Today’s Golfer APRIL 09 (FEB 26-MAR 25)
Golfer H 244-PAGE MONSTER MAG H INSIDE: WHAT GEAR H £3.99
APRIL 20o9 FEB 26-MAR 25
SHOOT YOUR BEST
H FIXED! DRIVING, CHIPPING, PITCHING, BUNKERS, PUTTING & STRATEGY H REAL GOLFERS PROVE IT WORKS: FROM 3 TO 28 HANDICAPPERS!
RS E T S MA VIEW PRE ns comeback www.todaysgolfer.co.uk
r pla HTige it too soon? t a s - but i y Slam? Wh o to d d H Pad ton MUST g er Harrin ookie Oliv lory H R g win H dreams of n Wilso
WHAT GEAR 2009 EVE RY NEW CLUB! PRICE S
REVEALED! Radical new Pro V1 + Cobra range 149 WHAT
tg’S tiPS FOr
TG loves to help players of all abilities improve... so we thought we’d do our bit to help make Mr Woods’ comeback a successful one
Knee expert John Hardy says
avoid dry lips and rain John Hardy is a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon who has operated on many pro athletes:
■ Use a soft knee support to improve proprioceptive feedback - knowing the angle your knee is at without looking at it – for at least two years after surgery. ■ Stay hydrated. A simple test of the level of hydration is to lick your lips. If they are dry, your knee cartilage and ligaments are dryer! ■ Tiger was right not to return until six months after surgery. It allows bone to grow into the new ligament and start the ligament remodelling process. ■ He should consider a Cybex Isokinetic Dynamometer Assessment to gauge his return to strength, agility and speed of reaction. ■ Avoid long descents down slopes in the short term because this puts the most strain on new ligaments. ■ Avoid playing after rain. The soft ground is likely to increase the twisting forces on Tiger’s left knee during his swing.
TG expert Steven Orr says
focus on the process
In Tiger Woods we have the strongest athlete mentally in golf, if not in all of sport. And no mental ability is more important than staying in the present. This is staying focused on the process of playing, and it’s fundamental to performing your best in any kind of competition. Come Masters week, Tiger will have hundreds of people trying to knock him out of the process and into outcomes, with questions such as “Do you think you can win again after knee surgery?” Dwelling on outcomes can be fatal to performance. Tiger, however, is a master at keeping his mind on the process by focusing on small, simple goals that are 100 per cent under his control. For example, making a clear decision on every shot, going through a simple routine before he hits, or having a mental break between shots to conserve his energy, are all ways he can focus on process. A simple focus approach like this will keep Tiger’s mind locked in the present, which is where his best game lives. Issue 254 Today’s Golfer 37
FROnT PaGe neWS!
Could the straight-talking former editor of The Sun have the final word in the quest for the coveted TG £20 note? bY GRAHAM OTWAY PHOTOGRAPHY JAMes bOARDMAN
Today’s Golfer Issue 254
uring a round of golf with Kelvin MacKenzie it quickly becomes clear why he was the man behind the growth of Talk Sport radio. This effervescent fellow can talk for England and there’s nothing he enjoys more than discussing the day’s sporting topics. And with the world’s economic crisis seemingly deepening with every stride over the beautifully-manicured fairways and greens of West Hill in Surrey his predictions – particularly for golf and football – were just as gloomy. Furthermore, as the editor who turned The Sun into a worldwide tabloid icon with headlines like ‘Gotcha’ the day after the Argentine cruiser the General Belgrano was sunk during the Falklands War, some of his suggested solutions for sporting ailments are aimed at populist appeal. English cricket might have got into bed with a turkey when it sold its players to Texan billionaire Sir Allen Stanford for the ill-fated Twenty20 Legends series, but
MacKenzie is convinced the world’s pro golf tours have got to devise a shorter version of their game if they are to survive. “Apart from the Majors and the Ryder Cup just how many people actually go and watch a golf tournament,” he asks in a tone of voice which immediately suggests he is not that great a fan of the way golf is currently marketed. “Look at the European Open at the London Club where I play a lot of my golf. There were fairly decent crowds over the first couple of days, but that was only because entrance was free. How often do you see tournaments on TV where there seems to be no-one watching? “What golf needs is not only a shorter version but much stricter rules about slow play. Where’s the entertainment in watching players take five-and-a-half hours over their rounds? “What I think they should do is develop a Twenty20 format for golf. Have a worldwide tour for the very best players ➤
PRODUCT TG EXCLUSIVE
Cobra unleashes new wood range
Long and forgiving, these weapons look set to impress...
In the autumn last year we brought you the Cobra L5V, a mighty impressive driver that many of you will already have in your bag. But for those of you not quite ready to take the leap into the world of adjustable big sticks, Cobra have launched the S9-1. In addition to the driver, the range also features a fairway wood and some gorgeous irons. And the S9-1 range comes in a Pro version too, for better players. TG Equipment Editor Jon Greathead went to the launch at Manchester’s new Golftorium for a closer look.
S9-1 Driver If you like the club to look ‘no-nonsense’ behind the ball, the S9-1 will have you purring. We enjoyed the look of the L5V, but the S9-1 is a step up from that. It’s more subtle and traditional in comparison so looks cleaner at address. In terms of science, the 460cc club features Cobra’s ‘Hotter 9 points’ technology as well as a Dual Rhombus face insert – which basically means there is more energy on the ball at impact, giving you greater distance. We certainly found that when giving it a rip on the simulators – carry was consistently up around the 260-yard mark, 30 yards longer than his usual efforts. And whatever your swing speed or preference in terms of shaft weight, you’ll be sure to find a suitable head/shaft combination because of the huge range of fitting options available. The S9-1 is available in six models, including a Seniors, an Offset and two models of the Pro driver, the Pro D and the Pro S. The Pro D offers a lower, more penetrating ball flight, while the Pro S helps those seeking a higher launch angle. ■ Information: The regular S9-1 will retail at £249 and will be available in lofts from 9.5˚ – 13.5˚. The S9-1 Pro drivers will retail at £329 and will be available in 8.5˚, 9.5˚ and 10.5˚ lofts.
S9-1 Fairway Wood Cobra’s Speed LD won last year’s 3-wood test in TG so an improvement on that model was going to be hard to achieve. But the S9-1 gives it a pretty good go! It also features the ‘Hotter 9 Point Face Technology’ which maximises ball speeds and distances across all of the clubface, while the Dual Rhombus insert technology helps to create a massive sweetspot. There is also a Pro version, which looks pretty small at address but is terrific in the hands of strong players. ■ Information: The S9-1 fairway will retail at £149, with the Pro model costing an extra tenner!
88 Today’s Golfer Issue 254
Power hitting The technology in the S9-1 driver gave our man 30 extra yards when he tried it out!
NEWS TOUR TEST SHOWCASE STYLE COMPETITION
A friend in need The fairway wood offers tremendous forgiveness – as you’d expect from Cobra.
WE LOOK AT COBRA’S S9-1 RANGE OF WOODS
Sleek city The S9-1 Pro woods are small, but offer great workability.
To view first hits of the new S9-1 range, visit our website at www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/cobra2009 Issue 254 Today’s Golfer 89
PRODUCT POwakaDDy FReeway II Price: £449 (18-hole), £479 (36-hole), £699 (Lithium battery) Weight: 9kg Warranty: Two years What’s the score? The FW II is an update of the massively popular Freeway trolley, which has been around for a lengthy period of time. PowaKaddy have long been one of the pillars of the electric trolley society and the latest addition, which comes some 26 years after the very first PowaKaddy, looks just as solid as previous offerings. What do we think? The first thing to say is that, because it’s a PowaKaddy, it has a massive reputation based on pure quality.
The FWII is no exception. The elliptical frame is sturdy and solid, as well as being easy on the eye. We like the easy-to-use control panel and the cool console-esque handle. The FWII is fitted with a distance-measuring facility, as well as a Digital Distance Function which allows the golfer to set the trolley to travel a distance of 10, 20 or 30 yards. And one gem that we nearly missed was that the FWII folds down completely, even when the super-light lithium battery is still in place. Awesome.
OR T F SE S U BE SY EA ’s
Folds away Even with the lithium battery in place, the FWII folds down perfectly neatly.
OT BO ST TE
motion control A digital distance function lets you set the FWII’s progress.
STewaRT F1 LIThIUm Price: £2,500 Weight: 12kg Warranty: Two years (battery one year) What’s the score? Stewart’s previous stand-out trolley was the X3R. It was a great bit of kit, but my word was it a heavy son of a gun. The F1 Lithium was developed to keep all of the cool features of the X3R, but making it an all-round lighter package. In fact, it’s 45% lower in weight than the X3R, tipping the scales at 12kg. What do we think? The remote controlled F1 Lithium trolley is a different beast to every other model we featured. For a start, you can’t put your own bag on it…
the integrated Stewart bag provided is a major part of the trolley. But this isn’t a bad thing necessarily – you simply clip the bag into the trolley base and you’re ready to roll, so eliminating the need for fiddly catches or clips. The LCD screen tells you when you need to change the battery, in both the trolley and the handset. Talking of batteries, it fits snugly inside the belly of F1. It’s a stunning looking piece of equipment but it’s also very expensive! At over two grand, you could buy a car for that!
Fun bags If you like your collars and cuffs matching, the trolley bag combo will get you smiling!
OR T F RY S BE UXU L ’s day To
Smooth lines The battery is swallowed into the belly of the beast, keeping style levels up.
OT BO ST TE
See thousands of products rated and slated @ www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/equipment 104 Today’s Golfer Issue 254
the test trolleys
HillBilly terrain Price: £289 Weight: 10.8kg Warranty: one year What’s the score? HillBilly has been an established name in the golf industry for the last two decades and the unfussy Terrain model, which is available in black or silver, is the latest addition to the family. What do we think? This is a very solid trolley that will undoubtedly serve you well. If you’re looking for an all-singing, alldancing model, this isn’t it though. It wasn’t the most technologicallyadvanced models in the review but then neither is it the most pricey;
and it does have some nice features. The soft touch grip allows for ambidextrous handling while the bag locking system greatly reduces bag twist when out on the course – one of our pet hates! It was simple to assemble; the “booklet” provided is no more than one bit of card, but that has adequate and clear instructions that are easy to follow. The Terrain also has the capability to be sent to the next hole, with a convenient 10m, 20m or 30m distance function.
Keeping it simple Old school, classic looks will please many a traditional trolley fan.
OT BO ST TE
Get a grip The soft touch grip makes the Terrain easy to steer and control.
GoKart Price: £199 Weight: 2kg Warranty: two years What’s the score? A Britishmade trolley that lets you add a splash of colour, with a range of different battery covers. Lots of trolleys look pretty similar without a golf bag on it – the GoKart looks completely different! What do we think? It’s a trolley with the Marmite factor – you’re going to love or hate the look. We think it’s pretty cool and although the plasticky look and design has been around for a while, it’s still mighty impressive and it looks like a fun piece of kit. It’s easy to
assemble – the battery simply clicks onto the frame once unfolded – and we love the different battery cover colours you can choose from – they certainly brighten the grey frame up. As you might expect from a trolley in this price range, there’s nothing too clever here. There are two controls on the handle; an on/ off switch and a dial to control the speed. And it folds down to a tiny unit, it’s easy to carry and a quality bit of kit for the money. Simple but brilliantly effective.
extra cover The funky variety of battery covers on offer really brightens up the trolley’s look.
OT BO ST TE
easy to assemble Literally a few clicks and you’re ready to go. And we like that!
Issue 254 Today’s Golfer 105
COURSES north berwIck
STEEPED IN HISTORY Whisper it, but the Edinburgh area is arguably even more impressive than St Andrews. We try one of its top tracks by kevIn brown photography glyn satterley
t was just before the 1992 Open at Muirfield and Tom Watson, arguably the greatest links player of all time, was admiring the scene from his turreted sea view room at North Berwick’s Macdonald Marine Hotel. The hotel impressively overlooks the East Lothian town’s glorious West Links course and the five-times Open champion was enjoying the afternoon entertainment as those playing in Open qualifying experienced some real fun and games on the notorious par-4 16th hole. The amazing 16th green is 50 yards wide – give or take a few inches – but a mere 15ft deep. It’s a devil to hit... and even harder to putt on. There’s a big gully running through the middle of it so it’s a real rollercoaster and it is definitely a place for potential putting nightmares. Watson could scarcely believe what he was seeing from the comfort of his hotel room. Intrigued by the qualifiers’ ups and downs, he was keen to try it himself. So after dinner he grabbed his clubs and set out later that evening to tackle 16. But he didn’t get far, being stopped by Course Superintendant Stuart Greenwood who bluntly informed Mr Watson the course was a ‘no-go’ area ahead of the following day’s Open qualifying. Watson was determined, though, and after a fairly lengthy discussion he got his way, albeit in the company of Greenwood! And when introduced to a North Berwick member at the 2006 Seniors Open at Muirfield he quipped: “I’ve been thrown off your course, you know!” Prominent figures have long been a feature at North Berwick. Arthur James Balfour, Prime Minister between 1902 ➤
116 Today’s Golfer Issue 254
NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST
Life’s a beach The North Sea awaits any shots out to the right on the 2nd.
Issue 254 Today’s Golfer 117
TRAVEL costa dorada
THRILLS & SPILLS! We visit an emerging, action-packed golf destination which may eventually put the Costa del Sol in the shade... by kevIn brown
t had all started promisingly enough. Ryanair had got us to our destination on time and weather reports were favourable. But as we left Reus Airport to make our way to the southern Catalonian resort of PortAventura, we were greeted by the ugliest of sights. Virtually the first thing you clap eyes on are the billowing chimneys belonging to the massive – and grotesque – Repsol oil refinery in Tarragona. Clearly, I hadn’t done my homework. The ‘monster,’ sorry plant, has been around since the 1970s and nowadays churns out about 150,000 barrels of the stuff a day. So you could say it was rather a (excuse the pun) crude, shock to the system. Costa Dorada actually means Golden Coast and stems from the shimmering glints of gold caused by the reflection of the sun on the fine, white sandy beaches. So the tangled metal and clouds of smoke were a bit of a surprise. This industrial scene may explain Aussie ace Greg Norman’s rather downcast appearance at the opening of his North Course at PortAventura in the autumn. It should have been a happy, memorable occasion but the double Open champion looked far from ‘chipper’. The ghastly steel towers form a far-from-impressive backdrop to his first Spanish course design. Then again, he may have had a torrid time beforehand on the infamous Dragon Khan, the rip-roaring rollercoaster ride and main attraction at the neighbouring PortAventura theme park. No doubt Norman wasn’t despondent ➤
138 Today’s Golfer Issue 254
WIN A POWAKADDY TROLLEY & BAG WORTH OVER £500! Four chances to start the season with a terrific new powered trolley A DREAM TRIP TO THE CARIBBEAN! H T R O W P TO U ,500 £3
Today's Golfer magazine issue 254 digital sampler