Thursday, 29 November 2012

Can you remember what happened in March? The year's review continues


Taylor Made may have gnashed their teeth when Rory McIlroy won the Honda Classic (and World No. 1 spot) with Titleist gear, but  Justin Rose will have the sales department breaking out the champagne.  His well deserved 16 under par victory, using their much hyped Rocketballz  fairway wood, Ghost putter  and new Penta TP5 ball will have done wonders for their advertising Campaign.
Gil Hanse, whose Castle Stuart design in Scotland is considered one of the best links golf courses built this decade, has won the contract to design the 2016 Olympic Course in Rio de Janeiro over bids from Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, among others.

Phil Mickelson, who has described Castle Stuart as a “jewel” is also impressed with Hanse.  He commented: “Gil recognizes that golf is not about longer and harder, it's about fun, creativity and challenge. It should almost be a prerequisite to play Castle Stuart before you're allowed to design golf courses nowadays.”  Hanse plans to have the Olympic Course ready for a test event in 2015.

When your luck’s out –  Tiger Wood’s business projects seem to be going the way of his golf;  the Carolina company owned by Tiger’s business partner Jim Anthony has filed for bankruptcy with estimated liabilities between $100 million and $500 million.

A former telephone-line repairman, Anthony made it big developing communities around golf courses. His crowning achievement was the Cliffs; eight luxury residential developments  attached to golf courses designed by professional golfers, but  development stalled due to lack of demand.  Fewer than 50 of a planned 1,100 lots have been sold, and the course designed by Woods remains unfinished.  Tiger’s first golf-course-design project, Tiger Woods Dubai, was never completed, and his oceanside course in Mexico is well behind schedule.

The  Manufacturer’s tour vans are a familiar sight at the big tournaments, providing the players with everything they need to have the best chance of competing, and hopefully winning that week’s event.  By far the most impressive is the massive Callaway Tour van.  Expanding with pop-out sections to create an interior workshop 42’ x 15’, it has all the equipment plus expert club makers who can fine-tune the clubs to the player’s individual requirements. A new system developed by Callaway and CDW means swing data  can be collected from the player and transmitted  straight to the technicians in the tour van and also to the club engineers at Callaway R&D. They can study it and make adjustments to the equipment, both for play that week and for future development.   All this technology and they still get triple bogies.  Makes you think the rest of us can’t be that bad.  

 A tip that can help concentration is to put an imaginary piece of string on the ground before teeing up, do all the thinking you need to about the shot then step over the string leaving all the thoughts behind and just hit the ball.

 The inaugural St Andrews Golf Festival  is taking place between March 28th and April 1st in the town where golf has been played for six centuries.   Exhibitions  highlighting the history of the game and the golfing legends  will be held at several  leading St Andrews hotels, and  activities will include putting competitions for charity,  a golf simulator virtual drive off the 1st tee of the fabled Old Course, and free ale tasting in various bars and restaurants.  Visitors will see the ancient University’s  historic  Younger Hall where Bobby Jones, Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus  received honorary degrees, and another highlight will see Street Golf brought to life in the lanes of the Old Grey Toon  by golfers in period attire of the 1880s.  First minister Alex Salmond says it promises to be a memorable few days, and what’s more there is no charge to attend.  (Steady on!)

Titleist has offered me a big contract not to play their balls.  -  Bob Hope

Till next time, happy golfing.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Didn't You Do Well!!!!!!!!

In the immortal words of Old Mr Grace "You've all done very well"

A massive vote of thanks to all the golf societies and golf clubs who contributed to my Armed Forces Charities raffle, and arranged golf days to raise money to go towards this year’s Royal British Legion poppy appeal. The grand total raised by all the golfers taking part was €6184.87

Pictured below are some of the societies and golf clubs who took part.

Clarkes Bar
Guardamar Golf Society

The Friday Frolic Mar Menor
Help For Heroes @ The Hop La Zenia

The Happy Wanderers @ La Finca
Torrevieja Golf Society

Keith Carter Chairman Orihuela Costa R.B.L 
Rocajuna Golf Society

The Wolf Pack  Las Colinas
Hacienda Golf Club Prize winners

Hacienda Golf Club Prize Table

La Zenia and Happy Days Golf Societies
Happy Days and La Zenia Golf Societies

Once again our forces have been given great support, and if you are concerned that it may die out then take a look at this picture of my five year old great nephew carrying the wreath for his local Beavers Troop to lay at the town memorial.

Well done Jack!!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Costa Calida Golf Tours Testimonial

Whether you are looking for great prices on green fees, extremely well run golf events or complete golf holiday packages, I can heartily recommend Costa Calida Golf Tours.

Avda. De las Brisas 11
Urb. Villamartin, Orihuela Costa
Alicante, 03189 

Tel 0034 650718172 or 0034 646814203

UK – Admin office - 00 44 1925 589008
10 - 12 Church Lane Warrington WA3 5DJ
Email –

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Leader Article February 2012

In The Bunker With Mick The Grip

Sign of the times:  According to ‘USA Today’ Americans don’t have the time, money or interest in golf that their parents did. The number of golfers in the U.S. has fallen by 13% in the past five years, and golf club membership has dropped by a million since the 1990s. Six-figure membership fees have been slashed by up to 70%.  Fewer courses will be designed by top golfers in future.  Non-Residents will be allowed to pay by the round, and greater focus will be placed on fitness and health programmes, which don’t need so much land and maintenance.

Paulson & Co, owners of five luxury golf resorts in California, Miami and Arizona filed for bankruptcy last year, citing an economic downturn that caused them to lose more than two-thirds of their annual operating revenue.  Residents baulked at paying 50% higher fees while amenities were cut  (Sounds familiar?. The recession has exposed the vulnerability of the business model that created the link between golf and real estate, and in  Palm Springs, where presidents, Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra swung the clubs the ‘For Sale’ signs are going up. 

After Phil Mickelson shot an impressive eight under par 64 to win the AT&T National at Pebble Beach he told interviewers that it felt great to win on the course where his grandfather caddied for 25 cents a bag.  He had just played four rounds to win 1.1 million dollars.  This is the American Dream!

 The Belfry - four-time venue for the Ryder Cup and currently up for sale - has reported an increase both in the number of golfers playing its three championship courses and using its PGA National Golf Academy during 2011.

The number of rounds played over the Brabazon, PGA National and Derby courses increased by 10%, while the number of custom-fit sessions undertaken in the PGA National Golf Academy exceeded 2,000 for the year, as more golfers took advantage of the largest dedicated custom-fit venue in Europe, and the special Stay & Play deals.  At the 2011 World Travel Awards ceremony The Belfry was chosen by over 200,000 travel agents and members of the public as England’s ‘Leading Golf Resort’.

Keegan Bradley became the first major winner to use one at last year’s PGA Championship,  but  the USGA and R&A  said last week that they were taking a "fresh look"  at long putters and bellyputters with  a view to  implementing an anti-anchoring rule.  It is potentially bad news for the growing number of players who use them.   Tiger Woods has said that he is opposed to any club anchored against a player’s body, and has discussed with the R & A  how to tackle the tricky wording involved in enforcing the rule.  “My suggestion is that the putter should be equal to or less than the shortest club in your bag," said Woods.   I’ve never been a fan of these putters.”  That was before last week’s dismal showing at Pebble Beach; he may be considering using one himself now.

A tip from TG Pro Rob Watts  for more accurate approach shots:    A way to add control to your iron shots is to grip the club down slightly, swing the club at a smoother tempo and really try to hold the finish position. This should improve the consistency of your strike and distance control.

In the immortal words of  Bullseye host Jim Bowen: “This is what you could have won!”  Kyle Stanley's lead in the Farmers Insurance Open grew so large - seven shots -  that tournament organizers made out the obligatory oversized winner's check for $1.08 million in his name. Unfortunately for Stanley, he neglected to do the one thing necessary to pocket the cheque, and the name was hurriedly changed to Brandt Snedeker.  Wonder if Kyle will keep the photo as a souvenir.

“Well, caddie, how do you like my game?"
It’s terrific.  Mind you, I still prefer golf.”

Till next time, Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for all your grip and repair requirements.  638 859 475. Email: 

January 2012

In The Bunker With Mick The Grip

A Happy New Year to you all.  A little bit of golf history for you.  It is said that golf was first played in Scotland by shepherds hitting small stones at targets with their crooks. Then they developed games on the grazing land round their villages.  When a pebble rolled into a hollow they were playing from the world’s first bunkers.  The Scots took to the game enthusiastically, but in 1457 it was banned by King James II of Scotland,  Apparently the nation’s growing ability at golf was in equal proportion to it’s decline in archery skills.  Also they were playing when they should have been in church.  But the Scots ignored the ban, for which we can be eternally thankful (or not, depending on how your round is 

Last season the club designers at Cleveland decided to combine retro design with 21st century technology and introduced  the Mashie Hybrid. Although made of stainless steel   the design came from great-grandfather’s era; it even had a pom-pom-topped knitted  headcover.
Now Cleveland plans to release the Classic driver.  Made of titanium with a lot of technology built in; it looks like a club Ben Hogan or Byron Nelson might have used. Even the script "Classic" on the crown  recalls an era of hand-crafted clubs.  A nice idea, shame it won’t be a 19th century price.

Italy’s 18 year old star Matteo Manassero; contesting his third consecutive Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf title, and England’s Tom Lewis, (20) who finished 2nd in the 2009 Abu Dhabi Junior Championship, will be hoping to put their experience of Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National Course to good use in the competition held from 26th to 29th January.

They will need it.  Among the contenders will be defending champion Martin Kaymer; Charl Schwartzel,  Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke as well as Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods.  Paul Casey, off for two months due to his snowboarding  injury, will be cursing when there is so much competition for the Ryder Cup team.  But with a multi million pound career at risk why don’t golfers do something less dangerous in their spare time.  Like knitting.  

The Gleneagles Hotel is determined to host the best event ever when the 2014 Ryder Cup is held in Scotland.  The PGA Centenary course is undergoing some alterations, and Jack Nicklaus, the original course designer is to oversee the work.  In 2014 the clash of titans will be held in the country where it all began. 
The hotel has been crowned Scotland’s top golf resort  in a leading golf magazine poll.It is home to three championship golf courses – the King’s Course; the Queen’s Course, and the PGA Centenary Course,  as well as the PGA National Golf Academy, where visitors can receive expert tuition from a team of experienced golf professionals.  The brochure says: “The Gleneagles Hotel, complete with every luxury is set in a beautiful Scottish glen on an 850 acre estate.  It has a state of the art Spa, and amongst other leisure pursuits provides trout fishing on three lochs.  It is a haven of peace and tranquillity.”  Apart from three days in 2014, that is.

A fairly obvious tip that golfers often forget is to “Walk the Putt.”   Take the time to walk down the length of the putt, then have look from behind the hole, and on returning, look from the side.  This can give a much better overall picture, as you should be able to see more of the subtle borrows and changes of elevation.

Some of these Legends of Golf have been around a long time. When they talk about having a good grip, they're talking about their dentures. – Bob Hope.

The older I get, the better I used to be. – Lee Trevino.

Till next time, happy golfing.
Contact Mick for all your re-gripping and repair needs.
TEL: 638 859 475. email: