IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
THE ‘DUEL IN THE SUN’ was an epic contest between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson on the Ailsa course at Turnberry in 1977, when Watson secured the second of his 5 British Open titles. He returned to Turnberry last month for a ceremony in which a plaque honouring his feat was installed on the 18th fairway. He remembered turning to Nicklaus at the sixteenth hole on that hot afternoon and saying over the ecstatic crowds: “This is what it’s all about isn’t it?” and Nicklaus smilingly answering: “You bet it is.” Victor and vanquished walked off the 18th green arm in arm. Watson's 268 total broke the Open record by eight shots. Nicklaus himself broke it by seven. Hubert Green, third, was a further 10 shots behind. "I won this golf tournament," commented Green, "I don't know what game those other two guys were playing.”
AFTER A FALL at the European Masters last year, when she tripped over a gallery rope, injuring her back, Fanny Sunesson has announced that she is hanging up the golf bag. For the past five years she has caddied for Henrik Stenson, whom she helped to win the 2009 Players Championship. In between caddying for Nick Faldo during his run of four majors in the 1990’s she caddied for Fred Funk and Sergio Garcia. She intends to concentrate on player coaching.
RORY MCILROY’S shaky start to the season is ending on a high with him winning the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as PGA of America Player of the year award and the Vardon Trophy. He doesn’t pop home to the Belfast suburb of Moneyreagh often these days, so the luxury home complete with gym that he bought in 2009 has gone on the market for £2 million. “I don’t need the place now,” says Rory, “When I’m home I can always stay with Mum and Dad.” They can put him up on the sofa.
THE TYCO GOLF SKILLS Challenge, a made for TV event held on a breezy day in Palm Beach, consisted of a six skills contest and a reverse scramble (having to play from where the worst shot, rather than the best shot, lands.) The six skills were: long drive, mid iron, bunker shot, chip shot, trouble shot, and short iron. Out of the four pairs Justin Rose and Peter Hanson won the bunker shot, Zach Johnson and Kyle Stanley the long drive (270 yds) mid iron and chip shot. The veteran pairing of Calcavecchia and O'Meara won the trouble shot and short iron. Rose and Hanson beat Ryder Cup rivals Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley to win the reverse scramble prize of $285.000 dollars.
''The biggest skill today was survival,'' Rose said. ''The weather was kind of tough.''A breezy day? He’s gone native.
WHEN Luke Donald won the World No. 1. title last year he paid for champagne for the entire press tent, including his critics. Better get your wallet out Rory.
TAYLOR MADE are about to launch another “Once in a Lifetime Innovation.” The Speed Pocket which was such a hit with their Rocketballz woods has been incorporated into their irons and filled with polymer to dampen vibrations and give “freakishly long” distance. Testing shows that Irons with the Speed Pocket produce a higher trajectory and steeper landing angle for more control when attacking greens and tight pins. According to Taylor Made: “If your iron doesn’t have a Speed Pocket your iron is outdated.”
Not to be outdone, Nike’s “game changing innovation” is the VR-S cavity back Covert driver with FlexLoft adjustability system, and Callaway’s RAZR Fit Xtreme fully adjustable driver has Optifit Technology: the face angle and weight can be adjusted.
It won’t be long before these clever clubs play by themselves while we sit in the clubhouse.
Until next time: happy golfing.
Contact Mick for all your regripping and repair requirements.
638 859 475.