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Today’s

SEPTEMBER 2011 ISSUE 286 AUG 11-SEPT 7

WWW. TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

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£4.20

TODAY’S GOLFER SEPTEMBER 2011 (AUGUST 11-SEPTEMBER 7) WWW.TODAYSGOLFER.CO.UK

Golfer BRITAIN’S BEST-SELLING GOLF MAGAZINE

EXCLUSIVE INSTRUCTION

STARS HELP YOU MAKE PARS LUKE DONALD ON PITCHING ALVARO QUIROS ON BUNKER PLAY RETIEF GOOSEN ON SCRAMBLING RHYS DAVIES ON CLUTCH PUTTS

PUT TERS TESTED MID-MALLETS, MALLETS & BLADES

CL ARKE SPECIAL

OPEN CHAMP’S PURE GENIUS!

◗CLARKE SWING TIPS ◗WIN SIGNED R11 DRIVER ◗INSIDE WINNER’S BAG

GEAR L AUNCH

FREE 32-PAGE BALLS GUIDE

PING G20s REVEALED FEAST YOUR EYES ON NEW DRIVER, WOODS, HYBRID AND IRONS

I N S I D E : V I TA L B U Y I N G ADVICE

286

‘BLIND’ BALLS TE ST ◗ HOW MANY PIECE S S H O U L D Y O U R B A L L H AV E ? ◗ T I P S O N SHAPING, SPINNING AND STRIKING


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SET-UP

Pitch it close from tight lies World No.1 Luke Donald has one of the best short games in the business. The best pitchers of the golf ball are able to use the bounce of the wedge and full loft of the club. With

{ LUKE

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his American coach Pat Goss, Donald has been working on leading the downswing with the head of the club and not driving his legs to start the downswing. He's also

LD}

R AN TOU E U R O PTES 2 0 1 1 STA : IN R E G

improved his strike by hitting the ball first, and then the ground, with the bounce of the club skimming the turf. We could all benefit from copying the world's best... MATCH SPINE AND SHAFT To use the bounce and loft of the club it is important to set up with the ball forward of centre and the handle centred. I also grip down on the club slightly. Notice how my spine angle matches the shaft angle. This is very important in pitching.

IMPACT

S G R E E N (1 S T ) 79.37 % E R AG E : AV S TRO K E (2 N D) 6 69.7

USE THE BOUNCE I swing the club from high on the backswing to low through impact, striking the ground in front of the ball with the bounce of the club. It is very important that you swing down when pitching to allow the loft of the club to create the loft of the shot.

MAINTAIN LOFT I swing the club back on-plane using just my arms. The clubhead is hinging up with the toe up in the air. Notice how I keep some 'cup' in my left wrist, which helps maintain the loft of the club.

STABLE BODY I try to remain very stable in my lower body during the backswing. My chest has only turned slightly in relation to the swinging of my arms. Use the clubhead to pull your weight through the shot.

IS SUE 2 8 6 4 â?˜ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK


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ASSESS THE LIE

How to scramble a par Even the world's best golfers miss the occasional green. When they do, the stats (below) suggest there's none better at scrambling a par than South African Retief Goosen.

The reason? His desire to wow the crowds with a delightful recovery shot. "I think it's because I enjoy the challenge," he says. "The key is to select the right shot depending

on the lie and have good technique on your short putts for par." First up, 'The Goose' shows us how he recovers from thick rough. It's crucial to get the ball out. DON'T GET GREEDY The lie dictates what kind of shot you can play. You’re always trying to play a shot that gives you the best result, not necessarily the one that looks the prettiest. I try to avoid the lob shot from thick rough as I can't guarantee I'll make good contact.

RETAIN YOUR FOCUS Really focus on the ball. A lot of amateurs try and look up too quickly and they top it. Create a firm start position with a little extra knee flex and try to limit the body movement in the swing.

BACKSWING

EARLY WRIST SET Hinge the wrists early in the backswing. This helps steepen the angle of attack and create speed in the club. I always try to keep the clubhead accelerating. Swing the club a little faster than you would from a good lie, much like a bunker shot.

GRIP TIGHTER Position the ball in the centre with a slightly open face because the clubhead will tend to turn and shut on you. I resist the club turning over through impact by being much firmer with my grip pressure.

EF {RETI

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R A N T O1U E P O R U E 201 S T A T S 8 .1% (3RD)

D) BLE S: 6 7.8 (2 N SCRAM UND: 2 P E R R O : 1 .6 9 4 (2 N D) S T T U P P E R G IR R PUT T S T T S PE ON E PU R D) (3 7 : D ROU N

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK â?˜ IS SUE 2 8 6


{M O S T

DANGEROUS JOBS IN GOLF

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A RISKY BUSINESS

Playing golf may have a rather sedate reputation but these guys put themselves in some dangerous positions to earn a living from the game WO R D S K I T A L E X A N D E R A N D M A RT I N PA S H L EY P I C T U R E S JA M E S C H E A D L E A N D M A R K PA I N


REAL HAZARDS

WHEN GOLF IS LIFE OR DEATH...

GATOR BAIT

Glenn Berger dodges alligators in the pond to recover sliced and hooked balls

Why would someone dive into a murky pond knowing that a 13-foot alligator may lurk below? “White gold,” says American Glenn Berger. Or balls to you and I. “There are two types of golf ball divers in Florida,” Berger explains to TG at his warehouse before a dive in the Sunshine State. “Those who’ve had bad experiences and those that are about to.” He has a glint in his eye reminiscent of the old sea captain in the film Jaws when he talks about the state’s estimated population of 1.25 million gators. “Y’see, the old ones won’t bother you. They know who you are, they are used to you. It’s the young ones you have to watch out for. They…” He breaks off mid-sentence and looks around as if worried. “We shouldn’t really be talking about this. It’s a bit too much like tempting fate.” Berger is a superstitious person. He goes through a certain routine before setting out on a day’s dive. If anything, no matter how small, breaks the set routine, the doubts begin to bubble to the surface. “My work bag wasn’t where I left it one day. I knew then something was going to happen.” That something was a gator bumping his oxygen tank and Glenn getting out of the lake so fast that, “it was like I was walking on water.” Why does the former chef, postman and Iraq War Veteran do it? Lake balls are a lucrative business, with Titleist Pro Vs fetching up to $2 each in good condition. This is especially true in Florida, whose 1,200 courses are almost all pitted with lakes due to the limestone geology. At the lake, Berger scans the surface for what we all now refer to as ‘the things that cannot be named’. None are visible, but as he begins to wade in he says “if you see any when I’m down there, make a lot of noise.” There are also other dangers lurking in lakes; cars, for example. “I’ve found a couple,” says the 35 year old. “The golden rule is to never put your hand inside. My friend did once and he touched a body! The guy had decided to commit suicide by driving his car into the water. So now, I report it to the police and leave it alone.” After 15 minutes under water, Berger resurfaces, with a fantastic haul of nearly 700 balls. As he sorts through them, he tells us about more close encounters. “One guy had his hand punctured clean through by a gator,” he says. “It was his own fault; he wanted a picture to show his kids and was throwing stones at it. And I once came screaming out of the lake thinking there was one on my back. There wasn't. “It’s an OK living. But will I be doing it in 20 years time? No. I’ve been lucky so far – but you can’t always be lucky, can you?” >> TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 6


INSTRUCTION C R E AT E PR E S SU R E

HANDLING HEAT

Practising under pressure is key to success on the course. Here are some short-game drills from TG Elite Pro Noel Rousseau that help you do just that… It’s important to make practice as effective as possible. As mentioned in last month’s issue, practice sessions must comprise an element of pressure to prepare you for similar situations on the course. Highlighted below is a putting challenge and bunker drill that place an emphasis on pressure and keeping track of your performance. Give them a try and your short game should hold up when the nerves kick in…

MAKE IT TOUGHER Keep track of your best score and try and beat it next time out. It may take a while to complete all nine holes but once you have, start adding holes to the game until you can complete an 18-hole game without a three-putt!

PLAY THIS GAME On the practice putting green, set-up to the first hole with two balls. The goal is obviously to hole the putt but the rules of the game state that if you leave a putt short or three-putt, you have to start the drill again from hole one.


PERFECT PRACTICE

ADD REWARDS Try to vary the length of the holes during the game to test yourself and make the game more realistic. Also, have some kind of reward for good play. For example, if you hole both the balls on one hole, skip the next one or make it shorter.

M AST E R T HE BAS I C S W I T H T G’ S F R E E ON L I N E VI D E O T I P S

CHANGE CHALLENGE In the practice bunker, hit to flags at different distances and practise from different lies too, perhaps from a footprint or a plugged lie. You’ll build an understanding of how hard to hit the ball, how the club reacts and how much spin you create.

EXPECT UNEXPECTED In bunkers, it’s unlikely we’ll find a clean lie every time. Whether someone from the group ahead has forgotten to rake the sand or your ball has plugged, bunker shots serve up an element of unpredictability that needs to be prepared for!


EQUIPMENT {FIRST LOOK}

G-FORCE TAKES OFF New G20 woods follow in the impressive footsteps of Ping's G15 series It’s an old adage, but one that undoubtedly holds true: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." So if you’re expecting Ping’s new woods to be radically different from previous models, you’ll be disappointed. The previous models have propelled them to the top of the market so it's hardly a surprise that the G20 has taken everything brilliant from the G15 and built on it.

The new product has been designed to offer explosive distance, more forgiveness and accuracy as well as offering a great sound at impact. But it’s not just about the sweet shots – the G20 features extreme external weighting which moves the centre of gravity lower and deeper than its predecessor. Engineers have been able to make the head 7g heavier too,

due to the High Balance Point Shaft Design, while the new, lighter and higher density Ti811 alloy allows for additional weight to be strategically placed to increase MOI on both axes. On top of the technology, it just sits beautifully at address, and immediately inspires confidence. The G20 fairway woods are also all about forgiveness and accuracy. External weighting

◗ The G20 driver, available with 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° lofts, will retail at £255 and the 3, 4, 5 and 7 fairway woods at £175 each.

D R I V E R AT A D D R E S S

FAC E V I E W – D R I V E R

F A I R W AY AT A D D R E S S

S I D E P R O F I L E – F A I R W AY

You look down on the G20 driver and simply expect to hit it sweetly.

Ping combines forgiveness (a big face) with a touch of class (looks).

The slightly larger head of the G20 still sits pleasingly tightly to the turf.

means the centre of gravity has been moved back and lower, while the slightly larger head inspires confidence. The neutral head rotation makes it easier to square the club at address too, helping to eliminate slices and pulls.

The large stainless steel head boosts MOI for high launch and long carry.

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WEIGHT GAIN The G20's head is 7g heavier for more explosive distance while staying forgiving.

IS SUE 2 8 6 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK

HELPING HAND External weighting means the centre of gravity is further back – for more forgiveness.

PING

G20 RANGE


LATE ST NEWS

NO TIME FOR A DRAG ACT

MADE EASY Toe Stabilisation Bar reinforces the face and gives more control on delicate shots.

Aerodynamic G20 gets wind tunnel test Fast & furious The sleek design of the G20 sees it cut through the air for extra speed.

THE TG OPINION

Jon Greathead hails Ping's move to keep it simple... but brilliant

RIGHT ANSER ...for more yards Extra speed at impact means more distance.

WIND POWERED

If we want more clubhead speed at impact, it stands to reason we'd want our clubs to be as aerodynamic as possible. For example, Formula One teams are obsessed with creating less 'drag' so their cars can go even faster. Ping have taken this on board and the head has been engineered with help from a wind-tunnel testing facility to be very aerodynamic, meaning less 'drag' and more distance. The face is slightly longer than the G15 and features a surface area that is three per cent larger, which helps to increase clubhead speed in the centre of the face – this means better results when you really do “middle” one. 18% FURTHER BACK 16% LOWER

C E N T R E O F AT T E N T I O N

The G20 features a CG that is 18 per cent further back and 16 per cent lower than the original G2 model. The Moment of Inertia (resistance to twisting) has also been increased, but not just along the tradition x-axis. Ping engineers have also made the G20 more forgiving from top to bottom too – the MOI is five per cent higher so if you get one off the top of the face, the results will still be decent. Key: ● G2 ● G5 ● G10 ● G15 ● G20

PING'S NEW FORGIVING WEDGE

Ping’s recently-launched Anser irons were impressive pieces of engineering, and the new wedges that accompany the set are also very good. For those of you wanting an alternative to the Tour-S wedges, the new forged Anser wedges combine versatility, solid feel and control. The Tungsten Toe Weight also increases MOI which means more forgiveness, while the Toe Stabilisation Bar helps to reinforce the face. This gives golfers more consistent control, especially when the face is open on delicate shots around the green. Ping have also worked hard to counter the recent groove rule change, by engineering the new Anser wedge with a DG Spinner Shaft that works with the existing grooves to offer more stopping power. ◗ THE FACTS The new wedge is available in right and left-handed options, with lofts of 50°, 52°, 54°, 56°, 58° and 60° being offered and will retail at £150 each. See www.ping.com for more details.

TARGET TESTERS

TG readers set to give their G20 verdicts We’ve chosen two of TG's most fervent fans to road test the new G20 gear. Jonathan Herd and George Sadowski went to Sussex to have a fitting in order to work out what specifications would best suit their game. Ping is one of the bastions of custom-fitting, and pride themselves on building clubs around the golfer, rather than the other way around. Jonathan is a typical game-improver, off 17, while George is in the better player category, off 8. Ping are confident the new range will

suit a wide variety of golfers, hence their involvement. Over the next few months the guys will report their verdicts. ◗ See what their first impressions of the kit were at www.todaysgolfer.uk.

Ping’s new G20 range may not be the most radicallooking products ever to hit the shelves, but the fact that they will undoubtedly perform already makes them a winner. If ever a manufacturer knew its audience, it would be Ping and the marketing message behind the G series of clubs. Forgiveness, distance and accuracy are the key watchwords – and like a well-known varnish, they do “exactly what it says on the tin”. While other manufacturers have gone down the adjustability route in recent years, and some have produced variations of the square driver, Ping have concentrated on keeping things simple – and it looks to have paid off. According to Datatech, Ping were the number one in unit share in driver, fairway wood, hybrid and iron in the UK marketplace in 2010 and that’s an impressive statistic. The phenomenal performance of the G10 and then the G15 ranges had Ping loyalists updating their older equipment for the new stuff, while other golfers appeared to come flooding to the Ping party too. The new G20 range seems set to continue that trend. We understand some of you might be slightly disappointed that the new bats aren’t massively different from the G15 range. But this is only skin deep, as we’ve shown you the new clubs are a step up on the previous range. They may look similar, but they are worth trying before forming an opinion.

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 6


EQUIPMENT THE TE STE R S

PUTTERS TE ST

GREEN GIANTS We’re all after a bit of magic with our putter, but which one is for you? We tested 54 of them to find the best P I C T U R E S H OWA R D B OY L A N A N D T O M C R I T C H E L L

We all know the statistic – you use your putter more than any other club in your bag, so it makes it imperative that you have one that suits you and that can be trusted in that all-important moment during your weekend medal round. Our quartet went through 18 mallet putters, 18 midmallet putters and 18 blades.

GEORGE SADOWSKI 10 HCP

THE METHODOLOGY We asked manufacturers to supply putters for each category, with some electing to send more than one model in each. The testers gave subjective marks out of five for looks, sound and feel and confidence. They were also asked to score out of five how many putts

Alex Davies Belfry Pro Alex’s impressive putting helped to give great feedback. Jon Greathead HCP 8 Our man likes to think he’s got a solid enough stroke for a blade. George Sadowski HCP 10 Our Polish tester's putting is one of the strongest parts of his game. Chris Newnham HCP 15 Leighton Buzzard Golf Club’s finest was looking to improve his putting.

THE CLUB S

they holed from five feet, and also out of five how many they got within gimme range from 25 feet. To ensure consistency, each tester attempted the same putt for each product. Putters were only tested against others from the same category – so a mallet wasn’t facing off against a blade for example.

This is the most extensive putter test we’ve ever attempted, and with 54 models across three categories there really was a model to suit all tastes. Manufacturers were asked to supply putters with a length of 34 inches, which is fairly standard. The vast majority were, although some were slightly shorter or longer.

THE R ATING S The clubs were marked out of five for looks, sound and feel, confidence over the ball, how many putts the testers holed from five feet, and how many they got within gimme range (half a putter's length) from 25 feet. As is always the case, we averaged the scores out to come out with a final rating.

ALEX DAVIES PRO

★★★★★ Must buy ★★★★★ Excellent ★★★★★ Good ★★★★★ Average ★★★★★ Avoid

THE VENUE

JON GREATHEAD 8 HCP

54 PUTTERS TESTED

IS SUE 2 8 6 ❘ TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK

CHRIS NEWNHAM 15 HCP

If you’re a regular reader of our monthly tests, you’ll know we head to The Belfry to make use of their sensational PGA National Fitting Centre. This month we headed back to the Wishaw venue, and got to test out the fabulous practice putting green by the Academy. The green was fast and true, and putting on it was effortless. If you want to experience the resort, and play either The Brabazon, The PGA National or The Derby, visit the website or call the number listed.

The Belfry Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, B76 9PR Tel: 01675 470301 Email: enquiries@thebelfry.com Web: www.thebelfry.com


THE TEST

PUTTERS

MALLET PUTTERS THE HEAVYWEIGHTS Mallet putters aren’t always the prettiest, but like a good strong heavyweight, they pack a punch and get the job done. If you’re one of those who struggles with a stroke that cracks under pressure, and needs a touch more forgiveness then you should give this category a very serious look. Lots of the models benefit from perimeter weighting which increases the Moment of Inertia, keeping it easier for golfers to square the head up at impact. Many feature very good alignment aids too, which should help you further. And some even benefit from additional weights in the heel and toe area, which helps to increase the MOI. If you can get your head around the slightly bizarre look of these clubs, you should see a massive improvement in your game due to the high levels of forgiveness offered.

S-BLADE GREENSTREAK

FORGAN TP1 £29.99

PGA COLLECTION PRO SP1 £39.99

Web: www.sphericalblade.com Tel: 08455 552 525

Web: www.forgan.co.uk Tel: 01527 598 388

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

VERDICT: This is one of the biggest mallets on test, but the guys thought it was just too muscular, making it offputting at address. Pro Alex obtained some reasonable figures on the putts from the two distances, as did George who actually holed two of the longer efforts. But despite this success, he was still less than complimentary about the product saying he thought it sounded tinny and was poorly finished. Chris also commented on the tinny acoustics and just couldn’t get his head around the look at address.

VERDICT: Forgan is a cracking brand if you’re new to golf and this was a decent performance from one of the value brands. The TP1 was never going to be the best-feeling putter due to the relatively inexpensive price tag, but if you’re looking to get into the sport without spending big, you should consider this. Chris stated that the helpful alignment aid would benefit those who really struggle to get their putts started on the right line. Jon struggled to judge distance with it though, and was less than impressive from long range.

VERDICT: Chris lauded the performance of the SP2 on longer putts, and it was no surprise as he managed to get all five within the required gimme distance, but unfortunately he struggled closer to the cup. Alex felt it was a touch on the light side compared to some of the others on the test and also voiced his concerns about the alignment system, which he didn't find particularly helpful. Jon thought it looked good and was impressed to learn that it was available for less than £40.

Looks: 2 Sound and Feel: 2.3 Confidence: 1.8 5ft Putts: 3.3 25ft Putts: 3.0 RATING HHHHH

Looks: 2.6 Sound and Feel: 3.0 Confidence: 3.1 5ft Putts: 2.8 25ft Putts: 3.0 RATING HHHHH

Looks: 2.6 Sound and Feel: 2.8 Confidence: 2.6 5ft Putts: 2.5 25ft Putts: 4.3 RATING HHHHH

PING SYDNEY £199

JOHN LETTERS SILVER SWAN S56 £79.99

MIZUNO LINE 90 TARANAKI £89

WILSON VISOR

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

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

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

Web: www.wilsonstaff.com Tel: 01294 316 720

VERDICT: This split the test team – both Jon and George were impressed with the feel, but the others felt the looks let it down. There’s little doubt the performance is there, but the strange look might well dissuade even the keenest mallet or Ping fans. At £199 this is also one very expensive putter that might just prove too chunky and out there for many. Alex thought it performed well in terms of feel, but said there was simply too much going on with the head to give him a consistent feeling that he was going to hole out.

VERDICT: George putted well for the entire test, and one of his most consistent performances came with the Silver Swan. He commented on the slightly “clinky” sound and also noted a heavier feel to it. Chris disliked the aesthetics, but was impressed with how easy the alignment system was. The Silver Swan excelled in Jon’s hands, with our man pushing up the stats from 25 feet. He thought it was easy to judge the distance with it too and he also holed out well from the shorter distance.

VERDICT: The Taranaki might well have finished higher in the final reckoning had the boys performed better from the five-foot range. Jon liked the centre-shafted product and the feel, but Chris wasn’t sure about the design. George was also critical of the overall look, but did like the alignment aids on the crown of the putter, and thought the overall performance outweighed the slightly off-putting view at address. He also noted that it was very easy to use, and Alex also suggested it felt considerably better than it looked.

VERDICT: Featuring a clever alignment correction system, the Visor was also one of the smaller mallets in this section. Chris thought it felt wellweighted and balanced and although George admitted he wasn’t taken with the looks, the performance made it impossible to ignore. Jon rated it highly in the three subjective categories and also canned four of his five efforts from short range, before proceeding to struggle from further away. At £119, it’s not cheap but given time with the product golfers will see the benefits.

Looks: 2.3 Sound and Feel: 3.5 Confidence: 3.3 5ft Putts: 3.0 25ft Putts: 4.5 RATING HHHHH

Looks: 3 Sound and Feel: 3.3 Confidence: 3.4 5ft Putts: 3.5 25ft Putts: 4.0 RATING HHHHH

Looks: 3.4 Sound and Feel: 3.5 Confidence: 3.9 5ft Putts: 2.8 25ft Putts: 4.0 RATING HHHHH

Looks: 3.4 Sound and Feel: 3.6 Confidence: 3.6 Putts from 5ft: 3.3 25ft Putts: 3.8 RATING HHHHH

£79.99

£119

TODAYSG OLFE R .CO.UK ❘ IS SUE 2 8 6


COURSES { 2-F OR E !-1 ‘HA LL - OF-FA M E RS’ }

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Surround yourself with history at a cluster of cracking courses and enjoy great-value rounds overlooked by stunning stately homes...

T


P L AY M O R E , PAY L E S S

The city’s football team may have gained promotion to the Championship, but Peterborough Milton is undoubtedly worthy of a spot in the premier division. It’s a mature par-71 parkland layout, though legendary course architect James Braid couldn’t really go wrong when he was approached to design a new18-hole course – constructed by Glasgow company R Stutt – in the late 1930s. He had plenty to work with – the course is plotted within the impressive grounds of the Fitzwilliam Estate and overlooked by magical Milton Hall and there was already a nine-hole layout, built by then owner the VI Earl Fitzwilliam for his own private use. The rest, as they say, is history and over the decades Milton has developed into one of the finest venues in the area. It has a terrific variety of holes, including some stunning par 3s, and is nearly always in tip-top condition. There have been some significant changes to Braid’s original design, most notably the addition of a water feature which adds to the drama of the par-5 opening and par-4 finishing holes.

Paying a visit to one of the best halfway houses around is the perfect way to prepare for the stiff tests of a back nine which starts with a classic par 4. Looking up the 13th and 14th fairways it’s likely you’ll spot the club’s original thatched clubhouse and there’s impressive views of Milton Hall too. But you can’t afford to get too distracted by what’s around you as a stirring flurry of holes awaits – none more so than the right dog-leg par-4 penultimate hole with OB tight down the left side. The previous par 3, at just 117 yards off the daily tees, shouldn’t be underestimated either. This little devil, known as The Dell, is capable of causing much grief as you need to fire a deadly accurate short iron into a thoroughly well-guarded and sloping threetier green. ◗WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Location: Four miles west of Peterborough centre, off A47, Cambridgeshire. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £35 a round & £45 a day. Sat-Sun: £40/£60. Twilight (Mon, Weds & Fri after 3.30pm): £20. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri (on round rate). Contact: 01733 380489.

HISTORIC HALLS

FOUR MORE BUILT ON HISTORY

Enjoy great prices at these classy venues

◗ DUNSTON HALL

Beautiful Elizabethan-style mansion built in 1859, now a superb De Vere hotel. Green fees: Mon-Fri: £40. Sat-Sun: £45. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri. Teeofftimes price: From £15. Contact: 01508 473846.

◗ SHRIGLEY HALL

Built in 1825 as the family home for William Turner MP, Shrigley is now a four-star Barcelo hotel. Green fees: Mon-Fri: from £22.50. Sat-Sun: from £27.50. 2-FORE!-1: All week. Teeofftimes price: From £11.25. Contact: 01625 575626.

◗ LINDEN HALL

This former Georgian mansion has been lovingly restored into a four-star Macdonald hotel. Green fees: All week: £35. 2-FORE!-1: Mon-Fri & after 2pm at weekends. Teeofftimes price: From £17.50. Contact: 01670 500011.

◗ HOLLINS HALL

‘PAYING A VISIT TO ONE OF THE BEST HALFWAY HOUSES AROUND IS THE PERFECT WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE STIFF TESTS OF THE BACK NINE’

Grand, historic Victorian mansion built in 1878 and now a fine Marriott country hotel. Green fees: Mon-Thurs: £45. Fri-Sun: £55. 2-FORE!-1: All week. Teeofftimes price: From £11.25. Contact: 01274 534212.


TRAVEL { F O C U S O N M A J O RCA }

BRILLIANT BALEARICS

The island of Majorca, long a holiday hotspot, is fast becoming a major golfing destination too... WOR D S JOE L TA DM A N & K EV I N BROW N

LOCATION MAP The beauty of golf in Majorca is that wherever you are the island’s excellent, much-improved road system means virtually all of the 20-plus courses are within an hour’s drive.


SPOTLIGHT ON

Majorca now has more than 20 quality golf courses, so there’s bound to be a few decent layouts within easy reach... wherever you stay. Several courses are conveniently located close to the capital of Palma and nearby red-hot resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova, including Son Gual – undoubtedly the standout on an island which couples quality with quantity. Majorca is the biggest Balearic island, but it’s still easy to get around and if you drive to the north of the island you can tee it up at breathtaking Alcanada, a Robert Trent Jones Jnr track overlooking the Mediterranean, and Jose Maria Olazabal creation Pula, venue of the European Tour’s Mallorcan Open. Majorcan golf hasn’t looked back and has been growing steadily since the first course Son Vida – the star attraction at the stunning Arabella Resort – was opened by Prince Rainier in the mid-1960s. And with a flight from the UK taking just

two hours, it’s not surprising that more than 100,000 golfers make their way there every year – a number that’s sure to keep increasing. As well as the golf, Majorca has so much to offer, including the climate, with an average temperature of 21° and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. But don’t just take our word for it. Ten handicapper John Belson, from Rugby, Warwickshire, is a recent visitor. “It was my first time over there and I couldn’t believe the standard and condition of the courses,” he told TG. “They were favourably priced too compared to the Costa del Sol and I’ll definitely be going back in the near future. “There’s so much to see and do off the course too. The capital Palma is brimming with culture and while there are plenty of places to party, you can also chill out far away from the tourists.”

MAJORCA

1. ALCANADA Par 72, 6,727 yards Alcanada is Majorca’s equivalent of Turnberry. Not only does it provide stunning coastal views from several holes, it’s overlooked by a lighthouse. Alcanada is only eight years old but the dynamic American duo of Robert Trent Jones senior and junior have created a masterpiece close to the popular resort of Alcudia. The course is usually in great condition and there’s a great mix of testing holes with around 60 bunkers in total and the greens are top class. ◗ VITAL STATISTICS

Green fee: €85 (£75) Nov 16-Dec 31. Contact: 0034 971 54 95 60 or visit www.golf-alcanada.com

S E E EU RO COURSE R EV I EWS AT TG WEBSITE

Today's Golfer Issue 286 preview  

Today's Golfer Issue 286 preview

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