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ISSUE 176 JANUARY 2016 Tel: 01329 834360 Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com WISHING ALL TEE TIMES READERS A HAPPY NEW YEAR Bre Ran 1 akf ge 00 ast Ba Established 2001 On lls ly ÂŁ & 7.7 5 Golf Academy "where the best come to practise"

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INSIDE

Is this really the end for the greatest player of the era? IT was so, so sad to hear Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer of his era, apparently close the curtain on an illustrious career. In a forlorn tone, the former world number one says he has ‘nothing to look forward to’ in his current recovery from yet more back surgery. The 40-year-old 14-time Major winner had not swung a golf club since undergoing operations for a pinched nerve in September and October, and asked about his return he said: ‘I've no answer. Neither does my surgeon or physio. There's no timetable Bleak.

The sad plight of Tiger Woods

‘There's nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards.

He revealed in a bleak interview with Time magazine that he had spent most of his time playing video games, had not done any rehabilitation work on his back and that physical activities were limited.

‘It's different from the other surgeries I've had in the past. For nerves, there are really no timetables.I walk and I walk. I'm just walking, and that's it.’

I’ve no answer. I have nothing to look forward to.

HIS AFFAIRS: Tiger Woods: Spends most of his days playing video games

‘I'm still hoping I can get out here and compete against these guys. I really do miss it.’

The man who dominated the sport but whose last major victory was at the U.S. Open in 2008 missed the cut at three of the four Majors this year and played in only 11 events.

Woods has been named as one of United States captain Davis Love III's assistants for the 2016 Ryder Cup, but said he still hopes to make the team.

As he surveyed the future, Woods said: ‘For my 20 years out here I achieved a lot. I think pretty much everything beyond this will be gravy. If that's all it entails then I've had a pretty good run. But I'm hoping that's not it.

Rory McIlroy heard about this interview and supported Woods with a social media message: ‘Wishing my idol and friend a speedy recovery. Golf without him doesn't bear thinking about.

HOW TO SPEED UP GOLF SLOWCOACHES? - Page 4

Ferndown lady lands U.S. silverf - Page 14 SERGIO BACK TO WINNING WAYS - Page 18

Barbara, queen of the aces - Page 18

HIS GAME:

Where's the light at the end of the tunnel? I don't know.’

TEE TIMES 3

FAREWELL TO THE VOICE ON THE TEE

-Page 20

I will tell my children the real story. Daddy made mistakes..

Rory: Happy New Years to me. . . - Page 20

Hope to see you back on the course soon.’ Woods says he has a fantastic relationship with his former wife Elin Nordegren and will explain to his children the reasons for their divorce. The couple split in 2009 after he admitted to a number of affairs and their six-year marriage came to an end in 2010. They have two children, daughter Sam, eight, and son Charlie, six.

GARETH’S BALE’S GARDEN GOLF - Page 20

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

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GET A MOVE ON, FOLKS! Ideas to speed up golf:

• Shorter holes

KEVIN Brown of Sherborne Golf Club, Dorset, is again among twelve regional finalists from English golf clubs shortlisted for the title of the 2015 Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year. And this year he will make it a family affair.

• Lost-ball marshals • Four-hour rounds

For Kevin, who won the title last year, is joined in this year’s bid by his wife, Emma.

• Lighter rough

The couple, along with other South West representatives Amanda Goodyear of Looe Golf Club, Cornwall, and Fiona Snook of Wareham Golf Club, Dorset, will be judged on their level of commitment, innovation and standard of service and presentation.

GOLF’S governing body is poised to take drastic steps to speed up the sport. The huge chunk of time which some players take to complete a round – sometimes up to five hours – is putting people off golf. More and more people, particularly those with families, are disinclined to devote the better part of a day to the game. Moves to speed up play have come after more than 56,000 golfers from 127 countries took part in a survey on the state of the game carried out by the R&A between September 2014 and March of this year. The survey produced several suggestions for tackling the problem, including shorter holes and marshals helping to find lost balls in the amateur ranks. A recent conference at St Andrews addressed slow play across all levels of golf, and R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers says the pace of play is an important issue for golf as it attempts to boost its appeal. It was revealed that 24 slowcoaches have been penalised shots in the history of the European Tour, among them Seve Ballesteros, Jamie Donaldson and Nicolas Colsaerts. Around the circuit today, there are still several professionals who act differently if they know they are on the clock – and as soon as

Emma joins Kevin in title bid

officials turn their attention elsewhere, they slip back to their sluggish ways. Mr Slumbers said: ‘Time is a key issue and has been for a number of years. We want to come out with practical guidance that we can give to players and courses to really get on top of it.’ He believes some of the suggested measures could work straight away: ‘Maybe we need some marshals out on the course to help find balls. Maybe we need to play over shorter formats, nine-hole golf; playing off tees that are further forward, not cutting the rough as thick and deep as possible.’ Scottish golfer Alastair Forsyth, who has spent 15 years on the European Tour, feels

Even Seve Ballesteros was penalised shots for slow play

the R&A may have to consider "radical" measures to combat slow play: ‘Something has to be done because it's only going to get worse,’ he told BBC Scotland.

‘It's a serious issue in the game at the top level and at golf club level. We used to go round a golf course in a three-ball in three to three-and-a-half hours. It's now five hours; even club medals are taking fourand-a-half hours. ‘It's putting people off the game. I've been reading some stuff this week about saying, 'right, you've got four hours, if you're not round the course in four hours then you're not finishing your round'. A bit harsh, but is it going to take something like that to make people speed up?’

The competition is run jointly by England Golf and Fuller’s and aims to identify the golf club steward who provides the most welcoming and enjoyable experience at the 19th hole. Club members, visitors and golf club managers put forward nominations. Shortlisted stewards will all be visited personally before this year’s four regional winners are selected. The four finalists will all go forward to a Kevin Brown: Trying for celebration lunch early top steward again next year when the winner of the Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year will be announced. The winner will receive a weekend break in London, with accommodation for two nights in a Fuller’s Central London Hotel, and advertising space in the local press to promote their club.

Tiger: ‘No light at the end of the tunnel’ thought I could. And to have done this much, I never would have foreseen that.

• From Page 3 ‘I want it to come from me so that when they come of age, I'll just tell them the real story,’ said Woods.

‘I've taken the initiative with the kids and told them up front, “guys, the reason why we're not in the same house, why we don't live under the same roof is because daddy made some mistakes”. ‘I just want them to understand before they get to internet age and they log on to something or have their friends tell them something.’

‘With all my heart, I do not want to stop playing golf. It's not what I want to have happen, and it's not what I'm planning on having happen. Winning days and happier days: the classic Majorwinning Tiger and, right, with former wife Erin

He said of Elin: ‘The relationship that I have now with her is fantastic. She's one of my best friends. We're able to pick up the phone and we talk to each other all the time. We

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But if it does, it does. I've reconciled myself to it. both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then. I've had a good run. I've done a lot more in the game than I ever

‘It's more important for me to be with my kids. I don't know how I could live with myself not being able to participate in my kids' lives like that. That to me is special.’

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TEE TIMES 5



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DRIVE INTO THE FUTURE The scene is visible at many of the golf clubs in the land, it is Saturday morning and the golfers are assembling for the weekend game. The Michael Rees location of this meet is the car park at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire, a foursome is exchanging greetings but strangely there is not a golf club in sight. They are all going to drive, but on this autumn morning golf is not on the agenda, for they are meeting to test drive the new Tesla electric car, the Model S. When I was first invited to join and attend for the test drive, I could muster little enthusiasm, my image of electric cars was typified by the electric milk float or bread delivery van, a common sight not so many years ago; but I was to have a very rude awakening. First in the driving seat, in no time at all I was convinced that I was taking a drive into the future in the most advanced driving machine I have ever experienced. Test driving that stretches back many years, but never so dramatic as the first few minutes at the wheel of the Tesla Model S. I hope to be able to convey the magnitude of the advancement as I take you through the my first experience of an all electric car, but a very special one indeed. The console is unlike any other, a huge screen that is more reminiscent of a computer work station is central, but that is quickly out of attention as the automatic gears engage with not a sound, the power is instant and smooth, no delay whatsoever, the car was in sport mode, and the torque is instant, the combination of speed and silence make a combination that is eerie until you are accustomed to it, which takes very little time. My mentor then told me to select the other drive option, which is called “Insane” and you had better believe it, for that is exactly how it appears on the console. Hitting the accelerator whilst in Insane mode is simply incredible – wait for it- 0 to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, the fastest on the road, faster that a Maclaren F1, all the other top sports cars are not even on the same graph, Porsche, Ferrari, Maseratti or any conventional roadster, they have simply been blown away by the power of the Tesla machine. The dual electric motors one on each of the front and rear axles give staggering power and acceleration, and the instant you remove your foot from the accelerator, it starts to break, and for the record the motors are governed down to a limit of 150 mile per hour. That power is impressive but it does not end there, for the whole machine is computer controlled, you can set the speed, distance from the car ahead, it has automatic braking and safety. The next event was even more mind boggling, as we drove down the busy A49, my co-pilot and demonstrator touched

Tesla Model S

another button and told me to take my feet off the pedals and my hands off the wheel, the car was in autopilot and driving itself ! Zooming down a busy arterial road with trucks and traffic in both directions takes some getting used to, but the car continued completely under its own guidance. It does not just park itself, it drives itself, and can be even programmed with the ultimate destination. Impressed does not even start to convey the reactions of the other three experienced drivers in the car. A car which has re-defined the concept of motoring. The basic data amassed during the Question and Answer session gave the following facts:

Tesla Interior

Tesla Model S Electronics

Tesla Model S & X

Tesla Model S On charge

1. Acceleration 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The fastest production car ever made. 2. Range on a full charge 400 kilometres. 3. Charged with a simple three pin plug overnight at home. 4. Can be supercharged to 80% capacity in approximately 20 minutes. 5. Supercharging stations are shown on the computer screen to enable a long journey to be made, with programmed recharge points.

Roadster 2.5

6. Superb road holding, traction and manoeuvrability.

12. There is a limited colour range but wide enough for most tastes.

7. Dual motors giving comprehensive all wheel drive.

13. The cost starts at £60,000 and can rise to six figures for the top of the range highest specification.

8. A national supercharge station network stored on the computer. 9. Batteries have a ten year life and warranty.

14. The UK agent is based in Stockport and it is reported that sixty cars were ordered in the month of October.

10. As there is no engine or mechanical transmission there is huge storage capacity for luggage, and the rear well can comfortable accommodate two child seats making it a very stylish seven seater.

So who are the manufacturers, Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley, who set out to prove that electric cars could be better than gasoline powered cars.

11. The cars are all made in Freemont California and imported into Europe.

They produced vehicles with instant torque, incredible power and zero emissions. The

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Model S gives the comfort of a top quality saloon, great design and the performance of a sports car. In 2014 the CEO Elon Musk unveiled the new car to an invited audience in the USA and initiated the worlds transition to sustainable transport. The complete package. If you want to take a peek at the future, visit the website, look at Facebook and Twitter and see the various exposes about this remarkable advancement in automative history. I am convinced that I have been privileged to have driven the car of the future – today. For more information visit the website: www.teslamotors.com Or telephone 0161 250 5100

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TEE TIMES 7

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Beverly’s BIG Secrets

Hampshire Ladies Golf

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2015

– Beverly Huke By now I hope you will have had a very Happy Christmas and a fun New Year. ver the last few months I have been highlighting some excellent training aids – here’s the last one and I hope you have a little Christmas money left to spend on it!

O

To hole your putts you must, more than anything, be aligned correctly and have your putter face aimed accurately along your target line.

JCMW Champions 2015

Hampshire ladies encourage and promote the interests of women and girls amateur golf at all levels. 2015 has been another great year in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Here are some of the highlights:

The Golftargetmirror is an ingenious way of ensuring you get both spot on! Check it out on www.perfectmygolf.co.uk and hole more putts this year. Here’s wishing you all a prosperous and exciting golfing 2016. It is time for me to hang up my Teetimes golfing shoes and retire, so I would like to thank all my readers over the past year for reading my BIG Secrets, hopefully I taught you all a thing or two. - Bev

CAPTAINS DRIVE-IN MARRIOTT MEON VALLEY GOLF CLUB

South Region Junior County Champions - Hampshire’s junior girls were crowned the winners at this year’s junior county match week, held in August at Effingham GC in Surrey. Hampshire prevailed against equally strong teams from Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Middlesex to win not only the match week itself but also the Stableford Cup. Hampshire County Champion - Aimee Paterson was crowned Hampshire’s County Champion at this year’s Championship week, held at Meon Valley GC. Aimee plays her golf at Sherfield Oaks GC. Emma Allen - It’s been another great year for Emma from Meon Valley GC, who has recently been announced as one of four new players that will join the England women’s squad for the 2015/16 season. Emma was also part of the England team that won the girls’ Home Internationals for the eighth consecutive year.

Sue Eaton Ladies Captain, Bill Hughes Club Captain, Rick Quinton Seniors Captain, George Roberts Junior Captain

Members gathered for the Annual Captains' Drive-In on Sunday 15th November 2015 following mince pies and mulled wine for the Members in the Golf Academy. The proceeds of the drive-in Flags went to the Junior Section - nearest to the Captains

Jane Shergold - Led the charge by Hampshire in the English Women’s Par 3 Championship at Ampfield. Jane, who plays her golf at Blackmoor GC, won the individual championship with a net score of one-under par 53.

Jane Shergold England Par3 Champion

Gosport & Stokes Bay reach Mail on Sunday Finals - It’s been a fantastic year for Gosport & Stokes Bay. After winning the Stoneham Cup for the first time in the competition’s 101 year history. A few weeks later the team were celebrating again having earned a place in the grand finals of The Mail on Sunday Classic in Spain. The team went on to secure victory in the semi-finals and were runners up in a nail biting final match against Malton & Norton GC. Corhampton make it to St. Andrews Anna Jacobs and Anne Luetchford played some fantastic golf to reach the grand finals and come runners up in the Peugeot LGU Coronation Foursomes, held on the Eden Course at St. Andrews in September. Remember for all the latest news from HLCGA visit our website hampshireladiesgolf.co.uk or follow us on Facebook.

Drives. Following the Drive-in there was a 9 hole individual Stableford for members. A minutes silence was held for the victims of the Paris terrorist attack was called by the Club Captain. Bill Hughes, Club Captain

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GSB Mail on Sunday

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TEE TIMES 9







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

FOUR SEASONS SENIOR MEN’S OPEN at the Meon Valley Hotel & Country Club on Thursday 25th February 2016 Name:...………..………………………………………… Club:…………………………………………………. Tel No: …………………………………………. Address:…………………………………………………………………....…………………………....…………………………....…………………………....…..… …………………....………………..…………………………....………………..………………....…………………………....…………………………....………… ………………....…………………………...………………....…………………………....…………………………....………… Postcode:……………….……...… Email:…………...………….….………….………………………… Handicap: …………….......…. Age:.…………… Date of Birth:.……..……..……………… I enclose my £28 entry fee, Cheque made payable to: Marriott Meon Valley Hotel

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

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HAVE CLUBS WILL TRAVEL

Lisbon the historical capital of Portugal – the oldest ally of Great Britain, lies on the north bank of the River Tagus estuary; it is the most westerly capital on the continent of Europe. Steeped in history, stretching back more than 800 years, it has a wonderful sea faring heritage, it is referred to as the city of seven hills. By night it is transposed into a haven for revellers, boasting some of the best night life in Europe, alive till dawn.

ORIZONTE LISBON GOLF

Lisbon is also encompassed by some of the best golf courses in Europe, and on this occasion, for the first time it was to experience courses south of the River Tagus. There are two stunning road bridges crossing the river to the Costa Azul (the Blue Coast) peninsula, a world away from the bustling metropolis. The 25th April Bridge is likened to the Golden Gate Bridge in California, a stunning construction overlooked by one of Lisbons renowned landmarks, the Cristo Rei, a 260 feet high statue of Christ, similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. The second, the Vasco da Gama bridge is the longest bridge in Europe with a total length of 10.7 miles. The Costa Azul is a region renowned for a relaxed pace of life, blessed with natural environments which are home to wonderful golf courses. Our hosts were Orizonte Lisbon Golf, and we were fortunate for the duration of the trip to have the services of Jose Maria Cazal-Ribeiro, the club manager of Ribagolfe as a guide and tour organiser. An association that would yield an unexpected bonus for the visitors and a most enjoyable sporting occasion. Jose Maria is very well connected to Sporting Lisbon FC, where his father had been a club President, and his connections enabled us to attend the European Cup game between Sporting Lisbon and Skendersbreu at the Estadio Jose Alvalade. Enjoying first class seats in the stands after being regally wined and dined.

Ribagolfe 13th

Our itinerary would include playing three of the excellent golf courses in the region, Ribagolfe, Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club and finally Aroeira 1. A hectic programme to cover in three days, but one to be savoured. Ribagolfe was once described as the Valderrama of Portugal, a notation that is an injustice, for I believe that it is good enough to stand on its own well earned reputation. It is a superb test of golf in a unique natural setting, and it is a mere forty minutes form the centre of Lisbon. However golfers will find it more convenient to base themselves south of the river, where there are several coastal towns boasting excellent hotels; the towns of Caparica and Sesimbra are two prime

Ribagolfe 14th

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examples and both of which have an abundance of excellent restaurants in which seafood is a delicacy and a speciality. The port city of Setubal offers a wide variety of shopping for those not wishing to travel back to Lisbon. Ribagolfe is said to be millionaires golf, and with every justification, not a house to be seen and each hole an individual entity shielded from the view of others. It was designed by former Ryder Cup player Peter Townsend and European Golf Design. Presented with acres of virgin cork oak forest they carved out a wonderful golf course. A course that can be stretched to 7370 yards from the tiger tees, with narrow fairways, a boon for the accurate drivers with huge greens abundant with subtle borrows and of course well bunkered. It is no

surprise that the course has been selected to host the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009, ample recognition for this top quality layout. Plenty of holes to find space in the memory banks, the par 5 12th , where a combination of lake and sand make the final approach a real tester. The 14th a shortish par 4 with water hugging the left of the fairway and the 15th a par 3 over water and a defending bunker that offers some respite. Marking down pars on any of these holes is a cause for celebration. Ribagolfe has a second course simply called Ribagolfe 11, which although shorter we are told is no way inferior but perhaps a little more forgiving in the style of the designer another former |Ryder Cup player Michael King.

Ribagolfe 15th

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TEE TIMES 11

- PORTUGAL LISBON

Quinta do Peru was our second port of call, and once again the course proved to be a superb design, the work of renowned American architect and designer Rocky Roquemore. It has been regularly rated highly in the Top 100 Courses in Europe. The course was opened for play in 1994, it is a parkland layout which meanders through the verdant pines, with lots of subtle bunkering and greens that will test the best putters. The facilities at the club are of the highest order, with a 300 yard driving range which can be used from either end. The Pro shop is very well stocked and there is a restaurant and bar with a terrace on which to enjoy the sunshine, before or after the game. This is a venue that will satisfy the most discerning golfer, with thoughts of a return visit ere too long. Then it was back across the magnificent 25th April Bridge to Lisbon centre to sample European Cup football and city night life. After a late night following the football match, comfortable won by the home team 5-1, it was time to return across the river to play at Aroeira 1. This has been the subject of a six figure renovation schedule, and this iconic venue has leapt into the rankings of the Top 100 Courses in Europe, fully restoring this masterpiece which originally opened for play in 1953. Set in 350 acres of pine forest it has a micro climate that ensures year round golf in the best conditions. It is one of the prime courses in the Orizonte portfolio and was host to the Portuguese Open in both 1996 and 1997, and the work completed in the summer of 2014 has been a great success. Improvements have been made to fairways, greens, renovated cart paths and improved irrigation and watering across the two courses have paid dividends.

SOUTH OF THE TAGUS

Aroeira

The avenues of pines are reminiscent of Woburn, and it is a golfing delight, testimony to the original design of Frank Penninck it is no surprise that many high profile competitions including European Tour events have been played here. In the words of Jose Maria Cazal Ribeiro “Aroeira has been restored to a position among European elite courses and it is wonderful news and a total vindication for all the hard work put in by the team over the last eighteen months.” Orizonte Lisbon Golf offers the chance to play six of the leading courses all within close proximity to Lisbon the capital of Portugal. Offering exceptional value for a wide range of accommodation options and locations across the region. As well as the two courses at both Ribagolfe and Aroeira there are other venues available, at Santo Estevio, a course designed by Donald Steel

Aroeira

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and opened as recently as 2004, a course enhance by two lakes. There is also a nine hole course Oeiras, just ten minutes from the centre of Lisbon which is the perfect stocking filler if time is short one of the days. Throughout our visit we stayed at hotels in the Sana Group, firstly at Sesimbra right on the river front, a great location with an excellent restaurant. The “Degustation Menu” is simply amazing, a true gourmet delight. For the stay in Lisbon we stayed at the Hotel Sana Malhoa, very convenient for all part of this fascinating city, including the football stadium. Quality, convenience and great value, all the facets demanded for a first class trip. South of the River is the new slogan if you are looking for excellent uncrowded golf.

per person. Simply wonderful value with great golf and a range of first class accommodation and also includes teetimes at weekends at no extra cost. For those golfers travelling during the soccer season, there is the opportunity to make the visit more memorable by adding a visit to Estadio to see Sporting Lisbon. Contact Jose Maria to find out what is available for specific dates.

By far the best way to sample golf in this superb location is by having an Orizonte Lisbon Golf Passport, which can be for three rounds or five rounds which includes a choice from all six courses.

A new website has been commissioned and is now available including the facility to make real time bookings. For more information visit the website at www.orizontegolf.com or email info@orizontegolf.com or telephone on +351 212 134 320.

The cost for golf in the low season (January, February June July August and December) starts at £120.00 for a three round package and £142.00 for a five round package depending on the season, and prices inclusive of accommodation start at £170.00

As well as the booking facility the site includes a gallery of stunning photographs of the golf courses. However you make contact they will be pleased to hear from you. Michael Rees

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Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club

WHATS HOT OR NOT

in the World of Ladies Golf

Your Monthly Blog by

FOUNDED 1905

HOLE-IN-ONE ON THE 9TH

Claire Kane

PLAYING GOLF WITH A HANGOVER Congratulations to Steve Astley who was the first recipient of the a double magnum of Rioja Reserva for a hole-in-one on the ninth.

We’ve all done it, enjoyed a great night out with the girls and ended up over indulging by having one too many glasses of our favourite tipple. All hangovers are bad news but when you’re playing golf the next morning, you know it’s going to be a tough game, as golf and hangovers are not good companions. You can start the damage limitation by drinking lots of water to revive your parched mouth and dried-up bodily fluids. You can also raid the fridge for superfoods and whizz up a smoothie for breakfast or at least tuck into a dry piece of toast to settle your stomach. By the time you’ve reached the first tee, the pain killers you took earlier for that thumping headache should have kicked-in and you’ve probably convinced yourself a good dose of fresh air and a decent walk will do you good. With luck, your energy reserves will soon kick in and if you remember to pack a decent energy bar, you’ll avoid having to crawl up the 18th. However, if things are still looking grim then here are a few extra pointers to help you survive: • When you tee up, don’t be surprised if ‘the world moves’ as you bend over, so take it slowly • Don’t over swing with your driver, as your balance won’t be at its best and you could end up hitting the ground before your ball does

• Sun glasses are great at hiding blood shot eyes but bear in mind dark lenses and blurred vision (a consequence of low blood sugar) will be similar to playing in fog at dusk so don’t expect to find many balls

This hole is now kindly being sponsored by El Coto wines courtesy of Charles Wells and Cockburn and Campbell. Well done Steve. Terry Smith

HOLE IN ONE AT THE 17TH AT TPC SAWGRASS – WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

• Your hand-eye co-ordination could be suspect so don’t be surprised if you set a record for slicing, topping or shanking • Your ability to count shots and record scores accurately will be sketchy as your befuddled brain struggles to multi-task, so whatever you do, don’t volunteer to score for the group • Don’t rely on muscle memory as your dehydrated body will struggle to even find your muscles let alone remember what they’ve done • If things are looking bad, remember it could be worse as you could be playing a medal competition! One consolation of a hangover is you’re very unlikely to start overthinking on the course as your foggy brain will be totally focused on survival rather than your golfing technique.

© Claire Kane Follow my tales on twitter @golfsnippets

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The Chaka Travel golf challenge at the 2nd annual Irish Golf Expo (November 28/29) could not have been harder (or so it would seem). The task was to get a Hole-in-One on the iconic 137 yard 17th at Sawgrass, the competition was entered by over 500 golfers and the prize was an incredible 5 night stay at the 5* Costa Navarino in Greece which boasts 5* accommodation and two championship courses – designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr and Bernard Langer. Colin Hassard from Banbridge, Northern Ireland with a handicap of 26 stepped up to the tee at the ‘Greens on Screens’ arena at this year’s event, he put his head down and produced what only can be described as the shot of his life! The ball landed 5 yards on

the green and ran straight into the hole. Mr Hassard who has only been golfing for less than a year was ecstatic at the thought of travelling to Greece to stay and play at one of the continents great golf escapes. “I can’t believe it, I never win anything! We had to review the footage and really could not get over the shot!”. He won a stay for two people at the Costa Navarino resort. Chaka Travel Marketing Manager Tim Ferris expressed his delight for the winner: “Congratulations to Colin, It’s great to see competitions actually being won, we’re delighted to offer Colin a stay at Costa Navarino including golf. This area of Greece is proving to be very popular, with its mix of great hospitality, facilities and championship golf courses it’s an easy recommendation!”

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Alresford Golf Club

TEE TIMES 13

fro 2 m m Jc iles t2 M 27

JANUARY 2016

WELLOW GOLF CLUB FULL 27 HOLE COURSE Ryedown Lane, East Wellow, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 6BD

‘enjoyable golf and a great deal more’

www.wellowgolfclub.co.uk

MIXED GOLF AND COFFEE MORNING ALRESFORD IS WINTER GOLF AT ITS BEST! PACKAGE 1 Coffee & Bacon Roll on arrival 18 holes of Golf £29 PER PERSON

PACKAGE 2 Coffee & Biscuits on arrival, 18 holes of Golf, Soup & Sandwiches after Golf £31 PER PERSON

PACKAGE 3 Full English Breakfast on arrival 18 holes of Golf £32 PER PERSON

Advanced bookings Only, minimum of 8 players for any of these packages. Offers valid from November 2015 – end of February 2016 Not available over Christmas and New Year periods

Monday 18th April 2016 Come and enjoy a day out with your friends

£30 per pair for 18 Holes of Golf

DO NOT LET WET WEATHER RUIN YOUR GOLF THIS WINTER.

(Coffee and Danish on arrival)

Come and join us as a member, or just come and play on the best free draining course in the area.

Cheriton Road, Tichborne Down, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 0PN Tel : 01962 733746 Email:secretary@alresfordgolf.co.uk

www.alresfordgolf.co.uk

Creigiau Golf Club

SOCIETY RATES 2016

ON NLLYY O

£397

per includes person & bacon 2 course mea l baguette on arriv & coffee al

per pers on

Easy walking beautiful parkland course just 5 minutes from junction 34 of the M4

Creigiau Golf Club is Wales’ best kept secret and your captain or organiser goes FREE

Glo Abrahams c/o Wellow Golf Club, Ryedown Lane, East Wellow, Romsey, SO51 6BD Glo.abs@hotmail.co.uk Tel: 023 8184 5816 / 07979 503741

CHECK THIS OUT includes Complimentary Creigiau 4 Ball Voucher (value £150) to raffle for charity or give as prize on day

How Much Does It Cost?

WELLOW GOLF CLUB MIXED COFFEE MORNING ENTRY FORM Monday 18th April 2016

• £26 for 12 players or less

Club

• £25 for 13 - 40 players

1. Name

• £24 for 41 players or more Add on: Bacon Baguette & Coffee £3.50 Meal: (choose one) 1 course £7.50 2 courses £9.50 3 courses £11.50

E: creigiaugolfclub@btconnect.com www.creigiaugolfclub.co.uk

To pre-book your Tee Times please send S.A.E. and cheque made payable to ‘Wellow Golf Club Ladies Section’ to:

Further Information:

Tel: 02920 890263

Golf Academy

Tel No.

Email:

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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Bronte and Hayley win England’s silver A SUPERB closing 62 from Bronte Law and Ferndown’s Hayley Davis won the women’s silver medal for England at the Spirit International Amateur Championship in the USA.

They finished on 17-under for the 54-hole event at Whispering Pines in Texas, four behind the champions, Mexico, and two ahead of Finland, Spain, Sweden and Japan, who all tied third.

Davis and Law are both students at US universities – Baylor and UCLA, respectively. Law (above, image © Leaderboard Photography) is the reigning English amateur champion, while Davis has

JERSEY golfer Olivia Jordan-Higgins says she will not give up on her dream of competing on the LPGA tour. The 27-year-old currently plays on the Symetra tour in the USA, with the top 10 each year earning an LPGA card. She finished a career-worst 55th on the money list this year, but says she feels refreshed after changing coaches. ‘With the way I'm feeling mentally and confidence-wise I don't see myself giving up until I achieve my dream of being on the LPGA tour,’ she said.

Their betterball score of 10-under par was the low round of the tournament and moved them up five places and into the medals.

Davis (Ferndown) started with a birdie on the first hole and Law (Bramhall) signed off with one on the 18th. They had a total of 12 birdies in the round, doubling up on the 10th and 11th.

Olivia hangs on to her dream

Bronte Law

Ferndown’s Hayley Davis

previously held the title, and both are England and GB&I internationals.

The overall team score was 28-under and they tied fifth with Sweden.

Their score also helped England into a share of fifth place on the mixed international leaderboard. The men’s team of Scott Gregory (Corhampton) and Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) were 13th in their event on 11-under par.

The Spirit International is a world class amateur golf event featuring 20 countries from six continents. It is played every other year, alternating with the World Amateur Team Championship and England won the international team event in 2007 and 2005.

UNMATCHED BRIAN TOPS A FIELD OF 18 SURREY-based Burhill Golf Club, one of ten U.K. BGL Golf venues, was host to The Disabled Golf Association’s recent end of season final, with nine handicapper Brian White taking home the annual spoils.

Having qualified from Ramsdale Park in August, Brian put together what would turn out to be an unmatched score of 39 stableford points and prove good enough to take home 1st place.

With handicaps ranging from seven to 36, 18 golfers from around the country descended upon Burhill’s New Course to battle it out for the right to be called 2015 DGA Race to Burhill Champion.

Another standout performance on the day was that of exprofessional caddie and seven handicapper Ashley Harris who compiled 37 points, having qualified from Wycombe Heights in September.

Jordan-Higgins says lack of money would be the only reason for her to quit, which was something she considered before finishing second in an event in Kansas. She told BBC Radio Jersey: ‘For the last few years I've been pretty much able to support myself. I'm not making too much of a profit, but I'm making enough that I can keep playing and keep trying. But this year was one of those where the decision was almost made for me as I was essentially out of money. There's no question that I can finish inside the top 10, I've been close for four out of the five years.’

More R&A ladies MARLENE Stewart Streit and American Judy Bell are the latest women to become honorary members of the Royal and Ancient. Canadian Stewart Streit, 81, is the only player to win the British, Canadian, U.S. and Australian women's amateur titles. Bell, 79, was a Curtis Cup captain.

Command performance seals senior crown at eighth time of trying DEVON finished a creditable second but a command performance by Berks, Bucks and Oxon saw them claim their first win in the English Senior Men’s County Championship at Robin Hood Golf Club, Solihull.

They laid the foundations of victory with a clean sweep in the morning foursomes. They took early control of the bottom two matches thanks to Ashley Brewer and David Cromie (winning 5/3) and Malcolm Reid and George Wilson (3/2).

BB&O swept past Yorkshire 7½-1½ to take the title in considerable style, with team captain Ashley Brewer scoring the winning point.

The final game involved three senior internationals – David Niven and Andrew Stracey for BB&O, Stephen East for Yorkshire – and went to the 18th before BB&O secured a two-up win with a par four.

‘This is the holy grail of senior golf,’ said Brewer, whose team was making their first appearance at County Finals – and were determined to grasp the opportunity. ‘BB&O have been trying to win this ever since it started, but there are stronger counties in the South East and we have been second seven times in qualifying. To have finally got past our nemesis, Kent, by 22 shots in qualifying was our chance.’ At the start of today’s play BB&O, Yorkshire and Devon were all in with a chance of

The winning BB&O team with their trophy (Image © Leaderboard Photography)

winning the title, but the eventual champions started as favourites, knowing that a halved match or better would give them victory. Their result gave them a perfect score of three wins from three matches, the maximum six points, and put them out of the reach of their rivals.

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The team carried the momentum into the singles and at the halfway stage a whitewash was very much on the cards. However Stephen East and Ian Clarke saved Yorkshire’s blushes when they respectively won and halved their games. But the progress of the other matches was relentlessly in BB&O’s favour. George Wilson led the way, steadily increasing his early lead

and scoring the team’s first point by the hefty margin of 7/5. Immediately behind him was Brewer who was quickly three up and then won the 10th, 11th and 12th to go six up. A steady par on the 13th gave him a 6/5 win and secured the title. His team were far from finished. Malcolm Reid won on the 14th, Andrew Stracey claimed his point on the 16th and David Niven birdied the 16th to get back on level terms and went on to halve his game. In the day’s other match, Devon beat Worcestershire 6-3 and finished the event as runners-up. Devon were always the outsiders to take the title. They needed results to all fall their way - and to win all nine of their games. Neither happened, but they put up a great fight, winning all three foursomes and going on to take three of the six singles.

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V V

      

     V

Knighton Heath Golf Club, Bournemouth

Our much improved genuine heath land course, situated on 90 acres of high ground beside Canford Heath, is a great place to play golf. Book your next golf society outing at Knighton Heath Golf Club and get all of this for a remarkable price. 18 holes + coffee & bacon roll on arrival - ÂŁ26pp 18 holes + coffee & bacon bap on arrival, 1 course meal with coffee & mints - ÂŁ ÂŁ35pp 18 holes + coffee & bacon bap on arrival, 2 course meal with coffee & mints - ÂŁ 38pp

For more information please contact the General Manager, Reunert Bauser, on 01202 572633 or email him at manager@khgc.co.uk. Knighton Heath Golf Club, Francis Avenue, Bournemouth BH11 8NX www.khgc.co.uk

TEE TIMES 15

GOLF CLUBS AND DRIVING RANGES

JB Corrie & Co Ltd Frenchmans Road Petersfield Hampshire GU32 3AP 01730 237100 info@jbcorrie.co.uk www.jbcorrie.co.uk

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LECKFORD GOLF CLUB T Leckford Golf Club is set in the charismatic village of the same name, sited overlooking the River Test, the river world famous for the quality of the trout fishing. The golf club is unique in many respects, comprising two distinct nine hole courses, each of which was designed by the most influential course architect of their age. In the Edwardian era, Harry Colt was supreme, and in the modern Elizabethan age Donald Steel reigned, and the work of both is captured in the two courses at Leckford. The Estate and the golf club is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, it is operated primarily for the use of partners, their families and guests. The Old Course was opened in the 1930’s, and it has remained much as Colt designed it. It is recognised as one of the finest and most challenging nine hole courses in the country, and fully justifies the description of being “a hidden gem”. The New Course, is modern and creates the ideal complement to the Old, and the terrain of both is ideal, flint based chalk downland, with perfect drainage and excellent turf growing characteristics. This means that the course is playable all the year round, and only snow or very severe frost close them for play.

There is no pay and play option at the club, but visitors can play the course as members of golf societies, who are welcomed at the club. Many are regular visitors, returning each year to enjoy the challenge of the Leckford courses. A minimum number of eight players is required to book one of the society packages. The commitment to best ecological and environmental preservation is strong, two of the seven designated reserves around the estate are on the golf course and considerable effort is put into downland restoration to the benefit of flora and fauna. John Spedan Lewis was an enthusiastic naturalist, and created a Trust for the Advancement of Natural Sciences. Staff from the Trust provide assistance in the management and planning of work on the golf courses. THE OLD COURSE The Old Course is laid out on chalky downland, and climbs up the valley, toward a high down plateau, which has three very good par fours before returning down to the clubhouse. The first two holes are unusual, as both are par fives. It was a maxim of Colt that the first hole should not have too much difficulty, but I’m not certain he applied that principle in this case. Bunkers await the opening drive, both right and left, and the fairway is flanked by a magnificent stand of beech trees, that continue almost to the green. The third is a striking hole, a classic par 3, the green is elevated, and well contoured and bunkered, my research was rewarded with the names of two of the bunkers, the one below the bank at the right

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corner was called “Underestimate” and the one above the green was “The Chairmans Office”, nomenclatures that sadly seem to have gone out of usage. The run of par fours, varying in length from 331 yards to 400 yards, are all good two shotters, with greens that need great care if three putting is not to be on the agenda. It is a feature of the course that Colt used “key” bunkering. The fifth has a bunker situated on the approach line just short of the green, so careful club selection is demanded The finishing two holes are regular favourites, the 8th from an elevated tee to a hole running parallel to the first, with the beeches standing sentry on the right, and having a magnetic pull down the sloping fairway. The green is long and narrow and well bunkered, sitting tightly into the hillside, it will be a wellearned par here. The finishing hole is a par three, back to the clubhouse. A downhill shot to a large but very well bunkered green, with the cosy little clubhouse looking down on it, and the beautiful thatched cottage sat majestically behind it, a superb picture and a tough finishing hole. A demanding standard scratch of 72, when the course is played twice, and a double treat to play, kept in very fine condition by course Manager Daniel Robinson and his team. THE NEW COURSE The New Course is a little way down the road from the Old Course, nearer to the centre of the village. It is set high on the flint based downland plateau, in forty five acres and

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B THE 2016 EXPERIENCE overlooks the Old Course and the River Test which is visible from the lower parts of the course. The scenery is spectacular in every direction, and on a sunny spring day, it would be impossible not to spend a few moments just gazing in admiration. Once again it is nine holes, but more suited to the less experienced golfer, with three par threes and six par fours. It is the ideal layout for sharpening the short game, for good driving will leave short iron approaches to smallish greens, with many subtle undulations to test the putter. It has changed from the initial design created by Donald Steel, the addition of eighteen bunkers and an ornamental pool has made it a sporting challenge, and the perfect complement to the Old Course. For those wishing to play more than eighteen holes, this course will make the day complete, good shot-making will yield a good card. For those wanting a less strenuous day, it will offer enough to test the short game and the putter. Like it’s older sibling, it is kept in fine order throughout the year, and the terrain makes it eminently playable whatever the weather.

MEMBERSHIP Membership of the club brings all the customary benefits of a private golf club, and members enjoy complete flexibility being able to play without the need to book tee times. There is a large practice ground, complete with distance markers, a practice green and bunker.

For a fixed fee, organisers can have the use of both golf courses, use of all the facilities at the club, including the kitchens and equipment. The club can arrange for the catering to be provided, but use of the kitchen provides total flexibility for catering options, and there is ample space for an al fresco barbecue.

The competitions calendar is extensive and there is also a regular “roll up” which enables new members to be easily integrated.

The staff at the club provide the professional touch, setting up long drive contests, nearest

the pin, sweepstakes, recording scores and prize giving. Leaving everyone else to savour the golf courses, playing as much as desired, and most of all allowing the charity to benefit to the maximum. For all enquires please contact Daniel Robinson Tel: 07860 719 184 Email: golf@leckfordestate.co.uk www.leckfordgolfcourse.co.uk

Membership is currently full but new applicants join the waiting list and are offered the opportunity to join as soon as a vacancy occurs. There are Junior memberships available at the present time. CHARITY EVENTS Charity Golf Days have been a part of the golfing scene for many years, from the huge national events in aid of Cancer Research, Children, Heart organisations and more recently Injured Servicemen, to more modest but equally important ventures in aid of local charities, which can so easily be overlooked. Leckford Golf Club has been proactive in offering excellent value to charitable causes, particularly those with a local connection, contributing to highly successful fund raising.

EXPERIENCE ONE OF HAMPSHIRE’S BEST KEPT SECRETS!

THE LECKFORD GOLF COURSES The perfect venue for your society day this summer (Minimum 8 golfers)

A FULL DAYS GOLF FOR ONLY £20 PER PERSON Designed by Harry Colt, The Old Course at Leckford was established in 1934 and is set in the heart of the Test Valley. The 6258 yard, Par 72 has long been regarded as one of the finest 9 hole courses in the UK. The New Course, designed by Donald Steel benefits from its own unique charm, with fantastic views of the Test Valley. Society days at Leckford are available Monday – Friday and entitle you to play either or both courses all day with timings to suit yourselves, as we have a limit of one society a day.

TAILOR YOUR DAY We aim to make your day as enjoyable as possible so below are a number of additional options that can be built into a package. Bacon/sausage baps or pastries on arrival • Lunch at the Waitrose Farm Shop Kitchen Hire: Bring your own buffet! • Buggy hire Please feel free to give us a call to discuss your requirements or to arrange to come and view the courses

Email: golf@leckfordestate.co.uk Tel: 07860 719184 www.leckfordgolfcourse.co.uk

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JANUARY 2016

Sergio blasts back into the winner’s spot IT WAS rather odd to hear Sergio Garcia, at one time the brash and charismatic young man of golf, talking about needing more confidence – especially after just winning a tour event. But that’s what the 35-year-old Spaniard was doing after landing his first title in two years with success in a four-way play-off at the Ho Tram Open in Vietnam. And, typical of Garcia, he won £178,000 at the Asian Tour event despite a touch of drama, losing a two-shot lead when he doublebogeyed the 17th. ‘I haven't won in a while and I was fortunate to get a second chance after I had given it away,’ Garcia said. Garcia has had 20 top-10 finishes in Majors without winning one. His previous tournament success was at the Qatar Masters in 2014, six years after his 2008 triumph at the so-called ‘fifth Major’, the Players Championship. At one time talked about as the new Seve Ballesteros, Garcia has been a passionate Ryder Cup star, and a genuine crowd-puller with his outrageously ambitious shot-making and occasional fiery outbursts. (He also famously overcame one of the worst cases of the yips ever seen in professional golf).

• CELTIC Manor Resort Chief Executive Ian Edwards has been named European Hotelier of the Year 2015 at the European Hospitality Awards.

Mr Edwards said: ‘I am very proud to receive this award but I recognise that I accept it in on behalf of every one of the fantastic team I am fortunate to lead at Celtic Manor.’

Seven up: Barbara Langdale

ACCORDING to American golf mathematician Francis Scheid (1920-2011), if a lowhandicapper plays 1,000 rounds in their lifetime, they have a 20 per cent chance of making at least one hole-in-one. But 18-handicapper Barbara Langdale, from Reading, has defied both Scheid and the odds an amazing seven times, with her latest ace also winning her a limited-edition BOSS watch. Barbara, 71, achieved her most recent hole-in-one on the 94-yard, par-three fourth at Hennerton GC. She said: ‘I didn't think it had gone in - I thought I'd hit it through to the back - and actually walked on to the green with my eight-iron and putter, thinking I'd have to chip it back on.’

Philip and Kevin at the double Somehow it wouldn’t be Sergio without a few predicaments to be overcome during a round: the Spaniard digging his way out of trouble in Vietnam

Garcia’s highest world ranking was No 2 in 2008 and, while quietly plying his trade around the world, has done enough to remain just outside the top 10 by two places. Garcia added: ‘After you've been up there and don't win, a lot of things go through your mind. This win will help give me a little bit more confidence.’

THE elusive hole-in-one is rare, but two Stockton-on-Tees golfers made their own luck recently after each aced Eaglescliffe's 13th hole during the same Stableford competition. Philip Moore, 31, and Kevin Donald, 47, pictured right, are both members at Eaglescliffe GC, and each holed his tee shot on the 179-yard, par-three hole. The double ace came during a midweek Stableford competition. Moore, a production technician, was first to hit the target, achieving the feat with his eight-

GOLF NEWS ROUND-UP He was joined on seven under by Scott, who shot a superb six-under 65.

Mr Edwards was the only shortlisted UK hotelier and faced competition from eight other leading managers from prestigious continental hotels like Le Bristol in Paris, Munich’s Charles Hotel and Rome’s Hotel Splendide Royale. The award was judged over a period when Mr Edwards led Celtic Manor’s successful staging of the 2014 NATO Summit. He also oversaw the development of detailed plans for a new Wales International Convention Centre, which secured full planning permission during the summer, and presided over another record year of growth at the five-star resort in South Wales.

ACE QUEEN BARBARA DEFIES THE ODDS

But the round of the day came from another Australian, Rod Pampling, who made a 60foot eagle putt on the 18th green for a course record 10-under 61 to earn him a fourth-place finish on six-under.

Celtic Manor: Top award for Chief Executive Ian Edwards

• Matt Jones held off a challenge from world number one Jordan Spieth and fellow Australian Adam Scott to win the Australian Open by a shot. Jones, who led by three strokes heading into Sunday, dropped three shots in his first two holes and triple-bogeyed the ninth but rallied to end eight under. American Spieth, who missed an eagle putt on the last to force a play-off, carded a 71 to finish joint second.

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• Luke Donald will host the 2016 British Masters at The Grove in his home county of Hertfordshire. The Hemel Hempstead-born 37-year-old succeeds fellow Briton Ian Poulter, who hosted the 2015 event at Woburn.

iron. The seven-handicapper, who has been playing golf for 31 years, said: ‘I hit a perfectly struck shot which landed on the front of the green and rolled towards the back-right flag.’

• England's Andy Sullivan has been tipped by Rory McIlroy as an asset to the European team if he qualifies to make his Ryder Cup debut next year. Sullivan finished second to McIlroy at the European Tour's season-closing World Tour Championship, to collect the biggest pay cheque of his career. The 28-year-old from Nuneaton is now third on the European points list.

‘I know one of his goals next year is to make the Ryder Cup team and he'd be a huge asset to Europe,’ said McIlroy.‘Andy is some player. I said at the start of the year when we played together in Dubai how fantastic he was. He's got all the shots.’

This year's tournament was the first since 2008 and was won by Sheffield's Matthew Fitzpatrick.

• The United States beat the International team 15½-14½ to win the Presidents Cup for the sixth time in a row and ninth time in 11 contests.

The Grove has only ever held a European Tour event once before in its history when Tiger Woods won a World Golf Championship tournament in 2006.

The US held a one-point lead going into the final day's 12 singles matches and maintained that advantage at the Jack Nicklaus Club in Incheon, South Korea.

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TEE TIMES 19

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ROBSON ‘OFF THE TEE’ AFTER 41 YEARS THE final day of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates provided a fitting stage for one of the game’s best loved figures to take his final bow as Ivor Robson, the ‘Voice of Golf’, retired after 41 years as Official Starter to The European Tour and The Open Championship.

professional with it. I’ve been out on the tee all this time and the banter we’ve had is just unbelievable – they’re a great bunch of guys. I’m going to miss it, everything about it. Just being part of a team – a very successful team to help keep the events running smoothly.

A career that began at Carnoustie in 1975 and has seen the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods welcomed onto the first tee in inimitable fashion, finally came to an end when Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan took their tee shots to begin round four of The European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai.

‘There have been a number of highlights – I’ve announced all the greats: Nicklaus, Palmer, Player. Bobby Locke, Sam Snead, Roberto De Vincenzo – all these players I’ve announced, it’s amazing isn’t it. You can’t help but mention the great Seve of course – without him we wouldn’t be in as fortunate position on The European Tour as we are today because he did so much for golf.”

‘It’s just been wonderful, you don’t realise that the years go by so quickly,’ said Ivor, who was presented with a plaque by European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley, Chairman David Williams and Chief Operating Officer Keith Waters.

Ivor Robson: A familiar face and voice on the tee

Henrik Stenson and a group of players gathered to witness the historic farewell and gave him a specially commissioned oil painting by local artist Mark Robinson.

‘These guys are just super, they’re a credit to the game,’ said Ivor, ‘and you mustn’t forget the caddies either – they could all do their own TV programmes, they’re just naturally funny, but

Happy New Years to me, says Rory

RORY McIlroy has learned two important lessons in the year just gone.

One, he cannot afford to take his foot off the gas if he is to regain and keep his prime spot with hungry rivals snapping at his heels.

Two, he cannot afford to play football with his mates and wreck half the coming season. The next 10 or 15 years are, as he puts it, ‘my time’.

‘Tagging along with that, you know, this is my time to capitalise on my career. The next 10, 15 years is my time.

Rory McIlroy: ‘I really can’t be doing silly things’

After collecting his third Race to Dubai crown in four years, the Northern Irishman took stock of 2015, in which he won four times but failed to add to his four Majors.

Jordan Spieth and Jason Day filled the vacuum left by the misfortune, surging past McIlroy in the world rankings.

His ankle injury in July, incurred playing football with mates, cost him the chance of defending his Open Championship at St Andrews and effectively ended his hopes of claiming a third PGA title in August.

‘You definitely can't be complacent,’ McIlroy told BBC Sport. ‘I had a big lead in the world rankings and you see Jordan and Jason play the way they did. Fields are so deep, you can't let up at all.

‘I really can't be doing silly things like playing football in the middle of the season to jeopardise even six months of my career. It's a big chunk where I could make some hay and win a major or two. ‘I won't be making those mistakes again this year. I'm not sending a message to anyone. I have certain objectives throughout the year and it doesn't matter who it is, I just want to play the best golf possible. I know if I do play to my best, or close to my best, I am able to win big tournaments.’

What does he plan to do now with a good deal more free time?

‘I’m going to have a gap year!’ he declared.

First win in 96 events • SWEDE Kristoffer Brober g, playing in his 96th Europe an Tour event, won his maiden Eur opean Tour title with a play-off vic tory at the BMW Masters in Shangh ai. The 29-year-old world number 149 birdied the first extra hole to defeat American Patrick Reed after both finished at 17-under. Hampsh ire’s Justin Rose was fourth after six birdies in a 67. • American golfer Brian Har man, 28-year-old world number 78, made two holes-in-one in his final round at The Barclays, wh ich was won by Jason Day Harman aced the par-three thir d hole and the par-three 14th at the Plainfield Country Club, New Jersey. He said: ‘It's pretty crazy to pla ya hundred-some-odd tourname nts and never have one, but to have two in the same tournament is pretty awe some.’

Gareth’s back-garden dream GARETH Bale has decided that his back garden needs a little something more than some bushes and a few pretty flowers. The former Spurs and now Real Madrid star is building a three-hole golf course at his home in the Vale of Glamorgan. And this is not your average pitch-and-putt course either: it will feature full-size holes modelled on three of the most iconic in the world of golf: the Postage Stamp at Troon, the 11th from Amen Corner at Augusta, and the 17th at Sawgrass.

Bale, who became the most expensive footballer of all time when he joined the Real for £85.3 million in 2013, plays off six. ‘I try to play as much golf as possible,’ he said. ‘In fact, I’m obsessed with it. I’ve not really thought about what I’ll be doing in 20 years when I’m retired from football, but, hopefully, I will be playing golf.’ Wales Online reported that Bale is even considering hiring a full-time greenkeeper to make sure his mini super course stays in perfect condition.

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The famed 17th at Sawgrass: Gareth Bale will have one like it in his back garden

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Algarve’s best kept secret Monte Rei Golf and Country Club

olfers who come to the Algarve to spend a few pleasant days playing their favourite sport are spoilt for choice. There are so many good quality courses to choose from yet most head straight for the west side of Faro, where many of better known courses can be found, and surprisingly very few head east. Yet within a 90 minute drive from Faro is one of Algarve’s most prestigious golf clubs, the Monte Rei Golf and Country club that boasts two superb courses. The club is set in the picturesque foothills of the Sera do Caldeirao mountain range a few miles from the Spanish border to the north and has views stretching as far as the shimmering Atlantic to the south. This extremely pretty verdant region of the Algarve contrasts strongly with the arid and frankly rather flat scenery mostly found to the west.

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It was late October when I arrived in Faro for a weekend golf break , and for this short trip had opted to hire clubs from Club to Hire at Faro airport, which proved to be far cheaper than paying the extra cost of bringing them with me. No sooner had I walked through customs to the busy Arrivals Hall at Faro airport when I immediately spied Monte Rei’s driver holding up a small board with my name emblazoned on it. I quickly collected my pre-ordered clubs from the Clubs to Hire shop opposite and in no time was on my way to the Monte Rei in their smart logoed people carrier Mercedes. After about an hour an half’s drive we arrived at the spacious and palatial Monte Rei clubhouse where the club’s manager Salvador de Lucerna was there to greet me with a refreshing glass of champagne while registration forms were duly completed and photocopies taken of my passport. My golf bag was whisked off by the club’s valet and I was chauffeur driven in golf buggy to the large luxury villa about a five minute drive away and my home for next few

days. My villa had to be seen to be believed, all bedrooms had ensuite bathrooms and the huge Master bedroom where I installed myself had a large private wraparound terrace with stunning views of the surrounding golf course and from where the shimmering Atlantic could be seen.

comes into play on both the eleventh and eighteenth holes, and it also features an enjoyable series of eight par 4’s and five par 5’s all in challenging but very distinctive layouts.

That evening our group met up at the popular Veranda, a bar and small restaurant next to a large swimming pool and conveniently within walking distance of my villa. Here we were introduced to the head pro and other members of staff, given our tee times for the next couple of day and various explanations and descriptions of the course’s many renowned idiosyncrasies.

Each hole is designed to effortlessly blend into the natural contours of the local area. Fairways and greens are bordered by several lakes, indigenous plants and native grasses, trees have been added around the course to create a unique and tranquil golfing experience which although very challenging in places is a joy to play.

An enjoyable dinner followed, the food was delicious and ambience amusing and the many jokes that passed round the table had me in fits of laughter. The course we played first was the Jack Nicklaus highly-acclaimed par 72 ‘signature’ Monte Rei North course, which first opened for play in June 2007. As courses go this is truly a masterpiece for all golf enthusiasts. Water

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Now voted as Portugal’s number one ranked course, it is in my opinion a gem to play.

Monte Rei is also one of those rare courses with intervals between teeing off times considerably longer than normal practice which allows golfers to enjoy their game free from pressure and another reason why I Monte Rei comes highly recommended. By all accounts it is something of a special golf experience, particularly for those looking for an opportunity to play a relaxing game of golf on one of the Algarve’s best courses.

The clubhouse’s large sunny terrace is adjacent to an attractive bar and restaurant where most golfers congregate for a refreshing cool beer or a typical Iberian meal. This is where we would breakfast each morning and on a couple of occasions experienced a delightful if not romantic gourmet dinner. Next time you come to the Algarve for a few rounds of golf and are looking for a new golf experience, take my advice and turn left rather than right and head for the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club - I am sure it will be prove to be one of those unforgettable golf experiences. April Tod Fact File Faro airport is served by several airlines, Easyjet, Monarch and British Airways to name but a few. This time I flew EasyJet from Gatwick airport. Monte Rei Golf and Country Club www.montrei.com Club Hire www.clubstohire.com

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Club Team 1970

Lord Mountbatten Prize Presenttation

ROMSEY GO HUMBLE BEGINNINGS • The year was 1900, the start of a new century, already the nation had enjoyed sixty three years of the reign of Queen Victoria, Empress of India, and ruler of the greatest empire the world had seen. A time when Britain was truly Great Britain, the most powerful trading nation in the world, and had been the source of the greatest engineering advances, social evolution and improvement yet seen. The coming of the railways had altered the face of the land and the lives of the people.

Original Romsey Golf Club

First Match Card

This was the year that golf also had significant events, the sport had enjoyed a decade of boom, the Open Championship had been played in England for the very first time, many new golf clubs had been opened, and the County of Hampshire could boast eleven clubs of its own. The enterprising business community of the prosperous market town of Romsey, were eager to participate in the emerging sport that had taken such a hold. 1900, was a special year, Harry Vardon had won the Open Championship, gate money had been charged for those attending for the very first time, and golf was played in the Olympic Games held in Paris. Into this vibrant developing sport came several new golf clubs, and among them was the new club at Romsey. Not on the site of the present course, but much closer to the town, since travel facilities would have been far more important at that time, horse and carriage being the popular mode.

First tractor

Old clubhouse & Veranda

The first Romsey course was located at Halterworth to the South East of the town. It first appeared as a club in the record books in The Golf Year Book in 1900. It was a nine hole course, much in common with courses laid out at that time, and it had simply been created on a stretch of farmland, and was supported by a small number of members of the business gentry from the town. It was the era of expansion for golf clubs, and golf was the fashionable recreation for the well -heeled. Little is known about the course, but it was described as a simple layout. From farmland it was born and to farmland it returned, for when the founder, Captain Maurice Suckling RN died in 1924, his heirs decided it would be more profitable to return the land to farming, and so it happened, leaving the golfers of Romsey without a course. As in most situations of this nature, the future depends on the enthusiasm of a few dedicated souls unwilling to give up, two brothers, members of the Guard family searched for an alternative site for the club. It so happened that golf had also been played as early as 1863, on land which was part of the Broadlands Estate,

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home of Colonel W W Ashley. That name may not immediately ring bells, but he was later given the title of Lord Mount Temple, better known as Lord Palmerston. He agreed to be the clubs benefactor, and allowed his estate manager to lease the land to the homeless club. Stoneham Professional, George Kirkby and the Stoneham, Secretary Colonel Waddle were commissioned to design the new nine hole course. An old army hut was acquired for the clubhouse, and thus the club continued in existence. For many years the existence of the first club was not known , but after extensive research in the 1990’s the facts were duly confirmed by the R&A and the records amended to show the correct date of formation. The Broadlands Estate which owned the land, and which had been home to Lord Palmerston in later years became the family home of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, with the resultant visits of many members of the Royal family. Lord Mountbatten later became President of the golf club and for many years was actively involved in club activities until his tragic death in 1979. The links with famous individuals continued, for John Atlee, who was the cousin of Labour Leader Clement Atlee, he was Lord Mayor of Romsey, and was also Captain of the golf club in 1938 and was able to recollect the early days at the original site in Halterworth., and gave many insights into the history of the club before he passed away at the age of 92. Club minutes of 1934 gave first evidence of improvement work on the course, with approval given to the Captain, Mr Nichols to procure soil from Millbrook and arrange cartage to the club. The first motorised greens equipment was a modified Fordson Van which was driven by green keeper Dick Dunsford. Then came the Second World War, and golf along with many other facets of life changed dramatically. Men went off to war, and golf clubs were left to survive as best they could with fewer members and even fewer people to work at the club.

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Old 6th hole

Sir Henry Cotton

OLF GLUB • AFTER THE WAR Returning from the war was a salutary experience for the majority of the troops, but the golfers at Romsey were encouraged by the form of Club Professional Reg Horne, whose efforts put the club on the map. He won the PGA Championship and narrowly missed winning the Open Championship, finishing one shot behind winner Fred Daly in 1947 and so qualified for the Ryder Cup team to travel to the USA . Reg subsequently left to settle at Hendon Golf Club, where he stayed until he retired. For years after the conflict, clubs struggled to re-establish their membership, it was a time of austerity, and the club was reduced to forty or fifty players, there was no plan other than survival for several years. However with the coming of the sixties and seventies, the nation was beginning to prosper, and a positive interest in golf was revived. One man in particular was the driving force is extending the existing course, his name was Charlie Wills. As a result of his influence it was decided to extend the course to eighteen holes. Although the costs were huge for the club, £36,000 in total, however, compared with many it was done cheaply, and as a consequence improvements had to be made over the years that elapsed. Some members felt that the course would be diminished by the changes, as several good nines had become lesser eighteen hole courses, but the new layout was eventually opened in 1974, the opening ceremony was performed by the Mayor of Romsey and the club President Lord Louis Mountbatten. The new course instantly attracted more members, and the need for a larger clubhouse was the outcome. The old tin shed known by golfers throughout Hampshire was inadequate, so an extension was built. It was here above all that foresight was shown by the Committee, because they built the new bar and changing rooms with excellent foundations that would be able to support a second storey when the clubhouse was built years in the future. Difficulties resulting from the new holes were used to create good club spirit, as working parties were organised to pick stones from the fairways. The heart of any association of sportsmen is the spirit generated by the characters who are members. The club was blessed with many during this time, times of sing song around the piano with RAF war hero and artist Spike Harrison, events organised by club steward John Saunders, Club Secretaries George Biles and Phil Hargreaves, who had retired as Colonel in Chief of the Army Physical Training Corps. He proved to be a great addition to the club, and a very worthy organiser and motivator, giving stability for many years.

In the early 1990’s there was an unexpected bonus for all private golf clubs, when an EEC ruling meant that private sports clubs could reclaim a substantial amount of the Vat that had been paid over the preceding years. Many clubs had heated debates how the money should be dissipated. The members at Romsey, after an Extraordinary General Meeting, supported the use of the money to extend the clubhouse and build upstairs offices and new changing rooms. These improvements helped to obtain a new lease from the Estate to run well into the new millennium. After the News Year’s Eve party in the clubhouse in 1993 the bulldozers came in, and the next morning work started on the demolition of the old veranda, and the project to build the new clubhouse began in earnest. Everything ran according to plan, and the new clubhouse duly opened in July of 1994. Fully constructed and furnished within seven months and without borrowing one penny, a fortunate state indeed. Reg Horne

The successes of the club, and the healthy waiting list encouraged the club to embark on changes for the long term benefit of the membership. The method of appointing club Presidents changed from a honorary post to the appointment of Past Captains to the role, to nuture involvement and capitalise on the experience gained from their year in office. It was also a time to plan essential long term course improvements, with the installation of sprinkler systems, and a substantial fund was utilised to instal drainage systems to improve the course for both winter and summer play. With a new clubhouse, investment in the golf course and plans for celebrating the Club Centenary, the membership could look forward to the new millennium full of confidence. • Turn over to see how this all came about

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Earl Mountbatten of Burma

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Ecobunker Finishing work

Ecobunker Foundations

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ON THE COURSE It is fifteen years since the start of the new millennium and the celebration of the club centenary, years that have not always been easy for members clubs, declining numbers and economic pressure have added to the demands on the sport. This has meant that club management has had to be up to the task of advancing the club and providing a course and other facilities that meet the expectations of existing and potential new members. Romsey has been very fortunate that in the latter years it has been able to attract and now retain a very competent and forward thinking team which has been well versed in the needs of the industry and the club in particular, and been able to programme both a short term plan and a long term strategy to achieve those objectives. The club has never been reticent to seek the best advice, and although it has been many years since Sir Henry Cotton came to visit the club and advise on the long term course strategy, the pearls of wisdom which he left behind are still pertinent to the future.

General Manager Marc Cole

Certain comments help to define the corporate health of a golf club, and the magic words which greeted me on my visit to the club “the course is the best it has ever been� are music to the ears of any golf management team. It has been evident for some time that the management team, led by General Manager Marc Cole, who was

Ecobunker Groundworks

recruited in 2012, are shaping the future of the club. Plans that can only be successfully implemented with the full support and backing of the Board of Directors and indeed the members themselves. Marc came to the club with extensive experience gained in the sports and leisure industry, and more latterly in proprietary golf club management. Skills gained in a tough environment, and which are being used to lead the development of club and the course. This has led to changes in personnel, but the significant and obvious impact is through the greens staff, and the arrival of new Head Greenkeeper Steve Gibbs has yielded excellent results, fully justifying the views of the members about the course conditions. Steve and his team are not only ensuring the course in maintained in first class condition throughout the year, but are also tackling many of the major projects in house. Ask any golfer what are the priorities for a good golf course and they will usually respond, prime condition in the main season, and playable in the winter. They will want good greens, then bunkers, fairways, in that order. Romsey has always had good greens, and it is investing in the very latest bunker technology, to improve the aesthetic appeal of the bunkers, better playing characteristics, and at the same time provide less maintenance for the greens staff, the most time consuming element of the job. Ecobunkers were invented by Richard Allen, combining engineering principles, art and

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agronomy. He has designed a system of deep preparation and drainage, sound base and riveted faces, a method which is proving highly successful. Two bunkers have been styled in this manner so far, and the greens staff at the club have been trained to implement the system around the course. It will take time, but be a hugely beneficial project, and at the forefront of course technology. The photographs graphically depict the extent of the work required to achieve the very best results. In the 1990’s the club tackled the problems of drainage that had plagued the course since it had been extended to eighteen holes. Large sums were committed to providing extensive herring bone drainage systems around the course which radically improved the situation. Like all systems they need upkeep and modernisation, and the latest project for the team to tackle is the updating of the drainage. With advice taken and plans established for the long term programme, the prospects are very sound for the provision of that ideal golf course that everyone expects. In the current climate the golfer has a wide choice of where to spend his leisure time and money, whether as a member or a visitor to the club. The venues which create the best combination will be the ones that succeed and advance in the future. There is evidence all around that the team at Romsey are fully equipped to meet those challenges, which have never been tougher.

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JANUARY 2016

TEE TIMES 27

TODAY AND TOMORROW There is nothing more satisfying than to return to the clubhouse after a game of golf, whether winter or summer and be greeted with a welcome and a smile. It is the sign of the friendly environment which permeates the club, and has always been part of the Romsey philosophy. The bar is operated by the club, but the catering is franchised to Bluebell Cuisine, owned and operated by talented Chef Paul Bascombe. Paul is well versed in the special requirements of golf club catering, and meeting the needs of members and visiting organisations, whether they play golf or utilise the conference facilities at the club. The response to any social events held at the club is instant and they are always sold out. From the Black Tie event in January through the year to Christmas and New Year, the attendances are such that it is necessary to book early to be sure of inclusion. Testament to the quality of the food and the service given. Sunday lunch is always popular, and the introduction of Friday Supper Nights has been an instant success. If the clubhouse ends the round then the Pro Shop inevitably precedes it, and once again a good team makes the day, Head Professional Heath Teschner and his Assistant James Fairlie have settled well at the club, and are well ensconced into their roles. Heath and James were the team in house at Dunwood Manor prior to the closure of that course, and whilst there Heath qualified as a Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner, for those who need an explanation of that, it is in depth golf psychology. Over the years the team have been very successful coaching the best amateurs through the transition to the pro ranks, and their methods have also produced several International players. The latest state of the art equipment is available for lessons covering all aspects of the game. With a comprehensive service for all equipment and clothing, there is everything golfers need, and teaching from both is first

class. Junior group lessons are held every Saturday, with two groups each weekend to cater for the demand. The link with Southampton Academy, which includes use of facilities and special green fees, also brings benefit to members and to both organisations. There is always a feel that the concept of the total package is uppermost in the operating of each aspect of the club. A very important facet is the benefit of reciprocal golf, whereby members of the club can play at any one of the twenty four affiliated golf clubs, stretching across the South of England from Bridport in Dorset to Crowborough Beacon in Sussex, and also covering clubs on the Isle of Wight. For a very nominal fee, golf can be played at some of the best courses in the South. Winter works for 2015 / 2016 involve renovating further bunkers using the ecobunker product, levelling 2 tees and improving paths around the course. Romsey has always been a popular venue for visiting golfers and Societies, they are welcome any weekday, and the needs of the group will try to be accommodated by the club, with the caveat that the interests of the members are always taken into consideration.

James Fairlie and Heath Teschner

• Reciprocal arrangements with 30 reciprocal golf clubs. • A very good Social calendar.

For more information about any aspects of the Romsey Golf Club, visit the club website: www.romseygolfclub.com Or telephone the club on 02380 734637

• Responsive management team. • Financial stability. A list that ticks all the boxes, whether one is considering the club for membership, a visit, or simply to make use of the very good conference facilities or for that special family or social celebratory event. Michael Rees

The membership is close to being full at the present time, but the commencement of the new financial year in April will inevitably create a few openings for new members, male, female and junior, in either five day or seven day categories. So what does Romsey Golf Club offer to the discerning golfer? • A fine course all year round. • A comfortable clubhouse, with good food and TV entertainment. • First class professional shop. • Competitions throughout the year, both individual and club representation. • Convenient location.

Golf Academy

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB


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28 TEE TIMES

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JANUARY 2016

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JANUARY 2016

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

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Based at Meon Valley Golf and Country Club

COWDRAY PARK GOLF CLUB Everywhere you want to be

TURN THE HEAT UP IN 2016 Happy It's cold outside, the last thing you feel like doing is working like a blue bottomed buzzing thing on your golf game. Well snap out of it and take a moment to do something for your golf. this January

separately, something many golfers struggle with, especially with those who have tight backs and hips. They swing the club and the hips turn with the shoulders. Teaching your two halves to separate will really up the level of stored energy (torque) in your swing.

One of the biggest problems I see in many golfers is they swing the club using their arms and not getting the body turning. This usually results in lack of distance and inconsistent striking of the ball. Altogether not an efficient way to get around the course. If you are not rotating your body and building some torque in your golf swing (the wind up of your upper body against your lower body) you aren't going to transfer that rotational energy to your arms and therefore into the ball. Thinking in simple terms... how do you throw a ball or how would you throw a javelin (well it is Olympic year after all!). If you didn't rotate your shoulders and turn through transferring that weight towards your target, the ball or javelin just wouldn't go very far or straight. Also it would be a huge effort and you would tire pretty quickly. Apply that logic to your golf game and the reason you are inconsistent and shattered when you come of the course become obvious.

SET UP POISED - Make sure that your posture is athletic to begin with. If you aren't looking athletic and poised to swing (tip from your hips with the weight on the balls of your feet) you won't be able to support a good shoulder turn. if you aren't balanced you will get to a certain point in your swing then find the turn stops (if you continued you'd just fall over, so your body saves you from that embarrasement by just lifting the club with your arms. Those who bend their left arm (or right in lefthanders) sometimes don't turn enough.

So let's inject a bit of power into that swing of yours this year... here are a few pointers to get you started. It is soooo important you don't push yourself to do a massive turn behind the ball. It is easy to waft off the ball and never get back to it making the connection even worse and sometimes non-existent. So turn up your TURN without overdoing it... Before doing any of theses drills WARM UP! Have a good swing of your arms around your body or swing 2 clubs together. Warm the muscles up as turning drills involve stretching. If you stretch cold muscles you can injure yourself. Swinging your arms freely around your body will mean you'll be turning more. Taking these drills out on the 1st tee with you won't be a bad idea at all especially in this chilly weather. BE SEATED - sit on a stool or the arm of your sofa and get yourself balanced. Now you've taken your lower half out of the equation cross a club across your chest turn your shoulders til you feel you've reached a decent stretch without feeling forced. Repeat on the other side. Do this a few times breathing out as you make each turn. You can also do this holding a cushion or a football in front of your chest. This will teach your upper and lower body to act

Once your posture is looking spot on try this drill... From an athletic set-up take your club and rest it on your right shoulder (shoulder furthest from the target- left shoulder in left handers) From this position keep your angles in your posture and simply turn your back to your target. Then from here gently and without forcing anything, stretch your arms out. This should put you at the top of your backswing but with -hey presto- great shoulder turn. Try it in front of a mirror to SEE the results then try and absorb how this feels. These are all drills you can do indoors so there is NO excuse not to work on that turn. When out hitting balls or playing just so whatever you can to get the shoulders turning - the warm up drills for example- don't stand there thinking about turning too much as it's hard to make contact with the ball with too many thoughts going on plus you can over turn. Simply saying "turn and turn" to yourself as you go "back then through" may be enough to trigger better movement. Experiment but if you feel this is something you struggle with then book a lesson. At least you'll then be able to SEE what you look like and see the difference after you've worked on your turn. The whole swing looks more simple and therefore less can go wrong. For details on lessons with me at both Cowdray Park Golf Club and Hamptworth Golf and Country Club email me on katiedawkinsgolf@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk Turn up the power in your game this winter and turn on that consistency.

New Year

I hope it will be a good and happy one for everyone. For the last couple of months I have concentrated on the grip - first the left hand and then the right. Last month I showed a picture of Tiger Woods’ wonderful grip, which to me is a thing of beauty. It displays both control and delicate feel. If any of you have tried to perfect your grip in the last couple of months and have moved it a bit nearer to Tiger’s, I am sure that you will soon, (if you haven’t already), find improvements in your play. Of course when you first make a change to your grip there is a tendency to grip tightly and create tension in the arms and shoulders. Remember, keep the grip light. Hold the club as if you have a baby bird in your hands. You don’t want to hurt it but you don’t want to let it go. To me, the picture of Tiger’s grip conveys that feeling of lightness. The subject of today’s article is a young pupil of mine by the name of George Saunders. George was capped for England in the under sixteens this year. You may remember I mentioned George in a previous article after he and another pupil of mine, Emma Allen, cleaned up at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Just out of interest, Emma has done fantastically well in the U.S. recently. She shot ten under par for three rounds in the Collegiate Grand Final in Las Vegas. Like so many young golfers who do well, George has fantastic parents who really support and encourage him. He certainly doesn’t need any encouragement to practice hard!! For over three years now George and I have had a weekly get together. We work on different areas of his game. A lot of our time is spent in refining his swing and ball striking. When we first started working together our main focus was improving the basic fundamentals of his grip and posture crucial for future development. My long term aim was to give George a solid, correct and repeatable impact. Note that I didn’t say “swing”. A pretty looking swing that has unreliable results is, in my view, an ineffective swing. There are many great golfers who don’t look completely orthodox. Some golfers appear to have poor swings but play consistently well. That is because they have correct and repeatable impacts. Just what is a repeatable impact? The answer to this question is quite a large subject in itself, one which I will answer in a future Tee Times.

Golf Academy

George’s impact is reliable because the face of the club is closing very slowly in relation to the target as it passes through impact. In other words, on the approach to the ball and just after impact the clubface is pretty much square to the arc that the club is taking – ideal for consistently straight hitting. This is in contrast to many golfers who have the clubface very open just before impact and very closed just after it, making consistent straight hitting near impossible. This golfer has to shape the ball to be effective. Have a look at the pics that accompany this article. Notice that the face of the club appears to be looking at the ball before impact and has very little rotation after it. That is why he hits the ball so consistently well under pressure. If you need any help with any department of your game, please don't hesitate to contact me either through my website: www.mbtourcoach.com or by telephone M: 07787 887578. Martin Butcher

BLACKMOOR GOLF CLUB

Tee Times July06.indd 54


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Tee Times Golf Magazine, January 2016