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‘Storm Keith’ is about to hit the European Tour Golf world

THE WHIRLWIND OF CHANGE THE newly-adopted Met Office practice of giving every new storm its own name could well apply to the wind of change blowing through the corridors of the European Tour.

Let’s call it Storm Keith, after the man who has succeeded George O’Grady as the tour’s chief executive: Keith Pelley in full, a man showing signs of launching a whirlwind of change.

Keith Pelley, new chief of the European Tour:

The 51-year-old Canadian has been in charge for just over three months and is determined to bring in radical changes which will make the tour ‘a viable alternative to the PGA Tour’. Iain Carter, the BBC golf correspondent, wrote at the end of the season: ‘Pelley spoke at length publicly for the first time before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, his energy and ambition more than evident as he addressed the assembled media.

‘He was forthright too, raising eyebrows when he conceded that May's BMW PGA Championship should not be regarded as the tour's "flagship" event.’ The tournament, at the European Tour's Wentworth home, has been marketed as the biggest showcase for several years but Pelley emphatically put paid to that with an extraordinary assessment of its stature.

‘A lot of people talk about Wentworth as being a flagship event,’ he said. ‘Wentworth prize money is 5.1m euros (£3.5m). The other event in the U.S. that week is 6.1m.

That's unacceptable. Wentworth needs to be eight to 10 million dollars (£5.2m to £6.5m).’ Pelley also raised concerns about the state of Wentworth's West Course in spring when the tournament is held. The new owners are planning a major overhaul and Pelley is looking for a telling upgrade.

‘I don't see it as our flagship event,’ he said. ‘The greens became a critical issue last year. In 2017 there is a detailed plan to significantly improve that. We are continuing at Wentworth until at least 2018 and expect if the West Course becomes exactly what they believe it can, then we can increase the prize purse. Then, perhaps it can be a flagship event.’ The tournament gains additional world ranking points because of its current

There's obviously a lot of migration to America and all we want to do is provide a suitable option for those players

mourns O’Connor Jr CHRISTY O'Connor Jr, who died suddenly aged 67, was described as a ‘great human being’ at his funeral in Galway. Mourners at Galway Cathedral were told that that the Irishman had been reunited with son Darren, who died in a road accident in 1998, aged 17. Father Michael Kelly, who led the service, said: ‘He prayed to him and for him and was convinced that Darren came to his assistance more than once. He spoke of his conviction that he would meet Darren again - not quite so soon, I imagine.’

O’Connor’s greatest triumph was in the Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 1989 when he hit one of the most famous shots in golf history.

designation as the tour's biggest event, but it is increased funding that is Pelley's priority, writes Carter.

He fired a stunning two iron from more than 230 yards to within four feet of the hole to earn an unexpected singles victory over Fred Couples which helped Europe retain the trophy.

‘We have no choice but to work hard to raise our prize purses to provide a viable alternative, for all our players, to the PGA Tour. This means our elite, medium- and low-ranked players. We are trying to provide a great option for them. ‘There's obviously a lot of migration to America and all we want to do is provide a suitable option for those players before they go to America. Right now that doesn't exist because our prize purses aren't high enough, so we are going to have to significantly increase them over the coming years.’ • Turn to Page 4

Ryder Cup hero: Christy O’Connor Jr

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Support for golf in high places GOLF has gained high-level official support – from Parliament. An all-Party Parliamentary Group has been set up give the sport its backing in a move welcomed by England Golf. All-Party Groups comprise Members of both Houses of Parliament and all political parties who support specific interests. Rod Findlay, England Golf’s Director of Strategy and Governance, said: ‘Golf is the fifth largest sport in the country by participation and makes a huge sporting, social and economic contribution. We look forward to working with the officers and members of the group to give golf a greater presence in Parliament and with Government.’ As well as Lords and MPs, the Group welcomes non-Parliamentarians as Associate Members, and invites organisations, clubs, and individuals to join the Group and attend meetings and provide their thoughts on various issues and any regulation that impacts on the sport. To coincide with the launch of the Group, the website has been created and anyone interested in becoming an Associate Member can join by visiting the relevant page or can sign up to the Group’s news announcements. The Group has also created the twitter account @ParliamentGolf. The group’s chairman, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, said: ‘Golf is a sport enjoyed by everyone, but there is more that can be done to ensure the opportunities to play are there and barriers to being involved are removed’ Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife – home of The R&A – is Vice-Chairman of the Group. He said: ‘Golf is incredibly important to the economy in North East Fife and elsewhere. It is also a fantastic way for people to be active, keep fit and play competitive and recreational sport.’

Bookings open for the PGA Cornish Festival

High 5 for the golfing ladies

A FLURRY of applications was expected as the entry list for the 2016 PGA Cornish Festival opened.

GOLF has made it into the top five sports being regularly played around the country, and the ladies are leading the way. The latest survey by Sport England shows that the number of people playing regular sport in England rose by 245,000 in the year to September, with the number of women participating regularly up by 150,000. The top five sports in which adults take part at least once a week are: Swimming (2.5million), Athletics(2.3million), Cycling (2.0million), Football(1.8 million) and Golf(0.74 million). People regularly playing sport stands at 15.74 million over 12 months, a rise of 1.65 million since 2005/06. Bucking the normal trend, the number of women playing sport and being active is increasing faster than men.

And it’s 7 up for Sammy

ENGLAND international Sammy Fuller has just scored a record seventh win in the Florida Junior International Championship. The 16-year-old from Roehampton in Surrey has worked her through the age groups after her first success as a nine-year-old in 2008. She was also champion in 2009, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13 and now, in the 2015 event. Her younger sister, Annabell, 13, was also on good form and was third in the 13-14 age group with scores of 71 76 75.

Sport England's Active People Survey began in 2005/06 and measures the number of people taking part in sport across the nation, with findings published every six months.

‘It's good news that more women are playing sport, and driving an overall increase in the numbers,’ said Jennie Price, Sport England's chief executive. ‘It's particularly great to see the recent campaign, called This Girl Can, is making a real difference. That's because we've really focused on what drives women's attitudes and behaviours. If we're to see a further step change in the total number of people playing sport, we need to take a similar, consumer-focused approach in areas where the figures are stubbornly low, like disability and lower socioeconomic groups." The sport with the biggest improvement was athletics saw a rise of 98,700 to 2.3 million, much of it driven by more women taking part in running.

The flagship PGA West Region annual event is based as usual at the prestigious Trevose Golf and Country Club, near Padstow, and again features the classic championship links at St Enodoc. Both courses have staged major national tournaments. This year the third venue for the 54-hole three-day festival will be the cliff-top Carlyon Bay Golf Club at St Austell which is being included for the first time. Competitors will have the advantage of preferential rates at both Trevose, with its wide variety of accommodations, and the upscale four-star Carlyon Bay Hotel which features a luxury spa and private beach access. Teams of one professional and three amateurs play at each venue over the three days from April 19-21 while the reception and presentations take place at Trevose. Many of the 114 teams, not only from the West but also from all over Britain, automatically rebook each year. Many notable players and personalities are regular visitors, among them Ryder Cup men Paul Broadhurst and Phillip Price, who finished first and second last year, previous winner Peter Baker and Steven Richardson as well as many European Tour players from both the regular and seniors’ tours. Entry forms will be available from the website at and from the regional office (tel 01395 232288). This year competitors are required to book their own accommodation direct with hotels of their choice. Special rates for competitors are being offered at Trevose (01841 5202080) and Carlyon Bay Hotel (01726 812304).

A WHIRLWIND OF CHANGE SET FOR EUROPEAN TOUR •From Page 3 Pelley is not put off by uncertainty in European economic markets: ‘We are a world economy. We are a world tour, when you think about it. We are in 27 countries and four regions of the world.

reducing the number of counting events from 13 to five, effectively removing the four Majors and four World Golf Championships events from the required schedule.

‘The ability for us to attract global players based on the global nature of our tour is a significant advantage for us.’

This helps the likes of Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell who have slipped out of the world's top 50. They would be struggling to play the previously stipulated 13 tournaments if they are ineligible for the Majors and WGCs.

Pelley's decision to rewrite membership rules should ensure big name Europeans stay with the circuit, which also keeps them eligible to play in the Ryder Cup. He has done this by

‘It's the status quo except for those who have dropped out of the top 50,’ Pelley explained. ‘This makes it easier for them to maintain European Tour membership and I

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think that's a fair thing for us to do and in the best interests of the tour.’ Carter added: ‘It is a common sense move, as is his stated desire to tackle slow play the scourge of the modern game

On slow play, Pelley said: ‘That's what the players have said and that's what the fans have said. Through all of our stakeholder conversations with partners and rights holders, slow play is a critical component and one that needs to be addressed. We are going to take a leadership role in actually working very closely with the R&A in dealing with this problem.’

Carter added: ‘These are all very welcome messages from a figure who seems to have potential to shake up the game. Innovative tournament formats are under consideration and pre-tournament pro-am events are likely to be reshaped’. Pelley told BBC Sport: ‘We are going to be different, no question, with a players-first philosophy.’ So, by 2018 how changed will the European Tour feel? Pelley paused before answering: ‘Eight out of ten.’ Meaning? ‘It'll be significantly different.’


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The Way to Better Golf – 5 P’s As regular readers are well aware my column continually extols the virtues of custom club fitting. I have covered the more common comment “I am not good enough for custom clubs” on several occasions. This month I would like to comment that custom made clubs alone is not the complete answer to game improvement. The best way for complete game improvement is the “5 P’s”. First P is Play. It may sound obvious but if you don’t play regularly you game is not going to improve. I often get requests from golfers asking how much custom clubs will improve their game when they only play 2 or 3 times a year. The answer is yes they will improve your game buy do not expect a massive improvement. Second P – Practise. Again it sounds obvious but if a golfer spends productive time practicing not just hitting balls without any thought or analysis, it will improve your game. Sadly it is a fact that the majority of golfers do not have the time or inclination for extra practice. Third P – Properly Fit, Quality Equipment. This where I come in! Proper fit equipment can in nearly all cases bring about noticeable improvements in play and in many cases this will be a very dramatic improvement. Properly fit custom golf clubs can provide great benefits to all golfers but especially to the average and high handicap golfer who may have difficulty hitting the ball straight or long or consistently. Without needing to generate the swing speeds of PGA Tour players, the average golfer will be able to hit the ball farther by being fitted with the right game improvement club heads and properly fitted golf shafts suited to their particular playing abilities and characteristics. Golf sets can be optimized to include easy hitting hybrid golf clubs. This is especially true not only for high handicap golfers but for anybody who may have special requirements such as tall golfers, short golfers, seniors, women and juniors. Properly fitted custom golf clubs factor in many characteristics to help your game such as proper shaft flex for your swing speed, proper shaft length, clubhead lie and correct loft and grip size. All of these can affect how you play your game and all are addressed by having properly fitted custom golf clubs. There are three primary reasons to buy custom fit golf clubs:

Custom fit golf clubs will improve your game - Custom fit golf clubs make the game easier to play because the golf clubs are built to your playing style and ability. Better players are able to tweak their golf game with custom built and fitted golf clubs. Average golfers will benefit because custom golf clubs will allow them to consistently hit the ball more solidly, with good direction control and proper trajectory For the beginning player, custom golf clubs have increased playability providing a measure of confidence from which they can start to better learn to play the game by using equipment more suited to their skill level. Finally, you can get the most appropriate set-make up for your skill level, playing characteristics, gender and age.

who can show that they successfully reduce the playing handicap of their students. After all if your handicap is not reduced why pay for lessons!

Good golfers visualize and win the game in their mind and use their skills to make it happen in reality. This reflects the power of a high positive golf mental attitude!

Final and Fifth P – Proper Mental Attitude. This is a very popular subject at the moment and the golf magazines are now beginning to print more and more adverts for mind gurus. It is a subject that I personally believe that golfers would improve their games and their scores. My most favourite comment is “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are probably right!” How many times have you heard the comment when standing on the tee with water in the eye line of the tee shot “You watch me hit this ball into the water!” and guess what the ball goes into the water!

For more information or to receive the benefits listed above, contact David numbers below, to arrange an appointment, or just drop in and receive a friendly welcome. A copy of this and my previous articles for Doyle’s Dilemmas can be found online at

You will enjoy playing the game more with custom golf clubs - With properly fitted, quality custom golf clubs in your golf bag, every time you pull a golf club out, you will play with more confidence and less frustration knowing that you can consistently hit the ball. The custom club fitting process is about building and fitting golf clubs that allow you to play better golf. This means that you will be able to: Hit the golf ball FARTHER Hit the golf ball STRAIGHTER Hit the golf ball with more CONSISTENCY

Indeed, golf is a tough mental game and when it comes to winning...only golfers with a strong positive golf mental attitude succeed. They are more confident and they win the game mentally before even starting to play.

Alternatively, email me directly at or visit my web site at

Should you have any questions on this or any equipment matter please feel free to call me on 01256 322007 or 07859 920055.

Custom golf clubs will save you money Contrary to more common opinions, custom built and fitted golf clubs are substantially lower priced over ‘brand-name’ golf clubs for equivalent quality. Yes you can buy cheaper clubs but that negates all the benefits listed above. How can a properly fitted, quality set of custom golf clubs improve your game? Custom golf clubs are matched to your playing abilities and characteristics Your current set make-up can easily be matched and optimized to remove golf clubs that you can’t hit with clubs that you can hit in order to enhance your golf game You can take advantage of the latest golf technology and increased playability that custom golf clubs provide. Simply put, custom golf clubs provide enhanced playability and style at a price that is surprisingly affordable - for everyone. Fourth P – Professional Swing Instruction. Fairly self explanatory, as long as you find a competent teaching professional with an establish and proven track record. Apart from getting on with your teacher he (or she) has got to be competent. Ask around at your club and driving range for a teaching professional

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Corhampton Golf Club, Corhampton, Southampton Mixed Open Pairs 4BBB Sunday 8 May 2016 £58.00 per couple Ladies Open Bowmaker Thursday 12 May 2016 Team of Three £18.00 per player Corhampton Split 6’s Friday 24 June 2016 Team of four £120.00 per team Senior Men’s Open Wednesday 20 July 2016 18 hole Pairs Better Ball Stableford £64.00 per pair Captains Charity Open Day Saturday 17 September 2016 In aid of ‘The Elizabeth Foundation’ £120.00 per team of four. Ladies Coffee Morning Tuesday 4 October 2015 £15.00 per person to include coffee & pastries 18 holes Golf. Entry forms can be downloaded from our website

per week 3 .5 £7 st ju m fro le ab ail av OW N s Memberships in all categorie r a seven day member fo 85 8. £1 & ry go te Ca e iat ed rm te In for our ages from £29.65 ck Pa – 16 20 r fo le ab ail av es at D ty Limited Socie Shepherds Farm Lane, Corhampton, Southampton SO32 3GZ Tel; 01489 877279 Golf Academy


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Another of Spain’s best kept golf secrets is Catalonia in the north eastern part of Spain and where its vibrant capital Barcelona can be found. This is a region that is fiercely proud of its identity, culture and language. To the north are the trendy Costa Brava resorts which were created in the early 70’s after the introduction of cheap package deal holidays although much has changed since those heady days and the region is now as popular for golf as it is for its sandy beaches and rugged coastline. Golf is everywhere. Not far from Barcelona is the famous PGA Catalonya golf resort and part of the 2022 Ryder Cup bid but has sadly lost out to the surprise choice of Rome although it has to be pointed out that this is Italy’s first time to host the Ryder Cup. Costa Brava’s famous seaside resorts of Lloret de Mar and Sitges were first made popular by British tourists, and it is this area that is blessed with striking medieval towns, pretty seaside resorts and has a rich agriculture hinterland where many of Spain’s top golf courses can now be found. At the time of my visit to Catalonia, the Spanish Open was in full swing at the Real Club Golf el Prat, a 45 hole resort designed by Greg Norman and a mere forty minute drive from Barcelona. Fortunately arrangements had been made for us to spend the day watching golf’s elite compete in the Open’s exciting final day. This is where Spain’s golden boy of golf Severinano Ballesteros learnt much of his golf and where he won one of his first major titles in 1981. However, it was last year’s winner, the cigar champing favourite Miguel Angel Jimenez and his younger protégée Sergio Garcia that caught my attention and who I enjoyed following for the best part of the day perhaps in the vain hope of picking up a tip or two. This is semi links course and boasts 104 bunkers and a course I would have like to play but perhaps another time.


Our next port of call, the Lumine Golf Club on the Costa Dorada, an hour’s drive from Sitges is where we stayed the night at the 4 star beachside Monica Hotel. This Club boasts three excellent courses and regarded by most as an idyllic golfers paradise. We ended up playing The Hills, a semi links course that winds itself between views of the deep blue Mediterranean on one side and through pine woodland and olive groves on the other. Best is to hire a buggy although the course is fairly flat but some of the par 5’s are quite long and have long walks between fairways and tees. However the idyllic weather conditions obviously suited game as I ended up surprising even myself by equalling my handicap.

Catalunya golf resort which nestles neatly below the majestic Girona mountain range and a few miles from the small but famous medieval town of Caldes de Malavella.

The next course we played was the Club de Golf Terramar and another memorable experience. Fairways are wide and mostly bordered by tall pine trees with characteristic rough undergrowth although the greens were unusually fast. This is another of Catalonia’s gem courses that meanders alongside the shimmering Mediterranean.

Also don’t forget to bring an extra pack of spare balls as some of the stunning semiisland greens are surrounded by man-made lakes just waiting to gobble up your tee shot.

Heading south the next day we stayed the night in delightful medieval town of Girona and left early the next morning for the PGA

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The resort itself boasts two courses, we were fortunate to be able to play the Stadium course the same course chosen for Spain’s bid for the Ryder Cup. Clearly a tough and challenging course full unexpected hazards to test skills and abilities but fortunately I played alongside the knowledgeable pro which helped no end. Again, it is advisable to rent a buggy as in places it’s quite hilly and long distances between greens and fairways.

Anyone wanting to mix links golf with sun, sea and sand then this resort comes highly recommended. And for those looking for a convenient golfing weekend apartments and villas can be rented all with wonderful views of both courses. The nearby palatial club house has a restaurant, bar, fully equipped gym and

an adjacent spa that offers a vast selection of exotic treatments. The final couple of days of our trip were spent sightseeing in the colourful city of Barcelona even managing to fit in a visit to the ironic Barcelona football stadium which the fans affectionately call ‘Campe nou Experience’ but somehow manages to make Wembley appear small by comparison. An evening walk up to the Magic Fountain Show in Monjiic is a must. This is where fountains change colour and perform to selections of popular classical music. Our centrally located hotel, Hotel Barcelona Catedral, a few minutes’ walk from the city’s famous medieval cathedral is where several interesting tapas bars and boutique shops can be found. After a particularly tiring morning shopping and sightseeing on the last day, I spent the rest of afternoon relaxing by the hotel’s rooftop swimming pool with has stunning views of the city that stretch for miles and miles. A perfect way to end a wonderful golfing holiday. April Tod


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Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club FOUNDED 1905

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Contemplate a trip to the tropical island of Mauritius and the image of a tropical paradise leaps to mind. A place of golden white sands, azure blue seas, and swaying palm trees is one that awaits each and every visitor to this very special island. The island is set in the Indian Ocean, with numerous little offshore mini island retreats, and an aura of luxury that pervades the hotels which cater for the many visiting golfers, but for hedonistic pleasure seekers who love the sun, sea and good food.



So what are the facts about Mauritius, well it is an island 65 kilometres long and 45 kilometres wide, and it sits 1800 kilometres from the east coast of Africa. It was originally a Dutch colony, and the Dutch introduced sugar cane and tobacco to the island, products which became of significant commercial importance in the past. It has a varied history, it passed from the Dutch to the French, then the British before obtaining independence in 1968, and it became a republic as recently as 1992. It is an island of volcanic peaks and ridges, the highest point is Piton de la Riviere Noire at just under 3000 feet. Like the oft seen image, it has a coastline of inlets and lagoons, with miles of white sand lapped by beautiful blue seas. There is much more to Mauritius than golf, there are plenty of water sports related activities, as well as tennis and horse riding, and pools and beaches offer places to relax and top up the tan. Having said all that, Mauritius really is a golfing haven, there are several excellent golf courses, many of which are attached to the hotel complexes. The quality is a delight and well worth the twelve hour flight to get to this idyllic location. The name says it all, “One & Only”, Le Touessrok Resort is set on a beautiful stretch of white sand overlooking the tranquil Trou d’Eau Douce Bay, just fifty minutes from the airport and the same distance from the capital Port Louis. The hotel is the height of luxury, from the time the guests enter the dramatic light filled lobby, with views out across the free form swimming pool to the lovely curve of the bay. There is a wooden bridge to Frangipani Island which houses the Givenchy Spa and the superbly equipped

towards the sea with the inside of the dogleg protected by bunkers. The 11th, 12th and 13th holes are truly magnificent, the golfer is faced with the vista of the rugged volcanic peaks of the Bambous Mountains The last three holes, all par 4’s, are a testing finish, mangroves in play on all three, the 17th over a bay to a narrow green and the 18th, appropriately named Carry Me Home, has a three tiered green that will test the best. One & Only has been ranked by Golf World in the top one hundred course in the world, and it is easy to see why. It is hard to find a hole that does not stick in the memory, my personal test for the quality of a golf course. Bernhard Langer summed up his work by saying “What I have aspired to create is a golfing experience that truly arouses all the senses. From the amazing natural setting to the challenges presented by the course. I want it to be a game to remember for all who play”. There is a wide variety of additional activities, naturally many associated with the water, kayaking, surfing, sailing scuba and kiting, para sailing and big game fishing. If you seek something a little less energetic, the “Chi” spa offers luxurious treatments, with a traditional Chinese emphasis, all contributing to your personal place of enchantment. After a six month refurbishment the whole complex is a delight, exotic dining and everything geared to make the visit the most enjoyable possible.

Fitness Centre. There are six restaurants, each with its own particular ambience, and most important of all there is the golf course. The championship layout, “One & Only”, what a great choice of title, it is on it’s own tropical island, Ile Aux Cerfs (Island of deer) , the deer have long since gone, though there is talk of re-introducing them. It is a Bernhard Langer design, fringed by white sands and with a backdrop of green mountains. The island is perfect for golf, as the coastline has many little bays and inlets, the land naturally undulates, and there are natural hazards, volcanic rock

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outcrops, lakes and gullies and a profusion of tropical trees and vegetation. Langer has designed a course for all standards, with four sets of tees on each hole to accommodate any golfer, though his greens are small and undulating, and need attention, firstly to get onto them and then to hole the putts. The names of the holes reflect the environment, Lava Rock, Tidal Pool, Mangrove, and Plateau Verde, which is a delightful little gem, just 125 yards long, but the green is surrounded by mangrove trees and lava outcrops and is very intimidating. The 11th is a monster par 5, 618 yards and is called Round the Bend, played

In summary, a wonderful golf course of over 7000 yards, but one from the forward tees that can provide an enjoyable and rewarding game, and of course the wonderful views are the bonus, that will be a permanent feature during the whole stay on the island, and to stay on site at the hotel, would be the icing on the cake.. The whole island of Mauritius is truly magical, the style and the elegance have an African ambiance, there is the widest possible choice of cuisine, spa and fitness facilities par excellence, and some of the most wonderful courses in the world. For the holiday golfer, a true golfing Garden of Eden, the only problem will be to drag yourself away at the end of the trip. P. Llewellyn


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MEON VALLEY HOSTS THE TRILBY TOUR The prestigious Trilby Tour 2016 DPDWHXUJROIWRXUQDPHQWQRZLQLWV10th year will be hosting a series of Regional Championships across the UK with Meon Valley chosen as the venue for the Hampshire Regional Final for the 3rd year running. Entry to the Trilby Tour is highly sought after and we will be hosting a number of qualifying rounds where the winner from each day will then secure a place at the Regional Championship hosted at Meon Valley on Tuesday 7th June. Qualifying rounds will be charged at ÂŁ25.00 per person to include coffee on arrival. These will be held on Thursday 28th April & 19th May with tee times between 10.00am and 1.00pm. The format for the event is 18 holes individual Stableford from the white tees with full handicap allowance.

To enter please fill out the below form and return to Christine Keal at the address below along with payment by 31st March 2016.

TRILBY TOUR QUALIFYING ROUND ENTRY FORM 1DPHwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww $GGUHVVwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

(PDLOwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww &RQWDFW7HOHSKRQH1XPEHUwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww &'++DQGLFDSPD[wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Tee times are between 10.00 & 13.00 please tick preferred time frame (not guaranteed): 10.00 z 11.00

11.00 z 12.00

12.00 - 13.00

Qualifying Round z Please tick requested date Thursday 28th April 2016 ÂŁ25.00 per person

Thursday 19th May 2016 ÂŁ25.00 per person

Please make cheques payable to Meon Valley Marriott Hotel & Country Club Meon Valley Marriott Hotel & Country Club Sandy Lane, Shedfield, Hampshire, SO32 2HQ t: 01329 833 455 Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. All bookings must be pre paid and are non refundable. Only one winner will receive a place from each of the qualifying rounds. The winner must be available on Tuesday 7th June . All players must have a CDH Handicap max of 18.

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Michael Rees

IN THE BEGINNING Although the origins of golf in Europe are somewhat misty, there are many more contentious claims about the oldest clubs in the United States.

First of all there was a germ of establishment by Dutch settlers on Manhattan Island in the 17th century, it was a game similar to colven and soon dwindled out. Scottish soldiers who came a century later ordered many sets of clubs and balls shipped to establish clubs in Charleston in South Carolina, Maryland and Georgia but they were all short-lived and soon disappeared from the map. After that there were sporadic attempts to start the game, and three of the most famous are listed here. I leave the reasder to decide which of these has the strongest claim to the title. ST ANDREWS AND THE APPLE TREE GANG The real beginning is claimed to be at Yonkers near New York. A Scot named John Reid took the initiative to form a club in 1888, by persuading some of his friends to join him playing golf. The two Scottish migrants John Reid and his friend Robert Lockhart a New York linen merchant, set the ball in motion. Lockhart had visited Scotland in the summer of 1887 and during the trip he visited Tom Morris’s shop in St Andrews and ordered six clubs and two dozen gutty golf balls which he took back to the USA. The first balls were hit on a field near John Reid’s house a few miles from Manhattan. They laid out a very rustic three hole course on neighbours land. The neighbour was a butcher and the two golfers were his customers, so he did not object to the trespass. They subsequently moved to a larger piece of ground where six holes could be played, pasture owned by Henry Tallmadge, who became the first Secretary of the USGA.They moved again this time to Palisades Avenue and the site of an orchard, and they christened the club St Andrews. The very primitive clubhouse was an apple tree, around which a circular bench was built, with the branches and nails used to

hang up the players clothes, and a demi-john of whisky, the essential ingredient. The installation gave rise to the nick name “Apple Tree Gang”. John Reid became the first President of the club. He was later referred to as The Father of American Golf. Two nostalgic paintings illustrate this section, the picture of John Reid in his red coat was painted by Frank Fowler around the year 1900. The painting of the The Old Apple Tree Gang is by Leland R Gustavson. FOXBURGH COUNTRY CLUB Another claimant for the title of oldest club is the Foxburgh Country Club, which is located overlooking the Allegheny River in Western Pennsylvania. It came about following a trip made by Joseph Mickle Fox to Scotland in 1884. He was representing the Merion Cricket Club on a playing tour of England and Scotland. He went to St Andrews and met Old Tom Morris, and as a result brought back clubs and balls on his return to America. Similarly to St Andrews, he laid out just three holes on the lawn of his estate in 1885.

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Two years later he added two more holes and they eventually moved to the present site when the course was increased to nine holes. It has been included in the register of American Historic Places since 2007. WHITE SULPUR SPRINGS The honour of being the oldest club goes to the Oakhurst Links at White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia. The course was laid out on the Oakhurst Estate belonging to Russell Montague. Montague was a lawyer, he graduated from Harvard in 1872 and was a member of the Massachusets Bar. He was another gentleman infatuated by golf during a visit to St Andrews while studying law in London in 1874-75. When he returned to Boston his health failed and he moved to West Virginia where he gave up the law and became a farmer raising sheep. He laid out the course on his own land, and he was joined by his Scottish neighbours who soon relished the chance to play golf. The original course was subsequently abandoned and the golfers moved to play at

the Greeenbriar Resort. In 1994 the original course was restored by the new owner of the estate. Lewis Keller with the help of golf course architect Bob Cupp. The course became used quite fittingly by his guests for play with hickory clubs and gutty balls. Three claims, each different but with a common denominator in St Andrews and Old Tom Morris. All supported by evidence from the records of the respective locations, but even if they are the oldest, and the choice is yours, there are other significant clubs and courses which were far more influential in the advancement of the game, most notably Shinnecock Hills founded in 1891 by the Vanderbilt family. However that is another story, for another day.


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Your Monthly Blog by

Claire Kane


The successful Dorset Ezgo Golf Tour now attracts nearly 200 players each year and gives all standards of young golfers the chance to play fun competitive golf. The tours run between March and September and consist of 8 nine hole events. It’s that time of year again when the golf course is a bit soggy, so the dreaded trolley ban comes into force. It usually starts with an electric trolley ban (despite lightweight lithium batteries) but it doesn’t take much more rain for all trollies to be barred. Faced with the horror of carrying recently, the first thing I had to tackle was the rehitching of the straps onto my small, lightweight bag. Luckily I had the help of my Professional because, my attempt to fasten them was completely wrong and at one stage the only way I could get into the harness was to step into it! That’s not the only problem, as I soon discovered: • You have to be very careful as you walk past vehicles in the car park, as you have no appreciation how wide you are. • Then there’s the problem of making sure your legs (the stand legs) open wide enough so your bag stays upright. In my case, a design fault with my rain-hood cover hindered them from opening up fully! • Carrying clubs in the wind can be hazardous, as gusts of wind turn you into a man-made windmill.

• Don’t even think of peering over a water hazard with a bag strapped to your back unless you have the core strength of an athlete and the balance of a ballerina. • Treat the fitting of your bag like the fitting a good bra - make sure it’s well hoisted and there’s nothing drooping. Failure to do this can end up with your clubs continually bouncing off your derriere. • On the positive side, it’s possible to cut corners and walk straight to your ball rather than having to tramp extra miles around paths and barriers. Having said that, hopping over low fences with a back-pack does have its own challenges. Luckily, there’s an abundance of lightweight golf bags on the market these days but we’re so used to pushing our trollies, stuffed full of all sorts of bits and pieces, that when we have to carry we need to dramatically downsize to stand any chance of surviving, let alone playing a decent game of golf. After all, we ladies have fewer muscles than the men, but then even the guys would struggle with the equivalent of the kitchen sink on their back.

© Claire Kane Follow my tales on twitter @golfsnippets

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It is all done in age groups and we accommodate all standards says its founder PGA Professional Mike Dodd. With great support from EZGO Golf Buggies every child who plays wins a prize. All details can be found on the tour website The Hampshire Junior EZGO Tour will be run by PGA Professional Colin Murray from Walhampton Golf Club and will be visiting the following courses in 2016, Walhampton, Meon Valley, Bashley, Highcliffe Castle, Dibden, New Forest & Sturminster Marshall. A special thanks must go to those clubs who are helping junior golf in their area. So if you

2015 Dorset Tour Winner Ellen Mans

are young own some clubs and like playing golf then come and join us this year and have some fun. Contact: Mike Dodd – or Colin Murray -

MIKE DODD GOLF ACADEMY Presently one of the best kids golf academies in the south is offering FREE 4 week taster golf sessions for new kids to give golf a go. If you like it then there are places available to join the golf school. All equipment is supplied and the friendly team of coaches will make learning golf great fun. All children get their own personal folders and on line coaching page as well as a structured program to help you progress. Contact: Mike Dodd on or checkout the website


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Gusts of acrimony over Trump’s windfarm defeat

MORE than 92,000 people tried golf and almost 7500 joined clubs as a result of England Golf’s county activity in the six months to September 2015.

Left: Donald Trump on his Menie golf course. He branded former first minister Alex Salmond as ‘a has-been and totally irrelevant’

Right Alex Salmond: ‘Trump is three times a loser’

The 69-year-old billionaire, frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, swapped verbal missiles with former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond after a court rejected his argument against the turbines being built. Salmond branded Trump ‘three times a loser’. Trump called Salmond a ‘has-been and totally irrelevant’.

Salmond said Trump’s successive appeals had ‘at best postponed, and at worst jeopardised, a vital £200m boost for the economy of the north-east of Scotland’. But the Trump Organisation hit back at Salmond: ‘Does anyone care what this man thinks? He’s a hasbeen and totally irrelevant. The fact that he doesn’t even know what’s going on in his own constituency says it all. He should go back to doing what he does best: unveiling pompous portraits of himself that pander to his already overinflated ego. A parochial and foolish mentality dominates the Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.’

The fireworks began after five justices at the Supreme Court, Britain’s highest judiciary, dismissed his appeal against planning permission for the windfarm that had been granted by Scottish ministers. The decision prompted Salmond to accuse the American of being three times a loser, referring to the fact that Trump had suffered repeated defeats in the Scottish courts before taking his fight to the Supreme Court.

The two men were once warm allies, after Salmond gave his backing to Trump’s £750million development of Menie golf resort in Aberdeenshire. Planning permission had been refused initially by Aberdeenshire council. But they fell out over plans for the windfarm and Trump, whose mother was Scottish, attacked Salmond as being ‘hellbent on destroying Scotland’s coastline and therefore Scotland itself.’

DONALD Trump took time off from urging the United States to close its borders against Muslims to launch a bitter attack on the Scottish government over a planned windfarm within sight of his golf course in Aberdeenshire.


RORY McIlroy is romantically involved again. The 26-year-old Northern Irishman, who famously dumped tennis star Caroline Wozniacki after their wedding invitations had gone out, says he is ready to settle down with 27-year-old American Erica Stoll, above. Erica, a PGA employee who first met McIlroy in 2012, proudly sported a large, sparkly diamond on her engagement finger at a Belfast charity event. The newly-engaged world No. 3 believes he can play even better golf

New drive as thousands join clubs

this year after undergoing laser eye surgery. He posted an image of himself post-surgery on his Facebook page. McIlroy, who usually plays in contact lenses, will be bidding for a fifth Major, and a career grand slam of all the Big Four titles, at the U.S. Masters in April.

‘The surgery) was successful,’ he said. ‘I woke up and it was like a whole new world, it’s incredible. ‘I think it should hopefully improve me on the golf course and make everything a little bit sharper. That’s another positive.’

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The Trump Organisation said it was considering appealing to the European court. The Menie estate was purchased by Trump in 2006 and transformed into a golf resort on protected coastal dunes north of Aberdeen. If the windfarm construction goes ahead, 11 turbines – which Trump says would be a ‘monstrous blight on the Scottish landscape’ – would be about two miles from the golf course. In 2011, Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd applied for consent under the Electricity Act 1989 to construct an electricity generating station and offshore wind turbines. Permission was granted by the Scottish government in 2013 for 11 turbines, which Trump says will be a ‘monstrous’ blight on the coastal landscape. George Sorial, executive vice-president of the Trump Organization in New York, said: ‘This is an extremely unfortunate verdict for the residents of Aberdeen and anyone who cares about Scotland’s economic future. It will completely destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay and cast a terrible shadow upon the future of tourism for the area.

History will judge those involved unfavourably. The outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.’

The figures are highlighted in the latest County Impact Report and reflect the work going on to fulfil the aim to create more players, more members and stronger clubs. During 2015, the capacity of the network of County Development Officers was increased to provide even more support to golf clubs and county action plans were introduced. These promote collaborative working between all the key organisations involved in golf in each county. The county activity has also contributed to the positive results in the latest Active People Survey. These were released by Sport England earlier this month and indicated that golf participation is continuing to stabilise after a long period of decline. Claire Hodgson, England Golf’s Head of Participation, said: ‘These results are very encouraging and, with our county network now up to full strength, we expect to build on these in 2016. We will be offering improved and targeted support for golf clubs, new campaigns to attract attention to golf, an increased focus on women, juniors and families, more opportunities for disabled people and a refresh of Get into golf to attract even more golfers and members.’

Inspired The Impact Report shows: More than 92,000 people tried golf during the six months. Over 36,000 took part in structured coaching courses of at least four weeks (up 29% on the same period on 2014.) Of these, over 14,500 people now play golf weekly. Over 7400 people became club members after taking part in county activity (up 57% on the same period in 2014) The national Get into golf campaign has continued to inspire adults to take up golf and play more often, with coaching from PGA professionals. During the six months, 18,600 people took courses; 3800 took up some form of membership; and, encouragingly, 41% of participants are female. During 2015 almost 770 clubs took advantage of the opportunity to upload their beginner activity onto the Get into golf website. England Golf has been working with targeted clubs in five counties to attract more women. Since the project began in July, 550 have taken structured courses and almost 130 have taken up memberships. Almost 700 women have been involved in activity across other counties. Work with the Golf Foundation has resulted in 58,400 youngsters experiencing golf; 9,600 taking structured coaching and almost 1,600 new memberships.


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White Rose Golf Breaks


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Hampshire Ladies Golf



We can’t wait for the start of another great season in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. One of our major events for the 2016 calendar once again will be County Championship Week. This year we’re pleased to say that Basingstoke Golf Club will be the hosts for the event, which takes place between 16th and 20th May.

Meon Hotel Country Meon Valley Valley Marriott Marriott Ho tel & C ountry Club C lu b

Th Thursday ursday 2211st July July 2016 9. 9.30 30 S Shotgun hotgun Start Start – Meon Meon Course C o u r se 18 Hole Hole Team Team Stableford Stablefford (Best 2 Scores Scores to Count) Count) (Best Handicap – Full Full allowance allowance men white tees tees and and Ladies Ladies off Handicap men off off white off red red tees te e s Registration 8 .0 0 Registration ffrom rom 008.00 Team Table Team Trophy Trophy & Prize Prize Ta b le Sponsor Spo nsor a Hole Hole for for Cancer Cancer Research Research UK UK Entry Entry £40 per per player player Coffee Bacon Coffee aand nd B acon Bap Bap on on Arrival Arrival Raffle Prizes Raffflle Pr iz e s Nearest Pin Ladies Men he P in La dies & Me n Ne arest tthe Beat Beat the the Pro P ro Straightest Straightest Drive D r iv e 2 Course Carvery Lunch Lunch – 3.00pm 3.00pm Course Carvery

Whether you are a scratch golfer or in silver, or bronze division, there is something for everyone at County Championship Week and we hope to see as many of you there as possible. DIVISION 1 – Championship (Handicaps + to 9) 36-hole Medal Qualifier Wednesday, 18 May 2016. 16 Best Scratch Scores to qualify for the knockout scratch match play (Thursday & Friday). DIVISION 2 – Salver (Handicaps 10-15) 18-hole Medal Qualifier Monday morning, 16 May 2016. 16 Best Nett Scores to qualify for the knockout handicap match play (Wednesday to Friday).

Sponsor yourr Co Company or you m pany Hole/Advertise ffor Sponsor a Hole/Advertise PLEASE S END A LL E NTRIES FA O AL AN L EV ALLEE AT PLEASE SEND ALL ENTRIES FAO ALAN LE VALLEE AT:: Meon Valley Valley Marriott Marriott H otel & Country Country Club, Club, Sandy Sandy Lane, L ane, S h e d fie ld , S Meon Hotel Shedfield, Southampton, outhampton, S SO32 O32 2HQ 2H Q All Entries Entries must must be be received received no no later later than than 15 15th June All June 2016 2016 to Alan Alan Le Le Vallee Vallee at at Or to ................................................................................. ............................................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................................................... .............................................................................................. ........................... EN ENTRY TRY F FORM ORM Please the Captains Captains Open Open Charity Charity Day eam for for the Please enter enter oour ur tteam D ay Name Club Handicap Email Handicap Email aaddress Na me Club d d ress

BRONZE CHAMPIONSHIP (Handicaps 21-36) 18-hole Medal Tuesday morning, 17 May 2016. Entry fee is £15 each (does not include food). Closing date for entries is 4th April, 2016. Please note that only full county members may enter. More details and entry forms can be found on our new website

DIVISION 3 – Challenge Bowl (Handicaps 16-20) 18-hole Medal Qualifier Monday afternoon, 16 May 2016. 16 Best Nett Scores to qualify for the knockout handicap match play (Wednesday to Friday).

1 2 3 4 I enclose myy £160 team e n c lo s e m £160 te am entry entry fee, Valley Golf Golf Fund Fund fee, ccheque heque made made payable payable to to Meon Meon Valley Team Te am Captain.............................................Signed...........................................Date........ Captain.............................................Signed...........................................Date........ Email Address................................................................................... Em a il A ddress................................................................................... Our Sponsor Charity Golf Club” would like like to to S ponsor a Hole, Holee, Cheque h a rity M V G o lf C lub” Cheque Donation Donation to to “Captains “Captains C Our Team Team would


Please Please Contact Contact Bill Bill Hughes, Hughes, Club Club Captain Captain – Or 07702 416955

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fro 2 m m Jc iles t2 M 27

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To pre-book your Tee Times please send S.A.E. and cheque made payable to ‘Wellow Golf Club Ladies Section’ to: Glo Abrahams c/o Wellow Golf Club, Ryedown Lane, East Wellow, Romsey, SO51 6BD Tel: 023 8184 5816 / 07979 503741

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Winter Warmer £50pp or £180 4ball Coffee & bacon bap on arrival and 18 holes on our Championship Course. Available Tuesday and Friday from 1 November 2015 to 31 March 2016.

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2. Name 3. Name 4. Name Please specify preference of early or late tee time. (No refund after issue of Tee Times.)


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February Book Reviews by Michael Rees UNPLAYABLE


An inside account of Tiger’s most tumultuous season

by Ross Biddiscombe The author of this enthralling book is Ross Biddiscombe, who has dedicated a large part of the last ten years of his life to his fascination of the European Tour Qualifying School. He has written his third book about the subject, which is the result of another period of committed research, a staple element of all his work. My only complaint is that once you start to read it, it becomes difficult to put down, if you have any interest in the game of professional golf.

During the past eighteen months, as the decline of once imperial winner Tiger Woods continues, I have been asked many questions about the golfer, the man and the image of the sport more often than any other, more in fact than the rise of the new giants of the game, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. On reflection I decided to re-read this book which I did not review on the initial release, it seemed less pertinent or prophetic then. However the second reading changed my opinion completely, as I pondered the questions and realised how little the public understood or saw of the most important sports icon ever. The person who created more funds across his sport than ever before, who elevated the standard of play across the world, and who during all this managed to hide the true nature of the man secreted inside the Nike clothing. For anyone wanting to find out about Tiger Woods, this book will be an eye opener, it exposes not only his incredible desire to win, to control his own life, but also his impact on and his relationships with other players in the game, most prominently Phil Mickelson. Unless you were close to the tournament scene in the Tiger heyday, and/or the sources of stories about it, the first chapter alone will tell you more about the charismatic golfer, who says he feels more Asian than African American than you have ever heard before. It exposes the player as never before revealed, and of the organisation that enveloped him through those dominant years when he

appeared invincible. For anyone with an interest in one of the most fascinating sportsmen of all time, this book will be the most rewarding read you will find. It tells the story of the most pivotal season in his career to that date, and one which changed the whole professional golfing arena. More importantly it will tell you answers to many of the questions that have been asked in the more recent times. The book was published in the USA in May 2010 by Atria Books a trademark of publishers Simon & Schuster. The author Robert Lusetich, is “one of the most influential sportswriters covering golf and Tiger Woods. He has reported from all over the world on everything from election campaigns to the Olympic Games as a correspondent for The Australian national newspaper and for Fox Sports”. He covered the season 2009, and Tiger’s return following his surgery, and gained a unique insight into the complex character, who still beguiles and fascinates the watching public to this day.

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The ordeal of the Tour School which takes place at the end of each season has been well reported. Though reading of the event today, it is hard to picture the early days in the evolution of this route to the European Tour elite programme. The Introduction sets the scene, a little published qualifier in 2005, followed by the a description of how it all began, a chapter that will enlighten all but the most informed follower of the Tour scene. This followed by an explanation of how the Tour operates, essential to understand how important this event is to the dedicated and ambitious professionals hoping to make a mark in the game. There are three main elements to the book; Part One is about the seven characters who are the focus of the stories, each with their own very different motivations and background. Part Two, entitled Contrasting Journeys gets to the meat of the subject. Providing reports and stories of the experiences of the seven golfers, who each have to go through the mill of the Qualifying School. Described by all who have been there as the hardest ordeal of all. The impact

it has on the individual, his family and his many supporters, contrasting that with the loneliness of the golf course when things are not going well. Part Three provides a potted history of the event year by year since its inception in 1976 right up to 2015. Running through the different venues, littered with famous names, highlighting the changes in this ever evolving method of selecting those fortunate enough to make it through to the European Tour itself, and a chance of fame and fortune. I found the book informative, absorbing and one that will certainly do the rounds within my golfing fraternity. Another first class production from the pen or computer of the author Ross Biddiscombe. Put it on your personal want list, and hope someone takes the bait. If you find this a good read, make the effort and find his previous book on the Ryder Cup, just as informative and readable.


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TEE TIMES 21 | Hampshire | 01428 725 874

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Big plans for Chaka Travel’s escorted tours and tournaments

CHAKA TRAVEL APPOINTS JACQUES AS OFFICIAL PRO CHAKA Travel are delighted to announce that PGA professional Jacques 'the Goose' Gous, left, has joined their team. Jacques is a PGA Professional and over the last three years, in addition to being the teaching pro at Weald of Kent Surrey, has been taking our escorted tours to South Africa, Mauritius and Turkey.


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To book please contact Gerard at Chaka Travel (t)028 9023 2112 (e) (w)

Jacques’ tours are kept to intimate numbers, normally between 8-14 people, made up of couples and single travellers. Destinations stretch from European favourites to exotic countries around the world. Chaka Travel Managing Director Mark Marais is delighted with the Jacques’ appointment: “We have enjoyed really positive feedback from those on our tours and Jacques is now on board to expand our range of escorted tours, with him on-hand to help you improve your game.” Chaka Travel Escorted Tours are tailor-made based on our 21 years experience in golf holidays around the world. Three of the best

upcoming tours with Jacques are South Africa – February 20th – 10 nights from £2,895pp; Spain – April 11th – 4 nights from £729pp; Mauritius – October 2nd – 10 nights from £2,650pp All details are on the Chaka Travel website.

2nd October 2016 - Departing from London Heathrow

Over the last 21 years, Chaka Travel have become the UK’s leading luxury golfing holiday specialists, offering exotic golf holidays and golf tours to some of the world’s most exciting destinations including Mauritius, South Africa, Mexico, USA, Morocco, Abu Dhabi and some hidden gems closer to home.

CAPTAINS CHARITY AT WELLOW It was with great pleasure that Stuart Griffiths and Jan Board were able to start the New Year off by presenting a cheque for £2,800.00 to Mr.Tony Trowsdale, a representative from Shelterbox, the chosen Charity of the 2015 Past Captains at Wellow Golf Club.

Since then it has responded to more than 270 disasters and humanitarian crises in almost 90 countries. Each box contains a self sufficient “home” but more importantly provides some dignity and privacy in a time of trauma and distress

The Dorset Golf Resort Another Year Fully Open! It’s no surprise to hear that The Dorset Golf Resort has enjoyed another year of uninterrupted golf across all 27 holes of its Championship Course. Even with the wet weather the course has remained fully open with all main grass tee’s and main greens and no temporary area’s in sight!

Shelterbox is a British based disaster relief fund which works hand in hand with other N.G.O’s such as The Red Cross and the United Nations bringing temporary shelter and aid to people both in the UK and throughout the world to support communities who have been overwhelmed by disaster. The Charity came of age after the Boxing Day Sunami in Phuket where about 1,200 boxes, containing Tents, Sleeping bags, Basic cooking essentials and water purifying equipment were packed by volunteers in a warehouse in Cornwall and dispatched immediately to the disaster area.

Golf in Mau riittius ! Travel with South African Golf Professional Jacques Gous. Enjoy golf tuition during this 10 night golfing holiday to the beautiful island of Mauritius and explore the country with a true South African.

The course is still looking in great condition for the time of year which is surprising as there hasn’t even been a trolley ban! This achievement is more amazing as many if not all of the surrounding courses have been regularly shut throughout the winter due to water logged fairways and greens.

for any family that receives one. When needed temporary School boxes and temporary cover for medical services are provided along with tools to help rebuild where possible. At present a Shelterbox camp is providing a few days of respite for hundreds of refugee families arriving on and passing through Lesbos on their way to a new life somewhere unknown in Europe.

Golf Academy

From it’s initial conception in early 2000, Shelterbox has grown into an organization which now has stockpiles of several thousand packed boxes on each continent around the world ready to be dispatched at a moment’s notice. Boxes cost £580.00 each to fill and transport so through the effort and support of The Members of Wellow Golf Club during the last golfing year 5 families somewhere in the world will be saying thank you!

So what’s the secret? “There is no secret” explains Graham Packer General Manager “We undertake new work every winter to improve the course in general; we’re not fighting to maintain standards we’re increasing them. Each year the course looks better and that carries through into the winter. Having been rated as one of the top 150 courses in England last year, I’d say we’re achieving that!” With the Resort opening it’s 14th 5 Star Luxury House complete with private garden and Barbeque area you really can expect a superb golf break in Summer or indeed the Winter.


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Universal Golf - The Home Of Custom Fitting The Shaft Is The Engine - Everyone Welcome Fitting Prices Single Club Fitting - £30 Irons/Wedges/Woods - £40 Full Bag Fitting - £100 Distances/Yardage Check - £30 Know Your Numbers - £35 Loft And Lies - £4 Per Club ʻIf you purchase what we recommend we will return 50% of your fitting costʼ

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


- 01794 329 344

Based at Meon Valley Golf and Country Club

COWDRAY PARK GOLF CLUB Everywhere you want to be


The Comfort Zone This month, I want to compare improving at golf to learning a musical instrument; in this case a guitar! I have been playing lead guitar in bands for many years. My particular love is the blues. I’ll never forget the day that inspired me to play the guitar. I was shopping in Bournemouth when I heard the opening few notes of “Have you ever loved a woman” by Eric Clapton.

When your game is in turmoil and getting you down it can feel like life can't get any worse. Especially if golf is a huge part of your life as it is for so many of us. This feeling of despair can take you in a downward spiral that sees you actually dreading stepping onto that first tee. If you are beginning to find yourself in this dark place then it's time to take check what's important to you.

sheer talent seems to depart you. But we keep playing in the hope the dazzling form returns at some point.

You love your golf? You need to fix it. Don't continue on in this way, you wouldn't continue driving a faulty car. So fix your game with a game changing plan. This firstly needs to involve you accepting there's a problem. Take a moment at home or in the clubhouse following a round to quietly asses your feelings towards your golf. Admit there is a problem. What can make you get that spark alight again.

There are ways to improve you just need to find the pro and the method to make it happen for you. Everyone is different and learns differently.

Secondly speak to your golf pro as they will be able to help you begin to talk through why you aren't playing well. Then you can begin on your journey to fall back in love with this wonderful game. Remember we are truly blessed to play a game that takes you through your whole life, it's ageless and has few boundaries. We play in the most stunning countryside and with the best people. Golfers are awesome. When you play a game of no hiding places, meaning you can't hide behind team mates or blame others. It's just you that hits those shots and you that makes good golf and bad golf happen. Golf is such an honest game that teaches us so much about ourselves. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to participate in such a pastime. Yes it's ferociously frustrating but that's why we love it. One day you are amazing the next that

Take time each round to absorb where you are and what you are doing, fresh air is invigorating and energising. Breathe it in and take power from it to see yourself playing the golf you've played before. Or indeed the golf you know you can play.

Somehow a reality check in life makes things seem so much clearer. Love your golf, love your life and be grateful every day for the amazing game we are so lucky to have in our lives. Life deals you some pretty crappy cards sometimes so when the only bad thing going on in it is that putts aren't dropping, know that it is fixable. If life has dealt you cards that throw perspective at you like a tank at full speed, use the game of golf to escape, switch off and recharge your soul. Heaven knows when we will hit our last tee shot or splash our last bunker shot from a position that seemed impossible. LOVE EVERY MOMENT and if you simply can't bring yourself to enjoy your game any more, take up tiddlywinks. Life is too short. Happy valentines everyone and do something for me when you are on the 18th green after your round today. Forget the conservative hand shake and give your playing partners a big old hug. For hints and tips on how to enjoy your golf more visit my website

It was being played through speakers outside a shop and I remember being spellbound by the beauty of those notes. I was so captivated that I stood outside the shop, in the rain, listening to the rest of the song. From that moment on I wanted to be able to play guitar like that. I had a similar feeling when I first picked up a golf club. I wanted to be the best in the World. To start my quest with the guitar, I went and bought an old second hand one and started practicing feverishly, trying to learn some solos. It sounded rubbish, nothing like Clapton! I was determined to improve and decided to change my approach. I bought a book of scales and set about learning them. My practice changed - instead of trying to learn solos, I started learning scales and did exercises to improve my technique and fluency. Learning scales is like learning the basics of your golf swing. With my guitar playing, learning the scales opened up a whole new world of playing for me. As soon as I know the key that a song is written in I can, without much effort, play something that fits. This is the same with golf. Time spent on getting a good grounding of basics and mastering a solid technique, opens up the game to you. You can concentrate on playing the game with a reasonable certainty that what you are attempting will come off. Once you become competent you will become confident! You can go on to perfect different types of shots and build a complete game founded on something that won’t let you down. Interestingly, at Christmas I bought a book of guitar exercises; it was only two pounds. Although the exercises are fairly simple, they force me to practice in different ways to how I normally do. I have to really concentrate in order to do them correctly. With my usual warm ups I don’t have to think at all, they are pretty much automatic.

Golf Academy

However, as a result of practicing out of my comfort zone, I feel that the fluency of my playing is improving. I would liken the exercises in this little book to practicing golf. The book made my practice more difficult. To get full benefit out of your golf practice, you must make it challenging. For example, don’t stand on the edge of the practice green or on the range playing the same shot over and over. Mix it up, play different shots to different flags. If you just keep repeating the same shot, you stop learning after the first couple. To demonstrate what I'm talking about, try this exercise. Add the following pairs of numbers: 58-46 37-82 58-46 25-37 58-46 37-29 58-46 19-47 58-46, Notice how quickly you were able to add the numbers 58-46 after the first attempt but had to think when you added all the others. The brain can go to sleep if it is doing the same thing over and over. You may feel that you are practicing well but your game on the course won’t be much better. If the practice is challenging and difficult, the brain is forced to learn and the benefits on the course will be greater. Enjoy and keep practicing!! If you need any help with any department of your game, please don't hesitate to contact me either through my website: or by telephone M: 07787 887578. Martin Butcher


Tee Times July06.indd 54

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Romsey Golf Club Welcomes you all

Romsey Golf Club is an oasis of beauty on the edge of Southampton. Described by a journalist as ‘A real woodland gem’ the course makes its way through undulating ground with tree lined fairways, raised greens and deep bunkers.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS (Limited spaces available)

7 Day Membership - £905 5 Day Membership - £715 Members benefit from 30 reciprocal arrangements NO Joining Fee Before 1st March 2016 We currently have vacancies in our fantastic Junior section who have just been crowned South West Junior League for 2015 Junior membership from £95 - £135 per year

“We have had some of the best greens around over the past year and we continue to develop and improve the quality of the course” Romsey Golf Club, Romsey Road, Nursling, Southampton, SO16 0XW Telephone: 023 8073 4637

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Profile for Tee Times Golf Magazines

Tee Times Golf Magazine - February 2016  

Tee Times Golf Magazine - February 2016