Thursday, 27 November 2014


WHILE IN TURKEY for the Race to Dubai Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood were invited to try hitting golfballs over the walls of the impressive 2000 year old amphitheatre of Aspendos.  Ian Poulter remained at the hotel, tweeting that because of the gorgeous food he was too full to move.  Perhaps he should have gone out and practised his putting.

THE 2015 IRISH OPEN will be played on a course familiar to both Rickie Fowler and Rory MciIroy.   Royal County Down in Northern Ireland hosted the 2007 Walker Cup when the two first duelled as 18 year old amateurs.

After McIlroy was victorious this year at the Open and PGA Championship the two were reunited at the Ryder Cup when McIlroy again got the upper hand both in the foursomes and in their Sunday singles match, winning 5 and 4.

Fowler is keen to have another shot at McIlroy.  "When Rory told me the Irish Open was going to Royal County Down I was really keen to play. We will have plenty to reminisce about” he added, polishing his Derringer before slipping it into the inside pocket of his raincoat (sorry, got carried away.)

PAUL AZINGER cashed in after the 2008 Ryder Cup by writing a telltale book and embarrassing the players.  Paul McGinley will not be doing the same.  “I wanted the lads to know that what happened behind the scenes stayed there” he said, “so I promised there would be no book.”  Stout fellow. 

MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ may be on the short list for 2016 Ryder Cup Captain but his lack of fluency in English may scupper him.  Fellow countryman Sergio Garcia doesn’t think Jimenez’s English, while OK for ordering cigars, is good enough to deal with the demands of the job.  At least he has plenty of time to sign up for night classes.
 GOLF MANUFACTURERS have unleashed a new range of expensive toys on recession hit America, proving that their heads are still firmly either in the sand or the clouds.  TaylorMade’s offerings include the R15 driver, with Front Track Technology.  Two sliding weights can be moved to a variety of positions in the head, changing the combinations of distance, forgiveness and draw/fade bias.  The Front Track also acts as a Speed Pocket, which expands the size of the sweetspot and reduces spin.  Only £369!  Just in time for Christmas!
As if that weren’t enough, the new RSi irons feature Face Slot Technology; slots either side of the face which according to TM, work in conjunction with Speed Pockets to give improved performance on shots that don’t hit the sweetspot. The RSi 1 irons replace the Speedblades, the R15 driver the SLDR.  So tough luck on the shops that invested in SLDRs and Speedblades.
 GOLF MOVES DOWN UNDER this month with the Australian Open, Masters and PGA.  If Adam Scott  managed to win his third gold jacket in Melbourne at the weekend he will next have to face Rory McIlroy.  Rory, fresh from collecting his goodies in Dubai will be winging over to defend his Australian Open title in Sydney on November 27th.  The PGA Championship on the Gold Coast in early December follows.  It will be the last chance this season for the world No. 2. to hang a major trophy on his Christmas Tree.   
 BACK IN the murky past our regular Sunday foursome would hold earnest discussions in the 19th on everything from local politics to the pitiful size of the measure.  Enjoying a post round pint recently with my Sunday four I noticed our discussion consisted solely of our ailments, symptoms and treatment!  But as they say, after sixty if you don’t wake up with aches and pains you’re probably dead!
Until next time: Happy Golfing!
 Contact Mick for all your regripping and repairs: 638 859 475.    

Friday, 14 November 2014

A little quip from Mick the Grip

One of the few advantages bowls has over golf is that you seldom lose a bowling ball.

Sunday, 2 November 2014



          PATRICK REED’S  Ryder Cup opponents collared him last week when he returned to the UK for the Volvo World Matchplay and had their photo taken mimicking Reed’s gesture to the crowd at Gleneagles.  Reed took it all in good part.  For the camera anyway.  Back in his hotel room he probably chewed the carpet.

 Dr. FRANK STABLEORD deserves to be remembered by amateur golfers everywhere.   Dr. Stableford was a surgeon in the Boer war and WWI, afterwards becoming Captain of Wallasey Golf Club on the Wirral.  He devised a system of points scoring after realizing one day that many players were getting very little fun out of their golf, often tearing up their score cards after a few holes, especially at Wallasey, where strong winds could make play extremely difficult.
Golf handicaps had originally been used for the purpose of wagers but eventually there was a need for a central handicapping authority.  In 1881 the use of three rounds and then take the average was adopted.   Many clubs played medal competitions, hard for the less formal golfer, or they played against bogey, based on the best average scores over a particular course, which was very individual, with widely differing standards.

 Dr. Stableford’s points system was first played in competition at Wallasey on 16th May 1932, and was an instant success.  At the time the maximum male handicap was 21, but not liking the idea of anyone receiving 2 strokes at a hole, he restricted the allowance to 7/8th of handicap, giving a maximum of 18 shots.  Gradually he refined the system to give 4bbb, foursomes and mixed matches.

The great advantage of Dr. Stableford’s system is that it enables a player to continue after a few bad holes, and speeds up play by letting a player pick up when he is out of contention.  It was Henry Longhurst’s opinion that “No single man did more to increase the enjoyment of the more humble golfer.” 
GOLF IN AMERICA can be interesting.  Approaching the 16th green in Montana a golfer came across three bear cubs wrestling with the flag  (no sign of Goldilocks.)  And in Oregon an eagle landed on the green, picked a player’s golf ball up in it’s beak and flew off.   The surprised golfer said:  “I’d been hoping for an eagle all day.”  In case you’re wondering, rule 18/1 has it covered: If a ball at rest is moved by an outside agency, there is no penalty and the ball must be replaced.
RORY McILROY has pulled out of the Shanghai HSBC and BMW Masters to prepare for his forthcoming courtroom battle against Horizon Sports Management.  Horizon is countersuing for breach of contract.  For both protagonists millions are at stake.  For the lawyers Christmas has come early.

THE EUROPEAN FATHER AND SON Championship returns to Valle del Este, Almeria, from 27th October to 1st November.   Over 50 teams compete for the title of best scratch and handicap Father and Son team in Europe.  Last year’s winners, both from England, will return free as part of their prize. 

Open to any pro or amateur team, maximum handicap 24,   contestants’ ages range from 10 to 90 (not a team presumably)  The 54 hole 2bbb Stableford event brings golfers and their families over for a great week in the sun.  Sky Sports cameras, press and announcers all make it as close to a pro championship as possible, and with evening entertainment, spas and a carnival atmosphere it is proving a popular annual fixture.   

“Columbus went round the world in 1492; that isn’t a lot of strokes when you consider the course.”  Lee Trevino (Who else?)
Just a reminder folks that any loose change dropped in to the poppy boxes this month will all help this very worthy cause.
Until next time, happy golfing.

Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. Tel. 638 859 475.