a fine golf course. Located across the estuary from the castle is the golf club, which after 118 years and four name changes now has the lengthy title portrayed above. However no-one should allow that to detract from planning a visit to play the course and experiencing the pleasure of the course and the scenery across the Menai Straits to Anglesey and the views to Snowdonia. The course is a classic parkland style course, with well-defined fairways and making maximum use of the changes in elevation. The pundits will tell you that it is important to take aim from the tee for a successful shot, and at Caernarfon you have probably the largest target anyone would ever need, you simply aim for Mount Snowdon which dominates the horizon, and blaze away. In 1981 the original nine holes were extended to a full eighteen holes, and since then it has seen the building of a new clubhouse, developments on the course and the planting of large numbers of trees, all resulting in the first class layout present today. Today the course runs in two loops, which return to the clubhouse, the first eight holes wind south after the first hole and the two par threes are

both long and challenging. The second loop of ten holes contains the two par fives, and the most memorable hole for me, the short but testing dogleg 16th hole. After which there is time to look at the view over the estuary, before tackling the finishing holes. The view of our fourball was a unanimous hearty applause for a most enjoyable round of golf, made all the more enjoyable by the warmth of the welcome received. The Professional at the club is one of those rare commodities, a man with home ties, because Aled Owen was a member before he turned to the paid ranks, gained experience at other clubs and in Germany before returning to his roots, where he is now firmly content and established. The club began life in 1909, two years after the demise of nearby Dinas Dinlle Golf Club just down the coast. It had a chequered history particularly before and after the First World War, a situation that was far from uncommon at that time. In the time line simple things always stand out, it was not until 1929 that Sunday golf was allowed, and the first motorised mowers did not come until 1931. Until that time the fairways were still being maintained by a flock of 200 sheep. The legend goes that they were led by a huge Suffolk ram, who would charge golfers as they approached, no concern to members but terrifying for unaware visitors, but the old ram would shudder to a halt in front of them without any aggression, he simply wanted to be petted. Records have it that he would even walk along with the golfers and carried their clubs on his back. The club history, published at the Centenary on 2009,

Clubs in the boot

20 TEE TIMES | July 2018

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, there is a rare treat on hand, and it is not too far to drive, just outside of the town of Machynlleth is the renowned Osprey Centre. On the 15th of May 2014 the new observation centre was opened to the public to much acclaim. Funded by the lottery it is a state of the art facility which enables bird watchers to see the nesting osprey through cameras trained on the nest, and projected onto the large TV screens. The birds have been re-established in Wales since 2008, and now return annually to rear their young. A unique experience now available for all to witness.

North Wales has much to offer the visiting golfer, our first part of the tour took in the clubs at Porthmadog and Caernarfon, the opposite ends of the Welsh Highland Railway, it would have been easy to select the two most famous courses in the area, Royal St David’s at Harlech or Nefyn on the Lleyn Peninsula, but we elected to play clubs a little less known, and what a treat they both proved to be. Of course the two others await the next visit, as well as the courses on the James Braid Trail. With so much to see and do, we will be returning to continue the quest. Michael Rees

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Chiara stars as Sandy Lodge girls top the table 12-year old girl golfer Chiara Noja proved she is a match for the grown-ups when she battled through to a prestigious final recently, and came within a whisker of being crowned County Champion. The lady golfers at Sandy Lodge Golf Club have started their 2018 season with a bang with three of their players qualifying for the knockout stages of this year’s Herts Ladies County Championships. Remarkably, the youngest of the three – Sandy Lodge junior golfer Chiara Noja – fought through to the final, only losing by the narrowest of margins. Six-handicap Chiara beat scratch golfer Rebecca Earl from Bishops Stortford G.C in a hard-fought semi-final, before losing to Olivia Rael-Brook from Dyrham Park after a three-hole playoff in the final.

With three players – Chiara Noja, Rachel Stones and Bronagh O’Keefe – winning the right to compete in the 16-woman knockout stage, Sandy Lodge GC topped the table of Hertfordshire golf clubs sending players to this year’s final. Sandy Lodge GC Captain Stephen Parris said “Everyone at the club is so proud of our three girls and what they have achieved. Chiara’s astonishing talent at such a young age is testament to the hard work she has put in at the outstanding practice facilities which we have created for our members.” Chiara Noja said “The phrase ‘hard work pays off’ seems such a cliché, but it really is true! My golf has improved dramatically because of it. The amazing members and staff at Sandy Lodge have supported me all the way, and the practice facilities there are superb.” For more information about Sandy Lodge Golf Club, please visit

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Discover… Championship Golf at Donnington Grove, Newbury tel: 01635 581 000

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For more details please telephone 01597 828598 or visit our website: 22 TEE TIMES | July 2018

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TEE TIMES | July 2018 23

Discover… Championship Golf at Donnington Grove, Newbury tel: 01635 581 000

Clubs in the boot


The final port of call on our Welsh Tour was to be another classic links set alongside the seashore, at the mercy of the wind and the waves, and prone to punishment by both. This winter the coastline has been battered on many occasions, the winter of 2014 was particularly cruel to the club, four times in a very short period it was deluged by seawater and stones. The tales of the events are hard to believe but staggeringly true, boulders tossed like corks by the raging tides. Several times in the history of the club catastrophe had struck in like manner.

It is a testament to the tremendous work of the greenstaff and member volunteers that the course is rapidly returned to play, though evidence of the scale of the damage is easy to recognise. Just a few weeks after the tempest, the course was in play, the greens in fine condition, and an air of normality that is hard to imagine after such trauma. It was a chance to share and enjoy the tremendous accomplishment. In common with all our visits the pre-eminent feeling was the warmth of the welcome, the humour and the pride in the club and its history. If you have a liking for links style golf you will love Borth, it has every feature of this natural arena. After playing the first hole you cross the road to that narrow strip lying between the seawall and the road running through the town. Then it follows the line of the sea for five holes, holes that are alive with yellow and white, wild flowers, buttercups and daisies, nature in her finery. Then it switches to the side nearest the road to run out into the dunes to the farthest point before returning back toward the clubhouse, where the road is crossed to play the final three holes. It has all the facets that can infuriate and delight, humps and hollows, natural

bunkers and rough, that coarse grass that fights attempts to get the ball back on the fairway or the green. It also gives that little extra run and bounce so that shotmaking becomes more important, which adds so much to the round, especially when successfully achieved. Faced with the course in the early holes it is hard not to notice the intrusion of the stones cast up from the beach, but strangely they blend in, and the GUR is not obtrusive, and the greens are in great condition and perfect to put on, with subtle borrows hard to fathom first time round. My selection of favourite holes is made because I believe there are too many to have one signature hole, they may not be everyone’s favourite, but they are pictured in my mind until I return to play them again. My choices are the 6th from the elevated tee, the 8th past the shelter, and the really tough 10th, but to add that I love all the holes near the dunes and each of the short holes, in fact I loved it all.

The club history tells us that golf came to Borth by chance, facts little connected to the game, once again the railway played its part, when it came to Borth in 1863. Uppingham School were evacuated there to avoid a typhoid epidemic in 1875. Some of the masters played golf, and thus the game became established, making it the oldest golf club in Wales. In fact a master of the school Mr P Morton became the first Captain of the club. He went forward to represent the club at the first meeting of the delegates of the thirteen constituted golf clubs meeting to form the Welsh Golfing Union in 1895. Like all old established clubs many famous names are linked to Borth, and it is ironic that there is a connection with the Fleetwood Golf Club which we visited last year. Ted Musty, was an artisan member and brother of the club Pro, the renowned and respected Joe Musty. He was also his assistant, and said to be the better player, and in 1938 he left to become the Professional at Fleetwood Golf Club. Having settled into his new job, he broke the course record by eight shots with a score of 68 in 1939. Joe himself was Pro from 1925 until 1959, he sold ball and clubs under his trade name “Ytsum” pronounced “itsome” quite innovative and progressive marketing at that time. Joe had several claims to fame in other respects, for he had two of the greatest Welsh golfers as his Assistant at various times. Both Harry Wheetman and the Welsh Bulldog, Dai Rees served their time at Borth, and learned about links golf on this classic course. Club histories usually contain caddy stories, and Borth is no exception, the caddy master for many years was one armed Will Jones. It was his job to select the caddies for the visitors. However they soon learned who paid and tipped well, and when other players arrived the caddies would hide over the sea wall until one of the better tippers came along. Enterprise in action. Once again the lasting impression from our visit was the warmth of the welcome, starting with Club members and extending to the helpful professional shop staff, and the enthusiastic and accommodating catering team in the modern stylish clubhouse, all the ingredients for ideal holiday golf, on a truly charming golf course. Certainly a motivation to return and to recommend a trip to Mid Wales. Michael Rees

24 TEE TIMES | July 2018

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Looking for a fantastic experience on your next society or away day? Why not come and play Waterlooville Golf Club, home of the 2016 English Women’s County Finals? We welcome groups from 12 to 100+ players. Waterlooville Golf Club is one of Hampshire’s friendliest clubs and you are sure to have a great experience, from the warm welcome, to the fantastic championship course right through to the great food after your game. If you haven’t played it, put it on your bucket list! The friendliness of the welcome, the presentation of the course and the quality of the greens were all outstanding. Andra, Gloucestershire Team Captain


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TEE TIMES | July 2018 25

TT APRIL 2017 Issue 191_Layout 1 20/03/2017 18:40 Page 12


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WHATS HOT OR NOT Your Monthly Blog by

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

Claire Kane

Golf through Admiring the Ages

the Clover

A wayward shot recently placed my ball near a lovely cluster of small red flowers growing near a water hazard. Curious, I moved forward to take a closer look at this unusual specimen to discover they weren’t actually flowers but bright red clover leaves. How unique I thought, but immediately burst into laughter as I realised it was just a patch of common clover previously painted over with a red hazard line. This amusing incident made me realise we probably play the majority of our golf looking down at the ground, studying the lie of our balls and scouring the terrine we’re about to hit into, including the areas we’re desperate to avoid! As a result of constantly viewing the ground and horizon we’retofortunate to come across manypartner. wonderful glimpses It’s interesting compare the miserable They consider it far of more differences between someone nature throughout the year.starting important to have a good day out with mates

out playing golf and an experienced on a pleasant but forgiving course. Rambling gogolfing out ofyears. their way to organise special walks to view golfer in theirClubs twilight bluebells, primroses or glimpses of Beginners deer, yetcan I frequently spot deer sometimes struggle with bounding across the fairway, see drifts of bluebells in early For instance, newbies are keen to play as long carries and dog-legs due toSpring much as the possible they’ll play nestling in any inexperience and misjudgement. Sadly,a and golf even oddsoprimrose in the hedgerow. Who needs conditions. some elderly golfers also fail to cope with walking Whereas, club? older golfers are reluctant to venture onto the course if the long carries as they lose their muscle On my golf course, Spring in with theand usual blossom and our pair weather’s looking a bit dodgy and kicks are more power distance. of resident geese who than happy to while away timeproudly in the step out with their new born, gorgeous clubhouse the clouds pass by. New golfers arecount pretty naïve goslings.until There’s great anticipation every year to how when manyit comes offto course management but they gradually spring they’ve produced, knowing they’ll be extremely well protected When initiallyfoxes enterand competitions learn place the ball,Me nevertheless, frombeginners scavenging magpies by a where ‘Don’ttoMess with Mother’ they realise they need more lessons to they tend to remain bullish and optimistic and a ‘Fierce, Fighting Father’. improve their scores. The difference with even when they are in deep trouble. older is they’ve water already hazards developed are enchanting However, senior golfers precisely Evengolfers our dreaded with theirknow billowing the techniques but water it’s just lilies, a question of ducks whereand to place ball,surfacing even if theyon can’t reeds, floating darting largethefish whether their hips, knees or shoulders will always reach it, or see it! They’re warm days. I shall never forget playing golf with a friend who enquired cope with the challenge. experienced and realistic enough to know if where the water hazard was, to whichthey’ve I laughingly pointed just played a lousy out shot itit’swas directly theit tall, bright yellow cluster Water Irises ahead. Initially, as behind a beginner, can be difficult probablyofunrecoverable anddirectly the chance of trying to remember how many shots you’ve scoring is pretty remote. There are times when Mother Nature can be a hindrance to golfers. taken – let’s face it, multi-tasking is tricky An example is when greenkeepers avoid cutting back the Spring grass when you’re so focused on striking and Beginners soon understand a good part of due tothe nesting birds such thisfriendship usuallybut tracking ball. Interestingly, it’sas notskylarks.theStrangely pleasure ofenough, golf is about coincidesforwith thegolfers Club toChampionship! result, thewho grass is thicktheand uncommon elderly also it’s As the asenior golfer appreciates up to our knees, making it term most unlikely ‘mislay’ the odd shot due to short ‘goodtofeel’ factor of the constant cracks memory loss.a ball, let alone hit it out. with a bunch of fellow golfers, regardless even find of how dire they play. It’s all veryfresh wellintowatching of the When you’re golf, you’rethe keenwonders to world asany wegames, walk even around sign up for if youthe don’tcourse but It justitshows you that regardless of your age, comes price tag of distraction. have a cluewith whatthe you’re entering, or who theWell benefits of golf are huge for everyone. you’re Whereas the wiser, olderanyway let’s playing face itwith. I shouldn’t have been golfer carefully to avoid nearchooses the water hazard in slogging the first place, let over long courses, through soggy meadows © Claire Kane alone stopped to admire the clover! or having to climb cardiac hills with a Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets

© Claire Kane

26 TEE TIMES | July 2018

Golf Academy

Based at Ampfield Golf Club and Meon Valley Golf and Country Club

What Butch says is right I wrote this article after watching last month’s U.S. Open. Like many people, I think day three was a bit farcical. I thought it was very commendable, the way that the leaders handled those impossible pin positions. Seeing a near perfect shot run off the green must be very demoralising. Just shows how mentally tough they all are. How they were able to accept adversity and keep grinding. As usual the commentary was first class. I always enjoy listening to Butch

After 2 practice rounds the wait Harmon. Not only because he’swas got the same nickname as me, but because he over Romsey found theyHis comments always make perfect sense and hasand a great insight intoout thewho game. would be facing in theiringroup are always delivered such astages. positive manner. I guess that’s why he’s had such

great success as a coach. One of his pet sayings, when analysing a swing, is that

They were drawn with England Home nations the heel leads the foot nicely in the downswing. champions Cuddington, Bothwell Castle from I expectand many you miss significance of that tip bit of information. Of course Scotland Pyle of & Kenfig fromthe Wales.

the footwork Butch talks about, is the product of a good hip action. Look at the

Day 1 of of main sawand Romsey V see the right foot moving in a similar fashion. action anytournament great player you’ll Cuddington in athe 6 person Matchplay format The heel of right foot (if you’re right handed) is being pulled towards the ontarget the Morgado before course. it rolls Itupwas onatotough the toe. match with some fantastic golf. Romsey The pictures the article are stills taken from videos of my swing triumphed with athat 4-2 accompany win.

during a practice session back in May. At the start of the session I was hitting

the2ball butv the ball was Day sawokay, Romsey Bothwell Castletending in a to go left with a bit of a hook. I filmed the thrilling on the Alamos course. swingmatch and thought that the arms and body were doing different things. In the Romsey again 4-2, see and now top shoulder looks a bit high and the arms are pictureonce on the leftwinyou’ll that go right ofstretched their group!out This thatmy they only I felt that if I could somehow improve the body in meant front of torso. needed a drawthe in the final groupwould match change. to movement, arm action qualify for the final. To improve things I decided to work on the action of my right foot. I tried to get the

feeling that my heel&was being Day 3, Romsey v Pyle Kenfig waspulled to be towards the target ahead of the toe. As you can see finest in theperformance second picture, Romsey's with adoing 5-1 this made the swing improve dramatically. The victory! They the and final body against the other into the team the hip lastover minute. wasand position of make the hips were much better, with theatleft theThere left foot group winners Beadlow Manor from lot Romsey's Hannam do the chest facing up slightly. I wasEngland. please tonot seeathat the rightJosh shoulder andcould the arms andbedding the match Beadlow Manor to I were now nicely connected to the pivot. After thewent newtomove in for a while, Soseemed it was totobehave an allmore England affairofwith halvehitting the match 3-3. control the ball. I was a nice shallow divot and could neither team expected to make it past the more easily hit draws group stage. Unfortunately the tournaments rules state and fades; proving to that if a Match is halved then the winner will mefinal thatwas myheld swing The on was the Morgado course be decided on the number of holes won. quite neutral and took that an myearly lead on and Beadlow Manor arms rotating the frontweren’t 9. Things changed on the back Beadlow Manor were to crowned champions toowith independently. nine Romsey's Owen Grimes bringing in as they won 10-7 on countback. Romsey the firstallwin, followed George Nicholsonwere gutted as they lost on a technicality. Now I had to do by was Jack with a nail biting win on the last, work at it until the new Romsey 2up. This was a great match and Romsey did move was subconscious themselves proud as runners up. They never rather than Beadlow Manorconscious. came back with winning the lost a match the whole week, the only team A month has passed next two matches with some stunning golf, to achieve this. andallit’s still conscious. now square. It was down to the last two matches, Romseys No one expected a small club to do so well Could beand a long haul!Aaron Danson took the next match making a draw most likely. and to be the second best team in the Uk is If you need some help quite an achievement. This has been an deciding how saw to improve striking please experience contact me.that the whole team will never The last match Beadlowyour Manors junior have a hole in one after only being brought forget. Well done Romsey Juniors. Mob: 07787 887578 Email: Web:

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