IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
FEW GOLFING HOTELS are as rich in history as Greywalls, an elegant Edwardian country house situated on the edge of Muirfield’s links, overlooking the 9th and 18th greens and the Firth of Forth. It was frequented by King Edward VII, and Open champions such as Watson, Palmer and Nicklaus have traditionally stayed there. Designed in 1901 by Sir Edwin Lutyens as a “dignified holiday home,” Greywalls became a hotel in 1948, and is a treasure trove of memorabilia. Pictures and signatures of golfing greats adorn the walls of the little bar where many an Open Champion’s celebration toast has been made. The Open contenders and their entourage tend to rent houses in the area now, so the new Open champion, whoever he turns out to be, will probably not be raising the claret jug at Greywalls this weekend, but he could pop in for a wee dram.
FIFTY YEARS AGO Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Che Guevara staged a publicity stunt game of golf that allegedly poked fun at U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower, who two years earlier had declined meeting the new Cuban leader. Castro, who was known to be a notoriously bad loser, lost the match. Shortly afterwards he ordered all the golf courses on Cuba to be closed down, calling the game elitist. Now several luxury golf resorts are being planned, with the aim of bringing much needed revenue to the cash strapped island. It could also be because Castro’s son Antonio is a pretty fair golfer, and won the Montecristo Cup held there in April.
THE BRITISH Open Champion of 1931, Tommy Armour “The Silver Scot” was born in Edinburgh in 1894. He lost his sight to a mustard gas explosion in WW1, and had a metal plate inserted in his head. During his convalescence, he regained the sight of his right eye, and was able once more to play his beloved golf. Emigrating to the United States, he became a professional golfer in 1924, and might have been known as one of the greatest ever golfers had the yips not affected him in the prime of his career; he is in fact credited with creating the term “Yips” at the 1927 Shawnee Open, in which he carded a 23 on the par-five 17th hole, a dubious single-hole achievement that has never been beaten. He still managed to win the U.S. Open in 1927 and the PGA Championship in 1930.
Armour would become one of the leading instructors of his generation once his competition days were over. In his spare time he was a master bridge player, and classical violinist (not bad with one eye!) His grandson, Tommy Armour III, is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. Grandad would have been proud.
CALLAWAY has unveiled its new FT Optiforce driver, with two clubhead variations. The driver offers loft and lie adjustability (a first from Callaway.) The OptiFit hosel allows players to adjust the driver’s loft 1 degree down or 1 or 2 degrees up. The loft setting helps golfers adjust their launch angle and amount of backspin, while the lie setting, with neutral or draw, will help golfers adjust side angle and sidespin. Combined with the differences in the 440cc and 460cc heads, golfers of all abilities can use the simple adjustability solution to find their optimal launch conditions and ball flight.
Callaway claim the Ft Optiforce is the fastest and most aerodynamically efficient driver they have produced. It has been measured with 23 percent less drag than a conventionally shaped driver.
DONALD TRUMP, commenting on the Industrial Wind Farm the Scottish Government is proposing to construct 1.1/2 miles offshore from his Golf Resort near Aberdeen: “Each turbine will be 65 metres high and because it’s a test site they will be different colours. It will look like a junkyard. Alex Salmond says wind farms encourage tourism, which shows the level of insanity we’re dealing with here. I will sue him to hell and back if necessary.” And they were such good pals.
Until next time: Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for all your regripping and repair requirements. 638 859 475.