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ISSUE 188 JANUARY 2017 Tel: 01329 834360 Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com WISHING ALL TEE TIMES READERS A HAPPY NEW YEAR 18 HOLE GOLF COURSE

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Tiger’s back but he’s still not out of the woods

INSIDE Thousands join the rush to play golf - Page 14

IT WAS an end-of-year sight to gladden the hearts of all true golf fans: Tiger Woods popping in birdie after birdie. In his first comeback event, the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, the 14-time Major champion completed 72 holes without sign of a wince from his dodgy back.

Tiger Woods: ‘There were dire times when I couldn’t move and the pain was hard to bear’

And he registered a remarkable statistic for the four rounds. He scored more birdies – two dozen of them – than anyone else in a high-quality field that contained stars such as Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and the talented winner, Hideki Matsuyama. As might have been expected after 15 months away from golf, Woods’ game was not all-round solid enough to get near the winning 18-under mark. Alongside his birdie bonanza, Woods carded a horrible six double bogeys. He finished four under and in 15th place, but given that three of those nasties came at the 18th when physical and mental strength were probably waning, it was surely better than the man himself anticipated after 466 days away from the heat of competition. Even before this encouraging result, Jack Nicklaus was saying that he believes Woods, now 41 and winner of his last Major at the 2008 U.S. Open, could still pass his record of 18 Major titles despite the long layoff. Nicklaus told BBC Sport: ‘I've always thought that he's got at least another 10 years of

Woods described what it meant to be back: ‘The last year and a half has tested me beyond anything that I’ve experienced in my lifetime.

‘There were dire times when I couldn’t move and the pain was hard to bear. Only those people who have been through such back issues will know what I mean. So to battle to be here, it feels great to be back.’ On his golf during the Hero event, he said: ‘I’m pleased with all the birdies but I made some poor decisions, missed in the wrong spots and made an awful lot of mistakes. I made two sevens on par fives today, made

three double-bogeys on the 18th hole alone during the week and you can’t do that. Frankly, it feels weird to be walking again and playing. I’ve been practising while driving in a cart so now I need to get my legs back and cut out the errors.’ One man who had a close-up view of Woods’ return was his caddie, Joe LaCava. His assessment of his man: ‘I wasn't going to compare him to the rest of the field. They've been playing all year and they've been playing great. Honestly, my goal was to get him through five rounds on his feet. That was big.’ But Woods had played the pro-am and four full, punishing rounds. So the general concensus was: Great to see you back; let’s hope you’re really back.


- Page 4

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Fears and tears of a cyber trolls’ victim




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One man’s 13-year golfing odyssey - Page 16

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Keeping young golfers safe ENGLAND Golf is committed to ensuring that all children who play golf have a safe and positive experience of the sport, the organisation has declared. Following the tidal wave of allegations claiming offences against children in football, England Golf has moved to assure parents and everyone connected with young golfers that systems are in place to prevent and combat the menace.

‘England Golf works in close partnership with the Golf Foundation, the PGA and the Golf Union of Wales on safeguarding matters,’ said a spokesman. ‘The organisation provides support and guidance on safeguarding children to affiliated clubs and counties,

parents and individuals. England Golf has established and robust safeguarding procedures in place which are regularly reviewed. The organisation has worked closely with the Child Protection In Sport Unit (CPSU) within the NSPCC and received a Green RAG Rating for its safeguarding standards. England Golf takes all safeguarding concerns seriously and ensures all concerns are dealt with promptly, appropriately and sensitively.’ Anyone with any concerns, including bullying and inappropriate access to children, is urged to report them to England Golf by phone on 01526 354500 or email n.squires@englandgolf.org

The tears and fears of a cyber trolls victim

PAIGE Spiranac has spoken of the pain and anguish that she, her family and friends have suffered at the hands of internet trolls.

Spiranac, a 23-year-old professional, has a huge following online, where her 800,000plus Instagram ‘followers’ have shot her to fame on the LPGA circuit and into a position where her name and golden-girl image have attracted sponsorships. But the adulation has a dark side. During a news conference ahead of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, Spiranac was asked about cyberbullying she has encountered, and she became very tearful. She talked of the hatred and harassment that she and people around her experienced following her professional debut last year at the same tournament, where she entered via sponsors’ exemption and missed the cut. This prompted criticism from fellow professionals who questioned whether she had the right talent. And then the internet trolls, using the cover of anonymity, launched their vitriol with more personal attacks. Spiranac said she had needed three weeks away from social media to regroup as she struggled with depression brought on by the ‘really bad’ bullying.

Masterly Matt joins galaxy of rising stars MATTHEW Fitzpatrick sealed his place as one of England’s leading golfing lights of the future with a masterful victory in the DP World Tour Championship. Sheffield’s Fitzpatrick, 22, who made his Ryder Cup debut last year, is now expected to move into the world’s top 30. He said: ‘It's happened so fast it's difficult to take in some of the time.’ The DP World, which established Open champion Henrik Stenson as winner of the season-long Race to Dubai, followed Fitzpatrick’s victories in the 2015 British Masters and the Nordea Masters in June. He said: ‘I just did everything really well and putted out of my shoes. It was fantastic all week and I think that's where I gained on the field.’

No bonus Bullied online: Golfer Paige Spiranac talking about the internet’s dark side

‘It doesn't matter how I play this week, it really doesn't,’ she said. ‘But the fact that I'm here and I'm sharing my story, hopefully can save someone's life -- I think that's so much more important . ‘I took about three weeks off, just not looking at anything. But when you see the comments that people say, they are extremely cruel. They attack not only me but my parents, my family, my friends, and you know, they say I'm a disgrace to golf. It's really hard and I still get those comments and I still deal with it every day. ‘To have all these people say that I'm not like a golfer, I'm not a good person, you know, I'm promiscuous or make these

judgments about me that are not true, it's really hard, just because I like to wear Spandex on the golf course.’ She said that, in speaking about her experience, she hoped to raise awareness about what she sees as an unaddressed problem.

‘Cyberbullying is a huge problem and no one ever discusses it,’ she added. ‘ They never talk about it. It needs to be talked about and needs to be brought to the subject. It's no longer funny. It's not the cool thing to do to make fun of other people, and you need to be supportive and I think that's really important.’

World number two Rory McIlroy needed to win the tournament and Stenson to be outside the top 45 to have any chance of winning the Race to Dubai for a third successive year. He had seven birdies and an eagle in a closing 65 and shared ninth with Stenson. Sweden's Alex Noren, six strokes behind overnight, would have claimed the $1.25m bonus prize for winning the European Tour money list prize had he won the tournament, but he could only post a 71 and finished eight under. Masters champion Danny Willett needed at least a top-four finish to have any chance, but dropped to joint 51st place after a thirdround 76, and he finished with a 70 to tie for 50th, 16 strokes off the pace. Stenson, 40, who won his maiden major with victory at Royal Troon and then added an Olympic silver medal in Rio said: ‘I've had the best year in my career.’


Bjorn with winning captain Paul McGinley in 2014

THOMAS Bjorn will be Europe’s captain at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris.

Bjorn was a Ryder Cup winner in 1997, 2002 and 2014, and has won 15 European tour titles.

Bjorn, who has been a vice-captain four times, was chosen ahead of 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie.

‘I have lived and breathed the European Tour for so long,’ he said, ‘and now I will do the same with the Ryder Cup.

The 45-year-old Dane will be only the fourth man from outside the British Isles to lead the team, after Spain’s Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, and Germany's Bernhard Langer. As a player,

‘I studied a lot of captains and always wondered what that feeling would be like to be the one leading out a team of 12 great players. It's my turn to do just that - an exciting moment for me.’

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WHITTLEBURY HALL Whittlebury is a small village in Northamptonshire located next to a very famous neighbour, the Silverstone racing circuit, home to the British Grand Prix and steeped in the history of motor sport and Michael Rees Formula 1 in particular. The photographs and memorabilia of the legends of the sport are displayed all over the walls of the Silverstone Bar in the Whittlebury Hotel & Spa, making it a fascination location to enjoy your favourite tipple. Whittlebury Hall & Spa Ltd was formed in 2011; it excels in conference hosting and training, and in addition is home to Whittlebury Park Golf & Country Club, as well as an award winning Spa. The Spa is one of the largest in the country, with over thirty treatment rooms and a choice of over sixty treatments provided by a team of skilled therapists. There is also a Hair studio, for the lady who wants anything from a quick blow dry to a full cut and style while enjoying a vacation. The hotel itself has 254 room s and employs over 300 staff, covering all aspects of the facilities provided on site. A combination of facilities that provides the ideal place to take a golf break, or to relax and be pampered in the spa. The hotel boasts three restaurants, each different, Bentleys, the ideal rendezvous for friends, with Italian pizza and pastas on the menu, Astons, which offers a relaxed style atmosphere and a blend of contemporary and traditional cuisine, and finally Murrays, an award winning restaurant with offerings of the best creations of an award winning chef. Our excellent dinner in the latter, one of the highlights of the trip. Whittlebury Park Golf Club, the jewel in the crown, for that is the focus of the visiting golfer, and the club has everything to meet those expectations. The clubhouse itself is an impressive building to arrive at, called the Atrium; it has spectacular views over the golf course. The very friendly reception in the golf conservatory was a great way to start or visit. Before the round you can warm up on the two tier driving range, putting green, chipping green or even have a session on the in house simulator.

The four nine hole courses which make up the complex are very individual; each of the four loops can be played in any combination to make up the round. All thirty six holes have STRI and USGA accredited greens, and even after autumn maintenance were in first class condition during our visit. We played the Grand Prix and 1905 combination, which was very satisfying and enjoyable to experience. The Grand Prix, named because it runs close the F1 circuit, the grandstands of which are clearly visible. It is the longest of the loops, undulating fairways and numerous lakes, with lots of wild life. Memorable for the two par threes. The second hole over water and the 7th, with a green set at an angle and a stone culver to the front. The 1905 loop, is so called because of its long history of housing a golf course, which began in that year. The original course was built on the estate in 1905, however in common with many others it was closed during World War 1, and it was only restored and brought up to modern standards in 1990.

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This section abounds with mature Royal Oak trees and lakes, and two classic holes, the 5th, a short hole over water, the first of the two excellent par threes, and the 7th, where accuracy from the tee is the way to keep a good card running. Two excellent nines, and if time is a little short, or you wish to fit in twenty seven holes, it is well worth tackling the Wedgewood Course, built to the same high standards as the other three loops, but comprising par 3s and 4s an ideal challenge for sharpening the short game.

Gardens at Stowe, which are some of the finest Georgian landscape gardens in the country with an array of marvellous architecture. The city of Oxford is a short drive away, with a seemingly timeless history, and the majesty and allure of all the colleges and their quadrangles, seen so often in television settings. For those seeking a bargain, there is the renowned outlet centre at Bicester Village, where there is every high couture name on display, and displays to tempt the penny out of your pocket.

The Royal Whittlebury course is played around the remaining copses of the Royal Whittlebury Forest, once a favourite medieval hunting ground, and now a source of pleasure for the golfer. All four loops a test, and offering great variety with their combinations.

Whittlebury Hall has numerous special offers available during the years, with celebration times all covered, so a visit to the website is well worth the time, and should you be tempted, the experience will be both rewarding and enjoyable.

For those with the opportunity to remain a little longer, there are numerous attractions close at hand the nearest of which are the

For further information visit: www.whittleburyhall.co.uk


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Hampshire Ladies Golf


North Hants Trophy Winners

North Hants Plate Winners

Hampshire ladies encourage and promote the interests of women and girls amateur golf at all levels. 2016 has been another fantastic year in Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. Here are some of the highlights that we didn’t tell you about earlier in the year: Stoneham win North Hants Trophy After winning the morning semi-finals Hockley went head to head with Stoneham to try and secure at win at the 2016 North Hants Trophy final. It was very close between the two clubs one match concluding on the 16th and the other two on 17. This year though it would be Stoneham’s turn to lift the trophy. Meanwhile in the North Hants Plate final Rowlands Castle represented by Debbie Tapply, Sheila Russell and Catherine Hargaden faced a Hartley Wintney team represented by Deirdre Randall, Linda Turner and Jan Newman. These matches were equally close but in the end Rowlands Castle managed to secure the win. Par 3 Championships Our Hampshire players seem to enjoy playing in the English Women’s Par 3 Championships at Ampfield as for the 2nd year running we produced a Hampshire winner – congratulations to Fiona Todd from Gosport and Stokes Bay who won the individual prize and the team prize was won by Carol Owen, Dorothy Shore (both from Bramshaw) and Pat Geary (Royal Winchester). Continued success for Emma Allen Although Emma Allen is still in the States at University, Emma is still very much a member of the England Golf set up and here are just a couple of Emma’s achievement this year. Emma was a member of the England Women’s Team that won the European Ladies

Fiona Todd Par3 Championship

Championship which were played in Iceland during July. A great achievement for the team as their last win was 23 years ago. Emma also helped England win the Home Internationals, which were held at Convy GC, Wales in August. Ripiner sisters make England U16’s Congratulations to Maddie and Olivia Ripiner who have both been included in England Golf’s Under 16’s Regional Squad. Kevin Flynn receives PGA Coach of the Year award This is a fantastic achievement for Kevin who coaches our junior girls and recognises all the hard work he puts into his many coaching programmes. From all of us in Hampshire we would like to say a massive well done and congratulations to Kevin, we are very lucky to have you!

OBITUARY - JOHN STIRLING Warm tributes have been paid by friends colleagues and admirers from every corner of the golfing fraternity to John Stirling, who died in November 2016 at the age of 89 years. The Hampshire based Scot, who began his career as a greenkeeper at the Eastwood Club in Glasgow and then made his mark at the highest level in many many aspects of the professional game. After serving in the Royal Air Force, which included time spent in the Suez Canal Zone, he returned to civilian life. He obtained his first professional job at Roehampton Golf Club, followed by the Woking Club; where in the early 1950’s he recalled that professionals were not even allowed in the clubhouse. He moved to Meyrick Park in Bournemouth where he stayed for twenty happy and successful years. During his time there he was part of a team, which included Eddie Whitcombe, Reg Cox, Sid Cox and Keith Hockey which established the PGA Assistants Training Scheme at Lilleshall and Bisham Abbey, one which is now recognised the world over. His great friend John Jacobs persuaded him to apply for the role of professional at the newly opened Meon Valley Golf & Country Club in 1982, and he was successful, embarking on the next exciting period in his career. He was honoured as Captain of the PGA in 1989, and served on the Ryder Cup Committee, after the end of his successful playing career, during which he had qualified for The Open Championship on two occasions, in 1959 and 1966.

His tournament successes included four times Bournemouth Alliance Champion, twice Hampshire Alliance Champion, as well as Hampshire PGA Champion and Hampshire Open Champion. In 1998 he was voted PGA of Europe Golf Professional of the Year, a great honour. He had for nine years been National Coach of the English Golf Union, and even ventured into the world of writing, with his book “Golf - The Skills of the Game” In latter years he become even more renowned as an after dinner speaker of the very highest calibre. He was the classic raconteur, with a wicked sense of humour that he projected to every audience. John will be very fondly remembered and sadly missed by all his many friends in Hampshire and around the world. Michael Rees


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James Braid

Euston Henry Sartorius VC

t the turn of the last century, golf was experiencing a major expansion, evidenced by the number of clubs which have celebrated the centenary of their formation in recent years. One of the catalysts responsible for the geographical spread, was the travel of the military, particularly the Scottish regiments, who had many officers addicted to the game. The oldest golf club on the continent at Pau, was formed by officers of regiments left in France after the Napoleonic Wars, and the Curragh in Ireland was founded by the Highland Light Infantry in 1883. Many of the clubs in the former British Empire owe their existence to the British Army.


In the case of Army Golf Club, the formation was due entirely to the military personnel stationed in the town of Aldershot. Until the mid-nineteenth century the British Army had no identifiable base or home, then in in 1852 Lord Hardinge made a survey on horseback and selected the village of Aldershot Heath as the potential home of the British Army. And so it came to pass, the sleepy Hampshire village was transformed in a very short period of time into a major military town. The arrival of the army was boon to everyone. Although golf was still in its infancy, in October 1883 the Royal Aldershot Officers Club announced the formation of a golf club, thanks to a proposal put forward by Lieutenant Colonel Sartorious VC. DAQMG. Strangely there is no evidence that he was ever a golfer, though famed for his Victoria Cross the supreme award for gallantry. And so within three weeks, the motion had been passed, and the club was duly formed and the club was entered the register of golf clubs in the United Kingdom. The first Honorary Secretary Captain F W Bennett RE, was a noted sportsman of the day, a fine cricketer, who had played with W G Grace, and he obviously took to golf with enthusiasm, serving in the role for a total of fourteen years. It was he who laid out the first golf course at Rushmoor Bottom, the first of the eight locations occupied by the club. It is an interesting fact that unlike many other golf courses of that time, properly cut greens and aprons were already being developed. In the 1890’s several clubs had started to play different forms of competition golf against the course. When this began at Aldershot, being of such military genre, one Captain Vidal suggested that this invisible competitor should have a rank, and he was duly christened Colonel Bogey, and so the term entered the annals of the history of the game. When the renowned Black Watch Regiment came to Aldershot in 1891, they brought with them one of the most

HERITAGE GOLF I N B R I TA I N GOLF IN A GARRISON TOWN charismatic golfers of the era, and the club was to welcome a new member, Frederick Guthrie Tait, was a renowned St Andrews golfer and member of the R&A. Freddie Tait proceeded to win the first Hampshire Championship and then went on to be winner of the Amateur Championship in 1896 and 1898, he finished also third in The Open Championship on two occasions. After losing in the final of The Amateur in 1899 he set sail with his regiment for South Africa and the Boer War. He was tragically wounded and then killed in action fighting against the Boers in February 1900 at Koodoosberg Drift; and the world of golf mourned. There are many fascinating reminders of the military history of the club; on the 7th hole there is a white painted graveyard in a sheltered spot under the trees, a Cemetary for Famous Horses, the resting place of cavalry horses of yesteryear, including Princess, who served for twenty one years. Freddie Tait

Another piece of club history is seen on the 11th, where a rowan tree is planted, with a brass plaque, a memorial to club secretary Captain Parsons (who was killed in 1929) and his daughter Jessie. When she grew up she became the club Secretary and continued in the roll until 1961, giving years of devoted service. The course was housed in various locations during the early years, as the land was required for seemingly more important purposes, and then decimated by two world wars before it was eventually moved in 1970 to the present site, a marvellous tree lined venue. Wherever you go in the club there are reminders of the history, on the course the numerous bridges which cross the fairways are adorned by the badges of regiments of the British Army; which sponsor the upkeep of the monuments. The first professional to the the club was James Merrilees from North Berwick, who played an exhibition match with James Braid in 1909. He was followed by Douglas Rolland from Elie, then Jesse Poulter served as professional until 1961 after being invalided out of the army, a long and distinguished career at the club.

(later to be a Ryder Cup Player) was already a successful Professional Golfer when he came, and he played regularly with famed Scottish amateur Sandy Sadler, who was subsequently to become the Walker Cup Captain. In 1969 the number of civilian members exceeded military for the very first time, certainly heralding the start of a new era in the history. Nowadays there is no military link with this famous club, though it will always carry a history littered with famous golfers, eminent military leaders, and one Freddie Tait a National hero in both realms.

In more recent times, National Service brought some famed golfers to Aldershot. In the 1950’s, Brian Huggett

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Michael Rees


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Your Monthly Blog by

Claire Kane

The hiccups of our Handicap system

The Wellow Junior Section Captain for 2016 Zak Leigh, has been awarded the following trophies at the recent Wellow Golf Club AGM.

I was always under the impression golf was about ‘playing the course’ and a handicap was supposed to show your potential rather than an average (e.g. your very best possible score), however, these days handicaps can also be affected by how others play not just the weather Then there’s the de-moralising annual review which ‘suggests’ an increase of one or two strokes to balance things out for reasons such as a small membership etc, even if you’ve played in numerous qualifying competitions throughout the year. No wonder it’s more difficult to lower your handicap these days compared to a decade or so ago. I recently played in a Golf Society Organiser’s Day and when it came to noting the handicaps on the card, my team member declared his handicap was “about 18”. It turned out that he didn’t belong to a club so his handicap was a guesstimate!

restrictions of a club system. They’re just looking to play on an okay course with their mates, so it’s not surprising a commercial handicapping industry has sprung up offering non-club golfers handicap certificates. You’d have thought the current complex mathematical model offers more than adequate regulation, after all, our courses have a Par, SSS and a CSS. We have structured handicaps categories and buffer zones, adjustment shots or percentages for different competitions and even our high handicappers scores are swept to one side when calculating the CSS. Interestingly though, research by Dean Knuth (known as the Pope of Slope) over a 20 year period shows that bad weather affects higher handicaps more than lower handicaps e.g. players of 5 handicap and less might have 5 stroke higher scores on windy days, but 20 handicap players (cat 4) would have scores more than 10 strokes higher.

This may sound unusual but when you consider there are approximately 1.1m golfers in England who play once a month, yet there are only 616,784 congu, club golfers (48,900 less than last year) you realise there’s a high number of casual golfers around.

So, let’s hope congu take a pragmatic approach when it comes to modifying our handicapping system so any change will be more encouraging for the AVERAGE amateur, after all most of us just want to play golf for fun!

The growth of casual golf continues due to the younger generation being time-short and not wanting the complications and

© Claire Kane Follow my tales on twitter@golfsnippets

Golf Academy

His attainments this year have never been achieved by anyone else in the history of Wellow Golf Club. He was awarded the Junior

of the Year Award, having won the Winter Singles, Summer Cup, Summer Singles, Order of Merit and the South West Hants Junior League Salver.He has been a credit to both himself and his family, and matured into a very confident person who has captained the Club's Junior Section.Attached is a photo of Zak along with the many trophies he has won.

Leading players selected for England men’s squads

Leaderboard Photography

Amateur Champion Scott Gregory and English champion Dan Brown are among the nine players selected for the England men’s squad for 2016/17.

Moore of Derbyshire, Marco Penge of Sussex, Alfie Plant of Kent, Sean Towndrow of Lancashire and James Walker of Yorkshire.

Harry Hall, Josh Hilleard and James Walker are all promoted into the men’s squad. Meanwhile, the England A squad includes four new players: George Bloor, Matthew Jordan, Josh McMahon and Jack Yule.

England A: George Bloor of Derbyshire, Jake Burnage of Devon, Tom Gandy of the Isle of Man, Matthew Jordan of Cheshire, Josh McMahon of Cheshire, Gian-Marco Petrozzi of Staffordshire, Will Whiteoak of Yorkshire and Jack Yule of Norfolk.

The full squads are: England men: Dan Brown of Yorkshire, Scott Gregory of Hampshire, Harry Hall of Cornwall, Josh Hilleard of Somerset, Bradley

England Golf pr@englandgolf.org 07590 878349


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Tragedy of caddie Max, dead at 56 A CADDIE died after collapsing on the golf course at the Dubai Ladies Masters. Maximilian Zechmann, 56, was caddying for France's Anne-Lise Caudal when he collapsed on the 13th fairway. He was treated by medics but died in hospital. Zechmann, who caddied on the European Tour for several players including Markus Brier and Marcel Siem, is survived by wife Elinor and three sons. Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies' European Tour, said: ‘We are extremely shocked and saddened by this and have suspended play as a mark of respect.’ The opening round of the tournament was completed later and the event reduced to 54 holes. Scot Carly Booth, who was playing in the same group as Caudal, tweeted: ‘Tough start today for our group to experience something so horrendous. Thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Max.’

Golf centre is saved A GOLF centre has been saved from oblivion after planning chiefs rejected a plan to build 300 homes on the site. Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has surprisingly rejected a proposal to convert Plough Hill Golf Centre in Warwickshire into a housing estate. The decision comes amid growing calls to convert golf courses into housing to meet the UK’s shortage, but the Nuneaton decision reflected local opposition to the potential loss of green space. The club has a nine-hole course and a driving range. Dozens of local residents had written to their local council to express their opposition to its loss.


National drive brings in thousands

IN a year of Olympic triumph for the sport, England Golf has notched a goldmedal performance of its own. Support for clubs, through its county and national networks, encouraged more than 135,000 people to try the game – with a remarkable 9,000 becoming club members in just six months. The figures are shown in the latest County Impact Report, which covers AprilSeptember 2016 and details the success of initiatives to grow the game and keep people playing County Development Officers, working in partnership with county unions, associations, the Golf Foundation and the PGA, connected clubs with national campaigns and helped them to recruit and retain members and strengthen their business structure. Clubs have been able to take advantage of the highly successful Business Growth Hubs; demand-led workshops; and support to help them understand their local market before making investment and marketing decisions. As a result, the number of people trying golf is up 47per cent on the same period last year and over 43,000 have taken coaching courses of at least four weeks. Meanwhile, there’s a growing commitment to regular play, shown by a 26per cent increase in new memberships, which include trial and introductory packages. England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: ‘Clubs are at the centre of everything we do and it’s very satisfying for our county teams to work with them to achieve these results. Now, we all look forward to building on these successes and helping clubs to become even stronger.’ Campaigns include Get into golf, supported by Sky Sports, which received

Nine thousand people have joined clubs in just six months

over 700,000 hits on its getintogolf.org website from people interested in beginner golf opportunities. More than 730 clubs have used the website to promote more than 13,000 activities and attract over 32,000 beginners. An increasing number of Get into golf beginners are joining clubs, with almost 5,000 becoming members this summer, compared with nearly 4,000 last year. During the summer a number of new ventures were launched, including Golf Express, which promotes shorter formats and particularly 9-hole golf on the golfexpress9.org website. It encourages busy people to play more often, telling them that it’s ‘all the game in half the time.’ It was successfully trialled in Staffordshire, helping to retain current players and attract returners by offering a playing opportunity that fitted in with their lifestyle.

Clubs reveal their secrets of success THE secrets of successfully running a golf club and attracting members are identified in a new report from England Golf. The results of the 2016 Golf Club Membership Questionnaire shows that 30% of clubs increased their membership this year and it highlights trends and ideas which are working. It recommends: • A warm welcome – a dedicated reception area, welcome packs and new members’ events are all winners. • Catering for different needs – a range of flexible membership packages to suit different lifestyles can attract more members. A major trend over the past two years has been for clubs to offer junior, adult academy and trial memberships. • Regular communication with members and visitors – this will help to retain as well as recruit members, but it’s important to use the right contact methods. One-third of clubs are missing the opportunity to connect with visitors who could be potential members. • Making more use of the club to increase income – opportunities include weddings and conferences, but these must be balanced with the members’ needs. A coffee shop is a big plus for attracting members, as is a crèche or children’s play area. The biennial study was carried out by Sports Marketing Suveys Inc and is based on responses from over 600 clubs. England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: ‘I hope that by sharing this information we will encourage and inspire other clubs to become even more successful.’ Clubs can access full facts and figures, as well as county comparisons, by logging in to the England Golf Clubhouse

So tell me, Rory, what’s the name of your favourite lady tennis player. . ? A SMART nine-year-old ambushed Rory McIlroy with some cheeky questions when he quizzed him on the European Tour’s Big Little Interview series. Little Billy showed the four-time Major winner a picture of himself with mop hair and asked him: ‘What were you thinking?’ Goodhumoured Rory replied: ‘It was a phase, Billy. My dad was telling me you have to get your hair cut, and I should have listened to him.’ The youngster, clearly referring to McIlroy’s break-up with former fiancée Caroline Wozniacki, asked: ‘Who is your favourite female

tennis player?’ McIlroy (cue nervous smile): ‘I've stopped following women's tennis the last couple of years.’ Billy: ‘Maybe a good call.’ Rory, one of 20 players who ducked out of the 2016 Olympics citing fears of the Zika virus, was still in Billy’s firing line: ‘If you're so tough, how come you're so scared of a mosquito?’ McIlroy: ‘Good question, when I get older if I want to have kids then it might have been a good decision. ‘Everything that happened in the Olympics went well and I'm glad it all did go well. A few people used that excuse and I jumped on the bandwagon.’

Golf Academy

What were you thinking? Billy shows Rory his old mop-haired self


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AL ANNU SHIP ER MEMB ences m com

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Set in the heart of the New Forest just minutes from the M27, enjoy two completely contrasting 18-hole courses including Hampshire’s oldest golf course. Test your golf skills on the gentle, undulating fairways of the Manor Course or on the open heathland of our Forest Course. Proudly family-owned, visitors and members alike will enjoy the warmest of welcomes and hospitality. Two 18-hole courses Visitors and societies welcome Membership options to suit your lifestyle and budget Simply visit the Membership section of our website for more information.

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Americans in a team par blitz AMERICANS Matt Kuchar and Harris English hit a seven-under-par final round of 65 to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida. The 2013 champions held off veteran duo Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker to maintain their overnight lead and win the 12-team event by one stroke. Charley Hoffman and Billy Horschel finished third, a shot further back.


Fellow Americans Hoffman and Horschel hit a remarkable 11-under-par round of 61, while British pair Luke Donald and Russell Knox made 68 to end on 17 under overall. The invitational tournament was hosted by former world number one Greg Norman at the Tiburon Golf Club.

What were you thinking? Billy shows Rory his old mop-haired self

From now, tournament officials at all levels can invoke a Local Rule which removes the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on a putting green. David Rickman, executive director of governance at the R&A, told BBC Sport: ‘The rule was not working as well as it looks on paper, and we needed to try and address this.

‘Oakmont was clearly a difficult time and much has been said about that, but it was one of a number of cases that triggered this action.’ Norway's Marianne Skarpnord was slapped with a similar penalty during the women's event at the Rio Olympics, and Justin Thomas was also penalised at the PGA’s Tour Championship.

Lexi Thompson, only the second woman to play in the event, and partner Bryson DeChambeau finished tied for 11th. The third and final round consisted of the better-ball format. Kuchar and English both shot 65 to finish on 28 under for the tournament, with Kelly and Stricker unable to close the gap as they also carded a team round of 65.

of victory to three shots. Now the USGA, along with fellow rule-makers The Royal and Ancient, have acted to prevent similar nonsense in future.

Put it back Dustin Johnson: U.S. Open Champion despite the rules fiasco

THE farce which meant that nobody knew who was leading last year’s U.S. Open has finally led to an important rule change. Our sport, which tends to lay itself open to criticism for being governed by obscure and labyrinthine rules, has finally ditched one which brought on much frustrated head-scratching last summer. The rule cost Dustin Johnson a one-stroke penalty on his way to victory, and like fellow players, spectators and a huge TV audience, he had no idea what his final score was going to be. The incident threw a shadow over the final day at Oakmont, and the rules officials of the United States Golf Association (USGA) were heavily criticised. Johnson was penalised after being judged to have been responsible for moving his ball a fraction of an inch on the fifth green during the final round. He had been initially absolved by the referee who was overseeing his match.

But officials then examined video evidence and informed the eventual champion, seven holes later, that he may be subject to a penalty. The result: The final third of the year's second Major was completed without anyone knowing the leader's score. Johnson finished four strokes clear of the field, but after meeting USGA staff he was told he must alter his score on the par-four fifth from a four to a five, cutting the margin

‘In practical terms,’ Mr Rickman added, ‘it means that any competition organiser can introduce this Local Rule and it would mean any accidental movement of the ball on the putting green will be exempt from penalty. ‘So if the player causes the ball to move there is no penalty, they put it back. And if the player causes the ball marker to move there is no penalty, just put it back.’ The change applies only to balls accidentally moved by players or caddies. If a ball changes position due to wind or some other outside agency, it must be played from its new position without penalty.

‘We had talks with the professional tours at the time of the Olympics,’ said Mr Rickman, ‘and we've been discussing it since then. ‘All of the major professional tours and organisers of big events are expected to introduce this Local Rule straight away.’

Blind golfer Jim dazzles in funky gear role BLIND golfer Jim Gales MBE, champion of 10 disability Open events, has become an ambassador for a funky golf brand. The secretary and founder of the Scottish Disability Golf Partnership, Jim unveiled his new Bedlam Golf look at the recent EDGA Algarve Open, hosted at Pestana Vila Sol in Vilamoura. The 52-year-old Scot from Springfield, Fife, lost his sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa in the late 1980s and had never picked up a golf club before he became blind. His vision is now

restricted to just light perception, but it has not stopped him from making his mark in disability golf round the world, with Alan Robertson acting as his guide. Jim, awarded the MBE for his services to disability golf, said: ‘It probably helps to not be able to see the trouble off the tee sometimes. Mind you, it doesn't stop me lifting my head up on my swing though.

‘ Alan says: “Why lift your head up? It's not as if you're going to see where it goes”. He's got a point!’

Golf Academy

Jim Gales and his guide Alan at Pestana Vila Sol in Vilamoura


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The amazing odyssey of marathon man Laurie

Thirteen years and more than 8,000 holes: Laurie during his remarkable marathon

GOLF fanatic Laurie Skuodas has completed the marathon round of a lifetime, playing every hole at every one of Scotland's 558 public courses.

‘It was fun and I enjoyed doing it,’ he said. ‘I’m not sick of it, but I have gone off the boil. But if I see a new course crop up, I will play it in a flash.’

During an amazing 13 years, Laurie, owner of Strathspey Mountain Hostel in Newtonmore, Highland, played 8,091 holes, coughed up £8,500.00 in green fees and hotels, scored two holes in one and got through several pairs of socks.

Royal Dornoch was Laurie's favourite, closely followed by Prestwick and Trump International in Aberdeenshire. Trump cost Laurie a £150 green fee but it was not the most expensive. That was that Royal Troon, which relieved Laurie of £185.

Why so many courses? ‘Because they’re there,’ he says. Laurie, a former RAF PE instructor, showed the same sense of high adventure in other spheres: he has conquered Ben Nevis more than 50 times. He even sailed in his yacht to courses on Colonsay, Tiree, South Uist, Benbecula and Barra, the most westerly in Scotland, and ventured to the most northerly course in the UK, on the island of Whalsay in Shetland.

Laurie played in everything from heat waves to blizzards: ‘The worst was when I played at Edinburgh in unbelievable fog using a GPS watch to get around.’ Laurie started his marathon on a handicap of six. Surely this improved with all the practice he got? Not a bit – it actually went up to 11.


honour the golf heroes

Hampshire’s great Scott is number one

WHO are the people and organisations who make golf go with a swing? England Golf is searching for the heroes of the game to celebrate at its new-look awards evening.

HAMPSHIRE’S Scott Gregory, the newlycrowned Amateur Champion, and British women's Stroke Play Champion Sophie Lamb are England’s top golfers of 2016, having each won their Order of Merit. Scott Gregory and Sophie Lamb: England’s top golfers of the year. Pictures by Leaderboard Photography

Gregory, from Corhampton, is the runaway winner of the England Golf men’s title, while Lamb, from Clitheroe in Lancashire, came through a tightly-contested race to the top of the women’s table. Gregory has enjoyed a spectacular year and his standout moment was winning the Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl. ‘It’s a moment in my career I will never forget,’ he said.‘In terms of how it's changed my life, it's been huge. I've played in The Open and The British Masters, and will receive invites to the Masters and US Open because of it! Any golfer would dream of that and it's made me work even harder than before to get better. I want to do well in these opportunities. The Amateur Championship is a great thing to win but it's what you do after that counts.’

Gregory made his GB&I debut in the winning St Andrews Trophy team and he helped England to win the world championship silver medal at the Eisenhower Trophy.

‘I’m incredibly proud to be part of the team to get the first medal for England at that tournament, and hopefully the beginning of something great!’ Gregory is the second member from his club to win the Order of Merit and he laughed: ‘It also means Neil Raymond has one less thing to joke with me about. We are always having a joke about what we have/haven’t won!” Next year his goals include following Raymond again, this time into the GB&I

Charley’s ‘wicked’ landmark ENGLAND’S Charley Hull has earned her first LPGA title with a two-stroke victory in the CME Group Tour Championship. The 20-year-old finished on a tournament record 19 under par to beat South Korea's Ryu So-yeon.

Walker Cup team. ‘I would love to finish my amateur career in that team,’ he said. LEADING FINAL PLACINGS Men: 1 Scott Gregory (Corhampton, Hampshire) 109627.071pts 2 Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park, Kent) 61113.399 3 Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park, Somerset) 57301.750 4 Jamie Bower (Meltham, Yorkshire) 56569.667 5 Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex) 53010.888 Women: 1 Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe, Lancashire) 79961.250pts 2 Georgia Price (Bude & North Cornwall) 78666.633 3 Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest, Cheshire) 69688.250

Hull, right, started the final round with a one-shot lead ahead and shot six birdies in her bogey-free round for a six-under-par 66 at the Florida course. ‘It's wicked to do it at 20,’ she said. ‘It feels good to be joining the winners this year.’

4 Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer, Worcestershire) 50021.750 5 Bronte Law (Bramhall, Cheshire) 44717.688

Golf Academy

The England Golf Awards will take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground in March, 2017, and tickets are now on sale for the black-tie event. Nominations are invited for eight award categories, closing date January 8: Young Ambassador of the Year in association with the Golf Foundation – open to some-one under 25 who has inspired others to take up golf. Volunteer of the Year – for a dedicated volunteer who has inspired other people to take up and enjoy golf. Lifetime Service Award – recognising someone who has made a remarkable, volunteer contribution to golf. Club Coach of the Year – the winner will be a dedicated coach who has supported the development of players at any level of the game. Most Welcoming Golf Club sponsored by american golf - for the club which goes out of its way to attract, welcome and integrate new members. Strongest Community Engagement – the winner will be the club with ‘community engagement’ at its heart. GolfMark Club of the Year sponsored by TaylorMade-adidas Golf – for the ‘best of the best’ GolfMark Award clubs.


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Lee Cox is World #1 Long Drive Coach BARNET, LONDON, UK – Londoner Lee Cox, head PGA Professional at The Shire London, is already one of the UK’s mostrecognised golf teachers thanks to his work in Today’s Golfer magazine – but in October 2016 his credentials as the world’s #1 long driving coach were also confirmed when his friend and star pupil, Joe Miller, smashed his way to his second World Long Drive Championship. Few golfers who have ever lived have possessed the physique and technique of the extraordinary Joe Miller, and even less can come anywhere close to Miller’s legendary 9second ‘hang time’, but the 46 year-old Cox specialises in giving all levels of golfer special lessons on how to hit the ball further at his Academy at The Shire London, near Barnet.

“Give me any golfer, and I can help them add twenty yards by training them in club delivery, swing mechanics and biomechanics” said Cox. “Joe Miller combines massive precision with an explosive power which is beyond the reach of most golfers, but there are common factors which every golfer can learn from.” Since Miller was in his late teens, the duo have been a formidable team in distancehitting events. The pair originally met as

congratulations both to him, and of course to Joe, for this magnificent achievement.” “There is literally nobody better in the UK to come to, if you want to hit the ball further” said Ceri Menai-Davis, director at The Shire London. “Lee has spent 15 years researching every aspect of big-hitting, and has coached not only superstars like Joe Miller, but also many elite-level golfers and countless higher-handicappers on how to “flush it” with a driver. “Spend half an hour with Lee and you will quickly realise that his expertise on the subject is unique, and exceptional. family friends, and Cox quickly saw something special in the young Miller, who was already a prodigious hitter. Joe Miller’s European Championship win in 2005 announced him to the world, and in 2010 he became RE/MAX World Long Drive champion for the first time.

Long Drive history” said Cox. “To see him over there against all the Americans, winning under extreme pressure against a partisan crowd, was just the greatest moment. Joe is much more than a pupil, he is a close friend, and to see him dominate on that final day was one of the best feelings in my life.”

October 2016’s World Long Drive Championship victory in Oklahoma – which Miller nailed with a 423-yarder in the Final – saw Cox’s star pupil become first European golfer in history to win two World Long Drive titles.

Tony Menai-Davis, who opened The Shire London in 2007 after persuading European golf icon Severiano Ballesteros to design him a spectacular championship golf course, had this to say about his illustrious coach: “Lee is a wonderful teacher, and golfers come from miles around to have lessons with him. All of us at The Shire London offer our warmest

“On October 12th Joe gave arguably the greatest final-day performance in World

“We are proud to have Lee Cox here at The Shire London, and we invite golfers from across the UK to come and learn from him.” However, Cox always reminds golfers that it is not all about big-hitting. “You have to hit the fairway, first and foremost” he emphasised, “and then you need to get it into the hole. Long hitting is seductive, but finesse will always get your handicap down faster!” Contact Lee Cox at The Shire London on +44 (0)20 8441 7649. Photo by Cy Cyr / The Golf Channel

Boundary Lakes Golf Course at the Ageas Bowl


2017 2017

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GRAN CANARIA – JEWEL OF THE ISLANDS The island of Gran Canaria is blessed with year round sunshine and some of the best golf courses in the Canary Islands. The Islands have long been a favourite for our winter breaks, and a return to Gran Canaria was long Michael Rees overdue. With a total of six golfing locations to choose from, there is infinite variety to suit all tastes, and more importantly, it is good at any time of the year, neither oppressively hot or ever cold by British standards. Travelling regularly, we have long decided to acknowledge the benefits of travelling with Saga, very attractive for those a little longer in the tooth, a state that will no doubt evoke empathy from many older golfers. They offer excellent hotels, first class representatives on site, luggage handling and attention to detail all of which helps to take away the stresses of travel. On this occasion we were based in San Agustin, at the Hotel Gran Canaria, a recently refurbished member of the Bull Hotel chain, and a very good choice it proved to be.

Anfi Tauro

In addition to the courses located in the south of the island, where the majority of tourism is based, there are two other courses in the north, Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas designed by Mackenzie Ross, and the oldest golf club in Spain, dating back to 1891. Located in the crater of an extinct volcano it is truly unique. The other course is El Cortijo, and the map clearly shows the location of the courses, the two in the North and five more just a half an hour distant in the South of the island. Just a short drive from the holiday centre of Maspalomas is Anfi Tauro, where world renowned architects Robert von Hagge, Smelek and Baril have created another awe inspiring golf course. With experience of designing over four hundred courses on five continents, they have accepted, challenged and conquered the most inhospitable landscape and from it created a beautiful golf course, which opened in 2007. Spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean are visible from all over the course, the 8th hole is memorable, set in an alcove of red rock. The views on the back nine, where the climb up the valley makes even the shorter par fours seem long, and the entire Tauro Valley is stretched out in view from the 14th to the 17th holes. This is a course that will stay in the mind’s eye for many a long day, it is a real delight. Spectacular scenery, with splashes of bright colour from the flowering bushes, a course which is in perfect condition and a true sporting challenge, where even small successes are to be savoured. Once played – never forgotten. Located high in the volcanic mountains of Gran Canaria, in the South of the island is the five star Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa. Just a short drive along the coast, then the twisty


hairpin ascent from the motorway, and the oasis bursts into view as you top the crest of the hill. Ribbons of green fairways slicing through the stark lunar landscape, with occasional splashes of glistening water to create a golfing canvas of real beauty. Set into the rocky hillside, the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort and Spa is a surprising modern design, angular buildings with seven swimming pools and wonderful facilities that surprisingly blend easily into the mountain landscape, and evoke an air of peace and tranquillity. To blend into the steep slope the architect has designed a hotel that is in three segments, offset to follow the cliff face, fashioned from different natural stones brought from around the world. The golf courses are of equal quality, and for those who have visited Arizona, the golf courses at Salobre will bring instant recall, for here there is a touch of the desert. The courses have been laid out in a region of canyons, barrancas and hills and complemented by lakes and streams, hazards that seem to attract like a magnet. The South course was designed by Roland Favre, a disciple of Robert Trent Jones, and there is certainly a hint of the American maestro in the character of the layout. From every part of

Golf Academy

Anfi Tauro

the course the scenery has to be seen to be believed, it is hard not to just stand and stare at the harsh beauty of the landscape that has been supplanted by a green oasis. The course which is in superb condition tests the patience, but the excellent greens make good putting a great redeemer. The North course which is the younger of the two, is the work of Ron Kirby, and what a spectacular course it is. From the first tee, a shot over the hillside and a dogleg left to the green, with a gaping canyon for any shot drifting right, the demands do not stop. This is a beautiful beast of a course, that tests every club in the bag, and the third hole makes sure that you understand that early in the round. A dogleg right, downhill, and a green protected by another huge barranca, absolutely no bale out on this hole. The short holes are spectacular but have very little margin for error, but if you play well then there is no greater satisfaction. From the normal tees it is only just over 5000 metres, but even the short par fours are a challenge. Two of the very best golf courses that will linger in the memories. Near to the resort of Maspalomas there are two courses, Maspalomas Golf is part of the major tourist complex, it is reasonably flat with wide fairways, set in the area of natural

Salobre Norte

dunes, a protected area of more than 400 acres. Along the Meloneras Bay is the scenically beautiful course of Las Meloneras. A layout of two very different nine hole loops. After a comfortable opening hole, it rolls into a vista of mountain views, followed by a back nine of amazing ocean views along the coastline. A nine hole stretch which will be remembered for the holes played over the ravine inlets which cross the course on their way to the sea. Carries which can be very daunting particularly on the run of holes from the 14th to the 16th. To minimise the travel, most golfers will probably restrict their choices to the clubs in the south, but a trip to the North will be very rewarding indeed. Sadly there is never enough space for all the photographs, but I hope those we have chosen will convey both the beauty and the challenges of golf on Gran Canaria. It is a beautiful island which merits serious consideration if you look for variety, challenge, scenery and weather, and are not overly price sensitive, when planning your next golfing venture. Having played all the very different courses on the island, I would be happy to return at any time to repeat the experience at all or any combination of them.


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Hampshire's best Winter Golf Course South Winchester Golf Club is a links-style course designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas, established in 1993. Located just five minutes from the M3, it is close to the historic city of Winchester. The course is set in nearly 200 acres, with the Clubhouse centrally situated near the ninth green and eighteenth greens. South Winchester is also the home of the Hampshire Professional Golfers Association.

WINTER SPECIALS Coffee and bacon roll on arrival, 18 holes of golf, followed by a hot meal

£39.00 per person SOUTH WINCHESTER GOLF CLUB Romsey Road, Pitt, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 5QX Tel: 01962 877800 www.southwinchestergolf.co.uk


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Happy Sam in Europe breakthrough

Sam Brazel: Victory ‘a long time coming’

AUSTRALIA’S Sam Brazel sealed the biggest title of his career with a birdie at the final hole to win the Hong Kong Open. The 37-year-old world number 480 finished on 13 under par to beat Spain's Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello by a shot. It was a first European Tour victory for Brazel, and with the victory comes a twoyear exemption. Brazel, whose partner died suddenly from bacterial meningitis in 2009, sent a message to his friends and family: ‘This is for you guys.

‘It's been a long time coming. I'm stoked. I'd love to come over to Europe, it'd be a great privilege.’ Tommy Fleetwood finished 11 under, with fellow Englishman and Masters champion Danny Willett on nine under. Willett held the overall lead at one stage on the final day before dropping a shot at the 17th.


Team choice changes for easier Ryder? THOMAS Bjorn, newly appointed captain of the European Ryder Cup for 2018, says the continent’s selection policy is ‘under review’. While emphasising that ‘it would be crazy’ to make radical changes, he conceded that there might be ‘tweaks’. The 45-year-old Dane, four times a vice-captain, will lead Europe at the Paris National in September 2018, trying to regain the cup which the USA won for the first time since 2008 with their victory at Hazeltine last October.

‘Just because you lose one, it doesn't mean the system is wrong,’ said Bjorn. Nine players qualified automatically for the last event, event based on their Tour performances, with captain Darren Clarke picking three wildcards to complete the 12man team.

Above: Paul Casey, whose absence Rory McIlroy said ‘hurt Europe’ at Hazeltine, was excluded in 2016.

Absence Players who do not take up membership on the European Tour - and compete exclusively on the PGA Tour instead - are not currently eligible. England's Paul Casey, ranked 13 in the world, was one of the players who missed out because of the rule – an absence which Rory McIlroy claimed ‘definitely hurt’ Europe's

Left, new European captain Thomas Bjorn

attempt to earn a record fourth successive win. One wildcard pic, Lee Westwood, had performed like a lion in previous Ryder Cups but was a disappointment in 2016. Bjorn said: ‘We are at the stage where it is under review. We will take a close look at it and see if we feel we need to make tweaks.

It is very easy to say everything needs to change because we lost. But we lost with criteria that worked for us in years gone by. Don't take away the fact we won eight of the last 11 with a system that works very well. It would be crazy to do any mad things to it. At this moment we have not made any decisions.’

Annika’s advice for rising star Charley ANNIKA Sorenstam, captain of Europe’s team aiming to win back the Solheim Cup from America this year, had praise for Charley Hull - and some cautionary words.

Sorenstam advocates a careful coaching approach for Hull to tally with her natural instincts: ‘If someone came in and was very structured, I'm not sure that would fit in.

Hull’s recent first LPGA victory, in the Tour Championship, can be a springboard for the 20-year-old English star, but Sorenstam said there is still room for maturity in her game. As if to reinforce Sorenstam’s reservations, Hull’s mind seemed drift during her next event, the Dubai Ladies Masters. She could have won, but admitted she had been ‘a bit lazy’.

‘’The recipe for success is very different for different players.

Hull hit a bogey-free 65 in Dubai to finish on eight under but China's Shanshan Feng shot 64 to win by two strokes.

Charley Hull: ‘I was a bit lazy’

Hull said: ‘I kind of woke up and got into my golf game. I've been a bit lazy all week on the golf course, but I got in there and concentrated.’ Sorenstam told the BBC she did not believe Hull, ranked 16 in the world, is the finished

Golf Academy

Annika Sorenstam: ‘She’s happy go lucky’

article: ‘She has her plan about how to go about things and doesn't seem to be much of an analyser; she's happy-go-lucky.

‘That age, there are a lot of interests, friends and so forth, and I think you get a little more focused with age.’

‘For her it is maybe to find a way to be more consistent and stay focused through the round, learn how to throw away bad shots and not carry them on, and keep on fighting. ‘I'm not sure her goals are totally clear for her other than “I'm having a good time”.’


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Aubrey Boomer

he Giants of Jersey is no mythical tale, but an illumination of the incredible number of talented golfers that came from this tiny island, which measures just nine miles long by five miles wide, and who graced the game for many of the early years. The story begins with two great golf courses, Royal Jersey and La Moye, because it often follows that great courses yield great golfers. Jersey lies just off the coast of Normandy, but although there are strong French influences, it is essentially British to the core.


Royal Jersey Golf Club was founded in 1878 when local residents built a course on Grouville Common. Despite golf being suspended during both World Wars, the second of which devastated the course, it flourishes still. The first thing you notice on arrival is the statue of the greatest golfer of the Victorian and Edwardian era, six times Open Champion Harry Vardon, who also won the US Open and was prominent in the history of the game on both sides of the Atlantic. In an era when golf was in it’s infancy in the United States, golf in Britain was the recognised showcase of the game. It was just spreading out into the commonwealth and to France, where travelling military personnel promoted the game. Harry Vardon was born on the island of Jersey, and achieved records that have never been beaten; he overshadowed his brother Tom who was also a fine golfer who had several good finishes in The Open, finishing second to his brother in 1903, and was fourth the following year, also finishing third in 1907. As well as the two accomplished Vardon brothers, Grouville also delivered another unique major champion; Ted Ray was the only other golfer to win both the Open and the US Open apart from Harry Vardon. They were joined by another who spent time on Jersey, when Tony Jacklin won both Opens in 1969 and 1970, over half a century later. Ted Ray

Harry Vardon


HERITAGE THE GIANTS OF JERSEY was famed for playing with his pipe clamped in his teeth, a prestigious driver, and with a famous recovery game. In addition to his Open successes he was a member of the team to play the USA on three occasions, the last of which in 1927 was the first Ryder Cup match. He was still winning events in 1935 when he was 57 years old, a truly remarkable champion. He also has a stone commemorating his achievements on the golf course on the 15th tee. It is a measure of the quality of the golfers who emerged from Jersey that in the very first international match between England and Scotland four of the English team came from Jersey, all from Grouville. A dominance similar to that enjoyed by Northern Ireland when Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graham McDowell won their major titles. The catalogue of champion golfing families does not end there, Philip Gaudin was another Grouville champion, who had four brothers, all professionals, there was also the Retouf family, and Aubrey Boomer, son of the designer of the original course, who won five French Open Championships among his eleven national titles. He was runner up to Bobby Jones in the 1927 Open Championship, and played in the first two Ryder Cups in 1927 and 1929.

much climbing for the members and was re-designed by him in 1905. The club was founded to provide a course for those who could not get into the Royal Jersey Club, and so attracted many artisan golfers, who were full of enthusiasm, and supported George with all his efforts on behalf of the club. The new course was opened by one of his pupils, Open Champion Harry Vardon. George had taught both Harry and Tom Vardon, he was a pioneer of the day. His greatest legacy was his two sons, Percy and Aubrey Boomer, both marvellous golfers in the 1930’s who contributed so much to British golf during the period between the wars. The club was certainly no stranger to celebrities, for in 1937 the incomparable Walter Hagen came to play the course Jersey certainly has Giants of the game, but the heritage is also strengthened by the experiences of the last war. A visit to the underground German Military hospital and the Don Pallot Steam, Motor and General Museum have many poignant reminders of that period of occupation. A drive around the island will show evidence of a history of defence, with numerous castles, turrets, forts and gun emplacements, in plentiful supply. There are also other giants in their respective fields located on the island. The Eric Young Orchid Foundation in the parish of Trinity houses one of the finest collections of the exotic plants in the world, and a short drive away is the Durrell Wildlife Park, one of the foremost centres for preserving endangered species, recently given popular exposure with the television programme about the Durrell family and their life on the island of Corfu. For the ultimate in giant displays, the Jersey Battle of Flowers which takes place in August each year, is a colourful celebration enjoyed by the islanders and visitors alike. Jersey really is an island of genuine giants with all their accompanying heritage.

La Moye Golf Club was founded by George Boomer in 1902, the original course up and down the cliffs was too

Tom Vardon

Michael Rees

English International Team 1903

Golf Academy

Harry Vardon statue


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atterson roducts


The Eventer and the TRIO Golf Cart help you enjoy a full 18 holed of golf a day. Sit back and relax in the sprung seat, as you drive between holes, conserving your energy for when you really need it - playing your shot.


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Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club

One of Hampshire's best courses FOUNDED 1905

“If you haven’t played it, put it on your bucket list! The friendliness of the welcome, the presentation of the course and the quality of the greens were all outstanding.” – Andra, Gloucestershire Team Captain

Waterlooville Golf Club has continued to receive similar feedback all year and was very proud to host the English Women’s County Finals in September 2016.

WINTER FOURBALL SPECIAL Valid Monday - Friday. Subject to availability

Call now on 023 9226 3388 or email admin@waterloovillegolfclub.co.uk to book

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

w w w. w a t e r l o o v i l l e g o l f cl u b . c o m


We would be delighted to welcome your golf society to Waterlooville Golf Club. Although dates are filling up fast for 2017, there are some still available.


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

HAMPTWORTH GOLF CLUB www.hamptworthgolf.co.uk


- 01794 329 344

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

NEW YEAR, NEW OUTLOOK Make your bunker shots SCOOPER It’s a New Year, the time when everyone thinks about reinventing themselves or cleaning up their act. Why do we wait til January for this? If we really want to change there’s nothing stopping us acting straight away is there? Nothing apart from the story set out in front of us, what we deem to be the way things are and always have been. Here’s an idea… how about we re-write that story and do things differently?

If there is a shot in golf that strikes fear into the hearts of many golfers it’s the bunker shot. For many they’re a physiological nightmare. If the strike isn’t right the ball can shoot across the green or come up way short. The tour players make them look easy; in many cases they aim to put their ball into the greenside bunker as the easiest option for the up and down.

It’s like waiting for the 10th Tee to reset ourselves. Why after a lousy 3rd hole do we feel we can’t make a difference and look to improve until the back nine?

So how can you turn this nightmare into a pleasant dream? Looking at golfers playing bunker shots over the years - a couple of problems seem to keep recurring over and over again.

We write the front nine off with another 6 holes still to play. It’s simply the way it’s always been. Golfers break their rounds into 2 halves. Front and back. Why not reset after the disruption has occurred. Try breaking your games into groups of 3 holes. You have a natural re-set after the 3rd, then the 6th, then the 9th. Draw these breaks on your card before you tee off. Reminding yourself to take check, breathe and simply gain back some control of yourself.

I know that many golfers will need a hand from their pros to pinpoint the real things that drag their games down.

This should help you avoid blow ups where you just lose it out on the course and can’t find your way back from steam spouting from your earholes.

Here’s a date for your diaries that will enhance your golf game this year: Come along to an evening with myself and Karl Morris at Hamptworth Golf and Country Club on Monday 20th March. This will really open your mind and as well as your eyes to how some simple changes can really knock shots off your score.

The ability to re-set yourself comes down to good routine and self-control. So as you head into 2017, think about how you conduct yourself after a bad shot or hole.

Details will be available on my website and Hamptworth’s soon. Email me for more info. This is a night not to be missed if you have grand plans for your golf this year.

Have you got the ability to shake off mistakes and crack on a fresh on the next shot or tee? Or does that mishap lurk beside you and tickle you during your next shot, affecting the quality and therefore dampening your game further.

I am away in Australia til 5th Feb and I will then be back to be on hand to give Mind Factor lessons from the cozy comfort of Hamptworth’s clubhouse. Email me katiedawkinsgolf@hotmail.co.uk and book your session in now.

Also consider what you want to improve in your game? What really costs you and where are your REAL weaknesses? Knowing how to straighten up your shots again with some “parachute drills” out on the course or something you can cast your mind back to.

You’ll find a New You on the golf course in no time at all. Invest in one of my packages and see results in 2017.

Anything that will help to smooth out any creases in your head/technique during a testing round. These tools will save you shots.

Happy New Year everyone and here’s to the dawn of a new level in your golf games. Check out my newly vamped website www.katiedawkinsgolf.co.uk and get inspired.

The most common I see is hitting way too far behind the ball. There are different reasons why this can happen. If someone has good technique, it may be just that they are trying to hit too far behind the ball. Often golfers focus on hitting two or three inches behind the ball. This is fine if the club enters the sand two or three inches behind but, in many cases, when a golfer focuses on hitting that distance behind he makes that point the centre of the bottom of his swing. This can be disastrous because he then enters the sand way too early. Too much sand is taken and the ball generally comes up way short. At worst it may even stay in the bunker. The other thing is that the ball will have very little or no backspin on it. Of course hitting the ball without much spin is useful on some bunker shots. The term chunk and run is a term often used by commentators when describing this type of shot. So if you do tend to take lots of sand with the ball going nowhere try and take the divot under the ball. It’s a bit scary at first but the results should improve. If you are very brave try not to go too deep if you want a lot of spin. If you try this and you are still really digging in one minute and thinning the next, you probably have the face of the club too closed and are digging the leading edge into the sand. If this is the case you need to open the clubface before gripping the club. When you open the face of the club it increases the amount of bounce on it. The bounce acts like a kind of aqua plane and helps the club glide through the sand.

Golf Academy

The technique is to try and use the bounce as much as possible through impact. You do this by keeping the face very open in the backswing. This can be done by keeping the left wrist cupped. Try to hit the sand under the ball with the back edge of the bounce, (for many of you it will feel that your hands are behind the club head at impact). Whatever you do, don’t stop the club head releasing. In other words don’t try and stop the club passing your hands after impact. When I say release, I don’t mean rotating the forearms through impact, rather to let the club go past your arms with a scooping motion. In the pictures I am showing you the scooping action I mean. Notice the knuckles of the left hand are pointing upwards and the palm of the right hand is also looking skyward. This action is preventing the club from closing, thus ensuring that the bounce of the club stays in play through impact. May I wish you a Happy New Year. I hope your bunker shots are scooper from now on. Martin Butcher


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