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NEWS & INSIGHT

{ C H A R I T Y O N T OU R }

POULTS MAKES WAVES... English star dives in to help disabled kids

I

an Poulter fulfilled a lifelong ambition recently when he swam with Diego the dolphin as part of a Dreamflight charity day at Discovery Cove in Orlando. The 34-year-old Englishman is patron of the charity, which takes seriously ill and disabled children on holidays of a lifetime to the Sunshine State, and as well as taking a dip himself, the money he has raised enabled 192 children to enjoy the amazing dolphin experience. “A truly rewarding day at Discovery Cove with the Dreamflight kids. They have made my year, so many happy faces and great stories,” exclaimed the World No.8. Poulter isn’t the only pro doing his bit for charity. The European Tour’s Tour Players’ Foundation has been raising money since 2005. The charity’s main initiative is a partnership with Genworth called Putts4Charity. At nominated Tour events, the Genworth Foundation donates €2 for every one-putt made by the pros in tournament rounds. Plus, €1 is donated for each one-putt by the public in the sponsor’s village. Putts4Charity has raised €174,000 this year and €637,000 since 2007. “Many players also get involved in other charitable activity, which occurs across the season,” says Tour charity executive David Park. “The players don’t overtly publicise the work they do as they are doing it for the right reasons and are altruistic in their actions.”

Ian Poulter cuddles Diego the dolphin as part of a charity day for children in Orlando, America.

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1 Add 10 yards to your drives HIT TING THE BALL LONG & S TR AIGHT MAKE S E VERY THING EL SE E ASIER There’s no golfer in the world that would turn down the opportunity of adding 10 yards to their drives. We’re in an age where you’re at a huge advantage over your competitors if you can hit it long

and leave yourself short-iron approach shots. Adding 10 yards is a positive and realistic goal for the new year that you can achieve if you follow these tips from TG Elite Teaching Pro Chris Ryan. STRAIGHT LEFT SIDE As we strike the ball our left leg should be straightening to help brace the whole left side of our body. This bracing action helps us deliver the club with speed. The left knee shouldn't move closer to the target than the left foot.

BACKSWING

KEEP WRIST ANGLE Maintaining ‘lag’ into impact is a huge factor when trying to hit the ball further. Weak hitters often lose this lag early in the downswing and by the time they reach impact all the power and speed has been used up.

TURN YOUR BACK ON IT Golfers with narrow swings and poor shoulder turn don't create much power. Body rotation is key in generating power. Try to feel that you turn your back to the target at the top of the swing. This allows you to extend the arms fully away and create width.

THROUGHSWING

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CLUBHEAD TRACKS LOW Focus on achieving a long extension of the arms and club through impact. When we extend correctly through the ball we should see the elbows staying close together and both arms extended in front of the chest.


2 Chip in once a month TAKE THE PRES SURE OFF YOUR PUT TER WITH THIS GREENSIDE BONUS Chipping in from around the green is something Tour pros do with amazing regularity. But it’s something amateurs can achieve if the shot is approached in the right way. A chip shot will usually see

the ball rolling on the green for over 75% of its total distance. So we need to approach every chip shot like a putt – reading the green and visualising the path of the ball into the bottom of the cup!

GRIP TIP

GREEN READING Read the chip like a putt, taking into account the apex of the break and picking the right speed. Our pre-shot routine should also closely follow that of a putt where we visualise the ball rolling into the hole.

GRIP DOWN CORRECTLY Hold your shortest club at the end of the grip and then as you change to a longer club, hold the club at the equivalent place on the handle. The only variable is the loft on the club. This gets the shaft more vertical with longer irons, reducing rotation of the face.

CHIPPING DRILL

ASSESS THE LIE Always assess the lie, making sure the club you use is appropriate. From a poor lie, a chip-and-run with a straighter faced club might not be an option. Remember to visualise the landing spot too. CHANNEL YOUR FOCUS The gate drill is a good way to improve accuracy. Position two canes 5-6 inches apart, a yard in front of the ball. Hit 10 chips and see how many go through without hitting either cane. The goal should be 10 in a row. TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 78 25


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SHORT-GAME

MASTER

Europe's number one Martin Kaymer shows you some of his shortgame secrets... WITH DUNCAN LENNARD P I C T U R E S A N G U S M U R R AY

A blistering short game has set up an astonishing year for Martin Kaymer. In 2010 the German has chipped and putted his way to Ryder Cup success, Race to Dubai glory, a maiden Major win and a top-three world ranking. “A good short game has a lot to do with confidence,” says Kaymer. “Here, we’re going to look at three areas where amateurs often feel doubt creep in – and I will show you some simple ways to bring a healthy dose of assurance back to your action.”


CHIPPING

1 Chip like you putt So many chip shots are ruined by overusing the hands, which costs the stroke its rhythm, its best attack angle and its consistency. So why complicate the shot? Play it like a putt, keeping the hands passive and letting the big muscles in the shoulders take control.

SET-UP

USE YOUR PUTTING GRIP On shorter chips I will use my putting grip – a classic ‘reverse overlap’ hold. This hold is designed to keep the hands quiet: 1. The putter’s grip sits more in the palms of both hands than the fingers, which helps calm wrist action. 2. The club runs vertically down through my left or upper hand helping lock the left wrist, keeping it firm. 3. Instead of sitting under the fingers of the lower or right hand, my left index finger sits on top of them. This helps the hands work as a unit and stops the right wrist flapping forwards.

LET SHOULDERS RULE I like to feel the chipping stroke is dominated by my shoulders. Here I am at the end of a backswing totally controlled by the shoulder muscles.

BALL POSITION MAINTAIN THE ANGLE You can see here that there has been no independent motion in my hands and wrists; compare this image to the one at address and you will see the angle in the back of my right wrist is exactly the same. Taking the hands out of the action like this allows your motion to be consistent – for rhythm, arc and angle of attack.

BACK FROM CENTRE I set up with the ball opposite a point between my shirt buttons and right shoulder – that’s off the back foot's toecap in a narrow stance. This puts my hands a little ahead of the clubface, and creates a slight forward lean in the clubshaft. From this start, a 'quiet' hand action will naturally see the club descend slightly into the ball – perfect for avoiding heavy contact.


‘I’M SO GRATEFUL FOR THE RECEPTION I RECEIVED... PEOPLE REALLY DO CARE AND IT WAS EYE-OPENING FOR ME TO SEE THAT’

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The smiling

ASSASSIN

A tough year and remodelled swing later, Tiger is planning his hunt for 2011 honours WOR D S K IT A L E X A N DE R PICT U R E S GET T Y I M AGE S

“As a golfer I learned so much more this year than any other year, and as a person infinitely more. So it’s been a very successful year even though it was very painful, as well.” Tiger Woods is putting a positive spin on what, by anyone’s standards, has been a bad year. From his split with ex-wife Elin Nordegren and the revelations of his affairs, his cringeworthy press conference in February and a summer of average and infrequent golf, to the finalisation of his divorce on August 23, his new partnership with coach Sean Foley and his apparent return to form at the Chevron World Challenge... it’s safe to say Tiger has never experienced a more turbulent 12 months. But, despite failing to win a tournament for the first year since he turned pro in 1996 and relinquishing his world number one status to the ever-more impressive Lee Westwood, the American feels the rollercoaster ride he’s experienced has been worthwhile. “It forced me to look deeper into myself and look at where and how I grew up, and how those things didn’t match with the person who I am, and get back to how my parents raised me. I’m very excited about the future.” And the 35-year-old admits he’s been overwhelmed by the fans’ response since his return to action at The Masters in April. “I was blown away. I’m so grateful for the reception I received this year – not just at golf tournaments. You know, people really do care, and it was eye-opening for me to see that – how many people really want me to do well and be happy. That was so nice of everyone.” For all the positive reactions, there are still those who cannot forgive the former world number one for his actions and doubt his ability to return to his former glories. But Woods stresses that he doesn’t take motivation from proving these nay-sayers wrong. “That’s not why I play the game. My dad has always been adamant, all throughout my childhood; only play the game of golf and go after what you want to go after, don’t let anyone else influence you, play from your heart and soul. That hasn’t changed. “My goal is to win every tournament I tee it

up in and be prepared. But right now that does entail learning a new swing that requires a lot of work, some new motor patterns. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s a fun challenge.” Moulding the new swing is a project that the 14-time Major winner has embarked upon since joining forces with Sean Foley, also coach to Justin Rose and Sean O’Hair, in August. “I’ve been through this process before. I went through it twice with Butch (Harmon), I went through it with Hank (Haney) and now with Sean. I showed some good signs in the last three tournaments including the Ryder Cup.” Woods continued: “I think starting at the Ryder Cup on that Monday that was the way I know I can strike the golf ball, and I putted well. From there, I’ve built on it and got some good momentum going. It was just a few holes, then it became nine holes and on the first day (at the Chevron World Challenge) it was all 18 holes. “I’m excited about this off-season. Sean and I know the direction we need to go. That’s exciting. I haven’t been that way in a while.” With his personal life returning to some semblance of normality and a new-found focus on the course, the forced smile of that now infamous February press conference has been replaced by the natural beam we’re more used to. A contented Woods away from the course is a successful one on it. Roll on the Masters and let battle commence!

{ 2010 BY NUMBERS } WINS: 0 TOP 10s: FIVE PGA TOUR MONEY LIST: 68TH DRIVING DISTANCE: 295.8 YARDS (26TH) DRIVING ACCURACY: 57.21% (165TH) GIR: 64.07% (167TH) PUTTING AVERAGE: 1.751 (17TH) STROKE AVERAGE: 70.32 (28TH)

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TIGER’S NEW SWING TG expert Adrian Bishop analyses Woods’ action At the beginning of 2010 Woods’ flat shoulder-turn led to the club pointing left at the top of his backswing. It resulted in the club getting stuck behind him on the way down, leading to massive blocks. These faults meant that Woods relied on hand manipulation to square the club up at impact, causing erratic driving performance. Sean Foley believes in a method very similar to Stack and Tilt – favouring your front foot at address and keeping the upper body centred to minimise weight transfer. He’s now far more centred over the ball. His takeaway has also changed; the left arm and hands work far more in and around the body while he keeps the clubhead outside his hands. Woods also employs a far steeper shoulder turn. At the top of the backswing his arms and shoulders are on a near identical plane, the left wrist is more neutral and the club shaft is online. This has resulted in a much improved downswing. The arms and club can now swing back through to the inside while keeping the clubface square to the swing arc for a more predictable ball flight. BEFORE

AFTER

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INSTRUCTION

GOLF IS ALL CORRECT ADDRE SS

The position of your head plays a key role in unlocking low scores. But you

MATCH FACE & SPINE

PA R A L L E L

C OM PE N SAT ION S

Position a cane along your spine and one on your chest, tucking both between your belt and trousers. For full-length shots, your face should be parallel to the spine angle. This is where the body is strongest and ready to move with control and power.

CHIN AND TONIC Many golfers have their chin too far away from their chest at address, almost looking down their nose at the ball. This results in a dipping action in the backswing causing the body to do the reverse as you swing through, causing inconsistency.


FUNDAMENTALS

HEAD POSITION

IN THE HEAD need to adopt different styles to suit the shot, according to Rob Watts

F L AT BAC K

GET BAC K T O BAS I C S WI T H T G’ S FRE E O N L I N E VID E O T I P S

HANG YOUR HEAD When putting, your head must be parallel to the ground when you are looking over the ball. You should be able to rest a cane against the top of your spine and the back of your head horizontally. This position will also assist your alignment.

MIMIC THE BEST

N E U T R A L PAT H

Much like the game’s great putters in Nicklaus and Harrington, having the head in a relaxed state allows the hands and shoulders to work the putter on a neutral path. You’ll also be less likely to try and peep too early to see the result.

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EQUIPMENT { N I K E ' S N EW D R I V E R}

TOUR APPROVAL

Nike calls on the stars as new VR Pro driver aims to build on previous success Nike Golf continues to strive for innovation-excellence with the launch of the new VR Pro driver for 2011, designed with input from the company’s Tour stars. Cosmetically, the new driver certainly has more than a passing resemblance to the previous VR model, but there are some key differences in the technology. The VR Pro features a new Variable Compression Channel which sits just behind the face of the club. This has been designed to increase speed at impact on even more of the clubface spots. This

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should result in greater distance on off-centre strikes. The channel extends across the whole length of the clubface so regardless of whether you’re hitting a draw, a fade or smacking it bang out of the middle of the club, you should still see good yardage. The simple, uncomplicated look of the driver will certainly appeal to better players – there are no alignment aids on the crown and it looks impressive at address. The VR Pro also features Nike’s STR8-FIT technology which allows you to alter the face angle – better

players tend to repeat the same swing more often than gameimprovers, so if you know you hit everything with a draw, you can adjust the clubhead to allow for this. The driver also benefits from being fitted with a Project X shaft which helps the club deliver the optimal launch conditions for even more distance. ◗ At £360, the VR Pro isn’t cheap but the quality is impressive. It's available from the start of February. For more details visit www.nikegolf.eu

FACE CHANGE Nike's STR8-FIT technology allows players to alter the face angle to allow for swing issues.

C O M PAC T H E A D S H A PE The VR Pro driver sits beautifully behind the ball and the compact nature of the beast means it will appeal to better players. The pear-shape design, which was worked up with direct input from Nike's Tour stars, allows for more weight to be positioned at the ideal centre of gravity positions, giving better launch and spin stats.

COMPRESSION POWER The driver features a new and improved Variable Compression Channel. As the club makes impact with the ball, it contracts before springing out again to increase speed off the clubhead. And because the channel is located behind the entire face it means golfers get reliable distance on straight hits, fades and draws.

FAC E VA LU E S TUNED IN The Compression Channel is designed to increase clubhead speed at impact.

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The VR Pro driver also benefits from Nike's STR8-FIT Tour technology. This allows you to adjust the club into 32 different positions by altering the face angle so better players can put more shot-shapes into their arsenal. The Compression technology means great yardage off more areas of the face too (as shown above).


LATE ST NEWS

4

UNDER

THE RADAR

NEW ADAMS FAMILY A M E R I C A N G I A N T S H AV E F R E S H I D E A Adams has launched two new sets of irons and a new hybrid for 2011, and the latest products are aiming to cater for a wide variety of golfers. The company is well-known for producing sensational hybrid clubs and the new Idea Black Super Hybrid is the latest in a long line. It features a larger head, designed to inspire confidence, while the slightly longer shaft-length can deliver 2.5mph more ball speed than traditional hybrids, which translates to around seven yards, according to the manufacturer. Targeting the aspiring gameimprover, the new Idea Black CB2 irons feature a vibration-dampening cavity for optimised feel and enhanced acoustics. But there is also a touch of forgiveness too, thanks to

the dual perimeter weighting which lowers the centre of gravity. Finally, Adams have unveiled their stunning new Pro Black CB1 irons. The clubs have been designed to suit the serious player who is looking for classy looks and Tourproven trajectory. Each head has a precision-milled cavity and precisely-positioned centre of gravity aimed at giving golfers more consistent distance, making it easier to get the ball close to the target more regularly. As you’d expect from a Tour-ready iron, the head is neat and compact and the top-line is thin too.

Wilson show off new Vizor putter

◗ INFO: The new flatstick will retail at £119 and for more details please visit www.wilsonstaff.com

◗ After years with his faithful flatstick, it appears Tiger’s making a change to this particular department of his bag. The World No.2 used Nike’s Method 003 at the Chevron Challenge, California.

◗ THE FACTS The new Idea Black hybrid will retail at £179, while both sets of irons will be priced at £799.

I-LOCK AND ROLL Wilson Staff have launched their Vizor putter which features I-Lock technology that has been designed to offer more consistency. The new I-Lock technology has been designed to counteract poor eye alignment, a major cause of poor strokes. It uses a cantilever alignment feature – players can tell when they are in the right position when two red bars are no longer visible at address. The putter features an aluminium body and soft urethane face insert.

◗ JJB Sports gave MD Golf a call to see if they coud lend a hand in designing a new Slazenger range for 2011. The result is the Big Ezee range featuring a driver (£49.99), fairway (£39.99), iron (£199), combo set (£199) and putter (£29.99).

◗ Nike Golf have launched two junior sets. The boxset has two height options, with a driver, hybrid, 7-iron, 9-iron, sandwedge, putter and bag all for £150. ◗ Golf Locker have launched their new three-wheel Qwik Fold golf trolley that, as the name suggests, is super-simple to fold up and down. It will retail at £149.99 and is available in white, red or black.

THE TG OPINION

Senior Equipment Editor Jon Greathead on TaylorMade's clubs When TaylorMade’s new white woods arrived in the office, the entire TG team came to have a look. Normally, when a new club descends, Dave Connor and I get all misty-eyed about the latest technology and the new looks. Often we're abused and labelled “gear geeks” – to be honest, they have a point – but the new R11 and Burner SuperFast ranges caught everyone’s eye. And while we are fully confident that the new woods will be a huge hit, there will obviously be the odd detractor. They will probably be the same people who said mobile phones wouldn't catch on, or the internet was for nerds. Truly groundbreaking innovations will always be open to ridicule – square drivers were laughed at when they first appeared, and just over 30 years ago a metal-headed driver seemed as likely as England getting the World Cup! TaylorMade’s new white woods will set tongues wagging, but ultimately performance is key. It’s worth knowing that TaylorMade are so confident in their white products that they haven’t launched a black version – they’ve committed 100% and should be applauded for it. We can’t remember a TaylorMade driver performing badly in a TG Test and it will be exciting to see how this breed get on in a few issue's time. We hope they catch on, and we think they will.

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COURSES { DORSET DELIGHTS}

THEOF T BES TAIN I R B

STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Dorset’s quality courses, accommodation and attractions are starting to show its more celebrated neighbours a thing or two... WOR D S K EV I N BROW N

COURSE PLANNER Five of the courses are located around seaside neighbours Bourmemouth and Poole. The odd one out is Weymouth GC which is in the coastal town of the same name.


BE ST OF BRITAIN

Dorset has 18 million visitors every year, but when it comes to golfing breaks the county is often overlooked and seemingly overshadowed by neighbouring Devon and Cornwall. But Dorset has plenty to shout about – it boasts more than 40 courses, with many of them straight out of the top drawer. Indeed, even in the Home Counties of Surrey and Berkshire, you’ll do well to beat the magical heathland quartet of Parkstone, Ferndown, Broadstone and Isle of Purbeck. Purbeck was once owned by highly acclaimed children’s author Enid Blyton whose stories were inspired by the idyllic Dorset countryside. Admittedly, these classy, traditional courses aren’t cheap (you’re generally looking at £50 plus), though at this time of the year there are some good deals. But don’t be put off by the higher-price premier courses because that’s not all the area’s about. In fact in Queen’s and Meyrick Park it arguably boasts two of the country’s leading municipal layouts. And it is a 2-FORE!-1 stronghold with as many as 14 venues offering half-price green fees

with a 2-FORE!-1 voucher (order yours now - see page 22). In golfing terms, there’s something for everyone and that includes a pair of clifftop classics (Lyme Regis and Bridport & West Dorset), top stay-and-play venues (Dorset Golf & Country Club) and a new, must-play superstar in Remedy Oak. Off-course there’s also plenty to see and do with the many beaches and seaside towns, including cosmopolitan Bournemouth and historic Lyme Regis. Dorset is also home of the spectacular Jurassic Coast – England’s first UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. This unique stretch of coastline has joined the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon as one of the wonders of the natural world! Dorset’s visitor numbers are set to rocket in 2012 with Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy holding the sailing events during the London Olympic Games. Our advice is to get there before the big rush. You won’t be disappointed… ◗ MORE INFORMATION? You can find out all you need to know about the area by visiting www.visit-dorset.com

DORSET

1. FERNDOWN Par 71, 6,453 yards The BBC’s ‘Voice of Golf’ Peter Alliss often refers to his many happy years playing Ferndown when his father Percy was club professional and it’s easy to see why he loves the course. Ranked 71st in the prestigious Golf World Top 100 Courses in Britain & Ireland, Ferndown is best described as a classic heathland layout. It’s fairly flat making it a gentle walking course, but the challenge lies in avoiding the heather and the array of bunkers. The wide first fairway invites a thumping drive, but is quickly followed by a procession of trickier holes, including the tough par-4 6th that climbs towards the clubhouse. Ferndown boasts some of the best greens in the area – true, fast and smooth, and with clever pin placements they are its chief defence. That’s what makes Ferndown a great Open Championship qualifying venue – every year the hopefuls turn up expecting to tear it apart though usually only a few emerge under par. ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

Location: Six miles north of Bournemouth Contact: 01202 653950 or www.ferndowngolfclub.co.uk Green fees: Mon-Fri: £65. Sat-Sun: Members & guests only.

SEE 1000s OF COURSE REVIEWS ON TG’S WEBSITE


COURSES DATA BANK

BE ST OF BRITAIN

THEOF T BES TAIN BRI

DORSET

Remedy Oak opened in 2005 and is widely regarded among the best new courses in the UK.

◗ OFF-COURSE ATTRACTIONS ● Weymouth Sea Life Park and Marine Sanctuary with shark breeding centre. Admission £17.50. ● There’s fun for all the family on Swanage Railway steam train. Admission £14.50. ● Monkey World, Wareham, is an acclaimed ape rescue centre and home to more than 230 rescued and endangered animals. Admission £10.75. ● Corfe Castle is one of Dorset’s iconic landmarks, its eerie ruins depicting 1,000 years of history. But that’s relatively young compared to Maiden Castle, a 4000-yearold hill fort. Admission to Corfe is £6.20. ● Jurassic Coast highlights include the horseshoe-shaped Lulworth Cove and the arch of Durdle Door, two breathtaking geological features. ● Military buffs will head for the Tank Museum at Bovington. Admission £11.

Quirky Meyrick Park’s beautiful heathland is always in top condition.

The Woodland course at Dorset G&CC is a test with tight fairways and small greens.

◗ DORSET DIDYOU-KNOWS… ● The Trade Union movement was born in Dorset. The ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ were farm labourers who decided to set up a Union in Tolpuddle. ● In June Marshwood hosts the World Stinging Nettle Eating Championships. ● Pretty Gold Hill in Shaftsbury was used in the famous Hovis bread advert during the 1970s and ‘80s. ● Poole harbour is the world’s second largest natural harbour after Sydney. ● 75% of Dorset is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

◗ GREAT GRUB ● Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has his River Cottage on the Dorset border. ● Lesley Waters runs her cooking school from Minterne House. ● 2009 MasterChef winner Matt Follas’ Wild Garlic restaurant is in Beaminster.

2. REMEDY OAK Par 72, 7,025 yards

3. WEYMOUTH Par 70, 6,048 yards

4. DORSET G&CC Par 72, 6,165 yards

Remedy Oak only opened in 2005 and is widely regarded as one of the finest new courses in the UK. Carved out of ancient woodland the design is a cross between Woburn and Wentworth, with huge imposing pine trees lining every fairway, cleverly placed water hazards and fast sloping greens in Tour standard condition. Remedy Oak is exclusive with just 400 members getting to enjoy the peaceful and private setting and firstclass practice and clubhouse facilities. At £95 a round it sounds hefty but it’s worth every penny. The devilishly tricky par-4 18th hole will live long in your memory – accuracy is paramount as the hole dog-legs virtually 90° from left-to-right. Too short and you’ll be blocked, too long and you’ll find the deep bunker leaving a treacherous shot across water to the green.

Weymouth celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and this lush, green parkland course has really stood the test of time. Originally designed by James Braid but recently lengthened and modernised, the course boasts magnificent views over the town and across Dorset’s Jurassic coast. At just over 6,000 yards, Weymouth certainly isn’t the longest, but hidden ditches and blind approach shots make the course trickier than the scorecard appears. There are several par 4s, including the opening hole, where long hitters might be tempted to have a crack at the green. But be warned; slightly miscue and you’ll be in trouble. To card a decent score you need to be striking your irons straight and the par 3s will prove pivotal.

If you’re looking for a quiet venue for a weekend break then Dorset Golf & Country Club is a great value option. Not only can you enjoy 27 holes of championship golf laid out in a peaceful environment, you can stay at the resort’s 5-star Scandinavian houses or 4-star Dormy Lodges. The main course is the Lakeland and Parkland nine-hole combination measuring more than 7,000 yards. It’s been designed with USGA specification greens and there are water hazards galore. The Woodland loop has tight treelined fairways, tricky dog-legs, small greens and a lot of rhododendrons. There’s also a modern, covered, floodlit driving range and an excellent short-game area to sharpen your skills between rounds. ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

◗ VITAL STATISTICS ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

Location: Horton, near Verwood. Contact: 01202 812070 or www.remedyoak.com Green fees: All week £95.

Location: One mile from town centre. Contact: 0844 980 9909 or www.weymouthgolfclub.co.uk Green fees: Mon-Fri: £34. Sat-Sun: £40. 2-FORE!-1: All week.

Location: Five miles south of Bere Regis near Poole. Contact: 01929 472244 or www.dorsetgolfresort.com Green fees: Mon-Fri: £39. Sat-Sun: £43. 2-FORE!-1: All week. TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 78 107


COURSES

BE ST OF BRITAIN

Parkstone’s sloping fairways and small greens help make it a wonderful layout.

DORSET

‘PARKSTONE IS LAID OUT IN A WAY THAT GOLFERS FROM BEGINNER TO PRO CAN RELISH THE TEST’

SEE THOUSANDS OF COURSE PICS & SCORES AT THE TG WEBSITE

5. PARKSTONE Par 72, 6,241 yards A wonderful layout, characterised by sloping fairways, dense heather, tall pine trees and small, heavily-guarded greens – not to mention some wonderful views over Poole harbour. Parkstone is laid out in such a way that golfers from beginner to Tour pro can relish the challenge. Every hole lives in the memory, but none as much as the tough par-3 18th. Many a good round has come to an unfortunate end there. From the back tees you face a 200-yard shot through a funnel of trees to a small, well-protected target. Finish with a three and you’ll deserve a beer! In recent years the clubhouse has been modernised, the practice ground lengthened and the course has been tastefully returned to its classic heathland character. ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

Location: Three miles west of Bournemouth. Contact: 01202 707138 or www.parkstonegolfclub.com Green fees: Mon-Fri: £60. Sat-Sun: £70. 108 IS SUE 278 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK

LOCAL HEROES ● Dorset’s most famous literary figure is Thomas Hardy who lived at Max Gate outside Dorchester. It inspired the creation of Casterbridge. ● One of Dorchester’s more infamous residents was Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys – the ‘hanging judge’. Judge Jeffreys lodged at 6 High Street West, now a restaurant, and held his ‘bloody assizes’ in 1685 when 74 people were executed. ● Explorer and buccaneer Sir Walter Raleigh lived at Sherborne Castle in North Dorset.  ● Hollywood star Christian Bale lived with his family in the town for four happy years. ● Men Behaving Badly, Doc Martin and Reggie Perrin star Martin Clunes lives in a converted vicarage in west Dorset.

6. MEYRICK PARK Par 69, 5,540 yards Meyrick is, without question, one of the best municipal courses in the country. This beautiful heathland is always in top condition. The layout is quirky in places and very tricky – the opening par-3 1st requires a 244-yard shot from an elevated tee over a steep valley to a narrow elevated green. With dense woodland to the right and a steep bank on the left it takes a great shot to get your round off to a good start. At just 5,540 yards Meyrick’s defence isn’t length, but low scores require exceptional accuracy as many holes have challenging doglegs across hilly terrain. Every July the venue hosts the Bournemouth Open, a seriously contested, but fun event with different competition formats. ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

Location: The heart of Bournemouth. Contact: 01202 786040 or www. theclubcompany.com Green fees: Midweek: £10 (after 2pm). Sat-Sun: £27. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri & Sun.

BIG DEALS

Great stay & play offers…

DEAL #1 Stay and play at five star Dorset Golf & Country Club where you can enjoy dinner, bed and breakfast and FREE golf from £55.95pp per night, representing great value-for-money. To book call 01929 472244, e-mail admin@dorsetgolfresort. com or visit www.dorsetgolfresort.com

DEAL #2 A three-day break with Golfbreaks.com, including two nights’ dinner, bed & breakfast and three rounds of golf (Isle of Purbeck, Meyrick Park and Canford Magna) costs from £189pp. Contact Golfbreaks.com on 0800 279 7988.


TRAVEL { G E T AWAY F O R L E S S }

CLIMATE AND QUALITY

Year-round sunshine and, with Eléa’s arrival, a great choice of golf – the Mediterannean island of Cyprus is fast becoming a must-visit destination WOR D S JOE L TA DM A N


BARGAIN BREAKS

Forget lads’ holidays and clubbing into the early hours, Cyprus is now emerging as a serious contender in the golf holiday destination market. Variety has been relatively limited to the renowned Aphrodite Hills and Secret Valley Golf Club until the highly-anticipated opening of Eléa Golf Club this Autumn. Eléa is a Mediterranean masterpiece, weaving its way through rows of olive trees and a vast number of fairway bunkers. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo, the attention to detail is instantly obvious – the sand for the bunkers was hand-sieved in Egypt. The fairways are generous in places and the rough is highly forgiving. But it’s no pushover. Fairway bunkers and harsh desert wasteland await errant drives. The par-5 2nd hole presents an early birdie chance but the test toughens at the 5th, a par 4 with a narrow fairway and carry over water to the green. Another carry over water is needed on the 453-yard, par-5 9th while the 12th green is

beautifully carved out of the limestone rock – a fitting prelude to the signature 307-yard 15th, a scenic, downhill par 4. You can play Eléa for £98 in high season (£68 low) but you can save some cash if you book online (£81 high and £56 low). Both Eléa and Secret Valley are within 20 minutes of Paphos while Aphrodite Hills is about a 45-minute drive. Easyjet fly to Paphos from Gatwick daily (www.easyjet.com).

CYPRUS

FIVE MORE VALUE BREAKS Enjoy some of Planet Golf ’s top venues at basement prices…

◗ THE DEALS

1. Seven nights at the Alexander the Great Hotel for €334 per person until Feb 15, 2011, including 15 per cent off spa treatments and three green fees per person at Eléa Golf Club. Email alexanderres@kanikahotels.com 2. Seven nights’ half-board (two sharing) at the five-star Amathus Beach Hotel, Paphos, with four rounds at Eléa for £475 per person (Jan 1-Feb 28), £509pp (Mar 1-31) or £659pp (Apr 1-30). Call Golf Escapes on 01342 811777. ◗ CONTACT INFO: Eléa: 00357 26202004 or www.eleaestate.com

‘THE SAND FOR THE BUNKERS WAS HANDSIEVED IN EGYPT, SUCH WAS FALDO’S DESIRE FOR PERFECTION’

CZECH REPUBLIC

Two nights’ B&B at Beroun Golf Resort, two rounds, transfers; from £249 per person in 2011. Contact: 0208 133 4366 or info@abante-golf.co.uk

SPAIN

Three nights’ B&B at Arcos Gardens, unlimited golf, from €491pp (£420, four sharing). Contact: 0034 956 704131 or recepcion@arcosgardens.com

MOROCCO

Three nights’ B&B at Kenzi Farah Hotel and two rounds on Samanah’s Nicklaus course and Al Maaden, from £259pp. Contact: 0800 043 6644.

P ORTUGAL

Seven nights’ B&B at Vivamarinha Hotel, transfers and five rounds for €593pp (£510). Contact: 00351 21482 9100 or reservations@vivamarinha.pt

EGYP T

Four nights’ B&B at five-star Moevenpick Resort & Spa, El Gouna and three rounds on Moevenpick GC, from £315pp. Contact: 0800 043 6644.

Today's Golfer Issue 278  

Today's Golfer Issue 278

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