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ISSUE 205 | June 2018 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com | www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com

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

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LADY PLAYERS’ AND THEINCOME WINNERALERT IS. . . 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

Rory: I don’t care about The Open

GOLF SPORTSMANSHIP

‘Professionals on European circuit are having to find part-time jobs to get by’

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. Room will be found for mementoes of the 2017 Masters to be placed alongside those McIlroy with theU.S. ClaretOpen Jug after his 2014in victory at The Open of Rose’s triumph 2013 and his – the championship he now says he doesn’t care about Olympic Golf Gold.

Rory McIlroy believes the Masters But overtaken while Rose was Augusta has Thepipped Openatand the by SergioMajors Garcia, the inevitable disappointment other as ‘the biggest golf for his fans was counterbalanced by a tournament in the world’ display of skill and sportsmanship which was Ina acredit statement likely to ruffle feathers to both men, and to a sport which and raise eyebrows in the – still prides itself on honesty andUK fairness. especially in Scotland - the world number seven offered histhese opinion Yes, the final round between two Ryder after a final-round foiled his Rose Cup titans was bound74 to be emotional. hopes of a his career Grand aSlam in Major, this was edging way towards second and Garcia was trying to secure his first on year’s Masters. very day which would have been the ‘Ithe don’t care about the U.S. Open or 60th birthday of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. The Open Championship,’ said the four-time Major champion. But the overriding emotion for spectators of the final round was theofway these two ‘The most amount eyeballs, the Europeans fought fight.everything is most amount of the hype, at Augusta.’ In the final round, they were toe-to-toe rivals He added: ‘For me. it’s the most but not opponents, supremely competitive special tournament that we play and yet gentlemanly, acknowledging each other’s it’s thewith onea knuckle-touch everyone desperately skills or a nod. wants to win. ‘But even if I was going for my first • Turnit’s to Page 4 Major, still tough to win.’

There are players on the Ladies European Tour who have to take part-time jobs to make ends meet, says one of the circuit’s stars. The LET has 14 scheduled events this year - a situation which Melissa Reid, who joined the Tour in 2008, calls ‘heartbreaking’. The 30-year-old Englishwoman told BBC Sport: ‘The LET needs help, and quickly. ‘I’ve encouraged players to support offers we get in because it’s all well and good fighting a cause but there’s not going to be a Tour to play on soon.’ At one time, the LPGA Tour in the United States was reported to be keen to help the LET but the offer was not accepted. Speaking on the BBC’s golf podcast, The Cut, Solheim Cup player Reid added: ‘A lot of my friends, who have been on Tour for 12 years, have had to get part-time jobs. Golf is supposed to be the second highest paid women’s sport. The standard of play has been affected, she said: ‘They are elite athletes but if they are having to work part-time jobs how are they meant to put in the hours to get the

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best out of their abilities? It’s just not right.’ England’s Georgia Hall won the most money last year, with £325,000 from 10 events. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who played with Reid in the recent Golf Sixes, was second with £140,000. And Reid eighth with £80,000. Only the top 50 in the rankings earned more than the average UK salary of £25,000 for a woman although BBC Sport said players have to pay their own travel and accommodation. Melissa Reid: ‘It’s all well and good fighting a cause but there’s not going to be a Tour to play on soon’

In comparison, Jin Young So has earned as much money by May 2018 on the LPGA Tour in the United States than Hall did on the LET in the of 2017. Wellwhole played, Masters mate: At the end and on the course, Rose and Garcia were And the lack money in the sportingof gentlemen women’s game in Europe was highlighted further for Reid at the 1m euro Golf Sixes event where the winning pair shared 200,000 euros (£175,000). Turn to Page 4…

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If you would like to advertise in Tee Times, or would like to submit any editorial copy for publication, please call us on: 01329 834360, email us at: peter.teetimes@gmail.com, or write to us at: PGL Services Limited, Shedfield House Dairy, If you would like to advertise in TeeSO32 Times, would anyin editorial copy for publication, publication, please call usaccept on: 01329 email us at: Unit 3, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, 2HQ. or Whilst everylike careto hassubmit been taken the preparation of this the publishers cannot liability834360, for errors or omissions. Allpeter.teetimes@gmail.com, articles published herein are without responsibility write uspublishers, at: PGL Services Limited, Shedfield Dairy, Unit 3, Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ. Whilst every care has been taken in thereserved. preparation onorthe part oftothe in the occasion of loss or damage toHouse any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any views published in Tee Times Golf Publications. COPYRIGHT: All rights No partofofthis thispublication, publication may be the publishers accept liability for errors or means omissions. All articles hereininare without responsibility theServices part ofLimited the publishers, in the occasion of loss or damage to any person acting reproduced, storedcannot in a retrieval system or recorded by any whatsoever withoutpublished prior permission writing from the publishers. ©on PGL 2006.

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Hoping for a birdie at the next hole? Be very careful what you wish for… 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.’

Gotcha! Man and clubs are grounded

The moment of realisation as the bird swoops

And this is what it looks like to be well and truly goosed

Go easy on the golfing gimmicks Mixed-sexes golf, Twenty 20 style golf, players heralded onto the tee like TV wrestlers or darts players. Is golf in danger of overdoing the razzmatazz as it attempts to shake off its old Colonel Blimp image? Iain Carter, the respected BBC golf correspondent, was among those sounding a note of caution following the spiced-up Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he said the hype was off-key. It was the second year of this two-man team competition, with players pairing up to play fourballs and foursomes. The format works well, he said, and gave players and spectators lively entertainment, but some of the attendant hype is way out of tune. ‘The decision to use walk-up music on the first tee, surely, missed by a mile. It is symptomatic of the game trying too hard to modernise itself. ‘The notion that songs piped through a loudspeaker can enhance a golfing experience is hard to fathom. ‘The European Tour has used tunes on the range at several events. The thinking is that it somehow makes the experience “cool”. ‘This is so far off the mark. The reason fans love watching players on the range is to watch them hone their technique and to admire the unique sound of a perfectly struck ball.

4 TEE TIMES | June 2018

Ladies’ tour Income alert From Page 3… ‘Pablo Larrazabal was saying there was not much money in GolfSixes) but a fun event. But for us it’s a huge event to represent women’s golf and open a few more doors for the LET.’ The pairs of Reid and Ciganda, representing European Women, and Georgia Hall and Charley Hull playing for England, both beat men’s teams to reach the quarter-finals, although they both lost at that stage. Reid said: ‘On Saturday morning I said we need to win this and make a huge statement for women’s golf. ‘It is one of the most gutted I’ve felt after an event because we could have done something special, we were playing well enough.’ The LET website shows just three events scheduled for the summer months, a complete contrast to when Reid was named LET Rookie of the Year in 2008. ‘When I first came on Tour it was thriving and we had endless tournaments where we could take weeks off,’ she said. ‘I know there’s a lack of money through sponsorship. That makes it tough for girls trying to break through as young professionals because the LET was a great place to start your career.’ An LET statement said: ‘There are 14 events listed on the 2018 schedule, in addition to the GolfSixes, but there are still more to be announced for this year in the near future. ‘The LET is in discussions with a number of leads for new tournaments next year and expects to make some exciting announcements this summer, with a view to publishing a full schedule for next year.’

Too zany? Horschel and Piercy enjoy their Zurich win

‘The music gets in the way and it must be remembered Coldplay is not cool golf. The sport should have the self-confidence to say it can be “cool” without musical accompaniment. ‘Seeing Alex Cejka and Ben Crane head-banging to Whitesnake before teeing off their third round was a step too far.’ Clearly, some of the young players thought it added to the occasion. Can said: ‘I think it’s awesome,It’s super fun. Yeah, I think guys should be required to do something.’

Cejka, sdded: ‘A lot of guys, like the Australians we were playing with (Greg Chalmers and Cameron Percy), they were standing there like everybody else. A little bit boring. We’re crazy characters, so for us it was normal, you know? Everybody is different. Some guys might like it, some guys don’t.’

Ian Carter responded: ‘Really? It left this stuck-inthe-rough observer feeling distinctly cold to the idea. Music and hullaballoo can work in a stadium but golf courses are not those kind of venues’ Another event which was set to give spectators ‘a full on assault to our senses’ was the GolfSixes. ‘Like the New Orleans tournament, this European Tour event is a welcome shift with the emphasis on pace of play, teamwork and playing for your country. ‘Last year the golfing side was fascinating. It looked a viable golf equivalent to Twenty20 Cricket and it undoubtedly has potential. Where it fell down was with the razzamatazz, the music and awful commentary. ‘A golf course is no venue for dry ice. These are usually beautiful places, don’t obscure their majesty with artificial clouds of fog, incongruous music and intelligence insulting announcements. ‘Golf lends itself to all sorts of entertaining formats and these are the proper vehicles to provide much needed innovation to the game.’


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PORTMARNOCK HOTEL & GOLF LINKS ST MARNOCK AND THE VELVET STRAND When St Marnock established his monastery on the east coast of Ireland, north of Dublin Bay in the 8th century, he would not have imagined that his name would be linked to a mecca for golf rather than a religious order. With a linksland site so perfect, it would be unimaginable for it to be anything else. The four star Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links offers an amalgam of the best things in life, a wonderful hotel with one hundred and thirty four bedrooms, all which look out over the sea, the unique Velvet Strand or the golf course. The sea view takes in the beauty of the Islands of Lambay and Irelands Eye, and the waves burst over the beach, which stretches as far as the eye can see in either direction. The house was originally the home of the Jamieson whiskey family, built in 1847 and now integrated into the hotel complex. The estate is steeped in history, and golf was an essential part of it. In 1858 a private golf course was developed, one of the earliest in Ireland, and part of that course was incorporated into the Bernhard Langer design. The historical links are numerous, The Osborne, the formal restaurant in the hotel, is named after the famous Irish artist Walter Osborne, who painted the view from the house. To the right of the first hole on the golf course, is the site of St Marnocks Church and the family graveyard, the original house was named St Marnocks.. On the tee markers around the course are marks inspired by the Ogham Stone which was found on the site of the 3rd green. Ogham script is the earliest script known to have been used in Ireland, with evidence on stone as early as the second Century. The estate indeed has a history, and with royal connections too. William George Jamieson was a great yachtsman in the 1880’s, and one of his yachts, The Britannia, was given to King Edward V11. The King visited Dublin in 1907, accompanied by Queen Alexander, to open the Dublin Exhibition. He visited the Jamieson house to unveil a plaque commemorating the marriage of the Jamieson and the Haig families, the two great distilling families. The family Coat of Arms is decorated with the Shamrock and the Thistle, and the words, Lux, Amor, Pax, light, love and peace, and a replica is housed in the secret south garden. It is said that the King

6 TEE TIMES | June 2018

had often visited previously, without his Queen, but accompanied by his Royal paramour, Mrs Alice Keppel. William Jamieson’s cousin Annie, married an Italian, Guiseppe Marconi, they had a son, Guilielmo, who was to become famous as the inventor of wireless telegraphy. On 13th July 1897 he successfully succeeded in sending signals by radio waves. William himself declined to accept a title when offered one by the King, stating that his family name was well enough known already, certainly to anyone who partook of a drink. There were other notable visitors in the 30’s, including famous aviators, Amy Johnson and her husband James Mollison. It was James Mollison who made the first East to West solo flight across the Atlantic in August 1932, he flew his De Havilland Puss Tiger Moth monoplane, named “The Hearts Content” from The Strand to Newfoundland. However he was not the first to create aviation history from the location. Two years earlier, on June 24th, after he had stayed in the house, Charles Kingsford Smith made the first such flight in a twin engined Australian airplane named “Southern Cross”, with Dubliner Captain J P Saul as navigator and crewmembers John Stannage and Ewert Van Dyke, their record breaking flight took 31.5 hours. Their achievement is commemorated by a limestone sculpture by Remco De Fouw, located on the promenade, it depicts the world with a bronze needle piercing it, and pointing to the North Star, the traditional navigational reference.

The current owners of this hotel and golf links, once they had completed the purchase, set out on a structured investment programme, with an initial extensive ten million euro development, which will saw a new wing added to the hotel, with thirty nine bedrooms and suites, and a new Spa and Fitness Centre, the results are there for all to enjoy. A journey a little further along the coast road will bring you to Malahide Castle, a fortress and a private home set in 250 acres of parkland, and said to be haunted by five famous ghosts. It is furnished with a fabulous collection of period furniture and Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery. The major feature is the beautiful Talbot Botanical Garden, covering almost ten hectares of shrubbery and walled gardens, created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973. The grounds are also home to the Fry Model Railway, a unique collection of perfect miniature handmade Irish trains, made in the 1920’ and 30’s, the working railway covers an area of 2500 sq feet.

To return to Portmarnock Links, the golf course is a treasure, though modern in construction, it appears to have been there since time began. You also have a choice of some of the other, older, famous courses close at hand. As an unabashed lover of Irish golf, I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this addition to the scene, in the sure knowledge that you will enjoy the course whenever you play it. A link with golfing history, via the 8th and 9th holes, since they were part of the original course and incorporated into this modern jewel. A must play for all links lovers. The quote from Bernhard Langer puts an appropriate seal to this screed. “There are few locations in Europe which could have allowed me the opportunity and landscape to design such a classic championship links. I hope all those who play it discover it’s magic and challenging beauty.”

In the 1940’s the house was owned by the Irish government, then in 1950 the Fine Gael party came to power and sold the hotel to the Moony family. When Phil Moony died in a tragic accident in 1954, the hotel was sold to a London father and son named Zwern, they were looking for an investment in Ireland.

If the stories of the history and the beauty of this amazing location held your interest, a visit will satisfy your dreams, with Irish hospitality in abundance, and it is only fifteen minutes from Dublin Airport. Michael Rees For more information: www.portmarnock.com www.Ireland.com/golf www.flybe com


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TEE TIMES | June 2018 7


Marvel treatment puts Jack among the old swingers

Legend Jack Nicklaus has revealed the ground-breaking treatment he has undergone to help him keep swinging a club at the age of 78. The 18-time Major champion, who has suffered from back problems for years and reckons he has swung a golf club 10 million times during his career, went through experimental stem cell therapy in Germany, it was reported by the Daily Telegraph and TV channel CNN. The newspaper says Nicklaus had stem cells taken from his abdomen and inserted in his lower back and is now back playing golf - pain free. In Rome for a golfing event, Nicklaus and his doctors told CNN about his experience with the treatment and how he has responded. He started therapy in Germany in 2016. The procedure included liposuction around his abdomen area, extracting cells from three ounces of fat. This was strained with an enzyme, the slurry mix spun and then injected into 14 different spots throughout his back and neck. ‘I mean, I was black and blue from the middle of my chest all the way across my hip down to my groin,’ said Nicklaus. Nicklaus said. ‘It was not pretty for about 10 days.’ He did not feel immediate relief. Nicklaus noticed the pain had subsided dramatically in the ensuing months, particularly after playing golf. His doctor, stem cell pioneer Eckhard Alt, said Nicklaus’ facet joint syndrome made him a perfect candidate for the procedure.

8 TEE TIMES | June 2018

The Golden Bear:

“Ascellslongallowas memy tostemplay, I will. Golf is a game of a lifetime, I hope to play for my lifetime.

‘For this back pain there was no other option without side effects or risks, said the doctor. ‘He could have taken oral anti-inflammatory medications daily with side effects or continual cortisone injections but that would have only treated the symptom. ‘The other thing would be to stiffen up the back with screws and metals to stabilize but that has a high risk of complications. I would only use it for fractures and then that part of the back is not flexible any longer.’ Nicklaus is due to have further treatment, this time to his shoulder. ‘I’m not a doctor,’ Nicklaus added, ‘but I think that stem cell is going to change the direction of orthopedics, totally. As long as my stem cells allow me to play, I will. Golf is a game of a lifetime, I hope to play for my lifetime.’ Why he kept it a secret? ‘I didn’t keep it private, no one asked me about it.’

NEW ACADEMY FOR HANTS JUNIORS Ladies European Tour golfer Liz Young and PGA professional Kevin Saunders, have teamed up to create a golf academy for junior players at Brokenhurst Golf Club in Hampshire. England Golf reports that Liz (nee Bennett) was England’s top woman player in her amateur days and was the English stroke play champion, an England international and a Curtis Cup player. She has competed fulltime on the Ladies European Tour since 2009 and has a 17-month-old daughter, Isabelle.  While Young is a leading player on the LET, Kevin is a past member of the European Tour and the PGA professional at Brokenhurst Manor, where Liz has recently been named Golf Ambassador.  Ladies European Tour golfer Liz Young and PGA professional Kevin Saunders

The pair will combine their expertise at the BMGC state of the art facilities to offer the best experience for juniors

coming into the game, including taster sessions and after school activities.   Liz, who has previously given motivational talks and coached in local primary schools, said: ‘I want to encourage all kids into golf and show what a great sport it is and that you can enjoy it for the whole of your life.’ Commenting on Liz’s new position as Golf Ambassador, Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club said: ‘We are delighted that Liz has accepted this important new role at the club. In addition to helping us refresh our commercial relationships within the local community, the unique partnership with our PGA Professional presents many exciting opportunities to increase our profile and to develop our teaching facilities for golfers of all abilities’. Located in the village of Brockenhurst in the heart of the New Forest, Brokenhurst Manor’s 18-hole park/heathland course was designed by renowned architect Harry Colt in 1915.

TOTAL TRIUMPH FOR GIUSEPPE Giuseppe Licata was again the star Gloucester and Somerset PGA player in a weatherravaged winter season. The Chipping Sodbury teaching professional won the 36-hole Total Triumph Stroke play, the final event at Filton. This completed a notable double and followed success in the Total Triumph Order of Merit. He was also runner-up in the Match play Championship. Licata and Ross Langdon (Brickhampton Court) led at the halfway stage with one over par rounds of 71 on a breezy day punctuated by a few brief showers. They proved to be the best of the day over the tricky Bristol layout. Bristol-based former Celtic Manor professional Joe Ferguson and Andrew March (Brean) shot 73 with seven others posting 75. The wind increased for the second circuit and so did the scores. Licata, on a course he knows well from

his amateur days, capitalized on a couple of bad holes by his playing partner Langdon to take the lead. But defending champion Ashley Mansell (Clevedon) and March challenged as everyone dropped shots. Licata made a rare birdie at the 16th followed by two pars to card six-over-par 146. Mansell dropped strokes at 16 and 18 to end one shot back while March bogeyed the final two holes to finish two behind to share third with Langdon. Cirencester’s Ed Goodwin and Ferguson were joint fifth. Goodwin was runner-up in the OOM with George Ryall (Worlebury) third and both join Licata in the team for the PGA County Championship. Langdon, Mansell  and Alex Munro (Bristol Golf Centre) followed. The leading 16 available players will also play in next season’s opening event, The Courage Matchplay Championship in September at Chipping Sodbury.


TEE TIMES | June 2018 9


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www.birdhills.co.uk TEE TIMES | June 2018 11


AMAZON LAND U.S. OPEN RIGHTS Amazon has secured the rights to the U.S. Open, meaning the event will be broadcast only on the internet in the UK and Ireland. The five-year deal will begin with this year’s tournament, which begins on 27 August at Flushing Meadows in New York. It will be available to watch live and on demand for members of Amazon Prime Video, its internet video service. Amazon will also broadcast 37 ATP Tour events, including nine Masters tournaments, from 2019. Anyone with an Amazon Prime membership will be able to access the coverage on Prime Video, which gives members unlimited streaming of films and TV episodes. Members will also have on-demand access to matches, highlights and news conferences. Amazon takes over the US Open rights from Eurosport, which will continue to show the event in the rest of Europe for the next five years.

England expects England Golf is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s Longest Day Golf Challenge this month to help raise the profile of the fundraising event among its 665,000 members and 1,900 clubs. The challenge on June 21 sees teams of four take on 72 holes – covering over 20 miles of course in one day – to fundraise. Players are encouraged to ask friends and family for sponsorship to help the charity support the growing number of people living with cancer. Full details are on the England Golf website. After registering to take part, participants can compete to win a three-night break to the final at golf challenge at Boavista Golf Resort, Portugal.

12 TEE TIMES | June 2018

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Another important facet adopted generally from the club was the concept of playing the ball as it lies.

Musselburgh Old Course Club

Musselburgh

The Birthplace of Champions The Open Championship returns to Scotland once again in 2018, to Carnoustie where golf has been played since the early 16th century. It was won after a play off by Padraig Harrington, who defeated Sergio Garcia, to become the first Irish winner since Fred Daly in 1947. It was also where there was at last a Scottish winner the previous time it was played in Carnoustie Country.

In this series of articles the remarkable story of the town, its racecourse and the golfing pedigree will be exposed to show the impact it has made on the game. The town had a thriving industry in club making and ball making, the family names will sound like music to the collector who appreciates old golf clubs, McEwen, Parks, Clark and Gourlay.

might be imbibed. It is also recorded that in addition to the four resident clubs, another sixty other clubs played their spring and summer meetings at the course. In 1876, the Musselburgh Golf Club was granted its Royal title, and in 1924 moved to the present home at the prestigious Prestongrange with a new course designed by James Braid. The old links was originally seven holes, remember that in those days there was no regular number, and it was not until 1838 that an eighth hole was added, and not until 1870 did the full nine holes open for play. The traditional attire of long red coat and tall black hat, with rugged looking caddies bearing a clutch of clubs under the arm was the regular scene on the links.

Paul Lawrie Open Champion 1999

Paul Laurie winning the play off after the dramatic last hole collapse by Jean Van de Velde when he visited the Barry Burn. Stirring memories, but few modern golfers, unless they are seriously interested in the origins of the game, will associate the town of Musselburgh as the hotbed of golfing talent. Be that as it may, this spot on the East Lothian coast overlooking the Firth of Forth was the birthplace of five Open Champions, and is confirmed to be the home of the oldest remaining golf course in the world. It may well have disappeared into obscurity since those heady Victorian days, but the history should never be forgotten. Musselburgh was chosen as one of the three venues for The Open Championship when Prestwick, The R&A and The Honourable clubs met to fund the purchase of the new trophy, The Claret Jug after the Championship belt had been won outright by Young Tom Morris in 1870. The championship first came to Musselburgh in 1874, and returned on five other occasions.

14 TEE TIMES | June 2018

Gourlay Feathery Ball

Documentary evidence shows that golf was being played on Musselburgh Links in 1672, and that Mary Queen of Scots had played there in 1567. The Musselburgh Club dates back to 1774, and some say much earlier, and is one of Scotland’s oldest clubs. By 1836, the course was shared by four clubs, a situation quite common in the early days when courses and golfers were far fewer in number. The course was shared with two societies, Edinburgh Burgess (later Royal Burgess) Golfing Society and The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society as well as the renowned Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers prior to their move to Muirfield. In the club minutes of 1782 it was written that at their festive gatherings the drink would be port and punch, but at statutory matches for the cup, claret or a more adequate liquor

The original start was from the grandstand on the racecourse, which was the site of the clubhouse of The Honourable Company, and to the right was the road, many golfers who sliced then had to play back to the links, and so in 1885 the brass sole was fitted onto the fairway woods to deal with the situation, thus the “brassie” was born. John Gourlay who was a fine golfer in his prime, was retained to cut the holes, for the princely sum of two guineas, he was also recognised as one of the finest makers of the feathery golf ball. The holes were cut with a diameter of four and a quarter inches, and that was made the mandatory size by the R&A in 1893, yet another facet influenced by the links in the town. One of the original hole cutters can be seen in the clubhouse of the Royal Musselburgh Club.

Each of the holes and many of the bunkers on the original course were named, and each for a reason, many self explanatory but some requiring knowledge. The first was called The Graves, due to the mounds, suggested to be the graves of soldiers buried after the Battle of Pinkie. The second, Barracks Entry, was because it was opposite the barracks in Pinkie Road, and the road was for many years not out of bounds, until the magistrates enacted otherwise in 1889.

Mary at St. Andrews

The most famous name of all is on the long third, Mrs Formans; it received the name from the hostelry behind the green, which became the resting point with refreshment served through the window. The bunker greenside was called Shand’s Bunker, after Judge Lord Shand, who had difficulty keeping out of it, and also getting out when in it. The huge bunker which had to be carried by the drive on the sixth, was called Pandy, short for Pandemonium, due to the difficulty it caused with the prevailing westerly wind. The sixth was called Bathing Coach, since one stood near to the green for many years. The eighth is The Gas, a result of the gasworks behind the green, once the site of a meadow used to graze sheep before the coming of industry to the area. So we have the town with a historic golf course, still readily accessible to all, with a history of wonderful club makers and ball makers, a succession of golfers who would win The Open Championship on eleven occasions, others who carried the expansion of golf to America and also became golf course architects and creators of the finest courses both sides of the Atlantic, plus instantly recognised caddies portrayed in artwork which would achieve international renown. There is more and so very much more to tell of the five Open Champions, others who impacted upon the golfing scene as they travelled away from Musselburgh around Great Britain and to the USA and the rest of the world. Michael Rees

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Carnoustie carnage always on the cards Listening to Padraign Harrington describe the closing holes at Carnoustie is skin to hearing a golfing version of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Water to the left of them out of bounds to the right of them, bunkers ahead of them… In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Tom English ahead of next month;s Open, he said: ‘All the complications off the tee that you can possibly think of. ‘The 18th is the most difficult closing hole in major championship golf and probably in world golf. I could play it 100 times in a row and still be as nervous and excited on the 100th attempt as I was on the first.’ Harrington was back in Carnoustie, sizing up the place where in 2007 he won his first Claret Jug in a play-off with Serio Garcia. A year later at Birkdale and won a third major, the USPGA, the same season. ‘When somebody comes into the house and sees the Claret Jugs there’s a reverence towards them,’ he says. ‘They’re looking over at them and I can see they’re looking and I can see they want a picture. ‘It’s a really nice reminder of what it means. It’s one of the joys of life that people get excited about it. I had the USPGA trophy, but everybody pushes it aside to get a picture with the Claret Jug. It’s amazing how iconic it is. People see it and their eyes light up.’ The BBC man reported that When Harrington recounts the story of how he won in 2007 it’s like being on a rollercoaster. On the Sunday, he was playing beautifully. He’d got through 15, 16 and 17 with a one-shot lead. A par down the last and Garcia would have needed to find something very special to catch him. ‘When I’m confident I sometimes jump up on the tee thinking I’m bulletproof and I was feeling bulletproof that day,’ he says. ‘I was going to bust it down the middle. Everything was great. I got a moment of doubt on the top of my backswing, only a small amount of doubt but it felt extreme because I wasn’t expecting it. ‘If I was standing on the tee with a little more fear, I would have been ready for the self doubt and I would have

16 TEE TIMES | June 2018

handled it. I hit a terrible drive.’ Into the Barry Burn he went. He had 238 yards to the green. A 4-iron. ‘Extraordinarily difficult. Wind off the right and all the danger that I talked about earlier ‘I was just trying to carry the Barry Burn and let it run up to the front of the green. I hit another bad shot - and I was devastated. ‘The tee shot was bad, but, hey, you get on with it. Plenty of people hit bad tee shots on 18 at Carnoustie. The second shot was me throwing away The Open. ‘In that moment I was sure I’d just lost my chance. It was my Open. I was one ahead, I was playing great, it was mine to lose and I felt like I’d lost it. ‘It was one of the few times in my whole career that I felt like I’d choked. I would have been happy for the ground to open up and swallow me. I was going to throw in the towel.’ Enter Ronan Flood, Harrington’s friend and caddie. On the walk to the burn Flood hit Harrington with positivity. ‘It’s not over’. ‘One shot at a time’. ‘Let’s finish this out’. ‘Every cliche under the sun,” he remembers. “I think he took the 4-iron off me because I would have hit him with it. He was resilient, though. Other caddies might have moped and shown their devastation. He must have felt terrible as well, but he didn’t let on. ‘I can say, categorically, that in those moments he won me The Open championship. By the time we got to the burn I was listening to him and I was back in the zone. ‘I had a chip shot of 49 yards to the pin and I hit it like a teenager showing off, a low, hard, spinny one. The whole crowd thought I’d mis-hit it and knifed it over the back of the green but in my head I was saying, ‘Watch the spin on this’. ‘That chip was purity. The putt, a sixfooter, was the opposite, it was a grind, a nasty one. I just willed it in. When I holed it for a double-bogey it hit me again that I’d just lost The Open.’ Then came his sliding doors moment. Young Paddy Harrington, aged threeand-a-half, was standing at the back of the green with his mum, Caroline. She had him on a tight rein until the putt

dropped. Then he made a run for it. Everything changed there and then. ‘As I walked off the green I saw him running on,” says Harrington. “I picked him up, gave him a bit of a twirl and at that moment in time I stopped feeling like I was a loser. There’s your son and when he looks at you he’s not judging you. It definitely helped change my mindset. Somebody still loves me. ‘It was a huge change in my momentum. It was just the way he looked at me, or the way I felt he looked at me. It brought me back to where I needed to be. I wanted to be miserable, but he wasn’t having any of it.’

Fond memories: Padraig Harrington with the Claret Jug

Harrington told Watson he remembers retreating to the recorders’ hut to watch Garcia play 18. The Spaniard had an 8ft putt to win The Open. ‘I wasn’t sitting there going ‘Miss, miss, miss’ and when he did miss I never got a change of emotion from it. I was sitting there thinking, ‘I am going to win this Open’.

‘Now, logically, he had to miss for me to have a chance of winning it, but I’d convinced myself that I was going to win, I didn’t go out for the play-off thinking, ‘Amn’t I lucky to be in a play off, happy days’. It’s amazing how badly people approach play-offs. I was on an even keel. Business as usual, ‘I am going to win this somehow’.’ Over the years he’s been asked what might have happened had Garcia’s putt dropped instead of missing by a millimetre. ‘People ask if it was life-changing to win, because I managed to win two more majors on top of it, I don’t know about that, but I think losing might have been career-changing. If I’d lost it could have put me into reverse. It would have been a big loss, a hard one to take. ‘The drive I hit on the 72nd hole has damaged my driving ever since. Can you imagine if it resulted in me losing the tournament? There’s a lot of things that might have been different that we will never know about.’ Eighty-seven years ago, Edinburgh’s Tommy Armour won The Open at Carnoustie. ‘Ive never lived through such an hour,’ he said in the aftermath of the mayhem that unfolded. Harrington, more than most, would have known what he was talking about. Playing 18 again, this time just for fun, he smashed a perfect drive down the middle, avoiding the bunkers and the burn and the out of bounds. ‘Now if only I’d done that 11 years ago I’d have saved myself an awful lot of grief,’ he jokes. Leaving the tee box he smiled the smile of a survivor - and a champion.

TOUGHEST CLOSING STRETCH OF ALL?

Carnoustie’s closing stretch from 15 to 18, has bamboozled the world’s besplayers since the first Open more than 80 years ago. Jean de Velde iis, and always will be, the most memorable, paddling his way to defeat in 1999. In 1931, when The Open was first staged there, Carnoustie-born Mac Smith just needed to par his way in from 16 to win. Double bogeys on 16 and 17 buried his hopes. Bernard Darwin, the doyen of golf writers at the time, wrote: ‘I felt

rather as if I had gone to see a man hanged.’ That same year, Argentine Jose Jurado took a five-shot lead into the final round but blew up. He walked off 18, retreated to a small room behind the first tee and, wrote The Scotsman, cried like a child. He didn’t speak about it for decades.Eventually, he broke his silence. ‘For maybe 20 years I thought about it constantly,’ he said. ‘Usually at night I’d be woken up by memories of Carnoustie.’


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

12 TEE TIMES

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Keeping active throughout life is important and golf clubs have their fair share of players in their 70s, 80s and even 90s still enjoying the game. As golfers move through these big zero birthdays they can struggle with distance and long carries. Although old age tends to compensate them with added wisdom and experience so many develop a pretty nifty short game, making them lethal opponents, as I’ve personally discovered. I was once short of a player for a team trophy match against another club so

It’s interesting to compare partner.fact, They Iconsider far more ended up persuading anthe elderly lady to miserable play. In actual bribedither with differences between someone important to have of a good day outshe withwon mates the promise of a large glassstarting of white wine, regardless whether or out golf and anbeen experienced on a pleasant butfew forgiving course. lost.playing She must have well into her 80s, although knew her precise golfer in their twilight golfing years. age as she fiercely guarded this secret. More importantly, she hadn’t played Beginners can sometimes struggle with competitively for a number of years, didn’t want (need) a caddy, wasn’t a big For instance, newbies are keen to play as long carries and dog-legs due to hitter but she was deadly straight and a savvy manager of our trickySadly, course. much golf as possible so they’ll play in any inexperience and misjudgement. Rumour had it thatolder she’d been littleelderly terriergolfers in heralso dayfailand this soon conditions. Whereas, golfers area quite asome to cope with reluctant venture onto if the way longshe carries as theyoff losedown their muscle becametoapparent bythe thecourse determined marched the first tee. weather’s looking a spirit bit dodgy are more been powerre-ignited and distance. Her competitive hadand undeniably and the challenge was than happy to while away time in the definitely on. clubhouse until the clouds pass by. New golfers are pretty naïve when it comes Her opponent was the Lady Captain of the opposing club and to course management butcertainly they gradually no push-over so, even I was surprised when she strolled into the When beginners initially enter competitions learn where to place back the ball, nevertheless, clubhouse, beaming from ear toto ear, proudly declaring win onand theoptimistic 10th they realise they need more lessons they tend to remaina bullish hole! What’s more,Theshe still found to play latertrouble. that day. improve their scores. difference with the energy even when theybridge are in deep older golfers is they’ve already developed However, senior golfers know precisely It’stechniques not just about being the but it’sthe justwinning; a questionit’s of also about where to place the ball, even if they can’t willing to embrace new opportunities whatever yourit, or see it! They’re whether their hips, knees or shoulders will always reach age.with Thethealternative Victorand realistic enough to know if cope challenge. is turning into a grumpy experienced Meldrew character, constantly judging and moaning they’ve just played a lousy shot it’s about as changes andit standards and tut tutting Initially, a beginner, can be difficult probablyabout unrecoverable and the chance of trying to member remember who how many you’vethreescoring pretty remote. newer fail toshots achieve and aishalf taken let’s face it, multi-tasking is tricky hour–rounds. when you’re so focused on striking and Beginners soon understand a good part of Even in her 90s, this lively Liverpudlian the ladypleasure was of golf is about friendship but tracking the ball. Interestingly, it’s not frequently up for a laugh and more than happy to golfer who appreciates the uncommon for elderly golfers to also it’s the senior join in the theodd funshot of Captain’s Day by dressing in factor of the constant cracks ‘mislay’ due to short term ‘goodupfeel’ a figureloss. hugging Carman Miranda outfit.with I have to say she looked like a 20 memory a bunch of fellow golfers, regardless year old from the back and definitely had a fardire trimmer figure than I do. of how they play. When you’re fresh into golf, you’re to She frequently reminded mekeen it wasn’t necessary to be a big hitter, just keep sign any games, even if you Idon’t It just shows you that regardless of your age, theup ballforstraight, something fully understand but still struggle to achieve have a clue what you’re entering, or who the benefits of golf are huge for everyone. to this day. One thing I did learn from her is to forget about age and just you’re playing with. Whereas the wiser, older concentrate on living life to the full. golfer chooses carefully to avoid slogging over long courses, © Claire Kane © Claire Kanethrough soggy meadows or having to climb cardiac hills with a Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets

Written in memory of Rhoda Atherton who passed away April 2018

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to become one of the outstanding professionals of his generation, and impacted on the game both in the United Kingdom and in the USA. From 1880 till 1894 he was the assistant greenkeeper to his uncle Mungo Park at Ryton Golf Club, he then returned to Musseleburgh and joined his father in the family firm, making clubs and feather balls. He was also a brilliant player, and won The Open Championship in 1887 at Prestwick the original home of the Open, and again in 1889 over his home town course of Musselburgh. He worked with his father and uncle Mungo in designing and laying out golf courses, and surpassed them both as a designer. Two of his courses have been acknowledged as landmarks in golf course architecture, The Old Course at Sunningdale and Huntercombe Golf Course.

Scotland’s 1903 International Team

FIVE OPEN CHAMPIONS

THE PARK FAMILY The town of Musselburgh was synonymous with The Open Championship in the very early days. The Musselburgh Club had been one of the three contributors to the new trophy in 1872, The Claret Jug, and one of the venues on the Championship rota. It was also home to some of the finest golfers, hickory club makers and gutty ball makers. However it was the players and caddies, and many times they were both, who made the news in the era when there was very little prize money and the only way for them to make a living, was to be a jack of all trades. The real money was made by arranging challenge matches for very sizeable purses, either provided by the professional himself or their sponsors or backers, often the very men that the pro’s caddied for. The matches would often be thirty six hole matches, either played head to head or as pairs of players from the same town or club, and often on a home and away basis. The inter town rivalry was fierce, particularly between Prestwick, St Andrews and Musselburgh, and the reputation of their townsfolk was carried by the golfers. There were many reported instances of interference from the galleries during these fiercely contested matches.

Mungo Park

Willie Park Jnr

18 TEE TIMES | June 2018

He travelled to the USA for the first time in 1895, and worked there for three years laying out courses and promoting golf, until he came back to Scotland in 1898. There are over seventy golf clubs attributed to Willie Jnr, The Berkshire, Burntisland, Glasgow Gailes, Gullane No2, Montrose, Peterhead and many in the USA including the renowned Olympia Fields. His talents extended to club design, in 1910 he created a small compact headed wood with a brass sole plate designed for play from tight lies. He even found time to write two of the earliest golf instruction books, The Game of Golf and The Art of Putting, cornerstones of any golf library. He died in 1925 in his home town at the age of sixty one.

When The Open Championship was accepted as the defining event for the Champion Golfer of The Year, following the birth of the championship at Prestwick after the demise of Allan Robertson, who was previously accepted as the greatest golfer due to his undefeated record in matchplay, a new champion would be crowned. Five of them were to come from the town of Musselburgh.

In October 1860 just eight professionals set out to win The Belt, a beautiful red Moroccan leather belt with a silver buckle, the prize for the winner. Willie Park Senior won with a score of 174, for the thirty six holes, three rounds of the twelve hole course. He went on to win it on three more occasions in 1863, 1866 and 1875. Willie had started as a boy caddie, and the young lads would play together in the evenings during the summer developing their skills. Willie went on to become one of the greats of the time, playing many challenges against Old Tom Morris of St Andrews. On one famous occasion. Old Tom retired to Mrs Foremans hostelry and wouldn’t come out to continue because of the undue partisanship of the spectators. In 1870 Willie established his company, as a club and gutty ball maker, he specialied in wooden clubs, drivers, playclubs, spoon and putters. He also started to design golf courses, as many new venues came to the game, the reputation of Open Champion was enough to secure him many a commission, with a good fee for staking out the course. The firm prospered as the game blossomed throughout the United Kingdom, and he brought his brother Mungo and his son Willie Park Junior into the business and Willie. Gullane No 1 course is among the many renowned courses designed by Willie Park Snr, whose son was to make an even greater impact on this aspect of the game. Willie Park Junior played as a boy with Willie Dunn, another local lad, and their paths were to cross many times later in both their lives. Willie Jnr was

Mungo Park

Willie Park Jnr

The third of the Park family who won The Open Championship was Mungo Park, and his story is even more remarkable. He was one of five sons and brother of Willie Snr. Although he had been a very good golfer in his younger days, he gave it all up and went to sea for twenty years. When he returned to Musselburgh, and started to play again, he soon found his old skills had not diminished, so much so that he won the Open Champion in 1874 on his home course at Musselburgh, with a very low score of 159 for the thirty six holes. He spent the rest of his life as a club professional and clubmaker, working at various clubs until he settled at Alnmouth in the north of England, when he remained after he was appointed the first professional and until he died in 1904. His Medal is still played for today for the scratch trophy at Grimsdyke Golf Club, where it was presented to the club by his great nephew Dr John Park. The story of the little port of Musselburgh, located on the coast west of Edinburgh and it’s golfing families is lengthy, and the Park family and their three Open Champions, who won a total of seven times, is just the first of many who helped to forge the origins of the game enjoyed world wide. A contribution that is vast and extends from the playing of golf to the clubs and balls used and the courses over which the game is played. Michael Rees


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TEE TIMES | June 2018 19


THE MUSSELBURGH MIGHTIES

The Park family were undoubtedly the leaders when it came to amassing wins in the Open Championship, father and son Willie Jnr and uncle Mungo all held the coveted title of Champion Golfer Of The Year, the announcement made to the present day on the presentation of the winner at the conclusion of the Championship.

Willie Park Jnr was also the reason for another son of Musselburgh achieving fame in the golfing world, for his caddy was Fiery, real name John Carey, who was immortalised in several famous portraits done at that time. He was called Fiery not because of his temper, but because he had a very ruddy face. He was probably the earliest professional caddy, because Willie Park Jnr would not play any match home or away without his famous knowledgeable caddy. Fiery always wore his Balmoral bonnet, and it is said that he was a man of very few words, and gave his approval with a slight nod of the head, and his expression rarely changed no matter how tense the match in which he was caddying. He was unlike many of the caddy fraternity, as he was well spoken and because of that was in great demand for many of the distinguished players of the day. The bustling little town of Musselburgh had two more winners of The Open Championship, David “ Deacon” Brown and three time winner Bob Ferguson. David Brown was known by the title of Deacon, and he won the Open in 1886. The story was told that he had not intended to play, as he was a slater by trade, and John Anderson, who was the Secretary at Musselburgh sent for him simply to make up the numbers, a far cry from the scramble to qualify today. He came direct from work black as a sweep, and was given a bath, then a pair of striped trousers, a frock coat and a “lum hat”. Then he went out to play and won the Championship shooting two rounds of 79 and 78. He was the only player with two rounds under 80 and won by two shots from Willie Campbell, with all the big

Close behind the Park family as famed members of the Musselburgh clan were the Dunns, twin brothers Jamie and Willie Snr. Both played in many challenge matches between 1840 and 1860, before the days of the Open Championship. Willie was the keeper of the green at Blackheath Links until 1864, when he returned to Scotland and eventually settled at North Berwick. Fiery Willie Parks Caddie

guns tied for fourth place. After his win he went to England and became resident professional at Malvern Golf Club, and played in several subsequent Open Championships, finishing in the top ten on numerous occasions. He later emigrated to the USA where he played in the US Open. He had two good results in 1901 and 1902 then tied for the US Open at Baltusrol with Willie Anderson Jnr with a four round score of 307 and narrowly lost the play off in torrential rain, which did not suit his style of play. Bob Ferguson was born in Musselburgh, and was a prolific winner. He won his first event when he was eighteen years old, in a tournament played at the Leith Links with a set of borrowed clubs, against a strong field of top hard nosed professionals. He also defeated Old Tom Morris six times in challenge matches, a record to be envied at the time. He won his first Open Championship over his home course in 1880, winning by the huge margin of five shots. It was a year when the event was played in April instead of the usual autumn date. The prize for his first success was just £7. The win was to be the

Bob Ferguson

William Gourlay

Dunn Family House

20 TEE TIMES | June 2018

first of three in succession, for he won again the following year at Prestwick, holding off favourite Jamie Anderson by three shots in a high scoring tournament. His third and final win was at the Home of Golf, St Andrews; after the morning round he had a lead of three shots, which he managed to keep to hold off the challenge of Willie Fernie. He was awarded an additional Gold Medal for his three wins in a row. Bob was a brilliant putter, and he was able to use this to great effect on the Old Course, because of his skill his putter was called the “Musselburgh Iron”. After his three wins, he seemed to drift into obscurity, returning to Musselburgh and resorted to greenkeeping and caddying to earn his living. His playing career was cut short by a bout of typhoid, and he died in 1915 from chronic bronchitis. The 18th hole on the Monktonhall course is named Old Bob in his memory.

Willie Dunn Jr

Willie had two sons, Tom and Willie Jnr, who were also to make an impact on the game, though more significantly in the USA. Junior served for a time at Westward Ho before moving to Biarritz. There he came into contact with the Vanderbilt family who invited him to Shinnecock Hills on Long Island New York, and made him greenkeeper and professional on the course. The course was originally only twelve holes, and Willie then designed a ladies course, and then finally in 1895 the two were blended to make a magnificent full eighteen hole course. Willie remained at Shinnecock for several years and in 1894 he won what has been called the first unofficial US Open Championship.

David Brown

Willie Campbell

Willie Dunn Sr

The story of the impact made by the Musselburgh Links, and the many golfers who originated from the seaside town is now legend, Willie Campbell was another who was a fine golfer and made his fortune by emigrating to America in 1894. He became the first professional at Brookline Massachusetts and designed many other courses in the USA. He went to Myopia Hunt Club, and later to Franklin Park. His wife Georgina was the first ladies professional and gave lessons to ladies and it is aid she taught from dawn till dusk, so great was she in demand. As time progressed and golf expanded throughout Great Britain, Mussellburgh faded from the scene, it was no longer on The Open circuit, the famous clubs that had graced the links had moved to their own golf courses. The old nine hole course remains, set alongside the racecourse, with Mrs Formans still awaiting with refreshment for golfers, and if you want a trip through history, it is worth taking the trip and playing the course with hickory clubs. It is a visit that will never be forgotten. Michael Rees


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The French are pulling out all the stops to ensure the success of this year’s Ryder Cup at the famous Le Golf National venue which takes place on Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September. The par 72 Albatros is the course where all the Ryder Cup action will be played out and is designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge. By all accounts this is not only an exciting and challenging course to play but it is also designed to allow spectators good views from all angles of the course. It was only a couple of years ago when this golf resort was voted as France’s best golf destination. meet the high standards demanded to host a Ryder Cup competition. Next to the clubhouse is the 131 bedroom Novohotel Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, which, when I was there some 18 months ago was still a building site yet all the rooms had already been prebooked for the Ryder Cup.

Besides the now famous Albatros course there is also another equally demanding course, the par 71 L’Aigle course and a nine hole par 32, L’Oiseletre course which is what makes for a well designed golf destination. Ironically it is this region that boasts the largest concentration of excellent and well maintained courses, and all are within half an hour’s drive of the historic Palace de Versailles where the quaint but charming town of Versailles can be found, and where we stayed in the delightful four star Le Versailles hotel. The town’s long narrow, virtually carless main street is full of delightful restaurants where during the summer’s warm evenings dining outdoors simply adds to its already appealing ambience. Unlike past Ryder Cup venues, Le Golf National is a wholly owned government project and over the past years has invested heavily into creating a first class golf destination which includes a large and very modern club house – to

22 TEE TIMES | June 2018

Over the past couple of years the Albatros course has gone through several important and significant changes creating a quirky but extremely challenging course comprising of slick greens, vast undulating fairways, water hazards and link-style bunkers requiring regular golfers to use every club in their bag. The final four holes are by far the toughest and mostly surrounded by water hazards. The 18th green is the most difficult green I have ever seen and virtually surrounded by menacing water hazards whichever way you hit your ball. It is from here that spectators will be able to watch some of Ryder Cups most exciting golf. In addition to the three courses, Le Golf National is also home to first class training and coaching facilities, making it a top choice for golfers coming to visit Versailles or Paris. There are two excellent driving ranges and a total of 35 covered bays offering both synthetic and grass tees. Le Golf National also boasts Europe’s largest practice chipping and putting greens with two dedicated areas for bunker practice. The golf academy is next to L’Oiseletre Course where lesson for all standards of golfer can be booked. There are also several golf initiation courses for juniors as young as six years old. Since 2008 the Academy has been involved with what is known

as ‘Crocogolf’, a project that gives 50 under-privileged children the opportunity to learn to play golf free. There are several choices of Ryder Cup packages some include taking a car on an overnight Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen - from here it is a two and half hour drive to Le Golf National and along the route are several traditional French villages all offering various types of accommodation. Best is to book in advance as this type of accommodation is as popular with the French as it is with visitors coming from further afield. Another option is to take Euro star from St Pancras to Paris Nord which takes less than four hours these days. Paris, of course, offers a variety of accommodation from the very cheap and the very xpensive. There are several connecting trains to Le Golf National’s nearest train station, Saint Quentin-enYvelines where a regular bus services takes you to and from the course.

The Ryder Cup is an event few keen golfers would want to miss and conveniently accessible from the UK whether travelling by air, sea or car. For further information visit www.europeantourproperties.com www.golf-national.com There are several package deals for the Ryder Cup that can be sourced from established golf travel agents. April Tod


TEE TIMES | June 2018 23


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Grin and Bare it! Battling Adversity Finding your ball on a bare lie is never going to fill you with confidence… that is unless you have practiced this shot and can pull it off! This is a true confidence shot, the reason being that if you make a decent and positive swing at the ball and get through to a finish then this shouldn’t be a problem. Problems arise when you get to your ball and go “Oh no, look at that awful lie. I’m stuffed!”. To be defeatist on this is to be defeated. If you are negative about it chances are you won’t commit to the shot and get a clean strike. People tend to tense up over a poor lie and this minimises their chance of success! So chill out and don’t stress about it. There are ways to ensure that a well struck shot occurs. Try playing your ball ever so slightly further back in your stance to ensure you hit the ball not the hard surface first. Grip slightly down the club to encourage a cleaner strike of the ball. Lean a touch more weight on your front foot to create an almost punchy effect to the shot. Keep tension levels to a bare minimum when it comes to gripping the club too. If you’re tight in the hands you’ll top or thin the shot. Keep the club low through the shot and you will get a good strike, lifting the hands up to soon will mean you top the shot, easily done from this lie! Easily done also if you are worried about hitting into the hard pan surface and jarring wrists etc. Try to trust your swing and keep the momentum going through to that finish. Swing the club smoothly as any erratic rhythm will be detrimental to the shot.

Yesterday the Players Championship finished. What a great performance by Web Simpson, to win by four shots. It was particularly great because he, like many others, had to change from using a long putter. He had grown up using the long putter and most likely assumed he would be able to use it for ever.

History is littered with stories of golfers who have overcome adversity to play great golf. I suppose the most famous being Ben Hogan who, after having a serious car crash and being told that he probably wouldn’t be able to walk again, fought his way back to play what many consider to be his greatest golf. We are now seeing a resurgence of Tiger Woods to the top of world golf - incredible considering the number of operations he’s had and the time spent away from the game doing literally nothing. The latter two are extreme cases but, in a way, golfers have to deal with adversity all the time. There are probably only a few instances in history where a round has gone completely smoothly and a golfer hasn’t had to deal with some sort of difficult situation. Having resilience and inner steel are important factors when it comes to making the best of your game, whatever your standard. I remember reading an article by Gary Player years ago. In it he stated that whatever his score was, even if it was in the eighties, it would be the lowest score he could possibly have shot that day. I watched Jack Nicklaus play a few holes in the 1981 Open at St Georges. He seemed very focussed, giving every shot 100% concentration. I was shocked when I saw his finishing score of eighty two. Apparently he had been told that his son had had a car accident before he teed off and, although that news naturally affected him, there were no excuses in the post round interviews. All he said was that he played as well as he was able. What a brilliant attitude; no wonder he was such a great champion. He did shoot a sixty six the next day by the way! Someone once told me that playing a round of golf is like having your whole life condensed into four hours. You get some highs and you get some lows but you have to take any adversity in your stride, remain positive and just keep grinding.

Just a thought • If you practice at your local driving range then bare lies shouldn’t be a problem to you. That tatty old matt at the range is generally one of the barest lies you can come across, especially. So when faced with a bare lie on the course just imagine you are on the range! • This shot can be applied if you find your ball on pine needles, wood chippings or anywhere you think there’s not much for the ball to sit up on. I am currently on maternity leave and with any luck have already had my baby! But I am on email so if anyone needs help with their games then please do email me: katie@katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk If I can help I will. Good luck and enjoy the Summer sunshine (if indeed it has bothered to turn up!)

26 TEE TIMES | June 2018

Pictured is a pupil of mine who definitely has inner steel. He constantly grinds away, trying to improve. His name is George Saunders. George tied first place in the West of England Championship recently, a fitting result for all the hard work he puts in. If you need some help deciding how to improve your striking please contact me. Mob: 07787 887578 Email: martin.butcher@aim.com Web: mbtourcoach.com


2018 FOUR SEASONS SENIOR MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 18 Hole Individual Stableford Handicap – Full allowance - Max of 24 (25 Handicap and above may enter but will play off 24)

Entry only £32 per player Inclusive of coffee on arrival and lunch

Qualifying rounds Thursday 28th June (Summer) | Thursday 27th September (Autumn) Entrants must be 55 years of age or over on Thursday 8th March 2018. All entries must be received no later than 1 week prior to the event. All entries to Neal Grist at address below.

Entry Form Thursday 28th June (Summer) Name

Club

| Thursday 27th September (Autumn) Email

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(Please tick relevant box)

Handicap

Address Telephone I enclose my £32 entry fee. Cheques made payable to Meon Valley Marriott Hotel Print Name

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