Wednesday, 30 October 2013

End of Summer

Temperature in single figures this morning Agghhh!!!!  Winter draws on.   

Friday, 25 October 2013

October Article 2013

In The Bunker With Mick The Grip


A BIRDS EYE VIEW of Velaa Private Island in the Indian Ocean.  The Velaa Golf Academy, in collaboration with Jose Maria Olazabal, is being created in the Maldives, offering comprehensive golf tuition and the last word in luxury. This ‘Vacation of a Lifetime’ has been dreamed up by ‘Troon Golf,’ a Company which provides  “incomparable golf experiences across the globe.” (They created Las Colinas incidentally.)  The Academy is scheduled to open this year, if the island hasn’t sunk beneath the Indian Ocean.

THE ‘EUROPEAN BEST FATHER & SON’ Golf Championship takes place at Valle del Este, Almeria, from 28th October to 3rd November. The 54 hole 2 ball better ball Stableford is competed for by fathers and sons with a maximum handicap of 24.  The defending champions from last year are Graham Ruth (54) and his son James (27) from Devon.  The pair snatched the British Father & Son Scratch Championship in a dramatic sudden death playoff and gained automatic entry to the European Final at the Lumine Golf Resort, Barcelona, where they won both handicap and scratch titles.
There is no age limit, the youngest son last year was aged 10 and the oldest Dad aged 90!  (Not a pair, presumably.)
  WAGGLING IS GOOD !  It’s official.  Apparently standing still over the ball makes you stiffen up and think too much, but the waggling motion with the wrists while keeping the hands steady and moving the clubhead back and forth allows the player to loosen up and develop a rhythm.  Jason Duffner, a noted waggler, learned the technique by watching film footage of Ben Hogan.  In those days players waggled their hickory clubs to try to compensate for the torque (twist) in the shaft. Clubs now have less torque but a waggle gives the player time to settle down.  I’ll give it a go!

THE SEVE TROPHY at St. Nom La Breteche in France saw Great Britain and Ireland defeated 15 – 13 by Continental Europe. There were some mutterings that top British players were conspicuous by their absence, but some would say the Seve trophy is more about testing future Ryder Cup players, building teams and future careers.   Europe's top pros have to be thinking about the final weeks of the Race to Dubai in Turkey, the Middle East and China.  They have become leading competitors and winners on the PGA Tour largely because Seve Ballesteros helped demolish the barriers.  The pros are making the most of his legacy and, just like the great Spaniard, thrilling European fans along the way.  It may be the best way to honour Seve’s memory.
BRITAIN’S DAVID LYNN charged up the leaderboard with a final round 63 to win the Portugal Masters at the Algarve’s Oceanico Victoria Course.   Miguel Angel Jimenez, however, probably had just as big a smile on his face, after winning 100 bottles of wine for sinking an ace on the 168 yd 8th hole with his trusty 7 iron.

TIGER WOODS winning putt in the Presidents Cup sealed the U.S. victory over the Internationals at Muirfield Village.  After the rain-soaked foursomes and singles matches victors and vanquished alike were glad to get off the course and head for the clubhouse; another wet tournament in a soggy season.  At least the Americans are getting to know what British golfers have to put up with. 
WHEN IT’S WET in the USA and Britain where do the world’s top golfers go for an October break?  Bermuda, naturally.  Padraig Harrington, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Jason Dufner teed up last week at the Port Royal Golf Course for 36 holes  and a $1.35 million purse.  Some break, it beats a Kit Kat!
Could I just mention that any loose change dropped into the poppy boxes in the month ahead would be much appreciated and will go, as always, to a very worthy cause.

Until next time, happy golfing.

Contact Mick for all your gripping and repair requirements. 638859475.

September Article 2013


THE ISLAND GREEN at East Lake, Atlanta, scene of this weekend’s Tour Championship, and the FedEx Cup Final.  By now we will know the outcome, weather permitting.  Going into the weekend it was still anybody’s tournament.

THE BIENNIAL Presidents Cup, in which America plays the World minus Europe, is scheduled for October 3rd at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, known as ‘Jack’s Place.’   In 2011, at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia, the U.S. won by four points, so the World is out for revenge.   Australia’s Adam Scott and Jason Day will be high on the Captain’s list, with Els, Scwartzel and Cabrera close behind.  The U.S.A. Captain can pick from an impressive list of recent winners, among them Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson. 
 America will have been heartened by their decisive victory over Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup on September 8th.  At Long Island they regained the cup by winning the top amateurs’ event 17 points to 9. This was their 35th win since the biennial competion started in 1922. Britain and Ireland have won only 8 times. (It shows Europe does come in useful sometimes.)

 JIM FURYK became only the sixth player ever to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour at the BMW Championship.  But spare a thought for Polish pro golfer Pawel Japol, who’s opening round of 109 in the Kharkov Cup, Ukraine, left him 45 shots off the lead.   He started on the 10th, was one over after three holes, but then dropped 18 shots in four holes.  A ten on the next was followed by two triple bogeys, leading to his finish of 37 over par.  We all have our off days.
THE PGA NATIONAL RUSSIA course outside Moscow held it’s grand opening this month, and aims to host European Tour competitions when it’s luxury 250-room hotel is completed.  Apart from the “Dunes” course, St. Petersburg, and the Pestovo Golf and Yacht club on a 16th century royal estate outside Moscow Russia isn’t big on golf courses yet. (Must be something to do with the weather.)

VAILABLE FROM October:  TaylorMade’s new SpeedBlade irons,  “Our most complete iron ever” according to T.M.   Featuring the same Speed Pocket as the Rocketbladez, but widened and lengthened to give more clubface area toward the toe and heel, the SpeedBlade also features their Inverted Cone Technology (bigger sweet spot on off centre hits.)  With an internal slot which allows for more flex and rebound Taylor Made say they have created their  fastest face yet in the Speedblade.  (Warp Factor 10 blades next?)
DURING HIS illustrious career Arnold Palmer has won seven Majors,  collected four Masters’ green jackets, and raised millions of dollars for charity, in particular the Arnold Palmer Medical Centre for children.   Happy Birthday Arnold, 84 this month.
 HARRY SCOTT, from New Jersey, U.S.A. played a round of golf in every American state last year, from Maine to Alaska.  This year he played a round of golf on six continents in six days.
Starting in Australia and finishing in S. America his trip commenced with an 8.a.m. tee time at the Bonville Golf Resort, NSW, followed by a three hour drive north to Brisbane, where he caught a flight to  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  He played the Glenmarie Golf Club then headed for Egypt and the first tee at the Dreamland Golf Resort, Cairo.
Next stop London for a morning round at Stoke Park Country Club in Buckinghamshire, where those classic scenes for "Goldfinger" were shot.  From there it was off to Nassau, Bahamas, for a round at the Ocean Club, which left South America: the Junko Golf Club near Caracas, Venezuela. And so to bed. 
"It's something to do," said 79 year old Scott, “It's fun, and I've got time on my hands.”  And cash, obviously.

Until next time, happy golfing. 

Contact Mick for your regripping and repair requirements.  638 859 475.


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

David Howell

Many congratulations to David Howell on winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last weekend.  I had the pleasure of meeting him  at Broome Manor golf course, Swindon, soon after he had joined the European PGA Tour, when he came back to visit some of the people he played with when he was a junior there.  Even at that young age I was very impressed with both his attitude and his demeanour;  a credit to the game.  Ever since then I have followed his progress and was extremely sorry when illness caused him to fall down the World rankings.  Welcome Back!

A little quip from Mick the Grip. No. 85.

Golf increases blood pressure, ruins the digestion, hurts the eyes, callouses the hands, ties kinks in the nervous system, induces angina pectoris, debauches the morals, and drives men to  homicide, suicide or drink.  What's my tee off time? 

  Dr. A. S. Lamb.