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IRONS TESTED

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JULY 2011 ISSUE 283 MAY 19-JUNE 15

TODAY’S GOLFER JULY 2011 (MAY 19-JUNE 15)

Golfer BRITAIN’S BEST-SELLING GOLF MAGAZINE

WHAT TO WEAR

SUMMER KIT SPECIAL HOT GEAR TO KEEP YOU COOL MA JOR ALERT

US OPEN PREVIEW

PREPARE FOR MORE DRAMA MASTERS WINNER

SCHWARTZEL SWING TIPS LEARN FROM CHAMP’S KEY SWING MOVES

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YOUR CLUBS IRONS

ALL-NEW SECTIONS

P L AY B E T T E R

283

M A STER FA ST GREEN S & E S CA P E DE EP ROUGH

BUY BETTER

C O B R A & B E N RO S S R EV E A L W H I T E C LU B S

CHOOSE BETTER GET GREAT DEALS AT MORE THAN 50 COURSES


LATE ST NEWS

TALL STORY

TOUR ROUND-UP

GIANT DRIVER

MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THE PRO RANKS

Eighty-foot R11 at baseball stadium A nine-storey high TaylorMade R11 driver has been unveiled on the right foul pole at PETCO Park baseball stadium in California. LPGA Tour pro Natalie Gulbis marked the occasion by driving a golf ball out of the stadium and throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the first game since its installation in April. The aluminium shaft weighs 950lb, the clubhead is a 14-foot wide by eight-foot tall picture and the grip was custom rolled out of .90” aluminum, welded

into a taper shaping and then given a textured coating to give it a rubber look. The installation took 250 man hours. TaylorMade have pledged to donate $600 to North County San Diego charity ‘Solutions for Change’ for every ‘drive’ a Padres player manages to hit for a home run. Mark King, president and CEO of TaylorMade, said: “This idea captures the magnitude of what has been the most historic driver launch the golf industry has ever seen.”

EUROPEAN TOUR MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN

1. M Manassero 2. G Bourdy 3. R McIlroy VOLVO CHINA OPEN

1. N Colsaerts T2. P Martin T2. D Lee T2. S Kjeldsen T2. Pe Lawrie BALLANTINE’S CHAMPIONSHIP

1. L Westwood 2. MA Jimenez 3. SH Park PGA TOUR VALERO TEXAS OPEN

1. B Steele T2. C Hoffman T2. K Chappell THE HERITAGE

1. B Snedeker 2. L Donald 3. T Gainey ZURICH CLASSIC OF NEW ORLEANS

1. B Watson 2. W Simpson T3. J Dufner T3. T Gainey T3. KJ Choi DUAL EVENTS THE MASTERS

1. C Schwartzel T2. J Day T2. A Scott T4. T Woods T4. G Ogilvy T4. L Donald WORLD RANKINGS

EUROPEAN TOUR EVENTS IN THE UK

2011 5

2010 6

2009 7

2008 8

2007 9

1980 15

1972 13

The declining number of events has coincided with increased sponsorship in Asia

1. L Westwood 2. M Kaymer 3. L Donald 4. P Mickelson 5. G McDowell 6. R McIlroy 7. T Woods 8. P Casey 9. S Stricker 10. B Watson

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BRITS STILL BOOK GOLF HOLIDAYS

By Keith Mitchell, Golfbreaks.com Marketing Director

The economic downturn may have caused consumers to forfeit a number of luxuries, but British golfers are not sacrificing their breaks to top destinations. According to lastminute.com, holiday-makers are dealing with the downturn by merely changing their travel habits and looking at other ways to save money – and we would agree. Over the past year, popular European golfing destinations have all experienced an increase in visitors: Portugal has seen a 29% growth since 2010, golf breaks to France are up 17% on last year and Spanish golfing packages have increased by 14% in the same period. The ever-growing ‘last minute’ market, where travel dates are sometimes within just six weeks of bookings being made, has also fuelled this upsurge, with fantastic deals and packages being offered by some of the world’s top golf resorts. Group bookings have increased thanks to competitive offers that include food and beverage credit, free buggy hires and free places. For example, book for seven people and the eighth goes free. Of late, however, the most noticeable change in golfers’ travel habits has been the increasing take-up of city golf breaks, especially here in the UK. These place golfers at the heart of bustling cities offering plenty to see and do in the evenings and, of course, a selection of outstanding golf courses within a 40-minute drive. Again, these packages offer free places for groups of eight or more, which make them the perfect solution for those on a budget. With a great selection of hotels, golf resorts and courses on offer and so many fantastic deals available I can understand why British golfers aren’t willing to give up their hard-earned golf holidays.

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FIRST TEE

FA N TA S Y L E A G U E

{ P I C K YO U R T E A M }

FANTASY LEAGUE IS BACK! Win superb holidays, lessons with TG Elite Teaching pros and fantastic golf gear THE 2011 FANTASY LEAGUE SCHEDULE 1 The Open Championship, July 14-17**

13 Madrid Masters (European Tour), Oct 6-9

2 Canadian Open (PGA Tour), July 21-24

14 Portugal Masters (European Tour), Oct 13-16

3 Irish Open (European Tour), July 28-31

15 Castello Masters (European Tour), Oct 20-23

4 WGC Bridgestone, August 4-7*

16 Andalucia Valderrama Masters (European Tour),

5 US PGA Championship, August 11-14**

Oct 27-30

6 Wyndham Championship (PGA Tour), August 18-21

17 WGC HSBC Champions, Nov 3-6*

7 The Barclays (PGA Tour), August 25-28

18 Barcalys Singapore Open (European Tour),

8 Deutsche Bank Championship (PGA Tour), Sept 2-5

Nov 10-13

9 KLM Open (European Tour), Sept 8-11

19 Johor Open (European Tour), Nov 17-20

10 BMW Championship (PGA Tour), Sept 15-18

20 UBS Hong Kong Open (European Tour), Dec 1-4

11 The Tour Championship (PGA Tour), Sept 22-25*

21 Dubai World Championship (European Tour),

12 Alfred Dunhill Links (European Tour), Sept 29-Oct 2

Dec 8-11*

FORMAT

Select a team of six golfers – each of which has a cost – ensuring that the total value does not exceed the $15m budget. Unlimited team changes are available up to the start of every tournament so you can tailor your line-up perfectly. You earn points based on your golfers’ performances in that event; for making the cut, a best round of the day and finishing inside the top 20. Major championships are worth triple points and WGC events, the PGA Tour Championship and Dubai World Championship are worth double points. See www. todaysgolfer.co.uk for more details. The top three managers each month and top 50 managers after the final event – December’s Dubai World Championship – will earn great prizes.

**Triple-weighted events *Double-weighted events

The TG office has been inundated with emails, letters and phone calls in recent months asking if there was a new Fantasy League game in the pipeline, and we’re delighted to announce that it’s back and will be teeing off with The Open Championship on July 14. It’s absolutely FREE to play and there will be more than 60 prizes up for grabs for monthly and overall winners, including golfing holidays abroad in Spain and Portugal, UK weekend breaks, lessons with the country’s top teaching pros and great gear from top manufacturers. It will be the same format as previous TG Fantasy League games, but for those of you who haven’t played before or in need of a reminder, here’s how it works…

F I N D OU T M O RE BY VISITING TG ONLINE

Y S A T e N u A F eag L 2011 VISIT WWW.TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK/FANTASYGOLF TO REGISTER IS SUE 2 8 3 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK


YOUR CLUBS IRONS

NO MORE SHANKS Stop this destructive fault in its tracks It's one of the most destructive and demoralising faults in the game and needs to be fixed fast! We all know a shank comes from the hosel striking the ball. Golfers that shank the ball naturally tend to drift

further away from the ball at address to overcome this. But this actually causes the weight to move too far forward in the feet, forcing the club to travel on the wrong path and make the problem worse!

28-19

HANDICAP

IRONS

TIME TO FIX IT... CURE ONE

NEUTRAL TAKEAWAY Use a cane to help you swing the club along the toeline. This helps the club stay more in front of you in the downswing. Shankers often come into the ball too far on the inside.

CURE TWO COMMON CAUSE A shank occurs when the clubhead works behind the body with the butt end leading the movement towards the ball. The head of the club can't track down the target line because it is out of sync with the movement of the body.

WEIGHT CENTRAL Maintaining good posture in the downswing helps bring the club into the ball on a neutral plane. Keeping your weight on the balls of the feet also helps to improve your path.

CURE THREE

CLUB OVERTAKES HANDS Throw a cone or frisbee left-handed, pointing the left elbow to the ground. This feeling allows the clubhead to pass the body after impact. Shankers often don't release the clubhead.

IS SUE 2 8 3 â?˜ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK


IN ASSOCIATION WITH

PLANE SAILING

FAULT

Swing keys to help you knock out the flag Mid-handicap golfers looking to improve their iron play will benefit most by focusing on swing plane and weight transfer in the downswing. These two factors help to improve compression of the golf ball and reduce dispersion.

Achieving a better strike will also allow you to control the distance more effectively. By hitting the ball straighter and knowing how far you hit each shot should help you have far more one-putt chances. These drills from Rob Watts will help...

18-10 HANDICAP IRONS

LOSING THE ANGLES A common fault among amateurs is the hips working forwards in the downswing. Notice how this changes the plane of the shaft, making it too flat. Maintaining your posture angles during the downswing naturally improves your plane. SWING THREE CLUBS Make some swings holding three clubs. The extra weight will increase your ability to separate the lower half from the upper half as the downswing starts, creating lag and improving plane into impact.

BACKING UP The weight of the clubs will naturally want to throw you forwards, so focus on backing up against an alignment rod. This will help you to understand how the lower half starts the downswing.

PLANE DRILL

TURN BEHIND THE BALL For golfers that cut across the ball, try this simple drill. Place an alignment rod inside the line of your left heel in front of your ball. Make a backswing, fully turning the back to the target against a strong base with the front shoulder behind the ball.

DOWNSWING

BUMP THE HIP As you start down, shift the hip over the left knee. Use a mirror or your reflection to check. This move will automatically allow the club to shift into a shallower path, preventing that steep, chopping action on the ball.

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK â?˜ IS SUE 2 8 3


YOUR CLUBS IRONS

APPROACH PLAY STRATEGY How to hit the green and avoid the trouble There's no point in hitting the perfect drive down the fairway if you can't capitalise on it with a solid approach shot. Often, amateurs, after hitting a good drive, will feel compelled to go for the flag with their second shot – as if their drive deserves a

MANAGE

birdie. But sometimes, especially for higher-handicappers, this leads to the green being missed on the short side and a double bogey. More often than not, a safe shot to the middle of the green is the key ingredient to producing lower scores.

NOTE NO-GO AREAS Notice any bunkers or run-off areas around the green on your yardage chart, especially those on the same side as the flag. These are to be avoided, as they put extra pressure on your short game.

YOUR GAME

WHEN TO ATTACK Only take the flag on if the pin position suits your eye. If your stock shot is a fade and the pin is cut tight to left edge, playing for the middle of the green is the safer play and eliminates any silly scores.

PLAN BETTER

SCORES

Don't get caught out by some dodgy wind! CHECK ONE

THROW SOME GRASS Use grass to determine the wind direction. Rather than throwing the grass up, hold your hand up high and release the grass. Your interpretation might be fooled if you don’t throw the grass straight up. Do it a couple of times to be sure.

CHECK TWO

USE THE CLOUDS Look at the clouds. This will always give you the general direction of the wind as they won’t be affected by gusts from other directions. On a clear day with no clouds around, try our alternative two methods – don't just assume there's no wind!

CHECK THREE CHECK THE LIE Be sure to check your lie. Check if it's in a depression or or on a slope. For example, if the fairway slopes down towards the green the loft decreases so you'll need to take one less club as a result.

NOTICE THE FLAG On a clear day with no clouds or when you're in an area where the wind tends to swirl around you, look at the direction the flag is fluttering. You may need to watch it for a few seconds and check it doesn’t change before you hit your shot. IS SUE 2 8 3 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK


IN ASSOCIATION WITH

PREPARE TO BURN IT UP Focus your mind and let your irons do their job, says Jamil Qureshi… When it comes to hitting your irons well you need to know exactly how far you hit each one. That’ll leave you with only one focus: accuracy. With a driver, you can’t just take one more club when you need to get a few yards further, you have to hit the ball harder. But with irons, that’s exactly what you do. Apply the same smooth swing and the loft on your club will do the rest. To keep your mind uncluttered on the course, it pays to map out your yardages. On the practice ground, hit half-a-dozen balls with every iron and take note of your distances. These will become invaluable to you. Then, when you’re actually playing, you can focus exclusively on accuracy.

A great way to sharpen that focus is to imagine that the flag is on fire. Calculate your distance and choose your iron. Then, as the last act of your pre-shot routine, stare hard at the flag. Let it burn its imprint onto your retina. Shut your eyes as your head moves back to the ball – you’ll still see that flag burning. Open them again and, without looking up, make your swing. The flag will be the only thing on your mind. Your brain will compute the ball flight for you, and your swing and muscle memory will finish the job. All you have to do is trust your guidance system, rather than fight it. Play the shot as your immediate memory sees it. Extinguish the flag… and your game will be on fire!

MANAGE

YOUR MIND

TARGET FOCUSED Amateur golfers struggle with accuracy when they focus more on their technique than their target. This approach will help you focus on where you want the ball to finish, rather than how it gets there.

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 3


TAME THE TOUGHIES Learn the shots you need to conquer a really difficult course W O R D S J O E L T A D M A N P I C T U R E S H O WA R D B O Y L A N , B O B A T K I N S

T

he US Open is renowned for producing the toughest golf course set-up of any of the four Majors during the year. This year at Congressional Country Club without fail the rough will be up, the fairways narrow and the greens fast and firm. It provides enthralling viewing for us on TV from the comfort of our sofas but have you ever wondered

IS SUE 2 8 3 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK

how difficult it is to master a course when primed to its most lethal? When the summer comes around, your track will play tougher too, so it’s worth preparing yourself for when the greens aren’t receptive to your approaches and the fairways aren’t wide enough to catch your errant drives. This instruction from TG Elite Pro Adrian Fryer should do just that…


EN 201

1

CHANGE OF VIEWS What Trackman data has shown us is that to fade the ball on to the target the clubface has to be aimed left of target and the path of the club must be left of this. The face is open to the club path.

OP

Understanding how the clubface and club path affects the ball flight makes an impact on how we have to set up to the ball. TG Elite Pro Adrian Fryer uses this knowledge to help hone a fairwayfinding fade shot you can employ on extra-tight driving holes.

2011 • U S

FIND THE FAIRWAY E VERY TIME WITH A SOF T FADE A course set up at its most penal comprises narrower fairways. These fairways are surrounded by thicker rough too, placing a premium on driving accuracy. So it’s important to have the ability to find the short grass, even if it means sacrificing some distance in the process.

US O 11 • P

S OPEN •U

20

EN

1 Driver Slider

BALL POSITION

BALL ON THE FRONT FOOT Position the ball in line with the front foot. This helps you strike the ball as the club is exiting left. This out-to-in club path helps to create the fade spin. Your body also naturally sets up more open with the ball here, helping you to start the ball left of target.

GRIP

WEAKER LEFT HAND Adopt a weaker left hand grip where a tee peg positioned between your right index finger and knuckle would point to your right shoulder instead of your left with a neutral grip. This encourages you to keep the clubface open to the path of the club.

DELIVERY

ALIGNMENT CHECKS So align your feet left of your start line and the clubface on the line you want to start the ball. Swing on the line of your feet and the ball should start down the left side and cut back gently to the middle.

LEAD WITH THE LEFT Feel the left side of the body leads the shot so the hips and the heel pad of the left hand pull the club in the downswing. This stops the right side of the body snapping too early, which would generate excessive hook spin and cause the ball to miss left.

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 3


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TG

T W E N T Y

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I WAS DRINKING ANYTHING I COULD – I HAD SERIOUS PROBLEMS, BUT...

YOU EITHER COME THROUGH THEM OR YOU DIE ” J I M M Y

G R E A V E S

Ace striker ‘Greavsie’ has faced many tough times... playing TG for £20 was probably not going to be one of them W O R D S K E V I N B R O W N P I C T U R E S H O WA R D B O Y L A N

J

ames (Jimmy) Peter Greaves remains something of a national treasure even though he hung up his starstudded scoring boots four decades ago. It is, as Jimmy himself would succinctly put it, “a funny old game.” ‘Greavsie’, as he is affectionately known wherever he goes, has certainly witnessed football’s funny – and notso-funny – side down the years since setting out as a teenage tearaway at Chelsea in the late 1950s and establishling himself as a goalscoring phenomenon. Even the great Pele reckons he’s the greatest goalscorer he’s ever seen – the highest possible praise. Without doubt one of the most prolific marksmen in the history of football, what price would Greavsie have fetched in today’s money-mad game? The man himself declines to offer any numbers. Greaves is obviously proud of his scoring records and achievements during his glittering career though you’d never guess. He may have been one of the most natural and clinical

finishers the game has ever seen but he modestly, almost dismissively plays down his abilities. “It was my job and that was that. It all started in the playground and went on from there. It’s an instinctive, natural thing and if you thought about it, you probably wouldn’t do it as well,” he explains. He couldn’t single out his personal best goal and when asked how many hat-tricks he’d scored and the most goals he notched in a match he blankly responds with the same answer and another shrug of the shoulders: “No idea. That’s a long time ago now and I’m looking to move on. I’m a bit embarrassed about it because I can’t remember anything. “I want to look ahead to what I can do in the future, not constantly looking behind me to what happened 40 odd years ago,” he stresses. That future clearly involves The Notleys Golf Club near Braintree, Essex, which Greaves took over with a couple of friends (David Bugg and Mike Jones) at the end of last year, making it the obvious venue for this TG20. Greaves and partners realise >>

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Fine nines AND SWEET

Nine-hole courses are often frowned upon but Britain boasts some of the best so-called short courses in the world. Here’s the pick of a very classy crop WOR D S K EV I N BROW N

Nine-hole courses have a lot to offer. They are usually good value and you can knock it around in 90 minutes, ideal if you’re looking to keep your game sharp but haven’t got bags of time – and you can always play twice if you are desperate for an 18-hole fix. They’re also happy hunting grounds for

PIN SHARP Flag placement dictates strategy on the firm inland links of Royal Worlington.

juniors, seniors and newcomers to the game – as well as for more seasoned players seeking to keep their scoring skills in peak form. Also, many have two tee positions so you can play 18 from different positions. In fact, could nine-holers be the future of golf? Is it a coincidence that the world’s oldest

course (Musselburgh Old Links) is a nineholer – as is the ultra-modern home of PowerPlay Golf (Northwick Park), a revolutionary new shortened version of the game? Only time will tell. In the meantime feast your eyes on some of the UK’s best nine-hole courses...


HORSE PLAY Grab a slice of golfing history at Musselburgh – but don’t slice on to the race course.

1

ROYAL WORLINGTON & NEWMARKET 9 holes: Par 35, 3,123 yards; 18: Par 70, 6,246 yards Why you should try it? Steeped in history and tradition, Royal Worlington has been in existence since 1893, with the Prince of Wales named the first president two years later. The course is no stranger to plaudits and it’s widely regarded as England’s leading nine-hole course and regularly features in Britain’s top 100 courses listings (for nine and 18 holes incidentally). Bernard Darwin, arguably golf’s No.1 writer, once famously described it as ‘The Sacred Nine.’ The inland-links layout comprises two par 5s, four par 4s and three par 3s and has changed precious little since Harry Colt’s modifications many moons ago. The course is built on sand and is totally natural. It’s the uncrowded home club of Cambridge University GC and is predominantly a foursomes course – three and fourballs are only allowed at certain times and with the secretary’s permission. Members like nononsense, quick golf, a scenario that is unlikely to change. Like the course, the clubhouse brims with charm, character and sheer quirkiness. The 224-yard 2nd is a brute of a par 3 and you’ll also do well to secure par at the 155-yard 5th with its plateau green. There’s a potential sting in the tail too in the shape of a short par 4 where the approach shot is played over the

THE BACK NINE

entrance road to a slippery, well protected green.

CUPAR Par 68, 4,752 yards. Splendid mature, hilly parkland track. Location: 10 miles west of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. Green fees: £15 for 9 holes & £20 for 18. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri & Sun. Tel: 01334 653549.

◗ Top tip: The course is fast and firm and plays short in the summer but it’s very difficult to stop the ball where you want to. A lot depends on where the greenkeeper puts the flag – something which can trip a lot of players up.

Also worth checking out...

DATCHET Par 70, 5,941 yards. Has 15 tees, only three holes are repeated on the back nine. Location: Slough, Berkshire. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £15 for 9 holes & £25 for 18. Sat-Sun: £20/£30. 2-FORE!1: Mon- Fri. Tel: 01753 543887. LEEDS CASTLE Par 33, 2,681 yards. Had a Neil Coles overhaul over a decade ago. Location: Four miles east of Maidstone, Kent. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £9.99 for 9 holes & £18 for 18. Sat/ Sun: £13/£21. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri. Tel: 01622 880467/767828.

◗ FACTFILE Location: Six miles north east of Newmarket, off A11. Green fees: £45 for 18 holes & £60 per day (£30/£40 for County Card holders). Tel: 01638 717787.

2

MUSSELBURGH OLD LINKS 9 holes: Par 34, 2,874 yards; 18: Par 68, 5,748 yards Why you should try it? It’s arguably the most famous nine-holer of them all, officially being the world’s oldest course – as documented in the Guinness Book of Records – dating back to 1672. With the nine holes snugly plotted inside the town’s race track, magical, historical Musselburgh was the home course of five Open Champions and in fact hosted six Open Championships between 1874 and 1889. Therefore this nine-holer will take pride of place on any golf course CV. Pick of the holes is the short par-4 6th with its two-tier green. It was once known as ‘Pandy’ though sadly the big bunker which adorned it and caused

DOUBLE TAKE Play Troon’s Postage Stamp in Middlesex – at Northwick Park’s Majors track.

golfing pandemonium is long since gone. All this for just £6 for a midweek 2-FORE!-1 knock! ◗ Top tip: Keep off the racecourse which is no easy task as it skirts all the holes with one exception (the 5th). But at least it’s in play and not OB so you won’t be severely penalised other than having to hit over the perimeter fencing. ◗ FACTFILE Location: Seven miles east of Edinburgh on A1. Green fees: MonFri: £12. Sat-Sun: £13. 2-FORE!-1: All week. Tel: 0131 665 5438.

3

NORTHWICK PARK 9 holes: Par 29, 1,804 yards; 18: Par 58, 3,608 yards Why you should try it? The venue was voted the UK’s best nine-hole course in 2009 and Northwick Park is the home of the novelty ‘Majors’ course which features replicas of some of the most famous holes in golf. It may be in North London but you can imagine you’re teeing it up on Augusta’s stunning 12th and 16th holes, The Belfry’s signature short par-4 9th and Royal Troon’s short but devilishly difficult par-3 8th with the infamous ‘Coffin’ bunker guarding the ‘Postage Stamp’ green. A snip at just £15 (9 holes), it will also allow you to encounter some of the quickest greens around and you can warm-up for the unique golfing experience in style on the 50-bay >> TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 3


EQUIPMENT { L AT E ST W H I T E D R I V E R! }

JOINING THE PARTY

Benross get on the white bandwagon with their new-look range of Quad woods You only have to walk into a golf store or watch a Tour event on TV to know the white driver craze is in full swing. Now British brand Benross are the latest manufacturer to opt for the new eye-catching colour on a range of woods. The new white Quad range is based on the series they launched last year but Benross say they have invested heavily in getting exactly the right look for the new clubs. A number of different finishes were tested to ensure durability and Benross also worked with experts Aldila to develop an exclusive Voodoo shaft for the new range. The driver, fairway woods and hybrids use the same Quad technology seen in the previous range, with weight exaggerated in the four extremities of the head for a higher resistance to twisting (MOI) and therefore enhanced forgiveness.

While the clubs obviously look good, they remain value for money. ◗ Quad white driver, RRP £149.99. Lofts 10˚, 12˚. Quad white fairway wood, RRP £89.99. Lofts 15˚, 19˚. Quad white escape, RRP £89.99. Lofts: 17˚, 20˚, 23˚. Q&A WITH JON EVERITT, CEO BENROSS GOLF Q: Why the white range? A: We toyed with the idea of whiteheaded putters years ago, as there’s no doubt white gives an alignment advantage, especially if golfers mark their ball with a black line. Due to paint technology advances last year we’ve been able to produce a durable finish. After trialling and testing the paint on a driver we decided the fresh, clean look was not only beneficial to golfers in alignment terms but also a look many golfers would prefer over black.

Q: What would you say to critics saying it’s an original Quad head painted white to capitalise on the success of white drivers? A: If only it were that simple. We have worked really hard to create a different Quad driver head, which will appeal to those golfers who want to buy into the theory behind white. We know the Quad is an exceptional performance driver. Combining several different finishes, especially a Black PVD face and sole, helps frame the ball at address. When combined with a white crown, a special Aldila Voodoo white shaft and a completely new Quad White headcover our retailers are telling us we have a strong package. Q: What was involved in developing the range? A: We invested a lot of time in

developing different sample heads in lots of different finishes to give us the look we wanted. This time obviously goes on top of that invested in making the driver the most forgiving we have ever produced. It's worth mentioning the time spent on developing the new Aldila Voodoo shaft and the all- white headcover, so it's fair to say there’s a huge amount invested in this new range. It was never simply a case of changing the paint to white! Q: Do you think the white phenomenon is here to stay? A: Let's just say you can guarantee golf manufacturers are working on which other products can become “white”. It’s an entirely new look for golf. We believe, like the Two Ball putter, the concept is very simple and gives an edge over the competition. The golfer will always be the decider.

ALL WHITE The white crown is matched up by a white Aldila shaft and new Quad White headcover.

SOLID KIT? As well as the striking looks, Benross insist this is a seriously forgiving driver.

F A C E T H AT F I T S The black PVD face and sole helps frame the ball at address.

ALIGNMENT KEY The white crown can be fully exploited by marking your ball with a black pen.

F A M I LY A F F A I R The fairway wood and hybrid benefit from the same style and technology.

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LATE ST NEWS

5

UNDER

THE RADAR

WHITE HOT Cobra are bringing out a small number of white S3 drivers after its white ZL proved a hit.

IT'S A WHITE OUT! C O B R A’ S S 3 D R I V E R J U S T H A D T O B E . . .

Cobra have announced a specialrelease white version of their S3 driver after a successful trial of their white ZL driver, as used by Ian Poulter, last year. There will only be 500 white S3 drivers produced which are expected to last a couple of months. It includes a specially-designed premium all-white Aldila RIP shaft as well as the same state-of-the-art technology seen in the original S3. This includes Cobra’s E9 face technology which sees the sweetspot expanded in an elliptical fashion towards the low heel and high on the

toe. The reason for this, say Cobra, is that extended research of 25,000 golfers showed this is where the most common mis-hits occur. It also features Cobra’s AFT hosel, which allows the face to be set in one of three options – neutral, open or closed – to influence ball flight. The driver comes with a white Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G grip to complete the theme. ◗THE FACTS The Cobra White S3

Driver (RRP £299) is available in lofts of 9.5° (stiff flex only) and 10.5° (regular flex only) in men’s righthanded.

DELUXE DESIGNS PowaKaddy launch revamped range of cart bags for 2011 PowaKaddy have launched their new range of trolley bags for 2011. The company, renowned for producing sleek electric trolleys, have unveiled the range which features the Deluxe IV bag as the flagship product. It has been specifically designed for use on electric trolleys and features PowaKaddy's key lock base, which

securely fastens it to prevent twisting, and has an RRP of £149.99. Elsewhere in the range the Deluxe Nylon bag (RRP £129.99) and the Sport III Cart bag (RRP £99.99) offer lightweight alternatives and the Ladies Deluxe bag (RRP £99.99) caters for the army of female golfers. ◗ Contact: 01420 541 709

◗ The Tiger Shark brand, which made a name for itself in the early 1990s, is making a return to the UK with retailer Masters Golf in the form of two new putter ranges – the Great White and GreenSpeed. ◗ Foremost Golf are offering a free custom-fitting and a golf lesson with every set of Callaway, TaylorMade, Wilson Staff or Tour Edge irons bought in June or July and Ping irons in May. See www. foremostgolf.com ◗ Glenmuir have released a new range of technical performance polo shirts ahead of the summer. The new Jackson, Vardon, Condor, Eagle and Ambrose shirts feature moisturemanagement technology and UPF sun protection. ◗ Golf Pride have unveiled a new wipe clean Players Wrap putter grip. The grip simulates a traditional wrap grip but is seamless so it is easy to clean. The grip is only available in white. ◗ American Fred Couples will continue to wear the Ecco Street shoes he made famous at the 2010 Masters, after the Danish shoe manufacturer announced an extension of the deal with the former Augusta winner.

THE TG OPINION Jon Greathead on why serious golfers should use a trolley

We all say it: 'This is the year I'm going to get better'. And if you’re serious about improving your game, in 2011 you're probably thinking a new piece of kit will help – a new driver maybe, or a new putter? They may well assist you, but have you also considered that an electric trolley might be of benefit? We’ve long been advocates of buying a proper electric trolley – because it will save you energy and shots, especially if it’s a reliable sort such as a Motocaddy, PowaKaddy, Greenhill or the very flash Stewart Golf model. Get one now, get used to it over a few twilight nine holes and feel the benefit. Then take your extra energy and confidence into your next medal round. Don’t underestimate how important a trolley could be when it comes to avoiding injury too. If you’ve got a manual job, or even if you don’t, the last thing you want to do is more manual labour after work by lugging a golf bag around on your back (hopefully in some sort of heat too). An electric trolley eradicates this problem and allows you to actually concentrate on playing your best golf. Electric trolleys used to be for the old and ailing – now they’re for the serious golfer who simply wants to get better. We're keen to hear from you if you feel a trolley has improved your game over the summer months. We'd love to be proved right!

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 3


EQUIPMENT

DUNLOP TI

MD SEVE ICON SPEED

YONEX EZONE COMPOSITE

BENROSS VX2012

Web: www.dunlopsport.com Tel: 0845 129 9200

Web: www.mdgolf.co.uk Tel: 02894 460 333

Web: www.yonex.co.uk Tel: 0208 742 9777

Web: www.benrossgolf.com Tel: 01932 821 200

VERDICT: These irons delivered better results than they had any right to at this price. Gary said they were a wolf in sheep’s clothing while Dan and David agreed they were good value as a starter set. Dan did rate them down dramatically on looks saying he didn’t think golfers would find them appealing; but in pure performance terms he said they were much better than he expected and rated them highly for forgiveness. If you are shopping on a budget these will do a decent job.

VERDICT: Neither Dan or Gary felt this was as forgiving as it looked but Dan commented on the excellent feel with balls hit from the middle of the club. For a game improver iron David thought these looked decent and a lot more pleasing on the eye than he expected them to be. Although David rated them highly for forgiveness both Dan and Gary felt they lost a bit more distance than usual when struck off-centre and Dan said the difference in feel from a poorer strike was a bit more noticeable in these clubs.

VERDICT: David thought these felt really powerful and forgiving off the face, with good ball speeds even on slight mishits. Both Dan and Gary liked the head shape for a Game Improver iron because they felt it offered an excellent blend of power and forgiveness without looking overly large. Gary in particular liked seeing some of the cavity at address. The graphite shafts as standard didn’t win favour with Gary or Dan although Yonex insist they are more powerful than steel.

VERDICT: Dan said these were among the better looking irons in this category with surprisingly good feel and forgiveness. Gary wasn’t as glowing in his praise but said there was nothing to dislike although he admitted he preferred the bigger head profile of some other irons on test. David liked the smaller head profile for this category but didn’t rate the feel off the face, saying it felt harsh and lacked a bit of power. This was backed up in his distance stats where he lost a few yards.

Distance: 4.0 Dispersion: 4.2 Looks: 2.7 Feel: 3.3 Forgiveness: 4.2 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 3.8 Dispersion: 3.9 Looks: 3.3 Feel: 3.7 Forgiveness: 3.7 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.3 Dispersion: 3.9 Looks: 3.2 Feel: 3.7 Forgiveness: 3.7 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 3.8 Dispersion: 4.7 Looks: 3.7 Feel: 3.3 Forgiveness: 3.3 RATING HHHHH

YONEX VMS

JOHN LETTERS T9+

IQ ROGUE

NIKE VR PRO CAVITY

Web: www.yonex.co.uk Tel: 0208 742 9777

Web: www.johnletters.com Tel: 0845 196 0050

Web: www.roguegolf.co.uk Tel: 01452 611 888

Web: www.nikegolf.eu Tel: 0800 056 1640

VERDICT: Gary loved the feel and rated the forgiveness very highly while David said the VMS irons had a great combination of good looks and playability – perfect for the Game Improver. David also commented on the price, saying he felt these represented very good value for what he considered a premium set of irons. Dan wasn’t as complimentary, saying he wasn’t keen on the feel and didn’t think the VMS irons were as forgiving as some others. Hybrids are available as long iron replacements.

VERDICT: Praise from all our testers on the T9+ although Dan didn’t feel it was as forgiving as the head size suggested it would be. It performed well in Gary’s hands and he rated it highly. He was particularly complimentary about the feel and forgiveness aspects of the T9+ irons and said he’d be very happy using them. David said the overall package and the price would be an appealing one to mid-high handicap golfers, rating the forgiving nature of the irons particularly highly.

VERDICT: A real surprise package for Dan and David who said it felt excellent for a game improver iron. Dan thought it looked a little big though, even in this category. Gary liked the looks but didn’t rate the forgiveness and thought the irons felt a little bottom heavy. Although David rated the irons in the set highly the one downside for him was the hybrid 4-iron which he said didn’t live up to the high standard of the irons. He said he’d recommend buying the irons without the hybrids.

VERDICT: Undoubtedly one of the smallest head profiles in this category and that actually gave Gary less confidence. Dan and David loved it though and said they got both forgiveness and feel. Certainly the head profile would indicate that it is for more confident players in the Game Improver category and the forgiveness rating would back that up. However, in performance terms this did extremely well so should not be discounted by any golfer looking for new irons.

Distance: 4.1 Dispersion: 4.3 Looks: 3.3 Feel: 3.3 Forgiveness: 3.8 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 3.9 Dispersion: 4.1 Looks: 3.5 Feel: 3.5 Forgiveness: 4.0 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.1 Dispersion: 4.5 Looks: 2.8 Feel: 3.8 Forgiveness: 4.0 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.3 Dispersion: 3.9 Looks: 4.2 Feel: 4.0 Forgiveness: 3.3 RATING HHHHH

£169 (4H-SW)

FROM £399 (4-SW)

IS SUE 2 8 3 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK

FROM £269 (4-SW)

£449 (3H-SW)

£999 (5-SW)

£19 PER CLUB

£399 (4-PW)

£490 (4-PW)


THE TEST

GAME IMPROVER IRONS

TOUR EDGE XCG4

MIZUNO MP-53

ADAMS IDEA A7

TAYLORMADE TPCB

Web: www.touredge.com Tel: 01753 218 913

Web: www.mizuno.eu Tel: 0800 328 0180

Web: www.adamsgolf.com Tel: 0845 1960 050

Web: www.taylormadegolf.eu Tel: 08000 728 624

VERDICT: A real powerhouse with David in particular commenting on the fast ball speeds off the face. David and Gary both felt it was very forgiving although Dan thought it was a heavy club. He also thought there was a little too much offset and cavity even in this category although he did agree that it felt very powerful off the face. Gary was a fan of the black finish on the head and again commented on the terrific feel out of the middle of the face. A great performer from a brand people should take notice of.

VERDICT: Mizuno’s most forgiving MP iron ever and that’s why it’s included in this category. Both Dan and Dave loved the looks and the feel and said the forgiveness was there, but Gary was intimidated by the Better Player profile. Dan admitted he would probably see it towards the lower end of the handicap scale in this category or even one for the higher singlefigure handicappers but if a midhandicapper is determined to play a fully forged club then this is about as forgiving as it gets.

VERDICT: Gary thought this was more forgiving than it looked while both David and Dan liked the fact it looked very traditional at address. David and Gary both rated feel and feedback highly, while all three testers liked the look of the 4-iron hybrid replacement. Dan admitted that, for him, the feel wasn’t as good as some of the other clubs that finished higher in the placings but agreed these were a great option. David agreed and said he was also pleasantly surprised at the reasonable price tag.

VERDICT: This scored highly for looks with even Gary appreciating the moderate head profile. He said it was more forgiving than he expected while David said it felt fantastic despite the cavity back. Dan admitted he was a little disappointed with the feel of the TPCB irons. He said it was good but had expected it to be fantastic given the sleek looks. He still insisted they were a very good game improver option and this is backed up in the results for all three of our testers.

Distance: 4.6 Dispersion: 4.1 Looks: 3.3 Feel: 3.7 Forgiveness: 4.2 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.2 Dispersion: 3.9 Looks: 4.3 Feel: 4 Forgiveness: 3.7 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.4 Dispersion: 3.8 Looks: 4.2 Feel: 4.2 Forgiveness: 3.7 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.3 Dispersion: 4 Looks: 4.3 Feel: 3.5 Forgiveness: 4.2 RATING HHHHH

PING G15

MIZUNO JPX 800 PRO

CLEVELAND CG16

ADAMS IDEA A4R

Web: www.ping.com Tel: 01427 619 224

Web: www.mizuno.eu Tel: 0800 328 0180

Web: www.clevelandgolf.com Tel: 01420 541 709

Web: www.adamsgolf.com Tel: 0845 1960 050

VERDICT: The famous exaggerated profile really gave Gary confidence over the ball while Dan and David agreed this is one of the most forgiving irons out there. This iron proved to be a great performer and remains one of the best Game Improvement irons around. One thing all of our testers commented on was the pleasing feel and feedback from the middle of the clubhead, which is unusual in an iron head of this size. Performance-wise it delivered extremely well on all fronts.

VERDICT: Again Gary wasn’t keen on the slightly thinner topline but Dan and David both rated the look and feel of the irons. Dan said it is something higher handicappers would continue to use as they got better while still giving them enough forgiveness. Gary didn’t think they would be forgiving enough for him to use regularly but his distance and dispersion stats from the test said otherwise. These clubs offer a great blend of looks, feel and playability... as you would expect from Mizuno.

VERDICT: David loved the powerful feel from the clubface, even on off-centre hits, and Gary gained confidence from the head size as well as loving the black pearl finish option. Dan worried that the thicker top edge may put some golfers off but admitted he was impressed with the feel even when he didn’t quite 'middle' it. David again commented on the price, saying he thought it represented excellent value for money. Another nice touch is the lofts printed on the sole which makes choosing hybrids and wedges easier.

VERDICT: Every one of our testers rated this highly across the board, with both Gary and Dan liking the looks, even though they want different things in a golf club. Great performance all round with Dan commenting that he felt he could hit this straight all day long. Gary said he thought the A4R really suited his swing while David said they offered a brilliant combination of better-player looks and gameimprover forgiveness. A surprise package from a brand not renowned on these shores.

Distance: 4.5 Dispersion: 4.0 Looks: 3.5 Feel: 4.0 Forgiveness: 4.3 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.2 Dispersion: 4.2 Looks: 4.2 Feel: 4.3 Forgiveness: 3.5 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.2 Dispersion: 4.3 Looks: 4.2 Feel: 4.0 Forgiveness: 4.0 RATING HHHHH

Distance: 4.3 Dispersion: 4.0 Looks: 4.0 Feel: 4.3 Forgiveness: 4.3 RATING HHHHH

£599 (3-PW)

£85 PER CLUB

£105 PER CLUB

£85 PER CLUB

£499 (3H-PW)

FROM £439 (4-PW)

FROM £699 (4-PW)

£399 (4H-SW)

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 3


EQUIPMENT { P O L O S H I RT S }

COOL UNDER THE COLLAR

Loads of colours and styles to choose from as weather gets better...

J LINDEBERG JA S O N £75

PING COLLECTION T O N I C P O LO £ 4 0

PUMA PERFORMANCE POL0 £38

G A LV I N G R E E N M A P P I N G £79

www.jlindeberg.com

www.pingcollection.co.uk

www.puma.com

www.galvingreen.com

G A LVIN GREEN M A RSH A LL £ 6 9

LO U D M O U T H G O L F TIPPING £42

MIZUNO DRILITE S P L I T PA N E L £ 4 0

F U N C FAC T O RY P O LYG I E N E £ 3 4 . 9 9

www.galvingreen.com

www.loudmouthgolf.com

www.mizuno.eu

www.funcfactory.com

NIKE GOLF DRI FIT N O S E W P O LO £ 5 0

A D I DA S C L I M AC O O L 3-STRIPES £34.99

S U B70 X AV I E R P O LO £34.99

G L E N M U I R JAC K S O N THERMOCOOL £43

www.nikegolf.eu

www.adidasgolf.eu

www.subseventy.co.uk

www.glenmuir.com

IS SUE 2 8 3 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK


WHAT TO WEAR

WHAT TO

WEAR Summer SPECIAL

P U L L OV E R S

JUMPERS TO THE RESCUE Perfect for the chilly days

G A LV I N G R E E N C A I N E S W E AT E R £ 8 9 www.galvingreen.com

UNDER ARMOUR PERFORMANCE £30

F O O TJ OY S P O R T P R O D RY P I Q U E £ 37

www.underarmour.com

www.footjoy.co.uk

M I Z U N O M O DA L £70 www.mizuno.eu

GLENMUIR EDEN £40 www.glenmuir.com

I J P D E S I G N DY N A M I C STRIPE £54.95

A D I DA S F O R M AT I O N 3-STRIPES £44.99

www.ianpoulterdesign.com

www.adidasgolf.eu

CUTTER AND BUCK FA I R H O L M £ 5 4 . 9 9 www.cutterbuck.ie

C A LV I N K L E I N G O L F S T R I P E D P O LO £ 5 4 . 9 9

DW Y E R S & C O D COLLECTION £24.99

www.premiumgolfbrands.com/ck

www.dwyersandco.com

NIKE GOLF COOLMA X COT TON £60 www.nikegolf.eu


COURSES { 2-F OR E !-1 TOUGH TRAC K S }

HARD TIMES AHEAD

LF-PRIC

E

OL IC

L

P

P F-

FIHALF-

olf e g uy c i B pr t l f - o u. H a e a r y e r s a. c o m n uch olf vo . 2 4 1 g w ww

R

F

A IH

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RICE GO L

Step out of your home-course comfort zone and take on a 2-FORE!-1 track that has proved a challenge for even the world’s top players

OLFIH E G A


HALF-PRICE GOLF

The Forest of Arden is a flagship Marriott country club venue in the UK with the superb Arden course undoubtedly the top attraction. Parkland courses don’t come more testing or challenging than this. Arden originally started out as a nine-holer before becoming one of the country’s best known – and most feared – inland layouts following Donald Steel’s outstanding redesign in the early 1990s. As a result, the West Midlands course emerged as a serious rival to the nearby Belfry and became a regular feature on the European Tour – it’s hosted seven English Opens and five British Masters since 1993 with Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke both tasting victory on two occasions. The Arden, with its tranquil Packington Estate setting complete with herds of roaming deer, is a severe examination of golf. It’s fairly long – ranging from 6,451 to more than 7,200 yards – and there are plenty of large, penal and strategically-placed bunkers to avoid. The greens are sizeable, undulating and very fast and there’s plenty of water eager to wreck the scorecard,

CHALLENGING COURSES

specially on the final stretch. The par-4 16th is a tough right dog-leg with water punishing wayward drives. Conquer that and the par-5 17th offers an even greater test with the green dangerously lurking beyond a lake, requiring pinpoint approach play. Finally there’s the big finale – a thrilling 200yard plus par 3 over a water-filled gully. The well-guarded green looks miniscule from the elevated tee, club choice is tough and whichever one you pluck from the bag will need to be struck perfectly. It’s a tough, thrilling climax to an extremely challenging course and round, but conquering it will provide a huge thrill – specially when you consider some of the world’s top pros have failed to do so. ◗ WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Location: Nine miles west of Coventry off A45. Green fees: £40-£80 depending on course traffic and time of day. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri in high season (on £110 rack rate). Contact: 01676 526113.

MORE 2-FORE!-1 ‘BEASTS’…

Five more courses with plenty of bite...

◗ THE PLAYERS CLUB

The longest course in the land. Green fees: Mon-Thurs: £40. FriSun: £48. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri (on day rate) in high season. Contact: 01454 311818.

◗ THE BELFRY (PGA)

Massive crater-like fairway bunkers provide a stern test for all standards. Green fees: £75. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri. Contact: 01675 470301.

◗ DALMAHOY (EAST)

One of Scotland’s toughest and longest tracks. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £65. Sat-Sun: £80. 2-FORE!-1: Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri. Contact: 0131 335 8010.

◗ BOWOOD G&CC

Defended by trees, bunkers and water. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £49. Sat-Sun (after midday): £60. 2-FORE!-1: All week. Contact: 01249 822228.

‘THE ARDEN EMERGED AS A SERIOUS WEST MIDLANDS RIVAL TO THE BELFRY AND BECAME A REGULAR FEATURE ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR’

◗ PERRANPORTH

Devilishly tricky short Braid clifftop layout requiring plenty of ‘blind’ shots. Green fees: MonFri: £36. Sat-Sun: £42. 2-FORE!1: Mon, Wed & Thurs. Contact: 01872 572454.


Today's Golfer Issue 283 preview