IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
A LITTLE BIT of golfing history: Musselburgh Links Old Course, East Lothian is officially recognised as the oldest golf course in the world. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have been beaten at Musselburgh by Lady Seton while staying at Seton House, close by, but the earliest official record of golf being played there is from Sir John Foulis in 1672. He “Lost at golfe at Musselburgh; £3.5s.0d.” In 1728 one Duncan Forbes played golf at Musselburgh with his son. He recorded: “Got the better of my son at the Gouf, if he was as good at any other thing as he is at that there might be some hopes for him.” Today Dad would have been caddying for him at the Open.
At the fourth hole stood Mrs Foreman’s Inn, with a hatch in the wall through which many a wee dram would have been passed. The course originally consisted of seven holes, becoming nine holes in 1870. When Musselburgh golfers sliced their shots onto the road they would play back to the links using brass soled clubs, and the metal plate on the ‘brassie’ wooden club was invented there in 1885 for this purpose. If you ever wondered why the golf hole measures four and a quarter inches it happened to be the width of the implement used to cut the holes at Musselburgh. In 1893 the R & A made the size mandatory.
The 18 hole 6725 yds championship course was designed by 5 times Open Champion James Braid and officially opened by a fourball of Percy Alliss, Henry Cotton, Alf Padgham and himself on 10th May 1938.
THE CAPTAIN OF this year’s American Ryder Cup team, Davis Love III, is to receive the Bob Jones Award, presented annually by the U.S.G.A. to those who best uphold the spirit of the game.
“Davis is a great role model and ambassador on and off the course,” says Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He epitomizes everything that Bob Jones stood for with his integrity and displays of sportsmanship.” At Medinah the poor chap needed all the sportsmanship he could lay his hands on.
EX. US. SECRETARY of State Condoleeza Rice and Financier Darla Moore have become the first green jacketed women members of Augusta. Chairman Billy Payne, who strenuously resisted admitting women members says “This is a joyous occasion, we enthusiastically welcome the ladies.” Sure you do!
THE FORTUNATE golfing friends of Jack Nicklaus need never worry about finding somewhere to practice. The Bears Club in South Florida, inaugurated by Jack and his wife Barbara in 1999, is the result of his dream to create a world class golf course and premier private club where members and their guests can enjoy all the luxuries multi millionaires expect. McIlroy and other Tour players spend hours on the course. Luke Donald’s chipping and putting practice follows a strict routine. Three balls are struck every three yards to leave a divot pattern. After 30 balls, he counts how many shots stop inside a six-foot ring placed around each hole. He does this for hours, changing the distance and the style of shot, before recording the results in a performance diary. Perfection doesn’t come by chance. And they still miss two footers.
ONE SATURDAY in 1965, Lee Trevino was mowing the lawn in front of his house in Dallas when a woman driving an expensive car stopped in front of his house. She asked him if he spoke English.
"Yes, ma'am, I do. How can I help you?" “How much do you charge for yard work?" she enquired. Trevino, scratched his head and smiled. "The lady in this house lets me sleep with her." The woman put her foot on the accelerator.
A very Happy Christmas to everyone, and Happy Golfing in 2013.
Contact Mick for all your re-gripping and repair requirements: 638 859 475, and check his special offers on Facebook and Google+ in January.