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LEE WESTWOOD EXCLUSIVE

“I WANT TO BE 2022 RYDER CUP CAPTAIN”

20-PAGE SHORT
GAME SPECIAL

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16 48 42

The Game Features Opinion


12 Your View Reader letters and emails 48 Lee Westwood The Englishman 40 Chris Wood Discusses two strong
14 Talking Point Annual Distance Report discusses a host of topics showings in the Middle East
16 Month In Pictures Photos and stats 52 TPC Sawgrass What’s it like to play 42 Wayne Riley It’s the topic everyone is
22 Winners’ Circle Phil Mickelson one of golf’s most famous courses? talking about – is Tiger back? Radar
26 Debate Age-related subs 58 Ryan Fox The Kiwi on his famous certainly thinks so
27 Strategy Must-hit greens dad, big hitting and his career to date 44 Dan Walker Asks how much
28 On The Tee Streamsong Black 62 Illustration Six common excuses for a emphasis we should place on Major wins
30 Quick Tip Create wedge spin poor golf shot when defining the success of a career
32 New Launches The best new gear 64 Bel Wardle We sit down with one of 102 Joel Tadman The importance of a
34 In Detail Motocaddy Cube Connect England’s most promising amateurs wedge fitting
36 Tour Gear Justin Thomas 68 Links v Nature How the elements are 130 Bill Elliott Lauds Phil Mickelson for
38 World Handicap System The basics affecting some of our finest links his recent win in Mexico

71 100 115
Instruction Reviews Courses
71 Andy Sullivan Six tips to make you a 92 Tested By Golf Monthly Ping G400 110 Must Play We pay a visit to Gog
better bunker player Max driver, Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Magog in Cambridgeshire
76 Fault Fixer Ged Walters reveals how wedges, Titleist Velocity ball, Under 112 Hidden Gem Newport GC
to improve your wedge strikes Armour Spieth 2 shoe and TaylorMade 115 Focus On Rob Smith savours a trip to
78 Scoring Zone Pitching drills M4 driver Hertfordshire, a county full of Top 100
80 Strategy Hone a more reliable 100 Buyer’s Guide We take you through venues and unsung heroes
chipping action the best wedges on the market 120 Best of UK & Ireland This month’s
82 Thomas Pieters His ten best tips 104 Head To Head Two affordable whistle-stop tour of these isles includes
84 Swing Sequence Thomas Detry flat-sticks from Odyssey and Ping an excursion to Royal Porthcawl
86 Help! I need to chip it closer 106 Reader Test Two GM readers are 122 Stay & Play Cowdray Park
88 Rules Movable obstructions and more fitted for Mizuno wedges 123 Competition Win a trip to Woburn
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CONTACTS
EDITO RIAL
Editor: Michael Harris
Digital editor: Neil Tappin
Senior content editor: Tom Clarke
Technical editor: Joel Tadman
Content editors: Nick Bonfield, David Taylor
Technical writer: Jake O’Reilly
Editor-at-large: Bill Elliott
Design director: Kevin Eason
Design editor: Jamie Latchford
Deputy design editor: Dan Franklin
Picture researcher: Duncan Bond
Digital writer: Elliott Heath
Contributing editors: Fergus Bisset,
Jeremy Ellwood, Rob Smith
Contributing writers: Roderick Easdale, James Mason
Playing editor: Chris Wood
Staff photographers: Tom Miles, Kevin Murray
Contributors: Getty Images, Wayne Riley,
Dan Walker, Paul Severn, Kevin Kirk,
Kenny Smith, Robin Barwick

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MICHAEL HARRIS Firstly, there’s the news that there will be a new World Handicap (tel: 0034 913199015; email: mariamaisey@spectramedia.es)
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given us some great insight into life on tour. Taking up the reins next
month is none other than Lee Westwood. Lee has won all around the
world and, as he tells us in an exclusive interview on page 48, has ©2018 Golf Monthly. Articles and features, including illustrations, can only be
aspirations to captain the Ryder Cup team in 2022. I’m looking forward reproduced with the permission of the Editor. We regret we cannot be liable
for the safe custody or return of any solicited or unsolicited material, whether
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10
The pick of the letters and emails to hit the Golf Monthly offices this month
They have clearly been More transparency needed
Does Rules terminology re-written by Rules ‘experts’ who In response to the online
need simplifying? cannot let go. It would be far tee-booking debate from your
better to have someone with March issue, online booking’s
common sense but no detailed greatest positive is that it gives
knowledge of the Rules have you an indication of the course’s
another look and include only the state of play.
essentials. In my experience of For a beginner, there is no
club golf, every round has minor greater fear than a fourball
infringements mainly because the watching you tee off. Equally, for a
vast majority do not read or know scratch player looking for a quick
Keep it simple the Rules. A proper simplification nine or 18 holes, there is nothing
I have just had a look through the would lead to a level playing field. more deflating than seeing a
proof of the new January 2019 John Palmer, Nottingham packed course ahead of you.
Rules. There are several significant When I was learning, I would trawl
improvements from the original Time to rein it in different courses using online
draft, such as knee-height drops While watching the WGC-Mexico booking to find a tee time that
and the option to take a two- Championship, a statistic was was quietest to alleviate this
stroke penalty from back on the shown on the screen that Dustin added pressure.
fairway for a lost ball or hitting Johnson has made 124 eagles DJ on his way to If courses opened up their
OOB in club golf only. since 2008. A straw poll of my another eagle? membership portals for casual
One objective of the new three regular playing partners
re-write, however, was to simplify (handicaps 9 to 21) revealed ten
things. The Rules have gone up eagles between us in that time. I
from 134 pages to 150 pages am not sure how the game’s
when you include definitions that legislators are going to tame the
are an integral part of distance the professionals hit the
understanding the meaning. ball. Bunkers around the green
The fact that the number of are not a defence or a problem
Rules has dropped from 34 to 24 for these guys.
does not make them easier to I would suggest deeper and
understand. They continue to more central fairway bunkers or
require cross-referencing beyond winding becks crossing the
most club golfers’ interest. I found fairways to make pros have to plot
several places where there are two their way around more holes, as
or three paragraphs when one line opposed to smashing it 380 yards.
would do. Peter Ramsden, West Yorkshire

12
LETTERS
The Editor, Golf Monthly
Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough
Business Park, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7BF

A magical time of year haven’t played much over the Editor’s reply: David, I couldn’t
LETTER I can’t tell you how excited I am winter, I don’t see that as a agree more. I think all club
OF THE at the thought of long evenings,
wearing shorts and the first
waste of my membership fee.
To me, membership is about
golfers in this country share
that sense of excitement and
MONTH competition off the back tees.
Social golf is good for the
much more than price-per-game.
It’s about belonging to a place
anticipation at this time of year.
Being a member of a golf club
in association with
soul, but there’s nothing quite where I can meet like-minded offers so much more than a
like the thrill of competition. folk for a few hours of fun and weekly game, and is a major
This will be my fifth season as a frustration. Sign me up forever. reason why our sport is so
member with a handicap and And get those white tees out. special to so many people
all that goes with it, and while I David Quinn, via email around the world.

The winner receives a year’s supply (six dozen) of the best Titleist golf ball for his or her game

players to see how many people me with. I’ve invested a huge that ladies’ competitions are
were playing the course and amount of time and money always during the week.
when, I think it may diminish the buying clubs, equipment and Really? Is it true that in 2018 the
need for online booking systems clothes. I’ve taken up regular majority of working women are
that take money from the clubs. If lessons and have worked really being excluded from this
clubs are to survive, they need to hard to develop a decent swing. wonderful game? I pay the same
show more transparency and All good so far! membership fee as the male
embrace technology. I joined a lovely golf club and members but I have no
Jake Shepherd, Hertfordshire cannot fault the welcome and opportunity to regularly ‘join in’
encouragement I received. unless I take annual leave or reach
Still work to do However, I’m now in a position retirement age! I understand golf
With regard to the ongoing where I’d like to begin to compete is an old game with lots of history,

Photography: Getty Images


debate about growing the game with others and test my newly but where’s the harm in some
of golf, I’d like to bring something honed skills. Therein lies my equality here? Surely it’s not too
to the table for discussion. As a problem, and I hasten to guess the much to ask for this to be looked
female who is moderately new to problem that many other working at? I’ve made enquiries to all clubs
golf (this will be my third season), women face. There are no in the region and this is standard
I’ve come up against a problem competitions on a weekend! I’ve practice, it seems.
that I’m hoping someone can help queried this and have been told Pamela Nield, via email

13
TAL I P I T The R&A and USGA’s annual Distance
Report revealed an average distance
increase of more than three
yards since 2016...

The GM view: The statistics are interesting, but should


the governing bodies be devoting more time to
growing the wider game than focusing on the elite?
We’ll have a piece on the subject in our next issue.

Neil Dalzell: We need more shorter, tighter


courses. Fifty-yard-wide fairways are the problem.
Stop players just standing there and bombing it
with little risk. The course used for the WGC-
Mexico Championship was a perfect example.

James Connor: Are we heading towards potential


bifurcation here? Amateurs don’t need golf to be made
more difficult, but the pros are hitting it outrageously far
these days. It’s hardly as if pro golf and amateur golf is
exactly the same from a rules perspective, anyway…

DarrenWilliams: In the last decade or so, the gains


have, in the main, been from the professionals
swinging faster and with better launch conditions.

Rick Villalobos: Give the players some credit. They


are in better shape, nutrition has improved and
many have personal trainers. Technology helps to
a certain point, but if you’ve ever seen DJ or even
Dustin Johnson averaged 315 Phil in person, you know what I’m talking about!
yards off the tee last season

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All contributions must be original, not copies or duplicated to other publications. The editor reserves the right to edit letters. Time Inc. (UK) or its associated companies reserve
the right to reuse any submission sent to these pages of Golf Monthly, in any format or medium.

Editorial Complaints We work hard to achieve the highest standards of editorial content, and we are committed to complying with the Editors’ Code of Practice (https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/cop.html) as enforced
by IPSO. If you have a complaint about our editorial content, you can email us at complaints@timeinc.com or write to Complaints Manager, Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Legal Department, 161 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9AP.
Please provide details of the material you are complaining about and explain your complaint by reference to the Editors’ Code. We will endeavour to acknowledge your complaint within five working days and we aim
to correct substantial errors as soon as possible.
14
From tee to green Edited by Nick Bonfield and David Taylor

PHIL MICKELSON
Back in Business
Phil Mickelson returned to the
winners’ circle in emphatic style at
the WGC-Mexico Championship,
defeating Justin Thomas at the first
play-off hole. The five-time Major
Champion was clearly emotional
after recording his first victory
since the 2013 Open at Muirfield –
hardly surprising given he came
close to falling out of the world’s
top 50 earlier this year. He now
looks poised to feature for the USA
at Le Golf National in September.

16
MAGIC FROM
MICKELSON

4 3
The American
only missed
four times all
Mickelson’s
Strokes
Gained:
week from Putting rank
within ten on the PGA
feet Tour

1,687
Days between Mickelson’s last
two wins: the 2018 WGC-Mexico
and the 2013 Open

43
Mickelson recorded his 43rd
PGA Tour title at Chapultepec
Golf Club

8
Only eight players have won
more PGA Tour titles

17
$4,491,800
Money earned by Justin Thomas in
the first eight events of the 2017/18
5
Number of LPGA
Tour victories
recorded by
PGA Tour season Michelle Wie
after her triumph
at the HSBC
Women’s World
Championship,
her first win
since the 2014
US Open

6
Brian Harman
registered six top-
tens in his first nine
PGA Tour starts of
the season – more
than any other player

129
Number of tournaments
taken for Eddie
Pepperell to secure his
maiden European Tour
title at the Qatar Masters

18
STATS OF THE MONTH

54
Tiger Woods’ tie for second at the
Valspar Championship was his best
PGA Tour finish for 54 months
2
Nelly Korda’s finish at the HSBC
Women’s World Championships.
Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam
remain the only siblings to have
triumphed on the LPGA Tour

21
Number of English victories on the
European Tour since Justin Rose lifted
the US Open trophy at Merion in 2013
10
Tommy Fleetwood’s world ranking following
the WGC-Mexico Championship – his highest
ever position. In September 2016,
he was 188th
Number of putts Paul
Casey took in the final
round of the Valspar
Championship, his
second PGA Tour
win and his first
since 2009

JUSTIN THOMAS’ 2017/18 PGA TOUR RESULTS


1 1
2

T9

T14

T17 T17

T22

CIMB The Tournament Sony Phoenix Genesis Honda WGC-Mexico


Classic CJ Cup of Champions Open Open Open Classic Championship

19
22
6
Steve Stricker, the Cologuard Classic
winner, turned 50 in February last
year. All 22 of his rounds on the PGA
Tour Champions have been under par

Number of
European
Tour victories
for Joost
Luiten after
his win at the
NBO Oman
Open

Number of times George

2 Coetzee has won the


European Tour’s Tshwane
Open – 2015 and 2018
Photography: Getty Images
MONTH IN PICTURES

224,624
Number of people who attended the 2018 Honda Classic
WINNERS’ CIRCLE

PHIL MICKELSON
Can you describe the emotions of I don’t think this is the apex or the peak,
winning again? The 47-year-old American I think I’m going to continue to get
It’s very meaningful. I can’t really put it
into words given the tough times over
discusses his 43rd PGA better. I’m starting to play some of my
best golf. I’m actually hitting some shots
the last four years and the struggle to
get back here. To finally break through
Tour title at the WGC- better than I ever have in my career, I’m
starting to putt better than I ever have
and to have this validation means a lot
to me. I’m very appreciative of the
Mexico Championship... and I’m actually starting to drive it
better than I ever have. It’s a great
people that have supported me through opportunity for me to compete against
the toug e great young players, knowing how
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth
How sig d Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy and
I needed these guys are. For me to be able
I wasn’t o compete against them is a
first tim challenge that I cherish and it’s
years. It nice to have some success.
have a w Over the last few years I’ve
especial been extremely frustrated
a WGC, knowing that I’ve been
Majors b able to play at this
don’t wa level and I haven’t
that typ been doing it.
coming
stretch Were there any
having nerves out there?
not won I was certainly
while. Yo nervous heading
to reme into the final round
what it f – the pre-round
to succe warm-up and all
that stuff. That’s all
Did you ever think part of it, though.
the 2013 Open win That’s what’s exciting,
would be your last? that’s what’s so fun and
I knew that wasn’t going that’s what I’ve missed.
to be my last one, no. And I’ve truly missed that
this isn’t, either. It certainly feeling coming into a Sunday.
boosts my confidence and
gives me a lot of encouragement This makes another Ryder Cup
on the things I’ve been working on. appearance more realistic?
With the Ryder Cup coming up, I’ve
certainly made it known that one of my
big goals is to be a part of a winning
WHAT’S IN team in Europe. It hasn’t happened in

THE BAG? MICKELSON my career. It would mean a tremendous


amount to me to have us succeed over
BY THE NUMBERS on European soil. I certainly respect and
know how good the European side is.
Driver: Callaway Irons (5-PW):
I’ve played a lot of golf with Jon Rahm
Rogue Sub Zero, 9°, Callaway X Forged 18,
and he is an incredible talent, as are
Hzrdus T110 shaft KBS Tour V 125 shafts
McIlroy and Sergio and all the great
3-wood: Callaway
Rogue Sub Zero,
Wedges: Callaway
Mack Daddy PM- 66 $86,737,134 players on the European side. If we were
Photography: Getty Images

13.5°, Fubuki J shaft Grind, 56°, 60° and able to break through and win, it would
Hybrid: Callaway 64°, KBS Tour V be a moment I’d cherish forever.
Rogue, 19°, KBS 125 shafts
hybrid shaft Putter: Odyssey His Sunday round, Mickelson’s career Will you reach 50 PGA Tour wins?
4-iron: Callaway Versa #9 White which forced a earnings on the Seven more and I’ll be there. I don’t
Epic Pro, KBS Tour Ball: Callaway play-off PGA Tour have the month or the time, but I will
V 125 shaft Chrome Soft X get there.

22
  
 
    
  
 
 


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DEBATE

Fergus Bisset says

Clubs across the


DEBATE Jeremy Ellwood says

We all know the 25- to

YES country are struggling


to retain and attract
younger adult members
and survey evidence
shows a worrying lack of adult golfers
up to the age of 45. As an example, in
Scotland, ‘the home of golf’, there are
NO 40-year-old age bracket is
under-represented at many
golf clubs, with the
work-life balance, time
pressures and financial considerations
meaning fewer of that age are able to, or
indeed want to, shell out for a traditional
currently more members in the age full golf club subscription.
bracket of 65 to 74 than there are I visited one club recently who had
between the ages of 0 and 45. just six members between the ages of
There are many arguments to explain 30 and 40 when they realised they had
this, but I’m afraid a main reason a problem, so clearly there is an issue,
younger adults don’t feel they can justify and something needs to be done.
club membership is cost. Young adults But is it right that age should dictate
are struggling to find a foothold in the how much you pay? I’m not sure it is.
inflated property market, often having to
stretch themselves too far. They are
Two Golf Monthly Yes, you might still be able to get
half-price bus fares as a child, but I don’t
struggling to put money aside and they
have less disposable income than those
regulars give us think you’ll get very far asking for a
discount as a 35-year-old. And if you go
in the older generations. At the same their thoughts into any high street store and ask for a
time, the average cost of membership major discount because you’ve just got
has been rising faster than inflation. In married, bought a house and started a
many cases, ordinary membership family, you’ll get pretty short shrift.
subscriptions are simply untenable for a Golf’s shifting supply and demand
large portion of those in the early stages equation has exacerbated the problem,
of working and family life. as many clubs now desperately need
To attract younger people to golf club members rather than being able to pick
membership, subscriptions quite simply and choose. But I still feel a little
must be affordable for them. To secure uncomfortable about certain adults
the next generation of club golfers, and paying considerably less for the same
the survival of golf clubs themselves, product just because of their birthday.
older members must be prepared to offer For me, flexible lifestyle memberships
younger, less wealthy golfers a reduced are a better solution as you pay a
rate – an age-related subscription. reduced fee based on the amount of
If young adults establishing golf you expect to play, rather than your
themselves in life can justify the cost of age. Such schemes are open to all with
becoming golf club members, they will time pressures, rather than just the
continue to support clubs into the latter younger generation, and you bypass any
part of their lives. potential price-difference grumbles
Things may well change but, as it because it’s a different product – a
stands, the older generation in the UK capped rather than unlimited number of
are better off than the young. If those rounds per year.
younger players are lost to club golf I would much rather see clubs explore
because of short-sighted stubbornness this avenue fully before offering hefty
from the old guard then the future for discounts to potentially wealthy
the game as we know it is bleak. 30-year-olds.

“Things may “Paying a


change but, as reduced fee
it stands, the based on the
older generation amount you
Photography: Harry O’Reilly

in the UK are play rather than


better off than What’s your view? your age is a
Email golfmonthly@timeinc.com
the young” better solution”
26
MIND GAMES

A MUST FIND GREEN


1 HIGH-HANDICAPPER
Know your yardages
Look to embrace the
challenge of finding a must-hit
green! Do your homework on the
hole and practise with the
Whether you're chasing flags or protecting a score, prospective clubs you are likely to
need when the moment comes.
be smart when faced with danger This will increase your confidence
and narrow your focus on the shot,
rather than allowing the mind to
hile there aren’t too worry. From a confidence point of

W many island greens in


the UK, there are
occasions in every
view, use the ball you are playing
with. I often see players pull out a
‘water ball’, and guess what that is
round where we absolutely have putting into the old grey matter?
to hit the green. It could be a
pivotal moment in a match; you
could be en route to your best
score; or there could be danger in
the form of grassy swales, deep
bunkers, lakes or thick rough.
When you reach one of these
holes, here’s what to do…

2 PROTECTING A SCORE
See the bigger picture
The key in this situation is to
adopt a bigger-picture mentality,
and see the green as the target
rather than the flag. Generally, you
TOP
25
are looking at a target of at least COACH
20 by 20 yards, something you’d
be confident of hitting on the

3
range. As the great caddie Andy
Prodger used to say, “trust is a
must”. So if the shot is 140 yards GOING FOR BROKE
and that’s normally an 8-iron for Eyes on the prize
you, don’t second-guess yourself. If you are chasing a score or taking a solid rehearsal swing will
Illustration: Darren Robinson

Barney
Shots often go awry when we club trying to get a hole back near the really help to set the scene for the
Puttick
up too much and end up steering end of a match, it’s fun to go for shot. I find picking an intermediate
Head
it. Remember, the club and ball are broke. Although you are going for target a few feet in front of the professional,
not aware of what they’re about to the aggressive shot at the pin, this ball, and hitting the shot over that, Mid Herts
be asked to negotiate, so whether doesn’t mean you should rush helps you stay over the ball and Golf Club,
it’s grass, water or sand, you can your approach to it. Once you make the solid contact essential to Hertfordshire
only focus on the swing. have your yardage to the pin, knocking it close.

27
GF: $85-$260 W: streamsongresort.com Stats: par 73, 7,331 yards
Words: Michael Harris Photography: Kevin Murray

28
USA

hen Streamsong’s The Black has similarities with IN THE AREA? WHY NOT PLAY THESE…
Blue and Red courses the Blue and Red, but feels even
W opened in 2013, they
were unlike any others
more natural. It plays fast and firm
and features drivable par 4s,
in Florida. Located in the back of strategic multi-option par 5s and
beyond (90 minutes from fun par 3s where you are
Orlando) and laid out on what encouraged to use the sweeping
was a former phosphate mine, contours to get the ball close.
there are no palm trees, geometric Streamsong has a refreshing Streamsong Red Streamsong Blue
water features or endless buggy ‘walking golf’ philosophy where GF: $85-$260 GF: $85-$260
paths. Instead, the land is those carrying (or using a caddy) W: streamsongresort.com W: streamsongresort.com
punctuated by rugged sand hills, get year-round access to the best
native grasses and large lakes. tee times. Between January and
Last September, the Black March, the courses are buggy free.
course joined the roster. Created Off course, superb practice
by Gil Hanse, who designed Castle facilities and the stunning glass
Stuart and Rio’s Olympic course, and metal clubhouse complete
this might be Streamsong’s best 18. what is a unique offering.

29
QUICK TIP

WE D G E S P IN
MYTHS
Use your time on the
practice ground wisely
and you’ll improve your
short-game feel
hen it comes to

W creating spin, there is


an important myth
worth dispelling.
Amateurs often want to play the
low chip shot that spins to a halt
on the second bounce – a
favourite of the pros – and so
they automatically set the ball
back in the stance, hinge the
wrists in the backswing and drive
the club down into the ball
through impact.
The problem with this
technique is that the ball is not in
contact with the grooves on your
wedge for long enough. To
maximise your spin, you need the
club to be in contact with the
grooves for as long as possible. In
order to achieve that, you require
a more central ball position and a
shallower angle of attack.
The ball will come out slightly
higher with this technique, but
with as much as 3,000 rpm of
extra backspin. It’s a very useful
shot to have in your armoury.

TOP
25
Photography: Kevin Murray, shot on location at Las Colinas, Spain

COACH

Ged Walters
Ball position Think shallow Left exit True Fit Golf

1 2 3
Set the ball a fraction Do not let your wrists Feel the club is exiting to Centre,
behind the centre of your hinge too much in the the left of the ball-to- Warrington
stance and place 60 per backswing – this will help target line. This will help
cent of your weight on you find the shallow you keep loft on the face
your left side. attack angle we want. at impact.

30
1 2 ( ;& ( 3 7 , 2 1 6
  
       


    

    


 
H
LAUNC E
OF TH H
MONT

CLU 9
£14
B
PER
G700 has a clean,
concealed cavity
ing is the latest
manufacturer to enter
P the market with a
hollow-body
super-game-improvement
iron designed to offer
maximum distance and
forgiveness for the
mid-to-high
handicapper.
The hollow body
The Ping positions weight
G700 iron away from the face
replaces the G
Max model and
features a hollow
construction,
which increases
face flexibility for a
higher trajectory and
more distance.
This is assisted by a
A Hydropearl
machined maraging steel polished finish
face, which has undergone a matches G400
two-step heat-treatment process
to add strength, thus enabling
Ping to make it thinner and
therefore even more flexible than consistency, forgiveness and feel. of £149 per iron in steel
what came before. With the G700 iron, we’ve been shafts and £159 per iron
In a unique twist, the G700 able to accomplish all of that in a in graphite.
irons are available in very appealing design The stock steel shaft
standard spec or with a sound that offering is the Ping AWT
‘power spec’, screams distance 2.0, and a number of
which features from the moment different graphite options
1.5˚- to 2˚- golfers hit it.” are available. After-market
stronger lofts Forgiveness steel shaft options which
through the comes not only come with no upcharge
set for even from the size include True Temper Dynamic
more distance. Wide soles aid but from the Gold, Project X LZ, True Temper
forgiveness
The standard toe and shaft XP95, Nippon NS Pro Modus 105
7-iron is 29.5˚, weights, which and KBS Tour.
while the power create extreme
spec 7-iron is 28˚. perimeter weighting GM SAYS
“The desire for and a balanced The Ping G700 iron excels at
golfers to hit their irons centre-of-gravity position. getting the ball in the air with
further continues to grow,” said The special sole design should also speed. It has clearly been
Ping president John K. Solheim. improve turf interaction. In fact, designed to help the average
“We want to provide options the sole width, bounce and offset player. Not only is it very
that greatly increase distance are similar to the G400 iron. forgiving, but having a look
without sacrificing other The Ping G700 irons go on sale similar to a muscleback iron from
performance attributes, such as on March 29. They have an RRP behind only adds to the appeal.

32
NEW LAUNCHES

HOT
P ICKS

99

99. ROM
99
99

29.

F
£2

£2

£4
BIG MAX BLADE IP BIG MAX AQUA HYBRID POWAKADDY FW3S
PUSH TROLLEY CART BAG ELECTRIC TROLLEY
The smallest ever folded- The unique flat base, leg-lock Updates to the entry level
down trolley now has a system and footless stand Freeway product include a

£2
29.
simpler three-stage folding mechanism mean it doubles new 2.3” full-colour

99
system that clicks the parts as a cart bag and stand bag. widescreen display, digital POWAKADDY
into place. A more rounded It weighs 2.3kg, has seven power gauge and battery fuel DRI-EDITION CART BAG
frame and an anodised waterproof pockets and indicator, as well as a new Uses an even more
metallic finish aid durability. comes in six colours. whisper-quiet 230W motor. effective waterproof fabric
to keep your gear dry. Also
features seven pockets
and comes in five colours.

£19
9.9
9
MOTOCADDY DRY-SERIES
9

9
10

£79

£14
CART BAG
£2

Upgrades include a new


ECCO COOL PRO COBRA KING FORGED TEC COBRA KING UTILITY ‘rip-stop’ nylon fabric with
The Spydr-Grip outsole, BLACK IRON BLACK IRON heat-welded seams and
which debuted on the Ecco A durable dimonised black Also available in both thermo-sealed zips for
Cage Pro, has been combined metal matte reduces glare. Variable or One Length, this maximum protection.
with the Gore-Tex Surround Tungsten weights lower and new utility iron is hollow and
air-channelling system within centre the CG for more features a black PVD coating
a grid-shaped sole structure forgiveness. The irons also and a loft-adjustable hosel,
for 360° breathability and feature Cobra Connect and ranging from 18˚ to 24˚
waterproof protection. come in a One Length option. across the 3- and 4-iron. £19
9.9
5

DUCA DEL COSMA KUBA


These Italian leather shoes
feature a waterproof and
breathable microfibre that
keeps the foot dry. A soft
PU insert sole provides
extra comfort during play.
.99
.99
65

29
9
£3

£19

£4

SCOTTY CAMERON BENROSS EVOLUTION BENROSS EVOLUTION


SELECT PUTTERS R DRIVER R IRON
Seven new models feature The 15g moveable weight on A two-piece head with a thin,
four-way sole balancing that the back of the 450cc head heat-treated face increases
£70

allows the putter to sit adjusts shot shape. An ball speed. An ABS polymer
FOOTJOY HEATHER
square. More vibration- improved CT Response insert dampens vibration for PINSTRIPE CHILL-OUT
dampening material between Channel increases ball speed improved sound and feel. The PULLOVER
the face and inlay improves and forgiveness. Adjustable compact size will appeal to The stretch shell helps
sound and feel. loft and face angle. better players. keep your core warm while
allowing a free range
Golf Monthly tests all its equipment exclusively with the Foresight Sports GC2 launch monitor. of motion.
Edited by Joel Tadman

33
OTOCADDY CUBE
CONNECT PUSH TROLLEY Your smartphone
can remain
connected
to the trolley
otocaddy’s S5 space when stored thanks to its The display on the Cube
even when
two-step assembly system, Connect is powered by a
M Connect electric
trolley, which
launched last year,
which allows it to quickly fold
over 45 per cent smaller than
long-life battery. This is not
rechargeable, and how long it
securely placed
in your golf bag

was genuinely one of the most traditional push trolleys into a lasts depends on frequency of
innovative products to hit the ‘cube’ shape. trolley use. Motocaddy couldn’t
golfing world in 2017. It cleverly As well as features like a foot tell us how long its lifespan will
provided accurate GPS distances brake and quick-release wheels, be, or how much it will cost to
on the handle unit in a the new Cube Connect also has replace, but chances are it will
cost-effective way via a number of handy storage last a significant period and
Bluetooth from a free options, including an won’t break the bank to switch.
smartphone app, which WANT TO under-handle net, an The Cube Connect has the
has already been SEE MORE? integrated accessory potential to convert many
downloaded 45,000 compartment and tee electric trolley users given its
times by golfers. The new and ball holders. long list of impressive features.
Cube Connect looks set A nice addition to the It joins the P360, with its
to revolutionise the push Smart Display is that it fully rotating front
trolley category in the can be tilted up and wheel, the original
same way, also offering down to account for Cube and the S1
both GPS distances and To watch all our different light Lite to complete
smartphone notifications latest product conditions, helped by one of the best
in a category first. reviews, visit the height-adjustable push trolley
Not only that, but it golf-monthly. handle, which isn’t on ranges
will take up minimal co.uk/reviews the S5 Connect. around.

Users can receive


notifications of
a missed call, text
or email, as well
as various app alerts,
including WhatsApp
and Facebook

34
GEAR IN DETAIL

“I NEVER EXPECTED TO SEE THIS LEVEL OF DETAIL


AND SO MANY FEATURES ON A PUSH TROLLEY”
Joel Tadman, technical editor

Motocaddy’s Oli Churcher tells


us more about the evolution of
the manual-powered trolley

Why did you decide to

1 expand the Connect


trolley range?
The S5 Connect proved
golfers were ready to
have key GPS info available ‘at
a glance’ within the trolley
handle, rather than using an
external device. Since August,
the Cube has been our
quickest selling push trolley
ever, so it made perfect sense
to combine the two.

Are you seeing a greater

2 demand for compact-


folding trolleys?
Yes, in both electric and
manual. More golfers are
opting for the convenience of a
smaller folded size – both in
terms of storage and
transportation. When we
pioneered the compact-fold
category in 2013, its success
was immediate and we’ve seen
a consistent growth since then.

How have push trolleys

The app provides


front, middle and
3 improved recently?
They are almost
unrecognisable from
their two-wheeled
predecessors. One of the
biggest advancements has
been the wide range of
back distances to game-enhancing features. The
the green for more Cube Connect is a perfect
than 40,000 example of this progression
courses worldwide
and represents the next
generation of push trolleys.

The Cube Connect comes


in a graphite frame with
blue trim and has an
RRP of £219.99.

35
TOUR INSIDER

WHAT’S IN THE BAG? SPOTTED


ON TOUR

The American is closing in on World No.1 after a fast start to 2018 New wand
for Rose
TaylorMade
created a
special
Fairway Spider Tour
woods Red putter for Justin Rose to
Titleist 917F2, 15°, test ahead of the WGC-
Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Mexico Championship, but he
Irons S+ 80TX shaft, Titleist chose not to put it in play.
Titleist 718 AP2 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB 915Fd, 18°, Fujikura Motore
(5-9 iron), True Temper Dynamic Gold Speeder X-Flex shaft.
Tour Issue X100 shafts. Trademark celebration
We noticed that WGC-Mexico
Championship winner Phil
Mickelson has his 2004
Masters celebration printed
on the bottom of his shoes!

Mizuno wins again


Paul Casey is only under
Wedges contract to play TaylorMade
Titleist Vokey SM5, 52° woods and his Titleist ball.
and 56°, Titleist Vokey Putter He chooses to use these
SM6, 46° and 60°, True Scotty Cameron
Futura X5 Mizuno MP-5 irons, as well as
Temper Dynamic Gold
Tour Issue shafts. prototype. Vokey SM6 wedges and a
Scotty Cameron putter.

Driver
Titleist 917D2, 9.5°, Mitsubishi Rayon
Diamana BF 60TX shaft. Ball
Titleist Pro V1x.

Paul Eddie
Casey won Michelle Pepperell
NEWS recently with a Wie won again claimed the Qatar
ROUND-UP mix of TaylorMade after switching to the Masters with Mizuno
M1, M3 and M4 Callaway Rogue JPX900 Tour
ds George driver Phil Matt
irons
The top gear stories on Coetzee Mickelso Wallace
tour, plus insight into some took the Tsh used two M won in Ind
of the more interesting clubs Open with a Daddy PM-Gr with all Ping
that have helped players Titleist 718 CB wedges in and the Titleist
irons Mexico Pro V1x
cross the finishing line
    

    

 

 "  #


  #
 !  " 
    
#   

  
   #
      
      
          
WHAT THE WORLD HANDICAP
SYSTEM MEANS FOR
CLUB GOLFERS CONSISTENCY: A
HANDICAP THAT’S
PORTABLE ALL OVER
Words: Fergus Bisset | Photography: Duncan Nicholls THE WORLD
In 2020, a new World Handicap System
will be implemented, heralding big changes
for UK club golfers. Here, we consider
the potential implications...

ollowing an in-depth review by six


existing handicapping authorities,
ing the Council of National Golf FLEXIBILITY:
s (CONGU), a new World Handicap
ystem (WHS) developed by The COMPETITIVE AND
&A and USGA is set to be
mplemented in 2020. The aim is to RECREATIONAL
rage more people to play golf, and
them to transport their handicap ROUNDS TO COUNT
anywhere in the world and compete on
an equitable basis.
The WHS is going to be the most
A MAXIMUM
debated topic in clubhouses across the
country over the next two years as memory of previous demonstrated
HANDICAP LIMIT OF
people consider its features and
implications. Here, we lay out what we
ability for better responsiveness.
● A calculation that considers the
54 REGARDLESS
know at this stage and what some of the impact that abnormal course and OF GENDER
principal talking points are likely to be. weather conditions might have on a
Although full details are still to be player’s performance each day.
revealed, certain features of the WHS ● Daily handicap revisions, taking
were announced in February, including: account of the course and weather of the last 20 rounds to count towards
● Flexibility in formats of play, allowing conditions calculation. handicap calculations, and with both
both competitive and recreational ● A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, competitive and recreational (bounce)
rounds to count for handicap purposes regardless of gender, to encourage rounds being considered, a golfer who
and ensuring a golfer’s handicap is more golfers to measure and track their plays five times a week could see a
more reflective of potential ability. performance to increase their brand-new set of 20 rounds being
● A consistent handicap that is enjoyment of the game. considered each month. If that individual
portable from course to course and The system should certainly be more has one sparkling stretch of play, they
country to country through worldwide representative of a golfer’s current could find their handicap dramatically
use of the USGA Course and Slope playing ability and we could see greater reduced; conversely, a loss of form could
Rating System, already successfully changes in an individual’s handicap over see a large hike in the number. This, of
used in more than 80 countries. shorter periods of time. course, will depend on the ‘memory of
● An average-based calculation of a For those who play a significant demonstrated ability’ caveat. It remains
handicap, taken from the best eight out amount of golf, there could be to be seen how much of an impact this
of the last 20 scores and factoring in significant variances. With the best eight calculation will have.

38
EIGHT OF LAST 20 World Handicap System

ROUNDS USED FOR


AVERAGE-BASED
CALCULATION
CONSIDERATION
OF ABNORMAL
COURSE AND WEATHER
CONDITIONS

The WHS will have a big


impact on UK club golfers

HANDICAP a low number. It will be a shame to lose Will people be selective with the bounce
REVISIONS this element of competitive golf.
A feature we’re yet to know the detail
scores they turn in if their objective is to
either raise or lower their handicap?
INFLUENCED BY on is the calculation to allow for With new handicap limits of 54, will
abnormal course and weather conditions. we see more competitions being won
CONDITIONS That’s a significant one in this country. with very low nett scores as improving
The calculation should be fairly players find good rounds at the right
straightforward in competition golf, with time? It will be possible for clubs to set
the scoring through the day giving clear handicap limits in competitions, but
indication of the conditions, as per the what happens when someone who has a
With only eight of the most recent 20 current CSS calculation. But how will it legitimate handicap of 50, calculated by
rounds counting, a bad round will not work in counting bounce rounds? If just the new WHS, complains they are being
necessarily mean a handicap increase. two of you are heading out and playing discriminated against? It could be a
The days of the threat of the dreaded 0.1 against handicap, what or who defines tough one for clubs.
rise are numbered. Is this good or bad? the impact of the conditions? Overall, the introduction of the new
On the positive side, it WHS is set to have a big
will significantly reduce “The system should certainly impact, and there will be
the number of depressed a good deal for clubs and
faces in the clubhouse be more representative of a club golfers to work out.
after the Saturday medal. The prospect of every
A bad round should be golfer’s current ability” amateur in world golf
just one of the 12 in the playing against the same
most recent 20 that won’t count. Policing counting bounce rounds criteria and being able to compete on an
However, will we see more players could be difficult. Will people have to equitable basis is an appealing one.
giving up in competitive rounds? If it’s announce a round as counting before There will be some teething issues to
clear after nine holes that a round is not they play? Presumably. But who notes consider in a country like the UK with
going to be one of the best eight, where this and what will the repercussions be if such a long-established competitive
is the incentive to keep battling? There that person then doesn’t turn in a card? golfing heritage, but once past these,
will be no scrapping to make the buffer There will also have to be careful the WHS will surely be a great thing for
zone – sometimes as rewarding as firing monitoring of handicap manipulation. growing golf globally.

39
Chris Wood

I was fairly down in the dumps last month after a string of disappointing performances, but
there were some encouraging signs out in the Middle East, particularly in Oman
was fairly negative about my game Sunday. My game held up pretty well One of the really encouraging things

I
in April’s column, and then I almost and I hit a lot of good shots. To be fair to recently has been my putting. In both
went and won in Oman the Joost Luiten, he won it. I only made one Oman and Qatar, I finished inside the
following week! That’s the nature of bogey on Sunday and that came from a top five in the putts per round and putts
this sport. It’s funny, you can be so drive that was only five yards off line, so per GIR category. This is the eighth
disappointed and frustrated with that sort of performance does give you a season I’ve been working with Phil
your game for 12 or 15 months boost of confidence and a belief you can Kenyon and my putting has been
because you’re not getting any results. go out and win. moving along really strongly for the last
Then you come so close to winning, There’s a guy I know who used to be 18 months or so. We’ve turned it from
finish second and you don’t focus on the on tour and grew up playing at my home probably a weakness to a strength of my
positives, you feel disappointed and course. He used to say that making cuts game, and it’s great to see the stats
pissed off. You’re never happy playing but finishing 50th every week really back that up too. That bodes well for
golf I think is the bottom line! grinds you down. So to feel like I can go when I start hitting more greens in
I was gutted I didn’t win in Oman, out and win golf tournaments again is a regulation, which is a traditional strength
because whenever you get a sniff, a refreshing feeling. of my game. You hear a lot of people
chance to win a tournament, you want The golf course was amazing, too. talking about focusing on the process on
to take it. That was disappointing, but Sometimes you don’t get the right tour, but results do an awful lot for you
overall it was good to hit some proper impression of a course when you watch as well!
shots again. It’s been a while, really, so it it on the TV, but everyone has said to me I know I’m a decent way back in the
was a bit of a relief to see some good what a great layout it looked, and it Ryder Cup standings, but the high-
form back. really was. Some of the players were profile Rolex Series events in the
When you’ve come off three missed saying they think it’s now the best summer can do a lot to change that. You
cuts to start the year, that’s never good. course we play out in the Middle East. I can win one and have a top-five in
But it went deeper than that because think the event will attract a stronger another and then all of a sudden you’ve
there was a lot of poor golf towards the field next year because of that. shot right up the rankings. I’m really
end of last year and I never felt I was After Oman, I went on to Qatar, where aiming to peak for those tournaments. I
close to my game for most of last I’ve done well before. I didn’t really play do feel like it’s a matter of time before I
season. When you have your winter that well and I feel like my game went a get back into the winners’ circle and I’m
break and you practise and then start bit backwards, but on paper it was a feeling more comfortable with my swing
poorly the following season, that’s really decent result, a tie for 13th. The field each week. Fingers crossed!
demoralising. So to turn it around pretty wasn’t the strongest and I was looking This is my last column for Golf
quickly after missing the cut in Dubai to really be contending again, but Monthly. I’ve enjoyed giving you a
was great. overall there have been some really window into the professional world and
Photography: Jon Humphries

I told you in my last column I’ve gone good signs over the last few weeks. I hopefully you’ve found them interesting
back to my old coach, Paul Mitchell, so feel like I’ve got my year started now, and insightful. Thanks for reading and all
it’s really nice to have enjoyed some really, and I’ve caught up to where I feel the best with everything.
success with him early on. I should be at this time of the season.
I know the Oman Open isn’t a Major I’ve now got a good base from which to Chris Wood has won three times on
Championship, but you still get the same push myself onwards and up the Race the European Tour. He is a Nike Golf
feelings when you’re in contention on a to Dubai rankings. athlete and a Hilton Ambassador.

“The Oman Open isn’t a Major Championship, but


you still get the same feelings when you’re in
contention. My game held up pretty well”
Wayne Riley

Tiger Woods has generated a tremendous amount of excitement over the last few weeks,
and rightly so. If he keeps going like this, Jack Nicklaus’s record could be under threat...
ell, the topic on though he missed the cut there, his I already think we’re at the point

W
everyone’s lips is Tiger swing was sensational. He’s keeping his where his name on the leaderboard
Woods and whether he’s height so well. He obviously no longer carries significant gravitas. The
back. Let me tell you this, has a coach after he parted ways with intimidation factor is 100 per cent back.
folks, the answer is Chris Como, but I’ve heard Notah Begay, It’s only been a couple of months, but
absolutely yes in my who went to college with Tiger, is the strides he’s made in such a short
book. How could it not be involved in some capacity. Whatever is space of time have been staggering.
yes? It’s been an incredible couple of going on, it’s clearly working. And you know what, I’m going to say it,
months. Let’s not forget that in He’s a 42-year-old man and at the Jack’s record is back on. I’m not making
September at the Presidents Cup, he still Valspar Championship he recorded the any guarantees – that would be very
didn’t know if he’d be able to play fastest clubhead speed on the PGA Tour foolish – but he’s only 42 and he needs
professional golf again. this season. His ball speed is also into four more Majors to tie the Golden Bear.
What’s been so impressive is the fact the 180-miles-per-hour range, which is Given how well he’s playing and the
that he’s only played five professional staggeringly fast. Many believed his progress he’s made, it’s definitely not
events since then. A lot of wise and intensive workout schedule helped bring out of the question, right? The fact I’m
knowledgeable analysts said before the about his physical downfall. It’s even writing that is quite amazing given
start of the season that an injury-free interesting to note now that it’s what he’s been through over the last
year, with a sniff of victory in perhaps undoubtedly helping him to be one of few years.
one tournament, would be considered a the longest hitters on tour again. Another player who looks poised to
genuine success. Well, he’s already What’s so encouraging is that he’s challenge Woods this season and
finished second and it seems clear that showed signs – not necessarily at the beyond is a resurgent Phil Mickelson.
his back isn’t affecting him. same time, but signs nonetheless – that He’s had four top-six finishes in a row,
He looks in amazing shape physically, every area of his game is sharp. At the including that brilliant victory in the
and I’ve watched him up close and Valspar Championship, his fairways-hit WGC-Mexico Championship, where he
personal thrash at balls from deep rough percentage was impressive after spells beat Justin Thomas in a play-off. And
with no signs of pain. I have to say, of inauspicious driving in his first couple the way he’s talking suggests he’s got
though, that I don’t like the way he’s of events this year. His iron play has more in the tank.
going at some shots – he simply doesn’t looked imperious at times and his short He’s seven wins short of 50 PGA Tour
need to do it and this would be my only game is genuinely world-class once titles and I’m not prepared to say he
note of caution. more. It wasn’t long ago that he was won’t get there. Wouldn’t it be amazing
In his previous comebacks, you always duffing chips left, right and centre – a if Phil finally landed the US Open in the
sensed he wasn’t completely mark of two things: talent never same year that Tiger announced his
comfortable swinging at full tilt and was disappears, it lies dormant; and hard return to the big time with his 15th Major
Photography: Kevin Murray

always conscious that one bad swing work can get you a long way. title? Okay, I’m getting carried away, but
could send him back to the operating I know his putting let him down in the can you blame me?
table. Spinal fusion surgery seems to last round at the Valspar – apart from
have allayed those fears and he’s that tramliner he holed on the 71st green ■ Wayne Riley is a former member of
swinging so well, not to mention with – but the stroke has looked very solid for the European Tour and two-time winner
incredible speed. I was at Riviera and the most part and he’s made a lot of who is part of the Sky Sports Golf Team.
keeping a close eye on him, and even putts from within ten feet. He writes exclusively for Golf Monthly

“The intimidation factor is 100 per cent back.


The strides he’s made in such a short space
of time have been staggering”
42
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Dan Walker

The term ‘success’ is a multi-faceted one when it comes to sport, and while you can enjoy a
terrific career without Major glory, golf’s big four events ultimately define a player’s legacy
hen it comes to sport Nobody thought Bubba Watson from There was great laughter when that

W
what counts as success? Bagdad, Florida, could ever get to ten was put on screen and Robbie – who
Do you have to be a serial wins. Let’s be honest. No lessons. Head took it well – received an almighty
winner? What about all case. Hooking the ball. Slicing the ball. hammering on social media. In his
the golfers who earn a Can’t putt. Somehow we’re here.” He has defence, he played for over a decade in
comfortable living but a point. the Premier League and one could easily
never have a tournament His argument is certainly helped by argue that his career was a huge success.
win to their name? Is that success? What the two Green Jackets. Some golfers Personally, when measuring success,
about the one-off, one-time, never-seen- can’t point at Major wins but can direct weight has to come into it. In golf, like
again-apart-from-an-exemption Major us towards career earnings. Lee tennis, the Majors carry so much more
winners who managed to have one Westwood has often been criticised for timber than the others. Tim Henman was
single weekend to remember? not picking up one of golf’s big ones, wonderful to watch but never reached
I was having a conversation about this but he’s earned more than £40,000,000. the final of a Grand Slam.
a few weeks ago when short-track Does that count as a successful career? A few years ago I interviewed a
speed skater Elise Christie was left in What about recognition? I live not too number of pro golfers about their
tears at the 2018 Winter Olympics. far away from Nick Matthew. You could sporting heroes and it was the name of
Christie is a multiple World and probably walk past Nick in the street Roger Federer that overwhelmingly
European Champion but has failed to and not look at him twice, but he is came out on top. Some of them
pick up a medal of any colour at various arguably one of the UK’s most successful mentioned his style of play, some the
Olympic Games despite being the sportsmen. Nick is a three-time squash fact he was always smiling and others
overwhelming favourite. I was reading a world champion and three-time his grace, but all of them mentioned the
newspaper the day after the games Commonwealth Gold Medallist. Does the fact he produces his best on the biggest
finished and the gist of the article was fact that he’s not a household name stage. Federer has 20 Grand Slam titles
that she was a failure. (largely because squash has been and shows little sign of stopping.
A few days before that I’d been strangely absent from the Olympics) There are many ways of judging
watching a tearful Christie weeping after detract from his achievements? success, and I’d argue that everyone I’ve
another disqualification. It wasn’t long Not everyone reaches the top of their mentioned above is successful. But if
before the British skater was sat in a sport. There was an infamous moment at you drill down into the likes of Jordan
press conference arguing that her legacy the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 when Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Dustin
wasn’t defined by her inability to win an Thierry Henry, Clarence Seedorf and Johnson and the rest of the world’s best,
Olympic medal. So, success of failure? Robbie Savage were all sharing a studio. they all know that once the irons have
Earlier this year I watched a Bubba At the start of the show their trophies been permanently left in the garage,
Watson press conference after he picked appeared on the screen. Henry: one Ligue they will be judged against the 18 Major
up his tenth PGA Tour win. He was asked 1, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups, titles of Jack Nicklaus and the 14 of Tiger
Photography Tom Miles

if a player of his obvious ability should two La Ligas, one Champions League, Woods. Golf is about the big ones.
have won more in his career? one European Championship and one
“You have to remember… my goal was World Cup. Seedorf: one Dutch Cup, one ■ You can see Dan on BBC Breakfast
very simple: make the PGA Tour. When Eredivisie, one La Liga, one Serie A, one Mon-Wed or every Saturday on Football
you get to the Tour, you want to win,” he Coppa Italia and four Champions Focus. You may also find him on a golf
said. “Double-digit wins? I am thrilled. Leagues. Savage: one League Cup. course... probably missing a four-footer

“I was reading a newspaper article the day after


the Winter Olympics finished and the gist of it
was that Elise Christie was a failure”
44
        


Lee Westwood

48
Lee Westwood

LEADING
FROM
THE
Lee Westwood has been at the
forefront of European golf for decades.
Here, he reflects on a brilliant career,
assesses his current form and looks
ahead to possible Ryder Cup captaincy

Words and interview Jeremy Ellwood | Portrait Paul Severn

ee John Westwood is now 44 or two minor blips apart, he’s never

L years old and has just embarked


on his 25th consecutive
European Tour campaign. His
very first event was the Madeira Island
Open in January 1994, where he
really looked back.
Indeed, over the past quarter of a
century, Worksop’s finest – one of
England’s most popular players – has
done very well indeed. He has won 23
finished T19th. He would go on to times in Europe, twice on the PGA
make 12 consecutive cuts after that, Tour and 42 times in total around the
setting an immediate benchmark for world, including four victories in Japan
the impressive consistency that would and a perhaps surprising nine
become the hallmark of his career. One elsewhere in Asia.

49
Lee Westwood

He has topped the Order of Merit What have you learned most from
twice, including the inaugural Race to your 25 years on tour?
Dubai in 2009, represented Europe on Well, you travel the world a lot, but you
ten successive Ryder Cup teams from don’t see a whole lot of it! Generally
1997 to 2016 and spent 22 weeks at the speaking you just see airports, hotels
top of the Official World Golf Ranking. and golf courses. That’s not to say it
The only thing missing from his isn’t a brilliant lifestyle. I’ve learned
impressive CV is, of course, a Major, over the years to use my intuition and
though he has come agonisingly close, not to be afraid to make decisions and
with three runner-up finishes – use my initiative.
perhaps most famously at Augusta in
2010, where he led heading into the Which quality of yours do you
final round, only for Phil Mickelson to think has been your biggest asset in
turn on some real Sunday magic.
I met up with him in Dubai to reflect
“I know that if all your years on tour?
I think my mental approach to it, and
on his career, to find out if he’s still as
driven as ever and to learn what he still
my game is on my work ethic really. I would say I was
probably one of the hardest workers
wants to do in the game… and I start until recently.

You’ve been on tour for 25 years making putts, I If you could keep just one from 42
– are you still as motivated as ever? pro wins, two Orders of Merit or
Yeah, I think so. As you get older you can still win any ten consecutive Ryder Cups, which
get different priorities and your body would you keep?
changes, so you can’t work as hard as week I play” The 42 wins I would think.
you once did. So you have to prioritise
your practice and work on different Which part of your game has You’ve won all over the world,
things – maybe work on your fitness improved most since your early including nine times in Asia. Is
and flexibility and things like that, days on tour, and is there any part there something that suits your
rather than stand on the range bashing that you feel was perhaps better game over there?
balls for hours on end like the 20-year- when you first came out than now? No, I’ve just always felt comfortable
olds! I work more on my putting and I think mentally when you’re younger over there playing on those greens and
short game now. there’s less going on in your head and have just embraced the culture and
you’ve been through less stuff. So I everything about it.
Have your goals for the year guess mentally I was stronger in my
changed as you’ve got older? 20s probably, but I don’t know as it’s How would you rate your chances
I haven’t set goals for ages, to be not something you ever really analyse! of making it 11 Ryder Cups?
honest. I’ve achieved a lot in my career. But you would think that you’ve had I don’t know. I’ll have to start hitting
Some years I’ve set goals and some fewer bad experiences and you just the ball a little bit better and playing a
years I haven’t, and I’ve never really have a different outlook on life in your bit better, but I know that if my game is
found it either beneficial or negative. 20s as opposed to your late 30s and on and I start making putts, I can still
early 40s, I suppose. But my short
What do you need to achieve to game is way better than it used to be.
make 2018 a good or great year? As I’ve got older, I’ve worked more on
I think just enjoying my golf more and my short game and learned the right
getting into contention more. I haven’t technique, and it’s better than it was,
played well and hit it so well the last certainly in my early 20s.
Photography: Getty Images

couple of years. If I can hit it better and


feel like I’ve got more control and can Did you have short-game lessons
do everything just a little bit better when you were younger?
technically, then I know that Yeah, but I couldn’t grasp it. That’s not
will improve my results so it to say it was bad, but I’ve just got a

5
will have been a good year. better variety of shots now.

MAJOR 3RD / 2008 US OPEN


The famous Tiger Woods/Rocco Mediate
play-off at Torrey Pines. He played with
T3RD / 2009 OPEN
A nearer miss, really, than his runner-
up finish in 2010. Westwood led or

MOMENTS
We look back on Westwood’s five
Tiger in the last group on Sunday, and
led outright after the 9th. But three
bogeys in the next four set him back,
co-led for much of Sunday, but three
bogeys in the final four holes, including
a three-putt on 18, left him one outside
closest brushes with Major destiny... and he was unable to join the play-off. the Tom Watson/Stewart Cink play-off.

50
He has played in ten
consecutive Ryder Cups

win any week I play. And that’s what Do you have a target year
qualifying for the Ryder Cup is all in mind?
about now – you have to win I’d like to do Italy in 2022.
tournaments. You have to be
consistently winning and finishing in What style of captain
the top three. would you be?
I’ve played under ten different
It’s obviously on your radar then. captains, so I’ve seen a lot of
Is making the Ryder Cup team the what the different captains
Westwood finished T2nd
main goal for this year? have done. I think the
at the 2016 Masters
No, not really. I’ve never thought captain’s role is just to get the
about qualifying for Ryder Cups. players in the right frame of
mind and comfortable, and just able to something. I’ve been lucky – I’ve played
But you’ve generally never had to, focus on their own thing for that week well and consistently well over the
have you? and take everything else out of it. It’s a years, and obviously in the early days I
Well, no. The Ryder Cup comes as a hectic week, and you want to put as was a lot more careful with money. But
consequence of playing good golf, so little mayhem on the players as as you accumulate it, you tend to just
why think about ‘Z’ when you’ve got possible – you want to try and take all buy something when you fancy it
to accomplish ‘X’ and ‘Y’ before that? of that off them, and then obviously [laughs]. I didn’t think, “Oh, I’ll buy a
So you think about ‘X’ and ‘Y’ and get your pairings right. Ferrari if I win a tournament.” I just
then ‘Z’ comes along. bought a Ferrari because I wanted one
What has been your most and I could afford it!
You are pretty much odds-on to be extravagant purchase after a win?
captain one day… I don’t know whether I’ve ever won a Which is perfectly reasonable…
I’d like to be, yeah. tournament and gone out and bought Exactly! Why limit yourself.

2ND / 2010 MASTERS 2ND / 2010 OPEN T2ND / 2016 MASTERS


He led Phil Mickelson by one on Saturday His second Major runner-up finish of the When Jordan Spieth went into meltdown,
night, and there was little between them year came in an Open where he trailed Danny Willett and Westwood sat best
on the final front nine. But Mickelson put runaway leader Louis Oosthuizen by placed to take advantage. Westwood
his foot down with four birdies – eight on Saturday night. He never got eagled 15 to get within one of Willett, but
including that shot from the pinestraw – closer than seven, but climbed into 2nd a two-shot swing in Willett’s favour on 16
and Westwood was unable to keep pace. place outright as others faltered. killed the momentum.

51
TPC Sawgrass

Words: Neil Tappin

Photography: Kevin Murray, Getty Images, PGA Tour

Taking
Centre Stage
We take an in-depth look at one of the
most significant courses in world golf

W hen it comes to golfing


history, we often think the
richest venues lie within
our borders. But the story
of TPC Sawgrass, from its inception to
its ever-expanding tournament history,
is a match for the most prestigious.
What was once a hostile expanse of
swampland is now one of the world’s
most iconic golf courses. This year, it
will host its 37th Players Championship.
Few courses can boast such an impact
on the world game.
52
TPC Sawgrass

The 14th hole on TPC


Sawgrass’ Stadium course

53
Like so many others, my own so ambitious he bet the commissioner expanded to surround it. During this
familiarity with the golf course was $100 it would never come to fruition. period of the construction, it was Dye’s
sewn during my teenage years in the Beman, however, was convinced of wife, Alice, who suggested an island
mid-90s. As an avid golfer and the its viability. After failing in his bid to green. She convinced her husband to
owner of a Super Nintendo console, purchase Sawgrass CC, he took an change his original plans and one of
there was one game that seemed to alternative approach. He negotiated a golf’s most famous holes was born.
wile away the hours more than any deal with two other local landowners,
other (and that’s saying something). Paul and Jerome Fletcher, to buy 415 The start of a new era
PGA Tour Golf gave me and many acres of nearby swampland for the In 1980, the Stadium course at TPC
other teenagers the chance to play princely sum of one dollar. Beman Sawgrass was opened and two years
some of the world’s most iconic promised to transform this seemingly later the Players Championship was
courses, albeit swapping golf clubs for unusable stretch into something truly staged at its new home. But as
joypads. Regardless, it was the spectacular, bringing an injection of America’s best set foot on their new
risk-reward layout at TPC Sawgrass – business into the area too. In January course, response was mixed at best.
and, of course, the iconic 17th hole 1979, the land was purchased and Pete Criticism of the layout came from a
– that captured an easily distracted Dye was hired to lay down the course. number of top players, including Jack
imagination. Nicklaus and Ben
Twenty years ago, I The 17th at Sawgrass: one of
Crenshaw, who
came to know this golf’s most famous holes described it as
layout like the back “Star Wars golf
of my hand. designed by Darth
Since those days, Vader”. Jerry Pate
TPC Sawgrass has was the first
featured near the Sawgrass winner
top of my own list and he celebrated
of must-play golf by throwing both
courses. Earlier this Beman and Dye
year, I had the into the lake to the
chance to play it left of the 18th
for the first time. green. But Dye
took the criticism
An eventful past seriously and
One thing the soon tweaked the
computer games design, making
don’t tell you is the the greens a little
incredible story of the inception of less severe. “Now it’s a damn good golf
TPC Sawgrass. Shortly after arriving “He negotiated a course,” admitted Crenshaw.
at the clubhouse, I was given a tour by Since those early days, the
one of the on-site ‘storytellers’. I deal to buy 415 conversations about the merits of the
discovered TPC Sawgrass is golf course have become redundant.
inextricably linked to the second
acres of nearby All you need to do is cast your eye over
commissioner of the PGA Tour,
Deane Beman. With so many private
swampland for the list of past winners. During the last
three decades, 20 players have reached
golf courses on the Tour’s annual
playing schedule, Beman wanted to
the princely sum the position of World No.1 and nine of
them have won The Players at
buy a property that would be owned of one dollar” Sawgrass. In Jordan Spieth, Rory
by the players themselves, with a golf McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, there are
course befitting the Tour’s flagship Beman’s vision was for a stadium three more waiting in the wings.
event. The venue in question would golf course – a layout designed with Having received my tour of the
also need to host the Tour’s growing spectators very much in mind. The clubhouse and the newly built
staff count, becoming the problem was that the entire plot only state-of-the-art performance facility, it
headquarters of the PGA Tour. had 18 inches of natural elevation was my turn, alongside Golf Monthly’s
With its favourable climate and tax above the waterline, so the course Michael Harris and Joel Tadman and
laws, Florida was the obvious choice. would need the mounding built in. As photographer Kevin Murray, to put
The player turned commissioner certain areas were excavated to create those boyhood dreams into reality and
originally wanted to buy Sawgrass lakes and provide soil for mounding, play the golf course...
Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach. the course began to take shape.
The owners, a local real estate and The sandiest subsoil was found in an Time to shine
development company, didn’t want to area being dug in front of the proposed Neatly manicured, plenty of water, not
sell, however. In fact, the chairman, 17th green. What was supposed to be much rough, fast greens – in many
Charles Cobb, felt Beman’s vision was a space for a lake in front was soon ways Sawgrass is the epitome of

54
Presidents Cup This is currently on display
in a room named after the event

The barber’s chair In 1979, when the Players


was held at Sawgrass Country Club, strong winds
reeked havoc and scoring was tough. If a player had
a double-digit store on a hole, he was allowed to sit
here and share his horror story for therapeutic means

Tiger’s putt There are numerous artworks in the


clubhouse depicting the most famous
moments in the tournament’s history

The cheque The $1 dollar cheque that


Beman wrote to pay for the land is
proudly on display in the clubhouse

First mulligan To commemorate


the start of construction, Beman
Champions locker room If you win the Players hit two balls into the wooded
Championship, you get your own locker in a room abyss. Both balls were recovered
that is only open to past champions and are on show

55
GM’s Neil Tappin Tiger won the first of
in action his Players titles in ‘01

Floridian golf. However, there were a A terrific trio


few features that marked out Sawgrass The first 15 holes at Sawgrass
as something slightly special. Firstly, no are excellent in their own
two holes run in exactly the same right. Interesting, varied and
direction. This was done at the outset exciting, they are a worthy precursor to For me, there was something quite
to ensure players would consistently the final three-hole stretch. Like the Old surreal about this experience. Those
find themselves having to pick the Course at St Andrews, these holes are distant memories of hours spent in
wind. With so many tall trees in the back of your mind throughout front of my computer came flooding
surrounding the holes, it swirls the round. As you walk up towards the back. The teenage me was itching to
around, so approaching each shot with 16th fairway, you get your first sight of take it on. As I walked down onto the
confidence is easier said than done. the 17th green. Wow. It is hidden from 17th tee, our caddie said, “Ok, here it is
Secondly, to shoot a low score here the rest of the golf course, which only guys, you have 125 yards.” Simple. As a
you really need to be able to shape the adds to the excitement when it is 5-hadicapper, I’d like to think I have the
ball both ways. There are plenty of suddenly unveiled. ability to hit the green from this
examples of doglegs that run right and yardage more often than not. And yet,
left. With the inevitable wind also
playing its part, hitting draws and
“Those distant in this instance, the difficulty lay in
picking the wind.
fades on demand is a must. Finally, the
greens are noticeably firmer than you
memories of With water surrounding the green, I
found myself instantly second- and
typically find in this part of the world. hours spent in third-guessing myself. You don’t want
Every time you play onto them you to be long, but you don’t want to be
need to be precise, both with your front of my short; you want to hit the middle of the
landing spot and the spin. For the four green, but it is fast and slopey, so you
members of team Golf Monthly, this computer came don’t want to be too far from the flag.
meant regularly missing the green with The negative thoughts were stacking
chip shots. Oh dear. flooding back” up. For what it’s worth, my ball pitched
I realise that all of this on the very left flank of the
makes it sound as if green and then spun left
Sawgrass is incredibly and into the water. Plop.
difficult. Well, it is and it
isn’t. To shoot a good score A visceral experience
– whatever that may be for I must admit that as I
you – you certainly need to walked off the 17th green, I
bring your A game. was disappointed. It was all
However, apart from in the over so quickly – I wanted
water, it is hard to lose golf another go. Thankfully, I
balls here. This means that soon arrived on the 18th
even if you’re struggling, tee, staring at a tee shot
there is plenty to play for as that’s simultaneously
you attempt to negotiate intimidating and inviting. I
the final three holes. Performance Centre This state-of-the-art facility was recently opened could imagine the crowds

56
A worthy celebration:
Jerry Pate after his
Making
victory in 1982
history
The key moments from the Players
Championship at TPC Sawgrass...

1982 Jerry Pate


Won the first Players Championship
at TPC Sawgrass by two shots from
Brad Bryant and Scott Simpson.

1987 Sandy Lyle


Became the first non-American to
triumph at The Players. The Scot
beat Jeff Sluman in a play-off.

1999 David Duval


flanking the left side of this hole, and hit every shot in the book, but to win Usurped Tiger Woods as World No.1
with water separating the fans from the the Players Championship you need the by winning the Players by two shots
fairway, I could feel the pressure of X Factor – that intangible thing that from Scott Gump. He picked up a
trying to make a score to win the separates the very best from the rest. cheque for $900,000.
tournament. In many ways, this is the The great thing about golf is that it
real appeal of playing TPC Sawgrass. gives amateurs the chance to feel it for 2001 Tiger Woods
Beman’s vision of creating an exciting themselves, and that was certainly my His first Players Championship
Stadium course and Dye’s skill in experience. By taking on these shots victory. He had won the three
bringing it to life not only creates a and picturing the crowds, you get an previous Majors and went on to win
fantastic spectator event, but it has indelible sense for what it must be like The Masters two weeks later. His
given way to a truly visceral golfing to compete here for real. Exciting and birdie on the 17th in round three is
experience for those lucky enough to daunting for any golfer, playing TPC one of the stand-out moments in
play it. However you fare during this Sawgrass is a bucket-list experience. the tournament’s history.
three-hole stretch, your golf game is
suddenly comparable to the world’s Q Sky Sports is the home of golf. Tune in 2003 Davis Love III
best. No other sport allows you to for live coverage of the Players Blew away the field to win his
make such a direct assessment and Championship between Thursday 10th and second Players Championship by six
whatever the result, it is exhilarating. Sunday 13th May. See www.skysports.com/ shots. His final-round 64 in strong
The course as a whole, but watch/golf-on-sky winds was described by Fred
particularly the final three holes, are as Couples as the “best round of golf
much a test of nerve as they are of skill. Q To watch the featured groups at the I’ve ever seen”.
This is why the roster of past Players Championship this year, subscribe to
champions is so impressive. To make it PGA Tour Live now. Visit www.pgatourlive. 2008 Sergio Garcia
onto the PGA Tour you need the skill to com/subscription Beat Paul Goydos in a play-off to
win his first PGA Tour title in three
years. He took home the $1.7m
first prize.

2013 Tiger Woods


Secured his fourth win of 2013 and
the 78th of his PGA Tour career with
a two-shot victory over Jeff
Maggert, Kevin Streelman and
David Lingmerth.

2015 Rickie Fowler


Trailed by five shots with six holes
left. He finished eagle-birdie-birdie
to force a play-off with Kevin Kisner
and Sergio Garcia, which he won.

One of the finest


closing holes in golf

57
TH
O M E W I R YA N F OX
AT H

"HITTING 300-YARD
DRIVES MEANS NOTHING
IF YOU CAN'T SCORE!"
Interview: Neil Tappin | Portraits: Tom Miles

Ryan Fox, the big-hitting Kiwi, discusses stepping


out of the shadow of his legendary father...

T iming, as they say, is everything.


Last year, Ryan Fox played his best
golf during three of the most
important weeks of the year. As
other players wilted under the
pressure of better-quality fields
and bigger potential pay cheques, Fox
rose to the challenge. Starting at Paris
National and finishing at Dundonald in
Scotland, the New Zealander recorded
three consecutive Rolex Series top tens,
pocketing a not-too-shabby €680,000.
Tour in 2016, he has progressed to
become one of the game’s rising stars.
The fact he was able to elevate his
level of performance at just the right
moment hints at a sporting mentality
of the legendary All Black, Grant Fox.
His father was a pioneering fly-half – a
goal-kicker of supreme precision who
played a critical role in his country’s
success at the inaugural rugby union
World Cup. As sporting pedigrees go,
it doesn’t get much better than this.
Neil Tappin caught up with Ryan at
his adopted home club of Foxhills in
Surrey where they talked about his
unique upbringing, his spectacular
2017 season and what it feels like to
Having graduated from the Challenge that runs in the family. Ryan is the son average 317 yards off the tee...

58
Ryan Fox

59
Ryan Fox

At what point did you think you What was it like growing up as the
were capable of competing on the
“You can save a son of one of the great sportsmen
European Tour?
I’m a bit of a golf nerd – I watched a lot
lot more shots in the country? It must have been
far from an average upbringing.
of golf on TV growing up and all of a
sudden I was competing with the guys
around the It’s a weird one because it was normal.
He was just dad to me. Obviously I’m
I watched. It took a bit of time to get
used to. The point for me was the
green than you very proud of what he achieved, but it
felt fairly normal for me. I was lucky
middle of the year and the Rolex Series can by smashing enough when dad was coaching to be
events in France, Ireland and Scotland able to go in after the game and talk to
where I played really well. I started to it off the tee” the players. I used to go kick a ball
feel like I could compete with those around Eden Park, and I was lucky
guys in quality fields. With three top enough as a golfer to sit down with
tens in a row, I felt like I had a chance Blacks. I grew up watching rugby, being Steve Hansen and talk about the
to win one of those tournaments if I’d involved in rugby from a young age mental side of sport. Same with
have played really well on Sunday. and playing all the way through school. Graham Henry and John Kirwan.
Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm and Dad coached me all the way. That’s just because of who dad is and
Rafa played unbelievably on Sunday to it’s great to have access to those kinds
win those tournaments. That’s what What position did you play? of people.
you’ve got to do, but it didn’t feel like I didn’t have a choice really. I had to
that was a step too far. It felt like I play fly-half, or first five-eighth, which You were officially the longest
needed a great day and they don’t come is what we call it in New Zealand. I player on the European Tour in
very often, but there was a chance. was always put there but I wouldn’t 2017. Does that create a certain
say I was up to dad’s level! I was a cachet among the players?
You won nearly €700,000 in three goal-kicker as well, which didn’t help It’s cool, but hitting 300-yard drives
weeks. That must have felt nice? very much. The only thing I can say means nothing if you can't score! I
Yes, that was a strange one. I think my that I was better than dad at was guess what it does mean is that,
biggest pay cheque up to that point tackling. I was a little big bigger than because of the way it is measured, I
he was and I didn’t mind must have hit a lot of decent tee shots
Relaxing at his getting whacked! last year.
adopted home
in Surrey

was $60,000. All of a sudden I made


three six-figure sums in three weeks,
locked up my card and got into The
Open while also getting enough world
ranking points to get into the USPGA
Championship – it came quickly, but it
was a great feeling to know I had a job
set up for next year. It makes it easier
to plan a schedule, to start getting
comfortable and to start competing
against those top guys.

What do you remember about your


Photography: Getty Images

father’s rugby career?


He was a very good player. I was six
when he retired so I don’t remember
much, but I’ve heard a lot and seen a lot
of his old games and at one point he Fox’s biggest pay cheque to date
was the highest point scorer for the All came at last year’s Irish Open

60
Ryan Fox

N U M BE R S G A M
THE
even though it doesn’t look like it with
E that pause in his swing, Jason Day, Rory,
Justin Rose is long. It’s definitely a trend.

His hot streak led


to qualification for
the 2017 USPGA
31 Do you see yourself on the PGA
Tour in the future?
My dream when I started playing golf
was to play in the US, but I’d never
Years old
Do you take different lines off the played in Europe at that point. After a
tee to other players? Are you able couple of years on the Challenge Tour
to be more aggressive? and one on the European Tour, I don’t
Yes, there have definitely been a few
golf courses with trouble I can take out
of play. The DP World Tour
Championship in Dubai is a perfect
6th know if the goal has changed but I’ve
really enjoyed playing in Europe. If the
opportunity to play in the States
comes up, I will certainly take that
example: there were a lot of holes Season as a professional golfer chance but I’m not going to chase it.
where there was a bunker at 300 yards The European Tour is going up and up
to carry, and being nice and warm the with the Rolex Series.
ball goes far and I could take a lot of
those bunkers out of play.
It’s great hitting it far, but then if you
hit it far you can also hit it a long way
106th If I have a career in Europe and I
don’t get to play in the States, I won’t
look back with any regrets. Obviously
the fields are maybe a little stronger
off line. I’ve certainly had a couple of Current world ranking week-in, week-out on the PGA Tour,
tournaments when it’s gone the other but the European Tour is getting better
way and bitten me in the arse pretty at getting those top players to come

3rd
badly too! It’s a skill, but you can save a and play more events.
lot more shots around the green than
you can by smashing it off the tee. A lot
of the top-ten guys at the moment are
long. DJ obviously, Matsuyama is long
Highest European Tour finish
(2018 Maybank Championship)

351 Hard act to follow: his


dad, Grant, on the bag
Yards – his longest drive of the
2018 season so far You have a lot of great courses in
New Zealand. How do our top

4 courses in the UK compare?


It’s quite different. Obviously you’ve
got the history in the UK which we
don’t have in New Zealand and that
Professional wins adds a lot. Turning up to St Andrews
or Carnoustie or Birkdale, they have
been around so long and there is so

39th
much tournament history – there’s
something special about them.
We don’t have that in New Zealand,
but what we do have is some absolutely
Finishing position at spectacular golf courses. Cape
the 2016 Olympics Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs are two
that come to mind right on the top of
the cliffs. We’ve got a new one, too,

71 called Tara Iti, which has just debuted


in the top 30 in the world. It was
designed by Tom Doak and it’s much
more a links style, which is a lot closer
2017 greens in regulation percentage to some of the iconic courses over here.

61
Words: Neil Tappin | Illustration: David Lyttleton

1. Mother Nature
She can be a cruel mistress. As you reach the top of your
backswing, a rare atmospheric event occurs – a phantom
gust of wind or the sun comes out or a squirrel bites into a
nut or the air temperature dips or a rogue rain drop drips
onto your bald patch. Put me down for a blob.

2. Spike marks
It is amazing how the spectre of one tiny spike mark can
transform the green in your mind’s eye into something
akin to a World War I battlefield. The likelihood of your
ball evading this crater is zero. Cue a heavy period of
gesticulation and a spell of bad-mouthing the green-staff.

62
On-Course Excuses

4. Your playing partner


A golfer in the address position is like a sniper waiting for
his moment. Cue Janet asking if you’d like a Murray Mint
while you’re at the top of your backswing. “Come on,
Janet. Have some respect… Yes, I will have a mint.”

3. Mud ball
The dimples on your ball have been carefully engineered to
offer the truest of flights. What no one needs is a lump of
sod attached to one side of it. Unless Winter Rules come to
your aid, you need to strike it in the blind hope of success.
Failure, in this instance, comes with a perfect excuse.

6. Slipping
The golf swing is one of the most athletic moves the human
body can make – fact. Balancing the demand for speed,
control and stability, it’s a wonder we ever make contact. A
slip is nothing short of a tragedy. Yes, it may not have been
perceptible to the naked eye, but you felt your left foot slide
and you may as well have fallen over in your downswing.

5. Other golfers
As we have already mentioned, golfers are in a constant
state of hyper-awareness. If you are standing in the wrong
position or you move while a fellow competitor is
preparing to play, you can expect a volley of four-lettered
abuse. And rightly so.

63
Bel Wardle

Ca

64
Bel Wardle

Dreamin’ Words Michael Weston | Photography Daniel Gould

Bel Wardle has enjoyed considerable success


in the junior ranks. Now she’s preparing to head to
America in a bid to boost her professional dream

I
t’s a cold winter’s day
when we speak, and
rather like the famous song,
Bel Wardle is California
Dreamin’. This is to say the
teenager is longing for the
warmth of Los Angeles, the only
difference being it’s not a cold New
York she’s looking to escape, but
Alderley Edge, Cheshire, where she’s
made quite a name for herself at
Prestbury Golf Club during her seven
years playing the game.
That dream is about to become a
reality, too, with a place at the
University of California, Los Angeles,
already secured for September. It
comes as a result of some fine
performances representing both
England Girls and England Women,
and she heads to the Golden State with
some lofty ambitions. “I want to play
on the LPGA Tour, 100 per cent,” she
says, emphatically, before adding with
a grin: “Then World No.1 and a Major
win. You may as well set the bar high.”
Wardle could easily have followed a
different path, although sport was
always on the agenda. “I wanted to play
tennis professionally, then I found golf
and thought, ‘Maybe I’ll give this a go’. I
found it really fun. It was the fact that I
could play on my own. With tennis
you need someone to hit it back and
dad wasn’t always willing to do that.”
What dad, Paul, did do, however, was
take her to Prestbury on the outskirts
of Macclesfield for a junior coaching
session run by PGA teaching

65
Bel Wardle

professional, Mark Pilling. That first eight-hole competitions to 18-holers.


taste of golf would prove to be a pivotal At that point it was all about getting
moment for Wardle and her father, my handicap down,” she says.
who would soon be adopting the role Down it came. It’s largely irrelevant
of taxi driver cum mentor. Along with now – +4.2 for the record – but back
a group of eight or so other girls, then it was very much the yardstick for
Wardle was off and running. measuring her rapid improvement.
“I played my first England Girls
A competitive mindset competition at Tiverton GC. I’d never
“I used to come up every Saturday. I been to a national tournament and
loved beating everyone. I was one of there were all these leaderboards and
those ones!” she jokes. “It was so people watching and you were
competitive, which is what I love, so I announced on the tee. It was quite
just kept coming.” However, the intimidating. I played well that week
18-year-old does recall one unsavoury and thought to myself, ‘Yeah, I want to
incident when, as a junior, she was win these sorts of tournaments, this is
escorted from the putting green at one what I want to do’. There was a
club for practising at a time when play-off and I watched all of it. That
ladies were not permitted to do so. spurred me on,” she reveals.
Whatever frustrations or
resentments she had, or still has, in “Anyone who’s done anything in
that regard, she has managed to turn it
into a positive. Without that thick skin women’s golf has played the
and the fun environment created by
Pilling, she may not be where she is Curtis Cup. I’d love to play in it”
today. A year later, she was
representing her county, an experience In 2017, Wardle tasted victory at the through nine and thinking, ‘God, I’m
she remembers with great fondness. It English Women’s Open Amateur going into the harder nine and the
would all lead to England selection. Stroke Play Championship and English wind’s battering me, what am I going
“I remember my first Cheshire Girls Open. Then, at the start of the to do?’ But I just kept to my game plan
competition, the Cheshire year, she recorded a huge win at the and holed everything inside five feet. I
Championship, when I was about 13. Portuguese Ladies Amateur. just hit fairways and greens. I wasn’t
I was off last with the worst handicap Understandably, she’s still on cloud going pin hunting. I plotted my way
out there. I worked my way up from nine, not least because she defeated a round and it was enough to win. It
strong field on one of the doesn’t matter what win I get, they all
Bel plays off a most demanding new seem as important to me.”
handicap of +4.2 courses in Europe, West
Cliffs in Portugal. The American dream
“It was brutal,” she When the conversation is steered
reflects. “You had some of towards her imminent move across the
the top 100 players in the pond, the excitement in her voice
world playing and no one cranks up a notch. Her story should be
could shoot under par. I’m shared to encourage any budding
a member at Royal young sportsperson in their quest to
Liverpool and played there reach the top of their sport, because it’s
ahead of the event to get one of hard work and persistence
used to certain shots, alongside her coach, Richard Green,
which worked out well.” and England coach Steve Robinson.
Wardle came from five Eventually, those efforts opened doors.
shots off the lead to beat In January 2017 she made a decision
fellow England player that will play a huge role in deciding
Annabell Fuller on the first whether she makes it as a professional.
extra hole. Her assessment “I went through an agency because I
of her performance speaks had no idea how to go about going to
volumes about her psyche university in America,” recalls Wardle.
– a young head on old “I had a good performance at the British
shoulders, you might say. Girls two years ago and I think that got
“You could have made a big the attention of the coaches.” It must
number on any hole,” she have done, because not long afterwards
continues. “I was five-over she was visiting two universities in

66
Bel Wardle

North Carolina, before a trip to An exciting future emulate. “Georgia Hall is definitely a
California, where she toured Stanford, Those A-Level results will come in the player I look up to. She won the Ladies
Berkeley and UCLA. By the final stop, summer. In April, however, there will European Tour Order of Merit last year
she knew where her future lay. be another nerve-racking wait to and earned her LPGA Tour card, too.
“When I walked around the UCLA discovering whether she’s done Well done to her,” she says.
campus it felt so good,” says Wardle. enough to earn a place in the Curtis On leaving Prestbury’s clubhouse,
“Out there you get treated like a Cup, which takes place at Quaker Wardle is approached about
professional, with your own strength Ridge, New York, in June. It’s on her representing the club in a fourball
and conditioning coaches and physios. radar. “Just look at the players who during its 100-year anniversary
When I met the coaches, Carrie and have played in it,” she says. “You’ve got celebrations in 2020. A couple of
Alicia, it was a no-brainer. They were your Lexi Thompsons, Paula Creamers, high-profile names are mentioned.
lovely and it just felt so right. They Charley Hulls. Anyone who’s done Who knows, she might just be the
have a lot of players go out on tour. anything in women’s golf has played biggest name of the four come then.
Bronte Law went to UCLA and has the the Curtis Cup. I would absolutely love “It’s weird now that I’m only a couple
same coach as me so I’m looking up to to play in it.” of months away from going to live in
her. The weather was another big You wouldn’t bet against it. Nor California,” she says. “It’s out of this
factor. I visited Chicago but minus 20 would it be a surprise to see her world.” There’s that song again…
degrees is not for me, thank you!” graduate from UCLA and find a home
Talking of degrees, Wardle is aiming on the LPGA Tour, although she’s not
to complete a geography major. Before about to put any unnecessary pressure
that, it’s A-Levels, and she admits to
finding it difficult to strike the right
on herself. “I can’t put anything in
stone and say right, in four years I’m
Bel on...
balance between her studies and golf. going to go and play on the LPGA. THE WOMEN’S GAME
“I want to go and play golf all the time. That’s the ultimate aim, but I don’t I watch the golf pretty much
It’s one of those things. I know I’ve got know what’s going to happen.” every week, but the men get so
to do my work. School allows me time Aside from Justin Rose, a player she much coverage it does seem
off for my golf so I do get a lot of admires above anyone else in the unfair. I’m looking at Bronte Law,
training done during the day, but professional game, there is one golfer who’s playing in America on the
you’ve still got to do the work.” whose achievements she’d be happy to LPGA, and she’s doing really well
and it’s not on television. Why
not? It’s on the Golf Channel but
you can’t view it here. I find it
really frustrating because the
women play as well as the men
without the rewards. Then, you
look at the FedExCup. The prize
money is ridiculous. I’d like to see
it fed back into the game as a
whole. The women’s game could
certainly do with it. It seems to
be swept under the carpet
somehow. No one is really
tackling it and saying ‘Right, this
needs to change’.

DRESS CODES AND


ENCOURAGING JUNIORS
I was lucky to discover the junior
coaching sessions at Prestbury
and found golf fun. There are still
a lot of clubs that are stuffy. I
think dress codes needs to be
relaxed. I went to play in Sweden
recently and there were 20 or 30
juniors on the first practice day
who were in jeans. They were just
having fun. I’d never seen
anything like it.
In January, Bel won the
Portuguese Ladies Amateur

67
BATTLING
Words: Fergus Bisset | Photography: Getty Images

Some of the country’s best-known courses are facing


immediate or future threat from the forces of nature

C
limate change affects us all When Storm Eleanor hit the to constant change.” They have no
and has an impact on south-western coasts of England this intention of acting to save this land.
multiple aspects of life. In January, it claimed some 50 feet of land “We can move the holes at
January and February this from behind the 8th tee at RND. Tidal considerable cost, but we would of
year, two stories emerged flooding left rocks and debris strewn course like to remain on the historic
that demonstrated the battle across the course. The 7th and 8th layout we have here,” said RND general
Britain’s golf courses are holes are now under imminent threat manager Mark Evans. “We’d be
facing, and could face, with the from further high tides. Worryingly, devastated to lose the holes, but we can
elements owing to climate change. there are currently no plans to prevent fight neither climate change nor
Firstly, there was news that the ingress of the Atlantic. government policy. It’s frustrating that
England’s oldest golf course, Royal RND is set on a site of specific there seems to be no desire at the
North Devon (RND), had lost a section scientific interest on the Northam higher levels to save this land.” The
of land behind the 8th tee and that Burrows outside Westward Ho! and situation at RND is distressing for all
much more was under threat. Then the land is controlled by Natural golf lovers, but it is by no means the
came a Climate Coalition report that England. In a statement on the recent only club and course that has faced, or
suggested RND could be the tip of the erosion, Natural England said: “The is facing, a battle against nature.
iceberg. The report stated that “only a dunes and shingle ridge are naturally On the north-east coast of Scotland,
small increase in sea-level rise would dynamic coastal features and subject Montrose Links has been under
imperil all of the world’s links courses
before the end of the century.” Many of “If sea levels continue to rise then
Britain’s most revered and renowned
tracks could be lost. our beloved links could go under”
68
Battling The Elements

Royal North Devon’s 8th-hole tee


marker washed up on the beach

significant threat from coastal erosion 12th green at Aberdovey; East Devon
and there is a fear that if it continues, Golf Club has also taken preventative
the town itself could be at risk. The measures to move holes. At Brancaster
links, upon which golf has been played in Norfolk in 2014, huge tidal flooding
for 450 years, has already lost high tees caused £1.2 million worth of damage.
for the 3rd hole, the 2nd has been The Climate Coalition report makes
re-routed and rock armour has been for worrying reading. The suggestion is And then there’s the risk from
installed to protect the 1st green and that if sea levels continue to rise then swollen rivers. As 2015 turned to ‘16,
2nd tees. But the feeling is that our beloved links courses could go Storm Frank caused the River Dee in
significant further action is required. under. This would not only be Aberdeenshire to burst its banks. The
“If Montrose does not receive devastating for domestic golfers, it golf courses at Ballater, Peterculter,
government funding to protect the would also be a blow for tourism and Deeside and the Paul Lawrie Golf
dunes, it would be a big, big problem,” the British economy. Centre were completely inundated.
said Chris Curnin, speaking on behalf The threat of flooding isn’t always The very fact we now have names for
of Montrose Golf Links Limited. “We from the sea. When Storm Aileen hit in these regular storm surges suggests our
would have to move the course inland. September 2017, flooding caused by battle with a changing climate is
That would cost millions and would water running down off the hills sent intensifying. Throw in global trends
mean losing a slice of golfing history.” huge landslides surging down across like rising sea levels and it’s clear the
And there are others: Sheringham the links at Cullen on the Moray Firth. next decades could be very challenging
Golf Club in Norfolk has had to move It was only through internet crowd for the golf courses that form part of
greens in response to cliff falls over the funding that the club was able to repair Britain’s cultural history. Battening
years; in 2014, storms took part of the its Old Tom Morris-designed track. down the hatches may not be enough.

69
  
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Tr a n s f o r m y o u r g a m e Edited by Neil Tappin

Andy Sullivan with Jeremy Ellwood

My best tips and drills


for everything from the
routine splash to the
plugged lie
unker shots can fill

B club golfers with


dread, and one of the
key problems is that
they haven’t worked out how to
get the club entering the sand
consistently in the same place. The
best players on tour consistently
enter the sand at the same point,
whether they are playing the high
shot, the low one or whatever.
Many club golfers also believe
you have to open everything up,
then cut across the ball, but I think
that’s such a misconception
because if you’re cutting across it,
you’ll be hitting the ball out of the
toe most of the time. The ball’s
not going to go forward then, it’s
just going to glance off to the
right. It’s probably a result of
watching Seve over the years, but
without being rude, he was a bit
more talented than most handicap
golfers! So open the face, yes, but
Photography: Paul Severn

I would much rather you then


went straight back and through.
Here, I’ll show you how to
achieve greater consistency and
offer some tips to help with the
trickier lies you may encounter…

71
1 BALL
PO S I T I O N
or me, it’s always on

F the left heel because


it generally helps you
to pop the ball up
more easily when it’s forward in
your stance, and the ball will land
more softly too. Anything in the
middle or towards the back will
come out lower and with more
forward drive, which is usually not
what you want in a greenside
bunker. If I did want to drive it
forward more, I’d move the ball Position the ball
back just a fraction, but it here to pop it
wouldn’t be in the middle – it up more easily
would be a very subtle change.

2 C O N S I S TE N T P O I N T
O F E N TR Y
hen I’m practising, I’ll

W draw a line in the


sand with my club
and try to hit that line,
so my entry point is consistent.
That guarantees the strike and
you can then hit it low, play it
high or whatever.
Start with the
strike, and you can
then vary your shots
from there. The key ...and try to hit
part to being a good it every time
bunker player is to
take a similar
amount of sand
every time, and this
line exercise will
help you to
consistently find that Draw a line
ideal strike point. in the sand...
If you then want
to hit one high, you
need to get your hands lower and
get lower down to the ball, as that
creates a steeper angle of attack
and more loft. But do that through
set-up rather than changes to your
swing as it becomes more
technical then than it needs to be.

72
BUNKER MASTERCLASS

3 U P S LO P E S A N D
DO W N S LO P E S
he problem most

T amateurs have is that


they don’t use the
slope correctly. To
succeed on upslopes and
downslopes you’ve got to mirror
the slope in your stance, rather
than ‘fight’ it. On an upslope, as in
the main photo here, you must
not lean into the slope because all Mirror the slope
your weight will be on your lead with your set-up
side and you’ll be too steep into
the ball. Striking it well becomes
much more difficult.
The key is to mirror the slope
with your set-up, and then after
that, keep everything the same as
on a flat lie. It’s all about using the
angle of the slope. The opposite,
of course, applies on downslopes.
You’re almost trying to keep the
angle of your spine at right angles
to the slope you’re on.

4 ABOVE
A N D B E LO W
T HE F E E T
f the ball is above me,

I I’d go down the grip a


little so it almost feels
the same at address as
it would on a flat lie. Conversely, if
the ball is below me, I’d just go up
the grip. Your posture will change a
little as a result. You’ll be more
upright with the ball above you,
and more angled over with it below
you, but everything else should
remain the same – ball off the left
heel and then hitting that line at
impact. Remember that if the ball
is above you, generally it’s going to
come out a little to the left so you’ll
need to aim the clubface a bit
more to the right at address, and Above feet Below feet
vice versa when it’s below you.

73
T H E P LU G G E D
5 L IE
t’s the one we all

I dread, and I’ve seen


many suggestions for
how best to tackle it. I
quite like playing normal bunker
shots with an open face, but with
Don’t open
the plugged lie I’ll square the face
the clubface
up and then almost feel like I’m
leaving the club in the sand at
impact, with virtually no follow
through. I’ve found that the ball
just pops straight out then. Of
course, you know it’s going to
release much more and you’re
never going to get spin out of a
plugged lie, so if you’ve short-
sided yourself, you’re just going to
have to accept a longer putt.
Sometimes when it’s plugged,
people tend to decelerate a little,
but if you think about leaving the
club in the sand at impact, you’re
putting all your emphasis on
getting the ball out. The way I
practise it is by almost trying to
recoil at impact – you get the club
in there in the sand and are then
almost trying to pull it out
instantly, so all the momentum is
where it needs to be. I try to have virtually
no follow through

ANDY SULLIVAN
WHAT’S IN
THE BAG?
Driver Ping G400 LST
3-wood Ping G400 14.5˚
5-wood Ping G400 17.5˚
4- and 5-irons Ping i200
6-iron to PW Ping S55
Wedges Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth
50˚, 54˚ and 60˚
Putter Ping PLD Anser
Ball Titleist Pro V1
BUNKER MASTERCLASS

6 FA I R WAY
BUNKER
SHOTS I want to feel like my
head is rising a little

gain, I think there’s a

A big misconception
about fairway bunker
shots, as many golfers
will put the ball back in their
stance to try and guarantee the
strike. But most of the time you’ve
got some kind of lip to go over,
and if you do that it’s only going
to come out lower. You might
guarantee the strike, but you are
making the shot more difficult.
The first thing I do is go down
the grip a little, which again helps
with the strike. Then, I almost want
to feel like my head is rising a little
so I’m gaining height just a fraction,
as that makes me feel as though I
can clip it a bit more at impact.
Many golfers lose a bit of height on
the downswing with a tendency to
hit it a little fat, and from a fairway
bunker that’s bad news as even a
little too much sand will rob you of
distance. So go down the grip, gain
a bit of height and clip it away.
Going down the grip will cost
you some distance too, so it’s wise
to club up. You’re also more likely
to swing a little smoother, which
again helps with the strike.

Go down the grip to


help with the strike

75
FA U L T F IX E R Many amateurs
get stuck as they
come down...

WEDGE
STRIKES
A few key set-up and
swing changes could ...or try to help
the ball up with
make all the difference hands and wrists
to your wedge play and
distance control
Perils of a wide stance

1
When it comes to your
wedges, the majority of
misses are typically fats
and thins. One of the main
reasons is often too wide a Too wide a stance can
stance, with golfers retaining their cause inconsistencies
normal full-swing stance width all
the way down to their wedges.
They move away from the ball on
to the trail side, but then one of
three things happen: they get
stuck there coming down and
strike the ground first; they try to
move back to the lead side, but
don’t do it enough and still strike
the ground first; or they try to
help the ball up with the hands
and wrists and top the ball.

The correct stance

2
For good wedge play, you
need good foundations.
That starts with a fairly
TOP
narrow stance – perhaps
12 inches between the
heels – as this will help to
promote a little lower-body
25
COACH
rotation. Then, to encourage a
downward hit, but not too Pay close attention
steeply downwards, keep a to your foundations
fraction more weight and 12INS
pressure (around 60 per cent)
on the lead side throughout (the
left leg for a right-hander). If you
Ged Walters
do this at address, your hands PGA Teaching
should naturally move just Professional,
fractionally ahead of the ball, True Fit Golf
which again promotes that Centre,
downward strike, but not too Warrington
much. This should aid the 60%
consistency of your strikes.

76
WEDGE STRIKES

CH ECKLIS T
Take your stance with
roughly 12ins between
your heels

Keep 60% of your


weight and pressure
on your lead foot

Hinge your wrists a


little earlier than with
a longer club

WANT TO Earlier wrist hinge

3
SEE MORE? The next variation from
your full swing is to
introduce a slightly earlier
wrist hinge, perhaps
about halfway through
your takeaway, as in this photo
here. The most critical thing now
For more help is where the club impacts the
with wedge ground – it needs to be at the
strikes, visit lowest point of the swing, right
golf-monthly. underneath the golf ball at the
co.uk/videos point where grass and ball meet.
Hinge your wrists about
halfway through If you can get the club to bottom
your takeaway out there, the quality of the strike
will be enhanced.

Use the bounce

4
To help on this front, you
need to use the bounce.
Because the ground is our
friend and we’re not
Keep the body rotating going to come in too
through impact steeply, the sole of the club and
the bounce are going to do a lot
of the work for you at impact.
There’s a two- to three-inch
2-3INS area at, and just after, the
ball, where you want the
club to be coming in at a
shallow angle and pinching
the ground so the low
point is right under the ball.
As long as you then keep the
body rotating through impact,
as in this photo, you’re going to
hit really good wedge shots. If
you do get it right at impact, the
ball will have a lot more spin on it,
so you’ll be able to control your
wedge distances better, too.
Photography: Kevin Murray

Shot on location at Ashdown


West Golf Course, East Sussex

77
S C ORIN G Z O N E
P I T C H IN G
P R AC T ICE
These great drills will
really improve your strike,
trajectory and distance
control when pitching

The right knee


Watch the right knee moves too much

1
When I’m coaching the towards the ball
short game, a common
problem I see in a lot of
golfers is a destructive
lower-half move that really
kills their pitching technique. The
right knee moves too much
towards the ball in the
downswing, throwing the hand
path out and making them ‘fish’
for the ball. From here, it’s very
difficult to control the low point
of the golf swing and find a
decent strike.

Crossed-feet drill

2
This will help
This simple drill will really
help. Cross your feet
closely together at set-up.
stabilise your
lower half TOP
This stabilises the lower
half and makes you
concentrate far more on using your
upper half in your
25
COACH
action. You’re
working on
stability here,
WANT TO
so don’t worry SEE MORE?
about distance
– perhaps a
20-30 yard
Alistair Davies
pitch. This PGA
should help Professional,
prevent your Marriott Forest
lower half from For more help of Arden
being a with your
destructive pitching, visit
element. golf-monthly.
co.uk/videos

78
PITCHING PRACTICE

CH ECKLIS T
Practise with crossed
feet to stabilise your
lower half

Keep hands in the


same place but vary
ball position for
different trajectories

Try my ‘body part’


swing-length system

Trajectory control

3
This drill will help you vary
trajectory with the same
club. Set up five balls – the
middle ball is for your
standard trajectory, the
ball furthest back a lower shot and
the ball furthest forward a higher
shot. Set up with your hands
opposite your navel and move the
Use this set up for a clubhead back and forth along the
lower trajectory... ...and this set up for a five-ball matrix to vary trajectory.
higher trajectory The back ball should be just inside
your right heel and the forward ball
opposite your front foot. Draw the
balls forward, then try to hit them
the same distance with four or five
different trajectories. Jordan Spieth
uses similar drills to this.

‘Body part’ system

4
My favourite distance-
control drill is the ‘body
part’ system. This gauges
where the left hand goes in
relation to the body. For
example, left hand to hip both back
and through gives you one
Shoulder to yardage. You can then add in rib,
shoulder chest and shoulder, and perhaps
thigh and knee for shorter shots.
Hip You can create further variations
to hip simply by changing wedge, by
going up or down the grip or
perhaps even by varying swing
tempo. Importantly, it’s where you
feel your swing gets to that counts
as you have to be able to repeat
this out on the course – don’t worry
if you’re one or two inches out!
Photography: Tom Miles

Shot on location at Silvermere


Golf Complex, Surrey

79
S T RATE G Y
FA I L- S A F E
CH I P P I N G
Four tips to help improve
your short-game strikes
Back to basics

1
For many golfers, finding a
consistently clean contact
on short, delicate chip shots
feels almost impossible. If
you fall into this
category, try adopting
a putting technique.
Use a less lofted
club (an 8-iron is
ideal) and employ
your putting grip.
Stand as if you are
holding your putter
– closer to the ball
and with a narrower
stance. Now make a smooth,
simple putting stroke. This will
help ‘deaden’ the strike, allowing
you to be more confident with the Use a less lofted club
stroke. The ball should pop up into with your putting
the air before rolling out towards grip and stance
the hole like a putt.

Tempo tip

2
In my experience, the one This tempo will offer the
thing golfers who struggle gentle acceleration required
with their chipping have in
common is speed. In
particular, they rush back
TOP
to the ball from the top of the
backswing. Often this is due to the
anxiety that comes from thinking
too much about the
25
COACH
technicalities. Adopting a
less complicated putting
method will certainly help.
WANT TO
At address, lighten your SEE MORE?
grip and feel the tension
evaporating from your
fingers. In practice, hit
John Jacobs
shots saying ‘one and’ to Head
the top of the backswing professional,
and ‘two’ through the O Cumberwell
For more N E
downswing. This will give A N D Park GC,
you the feel for the sort of chipping tips, T W Wiltshire
visit golf- O
acceleration you should
be looking for. monthly.co.uk

80
FAIL-SAFE CHIPPING

CH ECKLIS T
Try a less lofted club
while adopting a
putting technique

Avoid using a long


backswing where your
wrists hinge excessively

Use a hybrid but be


aware the ball will
spring off the face

Killer move

3
These two photographs
on the left illustrate the
A long backswing
difference between a
means hinging
Firm wrists lead more complicated,
the wrists
to greater control higher-tariff chipping
technique and the simpler, more
reliable option you should try.
Avoid a long backswing in which
your wrists hinge excessively. This
creates speed that you then need
to be able to control on the way
down – if you have been
struggling with your short game,
it is very possible that it is this
element that’s hurting you.
Instead, with your putter grip,
keep your wrists firm and the
backswing a little shorter than
usual. This will give you a much
more controllable speed, which
will lead to a significantly more
consistent outcome.

Hybrid option

4
Do not forget that your
hybrid is a great chipping
option. The technique is
the same – adopt your
putter grip and stance and
let the momentum for the stroke
come from the rocking of your
shoulders. It does take some
getting used to – the sweetspot of
the hybrid is hotter than an iron
and the ball does spring off the
face. Spend time developing your
The ball will spring
feel while keeping the technique
off the face more
as simple as possible. This shot
could really help on the course.
Photography: Kevin Murray

Shot on location at Las Colinas


Golf & Country Club, Spain

81
10 BEST
TIPS

THOMAS PIETERS
In the first of a new series, Belgium’s young superstar-in-waiting offers
his top tips to address some of the club golfer’s most common battles

1
Beating a slice stance] you’ve got a lot of time
Turn the clubface in a little bit. to let the club hit the ball.
Don’t be afraid to do that.

7
Then just make a normal Greenside bunker shots
swing, and if you match the In practice, I draw a box
path and the swing direction, the around the ball, about four
ball is going to start right and inches before it and four
you’ll hit a nice little draw. inches after it, and just try to
Swinging it easy always helps, too. hit that box, instead of trying to
My miss would be a slice or a focus on just behind the ball, or
slight shot to the right, and if I just two inches behind it. I then
calm down my tempo, make sure you because a shank is close to a Pieters is one of imagine that box out on the
my club gets in the right positions perfect shot, so they say, so you Europe’s most course. Make sure you hit sand
and don’t get ahead of myself, were almost there! talented golfers first and make it roll like a putt.
that fixes everything.

5 8
Holing out from three feet Better ball-striking

2
Reading greens I would say look at the back Again, turn the clubface in a
I take a point roughly two of the cup and just hit that little bit. I would do this in a
feet in front of the hole point. You won’t be too waste bunker, for example,
where I think the ball needs focused on the break or the because it ensures that you
to roll over to have a chance, speed – just focus on a tiny spot. get the ball first.
and just focus on that point and

6 9
where the ball is going to enter Increasing power More spin with wedges
the hole. It’s called the ‘quiet eye’ Ball position is the big one, It’s about solid contact, the
so it’s more intuition-based. I think. I see a lot of ball-striking and the ball
amateurs who have the ball flight. Again, I turn the

3
Match play in the middle or almost clubface in just a little bit. It
Never give up. I know it back in the stance with the scares you at first, but it will work
sounds cheesy, but I love driver. You have no time or space and the ball will start on a straight
match play because it’s very then to get to the ball, whereas if line more often.
personal. You can’t give you put it up the front [of your

10
holes away – you lose a hole as How to practise
Photography: Paul Severn, Getty Images

well as giving your opponent Structure is key. Make


energy and positive vibes. If WHAT’S IN THE BAG? sure you’ve got plenty
somebody wins a hole that’s fine, of drills, so you don’t
but don’t give them away. Driver: Callaway XR Wedges: Callaway Mack just stand there beating
16 (9°) Daddy 4 (48°, 52°, 56° balls without a purpose. I’ve

4
Next shot after a shank 3-wood: Callaway XR and 58°) learned that in the last couple of
It’s been a while for me, but 16 (15°) Putter: Odyssey Toulon years. I used to hit balls for hours,
it’s a case of ‘the next one Irons: Callaway Apex 16 Design San Diego and now I do less practice, but it’s
will be better’. You have to (3-4 iron); Callaway Apex Golf ball: Callaway more purposeful and structured. It
shut it out. Don’t let it get to Pro 16 (5-9 iron) Chrome Soft helps me a lot.

82
10 BEST TIPS

83
S W I NG S E Q U E N C E AN ALYS I S B Y B ARN E Y PUTTI CK

TH OMA S D E T R Y His swing is


fairly compact

The butt of the club


sits away from the
body at address

WANT TO
SEE MORE?
his talented Belgian Mechanically this swing is very I particularly like the way the
had a great amateur sound – a good-looking butt of the club sits away from the
T career and played in
the same Junior Ryder
movement with exemplary angles
at address. The top of his spine is a
body at address. Detry is 6ft 2in
and it’s easy for taller golfers to
Cup as Jordan Spieth and Justin lot straighter than in some of the have their hands too close to the
Thomas, so may well follow older guard like Nicklaus, who body at address, which can have a
countrymen Nicolas Colsaerts and were seemingly more hunched at For numerous major impact on where the club
Thomas Pieters into the full squad the top. But I think that is just tour pro swing goes in the backswing. This set-up
one day. His handicap was plus-6 physicality. They are now doing so videos, visit position, with the hands a little
when he turned pro! much core work and are a lot fitter. golf-monthly. way from the thighs, is one to
co.uk/videos

84
THOMAS DETRY

THOMAS
DETRY *
THE STATS
70.69
Stroke average
72%
Greens in regulation
292.8
Driving distance (yards)
182
Official World Golf Ranking
*European Tour

A beautiful extension
down the line

The hands slot in nicely


on the way down

TOP
25
COACH

emulate – worth practising in front with quite a few younger guys momentum. A number of players
of the mirror! At impact, I know with an iron – Jon Rahm, for do this. After impact, the right
the hips are clearing, but that gap example. But it’s a measured arm and shaft extend beautifully
Photography: Harry O’Reilly

Barney
remains virtually the same. backswing, with the hands then down the line.
Puttick
There’s good width on the slotting in nicely on the way down This is pretty close to technical
Head
takeaway, and watching his swing and the hips rotating well to give perfection, and he appears to professional,
on video, I love his nice, unhurried him a good angle of attack. have good nerve, too, as he Mid Herts
rhythm. The shoulders pivot over There is a little bit of a drop in enjoyed much success in US Golf Club,
a stable base going back, and his head height at impact, but I collegiate golf. He could be one to Hertfordshire
swing is relatively compact, as it is believe that’s just down to really watch out for this year.

85
HE LP!
I NE E D TO C H I P
IT C LO S E R
Reader Graham Allshorn
has lost patience with
his poor chipping. Could
our Top 25 Coach help
stop the rot?
GM coach Andrew
getting to grips with
Graham’s chipping

TOP
25
COACH

s we all know, wanting all too often. He has got professional whose roster includes

A chipping is often the


bridge between a
good and bad round,
his handicap down to 12, but feels
his poor chipping is now holding
him back from going lower.
elite county players.
A few weeks later the pair met
on the large short-game area at
with many pars and nett birdies Looking to banish his thins and The London Club, where Andrew
relying on our ability to get the perhaps even create some spin, he went to work to see if he could Andrew Jones
ball up and down. applied to take part in one of our rebuild Graham’s swing and give Andrew
For GM reader Graham Allshorn, reader lessons with GM Top 25 him the short-game consistency JonesGolf.com
these opportunities are left Coach Andrew Jones, a golf he has been seeking.

86
READER LESSONS

GRAHAM ALLSHORN | HANDICAP: 12 | HOME CLUB: GREAT YARMOUTH AND CAISTER GOLF CLUB

FAULT: I’M ALWAYS THINNING MY CHIP SHOTS


THE PROBLEM: I really suffer with inconsistent chipping around the greens and it
seems that the closer to the pin I get, the worse I become

Graham’s original A straighter left


grip and elbow arm helped create a
position gave him shallower and more
little space to swing repeatable swing arc

Andrew’s left arm extended to shallow out


assessment his angle of attack. Initially he
Initially when I mastered the backswing, but his
looked at Graham’s muscle memory was making him
action his divots continue to rise up at impact.
were quite deep, which suggested Once he got the hang of
strike issues. His posture was a bit extending through impact, he
low over the ball, too, and his started to hit some really nice Andrew working
elbows were splayed out. It meant shots. With a more solid technique on eliminating
that when he delivered his club to rely on, we could then discuss Graham’s sway
back to the ball at impact and his in which situations he should use
arms straightened, he had to dig the various chipping clubs. This
into the ground. He was also included how to read different
Words: Andrew Jones with Jake O’Reilly Photography: Chris Catchpole

gripping at the butt end of the types of lie and look for the best
club, which meant he physically landing spots, which will all help
couldn’t get the club and his arms his chipping improve.
in the gap between his body and
the floor, which enhanced the Graham’s feedback
Try different
digging strike. To try and counter Coming into the session I was a
clubs to learn
this, he’d often try to rise out of bit confused about how to chip how they react
his posture through impact, properly, so I loved the way
leading to thin shots. In short, Andrew simplified my swing. He
there were far too many moving got my base nice and stable as I’m
WANT TO
parts in Graham’s swing. liable to the odd sway, and that
SEE MORE?
certainly helped me. He also
Andrew’s remedy explained that my shoulders
I tried to simplify should always be parallel to the
Graham’s technique slope I’m chipping off, which
by getting him to made a massive difference to my Practise from the
choke down the grip strikes from some tricky lies lies you’ll face
and concentrate on keeping his Andrew tested me from. For a video of
this lesson, visit on the course
golf-monthly.
co.uk/videos 87
Enhance your knowledge Words by Shona McRae

Rory gets a helping

MOVABLE OBSTRUCTIONS hand in Abu Dhabi

n the Abu Dhabi would have had if the sign had not Diamond, and the referee, McIlroy
been there. managed to lift the sign from its
I HSBC Championship
in January, Rory
McIlroy and his
Obstructions are anything
artificial. On the golf course,
stanchion and out of the way of
his shot.
caddie teamed up to move an common examples would include In removing a movable
advertising hoarding affecting artificial roads and paths, rakes, obstruction, if the ball moves as a
McIlroy’s next shot. Shona McRae, rain shelters, benches, waste bins, result, there is no penalty and the
R&A assistant director – Rules, directional signs and so on. Movable ball must be replaced – Rule 24-1a.
explains the Rules governing any An obstruction on the course is Obstruction The movement of the ball must be
such movable obstruction out on classed as a movable obstruction Essentials: directly attributable to the
the golf course. if it may be moved without ■ Movable movement of the obstruction for
obstructions are
McIlroy had to roll up his sleeves unreasonable effort, without there to be no penalty.
artificial objects
and help out to be able to unduly delaying play and without While the obstruction must be
Photography: Getty Images, Kenny Smith

■ They may be
complete his play of the 10th hole causing any damage. readily movable without
moved without
during the first round at the recent Although the advertising sign in unreasonable unreasonable effort, it is also
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy’s way was fixed into the effort perfectly acceptable to receive
His ball had come to rest just ground, it was certainly movable ■ You cannot assistance in moving an
behind one of the advertising without unreasonable effort, so he delay play or obstruction out of the way.
signs at the edge of the fairway. was therefore entitled to move it cause damage McIlroy was fortunate to have the
With the sign blocking his route to to allow him a clear path to reach ■ No penalty if help of his caddie and the referee
the green, McIlroy was keen to get the green. the ball moves and the three of them were able
it moved or to take relief from the With a little bit of effort and when moving the to easily move it, allowing him to
sign to allow him the shot he with the help of his caddie, Harry obstruction play on unimpeded.

88
ENHANCE YOUR KNOWLEDGE

YOUR QUER I ES R ES OLV E D


A couple of weeks ago,
The liner must be sunk at least the holes at our place had
one inch below the surface
plastic inserts placed
above the normal cup liners to
give a similar look to what we see
on the TV when the holes are
painted. They are brilliant and
really help with long putts, but
surely they are only okay in
non-competition rounds? To me,
they shouldn’t be there for
competition rounds as the hole
becomes non-conforming to the
Rules of Golf, so medals and
Stablefords couldn’t be qualifiers.
Could you confirm for me please?
upsidedown, GM website forum

Plastic trims or cup


collars, when used in
conjunction with a hole
liner, are considered to be part of
the hole liner. As a result, they
must comply with the definition of
a ‘hole’. Both the liner and plastic
trim must be sunk at least one inch
below the surface. Often plastic
trims are used on practice putting
greens and are not sunk one inch
below the surface to help protect
the green. This, of course, is fine
on a practice green. However,
during a competition, this would
not conform to the Rules.
Shona McRae
R&A assistant director – Rules

Players A and B are


playing together in an
individual Stableford
competition. Player B chips the ball
on to the green and it hits player
A’s putter, which for some reason
he has left lying on the putting
surface. What would be the
outcome from a Rules perspective
when a ball is stopped or deflected
by a fellow competitor’s club?
vikingman, GM website forum
R&A
Stableford is a form of
stroke play, therefore
WINNERS
Each month, the
Rule 19-4 applies (Ball in
readers whose
Motion Deflected or Stopped by
queries are
Fellow Competitor, Caddie or featured will
Equipment). Since Player A is an receive a copy of
outside agency to Player B, there The R&A’s latest
is no penalty to either player, Golf Rules
provided the club was left there Illustrated
accidentally. Player B must play publication, plus
the ball as it lies. Is there a penalty to a sleeve of three
Shona McRae either player here? R&A logo Titleist
R&A assistant director – Rules Pro V1 golf balls

89
R ULES EVE R Y G OL F ER S H O U LD KN O W
Advice and indicating line of play line or on an extension to the line (Decision 8-1/6). Nor is it a breach
– Rule 8 beyond the hole while you play of Rule 8 to ask an opponent or
ost golfers probably your shot. Similarly, you can’t place fellow competitor what club they
your bag, club or anything else
M know that while it is
fine to ask for or
receive advice from
anywhere to indicate the line while
you play your shot – the object
just hit into a green, as long as you
have also played your approach
(Decision 8-1/7).
your playing partner, including must be removed before you make Occasionally it will be a matter
suggestions on how to play a shot the stroke. The only exception is of context as to whether or not a
or the likely break on a putt, the that you may always have the breach has occurred. If, for
Rules prohibit such interaction flagstick held up to indicate the example, you say, “I should have hit
between fellow competitors in a position of the hole (Rule 17-1). The a 5-iron,” within earshot of a fellow
stroke play event or between penalty for any breach of Rule 8 is competitor or opponent, there is
opponents in a match. loss of hole in match play or two no breach if it’s just a throwaway
On the green you can have the strokes in stroke play. comment. But if you have directed
line of putt indicated by your As for advice, perhaps the most it at an opponent or fellow
caddie, your partner or their common question is whether or competitor to assist or mislead
caddie, as long as the line of putt not you can ask for a yardage them, then that is a breach.
is not touched (Rule 16-1a) and from a fellow competitor or Finally, what about suggesting
nothing is placed anywhere to opponent. The answer is yes, as to an opponent or fellow
indicate the line. distances are considered public competitor that he declares his ball
Other than on the putting green information rather than advice. unplayable? Well, that would be
you can have anyone indicate the Contrary to what some think, deemed advice rather than
line of play before you make a asking what club someone used on information on the Rules as it could
stroke – perhaps when hitting over a previous hole is not considered It is fine to ask for influence how he then chooses to
a blind crest. But that person must advice, even if you’re about to play advice from your proceed, and you would be liable
not remain on the line, close to the a hole or shot of similar length playing partner to a penalty (Decision 8-1/16).

90
ENHANCE YOUR KNOWLEDGE

T EST YOUR K N O WL ED G E
In stroke play, while waiting to play his stroke from In match play, Jezz decides to try putting from a stance
1 the sand, Fergus casually leans on his club. What is
the ruling?
2 astride the line of putt. He makes the stroke purposely
with his feet either side of the line. What is the ruling?

A. There is no penalty. A. Jezz incurs a two-stroke penalty.


B. Fergus incurs a one-stroke penalty. B. Jezz loses the hole.
C. Fergus incurs a two-stroke penalty. C. Jezz is disqualified from the match.

In stroke play, Fergus’ ball lies just off the putting In stroke play, a spectator runs onto the fairway, picks
3 green. He repairs a pitch mark that is lying just on the
putting green on his line of play. What is the ruling?
4 up Jezz’s ball and runs off. Jezz sees this happen but is
unsure of what to do. What is the ruling?

Photography: Kenny Smith, shot on location at Archerfield Golf Links, East Lothian

A. There is no penalty. A. There is no penalty and Jezz must replace a ball.


B. Fergus incurs a two-stroke penalty. B. Jezz incurs a one-stroke penalty and must replace a ball.
C. Fergus is disqualified. C. Jezz must chase after the ball and retrieve it to proceed.

In association with the


QUIZ ANSWERS
1. C – Fergus incurs a two-stroke penalty. Fergus was in breach of Rule 13-4b for touching the ground in the bunker with his club before
making a stroke. The Exceptions to Rule 13-4 do not apply. 2. B – Jezz loses the hole. The player must not make a stroke on the putting
green from a stance astride the line of putt or an extension of that line behind the ball. There is no penalty if it is inadvertent (e.g. to avoid
standing on someone else’s line). 3. A – There is no penalty. The player may repair damage caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not
the player’s ball lies on the putting green. 4. A – There is no penalty and Jezz must replace a ball. There is no penalty if a ball at rest is
moved by an outside agency. The ball must be replaced. If the ball is not immediately recoverable, another ball may be used.

91
Te s t e d b y r e a l g o l f e r s Edited by Joel Tadman

The larger head volume An increase in head volume


gives the G400 Max a
up to the 460cc limit
bigger footprint at address,
which many golfers will prefer.
results in more
The turbulators also appear forgiveness on off-
larger and the face is lighter centre hits
in colour too, making it
easier to align.

Interestingly, the G400 Max


driver has a louder, more
hollow sound than the
standard G400, but it does
feel more stable on
off-centre hits.
89
£3

his driver is aimed at The G400 Max driver features


golfers who need the same technologies found in We noticed a
T maximum forgiveness
to find more fairways.
the other G400 drivers, including
the weight-saving Dragonfly
straighter flight

crown, the tungsten back weight


Key technology for maximum forgiveness, a fast
By bolstering clubhead size to forged titanium face and an
460cc, Ping has made the G400 internal rib structure to improve
Max the most forgiving driver in both sound and feel.
the G400 family, thanks to a
higher MOI (resistance to How we tested
twisting) than the standard We hit the Ping G400 Max on our
model. This should mean that GC2 launch monitor and out on
off-centre hits fly straighter and the course to evaluate its
suffer less distance loss relative performance compared to the
to strikes from the sweetspot. standard G400 driver.

92
TESTED BY GOLF MONTHLY

UP AGAINST
"FROM THE FOUR MODELS IN THE RANGE, THE
G400 MAX IS NOW THE ONE THAT DELIVERS
THE BEST BLEND OF DISTANCE AND ACCURACY"
Joel Tadman, technical editor

69
£4
CALLAWAY ROGUE
Higher MOI than the GBB Epic
increases forgiveness, while
redesigned Jailbreak bars
create more ball speed.

69
£3
TAYLORMADE M4
Twist Face is designed to
improve performance on
mishits, while a heavier fixed
back weight aids forgiveness.

29
£3
COBRA KING F8
A CNC-milled face provides
faster, more uniform
performance.

Our launch monitor data


showed that the G400 Max
delivered a touch more spin
than the standard G400, but

VERDICT
the launch, trajectory, carry
distance and ball speeds
were all similar.
The G400 Max unquestionably
provides added forgiveness and
accuracy over the standard G400
driver, without any reduction in
clubhead speed or distance. This
applies to all swing speeds, but
those who use a wider area of
WANT TO the face to strike the ball will
see the most benefit. Out on
SEE MORE? the course, the flight was
noticeably straighter than the
standard G400 and it looks
and feels easier to hit too.
The sound is much louder,
which is where the G400 has
an advantage, but many will
G400 Max (right) To watch our wonder why the 460cc
has a bigger profile G400 Max version wasn’t the original.
driver test, visit
golf-monthly.
co.uk/reviews 93
CALLA AY
ACK DADDY
9
£13
Levels of spin on a
variety of greenside shots
were exceptional. Even from
iffy lies and bunkers, the
ball noticeably checked
up on the second
bounce.

Micro-grooves Slightly rounded in


provide 84 different shape and with a subtle
contact points with curve to the leading edge,
the ball at impact but generally very
pleasing on the eye. The
darker finish will
reduce glare.
he MD4 wedges are

T aimed at golfers
looking to be custom
fitted for their wedges
VE DI T
You’ll struggle to find a wedge
also creates a lower flight on full
shots that is easier to control.
to get the optimum loft, bounce that spins more than the Mack The grind options are another
and grind for their games. Daddy 4. This trait will help asset – the wide-soled, high-
nervy chippers be more bounce W-Grind is surprisingly
Key technology committed to their shots, playable and provides more
Groove-in-Groove technology it should make getting margin for error, especially from
comprises three raised micro- up-and-down from bunkers, while the C-Grind
ridges along the length of the tough situations an provides the versatility skilled
hitting area. Between these ridges easier task and players look for. The X-Grind is a
are micro-grooves that help grab useful addition, allowing you to
the ball’s cover to increase spin. The flight across slide the club under the ball with
An extra ‘Nip-It’ groove near the all the lofts was an open face without it digging
leading edge enhances spin on fairly consistent into the turf.
short and/or slightly thin shots. A They feel soft and stable and
system of four weight ports the flight across the lofts was
allows the head’s CG to be pretty consistent. With so many
positioned progressively upward loft, bounce and grind options
as loft increases for a soft, solid available, a custom fitting is a
feel on every shot. must to ensure you get the best
wedges for your game. But once
How we tested you go through that process,
We took a variety of loft and you’ll be giving yourself the best
grind options out on the course chance to save important shots
during a full round. around the green.

94
TESTED BY GOLF MONTHLY

TITLEIST
he Titleist Velocity is

T aimed at golfers who


prioritise distance
over short-game
control and soft feel.

VEL CITY Velocity now comes


in visi-white with
orange sidestamp
Key technology
The new Titleist Velocity for 2018
has been re-engineered with a
softer, high-speed LSX core and

BALL
and double play
Titleist’s fastest cover blend to
numbers 00, 22, 77
deliver low spin and fast ball
and 99, as well as
6

speed off the tee. Advanced


£2
ZEN
DO

pink and orange


PER

aerodynamics stem from a


spherically-tiled 328 tetrahedral
dimple design, which produces
long carries and a higher flight to
stop the ball into greens.

How we tested
We hit the Velocity on our GC2
As expected, Velocity doesn’t launch monitor and on the golf
offer the same control around course to see how it compared
the green as Tour Soft or to others in the Titleist family.
Pro V1, but it still flies high
on full wedge shots to
aid stopping power.
Velocity was the
longest Titleist
ball off the tee

Our data showed that


Velocity is the longest Titleist
VE DICT
Velocity is for the golfer who
ball off the tee, thanks to a wants to be the longest off the
high launch and low spin. tee in his or her fourball. Its
With irons, it performs low-spin design will
similarly to Tour Soft unquestionably help you find
and Pro V1.
more distance, and while it may
limit control around the greens,
you just need to make some
landing-area adjustments. If you
hit the ball high, or play a lot of
chip and runs around the green,
you shouldn’t notice too
much difference compared
with a premium offering.
Into greens, the Velocity
spun enough and flew
high enough to provide
ample stopping power
for the average player.
While Pro V1 and Tour
Soft offer more feel
and control, Velocity is
an excellent distance-
focused offering and the
new colours and numbers
only add to the appeal.

95
UNDER AR UR

0
£16
There is noticeably more
padding around the ankle
and under the tongue, making
it feel instantly soft and
comfortable out of the box.
The breathability is
impressive, too.

The snug heel section and


unique outsole elements
create a solid base from which
to swing, by providing
his is designed to
effective grip and a solid

T offer grip, waterproof


protection and tour-
proven performance.
connection with the
ground.

Key technology
A new breathable Gore-Tex
upper guarantees to keep water
out. A section with TPU fibres
reduces weight while adding The Spieth 2
support and comfort. Rotational shoe is around
Resistance cleats help lock the 57 grams lighter
foot in place and maintain than the Spieth 1
connection with the ground in
every direction during the swing.
performance golf shoe that locks
How we tested the foot in place and prevents
We wore a pair for multiple excessive movement or rotation
rounds in different conditions. very effectively. The styling is still
eye-catching but is now neutral
enough to suit a wider variety of

VERDICT
We really liked the Spieth 1, but it The Spieth 2
gave us good
It is noticeably lighter but still
soft-feeling under foot. In fact,
the extra flexibility of the outsole
tastes, although the fabric section
at the back may be more difficult
to keep clean. The grip is
felt a touch heavy and the styling makes it more comfortable as a exceptional and the soft leather
grip, comfort
was on the busy side. Both these walking shoe, and also helps you gives the feeling of a premium
and support
areas have improved considerably feel more connected to the golf shoe. There’s a huge amount
with the Spieth 2. ground. This is a structured, of value here.

96
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69
£3
he M4 driver offers

T similar performance
to the M3 on drives
struck from the
middle, but doesn’t allow you to
fine-tune spin and shot shape.

Key technology
Twist Face improves distance
and accuracy on mishits, while a
Hammerhead slot increases ball
speed. A heavier fixed back
weight than on M2 creates a
ten-per-cent-higher MOI.
The Geocoustic construction
has been refined, offering a
larger profile and improved
sound and feel.

How we tested
We hit the M4 driver on our
GC2 launch monitor in our fitted
spec and put it in play on the
course over a number of rounds.

We loved the
The M4 also comes in forgiveness
a draw-biased D-Type of M4
option for golfers who
struggle with a slice

VERDICT
The M4’s biggest strengths are its
forgiveness and simplicity. The
clubhead alone is compatible
with a variety of swing speeds
and strike patterns, thanks to the
high launch and low spin.
Through shaft and loft
adjustment, the majority of
golfers will be able to come close
to maximising their performance
with it. The stability across the
face was excellent and we
regularly found the fairway from
The silver matte finish heel and toe strikes, helped by
We didn’t see any real increase adds a touch of class to the easy alignment. It feels
in distance from M4 over M2. It what is a confidence-inspiring
incredibly powerful from the
did spin slightly lower and driver. The large footprint and
prominent face angle make middle, and for those not wanting
seemed to create a straighter
ball flight on mishits, but it you feel like a long, to benefit from that extra level of
launched the ball accurate drive is custom fitting, it is the perfect
similarly. forthcoming. candidate for your bag in 2018.

98
WEDGES The Callaway
Mack Daddy 4 is
just one wedge
to have multiple
sole options to suit
different techniques
and turf conditions

f you look up the

I specifications for
some of the most
popular wedges This TaylorMade
currently on the market, you’d be Hi-Toe wedge is
forgiven for leaving more larger in the toe
confused than when you arrived. and has full-width
With so many loft, bounce, grooves to make
grind and finish options now open-faced
offered, it’s easy to settle for shots easier
what you know, rather than
search for something new. But
before you do that, make sure commonly used for greenside
you read our wedge 101. flop and bunker shots.
Let’s start with loft. As with As its name suggests, bounce
other clubs, this affects how affects how your wedge reacts
high, and therefore far, each full off the turf. Lower bounce suits
shot flies, so you’ll want to have firmer links turf as it stops the
even loft gaps between your head bouncing into the ball’s
wedges to avoid any awkward equator. In contrast, softer turf Milling between the
distance gaps. will benefit from higher bounce, grooves makes the
Then there’s the sole grind. SM7’s face rougher,
to stop the club digging in and
helping it grab the
Simply put, this is the shape of causing a fat.
ball’s cover and
the sole. Wedges with wider sole Finally, you can choose
impart more spin on
grinds suit full shots, so are more between finishes. Chrome delicate chip shots
commonly found in lower lofts remains the most popular
like a 50°. Meanwhile, a wedge offering, while black options
with some of its heel grinded reduce glare and raw finishes
away allows you to open the provide the rusty look some TOP BUYING TIPS
face, suiting the higher lofts golfers prefer.

1 2 3
“OPTIMISING EACH WEDGE IN Your main aim Ask if you can Consider what
YOUR SET IS THE CURRENT HOT should be to
avoid big gaps
experiment with
different grinds
you use each
wedge for. If you
TREND, WITH LOFT-SPECIFIC CGs that lead to
awkward half
and sole bounces
while chipping
only use one for
full pitches, it’ll
AND GROOVE DESIGNS MORE shots. Do this by
having even loft
and pitching, to
see which ones
benefit from a
different set-up
ADVANCED THAN EVER” increments, like
46-50-54-58 or
work the best for
your technique
to a more
versatile wedge
Jake O’Reilly, GM technical writer
46-52-58. and turf. you chip with.

100
BUYER’S GUIDE

BEST FOR
BEST FOR BEST FOR BEST ON
GLARE
CONTROL FORGIVENESS A BUDGET
REDUCING

£79
£15

£13

£13
TITLEIST VOKEY SM7 TAYLORMADE MG HI-TOE PING GLIDE 2.0 STEALTH WILSON STAFF FG TOUR PMP
Lots of micro refinements This Milled Grind wedge The new Stealth version of Despite the price, you’ll find
from SM6 have led to features full-face grooves in this wedge introduces a lofts from 48-60°, three sole
improved feel and control. an expanded toe area to glare-reducing finish that also designs and three finish
You also have the choice of deliver high spin when you makes the head appear more options – tour frosted, oil can
six grinds, three finishes and open the face. It’s available in compact. Available in four and raw, creating many
lofts between 46° and 62°. 58°, 60° and 64° lofts. sole options from 46-60°. possible combinations.
9
9

9
£10
£13

£14

£9
CALLAWAY MACK DADDY 4 CLEVELAND CBX MIZUNO S18 BLACK IP LYNX PROWLER
This wedge is available in This is more forgiving than This forged wedge offers a Four loft options at 48°, 52°,
four grinds from 46-64°. It the RTX-3, thanks to its cavity blend of soft feel, control and 56° and 60° come in chrome
boasts a compact shape and back design and wider sole. It versatility. Available at every and gun metal finishes. You
straighter leading edge that still offers great spin control loft between 45° and 62°, it also get a KBS Tour shaft and
players with confident short via the same Rotex face and also uses boron-infused steel Lamkin Crossline grip fitted
games will prefer. comes in 48-60° lofts. to enhance durability. as standard.
9
9

9.9
9
£10

£10
£9

£5

CLEVELAND RTX-3 CALLAWAY SURE OUT COBRA KING BLACK BENROSS TRIBE MDR
A centred CG maximises This speciality wedge This dimonised black metal Get more for your money
stability for better distance features a larger face and finish is available in Cobra’s than you’d expect with a
control, while sharper groove wide, high-bounce sole that three sole grinds and between high-spinning KBS Tour
edges enhance spin. means you don’t need to 50° and 60°. Variable Face Wedge shaft as standard and
Available in three sole open the face to hit it high. Roughness also delivers more six lofts to choose from
bounces from 46-62°. Available in 58° and 64°. spin on finesse shots. between 48° and 58°.

101
Joel Tadman

Joel Tadman explains how a recent wedge fitting has transformed his ability to score and
highlights the areas you need to consider when choosing the best ones for you

F
or those of you lucky enough to I had the M grind in both my higher- new irons, so the shaft characteristics
follow me on Twitter lofted SM6 wedges, but in SM7 the S are similar and the loft gaps are even.
(@joeltadman), you may have grind on my 54˚ proved to be more Another thing you need to consider is
seen I shot a good score recently. accurate on full shots. I’m really seeing the bounce on your wedges. Are you
A whopping 39 points to be that on the course, too. steep or shallow into the ball? Do you
precise, so that’s +2 gross. Suffice Then I was asked where I actually tend to play on soft or firm turf at your
to say it had been a while, and used my lob wedge, and when I thought home club? Your fitter can guide you
sadly, it was not a qualifier. Of course, about it, I realised that around 80 per through the various choices.
only having 24 putts helped, but I am in cent of the shots I hit with it were from The finish on your wedges also plays a
no doubt that my wedge play was the bunkers. So we did a blind grind test, part. I prefer the traditional chrome
most important factor. where I was handed the different grinds finish, but on sunny days I do get
A precise wedge shot from 98 yards on a lob wedge in a bunker without eye-shattering glare from certain angles.
on the 8th led to a birdie (with a shot). knowing what they were. I was surprised This wouldn’t be the case with a darker
Later, I hit an exquisite splash shot from at how different they each felt through finish, found on the new Ping Glide 2.0
the sand to gimme range on the 13th,
and then followed it with a full 54˚
wedge from 93 yards into the wind on
"Hitting more accurate wedge
the 14th to six foot for another unlikely
par, having already chipped out
shots keeps the momentum of
sideways from the trees. It’s these kind
of shots that keep the momentum of a a good round intact"
good round intact, and having the right
wedges has helped me immensely. the sand – some were digging down Stealth and Cobra King Black wedges,
I got fitted for the Titleist Vokey SM7 while others glided through smoothly. I plus it can also make the wedge look
wedges late last year and I was ended up picking the new D grind – a smaller and aid alignment.
genuinely blown away by the level of higher-bounce M grind – and it has been Technology has moved on leaps and
detail we went into. I even surprised a godsend from sand ever since. bounds, too. I was a big fan of the
myself with some of my choices. There are so many factors to consider full-face grooves on the Callaway Mack
Remember that the fitter can suggest when it comes to wedges, arguably Daddy PM Grind, although less so the
what should work best for you, but you more than any club in your bag, so shape, and TaylorMade has since
always have the final say as things like getting properly fitted is a key starting brought out the Hi-Toe lob wedge that is
looks and feel also play a part in the point. Ideally, you want to try and do it similar in concept – helping generate
decision-making process. at the same time as getting fitted for more spin on open-faced shots that
impart more of a glancing blow.
WHAT I’VE BEEN TESTING THIS MONTH The Cleveland CBX is another
impressive offering for those who need
more forgiveness to help hit full wedge
shots closer, without sacrificing spin or
versatility on shorter shots.
So this season, don’t settle for the
wedges that come part of your iron set
99

or rely on old grooves that haven’t spun


20
0

99.
£14

£2

£2

a ball back on the greens for two years.


PUMA IGNITE GALVIN GREEN LANCE BIG MAX BLADE IP Get into the finer details of your wedges
PWRADAPT SHOE INTERFACE-1 JACKET PUSH TROLLEY and hopefully you’ll see your scores
This sporty-looking shoe is Surprising levels of protection It’s lightweight, making it improve like mine. Bring on the first
incredibly comfortable, keeps given the thin fabric. Stretchy, easy to push, but is sturdy qualifying competition.
water at bay and offers stylish and easily combined and folds down incredibly
excellent grip from all lies. with other layers. small for easy storage. ■ Joel Tadman is GM technical editor
6*+5 5'#510
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HEA D T O H E A D
Which of these two affordable flat-sticks will help improve your putting the most?
£18

5
£17
9

JOEL TADMAN
Technical Editor
ODYSSEY O-WORKS RED Handicap 5 PING SIGMA G
Model tested: #1 Wide S Model tested: B60
Grip: SuperStroke 2.0 Grip: Ping PP60
RATING
OUT OF 10
LO O KS LO O KS
Red putters may be considered a fad by some, but The B60 has an understated but classic look. The
they certainly stand out visually against the grass
better than most. The single sightline appears even
more prominent, too.
FE E L/S O U ND
98 range has lots of shapes, including larger mallets like
the Wolverine T that are easier to align. It is available
in a platinum or darker slate finish.
FEEL/SO U N D
Arguably feels marginally softer than the Ping, but The Sigma G putters feel soft, but offer speed
still gets the ball rolling quickly and with good speed
so you don’t feel you have to give putts extra effort.
The sound is subtle and consistent across the range.
R O LL
98 properties close to those of a milled metal putter. It
has to be said that some models in the range feel
more hollow and are louder at impact than others.
RO LL
Seemed to get the ball rolling a touch earlier, The consistent speed from a range of distances
although it is difficult to tell with the naked eye. This
means putts held their line for longer and mishits
went in more often than not from short range.
FO RG I V ENESS
99 should improve lag putting. Any skidding of the ball
after impact was minimal, and short putts especially
seemed effortless to make time after time.
FO RGIVEN ESS
Hard to detect any significant drop off in speed, feel The insert stretching across the entire face will boost
and sound on off-centre strikes. Long-range putts
seemed to roll out a consistent distance and without
any big variances in direction. Very impressive.
OVE RALL A P P EA L
99 the confidence of poor putters, as will the excellent
long-range distance control from the TR grooves.
Arguably the putter’s strongest suit.
OVERA LL A P P EA L
For those looking to try something new and The wide range of shapes and finishes mean it’s
different, the O-Works Red models are easy to align,
feel soft, get the ball rolling early and true and come
in enough shapes to suit all tastes and stroke types. 99 important to try a few different models, but the one
that fits your eye will provide performance and a
premium look beyond its modest price tag.

45 43
104
HEAD TO HEAD

The Microhinge Face


Insert helps impart
more topspin at
impact to get the
ball rolling earlier

WANT TO
SEE MORE?

The #1 Wide S is
one of six new shapes
For video
in the O-Works Red
reviews of
putter range
both these
putters, visit
golf-monthly.
co.uk

There are 16
shapes in the Ping
Sigma G range to suit
different swings and
look preferences

A Pebax elastomer
material behind the
face provides a soft
yet responsive feel

105
SIMON
ROWLAND

ADRIAN
MCCLEARY

ccording to robot TrackMan to monitor yardages,

TESTED
research, wedge spin, the gaps between clubs and each
A and therefore
stopping power,
of our readers’ ball flights.
With the pair’s heads and lofts
drops off after around 75 rounds. locked in, he then looked at their
For those of you who play chipping actions and discussed
once a fortnight, you should see their courses to come to a
around three years of strong decision on the best bounce.

BY YOU
performance. But if you play Our selected duo were
weekly and practice too, that 8-handicapper Simon Rowland,
might be nearer a year. who was looking to find more
As you can probably controllable trajectories, and
guess, most club golfers 14-handicapper Adrian
Photography: Daniel Gould Words: Jake O’Reilly

don’t change their McCleary, who wanted to


wedges as often as they WANT TO BE replace a mix-match
Two readers get fitted for should, and we were INVOLVED? wedge set with clubs
keen to explore the that felt similar and flew
Mizuno wedges and then test benefits of doing so in more predictably.
our latest Tested By You. Once their fitted
them out on their home courses Step in Mizuno and its Keep an eye on wedges were delivered,
fitting expert Matthew our forum for Simon and Adrian
McIsaac, who was tasked your chance to played numerous rounds
with fitting two GM be involved: over a four-week period
readers for its S18 or T7 golf-monthly. before providing their
wedges. He used co.uk/forum unbiased feedback...

106
TESTED BY YOU

1. SIMON ROWLAND ALSO CONSIDER


Fitter analysis chipped in four more times and

£15
0
Simon’s old iron set featured a my short game has improved
weak-lofted 44° 9-iron and 48° massively. The biggest difference Handicap: 8
specialist PW, which gave him a I’ve noticed is the increase in feel, Home club:
big 20-yard gap. Our Mizuno T7 while I am also able to manipulate Hampton Court
48° wedge offers modern distance my ball flight more easily. It Palace GC
and it gave Simon a longer carry means I can now fire pitch shots Fitted for:
and an ideal ten-yard in lower and use the Mizuno T7 48°,
gap. From there we went spin, rather than 52°, 56° and
VERSATILE
to 52°, 56° and 60° for always relying on 60°
even gaps. While Simon height to stop shots. TITLEIST VOKEY SM7
addresses the ball nearer Choose between three finishes,
his back foot, which Matt checking 46-62° lofts and six grinds that
normally suits lower Simon’s lie each suit a different style, so
bounce, his dynamic angle you can find any combination.
impact revealed he was
using the sole well, so

£13
9
we settled on mid-bounce.

Simon’s on-course feedback


I was seeking more consistency
and confidence, and I certainly
got both as I love the compact
look and responsive feel of the T7.
After receiving the clubs, my SPECIALIST
initial impression couldn’t have
been better as I chipped in on the TAYLORMADE MG HI-TOE
first hole! Since then I have This only comes in lob wedge
lofts and has an expanded toe
with full-width grooves for
more spin on open-face shots.

£13
2. ADRIAN McCLEARY
9
Fitter analysis bounce took more experimenting,
Handicap: 14 Adrian has recently got a new set as he chips from his back foot
Home club: of irons, so we could naturally with a stabbing motion. In the end
Hadden Hill GC progress from his 46° Mizuno H5 we went into a lower bounce SW
Fitted for: PW into three S18 wedges at 50°, and LW, as his ball striking was COMPACT
Mizuno S18 50°, 54° and 58°, which gave him much better than when we tried
54° and 58° lovely 12-yard gaps. Choosing his some mid-bounce options. CALLAWAY MACK DADDY 4
The choice of Garcia and many
Adrian testing Adrian’s on-course feedback more, this boasts a tighter
different sole The S18 wedges look great and leading-edge radius that aids
bounces suit my eye nicely from address. clean contacts from tight lies.
After a few rounds and a short-
game session with them I am
£10
9

really impressed and happy with


my new set-up, which covers all
bases from 100 yards and in. Out
on the course I’ve noticed much
more stopping power than my old
wedges, which is letting me be
more aggressive when
going for the pin as the VALUE
ball stops more
consistently. I have also CLEVELAND RTX-3
found that when short Available in three bounce
sided I can get the ball options, this wedge has sharper
up and stopped quickly, groove edges and a micro-milled
which I struggled to do face pattern that increase spin.
with my worn grooves.

107
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Explore somewhere new Edited by Jeremy Ellwood

MUST PLAY
GOG MAGOG ambridgeshire may

C not have the wider


golfing reputation of
Words: Jeremy Ellwood Photography: Kevin Murray

certain other counties,


but Gog Magog, a few miles south
of Cambridge, is the exception to
that rule – and for more reasons
than just its unusual biblical name.
It is actually taken from the low
chalkand hills close by, and was
the club’s name from the outset
when the first nine holes were laid
out in 1899.
Despite East Anglia being
renowned for its flatness, the Old
course is anything but, climbing
on the first couple of holes over
downland that has a distinct
heathland feel in many places, up hand over the years in shaping The Wandlebury actually an extension to a nine-hole
on to the top of a chalk what most believe to be course’s 16th hole layout created by Hawtree & Son in
escarpment. That 2nd hole may Cambridgeshire’s finest test. the late 1960s, and has gone on to
only be a short par 4, but with an host Regional Qualifying for The
old quarry to carry before a sharp HISTORY Open several times.
rise to the green, it can easily The Old course had a full 18 holes The Old course continues to
catch you out early in your round. by 1901, and around 100 years later host the Lagonda Trophy, one of
W Duncan created the original the hole count at Gog Magog rose the premier events on the
nine holes, but famous architects to 36 when Hawtree’s longer amateur calendar, as it has done
Willie Park Jr, James Braid and Wandlebury course came into play every year since 1990. This
Martin Hawtree have all had a in the late 1990s. This course was prestigious 72-hole event boasts

110
STATS:
Old: par 70, 6,367
yards; Wandlebury:
par 72, 6,735 yards

an impressive cast of past holes. Perhaps the pick of these is


winners, among them Lee the par-3 13th, a stout 204-yarder GF:
Westwood, Luke Donald, Andy to a green that feeds down from Round: £30-£65
Sullivan, Kenneth Ferrie and Oliver right to left. depending on course
Fisher. This year’s event will take Splendid vistas abound at Gog and time of day and/
place from May 23-24. Magog, and one of the finest can or year (not
be enjoyed from the 10th tee on Saturdays)
SIGNATURE HOLES the Wandlebury course. So take a
There are many fine holes on the moment to soak it all in before Address: The Gog Magog Golf Club,
Old course, including that testing opening your shoulders on the Shelford Bottom, Cambridge, CB22 3AB
2nd and a strong cast of short inviting downhill drive. W: gogmagog.co.uk

111
HIDDEN GEMS

HIDDEN GEM
NEWPORT Newport moved to its
current home in 1912

STATS:
Par 72,
6,500 yards

This South Wales beauty wends its way through GF:


ancient woodlands with lovely views throughout Newport Golf Club, Great Oak,
Round: £25-£50wd
depending on time
Rogerstone, Newport, of year
ewport has arrived doglegging gently round to the
Gwent, NO10 9FX
firmly on the golfing right. The 2nd is then one of two
N map in recent years,
with the rapid rise of
beautiful-looking shortish par 3s
– along with the 14th coming
W: newportgolfclub.org.uk

Celtic Manor yielding much home – eagerly defended by a


top-level tour golf and, of course, ring of seven bunkers. the distant hills – one of a trio of
that memorable Ryder Cup clash There are many strong holes, three-shotters in four holes. The
back in 2010. among them the testing stroke- 11th must be a real test of
Venture along the M4 a little index-one 13th and the par-5 5th The long accuracy and/or strategy when
further, though, and you’ll that plays down and up towards par-3 8th the trees are in leaf – a self-
discover a club that has been contained hole with woods either
offering excellent parkland golf for side that pinches in dramatically
over a century on a lovely course at the point where you would
that plays around and through perhaps ideally like to hit it!
Llwyni Wood, an ancient and The 17th then epitomises what
extensive oak woodland. The club is best about Newport. You know
was founded in 1903 at Ladyhill that you are barely a mile from
Farm, but moved to its current the bustling M4, but the vista laid
Photography: Paul Severn

home in Rogerstone as long ago out before your eyes as you play
as 1912, so is a true golfing down from the plateau fairway
centenarian in every sense. stretches from the adjacent fields,
The course starts with an complete with sheep and the
attractive, and relatively friendly, occasional playful horse, to the
opener that plays down and up, rolling hills beyond.

112
 

  
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FOCUS ON...

F CU S O N ...

FRO
M
£12
9

Top 100 venues and unsung heroes, courses old and The par-4 15th greens. Each of the four short
holes is a peach: the 4th to a
new, Rob Smith explores a county which has it all… green protected by a ditch; the
7th uphill towards the mansion;
the 13th played from an invitingly
THE GROVE

1
impressive score of 23-under. More elevated tee; and the 16th to a
Kyle Phillips is rightly recently, it hosted the 2016 British green where distance is difficult
regarded as one of the Masters where Alexander Noren The intimidating to judge. I’ve been lucky enough
greatest contemporary prevailed, but there are plenty of ditch protecting to play this immaculately
golf-course architects, and tee options that make the course the 4th green conditioned course several times,
his championship design playable and and it still continues to
just minutes inside the M25 is an enjoyable for all. grow on me. The recent
excellent test that is kept in One of its most addition of the Players
superb shape throughout the year. distinguishing Lounge makes for an
Opening back in 2003, the features is the excellent spot to relax
course has already hosted several very attractive pre- or post-round.
top-flight tournaments, including bunkering which Stats: Par 72, 6,776 yards
the WGC-American Express beautifully W: thegrove.co.uk
Championship in 2006 that was frames many of GF: Round: £129-£189,
won by Tiger Woods with an the fairways and check website for offers

115
£6 FR OM
2 3
ASHRIDGE THE SHIRE

5
the front nine closing with a
This beautiful design dates picture-perfect short par 4 Golfing legend Seve
back to the 1930s and played to a green that is tricky to Ballesteros is not quite so
benefited in its early years both find and read. well known for his course
from the creative genius of The back nine has perhaps even design, but there is no
various architects, more variety and joy, with the 16th doubt that his only
including the great Tom Simpson. the prettiest of five diverse and creation in England bears all the
What remains is a genuine oasis intriguing short holes. I have hallmarks of his flair and his
away from the hurly burly of the played this superbly presented unconventional approach we all
modern world, with the course course several times over the last know so well.
beckoning to you from the 18 years and I hold firmly to my The Shire London, which
perfectly positioned clubhouse. view that were I to live nearby, this opened in 2007, is an extremely
The opening pair of holes is the club I would seek to join. friendly club where the emphasis
descend gently along a wide Stats: Par 72, 6,368 yards is very much on fun. The course
valley, easing you into your round. W: ashridgegolfclub.ltd.uk itself is a fascinating mix of six
There is then great variety, with GF: Round: £75; Day: £100 short holes, six par 4s and six par
5s, and there is a great deal of
drama all the way round. The
£75 ROM

course climaxes with the par-5


F

closing hole, which rises gently


back up to the comfortable and
relaxing clubhouse via a green
surrounded by a lake that is S-
(for Seve) shaped.
This is a course that should
appeal to golfers of any standard
who are looking for excitement,
drama and fun.
Stats: Par 72, 6,531 yards
W: theshirelondon.com
The tricky green GF: Round: £65wd, £85we
on Ashridge’s 9th

4 5
ALDWICKBURY PARK gently undulating woodland. BRICKENDON GRANGE
This parkland course near There are some testing par 4s, A little south of the county
Harpenden is part of the three long holes that offer the town, this CK Cotton
Burhill Group. It was chance of a birdie and lovely design is 50 years old and
designed in the mid-90s views over the Lea Valley. Water offers great variety.
by Ryder Cup golfer comes into play a couple of times, Unusually, both nines
turned commentator, Ken Brown, most notably on the risk-and- finish with a short hole, and
and Martin Gillett. reward short par-4 closing hole. although they are of similar
The course has hosted several Stats: Par 71, 6,368 yards lengths, they are very different in
professional and county events, W: aldwickburyparkgolfclub.co.uk The risk/reward nature, with the 18th played uphill
and it runs through mature and GF: Round: £23-£40 par-4 18th towards the clubhouse.
Two of my favourite holes
include an encounter with water:
£2 FROM

the drive-and-pitch dogleg-right


3

5th and the very tough 17th,


where there’s a pond in a valley
way short of the green.
Stats: Par 71, 6,458 yards
W: bggc.org.uk
GF: Round: £40
£4 FROM
0

Great variety at
Brickendon Grange

116
FOCUS ON...

Plenty of water Hertfordshire


to contend with
at The Shire

2 4
6 5

1 3

STAY
Shendish Manor,
Hemel Hempstead
This lovely Victorian country
house hotel boasts its own
18-hole course and is perfectly
situated in relation to the
county’s many golfing
attractions. Set in 160 acres of
parkland that include formal
Dutch gardens, there are 70
bedrooms of which 18 are
within the manor house itself.
W: shendish-manor.com

6
ESSENDON of the New is that the vast
Blessed with a fabulous majority of the holes have been
old clubhouse and two built with alternative greens. My
fine courses, Essendon favourite hole is the long 10th on EAT/DRINK
Country Club enjoys a the Old, which is played from an The Foragers, St Albans
surprisingly rural location. elevated tee before snaking its Just a well-struck 3-wood from
Although the two courses are way to a partially hidden green. St Albans Cathedral is this
both parkland, they are Stats: New: par 73, 6,503 yards intriguing pub, which is the
remarkably different. Old: par 72, 6,351 yards brainchild of a group of
The Old was designed by Fred W: essendoncc.co.uk The 3rd on the neighbourhood hunters and
Hawtree, while an unusual feature GF: Round: £45-£55wd, £55-£65we New course gatherers. Local game and
seasonally foraged fruit, plants
and mushrooms all feature on
£4 FROM

the menu, and there’s a wide


5
Photography: Rob Smith, Andy Hiseman, Kevin Murray, Paul Severn

selection of craft beers and


real ales, including three
brewed on site.
W: the-foragers.com

VISIT
The Making of Harry Potter,
Leavesden
At the studios where much of
the action was filmed, this fully
immersive tour combines an
in-depth look behind the
scenes with interactive
experiences and activities that
will keep fans and film-buffs
entertained for many hours.
W: wbstudiotour.co.uk

117
GM PROMOTION

Glorious golf
at Goodwood
Goodwood offers wonderful golfing opportunities, plus an abundance of appealing off-course
activities. England Golf also recently named it England’s Most Welcoming Club of the Year...
ust 60 miles from subscription of £430 (which
Marble Arch, set in the includes 30 credits) with no
J beautiful South Downs,
the Goodwood Estate
joining fee. Additional credits are
then available for purchase, which
has long been an accessible can be used to pay for tee times,
sporting playground for buggies, tuition or range balls. It’s
Londoners. Horse racing began proved to be so popular that
here in 1801 and the annual Goodwood is one of the very few
‘glorious’ Goodwood festival golfing venues in the country that
remains one of the key fixtures on currently boasts a waiting list.
the British sporting calendar. This isn’t surprising when you
Goodwood has also been a consider what Golf At Goodwood
wonderful getaway for golfers offers. With two high-quality
since the 6th Earl of Richmond courses, a fabulous academy, a Goodwood has a Open Champion and revered
opened a course in 1914. The state-of-the-art practice facility fleet of ‘Woody’ course architect James Braid. It’s
golfing offerings at Goodwood and a putting lab, both members golf buggies a fabulous downland track that
today are varied to suit a and guests have all their golfing offers brilliantly memorable holes
multitude of requirements. requirements attended to. set through the valleys and
A tremendous success story at Goodwood was also named uplands of this picturesque
Goodwood in recent years has England’s Most Welcoming Club swathe of countryside.
been the introduction of a credit of the Year at the prestigious The first section of the course
membership model. The England Golf Awards in February. meanders through a secluded and
innovative system allows an The Downs course was attractive valley known as Target
individual to join for an annual designed by legendary five-time Bottom before the layout climbs

118
IN ASSOCIATION WITH GOODWOOD

©Stephen Hayward
Left: the Downs’ lined by mature trees, some of Other tremendous offerings
par-4 7th; top: a the Cedars are more than 300 combine the non-golfing
‘Woody’ buggy; years old and the layout is always activities available across the
top right: the immaculately conditioned. Estate. Why not include a track
Goodwood Hotel It may not be as demanding as session or driving experience at
the Downs but, with doglegs and the historic Goodwood Motor
cleverly placed bunkers, narrow Circuit, clay pigeon shooting or
targets and tricky greens, this is a even an aviation experience with
course that demands strategy. As flights across the South Downs?
such, it provides a memorable Through the summer, one of
and enjoyable test. It’s a beautiful the most popular options is the
setting, a fabulous design and just ‘Fairway to Furlong’ package,
great fun to play. Both courses at where 18 holes of golf is then
Goodwood are superb venues for followed by hospitality at the
corporate golf days. iconic racecourse.
The Kennels, located at the For groups with less golfing
Downs course, is the clubhouse experience, or for those seeking a
for all the Estate’s sporting and little fine-tuning, tuition packages
social clubs. It offers wonderful are also available.
dining options and excellent The luxurious Goodwood Hotel
spaces for meetings and makes the Estate an ideal venue
entertaining. At the Park course, for a short golfing break. Play
the Goodwood Bar and Grill, and both golf courses over two days
the other facilities at the excellent and, in between, enjoy the
Goodwood Hotel, are at the opulent and stylish communal
guests’ disposal. spaces, the wonderfully
And corporate days here come comfortable and individual rooms
with that little Goodwood twist. and suites, the gym and spa and
Take, for example, the famous the exceptional dining options the
‘Woody’ golf buggies modelled hotel has to offer. The newest
on an original car designed by the restaurant – named Farmer,
to a higher elevation, delivering The Kennels’ 9th Duke of Richmond in the Butcher, Chef – showcases the
fabulous panoramic views across sitting room 1930s. But they aren’t all nostalgia Estate’s wonderful, organic,
the Goodwood Estate and – they are also equipped with a home-grown meat and produce.
beyond, towards the Solent and cutting-edge GPS system. Golfing at Goodwood is far
the Isle of Wight. The course Then there’s the ‘Beat James more than just a simple round –
recently underwent a renovation Braid’ competition, where the pro it’s a thoroughly memorable
by leading course architect Tom will dress up as the legend and experience from the time you
Mackenzie. The result is a triumph participants will try to hit it closer arrive to the time you leave.
– a sympathetic modernisation of than him on a par 3, using hickory Whether you’re looking for a
Braid’s original concept. clubs. Or, for those in need of luxury break, a corporate outing,
The Downs delivers traditional some Dutch courage, how about a new home or second club or a
English inland golf with a the James Braid gin lounge which venue for a great day out,
contemporary edge. The fairways can be set up at the first tee? Goodwood has something to suit
become firm and fast-running every possible requirement.
through the summer months and, Just imagine playing 18 holes
with undulating greens and before driving laps on a historic
sculpted bunkering, it presents a motor circuit, then going for a
challenge for all players. swim before enjoying a locally
The Park course is a different sourced and prepared meal of the
Photography: Paul Severn

proposition and it complements The tricky par-3 very highest quality. Goodwood
its older brother perfectly. Set 17th on the Downs – where else in the world?
across 18th-century parkland
within the grounds of Goodwood
House, the layout was designed FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE GLORIOUS GOLF
by Donald Steel. The fairways are AT GOODWOOD, VISIT WWW.GOODWOOD.COM

119
1. WROTHAM HEATH 2. LONDON CLUB –

DG A
ET?
BU ON
Kent INTERNATIONAL
This corner of the south-east Kent
has many friendly but less Host of the 2014 Volvo World
well-known members’ clubs Match Play, this expansive
of every style. Wrotham and modern downland course
Heath is exactly that, and its is packed with risk and
gently undulating parkland reward. The most exciting
course is packed with variety holes are those where the
and charm. Dating back to Wrotham Heath has water comes into play, such
1906, the course was variety and charm as the superb opening par 5
expanded to a full 18 by and the thrilling short holes
eminent architect Donald at 8 and 12. The hole that
Steel in the mid-1990s. It only Great adventure at probably lives longest in the
stretches to just over 6,000 the London Club memory is the beautiful long
yards, but plenty of thought 13th with its dual fairway
and good shot-making is divided by sand, trees and
required. Standout holes yet more water. Kept in
include the rollercoaster perfect condition throughout
par-5 3rd and the beautifully the year, there is great
framed short 14th. adventure all the way.
W: wrothamheathgolfclub. W: londongolf.co.uk
co.uk GF: Round: £110 Mon-Thu,

SH G
F LU E E L I N
?
GF: Round: £50, Mon-Thu £125 Fri-Sun

F
Words: Rob Smith

BEST OF UK &
This month’s selection of near but contrasting neighbours are situated in Kent, western Ireland,

3. DROMOLAND 4. LAHINCH
DG A
ET?
BU ON

County Clare County Clare


Set in the grounds of the The fabulous course at
fabulous 15th-century Lahinch dates back more
Dromoland Castle, this lush than 125 years, and is the
parkland design offers an perfect combination of
excellent alternative to the traditional golf over rumpled
celebrated links golf for which terrain and modern, first-
the west coast of Ireland is class conditioning. Your
rightly famed. Over its Golf in a picturesque round here involves a heady
half-century lifetime, the setting at Dromoland dose of blind shots, dunes,
course has been regularly and chasms and rollercoaster
quite recently upgraded, and greens as the course twists
it now provides a fine golfing and turns its way over the
test in a picturesque setting beautiful and romantic
where lakes, streams and coastline. In the recent words
specimen trees all play their of one Golf Monthly Top 100
part. With two hotels on site, assessor, “Lahinch is a course
Dromoland Castle makes for that is as interesting as it is
an excellent base for a golfing fun. If you don’t see it once in
tour of this lovely region. your life, you’ve missed out
W: dromolandgolf.com on something.”
GF: Round: €70, check W: lahinchgolf.com
SH G

Lahinch: the best


F LU E E L I N
?

for offers of both worlds GF: Round: €210


F

120
BEST OF UK&I

5. MILNGAVIE 6. CAWDER

DG A
ET?
BU ON
Glasgow Glasgow
Golfers in the UK and Ireland James Braid is one of golf’s
are incredibly lucky as there most highly respected
are more delightful and architects, and it was the
enjoyable courses to play five-time Open Champion
than a lifetime will allow. who designed the tree-lined
Milngavie, one such course, Championship course, one of
was originally designed by two very enjoyable
the Auchterlonie brothers Milngavie provides a alternatives, at Cawder. Just a
before benefiting from a proper test of golf short drive from the city
James Braid makeover. No centre and in an area blessed
great length, it is nonetheless with an abundance of
a proper test of golf with the James Braid top-quality golf, the par-70
added benefit of some terrific designed Cawder layout is regarded as highly
views over Glasgow, the as any. Elevation changes add
Pentland Hills and Campsie to the challenge at the same
Fells. Milngavie provides time as creating some
scenic and very entertaining excellent and inviting views,
golf in a lovely oasis away and the closing hole to the
from the city. 17th-century clubhouse
W: milngaviegolfclub.co.uk makes for a perfect climax.
GF: Round: £30wd, £35we; W: cawdergolfclub.com

SH G
F LU E E L I N
?
Day: £45wd, £55we GF: Round: £45

IRELAND
the outskirts of Glasgow and south Wales...
4 3
5 6

8
7
2
1

7. SOUTHERNDOWN 8. ROYAL PORTHCAWL


DG A
ET?
BU ON

Mid Glamorgan Mid Glamorgan


Southerndown is blessed Widely recognised as the
with the most divine, wild finest golf course in Wales,
and timeless setting. Its this glorious design is actually
design appears as natural one of the finest links courses,
and as untouched by human period. One of its compelling
hand as possible, blending in joys is the frequent change
seamlessly with its not only in direction but also
surroundings. Harry Colt Southerndown boasts elevation, which allows the
refined the earlier creativity a timeless setting golfer to enjoy fabulous sea
of Willie Fernie, Herbert views throughout. Its main
Fowler and Willie Park, and defences are the wind and
gorse, bracken, sea winds Porthcawl is widely recognised the very impressive and
and pot bunkers all play their as the finest course in Wales attractive bunkering, and
part in the strategy. This there is far greater variety
unusual combination of links, here than at the majority of
downland and cliff-top rolled our most highly regarded
into one is packed with links. Stay in the Dormy
strong golf, and the views accommodation and you may
throughout are superb. never want to leave.
W: southerndowngolfclub.com W: royalporthcawl.com
GF: Round: £50-£55wd, GF: Round: £135-£150; Day:
SH G
F LU E E L I N
?

£70-£75we £180-£210
F

121
COWDRAY PARK, ENGLAND

STAY & PLAY


COWDRAY PARK
Jeremy Ellwood ventures
to the golf course and
lodge on this famous
Sussex estate
THE GOLF
par 70, 6,325 yards
This downland course offers up
some magnificent views from the
higher holes, most notably from
the 5th tee after a steady ascent.
The 4th is perhaps the toughest of
the opening four, climbing steeply
to a green partly hidden by trees,
especially if you stray too far left
off the tee. The double green on
the 8th/16th features some very
interesting mounds and contours,
while the 9th is then a delightful
short par 3 close to the woods
with another challenging green.
The long par-4 10th may be the STATS:
toughest test of all, sweeping Par 70,
down and up to one of several 6,325 yards
two-tier greens, one or two of
Cowdray offers
which slope away from you. My
excellent year-
visit was in January, but thankfully
round playability
the downland turf ensures GF:
excellent year-round playability £35-£60
when other less-fortunate courses per round features more than 50 rescued
Cowdray Golf Lodge, Cowdray Estate,
are struggling a little. Cowdray Park, Midhurst, West Sussex, and preserved rural buildings.
GU29 0AQ T: 01730 812423
■ Also play… The Top 100-ranked W: cowdray.co.uk BEST DEAL
heathland course at Liphook in Stay and play packages start from
Hampshire (liphookgolfclub.com) is £85pp for one round of golf, bed
just 20 minutes north of Cowdray. a very classy golf lodge, while the and breakfast, or from £120pp for
spacious new clubhouse sits closer 36 holes, bed and breakfast.
ACCOMMODATION to the 1st tee and 18th green. Sunday/Monday stays are popular.
Much has changed at Cowdray The accommodation in the old
since my last visit, which was clubhouse comprises four rooms WHERE
longer ago than I’d thought. The Two suites and two suites, all of which have Cowdray Golf Lodge stands on
main change is that the clubhouse and four rooms recently been refurbished to a the A272 in the village of
I knew has been transformed into are available very high standard, with exposed Easebourne, a mile or so east of
beams, low doorways and a the West Sussex town of Midhurst.
comfortable ambience the order
of the day. The most recent CHECKLIST
addition to the accommodation Buggy hire: £30 per round
offering is the Bothy, which now Trolley hire: £4 per round
offers the height of self-contained Power trolley hire: £12 per round
bijou luxury – a snug, comfy and Club hire: £10 per round per set
classy retreat for two. The Driving range: Yes
breakfast in the clubhouse is both Putting green: Yes
hearty and delicious. Short-game area: Yes
Pro shop: Yes
■ Where else… The Weald and Changing rooms: Yes
Downland Living Museum at Sky TV: Yes
Singleton (wealddown.co.uk) Price of a pint: From £4

122
GM PROMOTION
The 10th hole on the
The Duchess course

WIN A SUPERB GOLF


BREAK TO WOBURN
Here is your chance to win an overnight golf break to Woburn Golf Club and
The Woburn Hotel for four, including two rounds of golf…
nce again we’ve teamed up The prize includes: Runner-up prize:

O with Woburn Golf Club and


The Woburn Hotel to offer
one lucky golfer the chance
O Overnight accommodation (two twin
rooms) at the Woburn Estate’s four AA
star hotel, The Woburn Hotel
One entrant to a mid-week fourball on
any of Woburn’s three courses.

to win an overnight golfing break for How to enter:


four, playing two of Woburn’s three O Full English breakfast and dinner To be in with a chance of winning this
championship courses. Woburn is home in The Woburn Hotel’s two AA fantastic prize, visit golf-monthly.co.uk
to the Duke’s, the Duchess and the Rosette restaurant, Olivier’s and answer the following question:
Marquess, with all three layouts How many championship courses are
featuring in our 2017/18 Top 100 UK & O A fourball to play two rounds of golf there at Woburn:
Ireland Courses rankings. on a choice of the Duke’s, Duchess or A) 1
Marquess courses over B) 2
The Tavistock Bar at two days C) 3
The Woburn Hotel
O Lunch at Woburn
Golf Club on both days

Terms and Conditions: All entries must be made using the online entry form. The closing date for entries is April 30, 2018. The first prize consists
of the winner and three golfing partners enjoying a one night break at The Woburn Hotel (2 x twin rooms) with dinner (£38.00 per person
allowance) and breakfast included. Playing two rounds of golf in a fourball on two of the three courses, the Duke’s, Duchess or Marquess (subject
to availability). Lunch for four in the Bloomsbury Room at Woburn Golf Club on both days. The Runner up prize consists of one fourball to play a
mid week round of golf (excluding bank holidays) on a choice of the Duke’s, Duchess or Marquess course, subject to availability. The winner and
runner up and their golfing partners must all possess valid golfing handicaps (maximum 24 for gentlemen and 36 for ladies) and have CDH
Numbers or certificates available for presentation if requested. The prize date must be agreed by December 31, 2018 on a mutually agreed date
with Woburn Golf Club. Date is subject to availability. The prize must be taken by May 1, 2019, on a mutually agreed date with Woburn Golf Club.
By entering you agree to having read and understood the terms and conditions and agree to them. Woburn Golf Club, Little Brickhill, Milton
Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK17 9LJ. Telephone: 01908 370756. Golf Monthly competition terms and conditions: All prizes are non transferable
and must be accepted as offered. Employees of Time Inc. (UK) and its subsidiary companies, their families, agents or anyone connected with this
promotion are not eligible to enter. Only one entry per person. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties; any such entries will be
invalid. The promoter cannot accept responsibility for entries that are incomplete or delayed. The winners will be the specified number of winners
and/or runners up drawn at random after the closing date. Some competitions will be decided by a judging panel. All winners will be notified
within 28 days of the draw. Winners must be prepared to co operate with any publicity arising as a result of winning the competition. A list of the
winners can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed envelope specifying the name of the competition to Golf Monthly Marketing
Department, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7BF. No correspondence will be entered
into. The decision of the promoter in all matters is final and binding. The promoter is Golf Monthly Magazine, Time Inc. (UK), Pinehurst 2,
Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 7BF. Entry implies acceptance of these rules.
HIDDEN GEM REDTAIL GOLF CLUB
IN CENTRAL FLORIDA

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I-4), RedTail prides itself on an amazing experience on and off the course.
Equipment

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Bill Elliott

Our editor-at-large is happy about Phil Mickelson’s return to the winners’ circle at the age of
47, despite a certain incident that occurred in Texas some 20 years ago...
t is one of life’s abiding truisms that and repeat. “I’ve always enjoyed having necessarily what you get in private. Does

I
appearances can be deceptive. It’s fun with the people who turn up and it matter? Not really, but it’s also worth
why the good-looking ones often pay to watch us. I regret not winning noting that Corey Pavin happily gave me
have a superficially easier life than that week, but I don’t regret responding a chunk of an afternoon, while Nick Price
the rest of us. The fact that the best to the fans. I didn’t need to stop doing shared a few beers with me and the
looking may also turn out to be the that, I needed to keep my focus better.” photographer before sportingly posing
most self-absorbed rarely seems to Of course, both Arnie and Seve in a flower display for a terrific picture.
enter the equation when it comes to weren’t lacking in the looks department So what do I think of Mickelson now?
doors opening or opportunities either, but in my experience it only Well, I still haven’t had the interview
beckoning. Personality, however, makes seemed to occur to them that they had with him – hardly surprising as I haven’t
up for a lot. what it takes when actually talking to a asked – but, yes, I love watching him
This last bit is at least partly the woman and certainly not when talking play golf. I love his derring-do, his
reason why fans root for Phil Mickelson. to the likes of me. what-the-hell-go-for-it attitude, his skill
No tournament he plays in is complete Yet while this duo were as interested with a wedge and his relationship with
without television showing him patiently in people away from the actual playing the fans.
signing autographs on hats, arena as they were while strutting the It’s a tad easier for him to continue to
programmes, shirts, arms and balls. old jousting fields, this is not always the do all this outrageous stuff, of course,
This is when they are not showing him case. Which brings me back to Phil. because when he is faced with a
giving thumbs-ups to anyone and Twenty years ago I was in Dallas, ridiculously difficult recovery shot, he
everyone after a birdie or an outrageous Texas where my mission was to only has to think of the millions he has
recovery shot. This simple interaction is interview as many big-name players as I stashed away somewhere.
not much in the big scheme, but could during the week of the Byron To be fair, he caressed the dodgy
compared to the response of those Nelson. Mickelson was sitting at a table challenges even before he had all this
players who drearily struggle to even in the clubhouse on his own when I first loot. It is, in fact, why he has so much
acknowledge the presence of saw him so I approached, introduced – sponsors eager to hire his apparently
spectators, it is as though Mickelson has myself and asked if he could spare me carefree, life-is-fun attitude and attach it
invited the public to a private party. five minutes for a chat at some point. He to their product.
Good for him. I like sportsmen who didn’t look up, just said “no”. Surly So, yes, I cheered quietly – if you
interact with the crowd. No one, of doesn’t quite capture it. know what I mean – when he won again
course, did this shtick better than Seve Now maybe he was having a bad day in Mexico. At 47 he is punching below
Ballesteros or Arnold Palmer. Indeed, – although the tournament had not his age, if not above his weight. He
Arnold did it so much he reckoned it begun – maybe he was simply too busy remains a supreme entertainer. I still
cost him at least one Masters win when, or maybe he didn’t like the media at that don’t know what he’s really like, but I’m
a couple of shots ahead with a few holes time. Whatever the reason, he was happy to give him a big thumbs-up.
Photography: Tom Miles

to play, he joined in with the gallery so certainly not the patient, smiley Phil I Which, of course, is more than he once
much he lost focus and that particular had admired until then. It’s not that he gave me all those years ago.
Green Jacket. declined to talk to me, it was the manner
The big thing is that when he told us of the rejection. ■ Bill Elliott is Golf Monthly’s editor-at-
about this, he swiftly added that, given Don’t worry, I’m over it, but my point large and Golf Ambassador for Prostate
the same circumstances, he would rinse is that what you see in public is not Cancer UK

“I love his derring-do, his what-the-hell-go-for-it


attitude, his skill with a wedge and his
relationship with the fans”
130
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MUST PLAY
2018
It’s time to plan your perfect golfing year!
  



 
 
   

           
  
     
  
      

     


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CONTENTS
Marbella, Spain
10 SOUTH OF FRANCE

16 LE GOLF NATIONAL
10
South of France
18 MURCIA

20 MARBELLA

24 TENERIFE

26 LISBON

30 WEST CLIFFS

40 SICILY

42 PRINCE’S 44
United Arab Emirates

44 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

50 MAURITIUS

54 THE BAHAMAS

56 EUROPEAN BIG HITTERS

66 YORKSHIRE

Advertising Feature

32 ALGARVE 50
Mauritius

European Big Hitters

54
The Bahamas
Abaco Club, Bahamas
FROM THE EDITORS

GREAT ESCAPES
ith the ‘Beast from the East’ battle our inclement weather Top tracks to try
thankfully now in the once more? Do you watch the
W rear-view mirror and
intermittent spells of good
world’s top players on TV and
wish you could follow in their
across Europe

weather descending on the British Isles, footsteps? If you’ve answered


golfers from Land’s End to John o’ ‘yes’ to any of these questions,
Groats are rediscovering the joys of this it’s time to take matters into
grand old game. But why not take it a your own hands.
step further this year? In Must Play, our team of
Maybe you’re one of those golfers writers has explored all corners
who has had frequent chats about a golf of the globe to give you a
break, but never got round to organising flavour of the world-class golf
one? Do you often find your mind that’s at your disposal. On
wandering to warmer climes as you page 56, Jeremy Ellwood runs
down some of
The tropical paradise Europe’s big hitters, venue, Le Golf National on the outskirts
of Mauritius including European Tour of Paris, before heading further south to
host venues and many explore more of what France has to
more. We also take a offer. If you’re keen to venture further
trip to several afield, we have features on the
prominent European Bahamas, Mauritius and the United Arab
golfing regions, among Emirates, where Rob Smith played his
them Murcia in 1,000th golf course in January.
south-east Spain, the So come on, what do you have to
Algarve, Lisbon, lose? Make 2018 the year you finally
Tenerife and Sicily. plan that trip. You deserve it!
Elsewhere, Michael
Weston takes on this Nick Bonfield and David Taylor
year’s Ryder Cup host Editors, Golf Monthly Must Play

Design: Kevin Eason, Jamie Latchford, Dan Franklin Contributors and Writers: Jeremy Ellwood, Fergus Bisset, Rob Smith, Michael Weston
Advertising: Chris O’Hagan, Hasan Mubarak Advertising Tel: 01252 555 366 Cover Image: Buenavista in north Tenerife
France

A CLASS APART
Michael Weston discovers two fine resorts in the south of
France at Royal Mougins and Golf International Pont Royal
n September, The Ryder Cup more prominently on any serious golf is tucked away in south-east France on
will be held in continental traveller’s bucket list. the Mediterranean. If you’re picturing
I Europe for just the second
time in its history. The eyes
The south of the country in particular
provides the ideal combination of
Cannes and the French Riviera, you’re in
the right place. The village of Mougins
of the golfing world won’t only be on Le enviable climate, sumptuous food and nestles between the mountains and the
Golf National just outside Paris, but also drink offerings, and unerring natural sea, and is as beautiful as it sounds. It’s
on the country as a whole. The capital beauty. It certainly makes for a truly also where Picasso came to set up his
itself is home to a number of wonderful wonderful golf destination, with two studio, and where he spent the last 15
golf venues for anyone lucky enough to courses warranting special attention – years of his life. Close by stands the
be travelling with clubs to the biennial Royal Mougins and Golf International region’s only golf resort at Royal
contest, but with nearly 600 courses Pont Royal. Mougins, a prestigious venue awarded
across the nation, France is a The region of Provence-Alpes-Côte ‘France’s Best Golf Resort’ by the World
destination that should really feature d’Azur, which shares a border with Italy, Golf Awards in 2016 and 2017.

10
Royal Mougins: one of
France’s finest resorts

SHORT HAUL | FRANCE


Pont Royal is Seve’s
only French creation

11
Shot-shaping comes in
handy at Pont Royal
SHORT HAUL | FRANCE

The course will undoubtedly catch


your eye on arrival, but it’s just as easy
to picture yourself enjoying the views
from the hotel as it is playing an
approach into one of the perfectly
manicured greens.
The hotel sits at the heart of this
golfer’s paradise, a sheer oasis of peace
and tranquillity where you can relax and
delight in the panoramic views of the
The testing 11th
course. Relaxation at its finest can also at Royal Mougins
be experienced at the Royal Spa, an
authentic 19th century stonewall
country house – the perfect spot in although the large and undulating pines, so your lunch or dinner at La
which to unwind in a world where greens pose a real test, as does the Terrasse will be even more satisfying.
luxury and natural therapies intertwine. near-constant threat of water. Selecting Whether you sit inside, or opt for a bit
a standout hole is no easy task in such a more sun on the terrace, it’s a chance to
FINE HOLES GALORE glorious setting, but golfers will enjoy French cuisine at its finest. You’ll
Renowned architect Robert Von Hagge appreciate the beauty of the par-3 2nd, get the very best experience in the
was the man responsible for the golf played from a hugely elevated tee to a evening, for this is when the whole
course here, which was founded in 1993. green protected by a pond, and the atmosphere changes and the restaurant
It’s a delightful 18-hole championship par-4 6th, where the double-level green transforms into a showcase for chef
layout among hills, wooded plains and a is guarded by both sand and water. Servé Vromen’s refined international
number of lakes, interlinked by rivers The 13th is one of the few holes with creations. If you decide to head out,
and mini waterfalls. no water hazard, but the green is well you’ll have a choice of more than 30
Just like the American’s work at Le protected and requires a pinpoint restaurants, with Mougins home to
Golf National, it’s a course that can be approach. For many, and despite its Michelin stars galore.
enjoyed by golfers of all abilities, difficulty, the demanding 16th will be a
favourite. The fairway is narrow, but the SEVE’S FRENCH BEAUTY
A Royal Mougins suite left rough must be avoided, for the Golf International Pont Royal in the
approach is to a deep, contoured green Provence region also opened for play in
defended by water long and right. the 1990s, and like Royal Mougins,
It’s a fantastic course that may still be makes clever use of the natural
classed as a baby as it approaches its landscape. It has won wide acclaim for
25th birthday. But significant its sensitive design, taking golfers on a
improvements and investments, journey through pinewoods and typical
especially in recent years, mean it is one Provençal countryside. It’s also the only
of the best in the country. Seve Ballesteros course in France, and
You’ll certainly work up an appetite as fans of the late, great Spaniard are
you play through the olive trees and advised to tick this one off the list.

12
SHORT HAUL | FRANCE

Hotel Moulin
de Vernègues Breathtaking views
at Pont Royal

Many holes are blessed with a plateau Royal is close to some of the region’s
setting, offering breathtaking views to top architectural and tourist sites, with
the Luberon and Alpilles mountain the Luberon Natural Regional Park
ranges. Seve has created an interesting among the nearest. Here, you’ll enjoy
challenge where golfers are required to stunning vistas across the limestone
vary their shot shape in order to score mountains, rolling hills and medieval
well, which makes it all the more hosts the Open De Provence for the first hilltop villages.
satisfying if you can pass the test. time. It’s also testament to its pedigree, A little further away you’ll discover
The long par-4 7th will live long in the design and conditioning that it has been the French commune of Aigues-Mortes.
memory, a rollercoaster of a hole with a nominated for France’s best golf course, Its impressive one-mile long ramparts
sweeping fairway, which typifies the in the 2018 World Golf Awards. feature ten gates and six towers, and it’s
constant elevation changes that make The complex has been strengthened not difficult to imagine this historic
club selection so tricky. However, the further with the addition of a 37-acre town as it was when first completed in
short 11th takes some beating, serving training centre, Durance, which boasts a the early 14th century. Exploring this
up a long carry across a steep rocky two-storey driving range, an expansive delightful part of France is thirsty work,
valley to a slick putting surface. This is putting green, a short-game practice and no visit would be complete without
no place to suddenly lose your bottle! area and a six-hole course. There’s also sampling the wine. A trip to
It’s hard not to picture Seve here and a David Leadbetter Academy. Châteauneuf-du-Pape village, just 30
visualise how he would have tackled Sitting alongside the 2nd hole, the miles from the course, comes highly
some of the challenging shots he four-star, 102-room Moulin De recommended, but there is no shortage
created. And it’s a test those on the Vernègues, with its gourmet restaurant of wineries that welcome visitors, and
European Challenge Tour will face in and spa, offers the perfect place to stay. this affords you every opportunity to
September this year when the course Located in the heart of Provence, Pont travel home with a gift or two.

The Royal Mougins


Golf Resort
ESSENTIALS
How to get there
Royal Mougins is just 20 minutes from
Nice Cote d’Azur airport. Pont Royal
is 30 minutes from Marseille and
Avignon airports.

Where to play
Q Royal Mougins
W: royalmougins.fr
GF: €90-€180 including cart (reductions
apply for hotel guests)

Q Pont Royal
W: golf-pontroyal.com
GF: €60-€85, Stay and Play from €150
per night

14
The par-4 15th signals the
start of a tough closing stretch
SHORT HAUL | FRANCE

A NATIONAL
TREASURE
Michael Weston heads to Le Golf National to deliver his
verdict on the host of the upcoming Ryder Cup
ituated on the outskirts of where even a three-putt can feel like a Viewing wise, spectators are in for a
Versailles near Paris, Le Golf decent accomplishment. Next up is a treat. The par-3 16th over water will be a
S National will host the 42nd
Ryder Cup matches in
par 5, but it won’t feel like you’re being
given much of a chance to settle into
real amphitheatre where a number of
matches are likely to be decided.
September. Its elevation to Ryder Cup your round, especially if you’re already Doubtless the players will make it look
host will automatically make it a in recovery mode. The par-4 5th, where easy, but it’s anything but, like the par-4
bucket-list entry for many, with golfers ‘only’ a cluster of fairway and greenside 18th – a joy to play in a friendly game,
across the globe keen to experience bunkers lie in wait, should offer a ray of but with the Ryder Cup on the line, the
L’Albatros for themselves. If you’re light for anyone whose shoulders are island green is going to look very small.
fortunate enough to play here, you’ll starting to sag. I talk from experience. L’Albatros left me well and truly beaten
gain a clear understanding of why it For a 15-handicapper like myself, up, but I’d play it again tomorrow. The
produces such drama year after year. bogeys felt like pars, and pars, which Ryder Cup is going to be special.
L’Albatros combines the feel of a links were rare beasts, felt like birdies.
with the expansive features of a modern Stadium courses might not be
stadium course. Picking a line from the everyone’s favourite, but there is great ESSENTIALS
tee isn’t easy, and if you stray too far off variety in the Hubert Chesneau and
you’re unlikely to find your ball, which Robert Von Hagge design. The par-4 How to get there
was certainly the case when I teed it up. 13th is a delightful dogleg and a superb London to Paris is just over two hours
You’ll need a full and committed technical challenge with a well- by Eurostar, and the venue is 39km from
swing from the very first tee shot, one protected green and oak trees guarding La Gare du Nord. It’s easily accessible by
that leaves you in no doubt as to what its entrance. It makes the tee shot one both rail and car. Four airports served
lies ahead. With water down the left of the most important on the course. by major national airlines are also within
and in play on reach of the resort. Visit yourgolftravel.
Photography: Le Golf National Millereau KMSP

the approach, The island-green 18th should com/ryder-cup for further details and
it’s a brute of provide plenty of Ryder Cup drama future packages.
an opener –
and it rarely Where to play
eases up. The Q Le Golf National
par-3 2nd W: golf-national.com
requires a GF: Rates/offers vary. See website
long carry
over water to Where to stay
a typically Q Novotel Saint Quentin Golf National
slick green, W: golf-national.com

16
  
      
La Manga Club’s
North course

SPAIN'S SOUTHERN
TREASURES
Spain is home to many distinct regions, each with its own
style and character. Rob Smith enjoys a tour of Murcia…
hroughout its beautiful its long-standing tradition of producing now officially ‘Real’. This mecca for the
countryside, Spain is packed fruit, vegetables and flowers, it is known active is home to not one but three fine
T with varied and interesting
golf to suit all tastes and
as ‘Europe’s Orchard’. It is also home to
a multitude of delicious tapas
golf courses, not to mention just about
every other sporting and recreational
budgets. At a more local level, the same restaurants and an eclectic mix of activity anyone could possibly want.
can be said for the south-eastern region architecture, old and new. The region’s The North and South courses date
of the country, Murcia. The area boasts rugged 150-mile coastline is the Costa back to the 1970s, with the latter
300 days of sunshine a year and offers a Calida, the ‘warm coast’, and this is an benefiting from the creative mind of
terrific mixture of golf, from the big guns area of great natural beauty with a Arnold Palmer. Both have been
such as world-famous La Manga to climate that is dry and inviting. remodelled over the years, while the
hidden gems such as Altorreal and Lorca. The best-known golfing resort in West is a Dave Thomas design which
At its heart is the beautiful and Murcia is the expansive and all- opened just over 20 years ago and has
characterful city of Murcia itself, through encompassing La Manga Club, which outstanding views, narrow fairways,
which runs the Segura River. Based on last year was granted royal status and is frequent blind shots and gullies snaking

18
This area is something of a Thomas the course opens out and simply gets

S H O R T H A U L | S PA I N
stronghold, and one of his best better all the way, with far-reaching
championship courses is Hacienda del views, changes in elevation and plenty
Alamo, which is an excellent test of golf of attractive and exciting holes that will
due to the strategic placement of keep the discerning golfer interested all
bunkers which demand thought on the way.
every tee. At 800 feet above sea level, Other fine courses in the region
there is often a cooling breeze which include the Nicklaus designs at Alhama,
also adds to the challenge, and the El Valle and La Torre, and it’s never very
gently undulating par-72 course covers far from one to the next. Golf in Murcia
a vast acreage. Water comes into play has much to recommend it, especially
on a number of holes, most notably the its great variety and even greater value.
short 8th and 12th. Add in the weather, the excellent
Murcia is a charming city Although the course accommodation and the delicious
is bordered by villas, cuisine and the area adds up to a
there is plenty of first-rate golfing destination.
space so that the
golfer should only
feel intimidated by ESSENTIALS
the hazards on the
course, not off it! How to get there
The course at Mar There are frequent flights to Murcia and
Menor is also part of a Alicante from a wide variety of airports.
substantial development that includes
villas and an excellent hotel. It is Where to play
somewhat unusual in that while the QAltorreal
front nine was created by Thomas, the W: golfaltorreal.es
back nine was completed by Nicklaus QHacienda del Alamo
Design. This makes for an interesting W: clubdegolfhda.com
hybrid and there are some exciting QLa Manga
holes, especially where the water comes W: lamangaclub.com
into play in the middle of each nine. The QLorca
par 4s at 3 and 13 are both crackers W: lorcaresort.com
where anything right will be lost forever, QMar Menor
and there is a real club atmosphere W: marmenorresort.com
which makes the whole experience here
very welcoming. Where to stay
QLa Manga, Cartagena
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE W: lamangaclub.com
A golfing visit to Murcia is not complete QMar Menor
through the course. Opinion is split as to without a stay in the lovely capital city, W: marmenorresort.com
which is the best, and this makes a the seventh largest in Spain. Here, the QPuerto Juan Montiel, Aguilas
personal game of compare and contrast very smart Siete Coronas makes for an W: hotelpuertojuanmontiel.com
a very tempting idea. There is plenty of excellent base as everything is within QSiete Coronas, Murcia
excellent accommodation of varying walking distance. A short drive from W: barcelo.com/en-gb
types on site, with the Principe Felipe here is the region’s most northerly
Hotel the pick of the bunch. course, Altorreal. After a slightly For more information on golf in Murcia,
claustrophobic start through the villas, visit murciaturistica.es/en/golf
STRENGTH IN DEPTH
There are more than 20 courses in
Murcia. Over to the west and a few
miles inland, Lorca is a very interesting,
not to mention challenging, desert-
style course. Again designed by Dave
Thomas, it shares some characteristics
with La Manga’s West, especially the
many chasms that must be carried
either off the tee or on approaches.
This is a course packed with risk and
reward in a quiet location up in the
hills. It will both excite the first-timer
and grow on the golfer with repeated
play. To the south, the coastal town of
Aguilas has much to offer, and the very
friendly Puerto Juan Montiel Hotel with The 1st hole
its own marina is an excellent place to at El Valle
rest your weary head.

19
Los Naranjos, a Robert
Trent Jones Snr creation

Jones Snr creation which dates back to

MARBELLA 1977, and Rio Real, the handiwork of


Spanish design supremo Javier Arana
which opened 12 years earlier.
Los Naranjos played host to the

MADE EASY
Jeremy Ellwood discovers the perfect
Spanish PGA Championship in 1989,
when Jose Rivero had the audacity to
defeat Seve in a play-off. It is, to a
degree, a course of two halves, with
raised greens the order of the day on
the front nine, and the back nine then
base for taking on some of the best playing over mostly flatter terrain, all in
the lee of the Sierra Blanca mountain
golf courses the area has to offer range and its highest peak – the
distinctive La Concha.

or the second year in a row I five-minute stroll down to the marina at A TRUE TEST
was fortunate enough to Puerto Banus. This stretch of coast Among the best holes are the par-5 5th,
F enjoy a spot of November
golf in the Marbella
boasts several very fine golf courses,
and this kind of accommodation is just
with water down the left for most of the
way until you cross it nearer the green,
sunshine, this time staying in La Medina, what many golfers are looking for… and the testing long par-3 8th that plays
one of many well-located, luxury including a very welcome bottle of red to a wide green with a particularly steep
apartments managed by property rental on arrival. false front. Coming home, the 15th is a
specialists Vacation Marbella. On this particular trip we played two fiddly short par 4 that could goad you
Like all the company’s properties, it contrasting courses where our hosts into attack when caution may be the
was modern and tastefully furnished, have negotiated reduced green fees for wiser option due to the pond fiercely
and in our particular case a mere clients – Los Naranjos, a Robert Trent guarding the dogleg.

20
S H O R T H A U L | S PA I N
Vacation Marbella
manages 60 luxury villas

created by the Guadalevin river, which


splits this medieval city in two. Looking ESSENTIALS
down is definitely not recommended if
you’ve no head for heights, though it is How to get there
worth contemplating what club you There are lots of flights into Malaga every
would require to safely make it across at day with a number of different airlines
various points! from across the UK. It’s about a 45-minute
drive from Malaga airport into Marbella.
A FITTING FINALE
While here, we had the very great Where to play
pleasure of wining and dining at Viejos QLos Naranjos Golf Club
Descalzos, an ancient monastery- Course stats: par 72, 6,688 yards
turned-winery. This once derelict W: losnaranjos.com
property is now producing some very QRio Real Golf & Hotel
fine wine – the owner even opened a Course stats: par 72, 6,617 yards
first-harvest 2003 on our account – and W: rioreal.com
the leisurely dinner we enjoyed here
gazing out over the vast valley made for Where to stay
a very special evening indeed. Vacation Marbella
Our final treat was a wonderful meal Vacation Marbella now manages 60
in the Trocadero Arena beach restaurant luxury villas and apartments in the
Rio Real is a very pretty course close to the Rio Real’s seafront holes, Marbella area, including La Medina. It
characterised by narrow fairways, where the varied menu was can secure discounted green fees at Los
mature trees and some intriguing accompanied by a particularly good Naranjos and Rio Real, and will organise
bunkers that, at times, intertwine with Entrechuelos Chardonnay, and an even your whole golf itinerary for you if that’s
the trees in the rough. Two holes – the better Cune Crianza Rioja. A fitting way what you desire.
4th and 5th – are set the other side of to round off a great couple of days in T: 0034 951 386 045
the busy A7 motorway, with the 4th the sun before our short flight back to E: info@vacationmarbella.com
taking you right down to the shore. The Gatwick and the British winter. W: vacationmarbella.com
5th is then an extraordinarily tough par
4, where the approach is played blind or The par-3 6th
semi-blind over a large mound and at Rio Real
water to a treacherous green.
The 6th is no less extraordinary, a
mid-length par 3 to a slender green
wedged precariously between a
rockface and a sheer drop down to the
riverbed. Even with a mere 7- or 8-iron
in hand, the sudden overwhelming need
for precision provides real pressure. The
5th and 6th are certainly among the
most memorable back-to-back holes
I’ve ever played.
Of course, all golf and no culture
makes Jezz a dull boy, so it was great to
also venture inland to the quite
spectacular Ronda Cliffs, where a bridge
traverses the dramatic 300ft gorge

21
Canary Islands

TANTALISING
TENERIFE
James Mason visits the largest of the Canary Islands and
comes away mighty impressed by the beauty of its courses
fter flying from the UK, and replace the flag on the 1st, I look Black sandy waste areas, reddish-pink
where it’s so cold I have to back down the fairway and am stunned rocks and barrancas, wild flowers, cacti
A chip ice off my windscreen, I
find myself in shorts just a
by the view. The Atlantic shimmers in
the background beyond the terracotta
and palm trees surround the course,
enhancing its visual allure – it really is a
little while later on the clubhouse patio clubhouse, and it’s such a glorious sight beautiful setting.
at Golf Costa Adeje, covered in SPF 50 that it takes a moment to soak it all in. After a 40-minute ferry trip from
and indulging in a buffet lunch. What a From the fairways, the infinity greens Tenerife to La Gomera and a stunning
difference a four-hour flight makes! on the 3rd and 4th holes appear to float half-hour drive to Tecina Golf, which
I have a preference for courses that on the Atlantic beyond. Spanish course takes you up the mountain and back
open with a par 5, as Costa Adeje does, designer Pepe Gancedo has certainly down the other side, I’m staring out to
especially when you’re playing holiday made the very most of this wonderful sea from the clubhouse in awe of yet
golf. As I pick my ball out of the hole parcel of land. more spectacular views. It’s not only the

Seve’s Buenavista is
an absolute gem

24
Atlantic Ocean below me once more

SHORT HAUL | CANARY ISLANDS


here, but also the rocks and hills all
around me, plus the sheer variety of
colours and flowers that assault your
senses in the best possible way.
The 4th is the course’s most iconic
hole and as I make my way to the tee I
can see why – it’s 186 yards downhill
and all carry too, with the Atlantic
glistening away in the background. But
The Melia Hacienda
this course is no one-trick pony and del Conde Hotel
Donald Steel has made a wonderful job
of creating a challenging layout that
takes full advantage of its location. impressed by what I see! Tall pines, lush As I place my putter back in my bag
green fairways and white sand bunkers on the final green, I wonder why no one
A GLORIOUS SETTING greet me, and, like all the courses in has been raving about this course. Are
It’s an early start next day but I am Tenerife, there’s the Atlantic as a they just trying to keep it a secret? Who
excited as I have heard a lot about the backdrop. With the early morning knows! What I do know is that you need
course at Abama. I jump in my buggy golden sun casting shadows across the to play here, for Seve has created a real
and head to the 1st, pull out my driver course, Abama looks stunning. gem of a course and I’m sure that you
and climb up to the tee. I’m certainly The first par 3 comes at the 4th, will love every minute of it.
which is all you could
ever want in a golf hole
Black sand abounds
at Costa Adeje
– elevated tees, water to ESSENTIALS
play over, palm trees,
white sand bunkers and How to get there
that ever-present ocean There are many direct flights to Tenerife
backdrop. The green South airport from various UK airports
nestles down left of a hill with several different carriers. Flight times
covered in rocks and are around four hours and 15 minutes.
cacti. Abama really is a
course designer’s dream Where to play
piece of land and just QGolf Costa Adeje
keeps on serving up one T: 0034 922 71 00 00
great hole after another, W: golfcostaadeje.com
and stunning view upon QTecina Golf La Gomera
stunning view. From the T: 0034 922 14 58 50
fairway, as I look down to the 6th green W: jardin-tecina.com
surrounded by seven palm trees, it just QAbama Golf
seems to sit in the sea – an illusion, of W: abamagolf.com
course, as we are actually well above T: 0034 922 58 96 23
the ocean up in the hills. QBuenavista Golf
Water features on every hole on the T: 0034 922 12 90 34
back nine, with a semi-island green at W: buenavistagolf.es
the par-3 14th hole, but as another
birdie putt slips by on the 18th I’m not Where to stay
overly worried. I take a deep breath and QHotel Jardin Tropical
savour the moment – it has been a T: 0034 922 746 000
privilege to play this wonderful course. W: jardin-tropical.com
QHotel Suite Villa Maria
THE GENIUS OF SEVE T: 0034 922 168 584
Next up is a glorious drive over the W: hotelsuitevillamaria.es
mountains to Buenavista on the island’s QLas Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa
north coast. I’ve read a few articles that T: 0034 922 777 818
have mentioned this course, but nothing W: hotellasmadrigueras.com
that has jumped out to make me think QRitz-Carlton, Abama
it’s a must-play. Standing on the 10th T: 0034 922 126 000
tee – my first of the day – I wonder why. W: ritzcarlton.com
The course was designed by one of QIberostar Anthelia
my all-time favourite golfers, Severiano T: 0800 028 0422
Ballesteros, and as I look down from the W: iberostar.com
elevated tee towards the ocean, with QSheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa
the green perched on the rocks and the T: 0034 922 162 000
Teno Mountains to my left, it’s a W: sheratonlacaleta.com
fantastic sight. I can see some of the QMelia Hacienda del Conde
other holes from this spot and suddenly T: 0034 922 06 17 00
feel like a little kid in a sweet shop. W: melia.com/es

25
Portugal

FALLING IN
The 2nd is then a tighter hole with a
well-framed drive, before an attractive
mid-length downhill par 3 where the
travel stiffness finally eased. Both these

LOVE WITH
holes boasted what would prove a
common feature – rear bunkers that sit
towards you like front bunkers, making
for great visuals, but pretty testing lies!

LISBON The back-nine finish from 15 onwards


is superb, featuring a risk-reward par 4,
a long par 3 that’s nearly all carry over
water, a sharp dogleg left with OOB
both sides and a green where straying
Jeremy Ellwood savours the delights of above the hole spells an almost certain
three-putt.
several cracking courses in and around I came away thinking Quinta do Peru
was the kind of course I could quite
Portugal’s beautiful and historic capital happily play every day.

25th April Bridge from


s I set out at 5am for thing on arrival I had to pick up my hire the 5 Oceanos Restaurant
Heathrow hoping to beat set courtesy of MyCaddyMaster.com,
A the M25 rush, it dawned on
me that although I’d flown
the brainchild company of enterprising
Frenchman Ghislain de la Chaise.
to Lisbon several times, this trip, taking By early afternoon, my Callaway XR
in some of the highlights of Lisbon’s clubs were being put to the test on the
Golf Coast, would be the first time I’d 1st at Quinta do Peru – a fittingly
actually stayed in the city. I was generous par-5 after the morning’s
travelling without clubs, too, so first travels, though I still made a hash of it.

26
SHORT HAUL | PORTUGAL
Belas boasts a strong
opening quintet

The seaside course at


Troia is a real gem

Later that afternoon, we enjoyed early on. Director of Golf, Paul


a wine-tasting and tour around the Saunders, told us that the
fascinatingly diverse museum at opening quintet was particularly
the Bacalhoa vineyard, culminating in savour the views and the first of many strong, with the 3rd perhaps the best
some very fine Moscatels as we became doglegs. There are countless fine holes, par 4 in Portugal, and one we simply
perhaps just a touch over-acquainted among them the 9th, which starts had to play from the tips. I tended to
with the local produce! narrow and gets narrower, and the agree when I split the fairway, but went
extraordinary double-dogleg 14th, off the idea after sending a wayward
TO TROIA BY FERRY where position is everything. The back 5-iron into the scrub well wide of the
From here, it was a short drive to the nine ‘feels’ a little more open visually, green. It was still a great hole, though,
Hotel do Sado in Setubal, where our but I’m not sure it is really. thanks to its exciting downhill approach
top-floor restaurant looked out over the After Troia, we headed into the city and the water hazard snaking in from
river estuary we would be traversing by for the first of two nights at the Pestana the left close to the green.
ferry the following morning en route to CR7 Hotel quite close to the river. We
Troia Golf Resort. ate at the Museu de Cerveja close by, LISBON’S HOME OF GOLF
This superb course, the handiwork of and it’s hard to imagine having a bad On the par-5 6th you need to be aware
Robert Trent Jones Snr, is laid out over experience at any restaurant bearing of the cross-hazard off the tee in firm
a slender, sandy peninsula and is one of such a name. Afterwards I learned that conditions, but could just bring the
the jewels in the Lisbon’s Golf Coast two scoops of ice cream in Portugal is green into range downwind if you were
crown. Pines, bunkers and sandy waste twice the size of two scoops in the UK,
areas abound, and I absolutely loved it, but still battled all the way through my Belem Tower stands
perhaps partly because I made a tangerine/Ferrero Rocher combo. on the River Tagus
ridiculous birdie on the par-5 opener
after hitting it about 70 yards right off A STRONG START
the tee. Some things never change. The next day, we headed to Belas, a
The magnificent, well-bunkered par-3 Rocky Roquemore creation from the
2nd plays straight towards the water late 1990s that is very much a buggy
the other side of the peninsula, from course, particularly over a front nine
where you climb to the 3rd tee to that circles a vast area of vegetation

27
SHORT HAUL | PORTUGAL

The Pestana CR7


Hotel in Lisbon

The short par-4 12th


at Quinta do Peru

feeling particularly brave or confident. colonial clubhouse proved the


The slightest misjudgement or mishit, perfect spot to enjoy yet
though, and you’ll be in the water short more Moscatel and one or
of the green. Only perfection will suffice. two of the local pastries.
That afternoon, we enjoyed a quite We ate at Pap ’Acorda that
different golfing experience at the night, where the legendary chocolate
long-established Lisbon Sports Club, mousse took ‘rich’ to a whole new level, ESSENTIALS
which hails itself ‘Lisbon’s Home of Golf’. then spent the next morning wandering
Everything is on a more condensed the city’s elegant streets and square. A How to get there
scale here, with the odd criss-cross hole, spot of riverside sightseeing – including Lisbon is well served from the UK by
most notably the 5th, an excellent par 5 the stunning Belem Tower – followed regular flights from London and other
along the valley playing back over the ahead of a superb fish meal at the 5 airports with several different airlines.
1st green from an elevated tee. I really Oceanos Restaurant, which lies almost
liked the 7th, an uphill par 4 to a green beneath the 25th April Bridge. This Where to play
perched on top, and the delightful short impressive structure is a dead-ringer for Q Quinta do Peru G&CC
par-3 11th over a pond, where you the Golden Gate Bridge, and gets its Course stats: par 72, 6,601 yards
simply can’t afford to miss right. name from the date of the Portuguese T: 00351 212 134 320
The 18th was another of those narrow revolution, which brought freedom from W: orizontegolf.com
holes that just keeps getting narrower, four decades of dictatorship in 1974. Q Troia Golf Resort
and this lower part of the course On the flight home I vowed to come Course stats: par 72, 6,908 yards
reminded me very much of the front back, not only to take in more of the T: 00351 265 494 024
nine at Bovey Castle in Devon. It courses on Lisbon’s Golf Coast, but also W: troiaresort.pt
provided a fitting contrast to the more to explore more of this beautiful and Q Belas Golf Club
expansive creations we had enjoyed historic city. TAP Portugal is one of few Course stats: par 72, 6,680 yards
elsewhere, and the terrace of its old airlines to still provide complimentary T: 00351 219 626 640
food and drink on W: belasclubedecampo.pt
its short-haul Q Lisbon Sports Club
flights, and as the Course stats: par 69, 5,806 yards
trolley came T: 00351 214 310 077
round, I couldn’t W: lisbonclub.com
help but notice
that the white Where to stay
wine was from the Q Hotel do Sado Business &
Bacalhoa winery. Nature, Setubal
Well, it would T: 00351 265 542 800
have been rude W: hoteldosado.com
not to, wouldn’t Q Pestana CR7 Hotel, Lisbon
it? The perfect T: 00351 210 401 710
way to toast a W: pestanacr7.com
The 7th hole at the charming very fine trip to
Lisbon Sports Club Portugal’s very Find out more about the region and
fine capital. Lisbon’s Golf Coast at visitlisboa.com

28
Portugal

DESTINED FOR
GREATNESS
When West Cliffs
opened last year it
was heralded as
one of Europe’s
best newcomers
for decades. David
Taylor says it lives
up to the hype...

he eagerly anticipated
opening of West Cliffs close
T to Lisbon last year brought
with it predictions that it
would take European golf by storm. As
soon as you enter the front gates, it’s visitor numbers have been steadily found out in January. It will inevitably
easy to understand why. growing, but West Cliffs seems to have play host to many more prestigious
The par-72 course, which was 14 years taken the area to the next level. tournaments in the years to come but it
in the making, has been laid out over Designed by Cynthia Dye – Pete Dye’s has been built primarily as a resort
200 hectares of dramatic clifftop terrain niece – this links layout is managed by course with the travelling golfer in mind.
with ocean views on every hole. It is the Praia D’El Rey resort and lies just It offers five teeing options, so it is
located on Portugal’s Silver Coast, about ten minutes north of its sister course. playable for all – but be sure to choose
60 miles north of the capital – an area I was lucky enough to visit before its wisely or you could be in for a long day.
which had a reputation for great golf grand opening and it was clear then Highlights on the front nine include
even before last year’s new addition. that it was set to make headlines. Those the 189-yard par-3 5th located on top of
Fine courses at Praia D’El Rey, Royal have been coming thick and fast in a massive dune and played directly
Obidos and Bom Sucesso have all recent months, culminating in West towards the ocean. The Redan-style
opened in the last 20 years, meaning Cliffs being named the World’s Best green and prevailing wind make club
New Golf Course at choice tricky here, and the large
The Marriott Resort the 2017 World bunkers on the left are to be avoided.
at Praia D’El Rey Golf Awards. Back-to-back par 5s then follow, the
second of which features a large sandy
A TESTING waste area that bisects the fairway and
LAYOUT is obscured from view off the tee. Big
There’s no doubt hitters beware! The back nine starts
the course is a with a run of lovely holes taking you
tough test, as closest to the eponymous cliffs, before
competitors at the a superb finishing stretch from 16 to 18.
2018 Portuguese The par-3 16th occupies the highest
Women’s Amateur point on the course and offers
Golf Championship spectacular panoramic views, while the

30
The reality lives up to the
promise at West Cliffs

SHORT HAUL | PORTUGAL


The 14th at West Cliffs West Cliffs’ dramatic 18th

17th doglegs around yet another huge


dune on the right.
The 18th plays downhill from an
elevated tee, presenting you with one
final dramatic view. You can either take
on another dune on the left to leave a of traditional and international dishes.
straightforward second, or go right and There are also apartments and villas, all ESSENTIALS
face a trickier approach over water. A with direct access to the beach.
fitting finale to an exhilarating ride. If you feel like a break from the golf, How to get there
Lisbon has much to offer and can be Lisbon is extremely accessible from the
STRENGTH IN DEPTH explored en route to the airport. The UK. A number of airlines fly on a regular
As already mentioned, the beauty of a town of Obidos, just ten kilometres basis from a host of different airports
trip to the Silver Coast is the sheer away, justifies at least a day trip too. It is across the country.
number of quality courses within easy one of Portugal’s Seven Wonders and a
reach, none more so than Praia D’El Rey. UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to Where to play
This par-73 7,100-yard Cabell B its medieval walls, charming QWest Cliffs, Obidos
Robinson layout is blessed with great cobblestone streets, whitewashed Course stats: par 72, 7,003 yards
variety. You’ll find some fantastic inland houses and lively shops and restaurants. W: westcliffs.com
treats on the front nine, but the back Europe is blessed with some fabulous QPraia D’El Rey, Obidos
nine is where the course really comes and well-established golf destinations Course stats: par 73, 7,100 yards
alive. The stretch from the 12th to the that cover all bases, whether that be W: praia-del-rey.com
15th is the most exposed to the ocean superb courses, great food, reliable
and all that it throws at you, making it weather or cultural delights. With the Where to stay
truly memorable. opening of West Cliffs, Portugal’s Silver QPraia D’El Rey Marriott Golf and Beach
The resort comprises 177 rooms and Coast has confirmed its place at the top Resort, Obidos
offers four restaurants serving a variety table of golf on the continent. W: praia-del-rey.com

31
GM Promotion

THE ULTIMATE
SUNSHINE GOLF
DESTINATION
With scores of fine courses and direct flights from 30 local
airports, the Algarve is the perfect spot for sunshine golf

32
GM Promotion

s a holiday destination, the All of which paints a positive picture everyone, whether beginner, junior,

SHORT HAUL | ALGARVE


southern coast of Portugal for the region’s future. With average male, female, senior or disabled golfer
A ticks many boxes: year-
round sunshine, natural
annual temperatures of 17.5˚C and 150
miles of sandy beaches, it’s not just
(or even non-golfing partner) will enjoy
a rewarding experience.
beauty, accessibility, and miles of golden golfers who flock to this part of Europe. Off course, there are numerous
beaches. For golfers, there’s an array of But its low-cliff coastline means 3,065 activities for the whole family such as
wonderful courses, many of which have hours of sunshine a year, making it snorkelling, sailing and water-skiing on
become household names. But the real perfect for golf across the seasons. the coast, while walkers will enjoy the
beauty of the Algarve is the short direct More direct flights make it easier than many beautiful nature reserves. Cycling,
flight time from the UK from 30 airports ever to get to the Algarve, whether rock-climbing and quad-biking are also
right across the country. you’re based in London, the north of popular, and the area is rich in history
Today, golfers are spoilt for choice, Scotland, the west of Ireland or and architecture, with many ancient
but it takes more than good weather anywhere in between. Algarve Tourism’s towns, castles and museums to explore.
and beautiful views to attract ‘golf4all’ project ensures it is promoted There are many restaurants catering for
holidaymakers. A recent Post Office as a fully inclusive destination too, so all tastes and it’s hard to beat the seafood
Holiday Money Report declared and a glass or two of local wine.
the Algarve as the best-value Evenings can be enjoyed into the
holiday destination in the world Quinta da Ria early hours in one of many
in 2017. In the report, meals and late-night clubs, casinos or bars.
other essentials were found to be Whether you want a golf trip, a
cheaper on the Algarve than in weekend getaway, or a family
44 other popular holiday spots. break, the Algarve has it all.

Vale do Lobo Ocean

33
GM Promotion

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN


Far from it being only resort-style
courses, golfers enjoy a choice of links
and parkland, as well as woodland and
mountainside. That’s why golfing parties
travel here year after year – to play old
favourites and discover new gems. The
juices start to flow the moment you
arrive at Faro airport. If you don’t see
someone wheeling a set of golf clubs,
you’re probably in the wrong place.
Golf in the Algarve started just over
half a century ago in the western region
with the creation of Penina on a former
paddy field just north of Alvor, a
wonderfully peaceful fishing village.

even if the elevation changes keep the


heart pounding a little.
Those glorious vistas are matched a
little further along the coast at Onyria
Palmares, although it’s the wonderful
Penina variety over its three very distinct nines
– Alvor, Lagos and Praia – that wins
most of the plaudits here. Onyria
Penina hosted the Algarve’s first memory with a drop of 80 feet from Palmares dates back to 1975, but
European Tour event, the Portuguese the tee to the fairway, before a similar benefited enormously from a Robert
Open, in 1973. Over the years it has been climb back up to the green. It sets the Trent Jones II renovation in 2010, which
regularly upgraded, and the course scene for a hilly test that serves up elevated it to one of the most talked-
provides a thoroughly enjoyable wonderful views throughout, especially about courses in Portugal.
parkland test, winding its way through from the clubhouse. Pestana has a portfolio of four courses
tree-lined fairways to elevated greens. It’s a course that can easily be in the west region including Henry
Penina’s nine-hole Resort and Academy combined with a visit to nearby Cotton’s Alto, where the 623-yard 16th
courses are ideal for beginners. Boavista, an undulating layout designed was once Europe’s longest hole. It was
From here, head up into the foothills by Howard Swan 15 years ago. It’s hard his final design, although sadly he did
of the mountains and you’ll find not to enjoy the views out to sea here, not live to see it realised. His goal was to
Morgado and Álamos, neighbouring
courses of contrasting style, both under Espiche
the European Golf Design umbrella. The
former, a par-73 layout, presents a game
of two halves. The front nine is flat but
with water hazards as a constant threat,
while the back nine rises and falls over
dramatically undulating terrain.
Álamos is shorter, but with narrower
fairways and smaller greens. The views
out over the reservoir and adjacent
vineyards will have a calming effect if
your game happens to be off!
Espiche, close to the harbour town of
Lagos, is a dramatic course surrounded
by beautiful countryside and vineyards.
The opener will certainly live long in the

34
GM Promotion

SHORT HAUL | ALGARVE


Pestana Gramacho

Onyria Palmares

Oceânico Faldo

create “a course for those who like


challenge in their game. The undulating
terrain makes each hole a new challenge,
from mastering the double-dogleg to
softly putting the tiered greens.”
Gramacho and Vale da Pinta were
originally designed as an 18-hole set-up
with 27 greens. Each nine was Some of the biggest names to have The two largest cities in the region
subsequently expanded to a full 18 ever played the game have left their – Portimao and Lagos – are both well
holes, and they have been kept in fine mark on the Algarve too. Oceânico worth a visit. Portimao features a
order with a number of very strong Faldo is one of two fine courses at the beautiful promenade, converted from its
holes, although the latter presents a Oceânico Amendoeira Golf Resort, the busy dockland. It’s the perfect place to
slightly sterner test. other being Oceânico O’Connor Jnr. unwind and enjoy a meal. The centre of
Meanwhile, Silves, which lies in the Faldo’s is the more undulating of the historic Lagos is enclosed within largely
foothills of the Monchique Mountains, two courses, with the six-time Major 14th century walls. Nearby, sun
has an excellent selection of par 3s and winner’s trademark expansive bunkering worshippers will find some of the very
serves up yet more stunning panoramic one of its key defences. The O’Connor best spots to lay down a towel in the
vistas. It offers the perfect blend of Jnr layout may be easier to walk, but entire region, which is saying something
thrilling golf in the most peaceful and water hazards come into play on at least given the numerous golden beaches in
unspoilt of settings. half the holes. the Algarve.

Boavista

Morgado

35
GM Promotion

Pine Cliffs

SIMPLY WORLD CLASS Hawtree-designed Pine Cliffs, a Laguna on low-lying marshland,


ALL-ROUND delightful nine-holer on the cliff tops however, presents more of a water-
The centre of the Algarve is a golfing where you’ll find scoring a little easier based challenge. The best advice is to
hotbed in itself. As well as featuring a than at some of its more illustrious stock up on balls and enjoy the test;
number of household names, the region neighbours. Its famous hole is the Devil’s hopefully, you’ll overcome your fear of
is packed with interesting towns and Parlour, a par 3 played across a chasm of water and walk off with your supplies
activities. Just a few miles from the lively ochre-coloured cliffs. still largely intact.
town of Albufeira, Salgados is an easy- Dom Pedro has five courses in the Later this year (September 20-23), the
walking layout alongside a nature reserve Vilamoura area including Millennium, a Portugal Masters returns to the Victoria
teeming with wildlife, with the marshes favourite with holiday golfers thanks to Course, where the likes of Shane Lowry,
home to many species of bird. its forgiving layout. There’s plenty of Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood
No visit to this part of the Algarve is water, but it’s the final two holes that have tasted victory in the past decade. It
complete without stopping at the Martin pose the greatest test. Neighbouring was designed by Arnold Palmer and is a

Quinta do Lago South

36
GM Promotion

SHORT HAUL | ALGARVE


The Old course

San Lorenzo

pines that line the by Paul McGinley and American


fairways have matured architect, Beau Welling. Its visual appeal
greatly to provide a key and playability certainly elevates it into
defence. the ‘must-play’ category. Meanwhile,
There’s a plethora of Quinta do Lago South, which opened in
other fine courses the mid-1970s and frequently hosts the
throughout the central Portuguese Open, is highly regarded.
region too. Pestana Vila Doglegs are a prominent feature at this
Sol has three nines first-class resort course where strategic
fascinating hybrid of marshland golf and named according to their difficulty. The hazards must be negotiated carefully.
holes running through ancient trees. Its main course comprises the Prime and A fine alternative exists at Quinta do
large and undulating greens are a very Challenge loops, with the Prestige billed Lago Laranjal, which runs over a vast
distinctive feature. as an academy course, though it’s by no orange grove, from where it gets its
The Old Course is Vilamoura’s original means easy. Portuguese name. The par 3s are
crown jewel. It’s the second oldest Henry Cotton also made a lasting particularly testing, as are a number of
course in the Algarve and one of the impact at Vale do Lobo, a sporting thrilling long holes that make super use
finest in Europe. Perhaps the best estate popular with professional sports of the rolling terrain. It’s not just the
compliment you can pay is that every teams and athletes thanks to its fairways that undulate either as the
single hole is a joy to try and conquer, first-class facilities. Vale do Lobo Ocean contoured greens present a further test.
and even if you fail, it’s impossible not to has holes that run between villas to the Three loops of nine can be found at
appreciate the design. Every shot beach, with the par-3 15th a stunning Pinheiros Altos – the Pines, the Olives
demands careful club selection and total highlight. The breathtaking 16th on its and the most recent addition, the Corks.
commitment as you fight to avoid the sister course, Vale do Lobo Royal, which They all share similar characteristics, but
pines, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable and runs along the cliff edge, is another with enough variation to also give each
certainly one for the ‘must-play’ list. real beauty. a distinct feel.
Vilamoura itself is a bustling seaside Quinta do Lago North has a sandy San Lorenzo, designed by American
resort with a lively marina and a subsoil and the bunkering is superb architect Joseph Lee, is another of the
number of busy restaurants and bars. following a major renovation undertaken Algarve’s most charming and admired
For many holidaymakers courses, and it’s easy to
bringing their golf clubs, it’s understand why from the moment
Salgados
number one on the list, with no you arrive. The par-5 8th is
shortage of hotels and evening possibly the best long hole in the
entertainment to complement Algarve, and the feature-packed
their days on the fairways. challenges keep coming at you,
Pinhal is another popular especially those bordering the
addition to the golfing itinerary. estuary and the salt-water lagoons
It’s also one of the Algarve’s oldest – just don’t forget your camera
layouts. Robert Trent Jones Senior here, or anywhere else in the
reworked it in the 1980s, and since Algarve for that matter. It’s a
then the umbrella and Atlantic golf haven.

37
GM Promotion

Monte Rei
Castro Marim

EAST IS EDEN and often punishing bunkers, the


The eastern Algarve’s 30-mile course has a very natural
coastline runs from Faro Airport to appearance. Risk and reward is
the River Guadiana. The course at evident throughout and it’s typical
Castro Marim opened in 2001 and Nicklaus that water should pose a
has three loops of nine, with the major challenge courtesy of
main challenge being distance several sizable lakes. Each hole
control into the elevated greens. blends effortlessly into the natural
There is also an abundance of canvas here.
wildlife to enjoy on your stroll Heading down from the hills
through the pines. and back towards the sea, two
The late, great Seve was responsible and Portuguese charm. Benamor may more coastal gems loom in the form of
for nearby Quinta do Vale, which not have opened until after Cotton’s Quinta de Cima and Quinta da Ria. The
features his trademark collection of six passing but the design follows his former was designed as the tougher of
par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. As the masterplan, blending into the natural the duo, with its final three holes, where
course approaches its tenth birthday, it’s surroundings and offering stunning water is in play, presenting a real
perhaps still one of the Algarve’s mountain and sea views. challenge. The latter isn’t lacking in
lesser-known tracks, but one that is well Monte Rei, a Jack Nicklaus Signature water trouble either, with five lakes
worth a visit. Course that is often rated Portugal’s bordering greens. Arguably, the pick of
Another Henry Cotton design lies finest, lies in the rolling hills not far to the holes here is the par-5 16th, where
close to the ancient city of Tavira, a the east, set among some 1,000 acres of even a defensive strategy is far from
wonderful place full of artistic ambience glorious countryside. Despite its deep easy to master.

Benamor

Quinta do Vale

38
GM Promotion

SHORT HAUL | ALGARVE


TAKE FLIGHT
TO THE
ALGARVE –
IT’S EASIER
THAN EVER
BEFORE
With direct flights from 30 local
airports, sunshine golf is little
more than two hours away

GET ON BOARD
FROM ALL OF
THESE AIRPORTS...
● Aberdeen
● Belfast
- City
- International
● Birmingham
● Bournemouth
● Bristol
● Cardiff
● Cork
● Doncaster/Sheffield
● Dublin
● Edinburgh
● Exeter
● Glasgow
- International
- Prestwick
● Kerry
● Knock
● Leeds Bradford
● Liverpool
● London
- City
- Gatwick
- Heathrow
- Luton
- Stansted
- Southend
● Manchester
● Newcastle
● Newquay
● Nottingham East Midlands
● Shannon
● Southampton

visitg o lfa lg ar ve

visitg o lfa lg a r ve

W visitg o lfa lg a r ve. com

39
Italy

HITTING THE
HEADLINES
The success of last year’s Rocco Forte Open at
Verdura confirmed Sicily as one of Europe’s most
exciting golfing destinations...
icily is fast becoming a provides a dramatic landscape in which Phillips-designed courses providing a
major golfing hub, with its to enjoy golf – and far more besides. wonderful test for golfers of all levels.
S growing number of
high-quality courses and
Indeed, one of its biggest pulls is what
tourists can discover here without
The renowned American architect also
designed a wonderful par-3 nine-hole
resorts making it one of the most picking up a club; the golf has become a course here, perfect for honing your
attractive up-and-coming venues in bonus – albeit a significant one. short-game skills. In fact, there are no
Europe. With its lush vegetation, Verdura, close to the city of excuses for not being in good touch
beautiful mountains, clear blue seas and Agrigento, is arguably the jewel in the before you head out because the
favourable climate, the ancient island crown, with its two 18-hole Kyle practice facilities, which include a
Words: Michael Weston

Verdura is the jewel in


Siciy’s golfing crown

40
double-ended driving range, chipping

S H O R T H A U L | I T A LY
and putting greens and a golf academy,
are first class.
Anyone holidaying on the south-west
coast should book themselves a tee time.
The East is more undulating and is laid
out as two returning loops of nine, while
the West provides an out-and-back
routing. With sweeping views of the
Mediterranean, there are a number of
Something different
standout holes, such as the short par-3
at Il Picciolo
6th on the East, Verdura’s answer to the
7th at Pebble Beach. Another two
excellent par 3s with coastal backdrops hailed this contemporary luxury lifestyle TEST OF PATIENCE
feature on the West at holes 15 and 17, destination as the “complete resort”. For an altogether different test of golf,
before a superb finishing hole – an uphill Hop on a golf cart or bike and explore and one you might not necessarily
par 4 with the shore down the left. Last the 230-hectare complex which includes expect when visiting Italy’s largest
year, Alvaro Quiros won the Rocco Forte Verdura Spa, six tennis courts and a island, head north-east to Picciolo Etna
Open here, when a composite course fully-equipped gym, as well as indoor Golf Resort & Spa, a real gem located
was created to combine the finest holes and outdoor pools. Meanwhile, at on the lower slopes of Mount Etna. The
from both tracks. The final six holes run Verdura’s four restaurants and five bars, constant changes in elevation make for
adjacent to the coast and provide one of you can sample the very best Sicilian some interesting holes that you get a
the most dramatic finishes on the cuisine and experience Rocco Forte’s sense of from the elevated par-4
European Tour rota. five-star service. With the superb fitness opener. Quirky? Yes, at times, but
However, winner Quiros didn’t just facilities, cycling routes and water there’s nowhere else like it on the island
describe the course as “a paradise” but sports, there are plenty of ways to burn where you have to get your strategy
off the calories if you overindulge. spot on to score well. Irons from the tee
are the order of the day; it’s a test of
A WARM WELCOME self-control because if you stray too far
Head down towards the south-east tip from the tree-lined fairways it is not
of the island and you’ll come across the easy to hack out.
delightful Donnafugata Golf Resort & This is a course that will test your
Spa with its Links and Parkland layouts, patience and you’ll certainly improve on
the latter of which is a Gary Player your score the second time around. In
design. But many regard the Links, between, spend the evening in the
designed by Franco Piras, as a more restaurant because the dining
interesting test. A warm welcome is experience here is something quite
guaranteed and both courses offer an special, and not to be rushed.
enjoyable challenge without being
overly punishing, despite

Delightful
their numerous hazards. ESSENTIALS
The heat itself can be a
Donnafugata
hazard. In terms of How to get there
playability, temperatures There are four main airports in Sicily.
in July, August and Palermo on the north-west of the island
September can see the and Catania on the east coast are well
courses firm up served by low-cost airlines. British
substantially. The Sicilian Airways operates flights from Heathrow
Open has been staged and Gatwick, with other options available
here, but the Rocco Forte through Ryanair and EasyJet. Flight time
Open returns to Verdura is approximately three hours.
in May 2018 when the
temperature is more Where to play
bearable. What guests at QVerdura Resort
Donnafugata will not W: roccofortehotels.com
want to miss is the dining experience. GF: Rates/offers vary, see website
It’s hard not to feel relaxed as soon as QPìcciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa
you arrive at the resort and this W: ilpiccioloetnagolfresort.com
atmosphere continues when you head GF: €85
out to eat. Whether it’s the privacy at Il
Carrubo, where you can sample the Where to stay
tasting menu while watching the sunset, QVerdura Resort
or the mouth-watering offerings from W: roccofortehotels.com
the Surf ‘N’ Turf Grill Terrace, you won’t QDonnafugata Golf Resort & Spa
forget your stay here. If you’re a W: donnafugatagolfresort.com
seafood lover, Donnafugata is most QPìcciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa
definitely the place for you. W: ilpiccioloetnagolfresort.com

41
United Kingdom

PRINCE’S REBORN
Jeremy Ellwood says major upgrades to the Himalayas nine
will make this famous 27-hole Kent links a must-play in 2018

’ve always had a soft spot other holes, including


for Prince’s, one of three the work required to
I Open Championship links on
the Kent coast near
merge the 2nd and 3rd
into the new par-5 2nd.
Sandwich, because it was the first Open While there I asked
venue I ever played. The layout may general manager, Rob
now be very different to the one Gene McGuirk, about this new
Sarazen triumphed over in 1932, though par 5. “The new 2nd is
many of the original green sites are still definitely another
in play, but that doesn’t detract from highlight,” he told me.
the experience of playing somewhere The 2nd on the Himalayas “I’ve now played it off
with such an illustrious history. will become a par 5 the new tee both
The layout changed, and indeed grew downwind, when you
to 27 holes, when it was reinstated after can pretty much get on
World War II, with the Shore, Dunes and par-3 5th that will provide Prince’s with in two, and into the wind, when I hit
Himalayas nines created then remaining its first sea-facing hole – and changes to driver, 3-wood, 5-iron! It’s still a dogleg
in play ever since, with a few tweaks all other holes to varying degrees. with wetlands down the left, and if you
along the way. take it over those wetlands off the
Last year, something a little more RAPID PROGRESS whites, it’s a 240-yard carry and then
than a tweak began, with a major Last August, I went down to check out around 260 yards to the green.”
upgrade to the Himalayas nine, which early progress, and I returned this Among the many other changes are
plays over the linksland north of the January to enjoy a glorious day’s golf in new wetlands elsewhere, the relocation
clubhouse, closer to Pegwell Bay. The the winter sunshine and take another of several tees to higher ground to
work is being overseen by renowned look. Things had moved on apace, with maximise sea views, extensive changes
golf course architect, Martin Ebert, and that 5th hole now fully turfed and nearly to the bunkering, water hazards and
includes a brand new hole – the short ready, and things taking shape on all the green surrounds, significant tree

How the Himalayas 6th hole will


look with Sandwich Bay to the left

42
original plans. “On the new Himalayas nine clamouring for

SHORT HAUL | UNITED KINGDOM


The new par-3 5th drivable par-4 8th we’ve attention from May onwards. I can’t
nearing completion dropped the left side of the wait to see what phase two has in store.
green a bit to create a
run-off, and then on the top
left of the 6th we’ve mowed ESSENTIALS
the green out there, so
there’s now a pin position Where to play
on top. Other than that, it’s Q Prince’s Golf Club, Sandwich Bay
pretty much spot on.” Course stats: Shore: par 36, 3,448 yards;
Other changes include Dunes: par 36, 3,432 yards; Himalayas:
upgrades to the putting and par 36, 3,606 yards (pending measure)
short-game facilities near GF: Round: £65 Mon-Thurs, £105 Fri-Sun
clearing and the reinstatement of three the clubhouse, which will be completed including free Stroke Saver (April prices:
long-lost Himalayas bunkers set in the when the 8th tee moves to its new £60 Mon-Thurs, £80 Fri-Sun)
dune ridge between the 8th and 9th. home up on a ridge, plus a new putting
These will now serve a primarily and chipping green outside the Lodge Where to stay
aesthetic role, but Sarazen et al would that came into play last year. Q The Lodge at Prince’s, Sandwich Bay
have played over these monster traps The Lodge at the southern end of the ‘Links and Lodges’ Golf Breaks cost from
on the pre-World War II routing. property opened six years ago. It is a £175pp from April to October based on
“There are a couple of green real feather in the cap as it forms an twin occupancy to include one night’s
surrounds where we’ve changed things ideal base not only for a golf break at accommodation, two rounds of golf and
a little,” McGuirk told me when I asked Prince’s, but also to take on all three an a la carte breakfast.
if things had remained as per the Kent coast Open venues, with Royal St
George’s literally next door and Royal Q 3 Open Venue Package 2018
Cinque Ports a few minutes away. It has Stay in The Lodge for two nights and
38 rooms, among them some spacious play all three Kent coast Open links, with
suites, an excellent bar by the 5th green breakfast each morning and dinner on
of the Shore nine and the 2 AA-Rosette the night of arrival, for £519pp from April
Brasserie On The Bay restaurant that to October 2018 based on two sharing
offers top-class dining. (Sunday to Thursday, t&cs apply).
Phase one of the Prince’s upgrade T: 01304 611118
project is nearly complete, with the W: princesgolfclub.co.uk

The Lodge at Prince’s


has 38 rooms and suites

land. Finally, we decided to go for it,


LONG-TERM and it’s part of a long-term project in
which we are setting out to be the best
AMBITIONS 27-hole resort in the UK and Ireland.
This is the first phase, but we have yet-
Rob McGuirk – general to-be-finalised plans for the Shore and
manager: These are the Dunes nines, plus a new par-3 course
most extensive upgrades across the road from the Lodge. We’re
since the course came on course to hit our May 1st opening
back after World War II. date. We’re just doing the bridges at the
There have always been moment, so that’s another big job out
a lot of people who just wanted to play of the way, and then it will be a matter
the Shore and Dunes nines, yet we felt of tidying up the bunkers and putting in
that the Himalayas had the best bit of the sand. Then we’re there!

43
United Arab Emirates

DESERT
CLASSICS
To celebrate the
playing of his
1,000th course,
Rob Smith revels
in a whirlwind tour
of the United Arab
Emirates…

hen I first stumbled across 1,000 had therefore been looming for reach my milestone. I had been to Dubai
golf 40 years ago, I some time, and I finished last year with before and thoroughly enjoyed The
W instinctively ticked off where
I had played in the index of
just four to go. I was keen to mark this
with a special course that would be
Emirates Club and Dubai Creek,
especially the Majlis course, which hosts
the Sunday Telegraph Golf Course memorable and different, but also the Dubai Desert Classic each year. This
Guide. As the count rose and welcoming to all. time, however, I was in for an extensive
technology took over from paper, I Happily, I very occasionally also write look at the nation’s golfing delights in a
transferred to using a spreadsheet. for Troon Golf, the world’s largest climate where sunshine and warmth is
Thanks to Golf Monthly, over the last third-party manager of golf clubs and all but guaranteed.
decade I have been lucky enough to courses, which now operates in more I began my four-day adventure by
visit and write about courses all over than 30 countries. In January, the flying to Dubai and taking a taxi to the
the world. The tally has risen opportunity arose to visit and play all of Hilton Al Hamra Beach and Golf Resort
dramatically, up by more than 180 in the its partners in the UAE – eight clubs and in the most northerly of the seven
last three years alone. The number nine courses. It was the perfect way to Emirates. Here, the large, airy hotel was

44
The links-desert hybrid
at Arabian Ranches

L O N G H A U L | U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S

The 3rd hole


at Al Hamra

the ideal place to relax and freshen up


from the flight, perfectly located right
by the clubhouse for my first game.

DAY ONE
The course at Al Hamra was designed
by Peter Harradine, who is something
of a local specialist. Opened in 2007, it
runs alongside and through purpose-
built lagoons and housing, with water
coming regularly into play. I was slightly
hampered by early morning mist, so
although I am pretty sure the front nine
has some fine holes, especially the

45
United Arab Emirates

scary par-5 5th, I know that the back


nine does! Both 11 and 12 are great fun,
and the closing hole is a wonderful long
hole, a kind of mirror image of the 18th
at Pebble Beach. The first seven and
closing two holes have floodlights and
combine seamlessly to offer a night-
time alternative.
After brunch, I followed the coast
south for 30 minutes or so to the
striking and very different Al Zorah. This
young Nicklaus Design course has been
built in and over a tidal mangrove
swamp. Wooden boardwalks link some
of the holes, and a real bonus of this
wild setting – a kind of Asiatic Royal
West Norfolk – is the frequent
encounters with birdlife. I saw what may
well have been a marsh harrier, and I
also saw what is definitely a very strong
golf course. Kept in superb condition,
there is plenty to thrill, particularly at
the four short holes which all flirt with
the marsh. I was very taken with the
whole set-up here.

DAY TWO
While I had not even heard of the two
Als before researching my trip, I had
received nothing but glowing praise for
Saadiyat Beach. Situated on raised dunes
just outside Abu Dhabi, this extremely Saadiyat Beach is
sandy Gary Player masterpiece was the a ‘masterpiece’
999th course on my CV and the start of
a special day for me. I was joined for my
golf by James, one of Troon’s young, highest order. Beautiful to behold and my round was that given my emotional
typically genial and capable staffers. in peak European Tour condition, it and physical state, I lost only one ball!
The two nines form a figure of eight features plenty of doglegs, water on Typical of the professional and
round the clubhouse, and although half the holes, trees and bushes, friendly approach from both Troon and
there are hotels and houses in a few perfectly placed bunkering and the club, I was met on the 18th tee by a
places, they are always a long way from excellent greens. It’s another must-play small welcoming party brandishing a
the line of play… even for me. This is a in a land with more than its fair share, bottle of champagne. Keen to keep my
serious championship test and you need and the most surprising statistic from wits about me, I reluctantly restricted
to choose your tees accordingly. Having
said that, it is a sumptuous feast of golf
all the way. Several of the holes would
serve as the signature design at most Favourite fairways
other courses, and the finishing few are
simply terrific. Looking for diversity in terms of both with the wind. They are, however,
I then set off for the big milestone at style and location, I’m not saying ten completely wonderful places
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where I was these are absolutely the finest ten to play that I would unhesitatingly
allocated the locker used by Jamie courses I’ve ever played. The list recommend to any keen golfer.
Donaldson when he won the HSBC could, and probably would, change
Championship in 2013. Seven days Cape Kidnappers // New
before, the National course had Zealand The aerial photos alone
hosted the thrilling conclusion of make this a shoe-in bucket-list course,
this year’s championship, where and a stay at this spectacularly
Tommy Fleetwood successfully beautiful estate is a holiday in heaven.
defended his title against a
star-studded field. Costa Navarino // Greece
The National course was Both courses at this idyllic golfing
designed to be, and most destination are lovely, with my
certainly is, a first-class preference being the Bay. The
tournament test of the very panoramic views are outstanding.
Natural beauty on
offer at Tandridge
46
Rob in exalted company

L O N G H A U L | U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S
at Abu Dhabi GC
myself to just the one
glass and escaped
with a zig-zag bogey.
An appropriate finish
for me to a most
memorable and
landmark round.
I wondered how it
would feel to complete 1,000
courses and reach my Holy Grail,
and the simple answer was pride mixed
with a fleeting nostalgia for all that has
happened during those 40 years. In
hitting the target, I haven’t exactly done
anything to help humanity or found a
cure for cancer, but nonetheless it is an
achievement and I will be forever
grateful to everyone, both professionally
and personally, who has helped to get
me there. I am, more than anything,
massively lucky.
I now had time to look around the
amazing clubhouse, bag some souvenirs
and take a short breather. An hour or so
later, I joined one of the young pros,
Louis, and a couple of holidaying
visitors to play night golf over the
adjacent and very enjoyable nine-hole
Garden course. In such exalted
company, this stands up very well in its
own right. It looked impressive under
floodlight and I suspect would be even
The majestic Thracian more so during the day. Immediately
Cliffs in Bulgaria next door, the Westin is a large, friendly
hotel that is a perfect base for golf in
the area.

DAY THREE
Following another early start, it was a
little over an hour to my next stop, The
Els Club, Dubai. Yet again I was
genuinely surprised and impressed by
how different this was to any of the
other courses I was visiting. It is as

Sunningdale // England
If ever there was a timeless,
atmospheric and simply perfect venue
for golf, Sunningdale is it. The only
Fancourt Links // South Africa the highest course in England has the question is Old or New? Both.
This demanding and superbly finest views in the country.
designed Gary Player course has it all. Tandridge // England
It’s a modern masterpiece. Old Head // Ireland Having been a member of this
So long as the weather behaves, this renovated Harry Colt classic since
Kingsbarns // Scotland is undoubtedly the most exhilarating 1994, I’m obviously biased, but I’m
Fife is the home of golf, and I could and breathtaking rollercoaster ride in still excited and enthused by this
have chosen the Old Course for the whole of the UK and Ireland. beautiful course every time.
atmosphere, but instead plumped for
this fabulous Kyle Phillips design. Royal Porthcawl // Wales Thracian Cliffs // Bulgaria
Links golf is wonderful, life-affirming A stunning coastal setting, a visual
Kington // England and in our blood, and this is a superb feast from start to finish, a real test of
Every such list needs its hidden gem, example of a traditional and testing golf and as photogenic as they come,
and even without its charming golf, such course of the highest calibre. Thracian Cliffs is real-life fantasy golf.

47
United Arab Emirates

pretty as a picture and I can’t see how My home for the


anyone would not delight in its lush, final two nights was
sumptuous and alluring appearance. the remarkable
The conditioning, in particular the Jumeirah Beach – a
greens, which were running at eleven, busy, modern and You’ll find a variety of
was immaculate. On top of this, it’s extremely stylish birdlife in the UAE
tough! There are run-offs that make hotel with
accuracy on approaches vital, but even outstanding views
if you end up in no man’s land, it would out over the Burj Al Arab and the sea,
be hard not to enjoy golf here. I loved it. and across to The Palm. The majority of
Boasting an informal and very Dubai’s excellent courses and attractions
clubby atmosphere, Arabian Ranches are a short and comparatively
has a relaxing feel which is very inexpensive taxi ride away.
welcoming. Many ex-pats choose to
base themselves here and the DAY FOUR
off-course facilities are particularly My (thankfully!) late-morning round
strong, with a first-class, state-of-the- was at Address Montgomerie, right
art academy. As for the course, this is next door to the Emirates Club but
an easy walking, links-desert hybrid remarkably different in style. I know I
that is a collaboration between Ian am getting repetitive, but the diversity
Baker-Finch and Nicklaus Design. of style on display at all of the courses I
Bucking the modern trend, water visited cannot be overstated.
hazards are conspicuous by their Here, the first three holes of each
absence. Instead, the former Open nine ease you in, but the remainder are
Champion has paid homage to his all memorable and there are some very
victory at Royal Birkdale by creating a exciting water holes, including the par
course that is strongly bunkered, and 3s at 6 and 13. The snaking par-5 9th is
where the bump-and-run is a key another cracker, and the long 18th is
element. I preferred the back nine, quite probably the most thrilling or
particularly the long 13th, the drive- intimidating closing hole in the country.
and-pitch 15th and the tough short 17th Water eats in on either side of the
played into the wind. Yet again, and all fairway, and as if that isn’t enough, The treacherous closing hole
the better for it, it is something there is a large pond sitting right in at the Address Montgomerie
completely different. front of the green, which even then has

The 9th hole at


The Track, Meydan

48
A momentous

L O N G H A U L | U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S
achievement for Rob

location, I had expected a certain


unavoidable similarity at each venue,
but I was proved pleasantly wrong.
While the UAE is not golf’s most
inexpensive destination, for world-class
courses, guaranteed weather and the
very best accommodation, food and
service, it’s impossible to beat – a
one-in-a-thousand winner.

ESSENTIALS
How to get there
Several airlines fly from our larger
airports to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,
bunkers for protection. Dubai’s full-length course where into the wind, including Emirates (emirates.com), BA
stunning architecture provides a several greens are unreachable in (ba.com) and Etihad (etihad.com)
fabulous backdrop, and in a way this regulation by a mid-teen handicapper
hole encapsulates something of like me. Its greatest strengths are the Where to play
everything that is golf in the UAE. excellent greens, challenging water QAbu Dhabi Golf Club
My final port of call was the nine- hazards and the fun of playing a round W: adgolfclub.com
holer at The Track, Meydan, so named under floodlights in under two hours. QAddress Montgomerie
as it is right beside the famous With even more on the way, there are W: themontgomerie.com
racecourse that is home to the Dubai already plenty of other courses in the QAl Hamra
World Cup. Timed in order to enjoy the UAE, mainly centred around Dubai. W: alhamragolf.com
sunset and then play under floodlights, These include the Earth course at QAl Zorah
it was a perfect end to my gallop round Jumeirah Estates, home to the DP W: alzorahgolfclub.ae
the UAE. Run on pay-and-play lines, I World Tour Championship, and Gil QArabian Ranches
expected this to be more of a Hanse’s design at Trump International W: arabianranchesgolfdubai.com
beginner’s venue. It most certainly is Dubai. The region is also packed with QEls Club, Dubai
not, but is rather a demanding, sporting and leisure pursuits to satisfy W: elsclubdubai.com
even the most QSaadiyat Beach
‘Remarkable’: the demanding tourist. W: sbgolfclub.ae
Jumeirah Beach hotel I am delighted that QThe Track, Meydan
my personal Race to W: meydangolf.com
Dubai was a
complete success, Where to stay
enabling me to reach QHilton, Al Hamra
the magic 1,000 at W: www3.hilton.com
the same time as QJumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
experiencing nine W: jumeirah.com/Jumeirah-Beach-Hotel
remarkably dissimilar QWestin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort
golf courses. W: westinabudhabigolfresort.com
In view of the local
climate and starting For more information on Troon golf
point of desert resorts, visit troon.com

49
Mauritius

AN ENCHANTING
ESCAPE
Fergus Bisset travels to the island paradise of Mauritius and
discovers a wealth of golfing opportunity, together with a
heady mixture of beauty, history and culture
50
LONG HAUL | MAURITIUS

Island paradise: the


16th at Paradis

auritius has a reputation as a Trou Aux Biches Mauritius. The schools


romantic getaway; a follow the British education
M favourite with honeymooners
or couples celebrating The Dutch were the first to colonise in
system, they drive on the
left side and road signs are all of British
anniversaries. That’s understandable – 1638 and then the French from 1715. style. Also inherited from the British,
it’s a very romantic place with its endless During the Napoleonic Wars, France Mauritius is now a real golfing
palm-lined beaches, bath-tub-warm used Mauritius as a base from which to destination with nine championship
shallow seas protected by an island- launch attacks on British commercial courses across the island.
circling reef, gorgeous sunsets and an ships, so a Royal Navy expedition under
abundance of flowering plants and trees. Commodore Josias Rowley set out to CLOUD NUMBER NINE
But Mauritius is far from being a capture the island. France surrendered The Heritage Golf Club in Bel Ombre
one-dimensional luxury resort Mauritius to the British in 1810 and it was designed by Peter Matkovich, a
destination. The island has a long and remained a British colony until gaining Zimbabwean professional turned
interesting history that is evident in its its independence as recently as 1968. architect. The course currently plays
language, architecture and culture. The British influence is still strong in host to the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius

51
Mauritius

Open – the first event to be tri-


sanctioned by the Asian, Sunshine and
European Tours. Although this is a
championship course and a venue for
top-level competition, it’s not
prohibitively difficult. A variety of teeing
options mean all golfers can find a
yardage to suit their ability and,
although there are plenty of hazards to
be avoided, the fairways are generous
and there tends to be reasonable
The Heritage Golf Club is
bail-out options.
a European Tour host venue
Many of the fairways are lined by
dense grasses, which actually simplifies
play. Hit into the really thick stuff and of the palms and turquoise sea. Also on
the ball is gone – move on and forget the Morne peninsula, Dinarobin is a sister
about it! Mauritius is a volcanic island, Beachcomber resort and one that
with evidence throughout the perfectly complements its neighbour,
countryside as well as the golf courses. delivering a quieter atmosphere and the
Volcanic rocks of varying sizes are a utmost in sophistication.
striking feature around the fairways. At Paradis resort, Paradis Golf Club
There’s a great variety of holes at the must have one of the most memorable
Heritage, from driveable par 4s to long, settings of any course anywhere on earth.
sweeping par 5s. There are tremendous The front nine features many enticing
vistas of the surrounding mountains and holes and is dominated by the imposing
down towards the coast and there’s Morne Mountain – a World Heritage Site
interesting flora and fauna to examine, and one with a tragic history. The Morne
the latter including mongoose, giant peninsula was a refuge for runaway
fruit bats, monkeys and an assortment slaves in the early 19th century, and the
of colourful songbirds. mountain top was used as a lookout post
for military despatches sent to recapture
FIVE-STAR EXPERIENCE them. In 1835 a police unit was sent to
Just a short drive from The Heritage at inform the slaves they were freed after
the south-west tip of Mauritius is the abolition but, when they were seen
Paradis Beachcomber Resort at Le Morne coming, many slaves chose to jump from
– an incredible, five-star luxury locale the rock to their deaths rather than risk
that delivers the ‘wow’ factor from the re-enslavement.
moment you arrive. The main building The second half of the course is set
houses superb restaurants, bars and along the shoreline of the beautiful temptation is to cut too much off the
lounge areas, all under a fabulous lagoon. There are some incredible holes, corner and countless balls fail to make
thatched roof constructed using but undoubtedly the pick of the bunch the carry. This really is a fabulous hole
sugarcane leaves. The luxurious rooms is the stunning 16th – a par 5 curling and representative of what is a truly
stretch along the beach front, with views around the lagoon to a distant flag. The excellent course.
There are, of course, a plethora of
activities and sights to enjoy away from
the courses on Mauritius. Those who
enjoy water sports are spoilt for choice
– there’s a kite surfing school, scuba
diving, paddle-boarding and deep-sea
fishing. Or, for those seeking a more
sedate option, try a trip on a catamaran
to watch the sunset.

IMPRESSIVE NEWCOMER
Mauritius is only 65km long by 35km
wide, but the population is 1.3 million.
So, although you frequently have the
feeling of seclusion and remoteness,
it’s actually a fairly bustling place
and getting around the island can
take longer than you expect. From
the south-west tip, it’s over an hour’s
drive to reach the new golf course on
Mont Choisy: the new the northern tip of the island at Mont
kid on the block Choisy, near the spectacular Trou Aux
Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa.

52
LONG HAUL | MAURITIUS
The Morne Mountain looks over
the Paradis Beachcomber Resort

Although the front nine at


Mont Choisy is excellent, the real ESSENTIALS
pace and excitement builds
towards a climax on the back How to get there
nine. The 13th is a tremendous BA flies direct from Gatwick, three times
short par 4 protected by water a week in summer and five times a week
The delightful
hazards and the 15th is a in winter. See ba.com/Mauritius
Dinarobin Resort
wonderful par 3 to an island
green, with the old plantation Where to play
Only opened in November, this is the tower as a backdrop. Memorable indeed. QHeritage Golf Club
most recent addition to Mauritius’s These courses are representative of W: heritageresorts.mu
excellent golfing portfolio. Another the great golfing variety available on QParadis
layout designed by Peter Matkovich, it’s Mauritius. An inland championship W: beachcomber-hotels.com
clearly a course laid out to deliver course reminiscent of the best resort QMont Choisy
maximum enjoyment for golfers of all tracks of Spain and the Algarve at The W: montchoisygolf.com
standards. It’s generous from the tee Heritage, a truly memorable track at
and there are multiple teeing options. Paradis with stunning surrounds and Where to stay
The hazards are well placed, but not then a brilliant, contemporary design at QTrou Aux Biches Beachcomber Golf
overly punishing. There are interesting Mont Choisy showcasing the pinnacle of Resort & Spa
and challenging slopes and borrows, modern course architecture. W: beachcomber-hotels.com
but they aren’t extreme. Volcanic rock Mauritius is a golfing destination QParadis Beachcomber Golf
piles and evidence of the old sugar delivering quality and variety. Add into Resort & Spa
plantation provide definition. the mix the fact it’s a supremely W: beachcomber-hotels.com
Sometimes new courses seem beautiful place with history, culture, QDinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort
immature, but this isn’t the case here. sporting and leisure offerings, incredible W: beachcomber-hotels.com
The surfaces are already established seafood, tropical fruits, endless beaches
and the layout has the feel of one that and delightfully warm and safe waters, For more information visit
has been there far longer. and you have quite a package. www.beachcombertours.uk

53
The Bahamas

PARADISE ISLANDS
If you’re seeking glorious golf and guaranteed sunshine,
The Bahamas – located just to the south-east of Miami –
is worthy of some serious consideration...

he Bahamas is home to a what The Bahamas has to offer. Tiger beaches of New Providence. Besides
number of spectacular golf Woods and co. could have teed it up at Royal Blue Golf Club, which features a
T courses that promise to
provide an unforgettable
any number of spectacular courses on
the Grand Bahama Island – often
unique ‘two courses in one’ design,
guests can expect a luxurious stay at
experience for anyone fortunate enough referred to as ‘heaven on earth’. There’s the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, as well as
to walk their fairways. It’s not surprising, now a further reason to visit, too, thanks fine dining at a number of superb
really, given this archipelago, which to a certain Jack Nicklaus. restaurants throughout the complex,
comprises 700 islands, is an ecological Royal Blue Golf Club at Baha Mar is such as Conch Shack, which specialises
oasis, boasting the kind of blue seas and the newest addition, with Nicklaus’ in local flavours.
ocean views that take your breath away. championship layout opening for play This is the Golden Bear’s first venture
If the Hero World Challenge at Albany last year. Baha Mar itself is a multi- in the Bahamas, and it doesn’t
caught your attention, then perhaps it’s billion dollar integrated resort disappoint. The front nine features
time you found out a little more about development along the pristine dramatic views of rolling white sand
Words: Michael Weston Photography: ©Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

The 7th hole at


the Ocean Club

54
dunes, undulating fairways and the

LONG HAUL | THE BAHAMAS


Atlantic Ocean, before a significant Royal Blue GC
change on the back nine sees golfers opened last year
face dense jungle and steep downhill
terrain. You’ll have been wowed long
before arriving at the island green on the
16th, which borders Lake Cunningham.
Off the tips, it’s a brute at 7,189 yards,
but the beauty of this glorious layout is
that it varies from day to day, with any
one hole changing by as much as 100
yards. It won’t ever be a case of a good
walk spoiled here, as the natural
landscape has been incorporated into
the course’s design. Indeed, the area is
home to over 70 indigenous bird species.
Nicklaus may just end up beating you, winner, and if you don’t, go and try your The world-class golf keeps on coming,
but you won’t mind a jot as you sit back luck at the Baha Mar Casino, the largest with another legend of the game leaving
and relax with a cool something at the casino in the Caribbean. his mark on these beautiful islands. Greg
magnificent Royal Blue Clubhouse, Norman is responsible for Sandals
although a drink at the nearby water THE MORE THE MERRIER Emerald Bay Golf Course, a stunning
tower, known as Cable Beach Reservoir, Baha Mar will leave you wanting more layout that winds its way through
will take some beating. Regardless of – and you’re in luck. Paradise Island lies seaside dunes along a beautiful
how you’ve played, you’ll feel like a just off the northern coastline of New peninsula. The holes that hug the
Providence, and as the coastline are truly breathtaking, but such
The Abaco Club’s name would suggest, this dramatic scenery comes at a price for
sublime closing hole ribbon of white sand and golfers. When the wind blows, good
azure sea is stunning. It’s scoring on this long course becomes
home to another world- more than a little difficult.
class luxury resort, the There are a number of other fantastic
highlight of which – for courses worth playing here, too. If
golfers at least – is the you’ve had just one round in The
Ocean Club, now a Four Bahamas you’ve done well, but you
Seasons Resort. could enjoy golf and far more besides
Designed by Tom for many a year.
Weiskopf, the course
offers a stern challenge,
not least because of its ESSENTIALS
crosswinds. They can
prove a distraction, as can How to get there
the wonderful views of the Atlantic and British Airways offers non-stop flights
the Nassau Harbour, where one or two from London to Nassau each week
luxurious yachts are bound to catch the (approximately nine-and-a-half hours).
eye. Lakes, sweeping sand traps and
groups of palm trees are a constant Where to play
danger, but the fairways are generally QRoyal Blue Golf Club
large enough to allow you to open up W: bahamar.com
your shoulders with the driver, which QThe Ocean Club
makes for an enjoyable test. W: fourseasons.com
Some courses have the power to QAbaco Club on Winding Bay
attract guests on their name alone – W: theabacoclub.com
Abaco Club on Winding Bay is one of QSandals Emerald Bay Golf Course
those. Besides its alluring name, the W: sandals.com
course here is regarded by many as the
finest in The Bahamas. Where to stay
The links-style layout, designed by QGrand Hyatt
Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, enjoys W: bahamar.com
a tranquil seaside setting, but unlike a QFour Seasons Resort
number of other courses on the island, W: fourseasons.com/oceanclub
there’s a ruggedness here more akin to QAbaco Club on Winding Bay
what British golfers experience at home, W: theabacoclub.com
even if it is of a tropical kind. Every hole QSandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis &
is dramatic and your favourite is likely to Spa Resort
change all the way, until another W: sandals.com
spectacular offering at the last – a par 5
that might just be the best closing hole Check with each resort for more
in the Caribbean. information on green fees and packages

55
Europe

Photography: Kevin Murray, Steve Carr

EUROPEAN
BIG HITTERS
Jeremy Ellwood revisits some of Europe’s finest courses
blessed with either big reputations or quite glorious settings

he continent of Europe Some of its most highly regarded Here, we explore some of Europe’s
covers an area nearly four courses have been around for decades; ‘big hitters’ in well-known hotspots like
T million square miles in size
encompassing around 50
others have arrived more recently as the
game has enjoyed rapid growth in
Spain and Portugal, and more unlikely
candidates such as Bulgaria, Slovenia
sovereign states, so it’s no surprise to certain countries, especially those and Norway. Some are big hitters due to
find a veritable wealth of very fine and blessed with almost year-round their wide renown; others because of
varied golf within its boundaries. sunshine and ideal temperatures. their quite breathtaking locations…

56
The downhill 6th will
live long in the memory

SHORT HAUL | EUROPE


serves up the tightest drive with
LA RESERVA CLUB, trouble both sides, and this hole
SPAIN The long 15th is a tough par 3 must have made for a fearsome
W: lareservaclubsotogrande.com opener when it was the 1st before
GF: €235-€270 per round the two nines were switched.
Golf arrived in Sotogrande over 50 The 2nd is a beautiful par 5 that rises La Reserva Club also boasts some
years ago, with Real Club de Golf gently to a shallow, steeply raised very fine off-course facilities, including a
Sotogrande the first course to open in green, with bunkers galore in the lay-up vast practice ground, a large putting
1964. Several more big-name venues zone, so even sensible three-shot green and an excellent chipping area.
have opened here since then, most strategies require careful thought. There The development is the latest exclusive
notably Valderrama, a European Tour is a quartet of excellent par 3s, including community in Sotogrande, and the
venue for decades, and host to the 1997 the well-guarded 5th, the pretty residential side of the project showcases
Ryder Cup – continental Europe’s first. downhill 7th and the long 15th, where the handiwork of some of the world’s
This century, another rapidly rising water lurks menacingly on the left. This leading architects.
star has arrived – La Reserva Club, hole can stretch to almost 250 yards off From summer 2018, the facilities will
which opened in 2003. The handiwork the back tees. be further augmented by The Beach, a
of Cabell B Robinson, who has an The par-5 6th will perhaps linger water-based club offering a wide range
extensive European course-design longest in the memory, sweeping down of water sports in a landscaped lagoon.
resume, the course enjoys a spectacular from an elevated tee towards the There will be a new pool, a tennis
mountain backdrop over some of the distant Mediterranean, before a nervy pavilion and a summer café, all with
area’s higher terrain and makes approach with little margin for water wonderful views towards the hills, the
excellent use of the rolling landscape. hazard error on the right. The 10th ocean and the golf course.

57
Europe

LUMINE, SPAIN Greg Norman designed the Lakes The Hills course serves up splendid
W: lumine.com and Ruins layouts, with the former, views out over the Mediterranean, and
GF: Lakes/Hills: €85 per round; Ruins: which weaves through the Sequia Major there is still some water to contend
€50 per round wetlands in the rolling Mediterranean with, most notably the pond short left
Lumine Mediterranea Beach & Golf countryside, regarded as the tougher of of the 18th green, where a dramatic rock
Community, an hour from Barcelona in the two 18-hole tests. Water comes into cliff forms a stirring backdrop to your
the Tarragona region on Spain’s eastern play on a number of holes here, but less final approach shot of the day.
seaboard, is a thriving resort that so on the Hills layout, which cuts Over 50 miles of sandy beaches close
opened just ten years ago. It boasts two through pine forests and olive groves by make Lumine a great spot for a
beautiful 18-hole courses – the Lakes over the estate’s higher ground. Mediterranean break.
and the Hills – plus the nine-hole Ruins
course, where intriguing 200BC Roman
remains on its 1st and 9th holes are an The 17th green on
eye-catching feature. the Hills course

The par-5 16th on


the Lakes course

The finale on the


Hills course
SHORT HAUL | EUROPE
Sheer golfing drama
on the Black Sea coast

THRACIAN CLIFFS, the Black Sea coast believing that with the layout playing over a slender
BULGARIA Thracian Cliffs is just that. It was coastal strip where the cliffs make their
W: thraciancliffs.com designed by Gary Player and opened in way down to the shore in layers.
GF: €109 visitors; €59-€79 (hotel 2011, with Player hailing the setting as It falls away into the Black Sea on one
guests) twice as spectacular as Pebble Beach! side, and rises to the higher ground on
Bulgaria may seem an unlikely location Potential hyperbole aside, this is the other side via even taller cliffs. The
for one of the world’s most spectacular undoubtedly one of the most dramatic shelves in between are home to a series
courses, but many have come away from settings for golf you’ll ever encounter, of breathtaking holes, with the 6th
perhaps the star – a par 3 playing from
an elevated tee to a green perched
Don’t miss right
on the 6th precariously by the shore.
Some of the world’s finest paid a visit
in 2013 for the Volvo World Match Play,
with Graeme McDowell victorious.

A tee to test
your nerve

59
Europe
Lovely sea views from
Real Golf de Bendinat

Much water in play


at Santa Ponsa I
REAL GOLF DE
BENDINAT, MALLORCA
W: realgolfbendinat.com
GF: €91-€97 per round
Real Golf de Bendinat lies on the
south-west side of Mallorca a few miles
from Palma. Renowned architect Martin
Hawtree laid the course out in the
mid-1980s in a wooded valley beneath
the hills and mountains.
Its greatest protection comes from
the tree-lined fairways that abound,
plus the occasional dogleg. The 3rd is a
prime example – a mere 330 metres on
the card, but with a near-right-angle
bend to the left that demands caution
and a shrewd strategy. Water comes Above all, this is a delightful place to It can test the very best, too. The
into play occasionally, most notably on play, with lovely views out to sea over European Tour’s Open de Baleares was
the short par-3 2nd both long and short the bay of Palma and on to the island of staged here several times in the late
of its well-bunkered green. Cabrera, and inland to Bendinat Castle, 1980s and early 1990s, with Seve
an impressive mid-19th century edifice Ballesteros twice emerging as champion
in a Central European Gothic style. in 1988 and 1992. Wide fairways are the
Santa Ponsa I
order of the day, but with plenty of
SANTA PONSA, water and trees to make you think too.
MALLORCA The water is particularly prevalent on
W: golf-santaponsa.com the back nine, and right from its outset
GF: €93-€99 per round too on the monster par-5 10th, which is
Santa Ponsa is situated in the far one of the longest holes in Europe at
south-west corner of Mallorca, with the 645 yards. There are also 12 rooms
Santa Ponsa I course, which opened for available on site, making Santa Ponsa
play in the late 1970s, providing an one of the best places to stay and play
enjoyable test for holiday visitors. in Mallorca.

60
Both Ribagolfe courses

SHORT HAUL | EUROPE


feature huge greens
RIBAGOLFE, PORTUGAL
W: orizontegolf.com
GF: Ribagolfe 1: €48 per round;
Ribagolfe 2: €44 per round
Both courses at Ribagolfe, 30 miles east
of Lisbon, opened in 2004 and are
among seven courses operated by
Orizonte Golf in the area.
Ribagolfe I was designed by Peter
Townsend and can stretch to a
formidable 7,370 yards off the tips,
though plentiful tees make it playable
for all. The course plays over beautiful
undulating terrain, with multiple cork
trees and the odd water hazard to
negotiate. On the 14th you’ll need to
know how far you hit it before deciding
how much of the water to take on. British than American feel. Water comes This fabulous course is now a
Ribagolfe II is a little shorter, with into play on the 7th and 13th and both must-play, boasting a setting to rival
more generous fairways and a more courses feature huge greens, so a good any, with mountains all around including
long-range putting touch is a real asset. the very highest of the Slovenian Alps.
The course lives up to its setting, too,
The 14th at
Ribagolfe I ROYAL BLED, SLOVENIA with many magnificent holes and
W: royalbled.com splendid views, among them one out
GF: King’s: €150 per round; Lakes: €45 across a vast ravine towards Bled Castle
for nine holes from near the 2nd green.
Largely abandoned for over 25 years There’s a standout stretch from 14 to
after World War II, the King’s course at 16, with water playing a major role left
Royal Bled has risen to glorious of 14, and again on 16, where you also
prominence once more following a traverse it on the final approach. The
major recent renovation project pretty but fiddly 15th plays over a crest
overseen by Howard Swan. then down and round to the right.

A glorious mountain
backdrop at Royal Bled

61
SHORT HAUL | EUROPE

LA MANGA CLUB, SPAIN effort required to achieve it. In golfing


W: lamangaclub.com Arctic splendour terms, Lofoten Links in Norway
GF: All courses: €190 per round; exemplifies this perfectly, for although
residents €75-€85 per round getting to this spectacular links in the
For golfers of a certain age, La Manga 68th parallel of northern latitude may
Club in Murcia was synonymous with take some doing, it is most decidedly
European Tour Q-School finals for many worth the effort when you get there.
years in the 1980s. This is a golf setting like no other,
Since then, the resort has gone from where the lush green fairways and
strength to strength, not just because of greens set among moody rocks and
its three very fine golf courses – South, lakes hugging the Arctic coast are
North and West – but also because of LOFOTEN LINKS, overlooked by imperious mountains. The
the wide range of other sports and NORWAY stunning par-3 2nd, with its green
leisure activities on offer and the W: lofotenlinks.no cradled in the rocks by the shore, is
excellent accommodation on site. GF: approx £87 per round; residents maybe the photographic poster boy, but
The South course boasts large green approx £59.50 per round there are many other contenders. You
complexes, multiple water hazards and With many things in life, the scale of the can now stay here too, in lovely lodges
a testing 11th hole, where you must fire reward often depends on the degree of looking out towards the midnight sun.
a long-iron approach over water to a
three-tiered green. The North is a little
Lofoten is a course
shorter, but packed with memorable
like no other
holes, none more so than the finale
played over a barranca to a vast green
beneath the Principe Felipe Hotel.
The West is then the toughest and
prettiest of the three, weaving its way
through pine-scented woodland. La
Manga remains one of Europe’s very
finest golf resorts.

La Manga North’s
3rd hole
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The tricky par-4 5th

GUT LARCHENHOF, here. It has certainly had its fair share of strategic and visual features. Nicklaus
GERMANY European Tour events over the years, wanted the major tests to come towards
W: gutlaerchenhof.de and one regular host course is this the end of each nine, and this he has
GF: €100-€150 per round year’s BMW International Open venue at achieved. Indeed, on the 9th, Ian
Given Germany’s size, it may not quite Gut Larchenhof, north-west of Cologne. Woosnam once hit three balls into the
have the reputation for its golf that Germany’s only Jack Nicklaus water and promptly withdrew!
other European countries do, but there Signature Course is one which cleverly The par 3s are all strong and
are still plenty of very good courses combines playability with plenty of protected in various ways by water,
sand, two-tier greens or sheer length in
the case of the 220-yard 8th. The par-3
Gut Larchenhof is a Jack 16th is perhaps the best hole, with water
Nicklaus Signature Course right of its wide, shallow green, and
there’s more water right on the classic
risk-reward 17th. The finale is a stout par
4 where a lake butts up tight to the
front left of the green.

Water comes
into play often

64
CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, EVIAN RESORT, FRANCE most scenic courses, where the views

SHORT HAUL | EUROPE


SWITZERLAND W: evianresort.com not only take in the lake but also some
W: golfcrans.ch/en/ GF: €55-€105 per round; hotel residents of the area’s most striking Alpine peaks.
GF: Ballesteros: £30-£109 per round; €55-€75 per round (free in February, Set in 148 acres of parkland, this most
Nicklaus: £14-£50 per round. March and November) majestic of courses plays alongside and
Ask any keen golf follower to name Since 2013, this beautifully located through mature woodland, with more
a European course with spectacular course in Evian-les-Bains, set above than a few water hazards adding to the
mountain views and most will reply Lake Geneva on the Swiss border, has strategic challenge.
‘Crans-sur-Sierre’. The stunning Seve been home to golf’s only Major to be Among the pick of the holes is the
Ballesteros course in the Alps, which played in continental Europe – the Evian excellent downhill par-3 14th, which
overlooks the Rhone Valley from just Championship. stretches for over 200 yards towards
shy of 5,000ft, has hosted the Swiss The Ladies European Tour has played the lake with a cluster of bunkers
Open or European Masters every year an event here since the mid-1990s, waiting short right. You can stay here
since 1972. though, on one of France’s oldest and too in the delightful Manoir du Golf.
Some of the best-known Alpine
peaks are on view here, from the
Matterhorn to Mont Blanc and Evian sits above
Weisshorn, the fourth highest peak, Lake Geneva
which rises up in all its magnificence
beyond the green on the iconic 7th hole.
Seve played a quite miraculous escape
shot on the 18th in 1993, and two years
later was commissioned to upgrade the
course, which now bears his name.
The Jack Nicklaus course here has
claimed ‘most beautiful nine-holer in
Switzerland’ honours four times, too. As
if the majestic setting weren’t enough,
the ball goes flattering distances at such
altitudes to make you feel even better
about yourself!

Stunning Alpine
backdrops at Crans

65
Moortown has a
rich heritage
SHORT HAUL | ENGLAND

MACKENZIE’S
MASTERPIECES
Two of England’s finest courses, both
later, Moortown hosted the Ryder Cup,
designed by one of golf’s most revered when the Americans were led by the
great Walter Hagen.
architects, lie just half a mile apart... Alwoodley and Moortown are only
half a mile apart and their histories
remain intertwined. Moodie was also
hen the world’s best golfers Alwoodley is renowned for its consulted on a restoration project at
compete at the majestic wonderful par 3s – the green on the 11th Moortown, resulting in the removal of
W Augusta National in The
Masters, they tread fairways
has more than a touch of Augusta about thousands of trees and the renovation
it – as well as a fearsome closing stretch, of all the bunkers.
and fire into greens created by a played into the prevailing wind that Moortown is a fraction longer than
Yorkshire-born Scot called Dr Alister arrives fresh from the Yorkshire Dales. Alwoodley, stretching to 6,980 yards
MacKenzie. Between 1907 and his death In addition, the 10th hole provided with a par of 71. It probably plays a little
in 1934, he became one of history’s the model for the famous 13th at longer, too, with slightly more give in
most skilful and prolific golf course Augusta. Both are risk/reward par 5s the turf underfoot. Like Alwoodley, it’s a
architects. Although Augusta National that sweep from right to left. staple in Golf Monthly’s top-100 list.
may be his most famous work, Both courses offer
MacKenzie began his design enduring examples of
Alwoodley’s 8th hole
career on this side of the pond. MacKenzie’s design
After serving in the Boer War, principles. His trademarks
MacKenzie became a founding include large, undulating
member at Alwoodley in 1907 putting surfaces, man-made
where he had the opportunity mounding sculpted to look
to put his architectural theories entirely natural, asymmetrical
to the test. Legend has it that bunkering that blends into its
the committee at the Leeds surroundings and greens
club required reassurance, so often set at a slight angle to
the great Harry Colt, then the direction of approach.
secretary at Sunningdale, was
called north to offer a second
opinion. Colt was able to PACKAGE
confirm that MacKenzie was in
fact following many of his own design Quick-draining thanks to the sandy Alwoodley and Moortown are offering a
principles and the rest is history. soil underfoot, you will never walk off great value stay-and-play package for the
A heathland course set high atop Alwoodley with mud on your shoes. new season, allowing you to experience
Wigton Moor, Alwoodley is long In 1908, MacKenzie was invited to two Top 100 Courses in one trip. For £175,
established as one of the best courses design a test hole at nearby Black Moor. play one course on a Sunday afternoon,
in the UK and Ireland – currently 48th in The result was the famous par-3 10th, stay overnight at the nearby four-star
our rankings. Recent work under the Gibraltar. Soon after, MacKenzie was Weetwood Hotel and then play the
supervision of Ken Moodie has seen invited to create a further 17 holes that second course the following morning.
almost all of the bunkers restored to would become known as Moortown. The price includes breakfast and is based
MacKenzie’s original specifications, Gibraltar remains virtually untouched to on two people sharing a room. To book
while new championship tees take the this day and is one of England’s great or for more information, email info@
yardage to 6,914 against a par of 71. short holes. Little more than 20 years alwoodley.co.uk or call 0113 268 1680.

66
        



        

     


   

  

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