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AMAZING VALUE GOLF FOR LESS THAN A TENNER

TODAY’S GOLFER SUMMER 2013 (JUNE 13 - JULY 10)

Golfer Today’s

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BOOST YOUR DRIVING ACCURACY

IRONS TEST > 41 new sets compared > Every handicap covered > The only test with stats

‘I’M BEATING MY DEMONS’

SERGIO EXCLUSIVE

CHIP IT CLOSER WITH A HYBRID

+ GET THE RIGHT BALL POSITION EVERY TIME

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DISCOVER HOW TIGER ‘THINKS’ PUTTS IN

HOLE 50% MORE

PUTTS

COURSES RATED...FROM £8 TO £120 > TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO SEE THE LINE SUMMER 2013 ISSUE 310 JUN 13 – JUL 10 £4.20

> WHY A NEW GRIP WILL SAVE SHOTS > MENTAL TIPS TO BOOST CONFIDENCE

NEW GEAR IN DETAIL ADAMS HYBRIDS 3 TOUR SHOES PING NOME PUTTER BEGINNER TO PRO... IN 10,000 HOURS? MEET THE MAN WHO’S TRYING

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PLUS NEW ALL-BLACK R1 DRIVER > DAVID LYNN INTERVIEW > PLAYING 189 HOLES... IN A DAY > THE ODDEST JOBS IN GOLF > ALASTAIR COOK


FIRST TEE Target zones Greens are divided into three target areas, each with a hole and flag, coloured green, amber and red, and acquiring greater difficulty as you slide up the traffic light.

NEW THIS MONTH...

14 The mobile swing fixer 15 189 holes... in a day 16 Andrew Coltart Q&A 18 Around the clubs 20 Truth about anchoring 24 Jack’s amazing workload


ZONE GOLF BREAKS COVER ➔

Not par, but points Land your ball in the nominated sector to claim your points – three for green, six for amber and nine for red. There are also additional points for par or birdie (below).

IAN POULTER AND JUSTIN ROSE

launched a new idea designed to make golf faster and more fun. Devised by Van Phillips and Jeremy Kavanagh, two former European Tour pros who wanted to tackle the speed of play and attract more youngsters, Zone Golf has been described as “darts with balls”. Played solely on par-3 holes, greens are divided into three zones, and players must nominate which one they’re going for before every tee shot. If they hit that zone, they will score more points than they would for a par, or even birdie. “On a normal length course it might take some people three or four shots before they get to the green. In Zone Golf you have a chance. You can play nine holes in an hour if you are on your own,” said Kavanagh. Poulter, Rose, Paul McGinley and Paul Lawrie were joined by the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, Tim Henman and Jamie Redknapp attempting to win £250,000 for charity at the game’s launch at Duke’s Meadows, Chiswick, last month. “It‘s different,” Poulter said. “Golf gets a bad rap at times for being a slow game. These are all short holes so it’s going to be quick and easy to follow.” McGinley and Redknapp won the £100,000 first prize, and the Ryder Cup captain said: “I think it’s an excellent concept and one I can definitely see becoming a new generation of golf. It’s fun, fast paced and brings a do or die element to the game. All the guys who have taken part today have been wonderful and I can’t wait to come back and defend my title with Jamie next year.” www.zonegolfthegame.com

Popular format: Lawrie scored in the Red Zone, but it wasn’t enough to beat McGinley and Redknapp. Points win prizes Additional points are available for bogey (1), par (2), birdie (3), ace (4). The ball can be picked up when no points can be scored. The player/team with the most points after nine holes wins.

Target practice: The Ryder Cup captain said “I think it’s an excellent concept” after his first Zone Golf game.

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Sergio

Inside El Nino’s storm Sergio Garcia tells TG about beating his demons... and why he does think he can win that elusive Major

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WORDS GRAEME HAMLETT PICTURES GETT Y IMAGES

he man known as ‘El Nino’ has been buffeted and blown off course, leading many to fear he was lost amid an ever-gathering storm, only, finally, to catch a wind of change gusting through his game and life once more. The dark clouds surrounding Sergio Garcia have at long last been lifting – and the golf world is a brighter place for it. For watching Sergio Garcia rip into a golf ball is a feat to behold; he exudes power and ferocity few can match, with his imperious ball-striking. It is a tempest, a whirlwind. But like any force of nature, sudden changes occur, for better and worse. Some are damaging. His Tiger Woods spat and “fried chicken” comments proved he is still human and prone to making headlines for wrong reasons. But as far as his game is concerned, he’s playing better than ever. And that’s good to see – because go back three years and golf was anything but fun for world-weary Garcia. His problems seemed deep-seated: the once constant re-gripping and fidgeting over the ball. The putting troubles. The scars from Carnoustie and the 2007 Open. From the 2008 US PGA, when nemesis Padraig Harrington again denied him a Major. A messy personal relationship break-up with Greg Norman’s daughter, Morgan.

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At the 2010 Open at St Andrews, Garcia cut a forlorn soul, his eyes dull, lifeless and pained as he spoke of quitting thanks to his depression over the 19-month title drought which saw him slump from world number two to 68th. A heart-to-heart with his family and friends, plus the warm support of the galleries, just about got him through. But even then, he took a hiatus and selfimposed two-month exile to refresh and recharge before his playing comeback, in the comfortable bosom of his home club, the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo course. ➔


SERGIO GARCIA

‘The bad days... if you take them the right way, they are very good, because you can learn a lot from those days’

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‘The sad truth is that most golfers make the wrong read 100% of the time because they base their decisions on nothing more than guesswork’

Jamie Donaldson One of only two level 3 AimPoint instructors, Cambridge-based PGA member Jamie offers tuition across the UK and Europe. Follow @golfdonaldson on Twitter; email jamie@ aimpointgolf.co.uk

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The new way to putt PUTTING SPECIAL

AimPoint is revolutionising the way many Tour pros read greens – and it will help you hole more putts, too

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WO R D S K I T A L E X A N D ER P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N

ave you ever watched television coverage of the PGA Tour and seen that blue line pop up between the ball and the hole to show exactly how the putt is going to break? Do you find yourself thinking “I wish it was really that easy”? If you’re one of the majority of golfers nodding their head to that question you could be about to experience an epiphany because the same technology that draws that perfect line has been converted into a green reading technique that will help you hole more putts. AimPoint is the brainchild of IT-based inventor Mark Sweeney and he’s teamed up with British coach Jamie Donaldson to create a system that takes all the guesswork out of the dark art of green reading and replaces it with cold, hard science that anyone can apply to make more accurate reads and improve your putting – whether you’re Tiger Woods or a 28-handicapper. “About four years ago it struck me that there was nothing in any manuals or passed on by golf coaches on how to read greens,” Donaldson told TG. “But it’s a part of the game that determines who wins and loses tournaments and can save amateur golfers countless shots a round. “I did a little digging and I discovered

Perfect line: The AimPoint technology has been used to show break on live PGA Tour coverage.

AimPoint, and its creator Mark Sweeney. Mark shared his knowledge and findings with me and together we converted the AimPoint technology into a technique which allows you to determine the amount of break to any pin location in around 20 seconds or less. It’s a system that’s been widely used on all Tours over the last four years – it has amassed multiple wins and propelled Stacy Lewis to the top of the women’s world rankings.” Every golfer on the planet has to read at least 18 putts per round and there’s absolutely nothing to stop you becoming a brilliant green reader. But the sad truth is that most golfers make the wrong read 100% of the time because they base their decisions on nothing more than guesswork and

misconceptions. Just imagine how much your scores would improve if you got a couple of reads right in a round and rolled the putts in. What about five correct reads, or even nine? That would still only be half the holes in a round but I don’t know any golfer whose performance wouldn’t improve beyond recognition if they saved nine shots. If your green reading improves, so will your overall putting performance. “Bad reads can be the root cause of errors in the set-up and putting stroke,” says Donaldson. “If you choose the wrong amount of break you have to aim incorrectly, vary ball speed and push or pull putts in order to make the putt; all of which we are all desperately trying to stop doing. They are also the factors we usually blame for our missed putts.” So good putting all starts with the right read, and the key to a good read is determining the three key elements that affect how much the ball will break; distance, slope and angle. Combining these three pieces of information will enable you to calculate exactly how much the ball will break – with a little help from the AimChart. We have an exclusive reader offer for you to purchase the chart at special knockdown price at the end of the feature, but you can still learn a lot from AimPoint without it. Turn over now to become a better green reader and hole more putts. ➔

‘AimPoint helped me to get to No.1 in the world’ Stacy Lewis Stacy Lewis’ Began AimPoint rankings 2009 2010 2011 2012 Wins 0 0 1 4 Rolex Ranking 47th 34th 10th 2nd Money 47th 21st 4th 3rd Putts/GIR 88th 20th 9th 3rd Scoring Avg 43rd 14th 7th 4th Birdies 43rd 10th 2nd 1st

2013 YTD 2 1st 2nd 2nd 1st 1st

Ladies European Tour player Stacey Keating has risen 408 places to 70th in the world rankings since she started using AimPoint in 2011: “AimPoint has changed my game; the stats don’t lie. Working with my caddy and practising the techniques regularly we have found the

results astonishing. My awareness of the undulations on the greens and locating the direction of the slope has guaranteed that I aim at the correct side of the hole every time. I’ve never been this excited to get on the greens!”

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Hanson Hole out with

One of the European Tour’s best putters tells you how to drain more

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WO R D S K I T A L E X A N D ER P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N

utting used to take up maybe 10% of my practice time, but I spend a lot more time on it now and I feel like putting has gone from a weakness in my game to one of my strengths. Good putting comes down to practice. The more you practice, the more confident you will become and you’ll start the ball on the line you want more often and hole more putts. “I know I can align my putter within a flag’s width of the centre of the hole from inside 10 feet so if I make a good stroke I will start the ball rolling exactly where I want. These putts inside 10 feet are a crucial length and alignment is critical.

Even tour pros are often guilty of taking the correct alignment for granted. If you don’t work on it, it can actually change quite a lot in a short space of time without you noticing. If you improve your aim then your putting stats from inside six feet will improve dramatically because the putts often have so little to do with green reading and speed. I check my alignment at least twice every week and amateurs could benefit hugely from getting their aim right and keeping it right.” Here, the two-time Ryder Cupper shares the technique and drills he’s used to improve his holing out.

HANSON’S STATS

Nationality: Swedish Age: 35 World ranking: 22 Wins: 13 Ryder Cups: 2010 and 2012 Putting stats: Putts per round; 27.1 (4th on European Tour). Putts per GIR; 1.671 (3rd on ET). One-putts; 16.17 (35th on ET). Strokes gained putting 0.528 (24th on PGA Tour).

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PUTTING SPECIAL

Six things you can work on

Including the home-made training aid that has helped improve my putting Keep it simple The best putting advice I could give an amateur would be to make it less complicated. Work on one thing at a time and make sure your practice is really high quality and focused.

Head tilt I tilt my head slightly away because I know I’m right-eye dominant and this helps me see the ball and my target line at address and align myself exactly at my target point.

Gateway drill

I practice my alignment and starting the ball on the right path with this Dave Pelz training aid. The line helps me position the putter header perfectly square and I get immediate feedback – if I haven’t hit the ball straight it will disturb one of the ball bearings. It’s relatively cheap to buy online, but readers can replicate this drill by making a gateway with two tees about six inches in front of the ball. Start them a little wider than I set up my training aid here and make the gap smaller as you get more confidence rolling the ball between the tees. I also position a tee about six inches behind a ball and just to the left to help me swing the club back on the right line with a slight arc. You could build another tee gate to swing through to help square your putter face at impact.

Vertical shaft The putter shaft should be vertical or sloping very slightly forwards. If the shaft is leaning back or too far forwards, then you won’t get such a smooth or consistent roll on the ball.

Level hands, shoulders I grip the putter with my hands pretty tight together and overlapping because I want my shoulders to be close to parallel to promote a good swing arc and slightly upwards attack angle.

Consistent set-up

It’s absolutely vital that your set-up is always the same if you want to build a consistent putting stroke. I mark my right and left foot positions and ball position on this foldable piece of wood (above) so I can put it on the ground across my toes and check my set-up. I also have my feet and ball positions for all my other clubs marked on the other side. I carry it with me everywhere – use something similar. TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 310


THE OPEN 2013 PREVIEW

Predicting the result? Justin Rose, photographed exclusively for TG at Ashworth’s UK offices in Basingstoke, Hants.

THE OPEN SPECI A L ❘ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K


Rose’s guide to Muirfield England’s No.1 fancies his chances in the year’s third Major. He told TG “it’s time to get cracking and master Muirfield” in this exclusive interview WO R D S G R A EM E H A M L E T T P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N , DAV I D C A N N O N , G E T T Y

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inning The Open would validate all of the hard work I’ve put in, to realise your childhood dreams.” Justin Rose isn’t joking. “Make no mistake; it’s what I am striving for. Since I was 10 years old I’ve been holing putts to win The Open Championship on my putting green back home at my local club. So it’s what I’ve dreamed about, worked towards, in some ways what I’ve been destined to do. It would complete the journey.” Rose’s statement of intent ahead of Muirfield speaks volumes. The Open is the Major he has most affinity with, the one he desperately wants. The 17-year-old teenage star-in-the-making who burst onto the world stage at Birkdale to win 1998’s leading amateur silver medal is now ready to add a gold champion golfer medal to his Open horde. And of course, the Claret Jug. When TG meets up with Rose at TaylorMade HQ in Basingstoke to discuss this year’s event, he casts his mind back 11 years to only his fourth Open and a very memorable one staged there. For in the opening two rounds Rose was paired with Tiger Woods for the first time in his career. “What do I remember of the 2002 Open and playing with Tiger? Well the summer of 2002 was my first breakthrough; I won four tournaments that year and on the back of that as you know, it was also the time my dad sadly passed away. But before The Open he gave me a pep-talk about playing

‘Since I was 10 years old I’ve been holing putts to win The Open Championship’ with Tiger along the lines of: ‘You are facing and will face in the grand scheme of life, much tougher things than playing with Tiger Woods.’ He really put it in perspective for me that it’s going to be a fun day, not an intimidating one and it worked amazingly well. I shot 68, I was -4 through nine and I think I ended up teeing off in the second last group on the Sunday due to me playing a great 68 on Saturday in the morning before the storm came in. I was tied 22nd in the end.” And as he looks over our map of the course, other details filter through; he hasn’t played it since 2002, but he is excited

Tiger feat Rose played with Woods back in 2002.

to be returning. “It’s a great Open course. I know the first hole goes away. And you head out in an outer loop all around the front nine. Depending on the wind, I think it’s an iron off the first tee and very short iron in. “The second hole I don’t recall being overly tough down into the corner. I do seem to remember there’s a funny tee shot on five where you’re hitting over brush and bunkers; that’s a pretty tough hole, and six dog-legs hard left. I know nine is a tough hole and plays a dog-leg because of a funny angle, but I do need to remind myself of the course again. “But 10, 13 and 18 are great holes. I know Ernie’s designed some other holes based on the par-3 13th and 17 is a par 5 I remember with Gary Evans losing his ball there; without that he was about to win the Open. That was pretty sad. And 18 is one of the classic finishing holes – beautiful clubhouse behind the green. You’ve got to drive the ball long and straight, hit a nice long iron to the middle of the green, two putts and win The Open... it sounds good to me! I’d take 18 pars like Nick Faldo in 1987 to win it, too.” Rose is convinced his game is in great shape for the task ahead. “I think I’ve added a whole new facet to my game with a little bit more distance. That’s been interesting. It’s opened up a few more possibilities on par 5s and a few of the guys like Tiger and Rory dominate par 5s, so I think that if you’re trying to be the best player in the world, you need all aspects of ➔ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ TH E OPEN SPECI A L


Odd jo In these challenging times, golf is proving a career lifeblood for some – but not in traditional ways W O R D S G R A E M E H A M L E T T P I C T U R E S H O WA R D B O Y L A N

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any of us have held, or hold, ambitions to work within golf, combining our passion for the game with gainful employment. Indeed, as the golf industry and technology has grown more and more diverse, more and more novel ways to become part of it have appeared. The days of jobs in golf being the preserve of professionals, secretaries and green keepers are long gone. And that can only be progressive for the game. Yes, golf is full of quirky characters and people who enrich the sport with their ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Here at TG, we embrace that spirit, so we set about tracking down three men whose jobs embody the brilliant, bonkers and beguiling nature of working in golf in modern times... ➔

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b men Taking the plunge When Neil Hutton lost his job, he decided to make a living from diving for lake balls. TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K â?˜ IS SU E 3 07


THE IRONS TEST

MD Icon £249 7-iron loft: 30.5˚ Contact: www.mdgolf.eu or 028 9446 0333 Tech: To give golfers as much help as possible, the MD Icon is an oversize iron with maximum perimeter weighting for extra forgiveness. Verdict: The compact size with medium top line was a winner for all four testers. There’s a little bit of offset there and the leading edge is somewhat rounded, but the finish looks really classy. Kit agreed the rounded leading edge was strange, but liked how it looked stronger in loft

and was shorter from heel to toe than most in this category. Chris enjoyed the contrast between the clubface and the heel and toe. This was Joel’s best club on test for dispersion and distance was up there also. Kit’s distance was above average too at 165 yards. Pros: Compact size means it looks more like a player’s club. Long, forgiving and great value. Cons: Lots of offset for a small clubhead.

T H E N U M B E R S Looks: 7 Feel: 7 Forgiveness: 7 Workability: 7 Overall ranking: HHHHHHHHHH

Callaway X Hot £599 7-iron loft: 30˚Contact: www.callawaygolf.com or 0800 096 4591 Tech: Callaway has applied its driver technology to its irons to produce higher ball speeds and explosive distance. The re-engineered stainless steel X Hot Pro Irons feature precision grooves and new J-Face Dynamics for an exciting blend of power, feel, shot making and forgiveness. Verdict: James and Joel agreed the Pro version was more pleasing on the eye and could easily fit in the Better Player category. The white

grooves show up nicely on the X Hot against the shiny finish. The X Hot Pro is certainly more compact, has more grooves, less off set and gave our testers on average two extra yards of distance. Kit found the pro version hotter and more workable. Pro version RRP: £699 Pros: Easy to launch and control, forgiving, inspires confidence at address. Cons: Pro version looks nicer and goes further.

T H E N U M B E R S Looks: 7 Feel: 7.5 Forgiveness: 8 Workability: 6 Overall ranking: HHHHHHHHHH

TaylorMade RocketBladez £549 (S) £649 (G) 7-iron loft: 30.5˚ Contact: www.taylormadegolf.eu or 0800 0728 624 Tech: Inspired by the distance benefits of the RocketBallz fairway wood, RocketBladez’ key new technology is the speed pocket, allowing higher launch with lower spin to promote longer, high-flying and quick stopping shots. Verdict: Opinion was mixed on the look. Kit couldn’t tell the difference between the standard and Tour version whereas Joel felt it was a little chunky. The ball jumped off the face,

but not with a great deal of control. Joel was amazed at how hot the ball came off and how high it launched. This was the longest iron on test for Chris and James, averaging 162 and 191 yards respectively. Distances between the best and worst shots lowered the performance mark. Pros: Crazy long, bad strikes carry far, too. Cons: Long irons look chunky. Distance control tricky. No speed pocket in the short irons.

T H E N U M B E R S Looks: 7.5 Feel: 8 Forgiveness: 8.5 Workability: 8 Overall ranking: HHHHHHHHHH

Adams TECH V4 £799 (Hybrid) £699 (forged) 7-iron loft: 32˚ Contact: www.adamsgolf.com or 0800 0728 624 Tech: Available in two set options – all hybrid and forged irons. Each set features awardwinning TECH V4 Hybrids and choice of highperformance, easy-to-hit hybrid irons or forged irons for a wider range of golfers. Verdict: James noted it looked skinny, especially at the heel. Joel liked the contrast of the dark finish and white grooves on the face to help with alignment. He got a soft feel at impact

with a stable hit, but this failed to translate into significant distance. Kit and Chris both said the iron felt nicely balanced. All testers agreed the hybrids were a great option. Distance was down across the board, but consistency of length and low dispersion earned it a higher mark. Pros: Hybrids as long-iron replacements are easy to strike, launch high and shape in the air. Cons: One of the shorter models on test.

T H E N U M B E R S Looks: 7 Feel: 7.5 Forgiveness: 6.5 Workability: 7.5 Overall ranking: HHHHHHHHHH

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GAME IMPROVER

Ping G25 £80 (S) £100 (G) per club 7-iron loft: 32˚ Contact: www.ping.com or 01427 619228

T HE T G BR O N Z E AWA R D TEST TEAM’S TWO KEY STATISTICS

James Ridyard Distance: 175 yards Dispersion: 13 yards

Tech talk: The G25s offer gameimprovement technology - high trajectory, distance, and extreme forgiveness — in a sleeker head that inspires confidence. A customengineered face ensures a solid feel and distance with control. Progressive sole widths optimise CG placement for accurate distance gapping. Verdict: James and Chris liked the gunmetal finish, but James and Joel weren’t fans of the size, shape or large amount of offset. Joel also said it looked strange without a ferrel covering the join between the head and shaft and found it quite off-putting. Kit also didn’t enjoy the head shape or finish, but couldn’t fault the performance. Despite three testers not being won over by the looks, performance across

Joel Tadman Distance: 172 yards Dispersion: 8 yards

the board was high. Feel and forgiveness scores were sky-high, surprising all our team. Distance was about average, but the distance control really stood out. Joel’s distance was above average at 172 yards. Pros: After having a hit, you’ll struggle to put them down. Soft off the face with control, forgiving on mis-hits. Cons: Large off-set and unusual shape may put off lower handicappers in the category.

THE NUMBERS Looks: 5.5 Feel: 8 Forgiveness: 9 Workability: 7 Overall ranking:

HHHHHHHHHH

Kit Alexander Distance: 156 yards Dispersion: 4 yards

Chris Jones Distance: 146 yards Dispersion: 8 yards

Cobra AMP CELL £549 (S) £649 (G) 7-iron loft: 31˚ Contact: www.cobragolf.com or 01372 364933

T HE T G S ILV E R AWA R D TEST TEAM’S TWO KEY STATISTICS

James Ridyard Distance: 182 yards Dispersion: 6 yards

Tech: A special face-weld process combine to create a high COR zone and controls weighting and face strength to deliver explosive distance and forgiveness. AMP Cell technology creates perimeter weighting to position centre of gravity behind the sweet zone. A V Skid Sole configuration improves turf interaction at impact. Verdict: The top line is thick and has an angled edge to it, which some testers weren’t a fan of, but besides that the headshape is very classic, simple and nondescript, which all the testers enjoyed. The white bottom groove made alignment easy. James and Joel praised the feel off the face, being soft, almost forged-like, but stable and powerful. Just like with the Amp Cell driver, Kit got a higher flight

Joel Tadman Distance: 171 yards Dispersion: 7 yards

Kit Alexander Distance: 157 yards Dispersion: 6 yards

than he was used to but mis-hits held their line impressively. Chris felt like the sweetspot was bigger than others in the category, which boosted his confidence. Three of four testers felt the weight was just right. Pros: The gentle giant of GI irons, powerful yet with a soft feel. Testers struggled to find a weakness. Cons: Does look a little fat at address and the shiny finish on the extremities won’t be to everyone’s taste.

THE NUMBERS Looks: 7.5 Feel: 7.5 Forgiveness: 8 Workability: 7.5 Overall ranking:

HHHHHHHHHH Chris Jones Distance: 150 yards Dispersion: 3 yards TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 310


NEW GEAR

The 9031 model has a compact 80cc clubhead with a Cut-Thru sole and a refined crown slot.

The 9031 is an update on the Pro Black, which was very popular on Tour and among club golfers.

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We felt the DHy was versatile and offered a great flight into the wind.

Adams insist Tour players are already asking them for a full set of DHy irons.


FIRST LOOK

THE INSIDE LINE ON ADAMS’ SUPER IDEA 1

The award-winning hybrid expert launches two new clubs – the Idea Super 9031 and Super DHy ➔

AS WELL AS ADDING FOUR-

time European Tour winner David Howell to its stable, Adams has also added to its impressive Super S and LS hybrid range. Both the Idea Super 9031 and Idea Super DHy models are geared towards low-tomid handicap players and continue Adams’ theme of easy-to-hit clubs for all skill levels. Setting a new benchmark in their respective categories, the clubs utilise patented Velocity Slot Technology (VST) to increase ball speeds and promote additional distance. The Super 9031 improves upon its predecessor, the Idea Pro Black 9031, with enhanced shaping and the use of slots to produce a hotter clubface. The Idea Super DHy produces a penetrating ball flight with workability which is superior to irons. “These new Super additions fill a gap that better golfers need – easyto-hit clubs which go further and will also help them manipulate their shot shape,” said Justin Honea, Director of Product Development. “Our Tour reps get requests each week from players wanting our hybrids with these different characteristics and we’ve delivered with the 9031 and the DHy.” The Adams Idea Super 9031 features a compact 80cc clubhead,

TAKE PART IN ADAMS’ MILLION YARD CHALLENGE Adams is offering an incentive for golfers to try out their new distancegrabbing, easy-tohit range of hybrids. They have launched a “Gain a Million Yards” promotion with their new Super S and LS ranges. You need to head to a golf retailer, pro shop, or Adams demo day and hit your current clubs against the 2013 Super line-up. Submit a review of the range and you will get a free hat with your yardage gain embroidered on the side. Let Adams know how many yards you gained, then review the clubs at. onemillionyards.com

combining a “Cut-Thru” sole slot with a refined crown slot. The result is faster ball speeds compared to non-slotted hybrids and traditional long irons. A thin, steel clubface produces a trampoline effect approaching the USGA limit. “Our goal was to improve what was already arguably the most popular hybrid on the PGA Tour, and we succeeded,” said Michael Fox, Director of Product Marketing. “When you look at the performance characteristics combined with strategically-placed centre of gravity toward the toe, Super 9031 is the ultimate players’ hybrid.” The Adams Idea Super DHy merges the unique attributes of a hybrid and a traditional long iron, giving the extra distance and forgiveness of a hybrid with the shot-shaping control and workability of a long iron. A unique bulge-and-roll face technology aids forgiveness and dispersion. Details: Super 9031 Hybrid available in 16°, 18°, 20° and 23° (18° and 20° in left-handed models) RRP £159.99. Super DHy available in 18°, 21°, 24° and 27° (18° and 21° in left-handed models) RRP £159.99. www.adamsgolf.com

Can’t fault the workability though, I was able to shape shots with relative ease. PROS Lovely feel on wellstruck shots. Workable and versatile. Looks great. CONS Small clubhead places premium on striking. Low levels of forgiveness. DHy; Graeme Hamlett, pro Tested over the links of

PING’S NOME TR putter

features variable-depth grooves. These first appeared in the face insert of the Scottsdale TR series and are deepest in the centre and get shallower towards the perimeter for consistent ball speeds on all strikes. Research suggests using these grooves gives an almost 50 per cent improvement in consistency. The 350g Nome TR has a nonglare matt-black body, white alignment bar and contrasting black sightline to make aiming easier. It is milled from high-grade aircraft aluminium. As part of Ping’s “Fit for Stroke” system, three shaft bends are available: Straight, Slight Arc or Strong Arc – as is a telescoping shaft that adjusts from 31 to 38 inches. Details: RRP: £239 (fixed length shaft), £259 (adjustable length).

3

First hits Idea Pro Black 9031 hybrid Joel Tadman, 3 handicap This appears to be a little bit of a move away from Adams’ easy-to-hit mantra. The club looks and feels great in your hands but the headshape doesn’t instill confidence – it certainly looks like a betterplayer club. The ball flies off the face but off-centre hits weren’t overly forgiving.

PING NOME TR

BUSHNELL TOUR V3 ➔

BUSHNELL’S LATEST

rangefinder packs 1,000-yard capability into a compact design which fits in your hand and is wrapped with a tacky grip. The Tour V3 zeros in on a flag up to 300 yards away with +/- 1 yard/m accuracy. Add to this bright, crisp multi-coated optics and a 100 per cent rainproof design and you’ve got a laser rangefinder which Bushnell suggests is “your 15th club”. JOLT Technology eliminates all doubt by delivering short vibrating bursts to reinforce the laser has locked onto the flag. Details: RRP: £279, www.bushnellgolf.co.uk

Lytham and Formby, Adams’ new DHy is truly versatile. It’s penetrative into the wind and at 18˚is far easier to hit than a 2 or 3-iron. Better players will love it. PROS Lovely weighting, solid through and at impact, confidence inspiring. CONS Tiny head behind the ball hides the depth of sole beneath it. Trust the design!

TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 310


PLAYING Truly world class The 8th is one of the finest holes on Portstewart's stellar front nine.

OUR EXPERTS THIS MONTH JOHN BREADON Age: 59 HCP: 17 Job: Part-retired civil servant. Golfing claim to fame: Playing 18 holes in each six counties in a day. BILL HUTCHINSON Age: 66 HCP: 24 Job: Retired. Golfing claim to fame: Taking the game up again to beat the wife – a better player than me! PAUL HEWITT Age: 66 HCP: 12 Job: Retired headmaster. Golfing claim to fame: I was Darren Clarke’s headmaster. ALWYN McBRIDE Age: 67 HCP: 22 Job: Retired Head of Physics at Belfast Academy. Golfing claim to fame: Holing an absolute monster of a putt on the 17th at Portstewart.

IS SU E 310 ❘ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K


REGIONAL GUIDE

THE LOCAL GUIDE TO… NORTHERN IRELAND Four local golfers give you the inside line on where you should tee it up on the coast and further inland WORDS KEVIN BROWN

Firstly, what are the best-value courses in Northern Ireland? Bill: That’s easy – Portstewart’s Riverside course, which offers competitive green fees with superb views and an interesting layout. John: Portstewart is a quality links and although £90 for visitors, I still reckon that represents good overall value. Other courses may be cheaper, but the challenge isn’t quite the same. Alwyn: I enjoy going to Bushfoot. It’s only nine holes, but it’s a fun course played by fun people in a great setting. TG’s input: You’ll be knocked out by the dramatic layout of Ardglass, a short drive from Royal County Down, where you can tee it up for considerably less. How about if you’re looking for a serious test of golf? Bill: Royal Portrush’s Dunluce is a brute with a big wind, but Royal County Down is probably the toughest. However, I know some American visitors believe Portstewart is harder than Portrush. Paul: Given equally windy conditions there is no doubt County Down is the toughest – though Portrush stands up very comfortably against it. John: County Down – closely followed by Portrush, which has some really challenging holes and is right up there as well. Alwyn: I’m a relative beginner – and the thought of playing them both scares the life out of me – though I’d love to give them both a crack some time. TG’s input: County Down is the ultimate beauty and the beast; you’ve got to avoid the gigantic penal bunkers – and the gorse – at all costs. The best for tees and greens? John: Inland courses finally seem to be

Portrush: A course of relentless quality.

in really good shape now – courses like Malone and Belvoir Park, where there’s been some long-awaited growth. Portstewart, being exposed to the icy blasts over the winter, is a little behind in getting smoothness and speed – but it only takes a few warm and sunny days for it to be right there. Paul: Castlerock should get a mention here as their tees and greens are always in good shape. Bill: Whereas Royal County Down’s topsoil is imported, Portstewart’s is all indigenous to the area and as a result tends to present really well. Alwyn: Portstewart, so undulating and with massive dunes, drains so well and the greens and tees are pretty immaculate all year. TG’s input: A toss-up between top royals County Down and Portrush. Most friendly and welcoming? TG’s input: You’re spoilt for choice and you can expect a particularly warm reception even at the traditional clubs – and especially at the likes of Ardglass and resort venue of Galgorm Castle. If you had to name the No.1 course, what would it be? Bill: For me, it’s got to be Portrush. TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K ❘ IS SU E 310


THE BOMBER’S GUIDE TO DISTANCE

JOE MILLER’S

BOOT CAMP

“Listen up you ’orrible lot!” The 2010 Re/Max World Long Drive champion puts three “lucky” TG readers through their paces – and soon gets them hitting it further than ever before

WO R D S K I T A L E X A N D ER P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N

“THEY CAME IN AS MERE MORTALS,

and now they’re leaving as superheroes,” beams a delighted Joe Miller. And the 6ft 4in powerhouse isn’t wrong. Just one day with the man widely acknowledged as the longest driver of a golf ball on the planet and his coach, Lee Cox, and TG readers Peter Hopkins, John Lalor and Michael Rolton have turned their slices and fades into straight shots and draws and gained 24, 22 and 11 yards of carry respectively – not to mention the added roll from their more penetrative ball flights. Quite rightly, they feel like superheroes. “It’s way more than I was expecting,” says a thrilled Peter, whose longest drive was 45 yards further than he was hitting at the start of the day. “I thought I was being optimistic to think I might get an extra 20 yards including run, but to double that will make all the difference to my game. It’s been one of the best golfing experiences of my life and I’ve loved every minute of it!” The three had been hand-picked to benefit from Joe’s X Hot Boot Camp. Each man admitted his game could do with more distance – like many of us. So Callaway Golf arranged for one of its longest hitters to share some of his secrets, that can benefit anyone. The day started on the fantastic practice facilities at the Palmerston Academy at Brocket Hall GC in Hertfordshire. Before our trio were

allowed to unleash themselves and their drivers on the range, Joe wanted to show them how to warm up properly and exactly what was possible when you have the power and control to swing at 150mph and return the clubhead to the ball completely square and on the perfect angle of attack. As Joe pointed out: “If you start swinging a driver as hard as you can before doing a warm-up you’re more likely to do yourself an injury than hit any good shots.” Peter, John and Michael gathered behind Joe as he began swatting wedges away. They watched in silent awe as his controlled threequarter pitching wedges went soaring past the 150-yard marker. “How far can you hit a full wedge?” asked John. “About 200 yards,” came the reply as he sent one soaring straight at the marker in the distance with a hint of draw. As Joe worked his way up through his bag – hitting each club further than our trio had ever seen before – our bootcampers fired more questions at their mentor for the day. Joe revealed his seven-meal-a-day regime, told them how he swung so hard at his final drive in the 2010 World Champs that he broke his right big toe as he pushed off and explained how he’s able to hit the ball over 400 yards. At this stage, he invited his long-time coach Lee Cox to describe exactly what it takes to hit the ball further. “Driving distance is good


IN ASSOCIATION WITH


Trade in your old wedge and get £25 off a new Cleveland 588 wedge. Details www.clevelandgolf588.co.uk

SCORING SHOTS

SEE IT, FEEL IT, HIT IT!

HYBRID CLUB

Use this three-step routine to beat your nerves ➔

WHEN FACED WITH A TRICKY

shot, such as a pitch over a bunker or chip up a slope, it can be easy for anxiety to kick in and get the better of you. First of all, judge for yourself if you want to play it in the air or on the ground. McDowell might want to play the ball in the air but I want to

Be your best caddie When sizing up the shot, imagine what a top caddie would be telling you. He’d be filling your mind with positive thoughts – and you need to do the same.

play it on the ground, it’s up to you. Then, once you’ve decided, visualise it from behind the ball, feel it on your practice swings with the skid of the turf, then step up briskly and hit it. This simple routine will keep your mind focused and lead to more success on shots you normally mess up.

THE HYBRID RUNNING SHOT The easiest option is to play a hybrid, bumping the ball low and with plenty of forward momentum and topspin.

GAP WEDGE

THE SECOND BOUNCE CHECK SHOT With your gap wedge, you will drive the ball in on a lower trajectory and plenty of spin on the second bounce. Medium difficulty level.

LOB WEDGE

HIGH-TARIFF LOB SHOT The lob shot is the high-tariff option with a high trajectory stopping the ball on landing more due to the descent angle than backspin created. SHORT GA M E ❘ TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K


IN ASSOCIATION WITH

HOW TO PLAY IT

1. STAND TALL WITH ARMS STRAIGHT Stand tall to the ball with your arms straight. The key is to go right down the grip, almost to the shaft but keeping your arms straight.

2. GO BACK LOW AND WOODEN In the backswing, the club stays close to the ground. Keep the action very wooden, much like you would with a putter, with firm wrists.

3. SWEEP THE BALL CLEANLY Sweep the ball off the deck much like you would on a full hybrid shot, using the wide sole to glide along the turf collecting the ball en route.

2. USE A CHECKPOINT FOR DISTANCE Swing the clubhead to waist height (a good checkpoint to use) keeping the weight on the left and introduce some wrist set.

3. TRAP THE BALL AT IMPACT To get the spin on the second bounce, you want to trap the ball with a downward blow and the shaft leaning forward at impact.

2. CREATE A LONGER BACKSWING Swing the club to shoulder height this time, creating more momentum in the clubhead to counteract the higher flight.

3. THROW THE BOUNCE UNDER At impact, the feeling is more one of throwing the bounce underneath the ball with more of a vertical shaft. Keep the weight on the left.

HOW TO PLAY IT

1. BALL BACK, SQUARE FACE Place the ball fractionally back in the stance with a square face and a very slight forward lean in the shaft. Weight on the left side.

HOW TO PLAY IT

1. OPEN THE FACE AT ADDRESS Move the ball up to just in front of middle and open the clubface slightly, activating the bounce. Widen your stance slightly too.

TODAYSG OLFER .CO.U K â?˜ SHORT G A M E


Today's Golfer 310 Sampler  

Some preview spreads from the new issue of Today's Golfer magazine.

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