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ISSUE 204 | May 2018 | Tel: 01329 834360 | Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com | www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com

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

GolfBird Breaks from £79 PPSUMMER at Cottrell Golf Resort See advert on page 13 TEE TIMES Hills Golf Centre - THE SIZZLER Park OFFER -36 ONLYHole £31.00pp - see page 15–for moreour details MAY 2017 Reflecting on a marvellous Masters: Justin Rose, Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, made us so proud as

MAKING GOLF PLAY AND EAISER TOinUNDERSTAND he playedQUICKER his role in one ofTO the tightest but most gentlemanly showdowns the history of the event

AND THE WINNER IS. . . New-look rules keep GOLF SPORTSMANSHIP integrity to the fore 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 Whole new sections of the rulebook golfing son.

A raft of changes to the rules of golf have been agreed

will bring in fresh rulings on situations asRoom widewillranging asforlimits on the of time be found mementoes the allowed to search a lostalongside ball to the 2017 Masters to befor placed those of Rose’s triumph 2013 and his height of aU.S. freeOpen drop, from inmeasuring a Olympic Golf Gold. drop to striking a ball twice. The sport’s governing bodies, the But while Rose was pipped at Augusta by R&A Gand thethe United States Golf Sergio Garcia, inevitable disappointment Association, have made the alterations for his fans was counterbalanced by a after a draft out to public display of skillwas andput sportsmanship which was consultation and theand changed willwhich a credit to both men, to a sport still prides itself on in honesty and fairness. become effective January. The aim is to make the game easier Yes, the final round between these two Ryder toCup understand, fastertotobeplay and even titans was bound emotional. Rose more reliant on the honesty of players. was edging his way towards a second Major, Among the was changes: and Garcia trying to secure his first on the very day Players which would been theto THE FLAG: will have be allowed 60th the birthday Ballesteros. leave flag ofinhis thehero, holeSeve unattended while putting. But the overriding emotion for spectators of BUNKERS: There willway be no penalty the final round was the these two forEuropeans removing loosetheImpediments from fought fight. bunkers. In the final round, they were toe-to-toe rivals LOST BALLS: The time allowed for but not opponents, supremely competitive searching for a lost ball will beeach cut other’s from yet gentlemanly, acknowledging five minutes to three. or a nod. skills with a knuckle-touch FREE DROPS: The height from which a ball can be dropped has been altered • Turn to Pageheight 4 from shoulder to knee height.

DOUBLE STRIKE: Penalties for accidentally striking your ball twice in the course of a shot have been removed. FAIR PLAY: Another aspect of the new rules philosophy is to rely more heavily on player integrity. Officials say a player’s ‘reasonable judgment’ when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong. OUT OF BOUNDS: regulations governing instances when a ball is lost or goes out of bounds will be relaxed. Currently golfers are obliged to return to the spot where they played the original shot and have another go having also incurred a one-shot penalty. From next year golf clubs can adopt a local rule which would allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty. This addresses concerns raised at club level about the negative impact on pace of play when a player is required to go

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back to the original spot. The local rule is not intended for professional or elite-level competitions. UNCHANGED: One existing rule which will not be changed governs playing the ball as it lies on a fairway even if it comes to rest in an old divot. Many golfers feel this is unfair, but David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, insists it goes to the heart of the game. ‘We debated it quite seriously,’ he said. ‘While some divots are easy to identify and distinguish from other damaged areas, as a divot gets older that becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish from a bad lie. ‘So I think there are practical difficulties and philosophically one of the fundamental tenets of the game is that you play the asMasters it lies. Wellball played, mate: At the end and on the course, Rose and Garcia were ‘You hit it there you should play the sportingso gentlemen ball from where you hit it and we want this game to be as quick as we can reasonably make it. Playing the ball as it lies and playing the course as you find it are fundamental aspects of the sport.’

3

Bus Pass INSIDE Golfer’s Rory: My Green Jacket wedding blast atwish – Page 4 themeet buggy We the 10th tee hell ban brigade hound Bus Pass - Page 1616 Golfer – Page

Philip’s second spell The girl as Hants PGAgolfers skipper are –back Page 16and rocking Hampshire - Page 4 Jenny’s lifetime accolade – Page 16 Harry laps

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Relaunch for Get Into Golf The Get into Golf campaign has been elaunched by England Golf with a bold, modern look which is designed to be noticed and shake up ideas about the sport. Bright colours, casual clothing and the thumbs-up from social influencers will combine to show golf as fun, friendly - and welcoming to beginners and improvers.  It refreshes and modernises the image of the game and sets out to inspire people to give golf a go. The new website offers taster sessions and courses for beginners and improvers with features which make it easy for customers to find a session, book activities and pay online. 

Carly Booth: This is something that hopefully will catch the imagination of the public

Support grows for mixed golf Carly Booth hopes to see more mixed golf events after this year’s European Golf Team Championships.

Get into Golf has also enlisted a group of social influencers from other sports who will be trying the game and reporting back to hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and other platforms. They are health and well-being blogger Madeleine Shaw, yoga influencers Cat Meffan and Jessica Skye, cycling blogger Alec Briggs and runner Marcus Brown. They’ll be filmed as they enjoy the Get into Golf experience and will push out the clips on their own channels, taking golf to new audiences.  Get into Golf is being relaunched to coincide with this week’s Masters championship in the USA, when the sporting world focusses on golf. England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: .This is the perfect time to talk about Get into Golf and we’re very excited about the new campaign and the impact it will have on the sport.  ‘We’re presenting golf in a completely new way which will appeal to younger people who’ve never thought of playing or been put off by the old image of the game. ‘ To visit the Get into Golf website to find and book activities go to www.getintogolf.org 

Tee Times breaking the news last month

‘We have a lot of 72-hole stroke play events so I think the players who qualify to play in it will enjoy the kind of uniqueness of it. It will get the men, the ladies all playing together on an unbelievably iconic venue like Gleneagles right in the middle of the country, which obviously helps. ‘It’s unique because it’s the first time they’ve ever played actually together. I mean, they could be playing in the same team at the end of the mixed one so I think it’s a great idea. This is something that hopefully will catch the imagination of the people and I’m looking forward to it. A lot of the public will see it as the whole family can come.’ Booth and fellow Scot Paul Lawrie have been appointed ambassadors for the inaugural event from 8-12 August. The tournament, where male and female professionals will compete for equal prize money, will form part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. ‘I’d hope to see more of it,’ said Booth. ‘It started off with the event in Morocco, which the men play the same week as the women on two different courses. Last year we had the same players’ lounge and you just feel kind of as one, which

is great. I grew up playing with boys - my older brother and then all the junior comps, I was always the only girl. I loved playing with the boys and I think it’s a great way to kind of show the women’s game. The men have it right. We’ve been struggling with our tour and I think it’s a great way to help boost us and get a little bit of support from them.’ Players will represent their countries with 16 teams of two players competing in the men’s and women’s team match play events before combining for an 18-hole foursomes stroke play mixed team round. Qualification will be based on ranking points earned from tournaments finishing between 10 July 2017 and 9 July 2018 with a maximum of three teams representing any one nation in each event. ‘It’s going to be an incredible event,’ Booth added. ‘It’s so great that we’ve brought the women and the men together here on my home course. It’s a great location in Scotland - easy access from everywhere so I think the crowds will be massive.’

Girl golfers are back and still rocking all over the country Girls Golf Rocks is back - with great plans to involve even more girls and spread the recruitment project further across the country. This year it’s running in 21 counties with Berkshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex and Warwickshire joining the campaign, which Hampshire joined in 2016. Girls Golf Rocks will also be backed by Facebook advertising to help spread the message that golf is fun, friendly and great for girls.  Last year over 860 girls attended Girls Golf Rocks taster sessions and 730 enjoyed it so much they went on to take a coaching course with PGA professionals. The newcomers are supported by girls from county squads who act as ambassadors.  This year, Girls Golf Rocks will also be going ‘On Tour’ in eight counties. Running golf days with fun competitions to encourage new players to get out on the course and enjoy themselves with friends. 

4 TEE TIMES | May 2018

The Tour was successfully trialled in Essex this summer and will also run in 2018 in Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Dorset, Durham, Gloucestershire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. The other counties involved in Girls Golf Rocks in 2018 are Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Kent, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Yorkshire. Girls Golf Rocks is a project from England Golf and the Golf Foundation and aims to increase the number of girl players from an average of just two per club.  The sessions are open to all girls, regardless of whether or not they have an impairment.

• Golf legend Dame Laura Davies and Ladies European Tour player Annabel Dimmock dropped in at a training session for Surrey ambassadors and posed for photographs. • Northumberland ambassadors were featured on TV after BBC Look North filmed them at a training session at Close House. • Two teams of Girls Golf Rocks ambassadors - from Essex and Bedfordshire – played in the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo. Sophie Wheeler, 15, from Essex won the long drive competition with a shot of 232 yards!  • Ambassadors from all over the country were hosted by England Golf and the Golf Foundation for a golf day at Gainsborough Golf Club, supported by PING. Recent Girls Golf Rocks •  Norfolk ambassador Jasmine Campbell has been highlights include:  inspired by the PGA professionals involved in Girls   Golf Rocks and has passed her Level One coaching qualification. She hopes to follow a coaching career.

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GOLF IN BORDER COUNTRY

CONCRA WOOD An invitation to visit and play golf in Ireland is always a welcome communication, even though it was to take place in March, far from being the ideal prospect for good weather, but one to be savoured at any time. With three excellent courses to sample, all stretched along the border country between the republic and Ulster, in the counties of Monaghan and Cavan. After a first class early Flybe flight from Southampton Airport, we were driven from Dublin north west to Castleblaney in County Monaghan, and the golf course at Concra Wood. The golf course is set on a beautiful headland, surrounded on three sides by Lough Muckno, and a more spectacular site is hard to imagine. The picture was completed by the appointment of two of the most iconic characters in the history of Irish golf to design the course to be laid out on this perfect patch of ground. Natural contours changing elevations and wonderful clusters of trees. The architects were Christy O’Connor Senior, oft and reverently christened “Himself” and his nephew Christy O’Connor Junior. Names that are etched in Irish golfing folklore. The first time the two had worked together, but the result was an outstanding success. Playing the course it has all the appearance of being establish for decades, despite the fact that is a modern creation, only commenced in the year 2000.

The next few holes follow the shoreline of the lough, before the final three on the front nine wind back uphill to the clubhouse. A traditional front and back nine layout. On the back nine many of the holes follow the shoreline, to arrive at the most frightening tee shots, for both the 15th and 16th involve driving over the lake, the only consolation is that both holes have drop zones on the other side of the water. The final green is the deepest of all, 44 yards long with a high tier across the green, challenges to the bitter end, but a wonderful golfing experience, one that will never be forgotten, and with a sincere hope to be enjoyed again at some time in the non-too distant future. I can do no better when summarising the history of how Concra Wood came to be in existence, by quoting from the club literature. With the headline A hidden Gem it reads. The idea for a new 18 hole course began in early 2000, thanks to the vision and planning of Castleblaney Golf Club. The golf club approached Coillte to buy 240 acres of dramatic wooded landscape that tilts down to Lough Muckno. The views are spectacular, stretching across the Monaghan Drumlins to the Cooley and Mourne Mountains to the north. And all the while you are

surrounded by the lake and its scattering of islands, including Black Island, Otter Island, Crane Island and White Island. It is a unique setting that golfers, fishermen and walkers will love. The landscape holds a rich history. The ruins of an old folly Castle (known locally as McMahon’s Castle) built by Lord Blaney, lie beside the 8th tee box, while the Temple ruin is located by the 9th tee and 4th fairway. This was a picnic retreat for Lord Blaney. Elsewhere the Belfast Steps are inextricably linked with Castleblaney folklore and the fortunes and misfortunes of the Blaney family. Concra Wood Golf & Country Club is the latest stage in the evolution of Castleblaney Golf club. Founded as nine hole course in 1905 opposite the entrance to Concra Wood it closed in 1949. It was reborn in 1985 in the grounds of Hope Castle (visible across Lough Muckno from the present state of the art clubhouse, before moving to the present location in 2008. Eighteen holes of simply magnificent golf in a wonderful setting, almost demanding that you follow the advice of Walter Hagen, and set time aside to smell the roses. The first amazing step in the adventure set out by Tourism Ireland, and then it was time return to the coach, and our informative and entertaining driver Dermot Fogarty, for the drive to the Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club which was to be our base for the remainder of the stay. Michael Rees For more information: www.concrawood.ie www.toursismireland.com www.flybe com

Christy Snr with 24 tour victories and ten Ryder Cup appearances, and Christy Jnr with two British Open Championship victories and Ryder Cup fame when in 1989 he was the surprise pick by Captain Tony Jacklin. When the chips were down, he hit his superb 2 iron shot to the final green at The Belfry to defeat Freddie Couples and earn the draw that saw Europe retain the cup. The course was constructed to championship standards, and the greens built to USGA specifications, giving excellent drainage and making the course playable even in the worst conditions. Described as intimidating or scary but beautiful, it would be difficult to disagree. The first hole sets the scene, a par 5 plunging downhill to a green with the first water hazard, getting the intimidation in early.

6 TEE TIMES | May 2018

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OUR HAPPY SOAKS UP THE MASTERS EXPERIENCE Healthy golfers Hampshire’s Harry Ellis can mark off another milestone in his fledgling golf career and can snow say: I have played the Masters at Augusta. The Meon Valley star qualified to join the field after becoming just the third player to win The Amateur Championship and the English Amateur. Ellis finished in style, carding a birdie three on the iconic 18the at Augusta National and recording a run of six pars in an eight-over second round score of 80. But this was to be about the experience, not the score, and the

Harry Ellis: ‘Not easy, but a dream come true’

22-year-old described it as ‘a dream come true’ to play alongside the pantheon of stars. As he prepared to travel home and resume his college golf career at Florida State University, there will be no shortage of positives for the 22-year-old amateur.

‘It was not easy,’ he said. ‘But arguably when it is hardest, the last seven, I played great. That’s just the crazy thing about golf.’ Ellis admitted to being ‘shaken up’ by opening day troubles, but his run of long-awaited consistency on Friday afternoon showed what can happen when he clicks. ‘That was pretty good,’ he said. ‘I wish I played like that on the other holes. On Wednesday I felt really, really good and very optimistic about where my game was at.’

What did we learn at the Augusta National? So, what did we learn from the Masters at Augusta apart from the fact that Patrick Reed demonstrated, as one commentator memorably put it, ‘testicular resilience’ in securing his first Major victory with the pack snapping at his feels? Apart from the fact that Americans occupied the top three spots at the start of another Ryder Cup season, we were shown: That Rory McIlroy still had not rediscovered the form that gave him four Majors and must wait at least another year for a tilt at the Career Grand Slam. That it was good to see Tiger Woods back in Majors action and still a hugely popular figure in our sport. That fourth placed Spaniard Jon Rahm has a sparkling future and will push for big titles in future (as long as he can control his temper).

That Europe’s Ryder Cup destiny in September can be influenced not only by fresh new faces but also by the evergreen skills of Henrik Stenson and Olympic champion Justin Rose. That when it comes to Ryder tenacity, there are still dogged, spirited players around such as Ian Poulter and Paul Casey . That if you want drama, Sergio Garcia is your man. It was excruciating to watch his ttortures with the yips some time ago, and almost as difficult to share his agonies as spectating the five shots he put in the water to card a 13 on the 15th hole.

‘One of my huge goals this year was to get back in the winner’s circle and to do that in the first Major of the year means so much to me ‘I knew it was going to be tough, that the lead was going to shrink at times and it could grow and the only way I was going to get that done was to make sure the putter was working.’

Masterful, Patrick: Congratulations for Reed from McIlroy

That Augusta is the only course on which the first Major of the year can ever be played, with its beauty, its toughness and its reverence for history. And that, much the same as natural history programmes would not feel right without commentary by Sir David Attenborough, the Masters and every other Major would not feel authentic without the droll wit of the incomparable Peter Alliss.

Rory McIlroy, 28, winner of four Major titles but still chasing victory in the Masters to achieve the elusive Career

8 TEE TIMES | May 2018

Grand Slam:

a position, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.’

;For the last four years I’ve had top 10s but I haven’t been close enough to the lead, I got myself there (this year), I didn’t quite do enough but I’ll come back next year and try again.

Justin Rose, Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, Olympic Golf Champion and winner of the 2013 U.S. Open, the leading Englishman at Augusta, tied for 12th:

‘I just haven’t played it well enough at the right times. I think 100 per cent I can come back and win here.

‘I had a nearly week. I got some momentum going and saw some signs I was going to make some putts but at Augusta if you’re one or two yards out you go from hero to zero.

‘I play this golf course well. I played probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played here, it just wasn’t meant to be. Of course it’s frustrating and it’s hard to take any positives from it right now, but at least I put myself in

Golf is good for your health and happiness – and could save millions of pounds for local authorities, according to new research. The findings are the result of an investigation by England Golf, Mytime Active and ukactive into the impact of playing golf on health and wellbeing. Over 3200 golfers at 12 Mytime Active courses were surveyed about their participation. The results suggest the sport is attracting significant numbers of people who haven’t been getting enough exercise and, once they get into golf, they’re likely to keep playing and improving their fitness. The more they play the happier they’ll be, with the golfers who took most activity scoring well above the national average for their mental wellbeing. 

Verdict of Reed, Rory and Rose Patrick Reed, 27, after his maiden Major victory at Augusta, his only tournament win in nearly three years:

‘save millions for country’

‘I find it amazing that the winner normally comes out of the last group because I think it’s a golf course where a huge comeback is possible.’

As a result, it is estimated that golf is saving local authorities in the survey area a total of £3.4m a year in health costs. There are even bigger potential savings if the golfers who play the least continue their participation and become more active.  The findings will be used to investigate the possibility of making golf available on referral by GPs. It will also help to find other ways to encourage inactive golfers to play more and to generally promote the health benefits of the game. Abbie Lench, England Golf Head of Club Support, commented: ‘It’s fantastic to be able to show that golf is both good for you and could save the country considerable sums of money. Golf clubs and ranges have a really important role to play in helping people become fitter and happier and we look forward to developing this.’ Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive, said: ‘Golf is another great way to stay physically active while enjoying sport. This research provides further evidence that simply by undertaking regular moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking during a game of golf, you can improve your overall health and happiness.’

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May 2018 | TEE TIMES 9


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Scott’s Timing Is One In A Million Edinburgh golfer Gavin Scott was saved from missing out on the chance to shoot for $1million and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Masters after playing the popular Million Dollar Hole in One (MDHIO) competition – by letting another group play through. Scott, 62, was part of a fourball that entered the popular MDHIO parthree game at Penina Golf Resort, in Portugal’s Algarve last month when he bagged his first ace in 50 years of playing golf to earn a spot in the MDHIO grand shootout final at Augusta, USA in April 2019. But the opportunity to scoop the fantastic double prize would have been lost had his group not let a threeball through moments before the MDHIO stall was being erected on the 170-yard par-three eighth hole. Scott, who plays off a 15 handicap and is a member of Swanston Golf Club, in Edinburgh, said: “We let the group go in front of us as we expected them to be quicker than us. “The Million Dollar Hole in One table was only just being set up as we got to the hole, so if we hadn’t have let the three

of them go first we wouldn’t have been able to buy a ticket to play the game. I am so glad we did, it certainly paid off for me. “It’s fantastic to get my first hole-in-one and now get the chance to win $1m. All my golfing friends have had achieved it, including two last year, and my wife, knowing how keen I was to do it had taken to calling me a ‘failure’ every time I came home from playing without success. “She thought I was winding her up when I told her I did it and won a trip to the Masters for the MDHIO final, and has now taken to calling me ‘champ’ – especially as I have promised to take her with me. I am really excited to have the chance to play for $1m – but I’m probably more excited about going to the Masters.” Scott, a semi-retired chartered accountant, added: “My three friends all put their shots in the large, front bunker protecting the green, so I took an extra club – my rescue. I knew it was a good-looking shot that had a slight draw, but it wasn’t until my friends could see it wasn’t visible on the green that we all thought it might be in. I was elated.

“I always play MDHIO every time I am at one of their courses and I would definitely recommend it to other golfers. It is great value at €10 and great fun – and you get the chance to win $1m.” MDHIO’s popular par-three challenge allows competitors to win a selection of golf-related prizes, from balls to pitchmark repairers for landing on the green, while a hole-in-one at one of the 40 associated courses across Europe earns the chance to shoot for $1m jackpot. The final takes place in Augusta during the Masters weekend in April 2019 when Scott and the other finalists will be joined by former England and Newcastle United football ace Alan Shearer, the ambassador for sister company the Million Dollar Club (MDC), who accompanied the competitors at last year’s final held at the prestigious Golf & Spa Resort Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, in Austria. MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in the USA and since 2000 in Europe, has steadily grown in popularity over the years with more than 50,000 people each year trying their luck at the various par-three holes at courses across Portugal, mainland Spain,

Mallorca and the UK. More than 50 golfers have achieved their ace while playing MDHIO in Europe, while more than twice that number missed out by not entering and acing the hole. MDHIO is part of Million Dollar Holdings, which recently formed an insurance company specifically for golfers called Golf Insurance 4U, offering a range of extensive policies for both adults and juniors – including hole-in-one cover. To discover where MDHIO can be played visit www.mdhio.net/golf-courses.

The Dorset Golf Resort Celebrating FORE-TEE Years of Golf Celebrating 40 Years and now at the Top of their Game The Dorset Golf Resort has recently been acknowledged by many independent bodies as a Top 100 Golf Resort having never been before! The combination of 5 Star Log Homes & Cottages with private sauna’s, a Top 150 Championship Golf Course (27 Holes) and a superb locally sourced menu is clearly a winning one as the Resort boast a 65% repeat booking rate. With lots to do locally including wine tasting and tours, clay shooting and other fantastic attractions within 10 minutes there’s no why wonder golfers are flocking to The Dorset Golf Resort for more than just a Golf Holiday. Don’t be fooled, for the serious golfer the quality is undeniable with the Lakeland, Parkland and Woodland Courses designed by Martin Hawtree. Hawtree received international acclaim for his excellent work in re-designing The British Open courses and more recently the design of the 5 Star Trump International Links in Aberdeen for Donald Trump. He is certainly rated as one of the best designers in the world today, so in design terms the courses at The Dorset Golf Resort have a pedigree that is undeniable.  With four sets of tees the course can be set up to play at multiple levels of difficulty. Having hosted many championship events, Justin Rose even held the course record briefly shooting a Gross 69 from the back tees which he shot playing in a Tour event.  There are certainly Resorts you would always look forward to staying at and considered ‘one of the best’ in England; The Dorset Golf Resort is now rightly rated as one of them! www.dorsetgolfresort.com     t: 01929 472244

10 TEE TIMES | May 2018

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Golf Breaks from £79 PP at Cottrell Park 36 Hole Golf Resort

May 2018 | TEE TIMES 11


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92% of Golfers are buying clubs they don’t need… Does that Include You?

How much money have you spent on golf clubs since you started playing? How many strokes have you actually shaved off your game…honestly? It’s a fact that most of us see little to no improvement from simply purchasing new clubs off the rack… many of us actually get worse. In a recent US poll it showed that golfers estimated spending over $500 a year on golf equipment. What applies in the US can definitely be transcribed over to the UK. Which means some of you reading this article have already spent over £5,000 on equipment not  fit for your game… actually 92% of you have (according to statistics)! The vast majority of golfers read the national golf  magazines;  Today’s Golfer, Golf Monthly etc and read  about the importance of fitting.  The big club companies are trying  pass on this message…well they say they are…but they have serious limitations to their abilities to offer you truly custom fit golf clubs.  If you go to a golf retail store you get a few minutes with a young lad who has been trained to sell a full set of clubs to each and every customer. You hit a few golf balls into a net, he measures your wrist to floor distance and might measure your grip size. Hey presto you now have a custom fitted set of clubs – I don’t think so. Some places you go to including some professional  shops  have a fitting cart from a couple of major brand companies like Ping and Callaway. This is a step above the first example but still way off of what you should be doing if you really want to stop buying clubs you don’t need and start buying clubs that actually work. This system still does not gather all the information needed to obtain information needed to perform a worthwhile custom-fitting. Think about men’s suits for a second… generally the more you spend the more customisation you get. If you bought a suit today and it cost you £1000…you would fully expect to get a suit tailored for that price… for that price you would even expect that tailor to have the suit fitting you like a glove before you walked out of that store. So…tell me why then when you spend £1000 for off the rack golf clubs do you literally take them right from the rack to the golf course without expecting any level of customisation from the salesman?  Stores simply can’t afford to pay these so-called “fitting specialist” a high enough wage to entice qualified professionals to fill their positions. Not only do you definitely need a decent golfer in this position but also one who is well trained in the newest fitting technologies. And with the millions of head, shaft, grip, flex, loft, lie, weight, spin and launch angle combinations there are in a golf club today, these stores do not have the space or ability to offer you the ultimate choice. As an example using the big name companies, say you like the head of the Ping driver but the feel of the Callaway shaft. Can you have that? Not a chance. As a custom club fitter and maker I am not restricted to certain combinations.

12 TEE TIMES | May 2018

Golfers sadly get seduced by the glossy magazines claiming that they can improve their game by buying the next biggest thing or the coolest looking club on a commercial that all the popular golf magazines and golf forums are hyping up.  How much of a difference can a TRUE custom fitting make you ask? Well put it this way every single golf pro  on tour  has custom fitted and custom made golf equipment.  Now I have written many times on the all the reasons  why  you  should  be custom fit…but isn’t that enough incentive for you already. I mean think about it…do you think a pro would ever just go to a store and buy a club off the wall or snag a deal off EBAY and tee off with it at the Masters? Well maybe…but not if he had any plans of winning he wouldn’t. So why do we? Today’s fitting and the future of fitting will be about crunching numbers and putting the best combination of numbers together that will improve every aspect of your game.  A poll in the US  polled over 25,000 golfers that did nothing more then get custom fit and they saw their handicaps drop by an average of 5-7 strokes! And this didn’t take hours on the range or cost thousands in golf lessons…all they did was get a professional custom fitting. Everything from distance to accuracy to consistency to your overall confidence will improve with today’s fitting technologies. So get rid of those lessons for now…because without the right gear first… all you’re doing is creating bad habits that will need fixing later. Golf is hard enough…don’t make it harder then it needs to be by using the wrong equipment.  Without properly fits clubs,  no  golfer will ever reach his optimal performance level in this game.  For the most part golfers have similar problems with their equipment that needs fixing. But most of us  try to solve that problem  in the wrong manner. We tend to think that if something new comes out…then it will magically fix our swing. And the higher the price tag on the equipment…the  better our swing will be. But many  drivers and  several  years later we still find  our game has not improved, the handicap has not changed – in many cases it has even gone up.  Some of you are thinking “well you are right for the most part…but I feel like the driver I have now is better then any I have ever owned.” And you might be  right…but…

even if that is true the chances of it being the optimal driver for you are slim. That’s because all that has to be wrong is one of the following variables: Club Head Style, Shaft Flex,  Shaft Length,  Shaft Flex,  Clubhead Lie,  Loft,  Grip Size,  etc.  If even one of these is off it could be killing your game. And we are not talking yards we’re talking strokes. All it takes is a couple drives a few yards further in the woods, one or two wedge shots that sail over the green, a pitching wedge you had to choke down on because you don’t own a Gap Wedge and your talking 5-6 strokes easy…every round. All because you  believe the magazines and do not get a  properly fit  set of equipment. So before making an investment on another club  think

do you want to follow the 92% crowd or do you want the same advantages as the professionals. I hope you seriously consider going to  a professional clubmaker to  get fit for a set  and join the 8% club! For more information or to receive the benefits listed above, contact David numbers below, to arrange an appointment.  A copy of this and my previous articles for Doyle’s Dilemmas can be found online http://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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GOLF IN BORDER COUNTRY

FARNHAM ESTATE

The back nine commences with a short par four, and a chance to improve a beleaguered scorecard, but that is where the benevolence comes to an end, for the 11th is the longest par 4 on the course with plenty more to follow. The final hole is a tough par 5, and concludes a first examination of golfing skills, or the lack of them, with every club in the bag having a severe examination, especially the driver. A course to savour and one that generates the desire to tackle it again. The new clubhouse to replace the temporary facilities is in the course of construction, and when complete will be the final piece in a superb golfing jigsaw.

After a most comfortable night in the Slieve Russel Hotel it was time for breakfast before setting off to play golf at the Farnham Estate Spa & Golf Resort, a short drive away. Set on a beautiful 1300 acre country estate on the outskirts of Cavan Town on the shore of Lough Oughter, it is one of the most popular spa and golf resorts in the country. The landscape is one of rolling meadows, ancient forests and pristine lakeland, the perfect setting for a golf course, and so it proved to be. It is no surprise that the course has the endorsement of Faillte Ireland as a preferred golfing destination, and ranked 26th in the top 100 parkland courses in Ireland, and when considering the quality of such courses, that is recognition indeed. The simply stunning course is spread over 500 acres of rolling countryside, with a pervading atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, broken only by the background of birdsong. Sounds that are soon expanded into sightings of a variety of birds, including a pair of courting grey herons swooping around over the marshes. The layout is of two classic nines, which are quite contrasting in nature. The front nine is described as a gentle but challenging journey, a description that hardly seemed apt as I searched for another ball from the golf bag. The meadows of the front nine do not prepare you for the more rugged woodland awaiting on the back nine. Bunkers are not plentiful on the course, and are in the main reasonably flat, but are presented in the more traditional manner, and are left natural rather than being manicured in the American style. They are far more pleasing on the eye, and in keeping with the surrounding countryside, but that is a personal opinion perhaps not shared by all golfers. Whatever else can be said, the highlight of the course is the superb condition of the greens, even after an extensive wet winter they were in superb condition, and a delight to putt on. They are large with ample choices for pin positions, contoured, but not too difficult once pace has been understood.

14 TEE TIMES | May 2018

When asked which hole would be regarded as the signature hole, when neither my playing companions nor I were able to decide, I met with the same questioning response. Only time will tell which it will be, for there are numerous possibilities, such as the 2nd, 10th, 15th or 16th. The designer, PGA professional Neil McNulty, opts for none of those, but has chosen the fourth hole as his personal favourite, 427 yards from the white tee, with an accurate drive needed to be placed between two large oak trees and then a second shot to a green guarded with water behind and to the right of the putting surface. Any one of those mentioned could be the final selection, many are memorable especially the par threes. My personal favourite being the 8th, the second par 3 on the course,

For non-golfing visitors it is a short drive to the fascinating Stroketown Park and House in County Roscommon, the Georgian Palladian mansion, the walled garden and the museum which is dedicated to the time of the Irish potato famine in the 1840’s. Worthy of the time for a visit.

After a great days golf, the pleasures of the day continued well into the evening, with dinner organised at the Olde Post Inn in Cloverhill. A famed hostelry that truly lived up to its excellent reputation for fine food and wine, a gastronomic treat that set the seal on another perfect day. After complimenting the staff it was time to return to the Slieve Russel hotel and a nightcap before retiring, the end of another day which highlighted and defined the many delights to be enjoyed in the border counties of Cavan and Monaghan. For those readers who have no knowledge of these two counties, I would recommend an exploration of the websites and consider them both as undiscovered great golfing destinations. For those with an aversion to water, there is plenty to demand attention, for there is a meandering stream and seven lakes around this parkland challenge, as well as ancient trees, a fairy fort, lots of wild garlic if you stray from the fairways, and an abundance of wildlife for those with wider interests, admitted in the words of a confessed bird watcher.

Michael Rees

For more information: www.farnhamestate.ie www.Ireland.com/golf

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C Palmar by Constance – The Latest Addition to the Paradise Island of Mauritius Recently opened in November 2017 & visited by Chaka Travel Sales Specialist Jean Collins in December, Constance’s newest boutique hotel C Palmar is the latest addition to the paradise island of Mauritius. Designed to be elegant yet casual and relaxed with a rustic beach-house style; C Palmar provides a superb all-inclusive offering with a fine selection of foods and refreshments. Start the day with breakfast at the “bright and airy” buffet restaurant which Jean had to be “dragged away from” and have your evening dinner in the C Asian restaurant which is the a la carte restaurant at C Palmar and seats 26, “so be sure to get yourself a seat as the food is amazing.” Enjoy the warm ambiance created by raw materials, local furniture and crafts. Let the senses take over and provide unforgettable moments, whilst enjoying one of the delicious signatory Constance cocktails. “You are continuously looked after by a happy smiling staff member who is only too happy to whizz you up a drink of your choice while you enjoy the sunshine.”

The famous hospitality experienced at all Constance resorts has been perfectly imitated whilst being amplified at the smaller, more intimate C Palmar. Jean immediately noticed how happy all the staff are and they seemed “genuinely delighted to be chatting with clients all around us.” The small boutique hotel with only 52 rooms, offers guests a more intimate experience. The rooms are ‘just fabulous, beautifully done with thought and attention clearly going into the design, using the local wood for the furnishings just added to that feel of small boutique hotel vibe.” The combination of intimacy, luxury & amazing hospitality made Jean want to stay forever when saying goodbye to the staff “as if they were old friends” When booking C Palmar with Chaka Travel, Mauritius golf holiday specialists, receive complimentary daily golf with golf buggies on the Links & the Legend Golf Courses at Constance Belle Mare Plage. Also visit www.chakatravel.com for more information & to read Jean’s full report from her stay at C Palmar.

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May 2018 | TEE TIMES 15


Golf Breaks from £79 PP at Cottrell Park 36 Hole Golf Resort – See our advert on page 13 SENIOR GOLFERS ARE CHAMPING AT THE BIT, BUT WHAT DO CLUBS DO? THEY BAN THE BUGGIES Here’s a memory test for you. At one time in this country, men would gather together with tubeshaped bags containing sticks with little metal handles on the end. Oddly, they would strike a small dimpled ball with the metal bit. The ball would go flying off – usually, but not always- into impenetrable undergrowth. I can’t think why but this process used to give us huge pleasure. Better than sex, said some. “What’s sex?” said the others. We are talking about seniors’ golf here. The sport with the dimpled balls… sorry, the one with the clubs, was, I seem to remember, called golf. Now that too has become a sepiatinted memory flickering on the edge of memory. At least, I’m assuming that’s what will happen. I’m writing this on the tail-end of winter. For the past few months, golf has been almost entirely extinct. By the time you read this it will surely have vanished completely.

A pastime called golf? Ah, I remember it well

David Attenborough might dig up the occasional plastic tee and mistake it for a tooth-pick. Being a bus-pass golfer is, of course, a joy and a delight, but the one in-built snag is that as the years go by we all become more, not less, senior. Drives get shorter as handicaps get longer. Legs and lungs no longer quite do what it said on the tin, and, one by one we all take to the buggy.

When the courses turn to mud, the club committees opt for commercial suicide. They ban the buggies. About Christmas, in car-parks from Kent to Dorset you could see fleets of buggies mothballed like the navies of defeated dictators. Those lads who made a living out of stealing buggies were begging the golf clubs to take them back. No market for them, you see. The trouble was that banning buggies meant banning bus-pass boys like me. The seniors. As any club secretary will tell you, the seniors make up at least 50pc of most memberships. What’s more, they’re the most reliable, loyal, enthusiastic club members. They even play in the rain. Sent home to drool over well-thumbed score-cards from the days of their 250-yard drives. (I speak for myself here, of course).

Now this is a time when golf clubs are fighting for new members. They are attempting to make golf short, quicker, easier, sexier. There is even a form of golf crossed with soccer where you kick a football down a hole the size of the Mersey Tunnel. Hard to imagine Seve playing that one. Well, we tried, me and my buggybuddy. Day after day we were turned away by the no-buggies clubs. Some – Littlehampton and Cams Hall in particular – really did bust a gut to get us out there. They seemed to believe that it was their business to get people out there, playing, paying, and having fun. Some of the others, sad to say, seemed to prefer to gaze out on rolling acres of emptiness. Waiting perhaps for the property developers to come down the 18th waving cheque books? Surely not.

NIGHTMARE RULING CONTINUES TO HAUNT WORLD NUMBER TWO

A year on, Lexi is still paying the penalty Lexi Thompson: ‘I had nightmares about it and I still occasionally do.’ Left, the emotional anguish in her body language as the news sank in last year

It was a jaw-dropping moment for spectators and a situation which led to a change in golfing rules. And the experience is still seared into the mind of world number two Lexi Thompson - painfully enough, even twelve months later, to say it still gives her nightmares. Thompson says she still struggles with the memory of the four-stroke penalty which cost her victory at last year’s ANA Inspiration. The American was left in tears after being handed the penalty while

16 TEE TIMES | May 2018

leading the final round of the first Major of the year. ‘That night was extremely rough,’ said the the 23-year-old. ‘I was screaming, crying. I had nightmares about it and I still occasionally do.’ Thompson was penalised for replacing her ball in the wrong sport after marking it during the third round of the tournament. But he offence was only spotted by a TV viewer who got in touch with match officials. It meant she received a two-stroke penalty for ‘playing from the wrong

place’ plus a further two-stroke penalty for returning an incorrect scorecard in round three. Her five-under-par third-round 67 became a 771. Thompson had been leading the tournament by two shots when told of the penalty after her 12th hole on the fourth and final round the next day. ‘It’s been rough,’ Thompson told reporters before the 2018 ANA Inspiration. ‘I stayed off social media after that because media was blowing it up and making me feel terrible. I had to

let it go and let time pass.’ The rules were subsequently changed so that players can no longer be penalised by video evidence for things that ‘could not be seen with the naked eye.’ Neither are players still penalised for returning an incorrect scorecard if they were not aware the scorecard was wrong. ‘I’m just happy the rule changed so nobody else can be put through what I was put through last year,’ Thompson said.

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

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12 TEE TIMES

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How many times have you strolled onto the first tee wondering what on earth’s going to happen over the next few hours? Sometimes we have our driving head on and can effortlessly power balls down the centre of the fairway and if we’re really lucky, we may even be wearing our putting hat as well, so will sink a decent number of putts. Sadly, from time-to-time our head develops a wobble, especially when under pressure or feeling tired. I still vividly remember playing a game It’s compare theball ended up miserable partner. They pot consider it far more of interesting Foursomesto where our in a large, deep bunker. differences someone starting theimportant to haveball a good dayscuttled out with mates Then as ifbetween drawn-in by a magnet, opposition’s also into out on a pleasant but forgiving course. theplaying bunkergolf and an experienced golfer in their twilight golfing years. To cut a long story short, none of us were ablecantosometimes hit the ball out, so Beginners struggle withat one stage all four players were standing in the sand patiently waiting For instance, newbies are keen to play as long carries and dog-legs due to theirgolf turnas–possible it really large, deepinexperience bunker! I don’t remember Sadly, how much so was they’llaplay in any and misjudgement. many attempts finally tookareto put the balls on the green buttothe conditions. Whereas,itolder golfers some elderly golfers also fail copepar with4 reluctant to venture onto the course the embarrassing long carries as they lose their muscle hole was eventually won withif an double digit score. weather’s looking a bit dodgy and are more power and distance. The point is stress can definitely tense muscles and scramble the brain, than happy to while away time in the which in turn can create the most unusual bodily movements and nothing clubhouse until the clouds pass by. New golfers are pretty naïve when it comes like the shot you’ve spent hours perfecting on the driving range.   to course management but they gradually When beginners initially enter competitions learn where to place the ball, nevertheless, Worse still is when you’re losing a match and on the back foot, devilish they realise they lessons to to tempt they you tend to remain and optimistic thoughts can need pop more into your head reclaimbullish the lead by improve theirascores. The difference deep trouble. going for risky shot and we with all know even howwhen that they can are endin up! older golfers is they’ve already developed However, senior golfers know precisely How others perform group also impact yourball, game. the techniques but it’s justina your question of canwhere to place the even if Great they can’t news iftheir they’re but ifwillthey happen to be shoving balls into whether hips, playing knees or well shoulders always reach it, or see it! They’re bushes andchallenge. shanking shots, then this can be highly andtothe cope with the experienced and infectious realistic enough know if next thing you know you’re replicating they’ve them too. just played a lousy shot it’s Initially, a beginner, can be difficult probably unrecoverable chance of Dare toasbe smug ifityour opponent’s duffed a shot, or landedandin the trouble, trying to remember how many shots you’ve scoring is pretty remote. then expect karma to surface and offer you a similar disastrous challenge. taken – let’s face it, multi-tasking is tricky Relax too much and believe you’ve mastered the game then take heed, when you’re so focused on striking and Beginners soon understand a good part of overconfident, speedy swings slice away from trouble. tracking the ball. Interestingly, it’s notare just one the pleasure of golf is about friendship but uncommon for elderly also it’s the senior golferyour swing. who appreciates the Finally, there’s thegolfers totallyto mystery of suddenly losing ‘mislay’ the odd shot due to short term but finding ‘good feel’ factor can of thebe constant cracks Goodness knows where it goes it again as elusive memory loss. as trying to find a lost ball withina abunch of fellow golfers, regardless and puzzling meadow. of how dire they play. Of course, we’re thereto are many things When you’re fresh into all golf,aware you’re keen thatupcan gogames, wrongeven in golf sign for any if youbut don’tEric Morecombe’s It just shows you that regardless of your age, jokea about hisyou’re poorentering, piano orplaying, have clue what who “I’m the playing benefits of golf are huge for everyone. all the right not necessarily in you’re playing with.notes Whereasbut the wiser, older golfer carefully toisavoid sloggingthat can also sum the chooses right order”, a phrase over courses, soggy meadows © Claire Kane up long a bad gamethrough of golf! or having to climb cardiac hills with a Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets © Claire Kane

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Ashbury Day 2 saw Romsey v Bothwell Castle inSet a in the foothills of Dartmoor National Hotels thrilling match on the Alamos course.Park, Devon. The Ashbury Hotel is the ideal - The Only Sport, Craft & Spa venue for your golf break. Hotelsagain in the UK Romsey once win 4-2, and now go top of their group! This meant only At leastthat 27they holes of FREE golf with each night of stay! needed a draw in the final group match to Kigbeare 15th Pines 17th 382 yards, Par 4 qualify for the final. 442 yards, Par 4 Day 3, Romsey v Pyle & Kenfig was to be Romsey's finest performance with a 5-1 victory! They make the final against the other group winners Beadlow Manor from England.

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 make Kigbeare it past the Summer Pines Par 72the6400 group stage. Unfortunately tournaments rules state Beeches Par 69 5803 Sizzlers 2018 that if a Match is halved then the winner will Oakwood Par 68 5502 16/07/18 - 29/08/18 The final was held on the Morgado course be decided on the number of holes won. Ashbury 9 + Pines Front 9 Par 69 5775 • FREE Unlimited Golf and Beadlow Manor took an early lead on Ashbury 9 + Pines Back 9 Par 71 6111 • ½9.Price Buggies - £8 on the back the front Things changed Beadlow Par Manor champions Willows 54 were 1939 to crowned 3G Sports Pitch nine with Romsey's Owen Grimes bringing in as they won 10-7 on countback. Romsey September Board the first win, followed by George2018 Nicholson-Fullwere gutted asBreaks they lost on afrom: technicality. Jack 4nt with a nail biting win on the£308pp last, Midweeks • 3nt Weekends £269pp Romsey 2up. This was a great match and Romsey did Additional Facilities FREE to residents of our hotels themselves proud as runners Ranges up. They never Sports Racket Sports Leisure Family Bowlscame back with Tennis Archery Beadlow Manor winning theSwimming lost a matchFunhouse the whole week, the only team Table Tennis Badminton Spa & Sauna Gamezone Air Pistols next two matches stunning golf, Snooker to achieve this. 5-A-Side with someSquash Waterslides Air Rifles Basketball Short Tennis Play Area Lasers now all square. It was down to the last two Ten-Pin PLUS CraftAaron Centre featuring crafts, including Pottery matches, andunique Romseys Danson took18 tutored 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 rooms en-suite • Full board forget. • Child • Party discounts have All a hole in one after only being brought Wellrates done Romsey Juniors.

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May 2018 | TEE TIMES 17

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB


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18 TEE TIMES | May 2018

Golf Breaks from £79 PP at Cottrell Park 36 Hole Golf Resort


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Donnington Grove Country Club Donnington Grove… Driving Range

Summer Package

• Stunning location in Newbury, open daily

• Tea, coffee & bacon roll,

• Beautiful lakeside setting

• 18 Holes Championship golf

• Six Covered bays with full length practise mirrors

• Two course meal

• Five outside bays with high quality mats • Free coffee with every large bucket of range balls • Tuition available for every level, from beginners to professionals

• £50 per person • Anytime Monday – Friday, • Weekends and bank holidays after 11am • One in 16 is free!

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 £30 each, fully stocked ProShop with registered PGA professionals and stunning views of Newbury and Donnington castle.

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

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May 2018 | TEE TIMES 19


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GOLF IN BORDER COUNTRY

SLIEVE RUSSELL HOTEL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Having spent two days enjoying the luxury accommodation, comforts, excellent service and fine fayre at Slieve Russell, it was time to take the final test and play the golf course. It would be the final round of golf before heading back to Dublin on the journey home. The hotel deserves all the plaudits for a total sports and leisure destination, and with a golf course ranked 4th best parkland course in 2018, it is a perfect golfing centre to explore the region. Golf course architect Paddy Merrigan has designed a superb course using all the natural elements of the drumlin valley to create what is recognised as a masterpiece. I first visited Slieve Russell in the late 1990,s and it was fascinating to see the improvements from the venue my memory recalled. The course forms part of the magnificent 300 acre estate, which includes fifty lakes, and is the major attraction for visitors to the resort. Golfing legend Christy O’Conner Snr, who himself created some fine courses wrote: “One of my criteria in judging a golf course is that you get pleasure from it each time you play it. I played the Slieve Russell many times and each time I can’t wait to get back”

The second hole is rated as one of the best in Ireland, no mean statement, and at 434 yards a true test for the driver. With water coming into play extensively on the back nine, specifically on the 11th, 12th 13th and 16th holes, there is little margin for error. The concept of the course however is not to be punitive, but to demand a strategic approach, to encourage attacking shots and rewarding their successful execution. Those holes certainly ask the questions. It is no surprise that the course has played host to some of the major events in the golfing calendar, including European Tour events, Irish PGA Tournaments, The Irish PGA Championship and a host of regional events. There are several holes to be stored in the memory banks, the dogleg 2nd and water to be conquered, and again on the 8th and 11th holes and no respite on the 12th. With names such as Heron Haunt and Risky Rud and Watergate nothing is left to the imagination, before the final examination on the par 3 16th hole, aptly named The Mourning Hole. A fine golf course and most important, as in the words of Christy a course to be enjoyed. For those with energy left to spare, there is a state of the art purpose built nine hole golf course.

The Adventure Golf is fun for all the family and all can participate. Apart from the golf course there are numerous activities to be sampled in the area, boat trips, fishing and canoe and kayak rental. The Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail is a boardwalk trail to the summit of the mountain. The Outdoor Centre is a game park with laser, paintball, clay pigeon shooting and hover crafting for the more adventurous. The Secret Garden is near the front of the hotel, designed by award winning landscape artist Paul Martin, will be a must visit for gardeners of all standards. For those seeking more in the style of pampering the Ciuin Spa & Wellness Centre will be the destination most likely to be chosen, with a hydrotherapy suite, foot spas and a full range of treatments, it is satisfaction guaranteed.

The culmination of three excellent days of golf superbly planned and organised by the Irish Tourist Board, to provide insights into the region, and expose to a wider audience some of the real hidden gems of County Cavan and County Monaghan. Not only the golf courses, but also quality hotels, historical locations and points of interest and fine dining. It was with some reluctance that after lunch when it was time to join our driver Dermot Fogarty, we climbed aboard the coach to head back to Dublin on the start of the journey home. Our destination was the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, sadly not to play the golf course, but to stay overnight prior to an early flight back to Southampton, courtesy of Flybe. The end of a most enlightening visit, with new understanding and appreciation of the border region. Michael Rees

For more information: www.slieverussell.ie www.Ireland.com/golf

20 TEE TIMES | May 2018

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

GOLF DA YS FROM A S LITTLE AS £31.5 0

To book your day at Waterlooville Golf Club please call 023 9226 3388 or email admin@waterloovillegolfclub.co.uk

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May 2018 | TEE TIMES 21


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

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

Soar into the Summer with these handy driving tips. So often I see golfers setting up with their drivers in a very stiff and upright fashion... Many complain of not getting much carry with their drives or poor distance and direction in general. In fact they go as far as saying that their driver is an enemy rather than a trusted friend. So much so that they simply leave it in the bag or even worse the garage, collecting cobwebs. I think driving is such a key part of what makes you a successful and a happy golfer. If you drive the ball well it makes you feel good and it will impact the rest of your game in a positive way. But nobody needs loads of swing thoughts at this time in the golfing calendar. Opens, medals and matches require you to simply see the shot, and hit it. Not be concerned with HOW that may happen. So I’m focussing on your set up with a few simple checks... At address. Ensure you are in an athletic posture, ready to run somewhere... You are gently holding the club with arms hanging down. There is no strangulation in sight! The ball is positioned off the inside of the foot nearest the target. As a result of this don’t feel you need to get over the ball. I’ve seen many a golfer actually leaning towards the target and this is the enemy of all good driving. Instead, allow yourself to settle behind your ball as if standing on a gentle upslope. This will see the zipper or buttons on your top gently ease away from the ball and settle a tiny bit more weight on your back foot. The physical act of settling behind the ball into a relaxed posture will help eliminate any tension in your set up. You are now ready to SWEEP the ball off the tee, collect it if you like, Rather than attack it. Ensuring you get through to that all important finish position is key here. So once set-up, clear your mind and think about getting that tee peg and finishing your swing in a balanced manner. This is worth trying on the practice ground and then taking it to the course in a practice session that sees you play a few holes perhaps. Pick a quiet light evening the best ones are when the weather isn’t at it’s best and you have the course to yourself.

There is nothing like seeing yourself drive well out on the course. This is the only way you will truly gain trust in your Big Stick. So get a few dates in the diary with yourself and the golf course, no scorecard in hand. Use the opportunity to hit the shot again, focus on problem holes where driving puts fear into your bones... see yourself do well on your demon holes in practice, and you’ll believe you can do it when you’re out in the competitions. Also use your on-course practice sessions to brush up on your short game around the greens with a few extra balls in play. Just ensure you aren’t in anyones way. Enjoy and for hints and tips on lowering your scores and enjoying the game more, visit my website www.katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk I’m on maternity leave now until the early part of next year… Baby due on June 6th!

22 TEE TIMES | May 2018

Don’t break your back on the 1st tee. When I’ve got a break from teaching and the weather isn’t too bad I sometimes sit and watch golfers on the first tee. Most do a couple of gentle practice swings, tee up and rip into that driver. There will be the odd golfer who warms up, but the majority don’t. Unfortunately, there will be some, unaware, as they walk off the first tee and head down the fairway, that they have just injured themselves with that opening tee shot!

Even the greatest athletes in the world warm up before they embark on a game or contest. I suppose golf, in a way, isn’t considered an athletic event by many but, I can assure you, that it’s right up there with some of the most physically demanding sports when it comes to the amount of effort exerted over a short time period and the potential for injury is quite high. You don’t feel particularly tired after hitting a golf ball because a golf swing only lasts for a second but there is a great deal more force going through the body than many people realise. It was interesting to see Rory on the first tee at the U.S. Masters. He was doing some limbering up exercises with a rubber band before he hit his opening tee shot. Even though he had probably been to the gym and gone through a pre round practice session, he still thought it important to get his muscles and tendons ready for that opening drive, to prevent injury. I know we are not all great athletes. The glory of golf is that you don’t have to be able to run a hundred metres in ten seconds, have the ability to do a back flip or the strength to do one arm press ups to enjoy playing a round! However, whatever your level of fitness is, doing a few side bends, rotations and a bit of work on those hips before you start off, will certainly help you have an injury free season.

I have found doing a series of continuous swings as a pre round warm up particularly beneficial. I do this by starting in my finish position - I then swing backwards to the top of my backswing and then back to my finish again. I do ten repetitions without pausing. I make the first of the swings gentle and gradually build up the speed through the series - the tenth being a hard fast swing. After a thirty second rest, repeat the series again, starting slowly and building up. A little rest and I’m ready to go. My co-ordination always feels better when I warm up like this and, touch wood, (when I remember to do this!), I never walk off the course with any niggling pains. Have a look at the pictures of suggested warm ups. Ten reps of each would do. Pause at the end for a second before going the other way. Don’t forget the swings! If you need some help deciding how to improve your striking please contact me. Mob: 07787 887578 Email: martin.butcher@aim.com Web: mbtourcoach.com

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