THIS MONTH'S SECTION
014 Odyssey’s FlipFace putter put to the test 015 Cobra turn orange with Fowler AMP driver 020 Rory’s swing flaw 022 Know Webb Simpson
Quality control The wedges bear the Tom Watson name and ooze class.
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A TOUCH OF CLASS
Adams launch unique Tom Watson Performance Wedges Adams Golf is huge in the American golf market, but now has its sights set firmly on the UK. The Texas-based company is best-known for its array of hybrids, but having enlisted the help of Open legend Tom Watson, they have released stunning new wedges featuring a unique copper face. They have been engineered to look different to conventional wedges which feature the same coloured face, and also to offer more feel. With Watson’s input, you'd expect lots of
versatility – and you wouldn't be disappointed, with lofts running from 50° to 60° in 2° increments, with a 64° also available. It’s common for club manufacturers to talk about a lower and deeper centre of gravity in their irons and woods, but it’s not a story often told with wedges. But Adams are doing so with this model, suggesting it makes them more playable from a greater variety of lies. The sole grind also gives golfers the confidence to open the face up without fear of digging into the turf, in order to play the sort of
shots stars like Watson perform regularly. It’s an exciting time for Adams Golf, with the brand being acquired by market leaders TaylorMade-adidas. “The proposed combination of Adams Golf and TaylorMade-adidas brings together two highly complementary golf brands, combining Adams’ focus on game-improvement as well as senior and women golfers with TaylorMadeadidas’ focus on the younger and the low-tomid handicap golfer,” explained adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer.
Price (RRP): £99 each. Loft: 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58°, 60°, 64°. See first hit video of this wedge at todaysgolfer.co.uk/watsonwedge
THE FIRST LOOK AT
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here amateur golfers feel pressure, successful Tour pros will sense an exciting challenge. This tells us straight away there is more than one way to tackle being in a position to shoot a great score. So we need to have a positive view of these situations so we excel when it matters most. You will have successfully hit difficult shots before, perhaps in a practice round, so the trick is
to avoid adding new meaning to the outcome during a medal. That way we can continue to play the shot and not the situation. Strategies you can develop before, during and after your rounds will help you learn to cope under pressure. Dealing with pressure isn’t about changing your technique, but there are ways we can adapt our strategy to increase the likelihood of succeeding under pressure. Generally, pressure leads to increased anxiety and tension, which
makes the task of hitting good shots on the course even more daunting. So we need to increase our margin for error with our decisionmaking as much as possible. Good decision-making is the key to our performance, whether under pressure or not. You can decide to be moody, sulk or play the ‘Hollywood’ shot but this won’t help your scoring. Or, you could opt to minimise stress with your choices, take away risk and enjoy the challenge.
THE DIFFICULT DRIVE DON'T IGNORE THE DANGER
that trouble out of play. Choose a club that attacks the wide part of the fairway. I say 'attacks' because you still need to be specific with your target and make a committed swing. Taking a rescue club allows you to make a more aggressive swing rather than trying to guide the ball down the fairway with a driver. This can lead to the arms and body moving out of time and the clubface not returning to the ball squarely. Keep yourself in the hole and find the fairway.
People who tell you to ignore any
trouble off the tee are talking nonsense. As humans, we’re hardwired to see this danger. But just because a hole has a lake or out of bounds, doesn’t mean we can’t make the percentage play and make the best decision possible to take
‘AS HUMANS we’re hardwired to see ANY danger OFF THE TEE'
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PRE-SHOT ROUTINE don't alter your habits When the winning line is in sight it can
cause us to change our habits and behaviour as we start to alter the meaning of the event and add importance to the consequences of our shots. One of the most noticeable things to be affected is a player’s routine and golfers differ in how pressure alters this preparation. Tour players have different-length routines but all spend the same amount of time on each long-game shot from the moment they arrive at the ball to when they start their swing. The pre-shot routine also creates a state of flow, like an athlete on the blocks in a 100m race, if you do the same thing over and over again it will eventually become subconscious and you won’t have to think about it. It’s a powerful tool in handling pressure – it stops you thinking negatively about what may go wrong. Remember if you’re inconsistent in your routine and how you react to certain shots then you’ll never be a consistent golfer. Finally, at no point should you be thinking about technique in your pre-shot routine. Make a practice swing and finish by staring down at your target (1). Then face your target and visualise the flight you want to hit so your focus is very specific (2). Finally, engage the clubface to your intended start line before setting your feet (3). Take one final look at your target then pull the trigger.
FEEL PLEASED WITH YOURSELF
It’s important after you’ve hit a good
shot to reward yourself with a positive display. You could congratulate yourself either externally with a clenched fist or fist pump or internally by using positive chat to yourself. Too many times amateurs react to a good shot with an air of expectation rather than a demonstration of satisfaction at a job well done. This would be ok if the less perfect shots were met with equal restraint! Failure to congratulate yourself when you play a successful shot can leave the confidence levels low for when you need it most, so don't be afraid to be pleased with yourself whenever you execute a shot well.
WALK TALL after a poor shot
After a bad shot it can be easy for us to feel dejected and walk to play our next shot with our head down. Rory McIlroy said after his 2011 Masters meltdown that he became slumped in his posture as he walked, looking at the ground, and it made him play worse. Walking in this manner puts you in a state of depression. After 30 seconds or so you start to feel low, you’ll miss key information like pin positions on nearby greens and generally spiral in the wrong direction. No matter how bad you think the shot you just played was, walk to your ball with your head up and your chin 90˚ to the floor. This creates a state of awareness and a positive mindset. ➔
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Golf was accepted into the Olympics as a 72-hole strokeplay event “We were informed that the maximum we could have at this stage was 60 men and 60 women athletes so a total of 120 athletes,” Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation (IGF), told TG. “Given the current format of the qualification system, we expect around 33 different countries to be represented by the men and 30 for the women. That would be very strong and very diverse for a 60-player field.” The limited field means there’s no need for a cut so all can enjoy four days of competition. In the event of a tie for first, second or third it is expected the medals will be decided by a sudden-death play-off. Scanlon continues: “The beauty of having medals up for grabs in this format is that even if you have a runaway winner there’s still interest in who’s getting bronze and silver,
‘In four years there are 16 chances to win a Major – but only one to win a gold medal’ and that will create some excitement itself. Looking at recent events, there are very few runaway winners. “You can only win Olympic medals every four years. Majors are special, but by the time we get from 2016 to 2020 the players will have had 16 opportunities to win a Major but only one to win an Olympic gold medal. That limited opportunity will make an Olympic medal very special in its own right.”
Golden era Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will be battling it out for medals in Brazil in 2016.
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International cast men’s 31-nation Field, if golf was a part of London 2012 1. Luke Donald, Great Britain 2. Rory McIlroy, Great Britain 3. Lee Westwood, Great Britain 4. Tiger Woods, USA 5. Webb Simpson, USA 6. Bubba Watson, USA 7. Matt Kuchar, USA 8. Jason Dufner, USA 9. Justin Rose, Great Britain 10. Hunter Mahan, USA 11. Graeme McDowell, Great Britain 12. Steve Stricker, USA 13. Martin Kaymer, Germany 14. Dustin Johnson, USA 15. Phil Mickelson, USA 16. Charl Schwartzel, South Africa 17. Adam Scott, Australia 20. Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa 21. Jason Day, Australia 22. Sergio Garcia, Spain 25. Peter Hanson, Sweden 31. KJ Choi, Korea 34. Francesco Molinari, Italy 36. Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium 38. Thomas Bjorn, Denmark 40. Carl Pettersson, Sweden 42. Bae Sang-Moon, Korea 43. Alvaro Quiros, Spain 56. Anders Hansen, Denmark 62. Matteo Manassero, Italy 63. Ryo Ishikawa, Japan 65. Hiroyuki Fujita, Japan 75. Padraig Harrington, Ireland 83. Joost Luiten, Holland 86. Vijay Singh, Fiji 97. Bernd Wiesberger, Austria 98. Andrew Romero, Argentina 116. Thongchai Jaidee, Thailand 121. Marcel Siem, Germany 124. Victor Dubuisson, France 128. Gregory Havret, France 134. Brendon de Jonge, Zimbabwe 137. Thaworn Wiratchant, Thailand 138. Camilo Villegas, Colombia 139. Peter Lawrie, Ireland 146. Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela 148. Juvic Pagunsan, Phillipines 159. Siddikur Rahman, Bangladesh 181. Jeev Milkha Singh, India 182. Danny Lee, New Zealand 184. Angel Cabrera, Argentina 188. Ricardo Santos, Portugal 202. Felipe Aguilar, Chile 209. Anirban Lahiri, India 218. David Hearn, Canada 235. Lu Wei-Chih, Taiwan 277. Graham Delaet, Canada 283. Mardan Mamat, Singapore 288. Fabrizio Zanotti, Paraguay 310. Robert-Jan Derksen, Holland
*world rankings as of June 18, 2012
It’s been a long road for golf to become part of the Olympic movement again. But after a 112-year absence, the International Golf Federation have finally proved the value of golf to the greatest sporting show on the planet. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted it in by a majority of 63 to 27 in October 2009. An IOC spokesman told TG: “There are a number of key factors in determining a sport’s suitability for the Olympic Programme, including youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values. “Golf scored high on all the criteria. It has global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of top iconic athletes and an ethic that stresses fair play. It will be a great addition to the Olympic Programme in 2016.” One of the biggest reintroduction factors was the assurance that the world’s top players would compete. This was ensured through constant communication between the IGF, the Tours and the players, and all parties agreed on a 72-hole individual strokeplay event, mirroring the Major format. A field of 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competitions will be decided by the Official World Golf Rankings. The top 15 world-ranked players would be eligible, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players would be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15.
Plan of action: Gil Hanse will lay out the Olympic course on a sandy site. With the Games taking place in Brazil’s dry season, golfers can expect a firm, running, linksy test of golf.
The golden shot: An artist’s rendering of the par-3 17th.
The Rio 2016 Olympics will be played on a layout designed specifically for the event The announcement that golf would be welcomed back into the Olympic programme in 2016 was met with unanimous approval within the golfing community, but there was one problem; Rio di Janeiro doesn’t have a championship golf course! The opportunity to design the layout that would host arguably the most significant tournament in living memory sent the great and the good of the golf course building world into a frenzy. Eight finalists, including the likes of Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, presented proposals for the site, but the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and International Golf Federation named Hanse Golf Course Design as the winning candidate in March. “We’re honoured and humbled,” Gil Hanse, founder and president of the company, told TG. “I revere the traditions of the game and have the utmost respect for its history and what golf means beyond just the game. To have been selected to help bring it back to the greatest sporting event in the world is an honour that’s difficult to put into words.” So what are the main characteristics of Hanse’s Olympic layout? “It’s going to be around 7,300 yards and a par 71,” says the man who also designed the multi award-
‘We hope to present a natural-looking course that respects the local landscape' winning Castle Stuart. “It’s five par 3s, four par 5s and nine par 4s. It was a stated goal of ours to not have a par 72 because from a model standpoint it almost seems like in the modern era everybody shoots for that par 72 and 7,000+ yards and it just becomes a formula. It’s our opinion that if this is going to serve as some sort of model for the development of golf, to have the Olympic course be less than par 72 may free people up to be more accepting of that as a standard. “We’re hoping to present a golf course
that’s very natural looking and very low profile with respect to changing the landscape. We’re going to have to move some earth but the goal is that it appears as if we didn’t move any. The site being all sand gives us a great opportunity to pull that off. I’ve compared the site to the sand belt of Australia with respect to the looks and vegetation. Its playing characteristics should give British golfers cause for optimism. “The summer Olympics is held in the winter in Rio and that’s their driest time of year so hopefully the opportunity will present itself to get the course firm and fast. I hesitate to use the word links because I have such great respect for what it really means and so many people have a perception of what it is, but hopefully it will play very ‘linksy’.” ➔ Todaysg olfer .co.u k ❘ is su e 298
MY GOLFING LIFE
Ready to Ramp up the golf Cricket legend and dancing champion Mark Ramprakash wants golf to fill the void as his illustrious career at the crease draws to an end W O R D S J O E L T A D M A N P I C T U R E S jame s c h eadle
LEARNING go back steep
The first stage of curing your hook is to create a steeper shoulder turn in the backswing with a club across your shoulders pointing more downward.
the SIMPLE WAY TO STOP HOOKS Try thESE moves TO change your shoulder plane and stop the ball hooking, by Adrian Fryer
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Following a steeper backswing needs to be a downswing where the shoulders feel more horizontal.
With the right shoulder feeling like it's much higher than usual, the hands will feel much lower. This is a sign the club has swung down in front of you.
Shot on location at Mazagan Golf Resort, Morocco. Visit www.mazaganbeachresort.com for more information.
the cause of hooking horrors A lot of good players (and plenty of not-so-good ones too) suffer from the occasional hook all stemming from their desire to attack the ball from the inside. But in doing so, they become focused on their turn in the backswing and their arms can get carried behind them too flat. When you combine this with a powerful leg drive their shoulders tilt up in the downswing which drops the club and gets it trapped behind them. This sequence of moves should achieve the opposite.
1. it's all in the shoulders Any player suffering from a case of the duck hooks needs to get the feeling of tilting the left shoulder down a bit more in the backswing. This steepens the shoulder turn, which in turn throws the arms on a more upright plane. Then, when turning back through the golf ball, try and turn out more shallow, with the shoulders more level to the ground. Make some swings with a club across your shoulders feeling itâ€™s more level with the ground as you swing through.
2. swing more up and around This motion brings the club out in front of you in the downswing rather than being trapped behind you. This will ensure the clubface rotates much less through impact too, helping to improve consistency. As a general rule, think of the swing as more up and around rather than shallow and inside by getting the upper body working over the lower body. Keeping the right shoulder high in the downswing is another good swing thought; the hooker tends to work it low and underneath. Todaysg olfer .co.u k â?˜ is su e 298
£10 to £20
Overshadowed by big-name neighbours, this short and spectacular links is a must-play ➔
Par 66, 5,103 yards
Surrounded by the magical links of Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and newly-opened Trump International, Stonehaven is often overlooked by Scotland’s north east coast visitors. But it is a short, special and spectacular layout, measuring just over 5,000 yards with seven par 3s, just one par 5 (16th hole) and
several short par 4s. However, Stonehaven should be treated with respect, particularly when the wind is blowing, while summer rough and clusters of pot bunkers are its other allies. You’ll also need plenty of nerve to conquer several ‘blind’ shots and find greens tantalisingly perched beyond clifftop chasms – the par-3 7th is a prime example. A fun, quirky round climaxes
£10 & UNDER
with a 211-yard par 3. Hook it and you’ll find the graveyard of St Mary’s of the Storms Church! THE FACTS Location: 1 mile north of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. Green fees: Mon-Fri £32; SatSun £36. 2-FORE!-1: All week, £16/£18. Contact: 01569 762124.
Par 71, 5,989 yards
Overshadowed by classy Suffolk neighbours Woodbridge and Aldeburgh but Ufford Park is a quality parkland venue in its own right. The course is in good nick year-round and boasts an on-site Best Western hotel, two-tier driving range and American Golf superstore. THE FACTS Location: 2 miles north of Woodbridge, Suffolk. Green fees: Mon-Thurs from £20 a round & £35 a day; Fri-Sun from £30/£45. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Thurs, £10. Contact: 01394 382836. £10 to £20
SALTBURN BY THE SEA
Par 70, 5,744 yards
A decent if unspectacular course with excellent drainage making it playable year-round. Saltburn overlooks the town and coastline but it is definitely a parkland layout and has been at its present Hob Hill site since 1896. Watch out for the tricky par 3s, especially the 220-yard 12th! THE FACTS Location: East on A174, Saltburn-on-Sea, North Yorks. Green fees: Mon-Fri £25 a round & £36 a day; Sat-Sun £36/£40. 2-FORE!-1: All week on day rate, £18/£20. Contact: 01287 622812. is su e 298 ❘ Todaysg olfer .co.u k
£30 to £40
VALE RESORT wales NATional
Water and trees make this a tough challenge but at £35 a round it's a bargain... ➔
Par 73, 6,608 yards
This is a modern monster at nearly 7,500 yards off the back tees – it’s challenging enough off the daily tips at 6,608 yards. With its length, tree-lined fairways and an abundance of water features and strategicallyplaced bunkering, the Wales National can be both brutal and relentless.
The tone is set as early as the 2nd hole, a tight driving hole which also happens to be stroke index 1 and one of the longest par 5s in Wales. Thankfully there is some respite in the form of the downhill driveable par-4 6th - but with water lurking in front of the green it’s risk-reward – and the superb par-3 14th with a massive two-tier green sitting over a pond.
The Wales National is the pride and joy of the superb Vale Resort, which also features a fourstar hotel and spa, driving range and 18-hole Lake Course. THE FACTS Location: Hensol Park, M4 J34 near Cardiff. Green fees: £70. 2-FORE!-1: All week, £35. Contact: 01443 667800.
HAWKSTONE PARK (CHAMPIONSHIP)
Par 72, 6,258 yards
Most visiting golfers seek to play the classic parkland Hawkstone layout but that doesn’t belong to 2-FORE!-1 and the Championship offers a splendid alternative at an excellent price. The track is the handiwork of Welsh Ryder Cup veteran Brian Huggett who has produced an American-style layout with lots of water and bunkers. THE FACTS Location: 10 miles south of Whitchurch, Shropshire. Green fees: £39. 2-FORE!-1: All week, £19.50. Contact: 01948 841700. £20 to £30
Par 71, 6,430 yards
Playing golf in Surrey can be a costly exercise but Sutton Green is an exception to the rule, specially if you’ve got a 2-FORE!-1 voucher. The course is maturing nicely and has been entertaining golfers since opening in 1994 with Laura Davies chiefly involved in its design. The course’s main defences are five lakes, mature timber and slick greens. the facts Location: 2 miles south of Woking. Green fees: Mon-Fri £50; Sat-Sun £60. 2-FORE!-1: All week, £25/£30. Contact: 01483 747898. Todaysg olfer .co.u k ❘ is su e 298
PLAYING Fabulous Finca The 6th, 5th and 3rd holes at the immaculately kept Finca Cortesin.
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COSTA DEL SOL Spanish region remains king despite plenty of pretenders to the throne ➔
WHILE SEVERAL STUNNING
new golf destinations have emerged, the Costa del Sol remains continental Europe’s star. The Aloha area near glitzy Puerto Banus – Spain’s answer to Monaco with its fast cars and luxury yachts – is the ideal base. It’s situated between Malaga and Gibraltar airports (both are within a 45-minute drive), and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding accommodation, eating and drinking. The golf is also top quality with courses dotted all over this southern corner of Spain, ranging from top end tracks like Aloha and Finca Cortesin to a variety of superb courses which are easier on your game... and pocket. You'll find relaxed holiday golf at Flamingos, Rio Real and Santana, which opened in 2004 and majestically weaves through a former avocado orchard. Finca Cortesin, home of the Volvo World Matchplay Championship, is pretty tasty too with immaculate greens and fairways. It's probably best to avoid playing from the back tees though, as these will throw up a very tough 7,500yard challenge. Off-course there’s plenty to keep the family occupied with golden beaches, water parks, wildlife centres and aquariums among the options. COSTA DEL SOL FACTFILE Green fees: Aloha £81; Finca Cortesin £120; Santana £53 in Aug inc buggy, Flamingos from £66; Rio Real from £53. Useful sites: golfinspain.com & mygolfinspain.com Give it a try: Two nights’ B&B for two in junior suite at Finca Cortesin, one green fee each, one 50-minute massage each and access to spa from £1,012 per stay. Call 0034 952 937800, e-mail email@example.com Todaysg olfer .co.u k ❘ is su e 298