ISSUE 219 | August 2019 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: email@example.com | www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com
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Reflecting on a marvellous Masters: Justin Rose, Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, made us so proud as
he played his role in onereflects of the tightest but most showdownsblokes in the history of the event Steve Banks-Smith on stars asgentlemanly ordinary-looking
AND THE WINNER Golfing heroes, yet stillIS. . . GOLF SPORTSMANSHIP refreshingly like us all NORTH Hants Golf Club in Fleet will have to find some more space in its Justin Rose Room to record the continuing exploits of the county’s favourite golfing son.
Rory: My Green Jacket 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
Shane Lowry with the iconic Claret Jug
Hampshire Jenny’s lifetime accolade – Page 16
Room will be found for mementoes of the 2017 Masters to be placed alongside those of Rose’s U.S. Open triumph in 2013 and his Olympic Golf Gold.
From my perspective, one of the best But while Roseplaying was pipped by things about golf atisAugusta the variety Sergio Garcia, the inevitable disappointment of characters you encounter and the for his fans was counterbalanced by a huge variance in courses you play. display of skill and sportsmanship which was Not all are to my own liking a credit to both men, andparticular to a sport which prides itselfbut on honesty fairness. orstillpreference broadlyand I recognise the positive differences each bring.
Was this golf’s worst injustice ever? – Page 24
Yes, the final round between these two Ryder
When reviewing thistoyear’s Open and Cup titans was bound be emotional. Rose wasway edging his way towards second Major, the it unfolded, it got ame thinking was tryingmost to secure ofand theGarcia two camps, of ushisasfirst theon the very day which would have been the viewing public, find ourselves in. 60th birthday of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. Probably, the majority of us want the Butprofessionals the overriding emotion for spectators top we watch, to play of the final was the way these two shots weround couldn’t possibly manage, Europeans fought the fight. on courses on which we’d struggle to break I suspect, however, thatrivals In the 100. final round, they were toe-to-toe there areopponents, also a number of competitive us who but not supremely yet agentlemanly, eachand other’s feel bit better acknowledging about ourselves skills with a knuckle-touch or a nod. the frailty of our own games, when we see a professional score a doublebogey • Turnortoworse. Page 4
TEE TIMES 3
They called him the Pied Piper of Portrush: homespun Shane Lowry strides towards history
When Rory McIlroy, the pretournament favourite, stood on the first tee on the first day with the weight of his, his nations and a lot of the world’s golf fans, on his shoulders, we could not have foreseen what would unfold. A hooked tee-shot out of bounds and then a succession of very average shots resulted in a quadruple bogey. We’ve all been there but we didn’t
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We know how you feel, Rory: agony on the opening hole
expect him to be. A poor round overall came to its nadir on the 16th when a relatively simple putt was missed and then followed-up by a further miss of the tap-in Well puttplayed, thatMasters would given mate:be At the end andin on the course, Rose and Garcia were any social sporting game.gentlemen The round finished at +8 but Rory came back for the second day with the pressure off and only one thing on his mind. Redemption almost followed with a round taking on every pin
PLUS 2 Course thisrecordmonth! that yielded aReviews then course Bird Hills Golf Centre equalling 65 and a cut missed by 1 - page shot. Contrast this with David 14-15 Duval, a one-time Open winner, who carded Romsey GolfonClub a score of +20 the first day which - page 19-22 included a 13, and eventually missed the cut by 27 shots.
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When Ryan Fox carded 29 for the back 9 on the 1st day to set a record for an Open, did you wonder who he Continued on Page 4…
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ROMSEY GOLF CLUB - Book an afternoon Golf Society for £25pp - Read our 4 page Course Review on pages 19-22 TEE TIMES | August 2019 3
THE OTHER OPENS
‘IT’S A STITCH-UP!’ The Open
Rahm nears Trump’s team Seve record call foul over plan to strip his links of special status Jon Rahm took a step towards equalling a Seve Ballesteros record as he shot an eightunder final round of 62 to win the Irish Open for the second time in three years. Rahm, above, took his total career tally of tournament victories to eight, just one short of the late Ballesteros’ record of three Irish Open successes. The Ryder Cup player, 24, carded an eagle and eight birdies in his closing 18 at Lahinch to finish on 16 under, two shots ahead of Andy Sullivan and Bernd Wiesberger. The Spaniard’s record third Rolex Series event win took him from 15th to the top of the Race to Dubai standings.
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger won the Scottish Open to secure a sixth European Tour title after beating Benjamin Hebert in a play-off at The Renaissance Club. Overnight leader Wiesberger was two under par for the day and 22 under overall with France’s Hebert having finished with a nine-under round of 62. But the Austrian triumphed in the third sudden death hole at the 18th.
from page 3…
Who, me? Scottish Natural Heritage says President Trump’s Menie golf course in Aberdeenshire has “destroyed” the sand dune system and caused permanent habitat loss
The sand dunes at President Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort are expected to lose their status as a nationally-important protected environment.
“To make an announcement to the media before informing us, the actual landowner, shows how politically-motivated this decision is. It’s a stitch-up.
Scottish Natural Heritage concluded that Trump’s golf course had “destroyed” the sand dune system, causing permanent habitat loss.
“Our organisation has spent millions on the care, protection and maintenance of the area.”
The government watchdog is recommending that Menie links be removed from an existing site of special scientific interest. The Trump Organisation reacted with fury. Trump International Golf Links Scotland’s executive vice-president, Sarah Malone, said: “This is an utter disgrace and shows SNH has hit an all-time low.
The Scottish Greens said: “The damage we predicted has come to pass. It demonstrates once again that this development should never have been allowed to go ahead.” Donald Trump officially played his first round at the Trump International Golf Links, north of Aberdeen, in July 2012, more than four years before he became US president.
You won The Open too soon, Georgia! The prize money for this month’s Women’s British Open will rise by 40 per cent to £3.6million.
Majors (see report Georgia’s ticking her way to the top in a separate Tee Times report this month)
The R&A announced that the winner will receive £540,000.
R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “We know it will take time to move closer to achieving parity with the men’s game.
The news will be bitter-sweet for Bournemouth’s Georgia Hall, who picked up £392,000 for her victory last year. She had some diplomatic but strong views about the difference between men’s and women’s pay for the
4 TEE TIMES | August 2019
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was and whether or not he was of the calibre for such a distinction? When both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson missed the cut for the first time in the 83 majors they’ve played together, there will be those seeing the changing of the guard but others experiencing something else. Even the sight of a police car stranded on the beach adjoining the course, will have divided golf-watchers in their intuitive responses. Another element of The Open to hearten the casual club player was the rise of those golfers who are not perhaps as regular attendees
“The winner was someone with all the shots for links golf and who grew up honing his short game as his home course didn’t have a driving range. In my opinion, as it should be” of the gym as others. Shane Lowry, JB Holmes John Rahm and Darren Clarke all had moments to remember and Darren could be seen with a lit cigarette on the course. Lee Westwood, the most experienced player in the field in terms of appearances at majors, showed the value of trusting your own judgement and just enjoying a round of golf in the company of someone you like by having his partner on the bag instead of a recognised caddy. My final observations concern the course, which in terms of set-up, attendance and general ambience for a major, got it spot-on. The weather played its part and players who could score well when the conditions were favourable, benefitted. Only 29 players were under par for the championship and the winner was someone with all the shots for links golf and who grew up honing his short game as his home course didn’t have a driving range. In my opinion, as it should be.
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 5
THREE IN A ROW FOR BILLY Romsey’s own Wellow Golf Club held their annual Club Championship this past weekend in temperatures that reached over 30 degrees. This year saw 84 Men, Ladies and the Juniors battled it out for the biggest prize of the year in some testing weather conditions. Although Saturday proved to be a scorcher, temperatures were close to ideal on Sunday which certainly affected the scoring for most players. The course was presented in immaculate condition by New Course Manager and local boy Lee Payne and his team. Having joined the club in December , Lee presented perfectly lush fairways, deep punishing rough ,(but aesthetically beautiful as ever) and as expected the greens were not only pristine, they were faster and smoother than anyone had seen before at the club which is testament to the Lee, Andy and the team. The early starters must have been loving the idea of finishing before midday and being able to have a drink on the patio to watch the late starters and ladies tee off in the stifling heat. A special thanks must be made to Club President Ken Parker ,who for over 15 years has been the starter for the championship and was ever eager to await the first groups at 7am. MENS
After posting a first round 69 (-1), Billy Ray held a slender 2 shot lead over Jamie Hughes and it was Championship veteran Dan Turton who made up the Sundays final grouping who was a further 3 shots back after day one.
There were two trophies up for grabs over the two days and both were very well contested within the ladies section.
After a fast start by Billy , the pack were always chasing and inevitably mistakes were made. The lead was soon 4 and that lead was never to be let go, with the final margin of victory being a commanding 9 shots. This win means that Billy has now won three Club Championship Titles in a row and his total score of 140 was the lowest total in some years in the competition. Clive Berry also had a belter of a weekend hitting form just in time to take the Nett Championship by an impressive 9 shots ahead of Martin Payne and Gary Wingett who had total nett scores of 135. The juniors were also out amongst the Men and the eventual Winner was 2019 Junior Captain George Tanner with Newcomer Tommy Brammer picking up second place.
The 1pm tee time on Saturday seemed almost unfair on the ladies, but they were all there raring to go. Sunday was a different story, the ladies were out first at 7:30am and the temperature near perfect, a very similar story to the past few years. Having missed the hottest part of the day, the ladies then had time to relax and enjoy the break and waited for the men to finish up their rounds. 2019 saw a new winner of the Ladies Championship, Jane Bacon a member for almost 15 years won the Trophy with a gross score of 177. Followed by last year’s champion Hilary Dobbins on a total of 183. Lady captain Lynda Brading took home the Nett Championship beating Hazel Taylor by just 1 shot. The Embley cup winner for 2019 contested only on the Sunday was won by Sue Hughes in only her second championship here at the Club. Jan Marsh won 2nd place. It was a great day, with fantastic weather, a course that could not be faulted and laughs from start to finish. A big thank you to the competition committees, the captains and all those involved in the running event.
HAYLING LADIES’ GOLF CLUB The Hayling Trophy is a round robin matchplay competition for handicaps 25-36. There are 20 teams of five in the competition, mainly from South Hampshire. It’s a competition that is always played in great spirit and enthusiasm. It is played from 1st October thru to June.
clouds circulating around our Island remained weatherproof as it so often does. The five matches were all extremely close, and in the end it was Corhampton’s day – a first time win for them.
2019 marked the 16th year of the Hayling Trophy, and it was played at Hayling Golf Club on Thursday 20 June. The two clubs competing for the trophy this year were Corhampton and Royal Winchester, with Meon Valley and Hayling Ladies also making it to the semis.
The Hayling Trophy and the Salver for the runners up were presented at a celebration lunch held after the match, which was attended by 50 ladies … and one man … from nine of the Hayling Trophy club teams. Commiserations were handed out to Royal Winchester, who have taken the Runners Up Salver home four times now.
We were fortunate with the weather, starting the day with sunshine and a typically fresh wind blowing from the west making conditions tricky for the teams and despite glowering dark
It was a wonderful day for everyone and once again the Hayling Trophy has proved to be an extremely popular and enjoyable competition. www.haylinggolf.co.uk
6 TEE TIMES | August 2019
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The complete venue Nestled in the tranquil settings of the Hampshire countryside just north of Southampton, Meon Valley is bracing itself for the next chapter of its unique facility just one year on from becoming part of the Elite Venue Selection. This beautiful facility embraces all levels of golf from those keen to start to the accomplished with a host of options for all ages: • Undercover practise academy supported by PGA coaches. Equipment hire. •2 7 holes of quality designed golf on the Meon and Stirling (mixture of the Meon and Valley (9 holes) courses all of which have finely manicured playing surfaces • Par 3 course • Full fleet of electric buggies • With online tee bookings recently launched booking your golf could not be easier. Understandably it proudly boasts being the only golf course in Hampshire to have hosted a European PGA event but don’t let this put you off as it has something for everyone.
8 TEE TIMES | August 2019
The Valley course Is built around the ruins of an ancient Roman Village and sits ideally at just under 5738 yards from the white tees for all standards of golfer and especially corporate/society golf where enjoyment compliments the challenge. A beautiful blend of championship golf, guile and course management. (Yellow tees measure 5404 yards with the reds 4812 yards)
The Meon course Passes through a forest of beautiful oak trees and other fine specimens accompanied by natural water hazards. At just under 6500 yards from the white tees this course presents a fine, yet fair, challenge with greens that give you a chance to make that putt become reality. Yellow tees measure 6073 yards with the red 5620 yards. The choice is yours.
The Sterling course Passes through a foreThere is always the option to play The Sterling course for a morning round to warm up on the Valley course then the challenge of the Meon Course back 9 after a variety of sumptuous offerings for lunch. Alongside its renowned reputation for tastefully designed rooms, conferences, weddings, spa and pool, tennis, weekend breaks and tribute evenings, Whatever your requirements the committed team at Meon Valley will make it happen. Whether its playing 18 holes or just 9 holes on the Valley course your expectations and enjoyment will be fulfilled and then mulled over in the comfort of the Clubhouse bar, restaurant or terrace. So whatever your requirements this Elite venue oozes quality, a personal, professional and welcoming service where pride to go the extra mile to make your visit an experience to remember is standard.
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 9
Ryder Cup heroes reunited at Lahinch as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open promises a festival of golf Dubai, UAE: Stars from the 2018 European Ryder Cup team will look to take the limelight once again this week as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open gets underway at the picturesque Lahinch Golf Club in Co. Clare on the west coast of the Emerald Isle. Spanish World No.11 Jon Rahm, who won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open two years ago, is looking to win his third Rolex Series title while 2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood also tees it up hoping to add another piece of illustrious silverware to his collection. England’s Tyrrell Hatton, twice a victor at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Scottish links of St. Andrews, also made his Ryder Cup debut alongside Rahm and Fleetwood last year and they will be joined by Ian Poulter - a modernday Ryder Cup legend and 12-times winner on the European Tour. Major champions Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett and Louis Oosthuizen will add their star power to proceedings while a strong contingent of home players are in the field hoping to leave Irish eyes smiling. Three-times Major winner and the next European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington, is looking to win his second Dubai Duty Free Irish Open title following his triumph at Adare Manor in 2007, which came just two months before his Major breakthrough at The Open at Carnoustie.
Shane Lowry is already a Rolex Series winner this season having clinched the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Presented by EGA in January in impressive wire-to-wire fashion. Lowry is a former winner of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open having won ten years ago as an amateur. “I don’t know if (winning this week) will top 2009,” said Lowry. “I don’t want to even start thinking about winning the Irish Open again - I try not to think about it. I’m currently only 32, so hopefully
10 TEE TIMES | August 2019
I’ve got another 15 or 20 Irish Opens in me and hopefully I’ll have a few chances to win again.” This week’s tournament host, Paul McGinley has attracted a world-class field which includes future hosts of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, with Harrington also taking up the role in the coming years. “We’re well on our way to having sell-out crowds for the weekend which is unbelievable really considering The Open Championship is going to be here in a couple of weeks’ time in this country of ours,” said McGinley. “The players who come here will feel really well prepared to win a Major championship.” Host McGinley’s meticulous attention to detail which helped him Captain Europe to a stunning Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in 2014 - have been praised by sponsors Dubai Duty Free ahead of the event, particularly with the choice of venue for the tournament. “I’m very pleased we became involved with the Irish Open five years ago,” said Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO. “We did it for one year as a test and it became so successful that we became contracted to do the next four years and during that period we became partner of the European Tour which gives us even more coverage and public attention to Dubai Duty Free. “Lahinch Golf Course is one of the premier links courses in the world. It’s been voted many times as one of the top 100 courses in the world and is the home of one of the top amateur tournaments in Ireland - the South of Ireland Amateur Open -
which Padraig Harrington, our host Paul McGinley, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have all competed in. McGinley was a winner of it and Harrington was a finalist. “Lahinch village is quite a small village with 600 people living there. It’s on the most westerly point of Ireland and creates a lot of excitement there. During the evenings of the tournament, the village itself will have a carnival atmosphere as the streets will be closed and there will be concerts and entertainment. They’re expecting an excess of 80,000 to visit so we are very happy and excited for the event.” With a world-class field assembled, a festival of fun outside the ropes and the continued support of an enthusiastic title sponsor, this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is all set to be another classic.
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 11
Georgia is ticking her way towards the top spot After winning the British Open, Dorset’s Georgia Hall revealed how she was measuring progress in her quest to cement her position as a global star in women’s golf. And it all comes down to ticks. The 23-year-old from Bournemouth told The Guardian newspaper that at the beginning of the year she had set herself five targets: “I wrote them down and signed them. “The first was to just win an LPGA tournament. The second was to do really well in the Open. I covered two ticks by winning it.
“What I won at the British Open is great but look at what the male winner gets. It’s roughly a million more than me” “I wanted to break into the top 50 and then the top 20. I thought that was maybe too big a goal. But I’ve done that too. So that’s four big ticks.” So, what else did she want to achieve? Obvious: world number one. And with it, long-term financial security.
As the daughter of a plasterer, she did not always have the money to play in tournaments for which she had already qualified. Her life is much easier now, as she received a cheque of £375,000 after winning the Open at Royal Lytham. But world number one was not on Georgia’s get-real list at the time. The fifth ambition was to be named as Rookie of the Year on the US PPGA Tour. That was not to be, for she finished second in the voting to Korea’s Ko Jin-young. “That’s OK,” Hall says. “I got all my other goals.” If she keeps on making tick lists, she will now certainly include the ultimate target: world number one. She responded emphatically when The Guardian asked if she would prefer to become the world’s best golfer before winning another Major. “Yeah, I’d take world No 1 for sure. That’s the dream.” Her Open victory came after 15 years of hard work amid challenging financial circumstances. “My dad was a plasterer and my mum a hairdresser. He played golf and took me down to the local driving range when I was seven.
Bournemouth’s Georgia Hall: Beginning to reap the rewards of being British Open Champion
“I then joined the kids’ club and I was the only girl. There were seven levels, and I got to the top level quickly. I was beating all the boys and they used to hate that. They were quite embarrassed. “I did cross-country and football and I was in the boys’ cricket team. I was the only girl. I was a pretty good batsman because I would swing my bat like a golf club. I used to really whack it. “I didn’t know it at the time but it was tough for my parents. They didn’t tell me this until a few years ago. But they always had to sell some things for me to have enough money for golf lessons and tournaments. We lived quite far down south and so dad would drive me for four hours to get to a two-hour lesson and then drive me back – on top of working. “Golf is one of the most expensive sports you can play. You need to pay a lot to join a club, you need golf clubs, all the equipment, lessons. “It was hard and I missed three majors I’d qualified for because of a lack of funds. I was in the top three in the world as an amateur but we
couldn’t afford to get to me there. I could only get to the British Open. That was frustrating but I always said I will be fine in the end.” The large winner’s cheque for the Open has made life very different now. But Hall is backing the views of Solheim Cup caption Catriona Matthew who, as reported in last month’s Tee Times, has raised questions about the wide difference in prize money between the men’s and women’s tours. “It’s getting better but it could do with more (equality). On the LPGA our prize money’s going up every year but I don’t think it’ll ever be the same. What I won at the British Open is great but look at what the male winner gets. It’s roughly a million more than me.” Francesco Molinari, who won the 2018 Open, received a cheque for £1.42m which meant he earned £1,045,000 more than Hall.
“It was tough for my parents. They always had to sell some things for me to have enough money for golf lessons and tournaments” “We’re paid very well on the women’s tour, but we can’t do anything about that big difference. We work just as hard as the men and we’re very good. If you watch an LPGA tournament the standard is incredible. But the men earn so much more. “Equality has happened already in tennis even though they’re playing less. Maybe they should play the same number of sets and get paid the same money. We’re playing the same number of holes as the men.”
275 YEARS LATER, LADIES ARE WELCOME Muirfield Golf Club has formally invited 12 women to join as members. The move comes two years after members at the privately-owned East Lothian club voted by 82 per cent to admit female members for the first time in its 275-year history. It also followed a threat by golf’s ruling body, the R&A, to remove Murifield from The Open Championship rota if it failed to change.
Twelve women – two from outside the UK - have now been formally invited to join. The candidates were proposed and seconded by members and five referees, before the club’s membership were invited to write letters of support - or otherwise if they know or have played with them. Alistair Campbell, captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said: “This marks a
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milestone in the club’s illustrious history, and we look forward to welcoming all of our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club.
“This year marks the 275th anniversary of the club’s first recorded golf competition. We are proud of our rich history but equally excited for its future and the part all of our new members will play in the club’s cherished traditions.” A 2016 vote fell just short of that, with 64% of members supporting the move. However, another plebiscite the following year returned around 80% backing from a total of 621 votes.
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 13
England Win European Men’s Silver Medal England narrowly missed out on the chance to win the European Men’s Team Championship for a record twelfth time when they lost to hosts Sweden in the final of this year’s championship at Llunghusen. Spanish World No.11 Jon Rahm, who won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open two years ago, is looking to win his third Rolex Series title while 2017 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood also tees it up hoping to add another piece of illustrious silverware to his collection. England’s Tyrrell Hatton, twice a victor at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Scottish links of St. Andrews, also made his Ryder Cup debut alongside Rahm and Fleetwood last year and they will be joined by Ian Poulter - a modernday Ryder Cup legend and 12-times winner on the European Tour. Major champions Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett and Louis Oosthuizen will add their star power to proceedings while a strong contingent of home players are in the field hoping to leave Irish eyes smiling.
attracted a world-class field which includes future hosts of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, with Harrington also taking up the role in the coming years.
Three-times Major winner and the next European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington, is looking to win his second Dubai Duty Free Irish Open title following his triumph at Adare Manor in 2007, which came just two months before his Major breakthrough at The Open at Carnoustie.
“We’re well on our way to having sell-out crowds for the weekend which is unbelievable really considering The Open Championship is going to be here in a couple of weeks’ time in this country of ours,” said McGinley. “The players who come here will feel really well prepared to win a Major championship.”
Shane Lowry is already a Rolex Series winner this season having clinched the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Presented by EGA in January in impressive wire-to-wire fashion. Lowry is a former winner of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open having won ten years ago as an amateur.
Host McGinley’s meticulous attention to detail which helped him Captain Europe to a stunning Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles in 2014 - have been praised by sponsors Dubai Duty Free ahead of the event, particularly with the choice of venue for the tournament.
“I don’t know if (winning this week) will top 2009,” said Lowry. “I don’t want to even start thinking about winning the Irish Open again - I try not to think about it. I’m currently only 32, so hopefully I’ve got another 15 or 20 Irish Opens in me and hopefully I’ll have a few chances to win again.”
“I’m very pleased we became involved with the Irish Open five years ago,” said Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO. “We did it for one year as a test and it became so successful that we became contracted to do the next four years and during that period we became partner of the European Tour which
This week’s tournament host, Paul McGinley has
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gives us even more coverage and public attention to Dubai Duty Free. “Lahinch Golf Course is one of the premier links courses in the world. It’s been voted many times as one of the top 100 courses in the world and is the home of one of the top amateur tournaments in Ireland - the South of Ireland Amateur Open which Padraig Harrington, our host Paul McGinley, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have all competed in. McGinley was a winner of it and Harrington was a finalist. “Lahinch village is quite a small village with 600 people living there. It’s on the most westerly point of Ireland and creates a lot of excitement there. During the evenings of the tournament, the village itself will have a carnival atmosphere as the streets will be closed and there will be concerts and entertainment. They’re expecting an excess of 80,000 to visit so we are very happy and excited for the event.” With a world-class field assembled, a festival of fun outside the ropes and the continued support of an enthusiastic title sponsor, this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is all set to be another classic.
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Meon Valley golf Meon Valley Hotel, Golf and Country Club is Hampshire’s only European PGA Tour destination. Join us here in Southampton for first-class golf and a striking countryside location. Our hotel showcases two championship golf courses, which is ideal for those seeking a world-class golf experience. Featuring a total of 27 holes of challenging play, our courses are located amongst a stunning oak forest; enjoy tree-lined bunkers, beautiful fairways and more. Between rounds, why not indulge in our luxurious spa or enjoy some delicious food in our restaurant. You can perfect your swing in our golf academy. Our PGA professionals take time with each student to ensure that they receive the most from their sessions.
Championship Meon Course Our premier golf course has twice hosted the Phillips PFA golf classic. This course has 18 holes and passes through an oak forest, tree-lined fairways, large bunkers and natural water hazards with our par 3 signature hole located at hole 12 with beautiful views over a bed of water.
Valley Course Offering wider fairways than the Meon Course, our Valley Course is slightly less challenging but has its own charm. The course is built around the ruins of an ancient Roman village and the 9-hole course can be played as one 18-hole course at 5,758 yards.
Great for Groups Our countryside location is an ideal venue for corporate golf events, golf societies, charity golf days and even team building sessions. We have special packages and flexible memberships to make your days outing simple and easy.
Green fees available from £35.00 Golf packages available from £40.00 for groups of ten or more golfers 16 TEE TIMES | August 2019
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Our Leisure Club offers a wide variety of facilities for guests to enjoy. It’s the perfect place to burn those calories in the gym, relax in the whirlpool or if you want to pamper yourself, we have beauty treatments available in our Retreat Spa to help you completely de-stress.
Want to join a local gym? Don’t want the hassle of contracts and being tied down? Then become a member at Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club. We offer fantastic value memberships that are Contract Free and you can cancel at any time, we just need 30 days’ notice. All we need to do is set up a direct debit and you control the rest! We also offer the below membership benefits:
Our Gym & Spa Facilities Include: • Indoor heated pool • Whirlpool • Sauna • Steam room • Treadmills (x10) • X-trainers (x7) • Upright bikes (x4) • Recline bikes (x3) • Rowers (x3) • Studio - Consisting of 32 classes Membership Category
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 17
Spotlight on people in golf + Spotlight on people in golf + Spotlight on people in golf
Golf is helping while I battle this cancer
Heather MacRae: “Golf is what I do”
Scottish golfer Heather MacRae says focusing on playing the sport is helping take her mind off her battle with cervical cancer. The Scot, 35, was still due to compete with male professionals at the Tartan Tour’s Northern Open a week before she started a second course of surgery. MacRae, who won the Women’s PGA Professional Championship in Englandrecently, said: “The last few weeks have been so busy and that’s the way I wanted it to be like,” she said. MacRae is making sure she is “not giving myself much time to sit and think about it”. “I figure I’ll have four, five, six, seven weeks to sit and do that,” she told BBC Scotland. MacRae admitted to “exhaustion”, with last week’s victory coming despite missing about six weeks after recovering from her initial operation and only being able to play because her next surgery was delayed. “Golf is what I do, I’ve come off a win last week and everyone here’s been really nice and congratulating me,” she said. “The guys know what I’ve been going through. “I feel mostly fine - just enjoying what I’m doing and doing a lot of fun stuff with people I want to do it with.” MacRae is not sure how long she will be sidelined from golf because of the operation. “My normal day is going to the gym and lifting heavy stuff and playing golf.”
On cue, Shaun tastes some big-time golf No, you haven’t picked up Snooker Scene magazine by mistake. This really is Tee Times, and this really is former world snooker champion Shaun Murphy appearing in region’s premier golfing publication. Murphy’s abilities on a golf course have not matched his performances on the green baize, but the 36-year-old is good enough on the fairways to have a crack at qualifying for The Open this year. He is a scratch golfer and took part in the Open qualifying at County Louth. He had an off day – it can happen with cue or club – and his 12-over par score put paid to dreams of further progress.
Shaun Murphy: Snooker star and scratch golfer
But he still thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He told Sky Sports: “I might now just have to go as spectator ‘It’s been a fabulous experience to come out and play. The guys I played with today really took me round, showed me the ropes. “This is my first tournament of any kind and it was fantastic, it’s been a great day.”
GRAEME EYES A COMEBACK Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, after slumping as low as 257th in the world rankings, has said he is looking to build on a new momentum. The former world number four climbed back into the top 100 at the U.S. Open, moving up to 89th after sharing 16th position at Pebble Beach. The 39-year-old, whose Pebble Beach performance qualified him for The Open, said: “I feel like I’m 25 or 30 again, trying to climb the ladder.” “I’ve done it once and I maybe didn’t appreciate it at the time, because I missed it a lot when it went away. “Getting back into the top 100 is a big step. It feels good.” His form at Pebble Beach came in the wake of yet another promising result: an eighth place finish in the Canadian Open that secured a place in his hometown Open at Royal Portrush.
Sacré bleu! The balls are finis
Even a player ranked 1,999th in the world might be expected to have all his kit well stocked for a big event.
But Clement Berardo found himself disqualified from a Challenge Tolur tournament – because he ran out of balls. The Frenchman, 32, is not even sure how many balls he had in his bag to begin with when officials ruled him out after the 16th at the Andalucia-Costa del Sol Match Play 9 event. His scorecard, which started with a quadruple bogey on the opening hole, was peppered
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Clement Berardo: Empty bag after 16 holes
with bogeys and double bogeys as ball after ball, probably 10 or more, disappeared into rough or splashed into water hazards. If he had been more familiar with the rules, he might have known that he was allowed to obtain a conforming ball from anyone else, including another player on the course. He was disqualified for
Australia’s Hannah Green won her first Major title as he held off defending champion Park Sung-hyun to win the Women’s PHA Championship. Green, 22, is ranked 114th in the world and had never won an LPGA event before the tournament at Hazeltine National.
failing to finish. The hapless Clement was actually in good company. No lesser personage than Tiger Woods famously came close to facing a similar problem in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Woods had taken some balls to his hotel room to practice putting after the second round was suspended due to bad weather, but forgot to replace them. During the third round, Woods pulled his tee shot on the 18th into the Pacific Ocean. He was left with just one ball, which he used to complete his round on the way to a record 15-shot victory.
“I’ve always wanted to win in front of an Aussie crowd and even though I’m not in Australia, it was like that today. To win a major as my first event, I am over the moon.”
Lighter Moments from the World of Golf Your Monthly Blog by
Is Golf a game of numbers?
American Chez Reavie held on to claim his first PGA Tour victory in almost 11 years at the Travelers Championship. The 37-year-old started the final round with a six-shot lead, but was just one stroke ahead of major champion Keegan Bradley with two holes to play. But Reavie birdied the 17th to clinch his second PGA title, his first since the Canadian Open in July 2008.
I’ve come to the conclusion there are an awful lot of numbers involved in the game of golf. Numbers appear everywhere, from golf balls, golf clubs, to our handicaps which are even recorded to the decimal point. Every hole is allocated with either a par 3, 4, 5 or 6 (yes, some courses actually have par 6s) and all courses are recorded in yards or metres as well as having a SSS, a CSS plus a buffer zone. Even the golfing equipment is mathematically analysed so, heaven forbid, any new technology won’t give players too much of an advantage. Surely the golfing authorities realise by now that hitting the ball an extra 50 yards is of very little value if you can’t also strike it in the right direction. Then there’s the various scoring systems applied to competitions of 9, 18, 36 or 72 holes, where every hole has a course index from 1 to 18 to balance out handicaps as fairly as possible. Further scoring adjustments are even made when players have a disastrous hole in stroke play, reducing scores back to a net double bogey. Even learning the stableford scoring system can be complex for a beginner to grasp. Most of us end up learning it parrot fashion, similar to when we learnt our times-table at school. We even analyse statistics in the form of eclectic competitions. Thankfully this gives us hope that it’s possible to take 10 shots off our handicap, if only we could focus and play the whole course more consistently. The game of golf may have started as a simple (but tricky) stroke system, but it’s certainly developed into a huge mathematical process which thankfully is now handled by a computer. The reason could be that unlike many sports, golf is all about fairness between competitors. This combined with the aim of obtaining the lowest score to win, means it’s a game where weaker players are given more advantages to compete equality. Although, in reality it’s all about beating the odds and walking off the golf course with the satisfaction of having played a decent round and achieved an acceptable score! One aspect I’ve noticed in match play is that sometimes the difference between players on certain holes is not always quite one whole shot. Who knows, one day the ruling authority may just apply a percent difference on holes, so when we trundle up the fairway, we declare we have a ¾ shot advantage. Now that’s definitely when I’ll need to pack a calculator in my bag to tot up all the fractions!
Former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has been named on the European Tour’s Ryder Cup committee. The position is Scudamore’s first paid role since leaving the Premier League at the end of 2018. The new committee has been tasked with boosting the Ryder Cup’s commercial value before the 2020 event in the USA.
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 19
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TEE TIMES | August 2019 21
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Based at Ampfield Golf Club and Meon Valley Based at Ampfield Golf Club and Meon Valley Country Club GolfGolf andand Country Club
A Game in Hand What a performance! When it comes to the club face in golf your hands are sitting in the driving seat. Where we position our hands on the grip dictates where the club face will aim at impact. The problem with changing your grip, as with any change in your golf game, because it feels weird you add a LOT of tension into the equation. So here are a few ways to get those hands and your club face straight without the additional grrrrr factor.
As a general rule your hands will return to the position they naturally hang in at impact. Set up in your golf posture, leaning your club on your leg. Now hang your hands down in front of you and clap them together. The palms face each other and there shouldn’t be an ounce of tension. Make gentle fists and then take the club fitting it into the channel that is made with your fingers. Your hands then fold round the handle and link or overlap as you would do normally. Palms are looking at each other. Tension levels are much easier to keep low if you hold the club in the fingers. Remember to not strangle and hold the club like a tube of toothpaste with the lid off. Most golfers hold the club too hard due to having it too much in the palms or simply being anxious on the course. Having sorted your grip out let’s turn our attention to how your hands work during the swing. Not something you want to think hard about during a shot as it ends up being a bit like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach, whilst trying to hit a ball. Too many thoughts ends in disaster.
Try this: Again without the club, take your golf posture, arms hanging down and palms looking at each other. Swing back to hip height and your thumbs should be pointing up. Swing through to mirror the backswing and again thumbs will be up. Do a few then take your club in hand and simply think thumbs up as you swing it half way back. This will set the club in a great “L” shape then swing through and make another L on the other side. Now tee a ball up and practice hitting shots L-L. This action gets your hands participating more in the swing and if you lacked a great strike or distance before, you’ll see a big improvement when you get it right.
Too much? Some players ask me why the hands get way too involved and they feel like they’re just flicking or scooping the ball? The downswing is a sequence of movements, a kinetic sequence. It’s the same sequence that occurs when you’re throwing a ball for a dog. You unwind from the ground up… weight transfers through your feet as your lower body unwinds and the last thing to go is the release of that fabulous L shape you made with your club and your leading arm. If a player doesn’t use their body to unwind - sometimes due to poor fitness levels, injuries, or simply not understanding that the loft on the golf club is what lifts the ball in the air. The hands compensate and try to create more power. This is far from efficient and tiring doing it for 18holes. So practicing these half swings will give you a great chance to get the bigger muscles involved as well as encourage good hand action. Probably the most important thing to remember is that pressure on the club. Don’t strangle. Just hold. If your hands are in the right place on the handle this will be easier. If you’d like to save yourself a ton of shots this Summer, come to one of my Shot Saver workshops at High Post Golf Club. The sessions are packed full of easy tips to blend into your game without making major changes.The next dates are Tuesdays 30th July, 6th August, 27th August and Wednesday 11th September. 2pm for 2hrs each day and this includes tea and cake. £25pp, places limited. If you’d like to nab a spot then email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone can be better. Book a lesson and get your best out of your game. Visit my website for video tips and let’s enjoy this glorious game even. Visit www.katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk 07780 684334
22 TEE TIMES | August 2019
It was really heart warming to see Shane Lowry romping to victory at The Open. The great skill he displayed throughout the week was a joy to behold. Even when the pressure was on and the weather was terrible in the last round, he was able to keep it together. I’m sure there were a fair few Irish folk who were feeling a bit under the weather the following morning, as a result of victory celebrations! The £1.5 million that Shane picked up for winning the championship was a far cry from the prize money that was picked up by the winner of The Open in 1951. In 1951, when the championship was last played at Portrush, the winner, Max Faulkner, won the grand sum of £300.00!! In those days the championship was concluded with two rounds on Friday. This was so that the Pros were able get back to their clubs to look after the members at the weekend. A far cry indeed from the lifestyle of today’s superstar golfers with their private jets. As there were fewer tournaments back then, the top players like Max Faulkner would play exhibition matches around the country. I can only assume that one of these matches was played at Lee on Solent Golf Club in Hampshire. This is because Max Faulkner went round in 66 to set up a course record. I know this to be a fact because I managed to break that course record with a 64 when I competed in a Hampshire PGA pro am in 1991. By all accounts, Max Faulkner was quite a character and had he been born into this era would, no doubt, be very popular indeed. Like many of the Tournament Professionals these days, he was very fit. He had been a PE instructor in the RAF during the Second World War. He was a good boxer and took part in a couple of exhibition bouts with Len Harvey, the then world light heavyweight boxing champion. Apparently Faulkner had a putter made from a snooker cue and a piece of driftwood. He obviously wasn’t tied in on a club manufacturing contract Pictured is Max Faulkner in the classic finish position. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article about one of our champions of the past. Back to some tips next month. M: 07787 887578 | E: email@example.com | W: mbtourcoach.com
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