IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
|EASTLAKE GOLF CLUB ATLANTA|
EASTLAKE G.C. ATLANTA. The final 30 in the FedEx playoffs will battle it out here in the Tour Championship on September 11th. After last week’s Barclays Championship the next in line is the Deutsche Bank for the top 100 (29th August) followed by the BMW Championship for the top 70 (4th September.) The prize: $10.000.000 plus. Ian Poulter could treat himself to a private plane if he won, he has been moaning on Twitter how much his wife suffered flying first class recently without the childrens’ nanny! Life is hard.
RORY MCILROY’S awe inspiring drives are achieved with his Nike Covert 2.0 Tour driver. Nike claim the greater distance is due to the “Fly Brace technology” stiffening the walls of the cavity back. This increased stability enables more energy to be transferred to the front of the club, adding another couple of mph to his ball speed. Also, a 460cc face size, slightly larger than on his previous drivers gives him better contact; even Rory McIlroy doesn’t hit the centre every time at 120 mph.
THE LONG DRIVE COMPETITION was revived at this year’s USPGA Championship, on the 590 yd, par five 10th. It was won by Louis Oosthuizen with a 340 yd. drive. In 1963 Jack Nicklaus won the contest with an incredible 341 yd drive using a persimmon driver with 11 degree loft and Titleist wound ball. Apart from his winnings he received a special money clip, a replica of which he presented to Oosthuizen. "I’ve kept mine in my pocket for 51 years,” Jack commented. Must be time he bought a round.
Another player noted for hanging onto his wallet is Tiger Woods, unlike Phil Mickelson, who is apparently an ‘outrageously generous tipper.’ Out of America’s ten worst celebrity tippers Woods came in a comfortable first.
A BOGEY FREE ROUND, in fact a bogey free tournament at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open carried Bernhard Langer to his 23rd Champions Tour victory. Langer beat Mark O'Meara and Woody Austin by one shot, finishing with a 16 under 66, his 5th Champions Tour victory this year.
U.S. RYDER CUP CAPTAIN Tom Watson has announced that nine players have qualified automatically for the team: Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zach Johnson, with the three wild cards to be announced on September 2nd.
In the other camp Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson and Graeme McDowell would compose Mark McGinley’s nine automatic picks as of this week. The final qualifying event, the Italian Open, finishes on August 31st. McDowell could yet be out; Ian Poulter is praying for a wild card, I’m rooting for Jimenez. Pity we can’t have Langer.
STEPHANIE MEADOW (22) is Northern Ireland’s female equivalent to Rory McIlroy. Stephanie, from County Antrim made a stunning professional debut in June by finishing joint 3rd in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, after Rory gave her some course tips. Their success seems to be inspiring youngsters in Ireland; golf participation is on the rise.
UNFORTUNATELY, it’s going in the other direction in America. Dick's Sporting Goods, largest retailer in the U.S. of TaylorMade and Callaway products, last month fired all the PGA professionals employed in the golf departments of it’s 560 stores. Dick's installed a PGA pro at every store to combat the competition from online retailers, but the decline in golf participation in the U.S. and too many new products flooding the market meant they were overstocked. Dick’s suffered more than most after buying all four models of the driver TaylorMade released last year plus the three new Callaway drivers produced in quick succession. I can guess what the departing pros called the Head of Dick’s as they left!
Until next time, Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for all your regripping and repairs. Tel: 638 859 475.