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ISSUE 170 JULY 2015 Tel: 01329 834360 Email: peter.teetimes@gmail.com www.teetimesgolfmagazine.com FOOTGOLF COMES TO PAULTONS GOLF CENTRE - READ ABOUT THE BACKGROUND AND ITS ORIGIN

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Increase in the number of rounds played Rose the latest European victim of loutish hecklers on U.S. Tour

DISGRACEFUL

A NEW report has brought encouraging news for golf by identifying an increase in the rounds played in Great Britain in the first quarter of this year. Research by the Sports research company Sports Marketing Surveys shows that the average number of rounds played increased by 14 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014. Richard Payne, Senior Manager of Sports Accounts, said: ‘This increase is fantastic news for the industry. ‘This new data offers encouraging insight into the future of the game, and we hope to see similar promising figures leading into the summer months leading up to The Open.’

Weather Above-average temperatures and the generally drier weather in January meant that all regions except Scotland enjoyed an encouraging start to the number of rounds played. February was also much drier than last year, and all regions enjoyed increases in excess of 30 per cent.

A DISGRACEFUL bout of heckling by an American spectator probably robbed Hampshire’s Justin Rose of another PGA Tour title, and prompted new calls for officialdom to come down hard on peabrained ‘fans’ targeting European players.

The 32-year-old made bogey instead of par and this was the difference between winning the championship by one and going into a sudden-death play-off, which Rose lost to Swede David Lingmerth. Hampshire’s favourite golfing son, who still has strong links with North Hants Golf Club in Fleet where he learned his golf, was still

Overall, rounds played around the regions of the country were: North - up 13.5 per cent, South - up 15.7 per cent, the Midlands including Wales - up 20.5 per cent.

Justin Rose: Targeted by loud-mouthed spectators on the U.S. PGA Tour

gentlemanly when asked about the heckling. He said through gritted teeth: ‘It couldn’t have been better timed.’ But Rose had innocently become the latest European golfer to suffer the attentions of foul-mouthed so-called fans on the increasingly rowdy PGA Tour. • Turn to page 24

NO wonder Chris Wood is beaming - he has just won this real Beamer for a hole in one with a seven iron to 178 yards on the 14th at the PGA Championship at Wentworth. There were four other aces in the week, but the 14th was the only one offering the €140,680 BMW i8.

Chris Wood: ‘I just about fit in here!’

The odd tales of two Tigers - Page 4 Woosie snubbed - and it really hurts How clubs can target the ladies - Page 10

CHRIS ACES A PROPER BEAMER

March was relatively cold and wet, and a competing attraction was Six Nations rugby attracting a TV audience of around 10 million.

INSIDE

- Page 4

Rose was well placed on the final day of the Memorial |Tournament in Ohio and poised for a second consecutive victory on U.S. soil when he reached a bunker on the 14th hole. A loutish heckler distracted him at the crucial point of the backswing on his splash shot, causing a severe twitch which sent the ball a good 12 yards further than normal.

TEE TIMES 3

The 6ft 6ins Bristolian poured himself through the gull-wing door and joked: ‘I just about fit in here!’

Alresford Golf Club Course Review - Page 18 to 19 The day I met Butch Harmon - Page 24 FOOTGOLF comes to Paultons Golf Centre - Page 25 to 27 Last hurrah for Open legends - Page 28 The influence of a siren named Phoebe - Bus Pass Golfer - Page 29

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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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News reports contrast the Jekyll-and-Hyde sides of the thoughtful Mr Nice Guy who can shock fans as a foul-mouthed, spitting oaf

The odd tales of two Tigers

GOLF’S return to the Olympics next year has been branded as only ‘an exhibition’ by Masters champion Adam Scott.

TWO recent news reports have drawn into focus the two sides of Tiger Woods, the most successful player in modern golf history. One shows him as a man under pressure, trying to salvage his career and losing his cool so often that he has topped the charts for swearing on the course. The other depicts him as a kind, thoughtful human being stretching out an empathetic hand to a teenager who has been bullied for having a stutter. It has been seven years since Woods won his 14th Major on what appeared to be a non-stop and inevitable charge towards Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, before his life and career imploded with well-documented revelations about his private life. And the strain of having slipped from the pinnacle to a career low of number 140 in the world rankings is clearly showing in his lack of self-control on a golf course. Figures from the Federal Communications Commission show that American broadcasters have received 22 complaints since 2011 for imaginative language from golfers - and 15 of them originated with Woods. One angry viewer said: ‘I should not be subjected to this in my own home.’ Woods gets more airtime than any other golfer, but that does not excuse him as far as another complainant wrote: ‘When watching a sports programme we should be free from vile, insulting assaults.’

Golf last appeared in the Olympics programme in 1904, and is back on the programme for the Rio games. Another club goes flying as Tiger’s temper erupts. Inset, the nicer Mr Woods

The fictional Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde • THE Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a short novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. • It is about a lawyer, Gabriel John Utterson, who investigates the strange relationship between his old friend Dr Henry Jekyll and the evil Edward Hyde. • The tale is widely associated with the rare mental condition of ‘split personality’, in which there is more than one character in the same body. • There two distinct personalities within Dr Jekyll - one good and the other evil.

In the UK, Woods has also attracted complaints, particularly about his ‘nauseating’ habit of constantly spitting on the golf course - even on the greens. Contrast this with the heartwarming letter which Woods wrote to a young fan being bullied because of his stutter. Woods told the boy, named only as Dillon, that he too stuttered as a child and added: ‘I know what it is like to be different.’ Woods said he was proud of the boy and urged him: ‘Keep fighting.’

Woods learned about the boy's condition through Swedish professional golfer Sophie Gustafson, who has a severe stutter. Gustafson is mentoring the boy and contacted American golf journalist Ron Sirak asking for help and passed him emails from Dillon's mother. Sirak said he would contact Woods, who responded by writing to Dillon.

‘I know what it's like to be different and to sometimes not fit in,’ wrote Woods. ‘I also stuttered as a child and I would talk to my dog and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep.’

WOOSIE IS SNUBBED - AND IT HURTS IAN Woosnam has still not been inducted into golf’s Hall of Fame but says he is using his ‘frustration’ as motivation.

frustration, posting ironically on Twitter ‘I think it's time to say goodbye to golf and retire.’

The 1991 Masters winner won his first U.S. Champions Tour title recently, and admits that it hurts to be overlooked by the Floridabased organisation.

‘The Hall of Fame is a strange one. I'm getting a lot of coverage in America at the moment so hopefully it will open a few doors.

Ryder Cup-winning captain Woosnam, 57, admits it hurts being overlooked by the Florida-based organisation: ‘It's very frustrating, but I'm using it to get to where I am at the moment.’ Four people were inducted into the class of 2015 - Laura Davies, Mark O'Meara, David Graham and the course architect, AW Tillinghast.

Scott raps Rio’s golf ‘exhibition’

Ryder Cup winner Woosie: Overlooked by the Hall of Fame

The little Welshman has the one Major title but Colin Montgomerie, who has none but eight European Tour Orders of Merit, is already in the Hall of Fame. When the announcements were made, Woosnam made no attempt to hide his

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‘I've been out in America for the last five or six weeks and have been playing better every week. I've been practising hard and that's now paying off.’ Another attraction is that, as well as recognising Woosnam’s contribution to golf down the years, a place in the Hall of Fame would give automatic exemption to play on the Champions Tour.

The principle has been widely welcomed but professionals such as Scott foresee a hectic summer in which top players might have to juggle personal priorities. Australian Scott says: ‘Whether I win an Olympic medal or not is not going to define my career or change whether I’ve fulfilled my career. It’s nothing I’ve ever aspired to do and I don’t think I ever will.

Adam Scott: Olympics will not define my career

‘It’s all about the four Majors and that’s the way it should stay for golf. To go and play an exhibition event down there to meet some athletes (in other sports) in the middle of the Major season – I don’t think any other athletes in their sport would do that. ‘I don’t believe a lot of sports belong there. It’s got away from where it started. Most of the athletes at the Olympics probably have trained four years specifically to peak at this one event. ‘It’s the pinnacle of their sport, they get one crack at their big thing every four years. They have put their life on hold for this event and it’s so important to them, and I feel it’s their time. Golf doesn’t need to be in the Olympics.’

Clarke’s picks EUROPEAN captain Darren Clarke has decided not to change Europe's qualifying system for next year's Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. The Northern Irishman will have three wildcard picks to join the nine men who qualify automatically: the top four in the European points list and the top five in the world points list. It is the same system used by Paul McGinley when his side beat the United States 16½11½ at Gleneagles last year.

‘It would have been foolish to make any changes,’ said Clarke.

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MINISTER OFFICIALLY OPENS HISTORIC HENSOL CASTLE

The winning team, Kevin Minshull., Eric Brier, Andy Burns and Jack Coulbert

PETERSFIELD G.C. PRO-AM On Friday 12th June, Petersfield Golf Club, in conjunction with the Hampshire Professional Golfers’ Association, hosted a very well supported PRO-AM competition. There were twenty eight teams, each consisting of three amateurs, teamed up with a professional from the Hampshire Professional Golf Association. The weather was relatively kind with only a couple of showers, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm and competitive spirit. The course looked magnificent and reflected the excellent stewardship of Head Greenkeeper, Kevin Clue and his team. Many of the professional were playing the course for the first time, and others had not played it for some time. They were all very impressed with the condition and the challenge it provided. So much so, only two of the professional managed to break par and only by two shots. There was a great atmosphere in the Club House throughout the day and everything went very smoothly thanks to all the efforts of the HPGA volunteers and the

Petersfield members who helped to organise the event, and to those who took part on the day. The team event was won by Kevin Minshull, Eric Brier and Andy Burns who scored a total of 129 pts and were teamed with Jack Coulbert (Lee-onSolent). The runners up were Bruce Day, Gary Edmunds and Steve Uwins with 133pts and were teamed with Danny Fisher (Monxton Golf Cen) In third place were a team of Ladies, Jill Morvan, Sharon Cullinane and Judy Andrews with 135pts and teamed with Shaun Hall (Botley Park). The winning Professionals were Liam Austin from Blackmore and Shaun Hall from Botley Park, who both scored a gross 70, two under par. Petersfield Golf Club would like to thank all the Sponsors who supported the Club and contributed to a very successful day. In addition the day helped to raise funds for the Club Captains charity, which this year is supporting Prostate Cancer. Tel: 01730 895165 www.petersfield.co.uk

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The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, officially opened Hensol Castle (20th May), following a multi-million pound refurbishment programme to restore the historic castle to its former glory. Unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the official opening of Hensol Castle, Mr Skates was given a tour of the 400-year-old Grade I listed building, which is reopening to the public as a conference and wedding venue after the completion of the first phase of its £10 million refurbishment. Located within the grounds of the Vale Resort, Hensol Castle offers conference facilities in the new purpose-built Courtyard Hall, capable of hosting 320 delegates theatre-style and 200 delegates banquet-style. The facilities at Courtyard Hall are complemented by five smaller meeting rooms in the castle itself, which have been completely upgraded and can host between 10-100 delegates per room theatre-style. Phase two of the £10 million investment will include adding up to 30 bedrooms and a top-end restaurant with 120 covers, and is expected to be open by late 2016. The official opening of Hensol Castle coincides with figures from the International Passenger Survey, undertaken by the Office for National Statistics and issued today (20 May), which shows that international visitors to Wales increased by more than 7% in 2014. Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “Hensol Castle gives the Vale Resort something very unique to offer their business and wedding clients. It is a high quality development which makes the most of the site’s heritage and culture giving its clients a top end experience and giving a piece of the area’s heritage a new lease of life. I wish the team every success with this new development.” During his visit, the minister also saw the Welsh Rugby Union’s on-site facilities at the Vale Resort, including its five rugby training pitches. The Vale Resort is gearing up to host some of the world’s most famous rugby teams this autumn, including Wales and France, plus a

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quarter-final knock-out team which could be any combination of France, Ireland, New Zealand and Italy, as it has been selected as an official team base for the 2015 Ruby World Cup. As part of its preparation, the Vale Resort has invested £1 million in upgrading its 143bedrooms, including installing new bathrooms together with upgrading soft furnishings, taking the total investment at the resort within the last year to £11 million. Stephen Leeke, managing director of the Vale Resort, said: “We were delighted that Deputy Minister, Ken Skates, could take time out of his busy schedule to officially open Hensol Castle and be one of the first to see the refurbishment.

“The redevelopment of the castle has been one of the most important investments the Vale Resort has made to further strengthen its facilities. The historic castle adds another string to our bow by providing an alternative option from our current contemporary offering at the Vale Resort. Event organisers can now choose from two very different venues that offer a combined total of 18 conference and meeting suites. With the conference and event market an important revenue stream for the Vale Resort, currently representing 25% of our business, we anticipate significant growth in this sector on the back of reopening such a unique facility in south Wales. Since announcing the new refurbishment, we’ve already had interest from world-recognised businesses such as British Gas, Princes Gate, the Royal Mint and a number of medical and pharmaceutical companies.” Dating back to the 17th century, Hensol Castle is steeped in history. Its previous owners include Samuel Richardson, who is credited with introducing the threshing machine to the world of agriculture and “Big Ben”, Sir Benjamin Hall, who was overseer of works for the installation of the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which is apparently named after him. The estate was purchased by the Leekes family, who own the Vale Resort, in 2003. Hensol Castle had been closed to the public for almost a decade until 2014, when it was opened for weddings for the first time. Until then, it had only been used as a stage set for the television series Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and Torchwood.

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TWO TALES OF GOLF IN BYGONE DAYS BETTING IN THE DARK In 1878, Hoylake, more correctly called Royal Liverpool Golf Club, used the local Royal Hotel, owned by John Ball Snr, as the clubhouse. It was a scene of much imbibing and in keeping with the times, of bets and challenges, not only Michael Rees to straightforward golf matches, but also to challenges of various and obscure types. One of the members, a true character famed for his unusual bets, was R W “Pendulum” Brown. His most famous bet came after an earlier challenge played at night, in which he had been the winner. This latest bet involved a challenge that he could not play a round on the Hoylake course in less than 150 shots, the game starting at 11.00 pm at night. He was to have only one concession, that if he lost a ball he would only be penalised “loss of distance”. None of the supporters were to be allowed to help to search for his ball. Pendulum only asked for silence when he played his shots, as he needed to hear the ball land, since he knew from his earlier challenge, it was not possible to follow the flight of the ball in the dimmest light, even if the moon shone. The challenge was indeed a tough one, they were followed by quite a gallery for the first few holes, then support began to dwindle, as there was nothing much to see, and much searching took time. He was finally left with just two followers, Messrs Cullen and Ball Snr, who were the adjudicators. With high rough and plenty of damage caused by rabbits, he was to lose thirty golf balls in the round. On one hole in particular, the quality of his golf, and the difficulty he faced was highlighted. He struck a good drive, but the ball could not be found. He returned to the tee, but the observers stayed on the fairway, where they saw his second ball enter a rabbit hole. In keeping with the rules they would not assist him to find the ball, so once again he had to return to the tee. This time his drive finished just one foot short of the rabbit hole the second ball had entered. Pendulum duly played his shot to the green, whereupon the observers told him where his second ball could be found. When he looked into the rabbit hole he found not only his second ball, but the first one as well, a truly remarkable sequence of driving. He finally completed his round of golf, and even with all the lost balls he finished with a score of 147, so handsomely winning his bet by three clear shots. The members at Hoylake, and the customers of the Royal Hotel were reluctant to issue challenges to him any more for night time excursions onto the golf course.

ONE TREE HILL Search the internet for One Tree Hill you will find two contrasting sites, the first an American soap opera produced by Warner Brothers, about two brothers who play basket ball at college. The second will tell you of a number by the Irish Rock band U2, who recorded a song about a lone Monterey Pine on a hill in Auckland New Zealand, said to replace a tree, sacred to the Maori nation, which had been chopped down by a settler. The song appeared on an LP in 1987. However there is another story I recall reading about, and a very different One Tree Hill. At the turn of the last century, golf was beginning to expend, new clubs and courses were being opened, and the gentry were investing in hickory clubs and gutty balls. In the main the land being used for golf was of little use for anything else, links land, heathland and scrubland, which with some ingenuity was turned into a golf course. In 1896 a local man had leased some of his land to a new golf club called Honor Oak and Forest Hill Golf Club. The locals believed that it was common land with a public right of way across One Tree Hill, and that it should not be fenced off. The owner said that he and his family had purchased the land near Peckham Rye and that the club therefore had the right to erect a boundary fence. The locals held protest meetings, and tempers rose when two local lads were charged with

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damaging the fence. A vociferous local man said action would be taken if the fence was not removed. One Sunday a large angry crowd of over a thousand people gathered and marched to the hill. One young man climbed the fence and opened the gate to let mob rush through. There were two policemen there, but they could do little to stop the crowd rushing in, so they called for reinforcements and more constables arrived. A stone was thrown through the clubhouse window and the crowd pulled out flags and damaged greens and equipment. The golfers playing on the course rushed back to shelter in the clubhouse. One Tree Hill had been well and truly captured. The following weekend the protests continued, some men came to the gate and removed planks from the fence and waited there to be arrested. The next day the golfers stayed well away, as thousands of people, including many layabouts drawn to the dispute, gathered on the hill. There were plenty of journalists, waiting to see what would happen, so nothing much has changed in a hundred years. The crowd started to break down the boundary fence. One man was arrested, then others tried to release him, sticks and stones began to fly, the crowd surged forward and the battle began. There were over two hundred police,

some on horses trying to hold back the mob. The battle was violent and several policemen were injured but they stood their ground. The rioters then began to set fire to the gorse, which they had soaked in paraffin, and although the fires were fierce, the rioters were kept back. By the evening the fires had died down, and the battle was over. Several of the rioters were arrested and charged for the events of that Sunday, one of them received a prison sentence with hard labour, when he was found guilty of attacking a policeman, many others were either fined or jailed. The next week the demonstrators returned, but his time there were many more policemen waiting, and there was no more rioting. The protesters returned each week in diminishing numbers, and the protest finally dwindled away, leaving the golfers to return to enjoy their sport. There was no repeat of the rioting and the battle of One Tree Hill was over. Two interesting tales of days gone by, both with a dark undertone. Today Health and Safety would prevent story number one, and I can hardly imagine anyone defending the rights of landowners in such a fashion today. If any policemen could be found in a rural community, they would probably evict the golfers.

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Turkish delight for Melissa the frontrunner

TARGET: THE MISSING LADIES New help for clubs in bid to appeal to more women

ENGLAND’S Melissa Reid led from start to finish to secure her fifth Ladies European Tour title at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open - the first tournament on any major golf tour to finish on a Wednesday.

FACT ONE: WOMEN account for just 15 per cent of golf club members in England and there are an average 50 vacancies for women per club. FACT TWO: In major European countries, around 30 per cent of golf club members are women. Now there is help available for golf clubs to attract more women to play the sport and to become club members. England Golf has produced a range of factsheets, supported by the findings from focus group research, golf clubs, other sports and other relevant insight. Lauren Spray, the Women and Girls’ Participation Manager for England Golf, said: ‘Women offer the largest growth area in golf, with 63 per cent of clubs targeting them for membership. We’ve produced

IN DEMAND: Women offer the largest growth area in golf, and more than six in ten clubs target them for membership

these factsheets to offer suggestions and recommendations based on the latest research and learnings from clubs which are having success. Clubs which want to grow their women’s membership can pick and mix from a wide range of ideas.’ The factsheets cover key areas including recruitment, retention, playing opportunities, membership, websites and social media, club environment and volunteers. Guidance on marketing and communication will also be available shortly.

Why Wednesday is the new Sunday ... THE Ladies European Tour, leading the way in experimenting how golf is showcased, has begun by switching Sundays into midweek. The radical innovation, with events’ final day finishing on a Wednesday instead of the traditional weeked, began with the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open, removing it from the ‘Sunday clutter’ of other golf and sporting events which also attract fans, sponsors and TV coverage. The Turkish experiment was a huge success, with record prize money of 500,000 Euros - double that of last year - and was welcomed by broadcasters and sponsors seeking to avoid logjams in the sports calendar. The event was broadcast on live television, with Sky Sports and the Golf Channel reaching 60 countries and 243million homes. It even featured another novel idea: a floodlit 18th hole. The LET recently launched its ‘More than a Tour’ marketing and event strategy, coupled with a new 10-year deal with watchmaker Omega, and a lucrative extension to its broadcast deal with Sky Sports in the UK.

The key messages are underlined by focus group research carried out for England Golf by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc, which showed that: Women prefer to learn golf in a group where everyone is new to the game. They feel uncomfortable making their first attempts in the presence of people who are already competent. The social side of golf is very important to women. Introductory sessions should include time for a chat over coffee or a glass of wine. Taster sessions should highlight the fun side of the game. Equipment should be available so women can try the game and without spending much money. It is vital to challenge the view that golf clubs are not welcoming. Many women and young people are staying away from golf because of the misconception that clubs are elitist. Flexibility is all-important, whether it is flexible membership packages or flexible ways of playing the game which take advantage of shorter formats.

England’s Dame Laura Davies said: ‘I think it’s a great idea, a great innovation, because we get live TV, which we crave. We don’t get it, the men get it. ‘For the European players it’s great because if it happens more and more the TV coverage would presumably up the profile and it would help everything, so it’s a very good idea.’ Amy Boulden of Wales added: ‘It’s a great idea, especially for TV reasons as we’re getting more coverage. At the moment we’re competing with both men’s tours and the LPGA so it’s quite hard for people watching at home.

‘I think it’s great for our tour and to get noticed. Hopefully iwe can get a few more events like this.’

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Themes

The 27-year-old fired rounds of 65, 69, 74 and 73 at Carya Golf Club in Belek, Antalya, for a total of 11 under par and a four-stroke win over France’s Gwladys Nocera. One stroke clear going into the final round, Melissa birdied the first hole and she quickly gained a four-stroke advantage after closest challenger Pamela Pretswell dropped four shots in her first five holes.

‘When you win you want to win properly,’ she said, ‘and to lead every single day has been nice. I’ve not been in that position before, so to win in that way does make it extra special.’

Helen surges to senior title HELEN Lowe staged a superb fightback to become the new English senior women’s amateur champion at Woodall Spa. Helen, from Leicestershire, trailed defending champion Julie Brown by three after 14 holes of the final, but launched a charge and won four holes in a row to snatch victory on the 18th.

Helen Lowe (picture: Leaderboard Photography)

The factsheets are just one of England Golf’s initiatives to attract more women and girls into golf, and a pilot scheme is to be launched shortly to target women in selected counties. In addition, a Women and Girls’ Advisory Group has been set up to create a forum for discussion and to provide feedback.

‘I started pinching myself,’ she said, ‘and thinking Is it really me that has done this? I couldn’t be happier. Senior golf has opened up a whole new world.’

Increasing the number of regular players and club members are two of the seven key themes of the England Golf Strategic Plan 2014-17, Raising Our Game. The strategy calls on all who care about the sport to work together to create a brighter future for golf.

EUROPEAN captain Carin Koch has announced two more vice-captains for this year’s Solheim Cup match against the United States.

The factsheets can be viewed and downloaded by clubs on the England Golf website. England Golf is also asking to hear from any clubs which are experiencing success with women or girls’ recruitment and retention, to add to its ‘good practice’ case studies.

Solheim roles Sophie Gustafson and Maria McBride (formerly Hjorth) will join vice-captain Annika Sorenstam in guiding the Europeans in St Leon-Rot, Germany, in September. Between them, Gustafson, McBride and Sörenstam have played in 21 Solheim Cups, with no fewer than six wins and 122 tournament titles to their names.

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ROYAL ST GEORGE’S - SANDWICH

glance at the golf map of Kent will reveal the names of some of the greatest golf courses in the United Kingdom, and it is no surprise to note that three of the most prestigious of them have Michael Rees been Open Championship venues. Along a five mile stretch of the coast, on a classic stretch of linksland lie those three giants of the game, Royal St George’s, Princes and Royal Cinque Ports. The privilege of playing all three was one to be savoured and stored forever in the memory banks.

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As you arrive in the quaint riverside town of Sandwich, it is difficult to see where the golf courses are, driving through the narrow cobbled streets, along the river and out to the coast. Royal St George’s, Sandwich as it is oft called, was to be the first port of call. The weather was fine and sunny, but with the wind sufficient to demand attention, and after a light lunch it was time to report to the caddy master, who welcomed us warmly and set us on our way. Having trekked the course watching the five recent Open Championships played at Sandwich, it was a very different feeling, looking from the starter’s thatched cabin back to the clubhouse and approaching the first tee. The golf course proved to be all that I imagined, a superb test of golf, in superb condition, and with simply marvellous greens. Unlike many links courses the layout is unique, no out and back here, but a fascinating run of holes that twist and turn and ensure that you encounter the wind from every direction. The views are spectacular, the wildlife, flora including some of the rarest orchids, and in particular the birds are mesmerising, phrases that can and will be repeated for all three venues. The singing of the skylarks continuous, but my abiding memory will always be flight of a different kind, for as we played along the shoreline a lone Spitfire flew overhead, the sound of the

Rolls Royce Merlin engine stirring memories of childhood. Bernard Darwin, that doyen of golf writers wrote “Sandwich simply has a charm that belongs to itself, this is as nearly my idea of Heaven as is to be attained on any earthly links”. Despite more romantic myths, the site was discovered by Dr Laidlaw Purves, visiting Sandwich with his brother he saw the wild dune land stretching from the mouth of the River Stour south to Deal from the tower of St Clements Church and exclaimed “by George what a place for a golf course” and so the club was born. The land was leased and Purves laid out the plans for the course which opened in 1887, a course which included several blind shots and included the deepest bunker in championship golf on the 4th hole. Many of the harshest elements have been modified over the years, but there are still tee shots that test the imagination and prowess. The course soon gained recognition, the Amateur Championship was held in 1892, won by John Ball Jnr, and two years later the Open Championship was hosted, the first time outside Scotland and won by J H Taylor. Five years later Harry Vardon came to win there, a victory he repeated in 1911, beating Arnaud Massey in a play off. Such is the quality of this golf course, that although it

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was not used for 32 years between 1949 and 1981, due to difficulties with road access until the bypass was opened, it has been home to the Open Championship on fourteen occasions. The list of champions who have lifted the Claret Jug at Sandwich includes mutiple winners Harry Vardon and Walter Hagen, as well as Henry Cotton, Bobby Locke, Greg Norman and the latest winner, Darren Clarke in 2011. Many occasions have become famous or some would say infamous, because of the tragedies which occurred. The ball in the bottle which cost Harry Bradshaw the Claret Jug in 1949, the surprise win by Bill Rogers in 1981 after the favourite Jack Nicklaus had shot 83 in the opening round, Sandy Lyle’s missed chip on the final hole, which fortunately went unpunished, and then the bunker disaster of Thomas Bjorn at the sort 16th which saw Ben Curtis win in 2003. That hole was not always the scene of disaster, since the 16th was the hole that Tony Jacklin made the very first televised hole in one in the Dunlop Masters in 1967. The club has hosted all the major championships, both professional and amateur, a testament to the quality of the original plan, and although the course has had three recognised versions, the last of which done to bring back The Open, the direction of the holes has remained the

same. A links course in the truest sense, with not a tree in sight, graced with rolling fairways, deep pot bunkers and a rugged terrain, and then tantalising greens, a delight to play and enjoy. A long overdue pleasure that I had promised myself for many years, the sight of the flags bearing the cross of St George and creating a recollection of names such as The Kitchen, The Maiden, and Campbell’s Table. After the challenges of the course you can return to the tranquillity of the clubhouse, walk the corridors that have seen the greatest players in the game, and view the memorabilia on display and enjoy the whole experience, the first round of our Golf In Kent tour and a truly marvellous induction. It is a short drive into Sandwich, which has a host of good eating places, and even more locations to quench the thirst. With views along the River Stour, and on fine evening sit outside and admire the views. Golf is unique in that golfers are able to play on the same courses, putt the same greens and visit the same clubhouse that the greatest players in the world have and will challenge, and a tour to Kent can make that dream a reality. To find out more about the golf and many other attractions visit: www.golfinkent.co.uk

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GET AROUND FOR YEARS TO COME

TEE TIMES 13

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PRINCE’S GOLF CLUB

s you stand on the 14th tee playing the course at Royal St George’s you can look right and there a pitching wedge distant is The Lodge at Prince’s Golf Club, which was to be our base for our Golf In Kent Michael Rees tour, and it has be one of the finest locations with panoramic views over Pegwell Bay and the white cliffs at Ramsgate. It was a few minutes’ drive and we were soon settled into the very comfortable room overlooking the 5th green on the Shore Course. Prince’s was to be our second course in the trilogy of Open Championship courses, and accommodation onsite could not have been better.

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Prince’s Golf Club has a fascinating history; in fact it has two histories, the first beginning in 1904, when the original course was laid out by Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley. With his friend Percy Montagu Lucas he put up the capital for a new course on land donated by the Earl of Guilford. Charles Hutchings the 1902 Amateur Champion was engaged to design the course, which was to be a new concept. It was not a members’ club, and would welcome ladies and would be a complement to the two neighbouring clubs. The Prime Minister A J Balfour drove the first ball as Club Captain and P M Lucas became the Secretary. Five years after it opened it hosted the 1912 English Ladies Championship. The First World War brought a halt to progress when the course was requisitioned and the Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders were based there. It was the soldiers who gave Percy’s young son the nickname “Laddie” which he retained throughout his life. The course was restored

after the ravages of military use and regularly hosted the Inter Varsity matches and the Parliamentary Golf Society. The Prince of Wales became club President in 1930 and two years later the club hosted The Open Championship won by Gene Sarazen (the first Grand Slam winner) with a record score. Sadly The Open has not returned, baulked on one occasion when the sea flooded the course, but it remains a Final Qualifier Course when the Open comes to Sandwich. Sadly war intervened again in 1939 when once again the military took over, using it for battle training and target practice, Lord Brabazon likened it to “throwing darts at a Rembrandt”. The Royal Marines considered retaining the course, but by luck or intervention it was handed back in 1949, in a desolate condition. Fortunately for the club there was a man with vision and wealth to save the situation. Australian Sir Aynsley Brigland was a qualified engineer and successful businessman; he was appalled by the state of the course. So he built a house on the bay, brought brick by brick from Holland and re-erected there. Then he purchased the two golf courses and a hotel and set about his task. In 1950 Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison were engaged to redesign the course, and managed to recover 17 of the original greens, and set out a new twenty seven hole layout in three distinct loops of nine holes, which are now christened Shore, Dunes and Himalayas. The course was purchased from the Brigland

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family by a Sevenoaks real estate and construction company and the success of the estate was ensured. The old clubhouse is now the site of The Lodge, and a new clubhouse built at the heart of the three loops was opened in 1985 by Peter Alliss, like his predecessor in broadcasting Henry Longhurst he had playing links to the club. Peter had won two tournaments at Prince’s, the Schweppes PGA championship in 1965 and the Piccadilly Medal in 1969. The Lucas family have been an integral part of Prince’s since the formation, first Percy, then his sons Ian the eldest and Wing Commander Percy Belgrave Lucas DSO DFC CBE always known as Laddie. A lifelong journalist, Tory MP and very successful businessman, who had been a fighter ace during the war. His knowledge of Prince’s came to his aid after a mission over France, he was shot up by a Messerschmitt 109 and badly damaged, but he recognised the links at Prince’s and crash landed safely by the old 9th green. His son David Lucas is also a journalist who followed in his father’s footsteps, a Vice President of the club; he was Captain in 2006, bringing the family connections to over one hundred years. The course today is in absolutely wonderful condition, we had the privilege of playing the Shore and the Dunes, eighteen holes to savour, and a return to play the Himalayas is

definite. If you are tempted, then the play, stay, wine and dine offers are great value. Two rounds of golf, accommodation in The Lodge, a two course meal in The Brasserie on The Bay for a very modest sum. www.princesgolfclub.co.uk/the-lodge-roomslodge.php As well as being an Open Championship course and current Final Qualifier, Prince’s has also been host to several PGA Tour events, The British Ladies Open, The Curtis Cup and numerous national and international events, both amateur and professional, a true indicator of the perennial quality of the golf course. The final endorsement we have to make is to comment on the first class service we enjoyed from all the staff at Princes, the team at The Lodge made us feel at home from the moment we arrived, and dining in The Brasserie was excellent. The professional staff in the clubhouse gave us all the assistance and information we needed to make the golf and our stay such an enjoyable experience. If the story so far whets your appetite, then to duplicate the tour is very simple, Golf in Kent will be happy to oblige, and we guarantee you will not be disappointed. To find out more about golf or The Lodge at Princes visit: www.golfinkent.co.uk

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TEE TIMES 15

Whatʼs happening at the Chandlers Ford Golf Academy this year?

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With our welcoming and laid back atmosphere, the friendly attentive staff would like to welcome you this summer. Our restaurant has a simple uncomplicated approach to catering, our combo deals are unbeaten in their value for money. Our personal favourite is 54 range balls and a all day breakfast for £5.75. We have a fully licenced bar showing BT sports. We are also a great venue for meetings, product launches and private parties. We have a NEW fully stocked golf shop offering the new Cobra, Wilson and Taylor Made drivers and irons all custom fit, and we are very happy to Price Match from any local retailer. Golf GPS SYSTEMS from £79! Golf bags from £30 Puma and Stuburt golf shoes from £40 a pair. Golf gloves from £5 15 ball packs from £8 A selection of second hand and ex demo clubs are also available.

Not sure how far you hit your irons and woods? Book a yardage check using our ES14 launch monitor only £10 we will check all your irons and woods and give you the details to take away.

Golf Proʼs offering individual, group lesson and custom fitting. All our golf professionals are busy so please call: Clive Staddon - Tel 02380 614111 James Fairlie - Tel 02380 734637 HeathTeschner - Tel 02380 734637 Sean Hall - Tel 0790 3196307 (Business cards available upon request)

The Golf Academy has always been very busy with golf instruction and we are very happy to have Heath Teschner and James Fairlie from Romsey Golf Club. Heath is looking after our growing Junior section, open to any junior on Saturday morning 9.15am – 10am and 10.15am – 11am. Pay as you go £6 per session, just turn up, have some fun and learn golf!!

We are also very excited about Universal Golf a bespoke custom fitting company, run by Thomas Webster who will be based at the Academy, offering the ultimate in custom fitting using his flightscope XI+ launch monitor. His expertise is in golf shafts, Heads and Grips, and all repairs. He has a vast stock and a enthusiasm for getting you the best performing equipment you can afford. Universal golf have equipment for EVERY golfer. • 45 Mins – single club - £20 • 120 Mins – Full Bag (not incl putter fitting) - £40 • Emailed specs • Price refunded on purchase

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ROYAL CINQUE PORTS he final leg of our golfing tour was at Deal and Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, like the previous two courses, Royal St George’s and Prince’s, it is one of the finest links in the land, and regularly voted in the Michael Rees Top 100 Courses, with every justification. The impressive white clubhouse greets you from whichever direction you arrive, with the commanding mast flying the club pennant proudly for all to see. The sun continued to shine, accompanied by the resident breeze, as we concluded our tour to the most southerly of the three venues, all sited on the coast within a few miles of each other. A genuine golfing feast, with Deal as the grand finale. The name of the club derives from Deal’s membership of an ancient group of trading towns granted special privileges by medieval monarchs referred to as Cinque Ports.

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It has been several years since my last visit to Deal, but it was just as I remembered it, the homely clubhouse, warm welcome and the traditions abundant all around. The statue of Harry Vardon, the Halford Hewitt room and the historic photographs all contrive to make this place so special. Enough time to take coffee and go out on the balcony and look out over the course, with the first hole running parallel to the road, and the huge telescope mounted on the balustrade. It was exactly as I remembered it. The club was founded in 1892 by a group of enthusiasts, who saw the dunes as a chance to replicate the best Scottish courses. The first nine holes were designed by Henry Hunter, helped by James Braid, and with ample land available it was soon extended to eighteen holes. Like many other courses it suffered the ravages of the Second World War, and it was only saved when it was purchased by Sir Aynsley Brigland, along with Prince’s and the Guilford Hotel. It was purchased on behalf of the club by Jack Aisher the late President in 1967, since when it has progressed to the status it enjoys today. That of one of the premier clubs in the land.

The golf course is laid out in a huge anticlockwise fashion, after the first two holes it turns north and follows the line of the coast before return to the clubhouse after the 11th hole. The half-way house situated there is well worth the visit. It is one of the few true links courses in England, with tight fast fairways with many undulations, with old fashioned rivetted pot bunkers, deep and unforgiving, with a magnetic attraction for any wayward shot.

with two rounds in the 80’s, and was thirteen shots behind. He then played two of the best rounds and finished two shots clear of Sandy Herd. His one and only major success. It was the year that Walter Hagen was refused access to the changing rooms, and hired a Rolls Royce, parked it outside the clubhouse and changed there, and had a butler serve him champagne and caviar, a confrontation that helped to change the lot of the club professional.

Then there is the challenge of the greens, very fast and true but with subtle borrows invisible to all but the accustomed eye. The Open Championship has been awarded to Royal Cinque Ports six times but has actually been played on only two occasions, in 1909 and in 1920. Twice it was prevented by war, in 1915 and again in 1942, and in 1938 and again in 1949 flooding prevented the club from holding the championship and it was transferred to Royal St George’s.

It is almost taken for granted that is has been host to all the other major championships held in the land, both for Ladies and Gentlemen, and it has been the home of the Halford Hewitt Public Schools Challenge Cup since 1925. This competition is the largest true amateur foursomes team event in the world; it comprises 64 teams of ten players competing in a knockout format, with every match played to a finish. Each year in the last week before Easter the town welcomes the players for the historic event.

So ended the Golf in Kent tour, completed with a sense of total satisfaction, but just a hint of regret that it was over too soon. I hope I have been able to convey the majesty of the three wonderful courses on our itinerary, Royal St George’s, Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports, for each and every one has all the things that make links golf so fascinating and enjoyable. If you are tempted to follow in our footsteps the solution is very simple. Contact Golf in Kent, who will be happy to assist and ensure that you will enjoy the experience to the full.

Both before and after the golf sample the hospitality in the clubhouse, good food, served with a smile and in delightful

For more information on golf and other attractions in Kent, visit the website: www.golfinkent.co.uk

The 1909 was won by J H Taylor by the margin of six shots, the fourth of his five wins. 1920 was a far different affair, it was won by George Duncan, who started badly

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surroundings. Andrew Reynolds is the club professional, and his well-stocked shop is an Aladdin’s cave, filled with treasures bearing the club logo, as well as everything else you could possibly wish for. If your game is in need of revival he is the ideal man for the task, he has been elected in the top golf coaches in the UK by a national golf magazine. All that comes with a friendly chat and a smile.

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WATERLOOVILLE GOLF CLUB

JULY 2015

TEE TIMES 17

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JULY 2015

Special two-page report on Alresford Golf Club, which is proudly celebrating its 125th anniversary this year

ALRESFORD: MANY years ago when Robert Browning, Lord Tennyson and Robert Louis Stevenson were still living and Queen Victoria was still waiting to be amused, a young doctor named William David Moore arrived in Alresford to become medical officer and public vaccinator for the surrounding villages. A young solicitor named J.Ridley Shield was a junior partner in the firm of E Blackmore and son. The year was 1888. The late G.E.R. Shield, who was later to become a great source of information about Alresford Golf Club, used to say that his father and Dr Moore founded the club when he was a small boy and a report on the Alresford Golf Club Cup can be found in the Hampshire Chronicle, 22nd November 1890. This year is now accepted to be the official founding of the Club and members are celebrating their 125-year anniversary with a whole range of events and activities planned for members and visitors throughout the summer. According to G.E.R. Shield, 'the best conditions for golf in those early days were between mid-autumn and mid-spring, when the grass was dormant or nearly so, and the sheep could keep it down' . Whilst modern greenkeeping techniques now allow excellent playing conditions all year round, the sheep have made a welcome return to the areas of rough alongside the holes during the autumn and winter months. The course is set on beautiful chalk downland which provides exceptional playing conditions all year round. Rain and poor weather does not restrict play here and you are guaranteed full value for your playing membership fee.

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The traditional but local feel of the club with a ‘must play’ all-year course In 1912 the golf course was extended from 9 to 18 holes, but with the start of the First World War part of it was ploughed up and returned to agricultural use so the course went back to 9 holes in 1916. It stayed like this until 1953 when alternative tees were brought into play so that there was a different line and/or length for the second visit to each hole. It added variety to play and reduced wear and tear. The new 18-hole course, in play today, was opened in 1993 and it includes some of the original holes. The greens on these old holes, of course, have been upgraded to modern specification. From the beginning, the Club hired rooms in the Cricketers Arms for use as its clubhouse and this state of affairs continued until 1953. In the years following the war the Club was faced with serious financial difficulties.

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Alresford Golf Club, Cheriton Road, Tichborne Down, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 OPN. Tel: 01962 733746

MATURED LIKE FINE WINE HOW times have changed at Alresford. . . from post-war struggles with a clubhouse fashioned from an old railway carriage to today’s comfortable and attractive home, in which the club is this year celebrating its 125th anniversary. If it was to survive it had to have its own clubhouse with no rent payable and be able to take the profits from the bar. So an old railway carriage was purchased and placed on the course and with the earnest endeavours of many volunteers was transformed into a cosy clubhouse. Some of the club’s older members still remember this fondly. This temporary solution lasted until 1970 when a new and modern clubhouse was opened on the present site. Much of the course itself has been designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and classified as Unique and Superb by the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust. Large parts of the rough, such as the area enclosed by the 2nd, 3rd and 17th fairways, are rare ancient downland. There is good

To survive, the club had to have a rent-free clubhouse and be able to take the profits from the bar. So they placed this old carriage on the course and volunteers set about turning it into a cosy base. Some of the club’s older members still remember it fondly today.

reason to believe they have not been ploughed for centuries and therefore hold many indicator species, which are not only endemic, but also vital to the entire ecosystem of fungi, insects, birds, and mammals, which depend on them. The Club is highly-renowned throughout the county for the high standard in which its course is presented throughout the year, as well as its quick greens, making it a thoroughly challenging test of golf for both amateurs and professionals alike. An ongoing programme of course extensions and practice facility improvements has ensured that the club remains high on the list of ‘must play’ courses’ in the county. A regular county tournament venue for both amateurs and the Hampshire PGA, the club will host the 2015 Hampshire Open and Senior Foursomes Championships this year as part of the 125th year celebrations.

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The course remains a fair test of golf for all abilities, men and ladies, and the club benefits from strong ladies and Vets sections because of this. Members also have access to some of the best practice facilities in the county, with a newly extended practice/covered driving range with ball collection, short game and wedge area, a 6hole par 3 course, chipping green, practice bunkers and two putting greens. Situated along the A31 easily accessible from the M3 and A3, one mile south of the town on the B3046 towards Cheriton, the Club maintains a traditional ‘local’ golf club feel with the majority of members living only a short distance away. This benefits the amount of daily play and support for social golf and events. The Club is however only approximately 10 minutes from Winchester, 15 minutes from Alton and 25 minutes to Farnham, and many

From the beginning and right up to 1953, the Club hired rooms in the Cricketers Arms as its clubhouse.

members make the journey to the club from these areas and beyond. The benefits of the Club and course far outweigh any travel time expended. Enquiries are welcome for all playing categories and abilities, including those new to golf or thinking of joining their first club (ACADEMY) and the SOCIAL EXTRA membership – giving access to all the practice facilities including the new driving range. Whether you are a beginner or regular player, the regular ‘roll ups’ and social occasions will ensure that you make new friends quickly. If you have not visited Alresford before, or are considering changing clubs or even just starting out, this Club really does have something for everyone and well worth a visit - and like a good wine, it really is getting even better with age. - David Maskery, Secretary / Manager Alresford Golf Club

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NEW2GOLF LADIES SWING WHATS HOT OR NOT INTO ACTION TO RAISE FUNDS in the World of Ladies Golf FOR VELINDRE HOSPITAL Your Monthly Blog by Claire Kane

ARE YOU A GOLF PERFECTIONIST?

Entrants to the Golf4Life Fun Competition on Monday 4th May, Left to Right: Lindsay Guthrie – Winner of 5 hole comp, Jane Williams, Emily Pullham – Winner of 9 hole comp, Louise Dixon, Shirley Hamill, Helen Archer, Gaynor Openshaw-Smith, Esther Storey, Hayley Hughes, Kat Ambroziak, Lizzie Evans, Andrea Kitzinger, Cheryl Hopkins, Olivia Sherrin

We’re taught at an early age to aim for perfection. It starts when we’re children, where the simple task of colouring-in is considered a failure if we draw outside of the lines. Thankfully great artists such as the Impressionist Monet appeared to have ignored this particular rule of perfection. When it comes to golf, we’re also looking for perfection, regardless of our ability – the perfect strike, angle and length. For a start there’s no such thing as a perfect swing as we come in all shapes, sizes and flexibility. John Daly may be able to wrap his club right around his torso but by the time you reach your 50s and 60s there are times when just bending down to pick up a ball can be a struggle. The odds are further stacked against a perfect round when you consider we have to hit a 1.62” ball over 4 miles, on a course specifically designed with hazards to make it more difficult, and then putt out over thousands of blades of grass into a 4.24” cup! We’re tempted to perfect our game with the latest equipment but sometimes it’s our old, albeit battered clubs that work just as well. Play with a perfect new ball and the odds are that it’ll gravitate towards an

inaccessible part of the course, whereas the old scratched ball you dug out of the bottom of your bag will probably stay in play the whole round. Then there’s our imperfect weather to battle against. As an island, it’s not unusual for a wind to appear at some stage, requiring telepathic skills to know when to hit between gusts. Not forgetting, the ‘bounce & roll factor’ when the ground resembles concrete in the summer and a bog in the winter. Gary Player may have said “The harder I practice, the luckier I get” but there’s also the other law of golf where ‘the harder you try, the worse you play’. You only have to look at Rory McIlroy, who admits he would love to win at home but sadly never seems to play well in Ireland. If you listen to the number of “sorries” muttered during a game of Greensomes or Foursomes you’ll appreciate how many perfectionists play golf, yet even the great Ben Hogan recognised his biggest challenge was to control his perfectionist trait. Maybe we should relax and just enjoy being imperfect golfers and then, maybe our golf would improve.

© Claire Kane Follow my tales on twitter @golfsnippets

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Golf Professional Gareth Bennett and Cottrell Park Golf Resort have been raising funds for Velindre Hospital in Whitchurch since August 2014. TThe fundraising was initiated through the Golf Development Wales ‘New2Golf’ scheme encouraging beginners and lapsed golfers to take up the game of golf. Gareth Bennett qualified as a PGA Professional in 2007 and became one of Cottrell Park’s professionals in October 2013. He offered his coaching services free of charge for the Golf4Life named sessions and all participants paid £5.00 per week or £25.00 for six weeks. The hour long sessions covered all aspects of the game and finished with an on-course fun competition. All proceeds were collected and £720.00 was raised. In addition the club arranged for pink golf shirts to be logo’d and sold with a contribution of £10 per shirt to be donated to the charity. In total 27 shirts were sold raising a further £270. More recently Gareth has been coaching a group from ‘Spindogs’; a local leading web design and developments agency. They donated £300 for lessons for their employees and clients which again were donated to the charity. Three members of their team are continuing with lessons to improve their game. Finally a Golf4Life competition was held on Monday 4th May. The entry fee was £10 per person with £5.00 going to Velindre. A field of 18 entrants entered with some playing a 5 hole competition and the rest a 9 hole competition.

Entrants included four Cottrell Park employees, two Spindog employees and ladies currently having lessons with Gareth. The winner of the 5 hole comp was Lindsay Guthrie with 36 shots and Emily Pullham won the 9 hole comp with 71 shots. Both winners received a 30 minute golf lesson with Gareth Bennett. In total £1500 was raised for Velindre Hospital including a donation of £120 from Cottrell Park Golf Resort. A cheque presentation is due to take place on Friday 22nd May. Velindre Cancer Centre provides specialist cancer services to over 1.5 million people in South East Wales and beyond and they are one of the largest cancer centres in the UK. Gareth Bennett, PGA Professional at Cottrell Park Golf Resort, added: “The New2Golf scheme at Cottrell Park has been hugely successful. On a personal note it feels great to be able to give back to the game of golf. By providing free lessons and giving opportunities to people to take up this great game and structured pathways to membership. At the same time raise money for a fantastic charity.” About Cottrell Park Golf Resort Opened in 1996 and based in St Nicholas, Cottrell Park Golf Resort boasts two exceptionally-maintained golf courses, event and conferencing facilities, restaurant with award winning caterer Spiros, plus indoor and outdoor activities including two state-ofthe-art golf simulators. The club was also recently awarded runner up in the 2014 GUW Welsh Golf Club of the Year Awards.

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Dorset school for would-be referees

Rules Schools can lead to qualification as a county golf referee. Picture: Leaderboard Photography

Sandry’s charity boost at Broome TWO of Barry Sandry’s former assistants tied for first place in the West PGA Captain’s Charity Pro-am at Broome Manor, Swindon, in a weather-ravaged and Wiltshire-dominated day.

DORSET is one of the areas chosen by England Golf for the new round of County Rules Schools being held across the country.

receive from across the country. These three new dates provide further opportunities for people to attend a rules school on their doorstep.’

Since 2011, England Golf has run 16 rules schools across the country, all proving very popular and attracting almost 500 people in total. Successful delegates qualify as county referees and can go on to assist at county tournaments.

The schools are open to all members of golf clubs affiliated to England Golf. Delegates should have at least a basic understanding of the Rules of Golf and are recommended to try the R&A’s online Level 1 Rules Academy before attending.

This autumn, schools will be held in Shropshire, Dorset and on the Isle of Man.

There is a mix of outdoor practical demonstrations, refereeing roleplay scenarios and some indoor tutorials. There is an exam on the second day of the course. The Dorset school for the South West will be held Yeovil Golf Club on October 7 and 8, with an entry deadline of August 7. Further details are on the England Golf website.

Toby Thorne, England Golf Championship Manager, said: ‘We are delighted by the interest in our rules schools and the invitations we

As Butch Harmon was Rose victim saying the other day… of heckler • From page 3

Richard Jefferies (Shrivenham Park) led the winning team on countback after he and Jonathan Law (Metro Golf Centre, London) returned ten-under-par 132.

In recent weeks, both Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter have been on the receiving end, and this latest incident led to calls from several commentators for golf’s administrators to knuckle down on the kind of spectator behaviour which is more acceptable in soccer than in golf.

Former PGA champion Plymouth-based Scott Drummond’s trio was third, one shot behind, while Sandry, the former long-serving Broome Manor club professional and now life member, shared fourth on 134 with Ian Ridsdale (Wrag Barn). Barry’s youngest son Paul played in Law’s team with Tom Law and Michael Cox.

Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail wrote: ‘At the Masters, they’re still striving to replicate the zero tolerance code of the Corinthian years, summed up with a quote from tournament founder Bobby Jones on page one of the spectator guide handed to each patron as they walk through the gates.

Jefferies led Matt Davis, Gary Aspery and Nigel Pullen. Drummond headed the Hill Group trio of Alan Pardoe, Mike Webster and Mike Hill.

‘Apart from the weather everything went very well as I received plenty of support from friends, members of Broome and other local clubs,’ said Sandry, who hopes his charity season will benefit by around £3,500 from the first event. He is raising money for the PGA Benevolent Fund and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. One continuing cash-raising feature is the Twos Club at pro-ams. Each amateur who makes a two and donates £1 in advance is entered for an end-of-season draw for money-can’t-buy prizes.

England triumph ENGLAND scored a convincing 19-11 win over Spain to regain the Seve Ballesteros Trophy at the end of the two-day mixed international at Burnham & Berrow. The result extended England’s outstanding record in the biennial match, with 14 victories to Spain’s two – and they have never been beaten at home. It was the first time that women were included in the team and they certainly played their part - Gemma Clews, Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen won all four of their matches.

Learning from the best: Steve Cox with renowned coach Butch Harmon

I RECEIVED a warm welcome and was shown around the tremendous facility there. To make it even more special, I got to see Corey Pavin having a lesson with Greg Le Bella, one of Butch’s senior instructors. I met Butch’s pupils at the Caesar Palace hotel, jumped in one of the limos and headed off to meet the man himself. Of the 12 pupils, eight had flown in from Singapore, two from Nashville, one from Oregon and one from Frisco. Day one was spent working on their swings in the morning and their short game in the afternoon. I got some great advice on playing the bunker shot, and that evening we checked out the sights around Vegas. Thursday saw us back to the school for a 9am start, with a 30 minute warm up session and reminding the pupils of their key swing changes. Butch then conducted a short game clinic with a bottle of whisky on offer for any hole-in-ones. I also spoke about great short game players to one of Butch’s senior professionals – a young 76 year old! who told me how Seve Ballesteros had explained to him how he played his chip shots like he shaved in the mornings!

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AS part of a week in Las Vegas, Steve Cox, PGA Head Professional at Weybrook Park GC, Basingstoke, got a whole new perspective on coaching. He spent two days as part of a group of 12 enjoying a three-day course at Butch Harmon’s school in nearby Henderson. Here, Steve relives the experience.

After lunch, I stayed on the practice ground to watch Butch give a two-hour lesson to a scratch player who had flown in from LA. I got to watch Butch Harmon in action and see him improve the guy’s shotmaking with only the smallest of changes, allowing him to both understand it easily and work on the feeling of the new movement. Less is definitely more in this situation; working on the correct small changes will make all the difference to the shots.

Distressing ‘In golf, customs of etiquette and decorum are just as important as rule governing play, ot says. It is appropriate for spectators to applaud successful strokes in proportion to difficulty, but excessive demonstrations by a player or his partisans are not proper because of the possible effect upon other competitors. ‘Most distressing is the applauding or cheering of misplays or misfortunes of a player.’ Lawrenson added: ‘We’ve grown to accept partisanship at the Ryder Cup as part of the atmosphere of the event.

‘Even the common examples of verbal rudeness that players have sadly had to accept, they can live with.

Just being in the presence of the world’s No.1 coach is enriching. I learnt so much to bring home and introduce into my coaching.

‘But what happened to Rose was unacceptable, just as what happened to Sergio Garcia near the end of the Players’ Championship last month went beyond the pale. Ian Poulter has had plenty in recent weeks, too.

I have always believed if you want to be the best you must learn from the best, and I can now say I’ve done just that.

‘You can’t have spectators clearly affecting the outcome. This is no grey area. This one demands a response.’

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Starting here: Special three-page review about FOOTGOLF at Paultons Golf Centre

PAULTONS WELCOMES FOOTGOLF

During the first weekend in June activities at Paultons Golf Centre took on a new concept with the birth of Footgolf played over the Academy Course. After a very successful period of operation at sister club Addington Court it was decided that it was time to bring the new sport to Paultons. The first weekend was a huge success, with many golfers trying out their skills, including several sceptics who started the sessions with adverse opinions but finished the round with a smile, and confirmed enjoyment. The Footgolf 18 hole course will be available every weekend, commencing at 12.00 and finishing at dusk, both Saturday and Sunday. All the rules about playing and dress are explained on the following pages, and with very little expense you can be one of the converts to the new sport of Footgolf.

Long serving Club professional and Director of Golf Mark Williamson and General Manager Simon Blanshard are seen sporting appropriate headgear to welcome players for the second weekend session, and the sight of familiar faces bodes well for the uptake. The appeal is simply the popularity of football, a chance to test your skills and a competitive environment in which to do it. It costs just £12.00 for eighteen holes, and £6.00 for under 16 year olds. It already appears that this will prove to be one very popular outing for the youngsters. The Premier Package based on a minimum group size of twelve, comprises:

A bacon bap and bottle of Bud on arrival, followed by an eighteen holes competition plus a replica Nike Premier League Football for the winner of the group.

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The centre will also be staging UK Footgolf Ranking Events, so if you want to see the best in action, just turn up and watch, and risk being tempted to have a go yourself. The level of competition is high, the Winner of the National Event qualifies for the World Finals held each year in the USA. The activity is capable of being played by all ages, even the silvertops who have been experimenting with Walking Football will find this more of a challenge. As well as numerous Men’s League events, there are already ladies and junior leagues established around the country, and at the established locations, Centres of Excellence are now being set up and very well utilised. Footgolf parties will soon become a regular event at Paultons, for £10.00 per head, the youngsters can enjoy eighteen holes then

two hours in their own private party room with food of choice. Societies can also opt for the addition of Footgolf during their day of sport, instead of an outing on the Academy playing golf, it could be Footgolf as the extra. There will be many reasons for Footgolf parties, Stag and Hen groups, celebrations of various types, but the biggest involvement will surely be the competitive element, with leagues, regional challenges, and the national event itself. One of the undoubted benefits will be the attraction of new visitors to Paultons Golf Centre for Footgolf, and with them they will bring additional revenue which will ensure the continued maintenance and develop the facilities in the location, providing a hub for sports activities to the benefit of all. • Turn over to learn the history of Footgolf

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Page 2 of special three-page review about FOOTGOLF at Paultons Golf Centre

FOOTGOLF The Background Having set the scene, everyone will want to know the background and rules for the new sporting phenomenon which is Footgolf, and why it has exploded around the globe in a staggering fashion. The name does not need explanation, it is a portmanteau of football and golf, and a little imagination will provide the idea. The origins of the game are unclear, and many believe that it started in Argentina; their players are recognised as some of the best in the world. As early as 2006 the game was being played, however it was not until 2008 that the first nine hole tournament was held on a golf course, and played in the way that it is accepted today. The event was in Holland, organised by Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten for a mix of Belgian and Dutch professional footballers. It is believed that Tottenham Hotspur used to play a format similar in their training sessions. It grew quickly in the United States between 2006 and 2014, when golf courses were closing. The number of clubs playing Footgolf grew from 30 to over three hundred, some even abandoned golf itself to concentrate on the new game.

Contact Details: Paultons Golf Centre Old Salisbury Road Ower, Nr Romsey, SO51 6AN Tel: 02380 813992 Pro Shop: 02380 811212 Email: paultons@crown-golf.co.uk Website: www.paultonsgolf.co.uk General Manager Simon Blanshard Director of Golf Mark Williamson Golf Day Manager Keryn Chalmers

The world governing body is Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG) and there are now twenty two member countries affiliated to the association. The governing body in the United Kingdom is UK Footgolf, and they publish the rules, organise tournaments and maintain playing records for all the leading players in the country. The statistics for the best players are really amazing, showing great skill. The underlying concept is to provide a sport which is faster, cheaper and more accessible to players if all ages. It is designed to complement the game of golf and not to replace it. It is certainly a very sound source of additional income and with very little extra operating costs for the clubs where the game is based. The existing staff provide all the services and the layout could not be much simpler, utilising the land and amenities on hand. In the USA several Pro Am tournaments are held throughout the year, the pros are ex professional footballers, and the popularity of

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these events is growing at a fantastic rate. Many are older players, for this is a sport where neither age nor sex age is a barrier, from the very young to the more senior of our sportsmen and women. It also allows freedom for the fashionistas to display their skills, although there are defined rules about dress, one important rule is that football boots are strictly not allowed, only trainers. The best dressed players will be wearing stylish flat caps, and the golf wear of Royal & Awesome would be absolutely ideal. Samples of their headgear are shown, but a glance at their website (www.royalandawesome.co.uk) will show a great display of caps and both shorts and plus fours plus matching long socks, for men and skirts for the ladies. Well worth a peak. The sport in the United Kingdom is governed by the UK Footgolf Association, the Head of Development is Gareth May, he has the task of growing the sport throughout the UK, but from the examples seen to date, he task will not be

too onerous. Players are taking to the sport with great enthusiasm, and the sponsors Monsterbid are offering every encouragement with their backing. The website (www.facebook.com/UKFootgolf) gives lots of information about the game, details on the rules, and has a monthly newsletter filled with information for members. With the launch of the sport at Paultons Golf Centre, it is anticipated that the response will be huge, if the pattern follows that experienced around the UK, and though the course will only be open at weekends for the time being, from 12.00 noon until dusk, it will be possible for groups to book the course for a private session. At other venues around the country, club sessions, Footgolf parties, Stag Parties and Hen Parties are already regular facets of the game. It will be interesting to see how this innovation is received and if as expected it brings more visitors to the golf course.

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Page 3 of special three-page review about FOOTGOLF at Paultons Golf Centre

A CHANCE TO SCORE Both soccer and golf, the two activities forming the basics of the fast growing sport, originally having little in common, but two sports where scoring is all important to the players. The way they have evolved is very different, golf was the sport of aristocrats was played centuries ago, football the working man’s game, started in the late 1800’s, and has been followed by the masses since it first became organised. Nowadays the picture is totally different, both football and golf are the sports enjoyed by all levels of society, generating vast amounts of money for the players from worldwide broadcasting rights and exposure. The concept of blending facets of both is simple and it is surprising that this format has taken so long to evolve, but now that it has the growth is quite staggering. Paultons will be offering the full range of services required by the new game, whether played in the most serious manner, or simply when the lads want a kick about during the weekend. The club is committed to providing the total package, and catering for the needs of golfers and footballers alike. The golfers are already well provided for, with twenty seven holes of very fine golf, a comprehensive practice facility with the range on site, and now the Footgolf to complement it. Using the voucher which is on this page will enable you to sample Footgolf for just £5.00 or a round of golf for £20.00, or a Weekend Combo of both golf and Footgolf for £20.00, the ideal opportunity to try out the facilities at Paultons Golf Centre. The Crown Group has long been at the forefront of providing the best innovative packages, whether for the occasional player, society or most importantly the club member, and has been innovative in designing systems to cater for the very different needs of the golfing public today, when time and money are important commodities. FreedomPlay is the perfect solution for the golfer who wants to belong to a club, but cannot play often enough to get the most out of club membership, particularly when the

annual fees are substantial. FreedomPlay costs just £245.00 for the year, plus £50 of golf credits which can be used to buy tee times. With the membership you become part of the club, you can join in competitions, maintain a handicap and make full use of the club house. £50 will buy 250 credits, and those credits can be topped up at any time, the more credits the bigger discounts you enjoy. Late afternoon times can be exchanged for just 5 credits, and that includes Saturday and Sunday. The charts shows how advantageous timing of when you play can maximise the fees. As a member of the Crown Group of clubs, there are many advantages; members are allowed to play at any of the twenty six Crown courses as part of the Open Play regime, with courses all over the United Kingdom. For families at all Crown clubs there is an added bonus, for children of members who are less than fourteen years of age have free subscriptions under the Kids Go Free Scheme. The aim of the management is very simple, to provide members with the best facilities and for the very best value, within a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Go along and try it for yourself.

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*

This voucher enables you to sample Footgolf for just £5.00 or a round of golf for £20.00, or a Weekend Combo of both Golf and Footgolf for £20.00 Paultons Golf Centre, Old Salisbury Road, Ower, Nr Romsey, SO51 6AN * Offer valid until 31st July 2015

Michael Rees

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Please cut out and bring with you on day of purchase

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LAST HURRAH AT THE OPEN FOR NICK AND TOM (but not for Greg) THE place will be awash with emotion and nostalgia when two of golf’s biggest names make their last appearances playing on the biggest stage of all: The Open Championship at St Andrews. Sir Nick Faldo, the greatest British golfer of the modern era, and evergreen American Tom Watson will grace the most famous golf course in the world this month as they play in their final Open. It will be 25 years since Sir Nick’s runaway victory at St Andrews and he will doubtless be posing for final pictures on the Swilcan Bridge, as have Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer before him. New, bigger-capacity grandstands around the final two holes will ensure crowds fittingly big enough to bid farewell.

GOING NicK Faldo: Greatest Brit of modern era

‘It may be my last Masters next year,’ he said. ‘The distance is ebbing away from this old body and the handwriting is on the wall.’ But two-time Claret Jug winner Greg Norman will not be playing, saying he wants to make way for younger players.

GOING Tom Watson: Favourite with British fans

GONE Greg Norman: ‘Unfair to block young players’

This is his last year of automatic eligibility as a former champion, and it was thought that 60-year-old Norman, who won The Open in 1986 and 1993, would play in Scotland. But the Australian, who last year damaged a hand with an electric saw as he cut logs, said: ‘I don’t want to take the space of younger aspiring golfers. It would be unfair. I’m not practising like I used to.’

THREE-UP FOR MONTY COLIN Montgomerie successfully defended his Senior PGA Tour Championship title with a final-round 69 to finish four clear of Mexican Esteban Toledo in Indiana, USA.

Easy as one, two, three THREE golfers each sank a hole in one in the same competition, within half an hour of each other. The golfing trio, who were each playing in a singles stableford competition at their home club, Gathurst, Wigan, were each rewarded with membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1Club and a commemorative timepiece. Steve Webster, 55, who plays off 20, was first to hit the mark with his seven-iron, which took one bounce before rolling three feet into the hole on the 148-yard, par-three 15th.

Moments later, lady luck smiled on ninehandicapper Ian Liptrot who holed the 170-yard, par-three 17th. And then Terry Fletcher, 66, who plays off 13, made it a hat-trick with the final ace of the day, also on the 15th. Pictured above, left to right, are Terry, Steve and Ian.

Anything you can do. . .

Swansong ‘I look forward to celebrating all that golf has given me as I cross that storied bridge,’ said Sir Nick - whose 58th birthday will fall on the Saturday of the event. And the emotion will redouble for the last competitive Open return for Watson, a huge favourite of British crowds. The 65-year-old warhorse has signalled that next year could be his Masters swansong as well.

IT’S ACES GALORE!

senior Major championship success after the 2014 Senior PGA and U.S. Open.

The Scot, 51, took a three-shot lead into the final round on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick resort.

Monty said: ‘It was a difficult position to be in at the start of the day, being three ahead. I could never relax at all. And very, very tiring mentally. Every shot had to be executed or you could be in trouble. That's a test and a half.'

He joined the senior tour after a career without winning a Major on the main tour, and immediately started scooping up senior titles. This year’s PGA triumph was his third

Former Masters and Open champion Sandy Lyle finished the tournament on two over, with Ian Woosnam 10 over. Sir Nick Faldo came home a further four shots back.

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A HUSBAND and wife laid claim to being the luckiest golfing couple in England after they each achieved a hole-in-one - on the same hole, just days apart. John Stephenson, 63, from Leeds, fourironed his tee shot during a Stableford competition on the 168-yard, par-three 17th at Sand Moor GC. Just six days later,

Togtherness: Hole-in-oners John and Shelagh

wife Shelagh, playing off 16, sank an ace on the same hole. She said: ‘I said to my playing partners, wouldn't it be great to manage a hole-in-one on the same hole that my husband got one on last weekend. I hit a five-wood and I'm thrilled to say it was in the hole - five points and I won the competition.’

Record albatross No 10 for Miguel SPAIN’S Javier Colomo carded the first albatross on a par four in European Tour history in the Mauritius Open. Colomo needed a birdie on his final hole, the 322-yard ninth, to make the cut, and holed his tee shot for a two-under 69. He said: ‘I hit an unbelievable driver, very high with a little cut.’

MIGUEL Angel Jimenez made a holein-one during the third round of the PGA Championship at Wentworth. The feat set a European Tour record of 10 aces. The 51-year-old Spaniard’s strike on the 154-yard second hole, which came a week after an ace at the Spanish Open, took him past Colin Montgomerie's total of nine.

…and here’s the biggest hole in one American golf course! THIS huge sinkhole opened up overnight on the Top of the Rock golf course in Missouri. The Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 course is part of the Big Cedar Lodge complex and recently hosted a PGA Champions Tour event. The hole, 80 feet wide and 35 feet deep, is fairly common in an area known for its ‘karst’ topography, a feature in which water is constantly circulating through bedrock below the ground. The region has many sinkholes and caves.

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JULY 2015

TEE TIMES 29

Continuing the saga of a late-convert golfer’s search for glory on the greens. . . IT’S sad, but inevitable. When you have a group of more mature golfers, as the months go by you tend to lose the odd one. Our Wednesday Tenners – so called because we meet at 10am ever Wednesday – has recently lost Alan. He’s a Scotsman, plays off 16. Burly guy, can’t half whack a drive. I’d noticed he’d stopped responding to the e-mails which keep us all in touch, and thought perhaps he was away. Then he missed a couple of weeks, then another, and one of the chaps gave his home a call. It was what we’d all feared. Natural causes. He’d found a woman.

‘He was divorced in his sixties and he’s 74 now,’ said one of our more cynical members. ‘Let’s hope he can remember what to do with her.’ It was something of a shock for all of us, and shock’s a risky business for gents of our age. Anyway, we all survived that.

We’re one short, thanks to a mantrap named Phoebe

DIARY OF A BUS-PASS GOLFER By Bob Evans If it had been a heart attack or any of the other mantraps which lay ahead, we would have been sad, of course, but not surprised. We’re accustomed to seeing the club flag at half-mast. Snatched away by the Grim Reaper is par for the course (actually 72 is par for the course, but don’t pick me up on it), but snatched away by a statuesque lady called Phoebe was totally unexpected. And she really is statuesque. If she was standing in front of you, you’d have to hit a hell of a draw to get round

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Always down the practice ground, he’d take out 200 balls at a time – I’m not joking, 200! – and had all the videos and books. He’s a hell of a player now, but he’s stuck on 25. When he plays with us, he regularly breaks 90 and touches 80. But within the Tenners, we have our own handicapping system: winner loses two shots, second loses one, and he’s been playing so well that he’s now down to the mid-teens. That’s with us, on Wednesdays. But every time he plays in a qualifier with the seniors on a Thursday, he gets over-excited and hits it half way to Lewes.

her. And Alan used to pant a bit on that hill up to the eighth green, so we don’t know how he’ll face up to this new challenge.

Lost balls wreck his card, which is why he’s still on 25. Unless, of course, he’s protecting his handicap.

His new lady friend lives near Eastbourne and apparently he’s been playing at a club on the coast there. Otherwise, the Tenners are fine.

• Now, can anyone help me with this? Playing in a friendly four-ball on a Downs course at the back of Brighton, as one player was held up, to save time, I marked his ball. He was furious.

Do you remember Tom? He came to golf after his wife said hang-gliding and windsurfing were too dangerous. At six-footfive, slim as flag pole, he picked it up in no time.

‘If you mark someone else’s ball, you’ve got to replace it,’ he fumed. Is that true?

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JULY 2015

JOIN THE Q - AT MOTTRAM HALL ress photographers and journalists are no strangers to QHotels’ opulent Cheshire retreat, Mottram Hall, where sports stars and celebrities are often snapped using the luxury facilities – but last Michael Rees week saw the brand’s management quizzed and photographed in a media day at the four-star venue. The UK’s largest golf-resort operator and the current AA Hotel Group of the Year, QHotels was keen to provide an insight into its golf operations which have more than doubled in the last year, and invited a select number of golf media to attend an informal event at one of it’s flagship facilities. Guests were welcomed by former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan OBE, before heading out on to the Dave Thomasdesigned championship course. The day culminated with dinner and a question-and-answer session with QHotels’ director of hotel operations, Vivien Sirotkin, and group director of golf, John Angus – all hosted by BBC sports presenter Dan Walker.

P

Vaughan, a member at Mottram Hall, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to welcome members of the golf media to Mottram Hall – my spiritual golfing home. I think it’s quite well known that beyond cricket – and Sheffield Wednesday, of course – golf is my big passion. I play as often as I can here and I’m delighted that the introduction of the new QFairway membership will enable many others to experience this fine venue.”

guest offer with premium golf, spa and leisure facilities. The former De Vere Hotels that have joined the QHotels portfolio are: Cameron House, Loch Lomond; Dunston Hall, Norwich; Oulton Hall, Leeds; Mottram Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire; Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland and Belton Woods in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The list of awards is impressive, in September 2014, it was named AA Hotel Group of the Year for the second time, underlining the group’s commitment to deliver outstanding standards of product and service. A month later, the hotel group received another accolade when it was named ‘Which? UK Hotel Chain Recommended Provider’ for the second year in a row – one of only five hotel chains to be recognised in this way – while, in 2013, QHotels was also rated number one UK hotel chain by this independent watchdog. In addition, 2013 also saw 15 QHotels receive gold and all remaining hotels receive silver awards from Green Tourism Business Scheme Awards, the National Sustainable Tourism Certification Programme.

That was a theme taken up by both Angus and Sirotkin, who stressed QHotels’ drive to increase participation among juniors and females. Sirotkin said: “Just because QHotels is the country’s biggest golf-resort operator, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best – but we certainly aspire to be. QHotels is passionate about individual service and strives to exceed customer expectations. One of our big pushes for 2015/16 and beyond is to increase the number of female golfers. Lady golfers make up just six per cent of QHotels’ golf members at the moment – which is below the national average. It is our intention to lift that figure above the national average – we’ve given ourselves some big targets and we intend to deliver on them.” Angus added: “We listened to our members and regular visitors by conducting a survey last year, and high quality golf-courses and golf facilities, low costs and flexibility were the key requirements for the modern golfer. QFairway has grown organically out of those demands. It is – and will continue so to be – one of the biggest membership drives that have taken place in golf in recent years.”

“In just a few months we have seen more than 1,000 new golfers take up the QFairway membership and that’s testament to its flexibility and suitability. Free junior memberships are available to all children aged 15 and under providing their parent or guardian also has adult membership at the same time. And shortly, QGolf Academies will

launch across all 11 resorts with a commitment to growing participation levels, particularly among juniors and female golfers. QFairway and QGolf Academies are just two examples of QHotels’ commitment to golf, ensuring quality facilities and service can be affordable and accessible to all. Our commitment to grass-roots golf and increasing participation in the game is clear through everything we offer.” The QFairway flexible points-based membership gives players all the benefits of a traditional club membership – including the facility to hold a handicap and playing rights for club competitions – while offering discount on food and drink, shop purchases, tuition, hotel bed-and-breakfast rates, and,

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most impressively, access to all of QHotels’ 15 golf courses, including such prestigious venues as Mottram Hall, Slaley Hall and Forest Pines. QHotels (www.QHotels.co.uk) was founded in 2003 by managing director Michael Purtill; finance director Ian Goulding and investment company Alchemy Partners. The Company takes great pride in its collection of 27 carefully-nurtured unique hotels and golf resorts throughout the UK, each offering its own individual character. In November 2014, QHotels added six former De Vere Hotels and De Vere Luxury Lodges to its portfolio to strengthen its nationwide presence and complement its award-winning

QHotels’ golf collection offers a choice of 11 resorts and an impressive 19 golf and academy courses in unique resort locations. The venues are: • Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel - York • Belton Woods - Grantham, Lincolnshire • Cameron House - Loch Lomond • Dunston Hall – Norwich • Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort North Lincolnshire • Hellidon Lakes Golf and Spa Hotel Hellidon, Northamptonshire • Mottram Hall - Macclesfield, Cheshire • Oulton Hall – Leeds • Slaley Hall - Hexham, Northumberland • Telford Hotel & Golf Resort Telford, Shropshire • The Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort Near Glasgow

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Beverly’s BIG Secrets

JULY 2015

TEE TIMES 31

Hampshire Ladies Golf

COUNTY VETERANS CHAMPIONSHIPS

– Beverly Huke I was looking at a very good online golf platform called The Scene and caught a putting session with this year’s Masters Champion Jonathan Spieth. e was trying to putt a golf ball into a glass tumbler from 90 feet as the longest putt he hold at The Masters was 45 feet!

H

Hampshire Ladies were delighted to return to Corhampton GC on 28 May to hold the County Veterans Championships. The Championships are open to all Hampshire , Isle of Wight and Channel Islands golf club players aged 60 or over with handicaps up to 20 with a separate competition for players aged 60 or over with handicaps 21-28. Lots of good Vets golf produced lots of prizewinners. Both the Champion and Scratch Salver winner had excellent rounds of 2 under the Competition Standard Scratch.

It was the first time I had really watched how he putts with his left hand below his right bearing in mind he is a right handed player.

I loved how his left wrist controlled the putter face so much I am going to give it a try myself. Why don’t you? If you would like to start putting like a Pro this summer please call 07973 307880 or email info@beverlyhukegolf.com

MEW RETAINS HAMPSHIRE SENIORS TITLE

L-r 2015 vets champion (Ronnie Hirst, Shanklin & Sandown), Hampshire vets captain (Lesley Donegan), Vets Scratch Champion (Ailsa Fraser, Army). Below prize winners from the Vets Championships - lots of good vets golf produced lots of prize winners

Alan Mew with Barry Morgan (President, Hampshire Golf)

Stoneham's Alan Mew retained his Hampshire Seniors County Champion title at Royal Winchester.

maintain their challenge but Trevor Gray made-up two shots on his playing partner for force the play-off.

62 year old Mew defeated Royal Jersey's Trevor Gray at the first hole of a sudden death play-off after both players had tied on a five-over-par total of 113 for the 27 hole Championship. Mew had led after the opening eighteen holes with a three-over-par round of 75. His round was spoilt by a closing double bogey at the 18th.

Mew now goes forward to represent Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands in the Champion of Champions Tournament at Woodhall Spa in September, where he will again be the defending Champion.

Royal Jersey's Vic Bourgoise and Gerry Penfold (Sandford Springs) were his closest challengers on 76 with Royal Jersey's Trevor Gray on 77. Bourgoise and Penfold could not

Blackmoor's John Carter won the Pechell Trophy for the best nett score. Other prizewinners included Michael Branfoot and David Speight (both Brokenhurst Manor), Vic Bourgoise, Peter Cunningham (Alderney) and Paul Robson (Royal Winchester). David Wheeler

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L-r Vets Captain, Lesley Donegan & Division 2 Meeting Winner, Eileen Ware (Meon Valley)

Isle of Wight Championships IWLGA Champion, Sammi Keen (Freshwater Bay) & runner up Maggie Anker (Cowes)

Its not too late to enter some of our many events we hold during the year: South Region Foursomes at Windlesham GC on 24 August County Autumn Meeting at Oak Park GC on 21 September (Handicaps 21-36) County Autumn Meeting at Alresford GC on 1 October (Handicaps + to 20) Visit our website for further details www.hampshireladiesgolf.co.uk

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JULY 2015

Greece is a country steeped in history and fascinating mythology, and as creator of the Olympic Games many of our modern day sports have originated from Greece. And even the popular film Mamamia gave Greece that feel good factor with its endless idyllic scenes of sandy beaches, whitewashed villas with pretty blue shutters, and lots of swimming and sailing. But as for golf, I had quite frankly never considered Greece as a golf destination. This has to be one of the country’s best kept secrets.

Golf and Greece’s best kept secret

Costa Navarino, named after the historic and scenic Bay of Navarino overlooking the Mediterranean, lies in the Messinia region on the west coast and boasts two of the country’s best known golf courses. This is where in 1827 the Greeks won one of its most famous and important battles against the hugely powerful Ottoman army - the Battle of the Bay of Navarino. And it is this date that means so much to locals and in particular to Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos, who although born into a poor local family, went on to make his fortune in commercial shipping vowing to return to the village of his birth with promises of work and higher wages. His vision was to create a prime sustainable destination in Greece and to position his birthplace on the world’s tourist map - and that he definitely achieved. Costa Navarino is now regarded as one of Greece’s top holiday and international golf destinations. It was Constantaskopoulos’ passion for golf that led him to buy up enough land in the region to enable him to build two superb courses: The Dunes, a Bernhard Langer design in association with European Golf Design, and The Bay Course, a Robert Trent Jones design, both are described as top class courses. Of the two the Bay is by far the more spectacular and has stunning views that stretch for miles across the Bay and the shimmering Mediterranean. Curious to discover more about Costa Navarino I found myself flying to Athens on Aegean Airlines with luggage and golf clubs safely stowed in hold (there are no extra costs for golf clubs) in early March after accepting an invitation to take part in a Stapleford tournament organised by the former top goal scoring German footballer, Sepp Maier.

The journey from Athens to Costa Navarino although a bit tedious, takes about two and a half hours but fortunately flights from the UK to the local Kalamata airport start early May and that means a mere 45 minute drive to the five star luxury Westin Resort Hotel of Costa Navarino where I stayed. It’s not often a hotel’s ground floor mini suite also boasts a private albeit small swimming pool but that’s what greeted me when I first arrived not that it was for my liking and warm enough to swim in even though temperatures were in the early 20’s, I did however, occasionally dip my toes from time to time to check the water temperature. This time my main task was to discover all about Greece’s best kept golf secret and spent the first day playing The Dunes par 71 course, conveniently a few minute’s walk from the hotel but for those who prefer not to walk a regular buggy service runs to and from the hotel. The course is a delight to play and an eyeopener when it comes to stunning scenery. Much of its natural landscape mirrors the distant rugged mountains where its rich archaeological heritage spans over 5,000 years. Holes close to the beach have a distinct links feel about them and further inland reflect more typically Greek landscapes of olive and citrus groves.

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Several holes run alongside a small river but most greens are large and undulating, fairways wide and there are several steep faced but strategically placed bunkers to challenge you. A couple of the four par holes are reachable in two but much depends on the direction of the breeze. There are also five varied but delightfully challenging par 3s. Several holes, notably the downhill second par 4 is where the ocean serves as a shimmering but stunning backdrop. The 18th, par 5 is quite a challenge too, and has a sloping green just below the terrace of the stylish but welcoming palatial Club house where delicious Greek style dishes are served throughout the day. This was a pleasurable round but out of the two, the Bay Course remained my firm favourite although both courses are in excellent condition. A regular twenty minute bus service leaves from outside the Dunes Club House and takes you directly to the Bay Course. Immediately on arrival valets place your clubs in the buggy your name is clearly written in large letters on the windscreen, (no mistaking which buggy belongs to you). This is a great course to play and by far the prettier of the two. It meanders through three distinct natural landscapes amid centuriesold olive trees, along box canyons beside the sea and directly over the historic Bay of

Navarino. There are some sublime scenic views of the ocean and although challenging, it is an enjoyable course to play. Not all golfers would have heard of Costa Navarino but unquestionably it puts Greece on the map of top golf destinations. April Tod

FACT FILE www.costanavarino.com Rates at the two hotels at Navarino Dunes start from: The Westin resort Costa Navarino, 200 euros, and 310 euros at the Luxury Collection, Romanos hotel (still closed for the winter when I was there). www.aegeanair.com Aegean Airliens have daily flights from Heathrow and Gatwick to Athens, and golf bags and sports equipment are free of charge.

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Know your limits Getting to the Root of the Problem. . . .

You got into the trouble... YOU get out Golfers who give themselves a really tough time when things go wrong are missing out. On what? On the enjoyment of this amazing game that's what!! So you didn't hole the three footer for 3 stable ford points, instead you walked away with 2 points. Or you duffed it into the water hazard in front of the green after the drive of your life. It happens. If you spend a huge amount of your time out on the course with a gentle whistle of steam coming out of your ears it's time to think smarter. As hard as it is to do try not to let the down points of your round linger. You can't control much of what goes on in a round. Bad bounces, wind, chatty playing partners etc. so it's wasted energy to get ratty about these elements. You hit the shots so you need to deal with the consequences. Bad shots happen, then they're gone and you can't do a thing to change that. Focus on the present and the next shot in hand. Try not to find yourself still cursing that missed putt at the top of you backswing on the next tee. Leave the baggage behind. Be in the NOW. Where do you want your ball to go? Not "How many ways can this go pear shaped?" Use your handicap If you play off an 18hcp then allow yourself a bogey on every hole - this will give you 36points thank you very much. Just because the score card says par 4 doesn't meant you need to go all out to get on the green in two. Use the rule that if you get 1 shot on a hole, aim to be on the green for one less than the

par. If you get 2 shots on a hole you don't need to be on the green til you've had the amount of shots that is the par. Then make sure you can 2 putt. This way you aren't forcing shots that could put you deep into trouble. You can play to the clubs that are your strengths and leave yourself favoured distances from the greens. Play safe and plan your route on each hole. Playing SMART will soon see your handicap plummet or, as some people crave, simply see you consistently playing to you current handicap. Probably the most useful lesson you will ever have is out on the course with your PGA professional. Especially at a time of year where shelling loads of balls on the driving range isn't favourable. Let's face it the weather is, or at least should be, far too nice to not be out on the course. Light evenings mean squeezing an entire round in after work if you can. So make this extra course time count. Get a lesson or two out there to help you pinpoint whether or not you are asking too much of yourself, where you can save shots through more sensible club/shot selections and plan a route around the course that will be foolproof. Plus it will highlight very quickly the weak parts of your game. I'll be back teaching and available for limited lessons at Hamptworth Golf and Country Club later this month. (Hoping to be back at Cowdray later in the Summer) So drop me an email at katiedawkinsgolf@hotmail.co.uk and get your game sizzling this Summer.

Consider this.........if you have a massive weed in your lawn and you only ever cut the leaves off that weed, it will never go away. It will keep on rearing its ugly head. Obviously this happens because the root is still in the ground. In many ways the weed analogy can be compared to golf. If the root cause of a fault is not eradicated then the problem will never really go away. This was brought home to me when I fixed a longstanding problem in my own swing. I have always been a good driver of the ball. My shot is a draw, which can turn into a hook on occasions, and most of the time it’s reliable. My weakness is with my irons. The shallow attack that is great for the driver is not so good for the irons and, as a consequence, I could hit fats, thins, pushes and hooks. So basically I can hit lots of fairways and miss lots of greens, making my scoring heavily reliant on the short game. My attack on the ball is too shallow for good iron play, because I stand up slightly in my downswing. This isn’t a bad move for someone with a steep swing, but for me it’s not good because I’m quite flat in the downswing. I have tried to eradicate this standing up movement many times over the years but unfortunately the fix never stuck and the same old shots would reappear, particularly under pressure. Determined to get to the root of the problem I kept looking for the answer and eventually found it through studying the biomechanics of the body. The root cause of my unreliable iron game emanated from the movement of my hips or, to be more precise, the movement of my pelvis. Without going into it too deeply, the pelvis has a lot to do with the way the body balances. If it gets out of position the body will be forced to make compensatory moves in order to preserve its balance.

Golf Academy

This was the root cause of my problems. Because my pelvis was not well positioned during my golf swing, my body had to move the way it did in order for me to stay balanced. No wonder I couldn’t change it. There’s no way a natural force such as balance can be overridden. To improve things I firstly went back to the address position, because that’s where the problem started. I then began working on the movement of my pelvis in my swing. During my swing I made the pelvis feel slightly more angled down towards the end of the backswing. On the downswing I felt the right hip moving down as it drove towards the target, with the left hip moving up and behind me at the same time. When hitting the ball the swing felt slightly different, I felt more crunched down at impact. This was happening as a natural consequence of what I was doing with my pelvis. The shots certainly felt and looked good. I was hitting straight to a very slight draw with good power for me and my divots were going slightly left. I was also really pleased by what I saw on the camera. I was maintaining my body angles and the shaft of the club had returned to where it was at address. I got a real buzz from knowing that I’d finally pulled out that weed!!! Take a peek at the before and after pictures of my swing to see the subtle differences. I will try to remember to load some film onto YouTube so you can see the whole thing. They will be on Martin Butcher Coach 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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Romsey Golf Club Welcomes you all

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

MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE 7 Day Membership - £890 (ONLY 15 Spaces Left) 5 Day Membership - £715 (No Joining Fee - Ends 31st Aug) Members benefit from 27 reciprocal arrangements Successes for the club this year are: Ladies Stoneham Cup Winners Men's Kindred Club Winners for 3rd consecutive year National Junior Finalists of Men's Over 50's Carpet Barn Finalists

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


TT JULY Issue 170(A)_Layout 1 20/06/2015 12:49 Page 36

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Tee Times Golf Magazine - July, 2015