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ISSUE 188 FEBRUARY 2017 Tel: 01329 834360 Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com

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Golf Academy

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FEBRUARY 2017

Rory is at pivotal point, says Nicklaus

TEE TIMES 3

INSIDE

JACK Nicklaus, 18 times a Major winner, says Rory McIlroy must improve if he is to dominate the sport like no other. McIlroy came into 2017 with only Jason Day above him in the rankings and with his name on four Majors.

What happened to the Tiger effect? See Page 4

Speaking to BBC Sport’s golf correspondent Iain Carter, Nicklaus said he believes the 27year-old now has to decide whether he wants to push on and try to become the sport's greatest player.

Weekly golf? More like weakly! Page 10

In recent years, Nicklaus has developed a strong friendship with McIlroy, who often practises at the 76-year-old American's Bears Club in Jupiter, Florida.

A link across the golfing generations: In recent years Nicklaus has developed a strong friendship with McIlroy

‘Rory is one of those young men who has got a tremendous amount of talent,’ the veteran said. ‘He has won and played on his talent to this point. If he wishes to dominate and go forward then he's got to improve.’ Nicklaus warned that standing still at the top of the game means only one thing - quickly being passed. And he believes the UK's leading player is now approaching the prime of his career.

‘He has to work hard, he's got to focus on what he is trying to do and it is up to him. Certainly he has all the tools to be able to do it - it is just whether he has the desire and the willingness to give up some other things. ‘And that's his call. I mean, whatever Rory does, he has established himself as one of the great players that has ever played the game. Whether he wants to be the greatest player to have played the game, that's his determination and it's his decision whether he wants to make that effort to try to do that.’

Euro Tour faces big cash payout: – Page 18

McIlroy is said to be planning an April wedding with Erica Stoll. How he manages his time after that will be crucial, says Nicklaus

Carter says the 2017 season is likely to be a pivotal year in McIlroy's life with his wedding to fiancee Erica Stoll rumoured to be scheduled for the weeks following April's Masters. Nicklaus famously combined a successful family life, bringing up five children, with collecting a record number of majors and an astonishing 118 tournament victories worldwide.

‘It's just management of time,’ Nicklaus said. ‘When you are young and single and just one

dimensional, you pretty much can do things at your leisure. Once you start getting married, having a family, other business interests, then you've got to learn how to manage your time and use it efficiently. He'll learn that.’ His thoughts on golf today? ‘I think tournament golf is very healthy,’ Nicklaus said. ‘Anything stagnates at one point or another and has to figure out how to reboot and move forward. • Turn to Page 4

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FEBRUARY 2017

PGA chief surveys the sport he has helped blossom: Despite a black man dominating, there has been no significant increase in elite players emerging from communities beyond white-dominated golfing heartlands

Rory’s future • From Page 3

The Tiger factor has not filtered through

‘And I think they've done a pretty good job of it. I think we are now moving back in the right direction.’

TIM Finchem has stood down as the commissioner of the PGA Tour after 22 years.

advantage of golf being in the Olympic Games, offering the consistent delivery of value, which is missing now.

But he hates the fact that golfers can routinely propel the golf ball more than 300 yards off the tee: ‘It is the most ridiculous thing in the game. I mean, who cares how far it goes as long as it is relative to the other person? Some of the biggest problems we have are the cost of the game, the amount of time it takes to play, the difficulty of the game

The 69-year-old was responsible for creating the FedEx Cup with its $10m first prize, and the inception of the President’s Cup that pits the U.S. against the Rest of the World. He was also at the forefront of helping golf return to the Olympics.

THE WOODS FACTOR The biggest influence during his time in charge has undoubtedly been Tiger Woods. Finchem was two years into his job when Woods arrived on the scene.

‘We can play the game faster, play the game cheaper, play the game a little less difficult. It takes less land, it takes less water, takes less chemicals - all kinds of things that help us.’

‘It helped fuel everything we were trying to do,’ he said. But despite having a black man dominate the game for the best part of two decades, there has been no significant increase in elite players emerging from communities beyond traditional white-dominated golfing heartlands.

Woods fame ‘is unfathomable'

Here, in extracts of his interview with the BBC, Finchem explains why the PGA Tour is so attractive to overseas players and why, despite the huge influence of Tiger Woods, there are so few black faces on the circuit.

Tim Finchem: ‘I have a lot of pride in what's been built’

THE GROWING POT In 1994 when he took over, Finchem inherited a Tour that offered $56.4million prize money. As he departed, total purses topped $300million.

But the European Tour seems up for a fight. It is bullishly looking to compete to keep its players on their side of the Atlantic. Only recently, their chief executive Keith Pelley said his Tour's attitude is ‘ambitious and aggressive’.

‘I have a lot of pride in what's been built,’ said Finchem. The PGA Tour boasts assets in excess of $2billion and Finchem's 46-year-old successor, Jay Monahan, took over an organisation that routinely attracts the best golfers. THE STATESIDE RUSH Increasingly, Europe's leading players have headed Stateside, attracted by vast prize funds and a lucrative pension fund.

THE TOURS TOGETHER Finchem's vision was to bring together the leading tours under one umbrella and believes it will still happen.

Finchem added: ‘I think the challenges though are difficult. It is no secret, I think the best answer is that a new organisation be formed that represents professional golf on a global basis.’ Finchem claims this vision would benefit all stakeholders, and can best take

Finchem claims it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise. ‘The idea that you can start getting minorities into junior programmes is one thing, having some of them go to the highest level is a whole other challenge.’ He points to the expense and investment required to turn a promising youngster into a star: coaches, physical trainers, psychologists as well as facilities and says he has talked about this transitional process with the head of the United States Golf Association.

RORY McIlroy says he does not envy the profile of Tiger Woods. McIlroy lives in Florida, USA and regularly plays rounds with 14-time Major winner Woods. ‘I've played golf with him and said: “What are you doing tonight? Do you want to come and have dinner with us?” And he can't,’ McIlroy revealed.

‘For me, that's unfathomable. I could not live like that. ‘If someone was to say, you can have 14 Majors and 70 wins but have to deal with that, or nine majors and 40 wins and stay somewhat the same as you are, I'd take the second option all day.’

The home with history - and its own golf course

Finchem pointed out that his tour's time zone offers a very significant marketing platform for European golfers: ‘If Sergio Garcia plays in the United States he gets probably better television penetration in Europe than if he played in Spain because we are on prime time there.

Unfortunately, in the process it has put pressure on the European Tour, and for other tours like Australia and South Africa. The picture-perfect Elizabethan cottage that comes with a £700,000 price tag and its personal pitch and putt

‘We feel strongly over time we have to do things that will help balance the strength of tours. ‘It's not necessarily healthy for the next 25 years for everybody to wake up and want to go to the United States to play their golf.’

NOW here’s something you don’t see every day in the window of your local estate agent: a four-bed 16th century thatched property set in two acres with two summer houses, a bowling green and a woodland walk by a stream along the grounds. Oh, yes – it also has its own nine-hole golf course. Advertised as ‘the perfect home for a golf fan’, the cottage in the village of Bosbury in Herefordshire dates back to

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1580 – around the middle of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and was put on the market recently for £700,000. The chocolate-box cottage has been owned by a family of golfing enthusiasts, who brought in a pro golfer in 1982 to design the pitch and putt course. Just one extra expense on top of the property’s guide price: wages for a full-time gardener.

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB


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TEE TIMES 5

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FEBRUARY 2016

Winter Equipment Check-up Winter is now here and a lot of you will put your clubs away not to be seen until the first cuckoo of spring is heard to utter his first words! Before we get them out again it is a good time to give them an annual MOT. Even if your are one of the brave types who keep on playing regardless of the weather it is still a good idea to check your equipment. Golfers invest a significant amount of money in equipment these days but often neglect properly maintaining them leading to less than optimal performance on the course. Improve your game by inspecting your club's grips, heads, and shafts. Grips Check your grips and look for signs of wear. If the grips are in pretty good shape with minimal wear, then use a piece of fine steel wool with soap in it and scrub the grips. This will clean off dirt as well as roughen the grip renewing it's tacky feel. If the grips are hard or excessively worn, then you need to replace them. Pay attention to grip size when making the replacements. In general, the middle and ring finger of the left hand (for RH golfer) should barely touch the palm as it is placed in playing position. Heads Inspect the heads of your clubs. If there are signs of rust, treat them with WD-40 by applying and rubbing until the rust is removed. Clean the heads with a plastic brush and warm soapy water. Make sure to dry completely. Get the loft and lie checked. Clubs can get out of alignment during normal play. A two degree change in loft can result in as much as ten yards in distance. If your clubs have ferrules, take a look to ensure that there are no gaps between the head and the ferrule and that they are not loose. If the ferrules have lost their shine, applying a light coat of acetone will restore their lustre. Shake the club and listen for rattles in the head. Have repaired any rattles or loose heads. Shafts Take a close look at the shafts. Inspect for rust and use WD-40 to remove as mentioned above. Look for any dents and knocks in the shafts. These will make the shaft weaker and should be replaced to avoid breakage during a swing. Check to see if any of the shafts are

loose. Grab the clubhead in one hand and the grip with the other and then twist. Any movement or squeak indicates that the head is loose and needs to be repaired. Take a look and see if your shafts match. Check the flex and length. Irons generally have a half inch increment between clubs and woods usually have an inch increment between clubs. Inconsistent shaft lengths and flexes can affect the club's accuracy and distance. Any inconsistencies should be treated straight away. Get rid of the clubs you can't hit - right now! All of us are faced with the decision of how to fill our bag with 14 clubs. Which should we carry and which should stay at home? In the case of amateur golfers, there is not one club that should stay home, but probably two or three‌ By far the most difficult clubs to hit for most players are long irons. The lower loft makes it difficult to get the ball airborne for most players - especially those with slower swing speeds. Plus, the less loft a club has, the less backspin on a shot. Backspin can help to reduce hooks and slices. Think about it - you certainly don't slice a wedge as much a #4 iron do you? Backspin from loft is one reason. Add in the fact that longer irons are just that - longer in length - making it more difficult for most amateurs to return them to impact consistently and it's easy to see why most players need not carry the #2, 3 & 4 irons! So what do you replace them with? Look to any number of utility woods on the market. These clubs have larger, more forgiving heads, are often shorter in length and have a centre of gravity designed to help get the ball airborne. Look for clubs of specific lofts rather than just looking for a specific number. Keep in mind that different manufacturers use different loft standards. So not all clubs stamped with a #7, for example, have the same loft or playing characteristics. This is something to bear in mind for all golf clubs. With woods and irons even within the same manufacturer, the numbers do not necessary match each other. Your pro or clubmaker can help in your decision-making.

Golf Academy

More and more touring professionals are going to utility clubs. If it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for you!

For more information or to receive the benefits listed above, contact David numbers below, to arrange an appointment.

For assistance with any of these checks, either phone or come and see me. During the visit I can check your clubs and advise on any necessary work that needs to be carried out.

A copy of this and my previous articles for Doyle’s Dilemmas can be found online at http://www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com

Get to know your clubs by performing an equipment check-up and see how properly maintained equipment can improve your game. Make sure this year the only handicap you have is your playing handicap and not the clubs in your hand.

Should you have any questions on this or any equipment matter please feel free to call me on 01256 322007 or 07859 920055. Alternatively, email me directly at dave@madetomeasuregolf.co.uk or visit my web site at www.madetomeasuregolf.co.uk

Golf is hard enough at the best of times without making it even harder with equipment that needs adjustments and alterations.

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB


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TEE TIMES 7

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Hampshire Ladies Golf

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK 2017

WELLOW GOLF CLUB CAPTAIN’S CHARITY 2015/16

Pictured: Professor Rosaleen McCarthy and Jan Marsh and Kev Foot of Wellow Golf Club

Last season’s Captains of Wellow Golf Club Jan Marsh and Kev Foot had a successful year raising funds the their chosen charity; The Wessex Neurological Department at Southampton General Hospital.

Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club

We can’t wait for the start of another great season in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Channel Islands. One of our major events for the 2017 calendar once again will be County Championship Week. This year we’re pleased to say that Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club will be the hosts for the event, which takes place between 15th and 19th May. 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, 17th May 2017 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, 15th May 2017 16 Best Nett Scores to qualify for the knockout handicap match play (Wednesday to Friday).

So on the 3rd December they presented a cheque for £2800 to Professor Rosaleen McCarthy from the Wessex Neurological Department.

Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club

Division 3 Challenge Bowl (Handicaps 16-20) 18-hole Medal Qualifier Monday afternoon, 15th May 2017 16 Best Nett Scores to qualify for the knockout handicap match play (Wednesday to Friday). Bronze Championship (Handicaps 21-36) 18-hole Medal Tuesday morning, 16th May 2017. Entry fee is £15 each (does not include food) Closing date for entries is 21st April, 2017. Please note that only full county members may enter. More details and entry forms for this and all our 2017 events can be found on our website www.hlcga.com

The work this department does is clinical/research strands which then helps GP’s and Neurosurgeons/Neurologists in diagnosing and treatment of people suffering with brain disorders ie: dementia. This was raised by various events including raffles, book sales, cake sales and competitions throughout their year’s captaincy.

Well done to everyone involved and thank you to all those that contributed throughout the year.

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FEBRUARY 2017

Continuing the saga of a late-convert golfer’s search for glory on the greens. . . TEN years! Good Lord, is it really that long since I took up the most popular form of self-inflicted outdoor torture, or as you probably know it, golf. And what have I got to show for it? Two garden sheds and one car packed with clubs, bags, trolleys, batteries, balls, ball retrievers, muddy shoes with damaged studs, head covers in the shape of Disney characters (thanks, kids). Oh yes, and I’ve also acquired a broken heart and a vocabulary that would disgust a navy stoker. What I was hoping for was a handicap about the same as my shoe size. Instead I’ve got one that sounds more like the crowd figure for a Man Utd home game. I got off to a bad start by buying both irons and woods from my fellow golfers. What I didn’t know was that these clubs were already deeply steeped in failure before they got to me. It’s a bit like taking on a rescue dog. Once they’ve had a bad handler, golf clubs, like puppies, are never the same again. That’s probably why they’re called rescue clubs.

Copsey beats the elements POULT Wood’s David Copsey battled the elements in the second Winter Series event, supported by Titleist & FootJoy, shooting a two-over-par 73 to beat local man Bruce MacDonald by one shot. Littlestone’s back nine proved the toughest of the day’s challenges. Out in level par with two birdies, Copsey fought hard to keep the bogeys off his card, but had to settle for three of them at the 12th, 13th and 16th. On the final tee he needed a birdie to win, and he duly finished with a winning birdie four on the par five 18thto edge out MacDonald and take the £350 winner’s cheque. MacDonald had come in some 20 minutes earlier to be the leader in the clubhouse with a three-over-par 74 despite also finishing with a birdie on the 18th, but eventually had to settle for second spot and a cheque for £280, edging out Thomas Muchmore (Kingsnorth) into third place and a cheque for £240.

Time catches up on our weakly round of golf DIARY OF A BUS-PASS GOLFER By Bob Evans Anyway that’s my explanation. And I have learnt that the passing of time in itself does not necessarily improve your golf.

through moving windmills and into clowns’ mouths. To me that sounded like wimps golf.

With some embarrassment, I recall that first roll-up when I found myself playing with a cheery little chap who was looking for a new partner.

I wanted the full pain-packed 18, which was a bit like rounding the Horn in a Force Nine. It was all about endurance and crazy courage.

But he only wished to play 13 holes.

The years slipped by unnoticed, as years do.

Only 13? You might as well play on a seaside putting green – slotting the ball

It was a golfer’s wife who put it into perspective for me. When I asked her if she

HOTEL GROUP ECOURAGES HUNDREDS INTO GOLF

Brenda, 90, joins the drive to success A STRING of golf resort hotels has notched up a series of notable successes through programmes encouraging people to Get into Golf – or get more out of their golf if they already play. QHotels' QGolf Academy programme introduced hundreds of new people to the sport in 2016 - and has assisted more experienced players to achieve personal goals. Primary schoolchildren and disability groups have all benefited, and outstanding individual landmarks have been achieved by QGolf Academy members nationwide including

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was pleased her chap was keeping age at bay by his twice-weekly golf, she just shrugged. ‘All I know is that when he gets home he’s so knackered that he falls asleep in the chair.’ While he snored, she had to mow the lawn. I thought of this the other week when our merry band met for our weekly (or should that be weakly?) game. I suggested to Will that I’d be happy to keep him company in his buggy. Well, you don’t want the poor chap to feel left out, do you? It had nothing to do with the way I wheeze on hills or the knee-wobble after three holes. Certainly not. No, it was an act of kindness. And luckily I got in just before Jim, Rob and Clive staked a claim for the spare seat. Very pleasant it was too. We were playing so well and enjoying it so much that we finished early. On the 13th, actually. And when I got home I fell asleep in the chair. As I dozed, I think I heard the wife mowing the lawn.

Chinese purchase deal ‘has stalled’ THE Chinese takeover of premium English golf courses has not gone according to plan at the Buckinghamshire, said Charles Sale in his Daily Mail Sports Agenda column. The purchase by a Chinese consortium of the exclusive complex was expected to have been completed on December 15 after the deal was agreed in November.

Going the extra yards: Brenda Chapman, pictured with her coach Caroline Grady. Brenda, aged 90, has added 15 yards to her driving distance

Christine Reynolds, 63, who has been selected for Great Britain's golf team the next World Transplant Games in Malaga. Numerous participants have secured county selections - and Brenda Chapman, a 90year-old at Dunston Hall, Norwich, has even added 15 yards to her driving distance! QHotels' group academy director Mark Pearson, said: ‘Success comes in many forms and different people have different goals. But we have seen success in many areas, both in terms of the ethos of the QGolf Academies and the personal goals of individual golfers.’

The same investors own Old Thorns Club in Hampshire and their management team, including ambassador Peter Alliss, were due at the Buckinghamshire, home of the Ladies European Tour, that day to reassure the membership about the takeover.

‘However,’ wrote Sale, ‘the sale between current owners Asahi Breweries and the Chinese never went through, leaving the membership in limbo. ‘It is understood there are problems getting money out of China, although Chelsea report no issues with their £52million transfer of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG. ‘Wentworth, the men's European tour base, is already under Chinese control. And Old Thorns' Chinese owners have ambitions of buying a further 16 courses over here.’

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GOLF IN BYGONE DAYS - BATTLE OF THE GIANTS

Photos left to right: Sam Snead Snead and Hogan Ben Hogan Top Ben Hogan 1950 Bottom Sam Snead

As Augusta and the advent of The Masters peeps up on the horizon, the customary first major event of the golfing season, the fans Michael Rees will be looking for signs of form in the events to be played in February and March. That headline, could relate to many years and could certainly relate to The Masters in 2017, the top five or six dominant figures of 2016 will be vying for the Green Jacket and looking to find top form and be ready to fight it out over the rolling green of the golfing mecca in Georgia. Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Jason Day and two time winner Bubba Watson, will all be prominent. There is nothing new about this scenario, for every era has its own champions, each in their time revered, having their own fans and supporters, and extra spice is added when there are two or more giants battling for supremacy, and especially when they are such very different characters. However this story relates to a very different era. After World War 11, the game of golf was recovering its popularity, significantly due to the re-emergence of sporting heroes, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead, who were two of the greatest. On Monday April 12th 1954, they were the only two players left in the locker room at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club.

On the par 5 dogleg 13th, Sam outdrove Ben, and when Ben walked forward to assess the position, Sam deliberately said aloud that he was going for the green. Hogan did not believe that Sam could reach, and so laid up into a safe spot. Slammin’ Sam then lived up to his reputation by hitting a superb two iron onto the green to make his birdie and take the lead.

The day previously, the final round of the tournament, they had both been harassed, and very nearly embarrassed, by a little known amateur, Billy Joe Patton, who almost stole the title after he had had a hole in one at the 6th hole. Unfortunately there was to be no unexpected miracle, as disaster struck later in his round, at the 13th and 15th holes, both of which are par fives, and should be well within the compass of top players, but pressure tells, and there were visits to the water on both, which ended his valiant attempt to steal the green jacket from his more eminent contenders.

seemed to own the rights to Augusta, it was like passing the parcel as they both had wins.

That left the two titans tied on 289 shots after 72 holes. Hogan and Snead were faced with an eighteen hole play off for the Green Jacket, to be played the following day. At the time there were no sudden death playoffs or four hole additions to the format, it was return and play the course.

In the States he was called “The Hawk”, both descriptions were apt, easily identified when reading accounts of his demeanour on the golf course and off it. He was stern, a loner, not very communicative and with a cigarette regularly in his lips, almost like a gangster, but he was a truly magnificent golfer.

The two gladiators sat on opposite sides of the locker room, Hogan on the east and Snead on the west side, two 41 year olds, both at the height of their powers. They had had very few head to head encounters to that date, the most famous of which had been in 1950, the first event after Hogan came back to play after his horrific injuries in the car crash.

The winner of the play off would join the ebullient Jimmy Demeret as a three time winner, after both men had had their chances in regular time and were lucky to have a second bite of the cherry.

They were certainly never friends, but undoubtedly mutually respected adversaries, who admired each other as golfers, but only from a distance, two great players who both had nine top five finishes at Augusta.

Monday arrived, the weather was warm and still when the tussle began. After both birdied the second, Sam three putted the 3rd but pulled back by the 6th hole. They turned level at one under par. They were still even after the dangerous short 12th, they had missed only one fairway between them up to that point.

When Ben Hogan passed away in 1997, Sam was out on the course playing golf at the Cascades course, his son Jack went out onto the course to tell him the news, he said “Pop, Ben just passed away”. When Sam looked up, his eyes were full of tears. The end of an era.

Sam beat Ben in the play off, which was an unpopular defeat for the recovering hero. In the years from 1949 to 1954, the two men

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The two men were totally different characters, Slammin’ Sam, the hill billy professional, a teller of jokes, often of the blue variety. He was lithe and supple and would win bets by high kicking the top of the door jamb when he was well into his seventies. He was a natural self taught player, with wonderful hands. Hogan, in contrast, was christened “the wee ice mon” by the Scots when he won The Open at Carnoustie in 1953.

Both went on to birdie the 15th but then Hogan surprisingly three putted the short 16th hole to drop two shots behind for the first time. Sam could then afford his dropped shot from the bunker on the 18th hole, and had won the play off by one shot, 70 to 71. Sam later said that Ben only spoke to him twice during their deciding match, once on the first tee to say ”Good morning and good luck” and then on the second tee to say “you’re away”.

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LEGENDS OF THE GAME... HORTON SMITH - THE FIRST MASTERS CHAMPION As the Masters once again draws near, the commentators will be testing their knowledge and memories and by recalling memorable moments which have regularly occurred during the playing of this famed event. Most likely Gene Sarazen will be one of those legendary golfers mentioned for his remarkable win in 1935, the albatross, subsequently called the shot that was heard around the world. However, despite popular misconceptions, he was not the first champion, that honour was collected by Horton Smith, in the inaugural year of 1934, and to complete his record he also won again two year later in 1936, two wins in three years. He was a tall Missourian, was invited to play in the first event, conceived by Bobby Jones, to be played on the new course designed by Alistair Mackenzie. He duly won thanks to a birdie in the 71st hole, and finished one stroke ahead of runner up Craig Wood. Horton Smith literally burst onto the golfing scene in 1928, when Bob Harlow was organising the beginnings of the early US Tour. His tour events were played mostly during the winter months, in the southern part of the USA, when the Professionals were not too busy at their home clubs, where each was attached. Summer was for teaching and making money. Horton was the first man to be really successful with the new steel shafted golf clubs, prior to his coming on the scene, many still used hickory clubs, and were taking time to adapt to the new technology. He developed a three quarter swing, much in line with modern techniques, and quickly

Above - Horton Smith with Walter Hagen

R-Green Jacket for Horton

saw the results and never looked back, a young man accepting new technology. In his first season on the tour when he was only twenty years old, the season ran from autumn 1928 to spring 1929, and he was winning virtually every tournament. By the time his first season came to an end, he was credited with winning eleven of the seventeen tournaments he played in. A remarkable statistic, and a fore-runner of the feats of Byron Nelson in the 1940’s or much later at the turn of the century, when one Tiger Woods ruled the roost, both men who dominated their respective tours all one season long. He was the leading money winner by a country mile. Although he was never able to repeat that initial phenomenal season, he was a prolific winner nevertheless. He won over thirty events

during his career, but he will be remembered forever as the winner of the very first Masters Invitational Tournament in 1934, and again in 1936, the first is always unique, and it assured him of his place in the history of Augusta National. He continued making his annual appearances until 1952. He came to Britain to play in The Open often before the war, but he had no other major wins, and never managed to take the coveted US Open, where he had three top ten finishes, the last when he was 3rd in 1940. He served as a Lieutenant in the US Army until he was demobbed. After the war he played less and became more involved in the administrative side of golf. Serving as President of the PGA from 1952 to 1954. Horton was chosen for every American Ryder Cup team from the inception in 1927 until 1937 when World War 11 intervened, even

then he was still chosen for the teams which did not actually play in 1939 and 1941. He is said to have used a sand wedge in competition, years before the one invented by Gene Sarazen. His was a heavy club with a distinctly concave face, which was subsequently declared to be illegal by the USGA, and the club manufacturers had to comply with the rules by squaring off the face. Horton Smith had one club which served him well in his prime, just as it has done for players since the birth of the game, he was a great putter. Later in life he damaged his wrist, recovered but was slightly hampered, and was never as dominating as in his golden era. He was a fitness devotee, early to bed and not smoking or drinking and regularly practicing and training for his game. At one distinguished golf club reception he was offered a cigarette, which he politely refused, and then also refused an alcoholic drink. Haven’t you got any vices he was promptly asked, he blushed, looked embarrassed and said “I sometimes leave my putts short ! Sadly he later contracted Hodgkin ’s disease, and suffered from it for several years, he eventually collapsed and died during the Ryder Cup match being played at Atlanta, Georgia in 1963, when Arnold Palmer was the playing Captain of the winning American side. When Hortons personal Green Jacket was sold at auction in 2013, after being lost for several years, it made almost $700.000. A shooting star, that lasted for many years, after his amazing arrival on the scene as a rookie, in 1928.

Horton with Bobby Jones

Michael Rees

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WHATS HOT OR NOT CALLAWAY’S LATEST GREAT in the World of Ladies Golf BIG BERTHA FUSION DRIVER Your Monthly Blog by

Claire Kane

Are you a Tiger, Rabbit, Fox or Tortoise?

Peter Klepacz, PGA Professional at Rowlands Castle Golf, and owner of Peter Klepacz Golf Shop, reviews Callaway’s latest Great Big Bertha Fusion driver. Working and talking with golfers on a daily basis, driving is an element of the game that all golfers struggle with, and I think that most golfers would sacrifice a bit of distance for more consistency, and this was certainly Callaway’s brief when they designed their Great Big Bertha Fusion driver, it’s super forgiving and what we in the trade call a fairway finder!! Having said this though, the Callaway Fusion driver, is by no means short. I was constantly carrying 250 yards when testing it, so with 10-15 yards of roll to be added, there is no disputing its credentials for distance. People ask us all the time, how do I hit my driver further? The answer is simple hit it out of the sweat spot, and indeed research shows, that a shot hit from the clubs sweat spot will go 25% further then an off centre hit, as it’s the sweet spot that provides optimal launch conditions and optimal ball speed.

I recently came across details of a ‘Rabbits’ golf competition which caught my attention. Digging deeper (excuse the pun), I discovered there were also Buck competitions and a Pairs events for Rabbits, although I failed to find anything specifically for Does! Intrigued, I discovered Rabbit competitions were created back in the 1920s because at that time, unless you were the lowest player or one of the best handicappers in your club, (known as the Tigers) you didn’t stand a chance of representing your club. With the selection process focused purely on the prestige of winning, this meant midhandicappers rarely had the opportunity of playing in external competitions. So, in 1922 a Mr Kitching proposed the idea to create friendly, social but competitive games for mid handicappers, who at the time were called Rabbits. Although to this day, no one knows why they were called this. Interestingly the term ‘Tiger’ today is not just given to low handicappers hunting for birdies, it also applies to the more aggressive players who like to shoot directly for the green, regardless of the terrain they have to cross over, or whether they’re even likely to make it! If we’re going with an animal theme, then maybe we should consider renaming our

Senior Section to Foxes as many of them are cunning golfers who apply their wily wits rather than just throwing their weight behind the club. Silver Foxes have learnt to work their way around the course with great accuracy and are still able to sneak a win over the brute and brawn of a Bear player. The other animal that crops up frequently in golf clubs is the Tortoise, the players who slowly but surely edge their way around the course. Many beginners initially come under this category whilst they learn their golf but there are also quite a few established members who unknowingly display these traits - unfortunately they don’t tend to hibernate in the winter months! Thankfully, times have changed and many of us are now able to play in club matches, despite a double digit handicap. Yet there are still active Rabbit Golf Associations around the country which probably makes it the largest golf club in the world. Not only that, they occasionally compete for the highest honour, the ‘Carrot Cup’. What a hidden menagerie we have on our fairways!

© Claire Kane Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets

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In order to help golfers find the sweet spot more often with the Fusion driver Callaway have firstly made the sweet spot larger and secondly have given golfers an option of a shorter shaft, which makes the club easier to control. Indeed it was this forgiveness across the whole face that most impressed me about this club, honestly wherever on the face I hit it from, the ball was going straight even when I tried to miss hit it. When swinging the club it felt very stable, especially at impact, and you can certainly feel that this is what’s termed as a high MOI (moment of inertia) driver. Moment of inertia is the degree a clubhead stays stable or resists twisting on off-center hits, leading to less lost ballspeed, meaning your mishits lose less distance and stay straighter. In order to make a driver 'super-forgiving' you need to increase this MOI and that means getting the weight low and back. However an all metal head keeps a lot of weight high up in the crown so reducing that is a key aim. Since 2004, Callaway's Fusion models have built on their extensive knowledge of carbon and composite drivers to achieve this by replacing the heavy bits in the driver head by lighter bits. In the Big Bertha Fusion they have taken this a step further by using a titanium 'Exo-Cage' for the body and then adding an ultra-light Triaxial Carbon crown and sole to enable them to save weight and move it elsewhere.

The Triaxial Carbon is 35% lighter than titanium and 15% thinner than even their Forged Composite material that Callaway used most recently on the Great Big Bertha driver. All this saves around 35g of weight that can then be redistributed through the medallion, internal weight pads and rear screw to increase the MOI by 17% over Callaways other models. Historically I have not always liked these high MOI drivers, as the shape of them has always been more unorthodox, remember the square headed drivers a few years back!! And these unothordox shaped clubs are not the most aerodynamic in design. However with their Fusion model Callaway have drawn from their acclaimed XR range and have incorporated some features to enhance its aerodynamics helping to increase your swing speed equalling longer drives, and at no time did I feel that the size of the head was working against me on the down swing. In short this Driver has a huge sweetspot and high MOI, which simply put means that there is nothing on the market which is more forgiving, and I honestly feel that for many golfers the shorter shaft option, will lead to more strikes from the sweetspot, ultimately allowing them to achieve straighter drives. Like with all drivers however, in order to get the best results the club needs to be custom fitted and at my golf shop at Rowlands Castle Golf Club, we are one of the largest stockist of Callaway in the area with full custom fit facilities. All of custom fitting is free, and we also offer a low price guarantee meaning you can be assured you are getting the best deal available. If you would like any more information on the Callaway Fusion driver or any other latest golf product, then Peter and his team can be contacted on 023 92 412785, or his website is www.peterklepaczgolfshop.com, or why not follow him on twitter: @rowlandsproshop or facebook: rowlandsproshop.

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HOWELL SHINES AGAIN

Sicily the new event backdrop

GOLF fans were greeted with the welcome sight of former Ryder Cup player David Howell among the headlines again at the Hong Kong Open.

VERDURA Resort, the Rocco Forte hotel in Sicily, is preparing to host a European Tour championship after the golf and spa resort was selected to stage a new event on the professional calendar this spring. The Rocco Forte Open will be held from May 18-21, a week before the BMW PGA Championship. The tournament will take place five years after Verdura Resort hosted the 2012 Sicilian Open, won by Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen. The resort spans 230 hectares of stunning traditional Sicilian landscape, with facilities including two 18-hole championship courses.

Howell, 41 and struggling in the lower ranks at world number 228, shot a course recordequalling 63. Howell's career highlight was beating Tiger Woods to win the to win the inaugural HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2005 but has since struggled at times. He went to Hong Kong after a six-week layoff with a foot injury, and finished 14th on five under.

Tour faces big payout Marketing boss ‘was unfairly dismissed’ A LARGE compensation payout was being forecast for Scott Kelly after a tribunal found that the 61-year-old executive was unfairly dismissed by the PGA European Tour. Mr Kelly dined with royalty to secure sponsorships in his role as group marketing director, and also wrapped up a £126million Rolex deal. He claimed that the tour’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, told him to take an 80 per cent pay cut or retire. The court ruled against an age discrimination claim, but was due to hold a ‘remedy hearing’ this month to decide on compensation for the wrongful dismissal.

David Howell: In the headlines once more

‘This whole calendar year has been a real struggle for me with injury,’ he said. ‘The Czech (Masters) and The Open, really, were the highlights of last season but it's been a while.’

A wee bit of bother for Trump A WOMAN who was filmed by staff as she urinated at US president Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course has been given the go-ahead to pursue damages.

Left to right: Scott Kelly, who said he was told to take an 80 per cent pay cut or retire; Tour chief exec Keith Pelley, who said Mr Kelly was sacked for his ‘incapability’; and Prince Moulay Rachid of Morroco, said to be part of Mr Kelly’s clientele

Mr Kelly said he had been told to take a more 'data analytical' approach and not to attend high-profile events such as the Solheim Cup. Mr Pelley denied claims that the firm broke anti-discrimination laws or acted in breach of contract. He claimed that Mr Kelly, who commanded the respect of a clientele including the former First Minister for Scotland Alex Salmond and Prince Moulay Rachid of Morroco, was sacked due to an 'incapability' to do his job. David Mitchell, representing Mr Kelly, said the claims were 'concocted' fabrications after the legal proceedings were started,

CHRIS GOES BACK TO ROOTS RYDER Cup player Chris Wood went back to his roots to share his experience with the Gloucestershire U18 boys’ squad, including Jack Cope of Minchinhampton, of the England Golf boys’ squad, and Gloucestershire U18 captain Matt Bell, pictured right with Chris. Wood, the reigning BMW PGA champion, was England’s top amateur for two years and comes from Long Ashton Golf Club in Gloucestershire.

producing transcripts of emails and meetings where Mr Pelley said he wanted to employ 'millennials' and that another senior director kept his job 'with the support of two 31year-olds - offering fresh legs'.

Ms Beyts was reported to prosecutors but no action was taken. Now a three-day civil hearing for breach of her privacy will be heard this spring.

Paul Nicholls, representing the company, had told the tribunal: 'It is clear from the all the evidence, in particular from what Mr Pelley said at the time, that the reason why he mentioned retirement was so that the claimant's departure from the company could be positioned in a way which was respectful.

'A substantial majority of the senior people are in their 50s and 60s and more importantly, following Mr Pelley's arrival, those in the older range remain. ‘It just doesn't make sense to suggest that he would be dismissed at 60 because of his age in the circumstances where three other people central to the operation of about the same age remained, that is the most striking evidence about this.' It was said that Mr Pelley was concerned about a £1.9million shortfall in Mr Kelly's department and a lack of sponsorship from certain types of businesses.

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Rohan Beyts, 62, said she had to ‘answer the call of nature’ at sand dunes after walking on the beach near Mr Trump's Menie resort.

Filmed by staff on Trump’s golf course: Rohan Beyts

Mrs Beyts, a retired social worker, told the BBC Scotland news website she was glad that the case was going ahead. She said she had no option when she needed to answer the call of nature, adding: ‘When I discovered men had been filming me I felt really uncomfortable - mortified.

‘It's ironic they said my act was disgusting but you hear about Donald Trump's claims about women. I know which I think are disgusting.’ A spokeswoman for Trump International said: ‘Our position on Rohan Beyts' claim remains unchanged and the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers.’

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GET AROUND FOR YEARS TO COME The Eventer

TEE TIMES 19

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LEGENDS OF THE GAME... ..THE LONGEST DRIVE IN THE WORLD The holder of the record for the longest drive ever, Mike Austin died in late November 2005 at the age of 95. I have no doubt that few of our readers will have ever heard of the man who hit a drive of 515 yards that put him into the record books in 1974. When you also consider that the feat was achieved with a Wilson persimmon wood headed driver with a 43 inch shaft and using a soft Titlest 100 balata ball, the size of the achievement can be seen. The drive was hit in the US Seniors Open played in Las Vegas, and Mike Austin was 64 years old at the time. He had a day when he was hitting the ball miles, he also drove two 440 yard plus holes and hit two par 5’s with drive and seven irons, distances hardly imagined in the 1970’s. The modern era has changed much of what was considered spectacular in the period to the twenty first century, but the tale of Mike Austin deserves to be told. The story has been well documented, and is in the Guinness Book of Records, and it will certainly stand being retold. The game was played at the Winterwood Golf Club, which was constructed in 1964 and is now a pay and play course, he was playing with major winner Chandler Harper, Pete Fleming and Joe Brown. The fifth hole was a 450 yard par 4, and Harper after seeing Mike’s driving over the early holes said “let’s see what happens when you really let one go”. Austin took out his driver, ten degree loft and with an extra stiff shaft, and hit a monster drive. His playing partners finished about 140 yards from the green, but Austin’s ball cleared the green and finished on the next tee, well past the hole. They called for the shot to be measured and it was 515 yards. The strongest wind recording that day was 27 miles per hour. For comparison, for many years the second longest drive was held by Davis Love 111, in 2004 he hit his drive 470 yards, which was 45 yards behind the senior of 1974. So who was he, the man who was nicknamed the Golfing Bandit, for his hustling exploits, which included playing left handed, one handed, and even playing with a coke bottle and making par. He was a kinesiology expert, and also taught boxing, tennis , baseball as well as golf. An undoubted sporting master. Why have you never heard of such a prodigious hitter, the answer to that question is easy, he simply had an awful short game and could not putt, two essentials for the successfully golf Pro. Despite his great striking on that day, he could only finish level par, and only tenth in the championship.

It has been said that his secret was a revolutionary approach to hitting the golf ball, evolved out of his studies of engineering and physics studies at Emory University and Georgia Tech, and then his PhD work in kinesiology. His swing was described as the most efficient in history, and forty years ahead of it’s time. It has been estimated that he could obtain a swing speed of 155 miles per hour, a fantastic number when it is reckoned that Tiger Woods swings at 120 mph. So who was this super striker, Mike Austin was born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1910, he lived in Scotland, emigrated to the USA and lived initially in Boston then moved to Atlanta before ending up in Los Angeles in 1939. He tried his hand at pro golf, also became a professional boxer, but his career in fighting was cut short because he was found to have an irregular heartbeat. He became a golf teacher, having played with Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen and Sam Snead. When Snead was given his first set of steel shafted clubs, he promptly gave them to Austin saying “you’re the only player I know who swings fast enough to use these”.

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After a spell teaching some of the Hollywood stars, including Bob Hope’s wife, he was a singer in light opera, featuring in the light opera “Desert Song” in 1947.

teach well into his nineties. It was said that he could hit a seven iron with one hand, backhanded over 140 yards, a testament to his timing.

After his period playing on the Seniors Golf Tour he returned to do more acting in films, starring in the Michael Douglas film Star Chamber in 1983.

Several times in later years, despite the confirmed authentication, people have questioned whether the drive actually happened, but when he was asked about it, he gave out an icy blue eyed stare and in his own words the answer came loud and clear “that damned ball hit nothing but my club and the ground it landed on”.

His return to golf on the seniors tour was unexpected, but he used his scientific knowledge to develop a super-fast swing, which resulted in very long distances, which earned him the limelight and also provided the opportunity to teach more. Although he was impatient, irascible and prone to using obscenities his was in very big demand, though he could have been considerably more successful in the arena if he had been a just a little more pleasant. On one famous occasion he said to one of his students, paying $100 per hour for his lesson “you couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle” Despite his temperament he was voted one of the top fifty coaches in the USA in 1991.

Witnessed and recorded for all time, the feats of Mike Austin always caused amazement, as I am certain they will again as you read this piece about him, written long after the end of his long and varied life. Golfer, actor, singer and teacher, and successful at all of them, he was little known but very highly talented, another fascinating Legend of the Game. If you would like to read more about him, there is a first class book about his life called “In Search Of The Greatest Golf Swing” by Philip Reed. Good reading.

He successfully trained many of the long distance driving champions, and continued to

Michael Rees

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RYDER CUP: FURYK IS CAPTAIN AMERICA JIM Furyk will captain the United States when they defend the Ryder Cup next year in Paris. His vice-captain has been named as Davis Love, a losing captain in 2012 but victorious last year when the U.S. beat Europe 17-11 to win back the famous old trophy.

Main man: Jim Furyk will captain A

Furyk was on the winning side twice in nine Ryder Cup appearances as a player. He said: ‘I get chills thinking about all the events I've been lucky enough to take part in. To be sitting here as the 2018 captain is such an honour.’ The 46year-old won the 2003 US Open and played in every Ryder Cup from 1997 to 2014. He was one of Love's assistants for October's triumph.

Furyk described himself ‘actually a little overwhelmed’ when named as the next skipper: ‘It's no secret, it's been my favourite event my entire career. In my opinion the Ryder Cup embodies everything that is special about golf.’ Denmark's Thomas Bjorn has been named Europe captain. The United States are the defending champions after winning at Hazeltine last year, which was their first success since 2008. The 2018 Ryder Cup will he held at Le Golf National in the French capital from 28-30 September.

It’s sunshine all the way to the winner’s circle for the man who almost lost his Tour card

Graeme storms back from the brink BACK in wintry November, England’s Graeme Storm fell an agonising 100 Euros short of the season’s prize money which would have saved his European Tour card. But the cloud lifted after world number eight Patrick Reed had points deducted for not playing the minimum five tournaments and opened the door for Hartlepool’s Storm to keep his playing rights.

Storm, 38, said at the time: ‘In 2017, I just want a fast start; the last couple of years I've set goals and targets, but not achieved them.’

How about this for a fast start? Storm won the year-launching South African Open to secure his first European Tour

Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm: First European Tour victory in 10 years, and he only just qualified to play

victory in 10 years, beating none other than Rory McIlroy after three play-off holes. Storm, whose only previous Tour win was in Paris in 2007, said: ‘I'm shocked. This has been a surreal week, and to find myself in the position I was in with probably the best player in the world was a dream come true.

‘I got my playing rights due to the fact Patrick could not play and I took it with both hands. To win this tournament with the prestige of it is incredible.’ England's Jordan Smith finished third for the best result of his career, while fellow Englishman James Morrison tied in 13th.

It looks like a vintage year for the seniors THERE is a fresh look to senior events for 2017, with a new format for the English Senior Women’s Championship and the creation of a Senior Series for men and women, with a grand finale at England Golf Week.

officials and members of the England Golf Championship Department.

The senior women’s championship will be played from 15-19 May at South Staffordshire Golf Club and will now include with a new matchplay flight for players aged 60 and over, England Golf announced.

The leading players at each event will qualify for the grand final at Golf Week, when they’ll play on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa on 16 August. England Golf will also run a Series order of merit and the leading players on this will qualify for the final.

The event will start, as usual, with two rounds of stroke play to decide who goes forward to the match play flights. The top 32 players will compete in the championship matches for the Wendy Taylor Salver. The leading 16 players, aged 60 and over, will play for the Ann Howard Trophy.

The Senior Series, which is open to men and women, will be made up of six 18-hole stableford tournaments, played off full handicap.

The six qualifying tournaments will be held at: Woodcote Park Golf Club, Surrey, on 11 May; Huddersfield Golf Club, Yorkshire, 1 June; Wilmslow Golf Club, Cheshire, 15 June; Teignmouth Golf Club, Devon, 28 June; Longcliffe Golf Club, Leicestershire, 14 July; and Princes Golf Club, Kent, 25 July. It costs £47.50 to enter each event, which includes bacon roll and coffee on arrival and a two course meal after the round. Entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

Ladies have a new format in the English Senior Women’s Championship

Competitors can choose which flight they would like to play in, but will have to state their decision when registering at the event. The change in format was agreed by a working group of competitors, tournament

The players who win through to Golf Week will arrive on 15 August for a practice round and a gala dinner, when trophies will be presented to the regional winners. They will stay overnight as the guests of England Golf before playing the final, then enjoying a buffet lunch and the presentation.

Entries for all men’s, women’s and senior events are open online on at www.englandgolf.org/championships, where more information can be found on all England Golf tournaments.


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It was an unexpected surprise - returning to a place I had once visited some twelve years ago. Park City is a leading ski resort in the States only when I was last there everywhere was covered in thick layers of snow and I spent several pleasant days whizzing down a variety of slopes designed for Olympic disciplines. The Guardian newspaper had commissioned me to write a pre-view on the 2002 Winter Olympics hosted by Salt Lake City, and what an experience that turned out to be. This time, by contrast I was here to write about golf in the middle of summer. Underneath the ski runs I had once skied down lay miles of verdant green meadows which each year transform into several challengingly designed golf courses and in my opinion one of Park City’s best kept secrets. What is more appealing is that now you can fly direct to Salt Lake City when previously we endured tedious stop-overs in Denver, some lasting several monotonous hours. Now Delta airlines fly non-stop from Heathrow and flights take around ten hours, a lot less time than when I last flew here. With Park City less than an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City airport, I found this journey managable. What a difference a few years makes! Cloudless blue skies greeted my arrival and immediately put me in a good mood for the days ahead. In what seemed like no time I was checking into Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley where ironically previously I stayed on my last visit. Since those heady days the hotel has undergone several major refurbishments, added new annexes and a state-of-the-art spa but fortunately little else had changed. It’s was surprising to discover that this region boasts ten well-designed golf courses, and I only played four! My first round was on the par 69 Canyon Golf Course and I suffered little or no effects of jetlag even though it was my first day and we were playing some 4,000 feet above sea level where, apparently, balls fly further. Canyons head pro Casey Bates accompanied me around the 18 hole course, an added bonus as this enabled me to understand the various intricately designed holes through his eyes, and particularly where to aim balls.

Park City – Unlimited Golf Playing Victory Ranch some 6,000 feet above sea level

This course is a perfect starting point for a week’s golf.

couple of times and now boasts one of the most creatively designed courses in the area.

The first hole is a short walk from the Orange Bubble ski lift and an interesting uphill par 4. From here the course winds its way to the top of Willow Draw hill which affords stunning views that literally stretch for miles.

It’s exclusive membership of around 600 members has an annual subscription of $600,000 but then there are no green fees to pay!

The back nine are more demanding if not challenging with the 18th par 4 hole ending up a short distance from the Waldof Astoria Hotel where we stopped for a late but delicious light lunch. The next day Stein Ericsen’s director of leisure sales, Tyler Landsman accompanied me to Park Meadows golf course, part of the Stein Ericsen complex. Compared to Canyons this course is much flatter and in many ways easier to play with fewer bunkers but there are several long and wide fairways. Again I found the back nine more challenging with narrow fairways bordered by tall pine trees and plenty of undergrowth where balls are easily lost. It was the Victory Ranch course that turned out to be my favourite and a course that impressed me the most. Initially the course was the brainchild of two returning Second World War veterans who bought thousands of acres of undeveloped land outside Park City with plans to build a golf course which they aptly named Victory Ranch. Since those heady days the club has changed hands a

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Despite being mid July when rainfalls are rare, greens and fairways were all in top class condition. What amused me were the aptly named ‘comfort stops’. These are wooden huts with his and her toilets all suitably stocked with every conceivable luxury item and placed between a small room containing three large fridges stocked full of cold drinks, delicious snacks and unlimited ice - all for the taking and apparently also included in members’ fees.

there is no shortage of excellent restaurants and the best of bunch is undoubtedly the sought after Riverhorse on Main Street with an ecletic menu covering all kinds of exotic dishes. We even managed to book a coveted first floor terrace overlooking Main Street from where I observed one of the most stunning sunsets ever seen. For any discerning golfers, Park City is an experience not to be missed. April Tod

FACT BOX for further information on places and courses visited during my stay in Park City, Utah, USA Delta Airlines – www.delta.com

The last couple of days of my trip stay were spent staying in Park City’s five star Main and Stay hotel which, during January’s Sundance City film festival is packed with celebrities and conveniently next to Robert Redford’s famous Zoom restaurant, which unfortunately was closed while I was there.

Stein Ericksen Lodge – www.steinlodge.com

My final round of golf was played on the surprisingly well kept Municipal Golf course, a public course on the outskirts of Park City and built mostly on flat terrain but fun to play. Reassuring golf guardians are continually patrolling the course to ensure slow players keep up the required pace. The other advantage of staying in Park City is

www.riverhorseparkcity.com/

www.parkcitymountain.com/activities/go lf.aspx?page=viewall www.deervalley.com

www.victoryranchutah.com/ www.mainandstay.com www.thesilverstarcafe.com/

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RECRUITS ARE SIGNING UP IN DROVES GIRLS Golf Rocks – the recruitment campaign which got over 600 girls swinging last year – is going to get bigger and better in 2017, says England Golf.

Parents’ pride: Justin Thomas’ mother and father join the celebration of their son’s amazing golfing feat

OUR BOY WONDER! Day after day, Justin rips up the record book FOUR times IT WAS golf that took the breath away and blew records out of the water – one, two, three, four times. Justin Thomas, 23-year-old American, began the Hawaii Open by becoming the youngest man to register a sub-60 round on the PGA Tour with an opening 59 in Honolulu. He followed up by setting the lowest 36-hole total of 123 on day two, then equalled the 54-hole mark. Nerves jangling, he still posted a final-day 65 to finish with a new record for the lowest 72-hole score in PGA Tour history. The world number eight had finished on an amazing 27 under par to reset the record at 253 strokes, with England's Justin Rose seven strokes behind, one shot ahead of American Jordan Spieth. Thomas said afterwards: ‘It's been an unbelievable week. Unforgettable.’ His start-to-finish victory beat the previous lowest 72-hole score of 254 by American Tommy Armour III at the Texas Open in September 2003. It was also Thomas' second successive Tour victory after winning the SBS Tournament of Champions, also in Hawaii – rounding off

‘They said my beard was bad’ g legion POPULAR among a growin wn as kno is he of fans, to whom s, ger bur of e lov ‘Beef’ for his w dre An d rde bea unmistakably rapes r-g sou ted rac att Johnson has 6 comments. He won the 201 ing nam t hou wit but en Op Spanish e: mm gra names, told the Today pro rd bea ‘Some people thought my was bad for the sport.’

The number of counties taking part will grow from nine to 15 – all aiming to get more girls playing golf, by offering coaching with PGA professionals and using young ambassadors from county squads to show that it’s a fun and sociable game. The new counties are: Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Kent, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Yorkshire. They’ll join Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire.

Girls Golf Rocks, and it’s on a roll

Taster sessions will be held by PGA professionals in March and April, when ambassadors will be on hand to encourage the new girls. They will all then be offered five weeks of group coaching, leading to a fun day with the ambassadors featuring multi-skill challenges and the chance to play on a golf course. In full flow: Justin Thomas

two weeks in Hawaii that saw him finish 49 under par.

‘I was really nervous (before the round),’ said Thomas. ‘I just had a hard time getting in a comfortable mindframe.’ Rose's closing 64 was enough to finish above Spieth, while Scotland's Russell Knox was tied for 11th on 14-under-par. Double Major champion Spieth said: ‘I was telling (caddie) Michael (Greller) out there, it felt like we were playing a different tournament. I honestly felt like I was trying to win the tournament for second place. J.T. is just pretty unbelievable what he's doing right now. He's got full control of his game, full confidence, and he's executing under pressure. It's a lot of fun to see.’

During 2016, the nine counties involved attracted over 600 girls to taster sessions. More than 500 Ambassadors for Girls Golf Rocks (picture by Leaderboard Photography) went on to take coaching courses and over 230 have already taken Elsewhere, nine-year-old Isabella Bleaken, out some type of club membership. from Westonbirt Golf Club in This coincides with a growing number of Gloucestershire, became one of the clubs and counties reporting an increasing youngest ambassadors when she turned out girls’ membership. to help, alongside other players from the county girls’ squad. The project, run jointly by England Golf and the Golf Foundation, started in 2015 with a Isabella, who plays off 25, showed the new trial in Essex. players how she can hit the ball, then helped and reassured them as they got into Ambassadors and new players from the the swing. county are now featured in a Girls Golf Rocks video, which captures all that’s special about the programme. Bella Jay, 14, She’s also been interviewed on BBC Radio Gloucestershire about the experience and sums it up when she says: “Golf has done her father, Mark, reports that her own so much for me, I love it. You should come confidence has rocketed. and join us and see how much fun it is’.

McIlroy: I resent the Olympics

Isabella is also an ambassador for the England Golf Trust which helps young people in financial need to play the game.

WORLD number two Rory McIlroy says he ‘resents’ the Olympic Games for forcing him to choose between Britain and Ireland.

When he declared his intention to play for Ireland, McIlroy described himself as comfortable’ with his decision, saying it was a logical choice because he had twice represented Ireland at the World Cup alongside fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.

Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women and Girls’ Participation Manager, commented: “Girls Golf Rocks has been an amazing success and we’re looking forward to working with more counties and clubs and seeing many more girls come into the game’.

He still says he felt he would inevitably upset some people whether he chose to represent Team GB or Ireland if the occasion arose again – which inevitably raises the question about his decision for Tokyo 2020.

As part of the jointly funded programme, girls taking part in coaching will be given a US Kids Golf 7-iron to help them get started. US Kids Golf is the official equipment supplier to the Golf Foundation for the Girls Golf Rocks projects.

The 27-year-old was born in Northern Ireland and chose to represent Ireland, before pulling out of Rio 2016 because of concerns about the Zika virus. McIlroy told Ireland’s Sunday Independent newspaper: ‘It put me in a position where I had to question who I am, where am I from. Whether that's right or wrong, it's how I feel.’


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TRIBUTE TO A GENTLEMAN AND GOLF LEGEND Friday the 13th January 2017 was a sad day for the world of golf. The announcement was made that John Jacobs Michael Rees OBE had passed away at the age of 91 years. The game around the world was subdued by the loss of a legend. Tributes flowed from players, officials and fans alike to the man who was recognised, respected and admired by all.

JOHN JACOBS OBE

Sitting with John, supping tea or sometimes a glass of fine red wine, talking golf was like a history lesson in the arts and craft of the game, the politics, the personalities, and with an exposure to how much the game has changed in his lifetime. He had two passionate loves, golf and fly fishing, and it was due to the latter that he eventually settled in Hampshire. In the induction ceremony at the World Gold Hall of Fame in the year 2000, John Jacobs was inducted in the Lifetime Achievement Category; there could not have been a more fitting recognition for the golfer who has contributed so much to the game. As a player, sadly not fully appreciated, administrator, organiser, and most distinguished of all as a coach and instructor, his impact was enormous. Described by Ken Schofield as “the father of European Golf”, he engineered the evolution of the European Tour, despite obstructions from the establishment of the day. John Jacobs was born in a house at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire in March 1925, he was the son of a golf professional, and his life was moulded by golf. His first job was as assistant to Willie Wallace at the Hallamshire Golf Club near to his home. There he worked seven days each week for a wage less than £4.00 per week, plus five shillings an hour for lessons.

Open and the South African Matchplay Championship, and had a 100% win record in the 1955 Ryder Cup. He went to America early to play on the winter circuit, and gained experience at Thunderbird Country Club, this was to stand him in good stead for the Ryder Cup itself. He won both his foursomes, and also his singles match against Cary Middlecoff, who said he had been beaten whilst playing at his best. He was hugely disappointed again when he did not make the side in 1957, for the match was ironically played and won by GB &I at Lindrick, the place where he had been born and reared.

However his good fortune did not continue, World events took a hand with the onset of the Suez War, and a necessity for the Jacobs family to be repatriated.

John rightfully earned that distinctive title of Dr Golf in the 78’s and 80’s when he developed coaching strategy and coaching schools around the world, particularly in the United Kingdom and America, in the process training many of the young professionals who went on to spread his methods to all corners of the globe. He taught many of the world’s best professional and amateur players, national squads and talented individuals who all benefited from the skilled teaching of the master. The list of golfers who have sought his counsel is legendary. It includes such names as Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Tom Watson and Tony Jacklin.

After his narrow escape to the United Kingdom he was determined to become a tour player, which he did with no small success, something never readily admitted by him. In fact he had a very good playing career, during which he won the Dutch

Later he was appointed Ryder Cup Captain, serving twice, in 1979 and again in 1981, but it was his teaching that brought him fame and recognition, and made such an impact. While he was at Sandy Lodge, he met and became firm friends with Laddie

John then went off to Egypt with his new young wife Rita, to be the Professional at Gazira Golf and Sports Club, initially for a probationary period, but he soon convinced the members that he was the man for the job. Probably the best decision I ever made is how John described it.

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Lucas, a wartime RAF hero and a golfer of great talent, their friendship blossomed into a successful business relationship, which lasted years. Laddie was famed for his spectacular crash landing on the golf course at Princes when his Spitfire was damaged. It was through him that John met one of his most famous pupils, Battle of Britain fighter ace Douglas Bader. With Laddie Lucas as his partner, he set up Athlon Golf, which created golf teaching centres around the country. Then in 1971 went to the United States with his ideas and established the John Jacobs Golf Schools in the USA, where he went into partnership and success continued. John had found his true vocation in his teaching, his reputation was worldwide, he had, at some time, coached the English, Scottish, French, German, Swedish, Italian and Spanish national teams. He was associated with the Walker Cup teams between 1963 and 1987, and also helped the Curtis Cup sides. The Spanish, with whom he had a special relationship, presented him with the Medal Of Merit for his contribution to their golf for 25 years. His list of achievements is staggering, founder of the Professional Golfers Architects Association, Vice President of the Golf Writers, given the 5 Star Award by the PGA of Europe and in between wrote eight books and produced five teaching videos. In the early 70’s, he was approached to manage the formation of the European

Tour, his overseas connections gave him a unique ability to do so. His success with the PGA and the European Tour, laid the foundations for what became the European Tour of today, nurturing and developing it through the difficult early days, encouraging new sponsors, and expanding the tour throughout Europe. He was then made President of the PGA for two years from 1999. His contribution to golf was recognised in 1997 when he was awarded the OBE by the Queen, and he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November 2000, followed by induction into the Teaching Hall of Fame in 2001. None of these awards came as a surprise, they were a simple recognition of a life time of dedication to the game. Renowned Coach Butch Harmon said, and succinctly that “there is not one golf teacher who does not owe something to John Jacobs, he simply wrote the book on coaching”. There is nothing further to add about the man who was sincere and eloquent about both of his sporting interests, and whose professionalism extended into everything that he did throughout his career. He was the true outdoors man and sportsman but most of all a gentleman. A treasured friend to so many, who will be sadly missed by all those who had the good fortune to meet him.

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THE DISABLED GOLF ASSOCIATION 2017 LINE-UP

FEBRUARY 2017

TEE TIMES 25

Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club FOUNDED 1905

WINTER FOURBALL SPECIAL Valid Monday - Friday. Subject to availability

Patron Mark James with group of disabled golfers at Rudding Park in Yorkshire

The Disabled Golf Association has unveiled an exciting event line-up for 2017 at some top venues around the country. The inaugural NORTH OF ENGLAND OPEN was played at Wychwood, Cheshire and was a great success. This year we are crossing the Pennines to play at Oulton Hall, Leeds on Tuesday 4th July.

www.leegolf.co.uk

We’ve been keeping you WARM for over 25 years

We will be returning to The Shire London for the annual GOLF TRUST OPEN on Monday 24th July. The Auld Enemies Cup returns in 2018, so this year Staverton Park in Northamptonshire will host the first 2 day North v South match play event on 13th/14th October - should be very competitive! We will be also be 'locking horns' with the Welsh for the OLDFIELD TROPHY on 24th/25th October The 'Race to Burhill' will be returning next year, we are playing at 7 BGL venues and the first 3 in the Stableford competition will qualify for the final at the prestigious Burhill Golf Club in October. We are delighted to have Mark James as our Patron. Graeme Robertson, events co-ordinator "Our main focus is on golf as a therapy and for rehabilitation, but that's not to say there isn't some stiff competition. We had a very successful 2016, our sincere thanks have to go for the support from Captains Charities around the country, so we can carry out providing an opportunity for all kinds of disabled people to enjoy golf for competition, and the all important

Why not come and join us for a hearty full English breakfast and 18 holes of golf £100 per fourball Please contact the office on 02392 551170 to make your reservation

Stan Bembenek, CEO for DGA who lost a leg to bone cancer

19th hole. We only play at disabled friendly courses/facilities, going to clubs who are genuinely interested in what we do makes a world of difference. We will be running an order of merit with places up for grabs for Team England".

March Events: Friday 3rd March - Hurtmore, Surrey www.hurtmore-golf.co.uk Thursday 9th March - Mill Green, Herts www.millgreengolf.co.uk Friday 10th March - Bondhay, Notts www.bondhaygolfclub.com Thursday 16th March - Boysnope, Lancs www.boysnope-golfclub.co.uk Friday 17th March - Birchwood Park, Kent (BGL) www.birchwoodparkgc.co.uk Friday 24th March - Thornbury, Bristol (BGL) www.thornburygc.co.uk Thursday 30th March - Dyke, Sussex www.dykegolf.com

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FEBRUARY 2017

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

HAMPTWORTH GOLF CLUB www.hamptworthgolf.co.uk

T E E T I MWWW.121GOLFSHOP.COM ES J U LY 2 0 0 6

- 01794 329 344

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

L IS FOR LOVE AND LEVERS! The other way round

We play this game because we love it. Yet so many golfers could be loving it a lot more if they used their Levers correctly!

I hope some of you benefitted from last month’s article on bunker shots and are now approaching them with a great deal more confidence than before.

Many golfers will at some point during their golfing lives experience Loss of power along with that goes their decent ball strike. Losing distance and falling a little out of love with their games. Many don't address this and see it as just a blip. They struggle on and sometimes the strike, distance and as a result love returns.

I have had a few golfers contact me lately interested in improving their biomechanics. This is something I’m always keen to teach clients as, naturally, a golfer with adequate flexibility and control has a good chance of swinging well. However, on the flip side, being strong and flexible doesn’t guarantee success! The technique has to be good to capitalize on great biomechanics. Someone with good technique and poor body mechanics will always do better than a person with a great body and poor techniques.

Put it into this context, imagine skimming a stone across the sea, or at present an icy pond. But... you aren't allowed to hinge your wrist. Thinking about this we realise the first thing we would do is set our wrist with the pebble gently held in our hand. Without a wrist hinge we would throw ourselves into the pond trying to get enough speed up and there would be no stone skipping just a plop. In the golf swing the setting of the wrists and forming an L shape is super important if you want to hit your ball effortlessly straight, high and achieve some decent distance. With no wrist hinge in your backswing you begin to rely heavily on trying to manufacture power by thrashing and lunging at the ball. Your arm can collapse at the top as you fight to get to the top of a wrist hinge free backswing. You can lift and gain height causing a whole new issue. What you actually get with all this extra effort is a higher heart rate, handicap and less distance than ever. So here are a few hints you can practice indoors to perk up that hinge of yours and see that L for Love appear once again. Golfers grips can get a bit sloppy and the club begins to rest a little too much in the palm of the top hand. (Left hand for right-handers). This causes the wrist hinge and L shape to go into hiding and therein lies the problem.

Think thumbs up. You can practice this indoors in your golf posture, arms hanging down. No club needed but you could hold a marker pen or ruler. Or something that vaguely resembles a golf grip. Now start you backswing and hinge those wrist until your left arm is parallel to the ground. Your thumbs should be up and the ruler (club) at 90degrees to your arm. Creating an L shape. Junior clubs are ideal to practice in mirrors at home with. If you do sneak out to the range in your thermals then practice just hitting shots with that L shaped mini swing. You'll be amazed how far these shorter swings go, but also amazed that those short swings might not be as short as you think they are! Get a lesson or get a pal to video you to check the L is there!

Often a golfer will make very clever, subconscious compensations for his limitations during his swing and play very well. It may be disastrous for that same golfer, (in the short term anyway), to take away that limitation because suddenly the compensation that is making him play well is now making him play badly. In an old Tee Times article, I used my brother as an example of this. My brother did some great work with a chiropractor to improve the flexibility of his very restricted hips. Without realizing it, the new found flexibility changed his swing dramatically and his game went completely to rats! To give you some idea of how bad it got, with the flexible hips he shot a score in the high eighties in a competition that the previous year, with tight hips, he scored three under par. So, a word of warning, don’t think that stretching and strengthening will automatically improve your game. You have to know the pros and cons of what you are doing for it to have a beneficial outcome.

Check you are holding the club more in the fingers, hang your hands down, create gentle fists then fit the club into the channel made by your fingers.

We can get to the root cause of why you lose shots and get you LOVING golf more than you ever thought you could.

Having said that, exercise can be hugely beneficial. A good, corrective training programme can aid ball striking as well as prevent injury. Playing golf can reap havoc on the body. With its explosive nature and the kind of lop sided movement it employs, which is extremely repetitive, using the same muscles can result in massive muscle imbalances. These muscle imbalances can, in time, result in pain and poor performance.

Feels weird right? Practice in front of the tv on these dark evenings. It will soon feel more normal.

Email me katiedawkinsgolf@hotmail.co.uk Happy Valentines everyone - Katie x

If you aren’t a gym person but want to continue to play golf well for a long time. I recommend trying to keep the hips and

It would be a cracking idea to get your game in gear for the season. If you're serious about taking your game to the level you know you are capable of then contact me.

Golf Academy

upper back, (the part where the rib cage is), flexible. Not only can this help ball striking, it can reduce the risk of low back trouble, which afflicts many golfers. Try this simple exercise to help maintain body balance: Hit shots round the other way. In other words, if you play right handed, hit shots as if you are a left hander and vice versa if you are a left hander. A good practice would be to make some quite forceful practice swings the other way round, (20 or so), either at the end of the round or a practice session. This way you are using the opposite muscles to the ones you usually use. Studies show that actually hitting shots the other way round can increase club head speed when playing the right way round. So practicing this could produce a double whammy, helping both golf and the body! Martin Butcher

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB

Tee Times July06.indd 54


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FEBRUARY 2017

TEE TIMES 27

! OW S ! N IT EAR IN Y TH 17

Senior Men's 2017 Open Championship at Meon Valley Hotel & Country Club on Thursday 29th June 2017 Sponsored by

18 Hole Individual Stableford

Handicap – Full allowance off ‘Tee of the day’ – max. of 24 (25 Handicap and above may enter but will play off 24)

One of the South’s lead in and most so g after mainst rt ream comedians

• Live entertainment from Adger Brown • Extensive Prize Table • Entry ONLY £36 per player • Inclusive of coffee on arrival, buffet lunch and FREE use of the 9-hole Valley course (subject to availability on the day)

• Entrants must be 55 years of age or over on Thursday 29th June 2017

PLEASE SEND ALL ENTRIES TO: The Golf Secretary, Meon Valley Hotel & Country Club,Sandy Lane, Shedfield, Southampton, Hants, SO32 2HQ Telephone: 01329 836868 (Entries to be received no later than Monday June 1st 2017) Entry forms and other forthcoming events can be downloaded from www.golfempire.co.uk

E N T RY F O R M Please enter me for the

TEE TIMES SENIOR MEN’S 2017 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP at the Meon Valley Hotel & Country Club on Thursday 29th June 2017 Name:...………..………………………………………… Club:…………………………………………………. Tel No: …………………………………………. Address:…………………………………………………………………....…………………………....…………………………....…………………………....…..… …………………....………………..…………………………....………………..………………....…………………………....…………………………....………… ………………....…………………………...………………....…………………………....…………………………....………… Postcode:……………….……...… Email:…………...………….….………….………………………… Handicap: …………….......…. Age:.…………… Date of Birth:.……..……..……………… I enclose my £36 entry fee, Cheque made payable to: Marriott Meon Valley Hotel

Print Name:………………………….……………….…….......... Signed:..……………….………………………………… Date:………...……….………………


TT FEB 2017 Issue 189_Layout 1 19/01/2017 23:34 Page 28

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Tee Times Golf Magazine, February 2017