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ISSUE 202 | Mar 2018 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com | www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com


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DON’T PUT BRAKE AND THEFLIGHT WINNER IS. . . ON BALL 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


No need for new rules to curb distances, say leading pros 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.

Big hitters: Rory McIlroy, top, and Dustin Johnson see no need to bring in new restrictions

Room will be found for mementoes of the Golf ball design continues 2017 Masters to be placed alongside those to produce of Rose’s U.S. Openeven triumphgreater in 2013 and his distances. Olympic Golf Gold.Classic older courses are being But while Rose was pipped at Augusta by thrashed towards Sergio Garcia, the inevitable disappointment for his fans wasBut counterbalanced by a oblivion. the stars display of skill and sportsmanship urge: Don’t limit howwhich far was a credit to both men, and to a sport which the ballitself can travel. still prides on honesty and fairness.

Garcia averaged 301.9 yards on the PGA Tour in 2017, but the Masters champion reached an average of 320 yards en route to winning the Singapore Open in January. McIlroy said: ‘The only reason I would say the ball travels too far is that it’s made some courses obsolete. The longer players will always be long. It’s a shame because some of the old courses are the best, with the best architecture.’ Forty-three players on the PGA Tour At least two golfing superstars have joined the registered an average driving distance of Yes, theabout finalball round between these two Ryder debate flight as a new generation Cup titans was bound to be emotional. Rose more than 300 yards last season, and there of ball appears to add even more distance. was edging his way towards a second Major, have been calls to alter the specification of Rory McIlroy says he does not see the need to balls to limit how far they fly. and Garcia was trying to secure his first on curtail distances, a statement he made in the Earlier in Abu Dhabi, world number the very day which would have been the same week that Sergio Garcia averaged 18 one Dustin Johnson said there was no need 60th birthday of his hero, Seve Ballesteros. yards longer with the new Callaway Chrome to limit ball travel because ‘nobody is making Soft Ball than he did in 2017. But the overriding emotion for spectators of the game too easy.’ Johnson hit a 433-yard The features graphene, which drive to within six inches of the hole on a the new final ball round was the way these twois described 200 times stronger than steel, par four at the Tournament of Champions in Europeansasfought the fight. but incredibly flexible. Hawaii before that. In the final round, they were toe-to-toe rivals Four-time Major winner McIlroy told Radio 5 Alan Hocknall, senior vice president of but not opponents, Live: ‘I don’t think thesupremely ball travelscompetitive too far, but I research and development at Callaway, yet see gentlemanly, acknowledging each other’s said: ‘The headlines are generated by the can the argument,’ skills with a knuckle-touch or a nod. elite players. Dustin Johnson is an elite Last season the Northern Irishman had the athlete. The golf ball has regulations to its longest average driving distance on both the performance, but there is still a lot of room for European Tour, at 318.5 yards, and the PGA • Turn to Page 4 development within the current rules.’ Tour, at 317.2.

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According to the University of Manchester, where graphene was discovered, the material is ‘ultra-light yet immensely tough’.It is infused into the outer core of the ball and as it is so strong, the outer core can be made thinner. This allows for a larger inner core, which enhances the ball’s speed and also reduces the amount of spin on long shots, leading to greater distance. But some observers expressed concern about the trends. BBC Golf Correspondent Iain Carter wrote: ‘Frankly, the last thing golf needs is the ball to travel further. Golf courses are too long, it takes too long to play, they are too expensive to maintain. ‘What golf needs, in my opinion, is to go in the opposite direction. When you go to the driving range and you hit balls there and they don’t really fly as far as the ones you use on the golf course, that proves the technology is there to makeWell golfplayed, ballsMasters that won’t mate: Attravel the endquite and on the course, Rose and Garcia were as far. sporting gentlemen ‘It is almost the same story with the javelin in athletics. The athletes were throwing it too far, they were endangering runners on the track, so they changed the dynamic of the javelin so it fits in the infield and that’s what golf needs to do.’

MAY 2017


Rising seas INSIDE ‘a threat to Open venues’ Rory: My Green Jacket wedding wish – Page 4 We meet the 10th tee

Open Championship venues such as St hell and Royal Troon could be under Andrews water by the end of the century a new hound report warns.

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If sea levels–rise even16 slightly as a result Golfer Page of climate change, the Climate Coalition predicts cancelled football matches, flooded Philip’s second cricket grounds and golfspell courses crumbling intoas theHants sea. Rising temperatures PGAwinter skipper already mean the Scottish skiing industry – Page 16within 50 years. could collapse The report says only a small increase in Hampshire sea-level rise ‘would imperil all of the world’s links courses Jenny’s before the end of the century’. Thelifetime Open is the only one of golf’s Majors played in the UK and is hosted on historic accolade – Page 16 links courses, including - as well at St Andrews and Royal Troon - Royal Birkdale, Hoylake, Royal LythamWas & St Annes, this Muirfield, Sandwich, Turnberry, Portrush golf’s and 2018 venue Carnoustie. worst Very real injustice The coalition says: ‘More than 450 years ever?one of the of golfing history at Montrose, five oldest courses in the world, is – Page 24at risk of being washed away by rising seas and coastal erosion linked to climate change’. PLUS Research published earlier by Dundee 2 Course Reviews this University showed the North Seamonth! has crept 70 Bird metresHills towards GolfMontrose Centrewithin the past 30 years. - page 14-15 Chris Curnin, director at Montrose Golf Links, said: ‘As the sea rises and the coast falls Romsey Club to go. Climate away, we’re leftGolf with nowhere change is often seen as tomorrow’s problem - page 19-22 - but it’s already eating away at our course.’ Steve Isaac, director of sustainability for the R&A, golf’s governing body outside the United States, agreed that the future threats are very real for the sport. The Devon course where storms are already biting huge chunks out of a classic links: Page 4

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Trump the presidential golfer ‘cheats like hell’

Suzann Pettersen: ‘His ball’s always in the fairway’

Suzann Pettersen, a golfing partner of Donald Trump, says the President ‘cheats like hell’ on the golf course. Pettersen, 15 times an LPGA Tour winner, has known Trump for a decade and says she is fond of him, although she does not agree with his policies. She told the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang: ‘He cheats like hell ,so I don’t quite know how he is in business. ‘They say that if you cheat at golf, you cheat at business. I’m pretty sure he pays his caddie well - no matter how far into the woods he hits the ball, it’s in the middle of the fairway when we get there.’

Golf clubs are offered free legal advice

England Golf has teamed up with national law firm Mills & Reeve to offer a free legal helpline to clubs. Clubs calling the helpline can ask one-off or multiple queries on the same subject and receive advice for up to one hour. Additional advice will be agreed between the club and Mills & Reeve at preferential hourly rates. A statement from England Golf says: ‘Mills & Reeve is one of the top law firms in the UK with six offices, 117 partners, more than 400 lawyers and over 950 staff delivering a complete range of legal services to clients operating internationally, nationally and locally.  ‘Its experienced and knowledgeable sports team regularly advises sport governing bodies, leagues, clubs, player associations, agents and athletes.’  The helpline funded by England Golf covers: • Equality Act  • Governance and incorporation  • Contracts • Property law

The helpline is provided as part of England Golf’s network of Preferred Partners and has been welcomed by Iain Lancaster, England Golf Club Engagement Manager. He said: ‘This service offers direct access to legal specialists who deliver practical and commercial advice. Clubs have the additional comfort of knowing that the financial clock is not running while they identify a legal issue which needs support.’ To access the helpline call 020 7648 5288 or email englandgolf@mills-reeve.com  and you will be directed to an appropriate legal representative who will talk you through the process, and guide you through your issue. For more information visit  www.englandgolf.org/legal  England Golf has more than 1,900 affiliated clubs which can access the network of Preferred Partners. A full list of partners can be found on the3 England Golf website.


up at Twenty English club golfers will tee it greatest ld’s wor the re Carnoustie shortly befo July. in n Ope h 147t The at golfers compete en They’ll be among the 42 men and wom pairs in pete com will who from across GB&I ship. pion cham le 9-ho ’s R&A The in the final of will It takes place on Saturday 14 July and holes of played over the first four and last five ie.  oust Carn at the Championship Course , is The finish, over the 16th, 17th and 18th in hest toug considered by many to be the last the at s -off golf and has created play Jean three stagings of The Open. It’s where Burn y Barr the in f grie to e cam van de Velde to title 1999 the g edin conc ly tual even before Scotland’s Paul Lawrie. in club The 20 players will secure their places qualifying events.

4 TEE TIMES | March 2018

Trump is listed as a three-handicapper, which is a remarkable level for a man in his 70s who has spent so much time in business and now is running a country. Pettersen said: ‘He always says he is the world’s best putter. But in all the times I’ve played him, he’s never come close to breaking 80. ‘But what’s strange is that every time I talk to him he says he just golfed a 69, or that he set a new course record or won a club championship some place. ‘I just laugh. I’m someone who likes being teased and I like teasing others, and Trump takes it well, and that must be why he likes me.’

President Trump: In the list as a three-handicapper

STORMS TAKE CHUNKS OUT OF FAMOUS LINKS The Royal North Devon Golf Club has accused the Government of ‘abandoning us to the ocean’ after recent storms led to the collapse of part of its famous links course.

Mark Evans shows where the championship tee for the eight hole use to be

Part of the eighth tee has disappeared and further high tides are threatening serious erosion of the seventh, reported Harry Bodkin of The Telegraph. The pedigree of the course does not come any richer, having been designed by none other than Old Tom Morris, and has become renowned as ‘the St Andrews of the South’. The historic lay-out now faces permanent disfigurement due to ‘brutal coastal erosion’, the newspaper reported. More than 50 yards of the championship course has been lost as a result of the collapse, with boulders strewn across one of the fairways. Natural England, which is responsible for

the stretch of coast near Westward Ho!, appears content to let the sea reclaim the land, according to the club. The agency said in a statement: ‘The dunes and shingle ridge are naturally dynamic coastal features and subject to constant change.’ Golfers see this as evidence that civil servants are determined to ‘let mother nature take its course’. Mark Evans, the club’s general manager, said: ‘By allowing this collapse we are tampering with history. There’s no plan at the moment - it’s a disgrace.’ Founded in 1864, the club gained national status thanks to the patronage of the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, who bestowed the royal title two years later.

JASON CALLS CAREER END BIRDIE FEST Leicestershire golfer Jason Palmer, pictured right, says he must accept his professional career is over because of a wrist injury. Palmer, 33, who draw a lot of attention through his one-handed chipping, competed at the US Open in 2015, but has not played competitively for more than twoand-a-half years. He told BBC Radio Leicester: ‘My wrist is still not in a good shape at all. ‘I’ve been told that it’s arthritis now and it is no problem in everyday life, but if I pick up a golf club I can’t hold it the way I would like so it is looking like it is the end.’

Tommy Fleetwood holed six birdies on the back nine to beat compatriot Ross Fisher by two shots and retain his Abu Dhabi Championship title.

Palmer had previously said he was on a deadline to start playing competitively on the European Tour again, or he would lose his card. The Leicestershire golfer has not played since missing the cut in Munich at the BMW International Open in June 2015 - a week after his career highlight, playing in the US Open at Chambers Bay.

Fleetwood, 27, started the day two shots behind overnight leaders Fisher and Belgian Thomas Pieters. He hit eight birdies in a seven-under 65. Fisher looked on course for a first European Tour victory for nearly four years after he had an eagle and two birdies in his first nine holes to move to 21 under. Fleetwood said: ‘I’ve put in a lot of work, I wanted to prepare for this year like I didn’t win the Race to Dubai. It was important to come out and make sure I’m hungry. ‘My best golf is getting better and better and my worst golf is getting better as well. I just had the lines going really well.’

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 5

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“These awards will inspire us to maintain our high standards so we continue to excel.”

The Vale Resort has been named Wales’ best golf hotel by an international awards body that recognises excellence in tourism. The four star hotel and leisure venue, in Hensol in the Vale of Glamorgan, was named Wales’ Best Golf Hotel 2017 at the 4th annual World Golf Awards, held at La Manga Club, Spain. It beat off competition from Bryn Meadows Golf Hotel & Spa and the Celtic Manor Resort to win the accolade. Votes are cast by professionals working within the golf industry and by members of the public. The ceremony was organised by the World Travel Awards, which describes itself as “the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence”. The win was the first of two awards for the Vale Resort this year, with its spa named as Wales’ Best Resort Spa 2017 at the 3rd annual World Spa Awards, held at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Vietnam. The organisation holds various awards ceremonies to reward the best travel and leisure organisations in the world, which have been described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’. The World Travel Awards previously recognised the Vale Resort as Wales’ Leading Golf Resort in 2004 and 2007. Stephanie Metson, marketing manager at the Vale Resort, said: “The World Travel Awards is a prestigious global brand that is recognised as a benchmark of quality and excellence in the travel and tourism industry. “To be named Wales’ Best Golf Hotel 2017 against two strong competitors is an outstanding achievement and a testament to the hard work of all of our staff. “We have always said that our hotel, with its two championship golf courses located in 650 acres of beautiful Welsh countryside, offers the best venue for golf breaks in Wales, so it is an honour to have this recognised.”

6 TEE TIMES | March 2018

The Vale Resort’s two championship golf courses have been host to a number of PGA golf tournaments over the years, and have benefitted from a recent investment of more than £400,000 in its state-of-the-art courses and greens equipment. The courses offer a mixture of mature wooded areas, wide and narrow fairways and vast areas of water features. The Wales National, at 7,433 yards off the championship tees, is one of the longest courses outside America, with hole 6 being voted as one of the top 10 par 4’s in the UK. The Lake course, slightly shorter at 6,436 yards, is just as challenging, and aptly named with water coming into play on 12 of its holes. Stephanie Metson said: “We pride ourselves on putting our customers at the heart of everything we do to ensure they have a memorable experience every time they visit.

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Golf’s best

kept secret

It’s always fun to discover a new and as yet untested golf destination particularly when it combines interesting local cultural with unusual gastronomic experiences.

the city’s unusual architecture as we quietly passed by restaurants with intriguingly decorated terraces facing onto the canal. Arriving at the Cleydael Golf Club the next about an hour’s drive from Ghent was rather like entering a fairy tale world. Set amidst some stunning scenery, the clubhouse resembles an eighteenth century courtyard and nearby is a small turreted castle built in the middle of a small lake. Once the residence of the club’s former owner and it is now a popular wedding venue. The course, although fairly flat is an interesting design of narrow fairway boarded by tall trees lots of prickly undergrowth where mishit balls rarely found. This is another interesting but challenging course to play.

Surprisingly Flanders ticks all the right boxes and is a superb golf destination that is not only full of interesting places to visit, opportunities to taste and test over 100 different Belgium beers but this region also boast over fifty well designed and challenging courses, seemingly more than Portugal’s Algarve. What’s more it takes little more than a couple of hours by train from St Pancras to arrive in the centre of Brussels where most courses are all reachable within a sixty miles radius. No wonder Flanders was recently awarded IAGTO’s ‘Undiscovered Golf Destination’ of 2018.

With clubs in tow I arrived mid-afternoon in Brussels and took a ten minute taxi ride to Martin’s Brussels EU hotel where I met up with the rest of our golf group and from here driven to Belgium’s yet to be fully opened new golf club, The National. Fortunately the front nine holes had opened a couple months prior to our visit and we were able to inspect some of the holes although the back nine were not due to be opened until this year but at least we were able to dine in the the club’s newly opened plush restaurant. Once fully operational it is hoped this Championship course will host a future Belgium Open.

Our first round of golf was played at the well established Damme Golf and Country Club, due west from Brussels. This a mainly flat course but interesting course to play, some are intricately designed with left and right doglegs on narrow fairways mostly surrounded by tall swaying pine tree. Several holes are bordered by challenging water hazards and strategically placed bunkers. This is a course that appears deceivingly easy to play with several difficult blind spots to deal with that can prove quite difficult for anyone who plays this course for the first timer. Next port of call was the historic city of Ghent and after checking in to the smart five star Marriott Hotel, we assembled outside on the cobbled street alongside the canal for a guided walking tour of the city. An hour later and we were ushered on to an awaiting canal barge for an unusual tour of the city by way of various canals running through the city. Fortunately all barges are built low enough to pass under the many low bridges. During our one hour boat trip we were served with a beaker of prosecco and delicious Belgium canapés while admiring

The medieval town of Mechelen is where we spent the next night before leaving early the next morning for the famous Millennium Golf Club, half an hour’s drive away. This is where Belgium’s top international golfer Thomas Pieters first learnt to play golf and where his father Tomaz is the club’s president. Tee times had been arranged for eleven which meant we had time to enjoy a coffee on the club’s sunny terrace that overlooked the 18th green. An interesting but tricky course to play with several challenging water hazards, long fairways and intricately placed bunkers.

From here we drove further east towards the university city of Leuven and checked into the Martin’s Klooster hotel, a former monastery that is now a five star hotel and where we stayed for the next couple of nights. My comfortable large room included an enormous Jacuzzi in the bathroom and where I enjoyed a much needed soak after four days of non-stop golf. The final two courses we played were the Spiegelven and Winge courses. Both are delightful courses to play although the Winge is by far my favourite and perhaps the most challenging of all courses played. Flanders has everything keen golfers could possible want, great golf, great prices, a warm welcome and so much to see and do plus a wide selection of courses that sits happily alongside all the region has to offer. ‘Visit. Play. Enjoy.’ For further information or to book your stay, visit - golfinflanders.com April Tod

8 TEE TIMES | March 2018

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 9

Membership Available - 01590 623332 first time leaderboards, that showed how the players were scoring, he started that in 1947, and he designed the red numbers for scores under par and green for those over par, so that the spectators could easily see the state of play. He minimised any sort of commercialism, and issue a code of conduct for the patrons (never called spectators), based on the genteel Southern way of life. A tradition that persists to this day.

S E R TH TE 8 AS201 M

The Green Jackets, the symbol of Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters first appeared in 1937, but only for the members of the club to wear. That honour was not extended to the winners of the event until Sam Snead won in 1947, thus becoming the first player to don the now famed Green Jacket.

As the first major of the season looms ahead, with predictions that the month of April is the time of the much vaunted return of the prodigal Tiger Woods, it is worth pondering that for once, the venue, Augusta National Golf Club, is held in greater esteem and with greater reverence than the golfers who have donned the famous Green Jacket.

Dunes and Cypress Point. Mackenzie was already famed for his work in his native Yorkshire and Scotland, and through his involvement with Harry S Colt in Australia and New Zealand. The surgeon turned golf course architect who had emigrated to the USA in the 1920’s, was to design what has been described as the greatest course in America, if it is not, it is certainly the most famous. The combination of this trio of forceful and very able characters created the Augusta National course, which was to formally open for play to members in 1933. Both Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones had great plans for Augusta, and hoped to attract a major national event before too long, but when it became obvious that this wouild not to be forthcoming, they decided to hold their own invitational event.

Augusta National is the only course that can boast a regular major event, held at the same time at the same place every year. Even the majesty of St Andrews can only claim The Open Championship every five years. The Masters is the legacy of Bobby Jones, after his magnificent Grand Slam in 1930 when he returned home to a hero’s welcome in the USA he announced his retirement from tournament golf. A year or so later, he was persuaded by his great friend Clifford Roberts, to join forces to create a new golf club in Georgia, it was built on the site of Fruitlands Nursery, once owned by the Berckmann family, and developed by their son who was a horticulturist, and who imported plants from around the world for his nursery. It comprised 365 acres of magnificent rolling countryside, populated by a wondrous variety of trees and shrubs, in particular magnolias and azaleas that would become the hallmark of Augusta in the Spring, and form the backdrop at the spectacular 12th 13th and 15th holes today. The existence of magnificent specimen trees, rolling and undulating ground and numerous water courses, proved ideal for the purpose of creating a golf course. The location was ideal, but most importantly they selected Dr Alistair Mackenzie to be the architect, and thus Augusta National and the legend was born. Bobby Jones had long been an admirer of the work of Dr Alistair MacKenzie, he agreed with his design concepts and was most impressed by the courses at Pasatiempo, Crystal

10 TEE TIMES | March 2018

So, in March 1934, the first event was held, it was called The Augusta National Invitation Tournament, and with invitations received from Bobby Jones, all the stars of the day willingly put the date in their diaries. After some deliberation as to whether he should play or officiate there was deliberation, but in the end Bobby Jones agreed to play. He was to finish 13th, and never won his own event, though it is not surprising since he had only played friendly golf since his retirement four years earlier. Sadly Dr MacKenzie was not to witness the first event over his wonderful course, as he passed away in California two months before the tournament was played. The first Invitation was won by Horton Smith, but the event leapt into the world spotlight the following year when Gene Sarazen holed his second shot at the par five 15th hole for an albatross, and then went on to went the tournament. 1935 was the first year the course was played as it is known today, for the front and back nines were reversed in the autumn of 1934, after the first playing of the invitational, and so the first event over the course in the present format was won by The Squire, Gene Sarazen. Clifford Roberts, a highly successful investment banker, was to be the stalwart behind the development of the event, and he finally got his way in 1939 and the title of the event was changed to The Masters, Bobby had originally thought that title too pretentious. Roberts was to be the innovator and the driving force during his reign as Chairman, which stretched from 1934 until 1976. He brought into use for the

Both Bobby Jones (1971) and Clifford Roberts (1977) were to pass away in the 1970’s, but they left behind a wonderful legacy for all to savour, Augusta National and The Masters is part of golfing folklore, it has created Champions, welcomed back repeat Champions, and added to the enjoyment of golfers around the world, the majority of whom will never see the course, but will recognise it instantly and admire it through the magic of television, another instigation of the work of Clifford Roberts. Both Clifford Roberts and Robert Tyre Jones have been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, two very different individuals, who together made an impact on the game that will last as long as golf is played. The Masters history is littered with stories, many glorious and some tragic. One of the more recent winners, Angel Cabrera who won the play off in 2009, perhaps offers some small recompense to fellow Argentinian Roberto de Vincenzo, who in 1968 tragically signed for a wrong score and lost his play off opportunity and the chance to be champion against Bob Goalby. In April Augusta National will once again provide the chance for someone to step into the spotlight and don the winners Green Jacket, let us hope the quality of the golf and the sportsmanship exhibited last year when Danny Willet held off the challenge of Justin Rose to surprise the golfing pundits. Michael Rees

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EQUAL PLAY, EQUAL PAY Landmark golf tournament pays men and women the same prize money Men and women golfers competing at the same time, on the same course and for the same prize money.

Cheyenne Woods: ‘They (in Australia) do value the equality in both men and women’s golf together’

JACKPOT JOY The equal prize money available in the Oates Vic Open meant Scotland-born Karis Davidson went from one pay day of about £170 to another of £30,000. The 19-year-old played in a pro-am one week and won £170, then pleased her bank manager greatly with the five-figure cheque she picked up one week later for coming second in the Vic. It was her first Tour outing. She said: , and she said: “It is a great start, but I’ve just got to keep my feet on the ground,’

This is not an equality pipedream. It has just happened, appropriately on the same weekend that the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage was being celebrated. Record prize funds were available for the Oates Vic Open at Barwon Heads near Melbourne where two 144-player fields competed for £370,000 apiece. World number 20 Minjee Lee, from Perth, took home the best part of £70,000 for her five-stroke victory, which counts on the Ladies European Tour, and Tasmania’s Simon Hawkes banks the same amount for his playoff win in the men’s version. Hawkes gained a place in the following World Super 6 in Perth, another innovative format, which counts on the European Tour. The event in Victoria was being widely hailed as an attractive glimpse into the future, being one of the few tournaments to recognise the sport’s ability to bring together both sexes under the same competitive umbrella. Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, who was second on the leaderboard after the first round, said: ‘They do value the equality in both men and women’s golf together, I think a lot of tours and sponsors can learn from that. You see it in the tennis game, just watching tennis the last few weeks, the Aussie Open. I think that hopefully in the next few years it will get more like this.’ Woods said she would one day love to team up with her Uncle Tiger in a mixed professional

Melissa Reid: ‘I think this is kind of the way that golf needs to go. There’s lots of equality chat going on at the minute all over the world’ event, but this Australian tournament stages separate contests for male and female pros. ‘I love the format,’ Woods added. ‘It’s different from any professional event that we play. I think a lot of tours could learn from this format because it brings so many different fans to come and appreciate not only the men’s game, but the women’s game as well. ‘From a player’s point of view, I love it. I love being alongside the men and from a fan’s perspective, it’s nice to get the best of both worlds. A lot of tours could take something from this, including the LPGA and PGA Tour and I’m hoping that in the next few years we can get a little something similar to this.’ Britain’s Mel Reid, who was the women’s defending champion,, is also a big fan of the concept: ‘I think that’s kind of the way that golf needs to go. There’s lots of equality chat going on at the minute all over the world and the prize money for the guys is obviously much

EUROPE’S STRONGEST RYDER TEAM EVER? Europe could field a Ryder Cup team that is the strongest ever, says former captain Colin Montgomerie. Monty captained the continent to victory in 2010 and made a confident prediction after three European victories on different tours in a single weekend. Tommy Fleetwood triumphed in Abu Dhabi, Jon Rahm won the PGA Tour’s Career Builder Challenge and, adding to his Masters title. Team Europe, led by Thomas Bjorn, Europe will bid to regain the trophy from the United States in September at Le Golf National, in France, Monty told BBC Sport: ‘Darren Clarke didn’t have that luck really in his 12 for Hazeltine, the way his team worked out’ ‘Suddenly you’ve got three guys that have

12 TEE TIMES | March 2018

appeared from nowhere on the world stage: Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood - and Paul Casey, thank goodness, has joined the European Tour again. ‘That’s four guys, a third of Thomas Bjorn’s team, who have come from nowhere on to a world stage and that’s great for Europe. We must continue that through the year.’ Monty himself has a rich playing history in Ryder Cups. He played in eight, never losing a singles match, and was part of winning teams in 2004 and 2006’ ‘I always felt that the Ryder Cup team of 2006 was the strongest that we could ever put out and we have to be as strong, if not stronger, to beat the might of America come September.

The presence of women stars such as Georgia Hall has driven the growth in Australian prize funds

‘If you add Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson into that, yes this could be the strongest-ever team… and it’s got to be.’

Strength in depth: Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Tyrell Hatton and Paul Casey

more on the PGA Tour than the LPGA. ‘I don’t find that very acceptable and so it’s nice to have a tournament where it is equal. It’s great for the girls and great publicity for us. I hope that the guys enjoy us being around as well. For me, there should be way more tournaments like this at the same venue. I think it would be fantastic for golf.’ The presence of the women has driven the growth in Vic tournament prize funds. Top LET players were competing and last year’s Order of Merit winner Georgia Hall finished third. So stalwarts of the men’s PGA Tour of Australasia are the main beneficiaries while leading Aussie stars such as Jason Day and Marc Leishman ply their trades on the rich (in more ways than one) fairways of the United States. The 2014 champion, Matthew Griffin, said: ‘If these kinds of events can draw more people to the game through participation and sponsorship, it’s definitely a win for us as players. It obviously means we’re playing for a bigger prize like this year.’ Following Tyrrell Hatton’s withdrawal through a wrist injury, the charismatic Andrew “Beef” Johnston was added to the field, delighting the organisers as he injected his own brand of colour and character to a very lively events. Gavin Kirkman, the boss of the Australian PGA, said: ‘Australia loves a larrikin, we love to embrace personalities that are talented, fun and that embrace the Aussie way of life, When you think of pro golfers who fit that mould, one player immediately comes to mind; Beef Johnston.’ One golf correspondent said: ‘It’s clear the Aussies are more than happy to harness personality to help drive their quest to keep golf innovative, progressive and fit for the 21st century. ‘High summer Down Under seems to inspire innovation, even in a sport such as golf which still carries a reputation for being stuck in the past.’

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The misconceptions of Shafts

I am regularly asked about the quality of the components I use. I have discussed the quality of the heads before and will undoubtedly discuss them again in the future. For this article I want to concentrate on shafts. Primarily I am going to discuss the two most commonly held misconceptions. The first is the more you pay for the shaft the better the shaft. The second and probable even bigger assumption is the shaft in the OEM driver is the same shaft as used on the tour. Sadly, there seems to be a growing tendency in golf for the price of “better” shafts are getting more and more expensive in real terms. Only a few years ago the thought of a £200 shaft would have been unthinkable. Now, we are living in a material world where £400 can easily be spent. What’s even worse are the majority of golfers who see these £300 - £400 shafts and think money, money, money and automatically form the opinion that if it costs that much, it has to be a really good shaft. You want to know what the definition of a “good shaft” is? A good shaft is any shaft that has been very accurately matched for its weight, overall stiffness, bend profile, weight distribution and torque to a golfer’s clubhead speed, transition force, downswing tempo, wrist-release, strength and sense of feel. That’s the definition of a “good shaft” and it has absolutely nothing to do with brand, model or price. There are 5 different specifications that determine the performance differences between shafts. 1) mass (weight); 2) overall stiffness (flex); 3) bend profile (distribution of the stiffness over the length of the shaft); 4) weight distribution (balance point); 5) torsional stiffness (torque). Two of these, the weight and the torque, are definitely related to the cost of the shaft. The lighter the weight and the lower the torque of a shaft, the more expensive the shaft will be to make. In other words, if you want to make a very stiff 45 gram shaft with less than 3° of torque, that shaft is going to cost a lot more money to make than a 65 gram softer flex shaft with 5° of torque. . . but not £400 by any means. The other three shaft design elements, a shaft’s overall stiffness, bend profile and balance point, are not even close to being as price sensitive as the weight and torque. Standard modulus (low cost) graphite raw materials can be used to make any flex, bend profile or balance point from soft L to very stiff X. Yes, many of the high priced shafts are actually made with more expensive raw composite materials. But they don’t need to be made with such expensive materials to achieve their weight, flex, bend profile, balance point and torque. In a nutshell, it is completely possible to find shafts which cost hundreds of pounds for which all of the performance elements

14 TEE TIMES | March 2018

are identical or so close to be considered identical in performance to shafts which cost less than £75. It is difficult to find any performance justification for the very high price charged for some shafts today. What makes a GOOD shaft is whether that shaft’s flex, bend profile, weight, torque and balance point are well matched to the golfer’s swing speed, point of wrist cock release and downswing force. There really is no such thing as a “bad shaft”; there are only poorly fit shafts and properly fit shafts. A properly fit shaft has no price guidelines or cost requirements attached to it.

The OEM Shaft With the greater awareness of golf and fitting, the OEM companies are now offering custom fitting ( which has been de-bunked on several occasions in previous articles) and the option for more “exotic” shafts. The thing to be mindful of is that the shaft manufacturers have spent months (if not years) developing a new shaft using exciting new materials and/or technology. That golf shaft was eventually sent out on tour to validate its performance. As soon as a pro wins a tournament with this shaft and it begins to appear in the bags of other pros, the demand for this “wonder” shaft spreads. Within a short time this shaft will be available from club makers at the prices as discussed above. So this is where I come with the option of fitting this £400 shaft. A short time passes and all of the sudden you start to see the major manufacturers begin offering their newest golf club with this new exotic new golf shaft, rumour has it it is the same shaft - or is it? Maybe the silkscreen on the OEM golf shaft has marked 60 instead of a 55, meaning it has a slightly lighter weight. Or maybe the colour is different, but the markings aren’t exactly like the one that can be seen on the shaft manufacturers web site. The question that need to be asked is “Is it the same shaft?” Sadly, the answer is no. How the club manufacturers get away with it is the shafts are in fact “Made For” or “Retail” Shafts. These are variations of the new exotic shafts. These may be slightly watered down versions of the Tour Quality shaft, in order to hit a certain price point or make them a little more user-friendly for handicap golfers. If you thought about it if we did have a shaft as used by a professional, we wouldn’t be able to use it.

Another clue that we are not getting the tour quality shaft is the difference in the retail price between their stock shafts against after-market shafts. Many OEM drivers will retail in the region of £299 with their house brand shaft. They will probably offer shaft options and for a small extra cost of less than £50 have instead a “premium” golf shaft, the same shaft as fitted by a club maker for £400. When you consider that as mentioned a couple of years ago by an (ex!) director of Callaway, the cost of their stock shaft costs less than $2!! So as you may have worked out if you take the stock shaft, you are paying almost £300 for a club with a $2 shaft, or you can pay an extra £50 for an imitation premium shaft.

If you do want the real premium shaft, help is at hand to make you happy. The only way to get it is too visit a club maker who can fit this shaft at a premium cost. Or on the other hand you could visit a club maker for some independent advice and get a “good” shaft. This, as you are now aware may only cost you £75. Caveat emptor… A copy of this and my previous articles for Doyle’s Dilemmas can be found online at www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com Should you have any questions on this or any equipment matter please feel free to call me at 01256 322007 or 07859 920055. Alternatively, email me directly at dave@madetomeasuregolf.co.uk or visit my web site: madetomeasuregolf.co.uk

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Donnington Grove Country Club - Golf Packages 2018

Summer Package

Winter Package

1st April 2018 to 30th September 2018

1st October 2018 to 31st March 2019

Tea, Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes & 2 Course Meal

Tea, Coffee & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes & 2 Course Meal

£50 per person

£40 per person

Anytime Mon – Fri / Weekends & Bank Holidays after 11am

Anytime Mon – Fri / Weekends & Bank Holidays after 11am

(Minimum of 8 golfers, full english breakfast £5 supplement, groups of 20 or more, the organiser goes free & receives a free 4 ball voucher worth £180)

(Minimum of 8 golfers, full english breakfast £5 supplement, groups of 20 or more, the organiser goes free & receives a free 4 ball voucher worth £180)

Donnington Grove Country Club - Corporate Golf Days 2018

Gold Package

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Registration desk, start sheet & printed score cards, yardage book & dg ball marker for all competitors, tea, coffee & full english breakfast on arrival, official tee time starter, free range balls & pga pro 30min clinic and then on range free coaching & advice, drinks buggy on course, 18 holes with a shared buggy, private room hire, 3 course dinner, nearest the pin & nearest the pin in two with an 18 hole prize voucher for worth £180 for each, score card checking, results and master of ceremonies if required.

Registration desk, start sheet & printed score cards, tea coffee & bacon rolls on arrival, official tee time starter, free range balls, 18 holes with a shared buggy, private room hire, 2 course dinner, nearest the pin & nearest the pin in two with an 18 hole prize voucher for worth £180 for each, score card and results checking.

Registration desk, tea, coffee & bacon rolls on arrival, free range balls, 18 holes with a shared buggy, private room hire, 2 course dinner, score card and results checking.

Donnington Grove Country Club offers a winning combination of excellent championship golf course to test golfers of all abilities, a superb clubhouse, tasty food and friendly hospitality. We are located only 4.8 miles from the M4 junction 13 & just off the A34 close to Newbury town centre. Our facilities in 18 hole championship, par 72 – measuring 7108 yards from the whites, driving range, 2 practice greens, buggies available from £25 each, fully stocked ProShop with registered PGA professionals and stunning views of Newbury and Donnington castle.

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

Donnington Grove Country Club, Grove Road, Donnington, Newbury RG14 2LA www.donnington-grove.com

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 15

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S E R TH TE 8 AS201 M



As you watch on the television set, another Masters Tournament as it unfolds for those magical four days in early April, and listen to the commentaries on the finishing stretch, it is an odds on bet that Amen Corner will be mention many times as the players in contention come to play those critical holes.

named after Gene Sarazen, for his famous albatross three on the 15th in 1935. Arnold Palmer went on to win the Masters three more times after his success in 1958, in 1960, 1962 and 1964. Ken Venturi who lost out in 1958, never accepted the ruling which he believed cost him the tournament, and years later wrote about it in a book, which came out as Arnie was to play his fiftieth and last Masters. A move that damaged his own image far more than Arnie’s. Only Jack Nicklaus has won The Masters more times, six in all, and only Tiger Woods has equalled the four wins, and though he did appear destined to pass that total, but it has not happened yet.

The 11th, 12th and 13th holes were christened “Amen Corner” by the doyen of golf writers, Herbert Warren Wind in an article in Sports Illustrated, written during the 1958 Masters. He used the name because of the incredible way that Arnold Palmer played those challenging holes, escaping from difficult straits on each and every one. The official story is told thus:

Saturday evening heavy rain soaked the course, and so for the final round on Sunday, a local rule was decreed, allowing a player to lift and drop an embedded ball without penalty. On the 12th hole, Palmer flew the green and embedded in the steep bank at the back. He was unsure of how to proceed, and whether he could invoke the local rule, and the rules official on that hole Arthur Lacey and Palmer disagreed, Lacey said that the ball should be played as it lay, Palmer declared that he would play a second ball, which he would drop in accordance with the rules. He holed out for a five for the first ball, but got a three with the dropped ball. He proceeded, while the ruling was referred to the tournament committee, to decide which score should count. He played the next hole, the 13th, the par 5 , not knowing the outcome of their deliberations, but under great pressure he sank his eagle putt. It was not until he was playing the 15th hole, that he was finally told his score on the 12th would be a three. From there he went on to pip Doug Ford, Fred Hawkins and Ken Venturi and win the Green Jacket and his first major success.

16 TEE TIMES | March 2018

Herbert Warren Wind used the term Amen Corner, which he got from the name of an old jazz record, entitled “Shouting at Amen Corner”. It was written by noted jazz clarinet and sax player, Milton “ Mezz” Mezzrow. The name had come about because of a district in New York. Around 1900, the centre for Bible manufacturing was in lower New York City. It became the popular spot for sidewalk preachers to shout out the old time religion to the passers by. There were so many shouts of Amen each day, that the district became known as Amen Corner, and thus became the title of the jazz piece that earned a place in golfing folklore. The holes at Augusta are all named after flowering plants, the 11th is White Dogwood, the 12th Golden Bell and the 13th Azalea. The creek which runs though these holes is called Rae’s Creek, named after a former owner of the site, and it has been the scene of many ruined cards over the years since 1934. Two stonework bridges cross the creek, at the crossing to the 12th green, there is the Hogan Bridge, and after the 13th tee is Nelson Bridge, named after Ben Hogan for his record score in 1953, and Byron Nelson to honour his performance in 1937, both were dedicated on 2nd April 1958, the same year as Arnie’s memorable win, and the year that the new par 3 course was built and opened. The only other bridge is

Augusta National golf course is only open for seven months of the year, it is closed from the month of June until October. The last day before the summer closing is Caddie Day, caddies are free to play as many rounds as the can complete before the close of play. One of the other famed traditions that may well be mentioned, is the Champions Dinner, held on the Tuesday evening preceding the tournament, where the defending champion selects the menu. There have been varied and interesting choices in recent years. Sandy Lyle chose Musselburgh Pie and Haggis and Neeps. Tiger Woods in 1998 had cheeseburger, grilled chicken sandwich and French fries. Vijay Singh had curry dishes and lychee sorbet, while Canadian Mike Weir, had Wild Boar, Arctic Char, and roasted rack of Wapati Elk. One thing is certain, at Augusta National,the traditions will once again be preserved, and Southern hospitality and courtesy will be evident throughout the whole of the event. Michael Rees

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David’s show has travelled throughout 58 countries worldwide and he has performed at many European Tour events, including The Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and six times at The Race to Dubai. His on-course commentary has become as popular as the show itself. The video captures the ‘magic moments’ on the course, punctuated with David’s quick wit and humour and is shown in the clubhouse at the end of the day, bringing lots of laughter amongst the players and guests. David is now taking bookings for 2018, so if you are looking for something extra special, make sure an appearance by him is at the top of your ‘Wish List’ for your golf event.

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I’ve yet to watch a captain’s Drive-In in anything other than the cold, wind or rain and can even recall one occasion when I nearly went down with frost bite from standing too long in driving sleet. So, despite a bitter wind, I turned up with many others to watch the annual Drive-In, intrigued as there’d been quite a buzz in the ladies locker room over the past few weeks as to how our incoming Lady Captain would make her entrance. Rumour was that It’s interesting to compare the something big miserable partner.with Theyher consider it far more some of our ladies were planning in connection Royal Naval differences someone starting important to havecompletely a good dayadorned out withwith mates background.between The fun started early with the locker room being out playing golf and on ainsight pleasant buther forgiving memorabilia from heran life,experienced giving us a fascinating as to variouscourse. hairstyles over golfer in their twilight years. the years. In fact, theregolfing could have been a competition on ‘spot the captain’ from the photos - far more exciting than the usual raffle!Beginners can sometimes struggle with For instance, newbies are keen to play as long carries and dog-legs due to Whengolf ouras new lady captain walked she wasand literately wearing aSadly, ship. much possible so they’ll play onto in anythe course inexperience misjudgement. The large, battleship grey vessel she was strapped into, swung wildly from side to conditions. Whereas, older golfers are some elderly golfers also fail to copeside with in the gusting wind but somehow she managed to laugh on course. She was reluctant to venture onto the course if the long carriesand as keep they lose their muscle flanked bylooking two rows marching valiantly tryingand to maintain weather’s a bitofdodgy and ladies are more power distance. the line and keep in step with each other in the vicious wind. than happy to while away time in the clubhouse until the clouds pass by. New golfers are pretty naïve when it comes Now, being a landlubber (I feel nauseous on the short ferry ride to the Isle-of-Wight!), to course management but they gradually I have no idea whether the ship represented a frigate, cruiser or battleship but you When beginners initially enter competitions learn where to place the ball, nevertheless, couldn’t help be impressed how some ex Blue Peter fan had completely transformed a they realise they need more lessons to they tend to remain bullish and optimistic few cardboard boxes into this impressive ship, whatever type it was! improve their scores. The difference with even when they are in deep trouble. older is they’ve developed However, know precisely Not togolfers be outdone, thealready men’s captain then stepped ontosenior the teegolfers wearing a shocking the techniques but it’s just a question of where to place the ball, even if they can’t pink, all-on-one (haven’t seen one of those for ages - no surprise there!), a fake whether their hips, knees or shoulders will always reach it, or see it! They’re moustache any Mexican cowboy would be proud of, topped off with a thick, black, cope the challenge. experienced andanrealistic to know if wig -with definitely a vision of Freddy Mercury. Mind you, wearing onesieenough was probably they’ve just played a lousy shot it’s quite sensible in the nippy north wind, although goodness knows whether he actually Initially, as to a beginner, canand be difficult probably managed keep the ittash wig on during his round.unrecoverable and the chance of trying to remember how many shots you’ve scoring is pretty remote. So does a new taken – let’s facecaptain it, multi-tasking is tricky really make a when you’re sodifference? focused on striking and Beginners soon understand a good part of Let’s face the Interestingly, games, tracking theit,ball. it’s not the pleasure of golf is about friendship but formats andforeven the golfers to also uncommon elderly it’s the senior golfer who appreciates the social side the to short term ‘mislay’ the are oddmuch shot due ‘good feel’ factor of the constant cracks same every memory loss.year. Clearly with a bunch of fellow golfers, regardless fun events such as this of how dire they play. encourage When you’reinclusiveness fresh into golf, you’re keen to andup comradery withineven the if you don’t sign for any games, It just shows you that regardless of your age, club and that’s ultimately have a clue what you’re entering, or who the benefits of golf are huge for everyone. what aplaying club’swith. all about. you’re Whereas the wiser, older golfer chooses carefully to avoid slogging One thing’s for sure, you can usually remember past club event from who was captain © Claire Kane over long courses, through soggy meadows at the time. Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets or having to climb cardiac hills with a © Claire Kane

18 TEE TIMES | March 2018

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into the team at the last minute. There was not a lot Romsey's Josh Hannam could do and the match went to Beadlow Manor to “I’ve never played such fantastic courses.” Stephen W - Trip Advisor So it was to be an all England affair with halve the match 3-3. Par 72 6528 neither team expected to makeKigbeare it past the Autumn to Spring Pines Par 72the 6400 groupNOW stage.- 25/04/18 Unfortunately tournaments rules state Beeches Par 69 5803 that if a Match is halved then the winner will • FREE Golf Oakwood Par 68 5502 The •final was Buggies held on the course be decided on the number of holes won. ½ Price - £8Morgado Ashbury 9 + Pines Front 9 Par 69 5775 and Beadlow Manor took an early lead on • 10% OFF Spa Treatments Ashbury 9 + Pines Back 9 Par 71 6111 & So the front 9. Much ThingsMore! changed onWillows the back BeadlowPar Manor were toMulti crowned 54 1939 Sport champions Simulators nine with Romsey's Owen Grimes bringing in as they won 10-7 on countback. Romsey March 2018 Full Boardwere Bargain Breaks from: the first win, followed by George Nicholsongutted as they lost on a technicality. Jack with aMidweeks nail biting win on the last, 4nt £190pp • 3nt Weekends £150pp Romsey 2up. This was a great match and Romsey did Additional Facilities FREE to residents of our hotels themselves proud up. They never Sports Racket Sports Leisure Familyas runners Ranges Bowls came back Tennis Swimming Beadlow Manor with winning the lost a matchFunhouse the whole week, Archery the only team Table Tennis Badminton Spa & Sauna Gamezone Air Pistols next two 5-A-Side matches with some stunning golf, Snooker to achieve this. Squash Waterslides Air Rifles Basketball ShorttoTennis Play Area Lasers now all square. It was down the last two Ten-Pin PLUS unique Craft Centre featuring 17 tutored crafts, including Pottery & matches, and Romseys Aaron Danson took No one expected a small club toWoodwork do so well the next match making a draw most likely. and to be the second best team in the Uk is quite an achievement. This has been an 0800 197 7582 ashburygolfhotel.com The last match saw Beadlow Manors junior experience that the whole team will never All rooms • Full board •forget. Child • Party discounts have a hole in one en-suite after only being brought Wellrates done Romsey Juniors. !

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 19

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has rare off day

Rory McIlroy: Fresh from his three-month sabbatical

Tiger Woods: Successful return to the PGA after injury

Two comebacks and a breakthrough but still a yawn, spoiled (again) by a snail’s-pace field Encouraging comebacks from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, along with the emergence of Asia’s latest superstar, should stoke golfing interest despite the dreadfully undermining effects of slowcoach players. There was much to stir and intrigue fans on opposite sides of the world at the weekend. Woods completed a successful return to the PGA Tour in California, while McIlroy - fresh from his three-month sabbatical was frustrated by another near miss in the Middle East. Yet, as fascinating as the performances of both titans proved, the curse of slow play meant golf could not take the chance to portray itself in its best light. Woods’ appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines brought a predictable spike in television viewing figures. There was a further audience boost in the US because Sunday’s action overran into air time originally allotted for the Grammys’ pre-show party. What this extra, unexpected audience made of JB Holmes taking four minutes to weigh up his second shot to the 72nd green we can only guess but it made for torturous viewing. Holmes’ self-indulgent indecision was appalling, especially as it left playing partner Alex Noren, needing a birdie to win, to stew over his own 230-yard approach. “Anytime today JB,” former world number one Luke Donald sarcastically tweet. Mark Calcavecchia, the 1989 Open champion, was similarly scathing. He stated on Twitter: “1. JB needs to be fined or better yet given 2 shots 2. Needs eagle to tie. After all that lays up? Really??? 3. Horrendous sportsmanship to Noren and [Ryan] Palmer.” On a windy final day the overall pace of play was woeful. The PGA Tour has been reluctant to tackle the issue but it should become a priority for the progressive new commissioner Jay Monahan. At least the European Tour has protocols to keep fields moving, and watching both tours over the weekend there was a discernible difference in the urgency and efficiency of play. There are exceptions, however, and the excitement and promise of Li Haotong’s victory over McIlroy in the Dubai Desert Classic should be tempered by the deliberate nature of his play.

20 TEE TIMES | March 2018

Golf writers will admit that they sometimes have to pinch themselves for being paid to travel the world and watch the best players on the planet. But with a knowledge constantly augmented by exposure at close quarters to all aspects of the sport, they are in prime position to highlight the lows as well as the highs of golf. Thus it was that highly respected Iain Carter, BBC golf correspondent, let off steam after the Dubai Desert Classic, where Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods performed well after injury layoffs and Li Haotong broke the tournament record, became the first Asian to win the event and the first main from China to break into the world’s top 50. Excitement all round? It should have been, but Carter shared fans’ frustration with that old bogey of both professional and amateur golf: slow play. His thoughts on the BBC Sport website are worth repeating in print. The Chinese prodigy certainly needs to speed up. Nevertheless, his was a landmark victory full of potential. At just 22, he has propelled himself into the world’s top 50 and China has a genuine male golfing superstar for the first time. Li provides yet another dimension to what is becoming an increasingly enticing golfing year already enlivened by Woods’ return from back surgery. The American’s comeback at Torrey Pines has to be considered a huge success. The 42-year-old completed 72 holes at a PGA Tour event unscathed for the first time since August 2015. “The big concern was playing out of the rough,” Woods said, after finishing 23rd at three-under in his first full-field tournament since his fourth back operation. “I haven’t played out of rye grass since last year, 12 full months. I wasn’t sure what I was able to do. I hit some shots - very happy about that.” The issue was that he needed to play so many shots from the rough because of wild inaccuracy off the tee. Woods hit only 17 out of 56 fairways and the proximity of his approach shots also left plenty of room for improvement.

Li Haotong: First Asian winner of the Dubai Desert Classic

But he ground out his scores with trademark, cussed determination and an often inspired short game. Scoring better than you play is an attribute every professional golfer craves. “Overall, I’m very happy the way I was able to fight out the scores,” Woods noted. “I can feel some of the things I’m doing wrong in my swing, so we’re going to go back to work. “It’s nice to have two weeks off, but it’s more important that I got this tournament under my belt where I can feel some of the things I need to work on because hometown speed versus game speed is two totally different things.” We will next see Woods at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles. He is fully aware that the Riviera Course will be a punishing setup if he remains as inaccurate off the tee. “Obviously, he has to drive it better,” said Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava. “The short game looked pretty tight, and that’s always a plus. And he looks comfortable putting. He just needs to get some reps.” There are few concerns for McIlroy regarding his proficiency with driver in hand. The 28-year-old from Northern Ireland averaged 321.3 yards with the big stick in Dubai, 10 yards further than his closest rival. But it was not enough to yield his first win since September 2016. McIlroy’s failure to convert a two-stroke lead with six to play into his third Dubai Desert Classic victory will surely rankle for a while. This was one that got away, there is no escaping that. But having watched McIlroy as he finished third in Abu Dhabi and runner-up in Dubai, there is plenty of evidence to suggest this will be a big year for him. Aside from the technical and powerful brilliance of his game, there seems more flair, imagination and enthusiasm. He is clearly embracing the potential of this period of his career and now heads Stateside to ramp up preparations for the Masters. Dubai victory would have been such a fillip. The last two champions at the Emirates Club, Danny Willett and Sergio Garcia, went on to land first Green Jackets the following April. Nevertheless, McIlroy does have his mojo back and preserving it in the US over the coming weeks is vital. Let’s hope he is not worn down by the glacial pace of play.

World number three Jordan Spieth missed the cut for the first time since May 2017 despite shooting a one-under 71 in round two of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona. Needing to birdie the last, the threetime major winner, 24, missed a 26foot putt to finish on level par overall. American Gary Woodland claimed his third PGA Tour title with victory at the first play-off hole. Crowd favourite Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner of the event, maintained hopes of a first win since 2013 after extending his run without a dropped shot to 41 holes. The 47-year-old, who had slipped to 49 in the world rankings at the start of the week, delighted the gallery at the 16th with a 20-foot putt and made it three birdies in a row by holing from the edge of the green at the next. But at the last he drove into thick rough in the middle of a fairway bunker and recorded a double bogey for a round of 69 and a share of fifth.

McGINLEY TO HOST IRISH OPEN Paul McGinley will be Irish Open host in 2019 as the event follows the British Masters model which has seen different players fill the role. Rory McIlroy’s charitable foundation has hosted the last three Irish Opens.and will have the role again this year at Ballyliffin before McGinley hosts the 2019 event. Major champions Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and McIlroy have committed to undertaking the position over the next number of years. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley described Monday’s announcement as an ‘exciting development in the history of one of our great tournaments’.

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 21

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LEGENDS OF THE GAME... ...BOBBY JONES As the Masters comes around once again much of the talk has been about the return of Tiger Woods, the form of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith and the many other emerging new stars who will be possible wearers of the Green Jacket in 2018. The first major of the season, and the chance of a first Grand Slam. Many fans still refer back to the Tiger Slam which he completed at Augusta in 2001. For many golfers this was the first time someone came near, but for true fans who have read some golf history, it has all been done before. In 1930, Bobby Jones entered only seven tournaments, and he won five of those, four of which happened to be The Open Championship, The Amateur Championship, the US Open and the US Amateur, considered to be and then called The Grand Slam. It was something no other golfer has ever achieved. Two months after his last tournament he announced his retirement from competitive golf, he was just 28 years old. In his short career he had won thirteen major championships, despite the fact that he remained an amateur throughout his playing career, in which he won 5 US Amateurs, 4 US Opens, 3 Open Championships and 1 Amateur Championship. He played in five Walker Cup teams, and of the thirty one major events he entered he won thirteen, 42% of all those that he played in. All of this was achieved in a short spell of just eight years. Then after his retirement from competitive play in 1932 he founded, together with his friend Clifford Roberts, the Augusta National Golf Club and two years later he started the Invitational Tournament, which eventually became The Masters, a name he accepted with much reluctance. Robert Tyre Jones Jnr, which was his full name, was not just a golfing genius, but also a man of letters. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the age of 20, then went to Harvard and got an English Literature degree. He was the assistant golf manager during his years there and was awarded his “H” and entered the Harvard Hall of Fame. When he left Harvard, he went to the Emory Law School, and after two semesters, he surprised everyone by passing the Bar Examinations. Within two weeks he was practicing law in Georgia, and specializing in Real Estate.


ASTH 20 TE E 18 RS

the 12th hole by two access points, bearing names that stir the imagination, Hogan Bridge and Nelson Bridge. Sarazen Bridge crosses to the 15th green, and like the other two is constructed of stone, and commemorates “the shot that was heard around the world” for his double eagle, the shot that enabled him to win in 1935. There are two cabins, the Butler Cabin where the Green Jacket is presented, and the Eisenhower Cabin, built in the 1950’s for the President Dwight D Eisenhower, and affectionately called the “little white house”. There are two plaques, named after two of the giants of the sport, The Arnold Palmer Plaque mounted on the water fountain on the 16th, and The Jack Nicklaus Plaque which sits between the 16th and the 17th holes.

In 1958, he came to St Andrews as non playing Captain of the United States Amateur World Cup team. Whilst he was there he was awarded the Freedom of the Burgh, the only other American to receive this honour had been Benjamin Franklin in 1759. In his acceptance speech, which he gave standing and unaided, despite his severe medical condition, he made the oft quoted statement that “I could take out of my life, everything except my experiences at St Andrews and I would still have a rich full life” and at the end of his speech, the entire audience stood cheering and sang “for he’s a jolly good fellow”. I would hazard that this would be considered old hat today, but it endorses for me one of the reasons why he will always be considered the greatest. He has left himself the best possible memorial, The Masters Tournament. The only one with a permanent home, and played on a course that is recognized around the world, thanks to the power of television. The course is also a memorial to some of the great names that have played the game of golf, and some of the reference points are known to all fans. All the players arrive by driving up Magnolia Lane, past the Founders Circle to the clubhouse. The Crow’s Nest is a room that tops the clubhouse and houses the Amateur contingent during their stay. Rae’s Creek is crossed at

A location and golfing mecca that has seen so much history, so much drama, disappointment and elation which is repeated every year, thanks to the foresight and dedication of two men, Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts Michael Rees

During his career, he wrote and published books and articles on golf and made an instructional film. He was a very successful businessman, with interests in Coca Cola, the Southern Company and was also Vice President of Spalding Sporting Goods. His three great friends were Gene Sarazen, President Eisenhower and Robert W Woodruff the chairman of Coca Cola. Tragically, while still in the prime of his life he was diagnosed with an incurable neurological disease called syringomyelia, in which growths form in the spinal canal destroying the spinal cord. He was to endure many years of this painful debilitation, which he bore with amazing courage, and without complaint.

22 TEE TIMES | March 2018

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Come and Play at Calcot Park A Great Experience, Never Forgotten!

Calcot Park Golf Club, in Reading, is a parkland course designed by Harry Colt and rated amongst the top six golf courses in Berkshire. We are pleased to offer a choice of Golf Society or Corporate Golf Day Packages as shown here or a taylor-made golf package specific to your requirements.

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 23

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S E R TH TE 8 AS201 M


The Masters, the first major of the season will, as always in modern times, decide if the Grand Slam is to be achieved at last this year. All the pundits feel that now there is a serious possibility, for the young guns are full of ambition, with Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Speith to name but three ready for the challenge. Tiger Woods was the last serious contender, in 2008 he was in a vein of form that could have seen him eclipse the “Tiger Slam� of 2000-2001, but he could not match that golden patch in his career.


His next big test was the semi final, against his fellow American Walker Cup colleague George Voigt. The match swung to and fro before he finally won with a long putt on the 18th hole, which Voigt could not equal. His opponent in the 36 hole final was no other than Roger Wethered, his victim at Sandwich. Wethered was a fine player, but he was no match for the brilliant American, who won by a dog licence, the convincing margin of 7 & 6. His first British Amateur title, and achieved at the Home of Golf into the bargain.

The term Grand Slam was first used to describe four quite different events way back in 1930, when the leading amateur contender aimed to improve on his efforts of 1926 and 1927, when each year he had won two majors. Bobby Jones won The Open Championship and the US Open in 1926 and The Open and the US Amateur in 1927. For then the top four events were the Open and the Amateur Championships of Britain and the USA, when amateurs were considered and proved to be the equal of their professional counterparts. A far cry from the status quo today.. Bobby was already a legend, he played few events in his short seasons, yet he had nine major titles on his CV by the time he sailed for Britain for a sortie and an assault on the trophies. Firstly to compete in the Walker Cup and then tackle The British Amateur to be played at St Andrews, his favourite venue, followed by the Open Championship at Hoylake. It would be a hectic few weeks of the most intense pressure and competition. The first hurdle was not too difficult, for at Sandwich the Americans won the Walker Cup won by 10 matches to two, with Jones winning his foursomes, and then ominously thrashing the British leading light Roger Wethered 9&8 in the singles. So north to St Andrews, where Bobby Jones attracted huge crowds even for his practice rounds, but The Amateur had so far proved so elusive for Bobby, it was the one major event he had never won. The early rounds of 18 holes match play had caught him out several times. This time he started brilliantly in the early rounds, then came up against Cyril Tolley, who took him to extra holes before losing to a clever stymie laid by Jones.

24 TEE TIMES | March 2018

be the defending Champion. In contrast to the miserable weather he had suffered in Europe, the sun shone, and despite the draining emotional trip, he was back to his brilliant best. He was driving magnificently, even the golfing gods smiled on him, for on the 9th hole in the second round his ball was heading into the lake, but bounced on a lily pad, and over the water to dry land and safety. He needed no luck in the thirds round, when his score of 68 shattered the course record, out in 33 and back in 35. Over ten thousand fans came out for the final round, expecting the maestro to stroll home with his five shot lead in tact. It was a totally different story, his lead was whittled away as a result of dropped shots, and at the 17th, a two shot penalty saw it disappear altogether. That was when he had to draw on his courage and nerve. On the last hole, his famous hickory putter, nicknamed Calamity Jane, did her duty as he rolled in a forty foot putt to take the Championship by two shots from Macdonald Smith, the same player who had finished second to him at Hoylake.

The impossible dream was still alive as he moved on to Hoylake. After an opening round of 70, he moved into the lead after day two, but the cracks were starting to appear in his usually solid game. Friday, day three, and there were two final rounds to be played, as was the format in those days. He did not play his best golf, and was overtaken by Archie Compston, who had surged through the field in the morning. However, the challenge was not sustained, as Compston collapsed in the final round, and although Bobby only shot 75, his aggregate total of 291 was enough to take the Claret Jug. The second leg of the formidable quest had been successfully completed. Back in the USA, he had three weeks rest before the US Open due to be played at Interlachen, where he would

Three legs were in the bag, and all that remained were five rounds of matchplay for the US Amateur Championship, to be played at Merion. All seemed to be going to plan, as he headed the qualifiers in the stroke play. Then the individual battles were to follow. The first day he comfortably beat two good Canadians, then beat Californian Coleman in the quarter final to set up a match with Jesse Sweetser, who had beaten him 8&7 at Brookline years earlier. The huge crowd saw Bobby surge into an early lead which he never relinquished, so the protagonists for the final were settled. It was to be the fans favourite Bobby Jones versus Eugene Homans, for the 36 hole US Amateur Championship Final, and for Jones a unique place in the history of the game. Record crowds flocked to see, and the fairways were lined several deep, and they were not disappointed. Bobby Jones was majestic, three up at the turn, he then had a blistering back nine to be seven up after the morning round. Homans fought back in the afternoon, but only delayed the inevitable, as Bobby finally won the match 8&7. He had done it, won all four major Championships in the four months between May and September in the same year, The British Amateur Championship, The Open Championship, The US Open and finally the US Amateur. The Grand Slam, four major successes and at the end of it all, Bobby Jones retired from competitive golf to go back to being a lawyer, there was simply nothing left to prove. Michael Rees

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Ampfield Golf Club was designed by one of golf’s true legends, Sir Henry Cotton. He had long wanted to create a short course that would test golfers of any calibre and he made a marvellous success of this wonderful course back in 1964. A success which has stood the test of time. The course was a tremendous benefit to the community and it was the first such course in the country. Sir Henry Cotton gave great credence to the club and defended strongly against any attempt to describe it as a pitch and putt. In fact, Alan Baker, (one of the owners at that time), published a challenge to pay £100 to any golfer who could play the course to Par with just a wedge and a putter. Several tried but NONE ever succeeded!

THE CHALLENGE IS BACK! All are welcome – Professionals and Amateurs. The challenge will run from April 1st to September 1st Entry fee: Professionals - £10.00, Amateurs - £20.00 Unlimited attempts! £1000 Prize Winnings* Go down in history as the first golfer EVER to beat the Ampfield Golf Club Short Course Challenge Contact Club Secretary, Nikki Fowler, for Conditions of Play nikki@ampfieldgolf.com | 01794 368480 (option 6) *Amateur maximum prize winnings - £500

March 2018 | TEE TIMES 25

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FOXHILLS KEEN TO BREAK INTO THE TOP-10 Ambitious Foxhills Club & Resort is targeting a place in the top 10 – despite an impressive showing in the inaugural Golf World Top 100 Resorts in UK & Ireland.

The historic club, based in Ottershaw, Surrey, has built its reputation as an exceptional and diverse leisure experience with two 18-hole championship golf courses – Longcross and Bernard Hunt – the nine-hole par-three Manor course, 11 tennis courts and a wealth of attractive dining and accommodation options.

“So it’s down to us at Foxhills to get our message out to more people and to show everyone what is here. If we can do that, I am convinced we will rise up these rankings. It’s about raising the awareness of what a great golf resort we have here at Foxhills because you simply can’t fail to be impressed once you are here.”

It ensured Foxhills sealed a lofty place well inside the top-40 as it was ranked at number 35 by the popular magazine’s guide, which is recognised as a benchmark in the industry.

Aside from the golf, the facilities at Foxhills claimed Best Hotel Facility of the Year and Best Health Club of the Year at the recent National Fitness Awards. Foxhills boasts a 20m indoor swimming pool, hydropool with massage jets, outdoor jacuzzi, steam room, thermal area, relaxation room, two Finnish saunas and a spa garden featuring one of England’s first natural swimming pools with chemical-free water purified by plants and minerals.

While it is deserved recognition and a position other resorts would envy, director of golf Chris Fitt is not satisfied and is determined to see a big improvement for the 2019 edition. Fitt said: “Of course, we are pleased to feature at number 35 in the rankings, but honestly, we should be much higher than that. “The standard of the golf courses, the quality of the accommodation and all of the leisure and dining facilities we have at Foxhills should see us well inside the top-10.

He said: “We hosted the PGA Cup last year, which was a great success and will be hosting a Europro event later this summer. It’s further evidence of the quality here at Foxhills but nobody is resting on their laurels and we have high hopes for the continued success of this club.”

A wide range of membership options are available, while visitors are also welcome. Fitt, who has previously held positions Gleneagles, Brocket Hall and Golf At Goodwood, joined Foxhills last year and is eager to steer the resort to new heights.

To find out more, contact the membership team on 01932 704450 or email membership@foxhills.co.uk www.foxhills.co.uk

Free taster days announced to encourage Hampshire girls to take up golf Hampshire Ladies County Golf Association (HLCGA) has announced today that it is continuing its investment to get girls across Hampshire into golf by offering free taster days. Aimed at girls aged between 6 and 18 years of age, the focus of the sessions is on having fun and meeting other like-minded girls while learning to play the game in a sociable environment. Each session will be held by a PGA qualified coach. All equipment will be supplied and casual dress is encouraged. Following the taster days, six-week starter courses will be available at three clubs across the county at a cost of £20.00 for all six sessions. Girls can then continue to develop their golf skills at five further monthly sessions held at one of the county’s Academy Centres throughout the summer. Free taster days are taking place on 18th March at Tournerbury Golf Club (9:30am – 12:30pm) and on 24th March at Alresford Golf Club (12:00 – 3:00pm). To register your interest for the programme please contact: Anne Chambers, Junior Academies Co-Ordinator - Annechambers56@sky.com More information about the programme can be found at www.hlcga.com/academies

26 TEE TIMES | March 2018

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 27

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Combine Golf with Gastronomy & Wellness this Easter at Argentario Golf Resort & Spa in Tuscany, Italy A relaxing combination of golf, gastronomy and wellness is on offer this Easter (March 30 to April 2) at the mesmerizing Argentario Golf Resort & Spa (www.argentarioresort.com) located on the Monte Argentario promontory in the picturesque Maremma region of Tuscany in Italy. The luxurious Argentario offers all the charm, tranquillity and beauty of a Tuscan hideaway with sleek, modern design, state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional service. The resort’s Easter breaks, which start from just over Euros 1,000 for two people, include three nights sleeping in one of a range of spacious junior suites that feature sophisticated black furnishings with contrasting light oak floors, each with their own private wooden terrace overlooking the golf course and Tuscan landscape beyond. If booked before February 28, guests receive a 10% discount.

Off the course, there is an Espace Wellness Centre and MediSPA where guests can unwind. The 2,700 m² spa includes a fitness centre with Technogym equipment, biosauna with chromotherapy, Kneipp circuit, heated indoor swimming pool with saline water, six massage cabins and tanning showers plus numerous other services. Guests can then indulge themselves in a gastronomic Easter Lunch, created by chef Riccardo Cappelli, in the stylish Dama Dama Restaurant, named after the fallow deer that occasionally roam the resort. The cuisine is based on the flavours and colours of the local terrain with dishes prepared using authentic produce from small, carefullyselected local farms and, at certain times of the year, directly from the hotel’s vegetable garden and orchard.

Other facilities available in the Easter package include access to the golf practice area, tennis courts, jogging paths that skirt the golf course and edge of the forest and a small football pitch. Argentario is easily accessed from Rome Fiumicino Airport by car in just an hour and a half whilst Rome Ciampino and Pisa are just over two hours away. The Argentario Easter packages for two people start from Euros 1,132 and include: • 3 nights in a design junior suite • Easter Lunch (water and coffee included) • Daily buffet breakfast • Spa access with use of pools, gym, fitness courses, sauna, Kneipp circuit, Turkish bath, thalassotherapy • Use of golf driving range, tennis courts, jogging paths and small football pitch • Garage Parking • Wi-fi internet For more information & reservations: T: +39 0564 810292 | E: booking@argentarioresort.it

Whilst staying at the well-appointed resort, guests can enjoy golf over the par 71, 6,218 metre course that provides panoramic views over the Orbetello Lagoon, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the surrounding rugged hillside as the golf course weaves in and out of olive groves and natural Mediterranean vegetation.

Millfield’s all-girl team head to ISGA National Finals Upper Sixth Emily Price, Lower Sixth Morgan Thomas and Year 11 Mimi Rhodes competed against an all-boys’ team from Truro School in the Regional Final in Saunton, Devon, winning 3-0 to qualify for the finals. They will compete at the St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall on the 29th and 30th of April 2018, against 21 other schools from across the UK. Millfield’s Golf programme is led by Director of Golf, Karen Nicholls, and Stuart Wells, who are both PGA professionals with over 11 years of experience at Millfield. Karen has previously worked with the British Army Ladies squad, and both coaches have experience with the Somerset Ladies County squad. For the first time since 2011, Millfield will be taking an all-girl team to the ISGA National Finals in April.

28 TEE TIMES | March 2018

The Millfield Golf programme is offered to all pupils who wish to develop their game, including those with little or no experience. Pupils can take individual lessons, group sessions and strength and conditioning sessions while

at school; they can also play weekly on one of the golf courses Millfield are associated with, including Burnham & Berrow, Enmore Park and Yeovil. Millfield currently have nine girls playing full-time golf alongside their studies, with handicaps ranging from +3 to 6. These include Emily Price and Mimi Rhodes, who have both played for England in their age groups; Emily has also recently been offered a golf scholarship to the University of South Carolina in America. The programme has produced a number of successful golfers, including current professionals Ben Taylor, who has just competed at the Panama Championship, and Ben Evans, who has secured his playing card for the Men’s European Tour. Other OMs include Sophie Keech, who is playing on the Ladies Access Tour after a successful amateur career, and Joanna Klatten, who plays on the LPGA.

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Della Vecchia To Head International Sales At Golf El Prat Della Vecchia brings a wealth of experience with him to his new position having worked in a number of different golf roles at European resorts since 2002 including, most recently, spending the last six-and-a-half years at Verdura Resort – a European Tour destination – in Sicily. Among his many achievements at Verdura, the 34-year-old Italian helped the resort register record golf sales figures five years in a row, as well as playing a pivotal role in the successful hosting of two European Tour events, the 2012 Sicilian Open and 2017 Rocco Forte Open. “Real Club de Golf El Prat is one of the most traditional clubs in Spain. It has an amazing heritage and I’m really excited to have the chance to play a leading part in its future,” said Della Vecchia, who took up his new post at the start of last month.

Real Club de Golf El Prat, one of the most prestigious golf venues in Spain, is set to enhance its reputation both at home and worldwide following the appointment of Marcello Della Vecchia as new international director of sales and marketing at the Barcelona club.

“With a world-class golf course and excellent off-the-course facilities, an outstanding location and a reputation for delivering five-star customer service, the club has so much to recommend to golfers, both on the domestic front and internationally, and I’m looking forward to growing its profile across new and existing luxury markets in the months and years to come.” With origins dating back to 1912, Real Club de Golf El Prat is one of the oldest golf clubs in Spain and one of only a handful to have been granted royal status by the Spanish royal household.

A 10-time host of the Spanish Open as well as an array of other top international tournaments, the club has hosted some of the biggest names in golf – Spanish legends Severiano Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, eight-time Major winner Tom Watson and European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn are among its roll call of previous winners – while Masters champion Sergio Garcia and Pablo Larrazábal are both members. Designed by Greg Norman, his first golf course design in continental Europe, El Prat features 45 holes and offers a combination of four different courses – the Open, Blue, Pink and Yellow – in conditions that are ideal for golf all-year round. Complementing the golf courses are outstanding practice facilities including a 300-metre driving range and a variety of specialist short-game areas. Just a 25-minute drive from Barcelona airport in the Sant Llorenç del Munt Natural Park, the club is also well situated for players to combine a relaxing golfing break with the opportunity to discover the many historic, cultural and gastronomic delights of the region. For more information about Real Club de Golf El Prat, visit www.realclubdegolfelprat.com

Le Manoir Hotel at Le Touquet Golf Resort, home of France’s #1 links course, has been voted Best Golf Hotel/Resort in France by readers of Today’s Golfer magazine (UK), for the second successive year. The award comes as the 41-room residence enters the final phase of a comprehensive upgrade, designed to transform it into a boutique style hotel. The restaurant, La Table du Manoir, has been the first amenity to benefit. Opened in the summer of 2017, the new décor and fixtures deliver a bright and airy feel, which echo the aesthetics of the resort’s architect designed clubhouse. The hotel’s transformation has continued this winter with improvements to the bar, reception and other communal areas. Their completion, in early 2018, will ensure a boutique style in harmony with Le Manoir’s history and heritage.

The improvements at Le Manoir are part of a comprehensive investment programme at Le Touquet Golf Resort, which has included the restoration of the La Mer course, a classic 1931 Colt and Alison design rated France’s #1 links, as well as a new clubhouse. Le Touquet was Europe’s most fashionable resort of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and 1930s and it remains an iconic destination, blending elegant style and architecture with boutiques, bistros and casinos. The town is also the longtime weekend retreat of President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, where they have a residence. La Mer, France’s #1 links at Le Touquet Golf Resort – the signature 16th

Le Touquet Golf Resort, which is part of the Open Golf Club group, is easily reached from the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as the rest of France by road and rail. Less than an hour’s drive south of the Eurotunnel terminus, it is accessed via the A16 autoroute. It is also just a short connecting train journey from the Eurostar hub at Gare de Calais-Fréthun.

“It’s easy to see why our readers hold Le Manoir in such high regard,” said Today’s Golfer courses editor Kevin Brown. “Improving décor and facilities, friendliness, value and superb accessibility for UK golfers make a compelling package… and that’s before you consider Le Manoir is on the doorstep of two of France’s finest courses, in Le Touquet’s challenging La Mer and La Forêt layouts. Kevin added: “Le Manoir’s continued recognition in the annual Travel Awards is a deserved endorsement of the hotel’s enduring popularity and quality.”

For more information about Le Touquet Golf Resort, visit www.opengolfclub.com/en/Golf-du-Touquet Le Manoir at Le Touquet Golf Resort undergoes improvements to turn it into a boutique style hotel in harmony with its history and heritage.

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March 2018 | TEE TIMES 29

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

Spring into action and wind up some power! Rotation in the golf swing is something many golfers struggle with especially as they get older. Backs stiffen and swings become shorter sacrificing yards. You don’t need a really long swing to create power, If you can create a good amount of resistance by coiling up your top half against a strong bottom half you create torque… this equals power! The more power you build the further the ball will go. But it’s important not to overstretch yourself. Here are a few exercises to help turn your game up a notch or two!

Twist without shouting! Have something on the floor as a reference point where the ball would usually be. Place a club behind your shoulders as shown (if you have limitations then place it behind your back between your elbows). Get yourself into a powerful position as if you were setting up to hit a shot. Keeping your legs solid and gently flexed, slowly begin to turn the shoulders so the club begins to point towards the reference point. Your weight should have shifted onto your back foot. Hold the stretch for a few moments, it is really important not to strain. Repeat to the other side to avoid muscular imbalances.

Back of hands together. Another very good drill that helps to simulate the swing is the following. Imitate your set up position again hanging your arms towards the floor. Take your right hand under your left arm and glue the back of the hands together. Smoothly swing your arms and shoulders away as a unit and feel that turn happening as your arms swing up to a compact swing. This drill will give you a great feeling for a compact and powerful back swing and it can be done anywhere. Again take care not to strain yourselves.

Gun drill! This warm up exercise increases rotation without placing a strain on the muscles by using a visual reflex to stimulate the action in the muscle. (To be used in both directions) • Test: Hold arm out in front of you. Keeping an eye on your thumb, rotate comfortably keeping your feet planted and visually mark how far you go. See the first photo. • Remain facing forward whilst taking your arm away, again following your thumb with your eyes. Perform 10 –20 times See Photo 2. • Turn your head the opposite way to you arm whilst again following your thumb with your eyes. Perform 10-20 times Repeat step one and see the difference in your rotation then repeat the other way. This is amazing and really works your rotational muscles! Try it and you’ll be amazed at the difference!

Just a thought: • Some golfers move their lower body at the same time as their upper, meaning no resistance is created. They struggle to separate the two. Try sitting on a Swiss ball or the corner of a bench to do the first drill. You’ll find you can’t move as far as you’ve anchored your lower body. But the stretch will be strong. • You can do the drills mentioned anywhere you like, which means that you can be improving your golf anywhere you like! You don’t need to make time to get to the range. They are also particularly good warm up drills to do on the first tee or before a practice session. • Frequent stretching will keep you playing golf for longer –so go on, add years to your game as well as yards! For lessons on any aspect of the game call me on me on 07780 684334 If you’d like to open your mind as well as your body before the season kicks off, I’m organising an evening with Karl Morris on Thursday 15th March. Contact me on katie@katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk for details. Happy Stretching! Katie x

30 TEE TIMES | March 2018

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


INFORMATION In golf there are no real absolutes. One player does this, another does that. One coach recommends one thing, another says “that’s wrong, this is right”. In this and next month’s article I will be concentrating on pitching, which is an area where advice can vary. I’ll lay out the pros and cons of a couple of methods to help you decide the best way forward for your short game; whether you don’t think it’s up to par at the moment or you just want to improve. The two methods are “hands ahead at impact” and “using the bounce”. One has more potential for disaster than the other. The subject of this article is keeping the hands ahead at impact.

A common piece of advice handed out about pitching is to keep the hands well ahead of the club at impact, as the breaking down of the lead wrist and over use of the hands is often blamed for poor strikes. To help you understand the mechanics and complexities of the ideal strike when keeping the hands ahead, I’m showing a golfer hitting an iron shot. OK I know it’s not a pitch, but the pictures really illustrate what has to happen if you want to strike well with the hands ahead. As you can see, the hands are leading the club head prior to impact, just like many golfers try to do when they pitch. The club doesn’t catch up with the hands until well after impact. On the pictures you’ll notice some yellow lines. The lines track the movement of the club head and the hands. Firstly look at the club head; see how it is sliding along the ground just perfectly. Now take a peek at what the hands are doing. Notice that they are rising as the club moves into and through the ball. The hands have to rise through impact like this so that the club can slide along the ground. They have to do this because the widest part of the arc appears when the club head is directly under the hands. If the grip didn’t go up, the club would bury itself underground. If you can time the release of the club and the rise of the hands correctly, you will strike the ball perfectly. The problem comes when, for whatever reason, the timing of the two elements is off. If you release the club head without raising the handle it will dig into the ground or, if you raise the handle without releasing the club head, (which is often the reaction to a chunk), you will thin the shot. So the chunk and thin are not different swings, it’s just that on one the grip end is wrong and the other is when the club head end is wrong. Like I say, some golfers are successful with this method despite its complexities. As also mentioned, there are no absolutes, what is good for one isn’t necessarily good for another. Next month: a more user friendly method which doesn’t require such precision to hit good shots. If you need some help deciding how to improve your striking please contact me. Mobile: 07787 887578 Email: martin.butcher@aim.com Website: mbtourcoach.com

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One of Hampshire's best courses

A Club for Life

As a member you will get to enjoy our 18-hole Championship golf course, the fantastic social atmosphere, discounted food and beverage and reciprocal golf at 16 other golf clubs With regular roll-ups, competitions and social events at Waterlooville Golf Club you will make many life-long friends which is why it really is a Club for Life

“I joined the Club because of the friendly atmosphere and the challenge of this long course. The condition of the course makes it a pleasure to play all year round.� - Steve Dunn

To join Waterlooville Golf Club, call 023 9266 3388 or email secretary@waterloovillegolfclub.co.uk

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Tee Times Golf Magazine, March 2018  

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