IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
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.
CONTACT MICK FOR ALL YOUR GRIP AND REPAIR REQUIREMENTS. 638 859 475.