IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
JUSTIN ROSE RAISES the Scottish Open trophy. After his recent triumph at Congressional will he add the Claret Jug and make it a hat trick?
2013 OPEN CHAMPION Phil Mickelson said: "I've loved having the Claret Jug this past year, letting people who really appreciate golf drink from it. The best was a 1990 bottle of Romanee Conti, which cost about $40,000!”
IN 1936 A NEW ASSISTANT Pro called Sam Snead arrived at the Greenbriar G.C. in W. Virginia. Raised in the backwoods he had taught himself golf using clubs made from tree branches. Sam nearly lost his Greenbriar job when he struck his tee shot on the 335yd 5th hole, and the ball bounded onto the green striking the rear end of Alva Bradley, one of the directors, who was furious until he learned he had been hit by Sam’s tee shot, not his second. He promptly made Sam his personal trainer.
Sam could average 320 yard drives with his hickory club, and was said to have “The Perfect Swing.” He won 82 PGA Tour championships, and 7 majors. The “Sam Snead Festival,” a 36 hole pro am, is still held at the Greenbriar annually in honour of “Slammin’ Sam.”
PING INTRODUCED their G30 driver at the Greenbriar Classic for the pros to try out. Angel Cabrera promptly won with it, averaging 331 yds in the final round. It makes you appreciate Sam Snead’s shot even more, considering the club he would have used. The G30 features six curved raised lines on the crown called Turbulators, which apparently improve the clubhead aerodynamics. They actually increase drag, but using fluid dynamics (smoke tests) engineers found that they made the air flow closer to the clubhead, reducing the wake produced. Result: more clubhead speed.
Cabrera’s average distance improved by roughly 6 yards with the G30. Unfortunately, for those with a normal swing speed the distance gained will be barely a yard. Anyway, distance isn’t everything, as Rory McIlroy, who hit a 435 yd drive in the Scottish Open, could tell you.
GRAEME MCDOWELL came from 8 shots behind to retain his French open title, shooting a four under 67 in pouring rain. He said: “It reminded me of going out in all weathers in my teens. I’ve been playing a little too much in America, and I’ve got a bit soft, I needed a day like today.”
SCOTLAND’S BRADLEY NEIL (18) earned his ticket to the next three majors and became the youngest ever to hold the Amateur title with his victory at Royal Portrush. After Garrick Porteous won the British Amateur and Matthew Fitzpatrick the U.S. Amateur in 2013, British youngsters have now won the Amateur, U.S. Amateur and the Amateur again in succession for the first time since 1912. Bradley’s home club is Blairgowrie GC. Perthshire, which has two Championship courses, the 9 hole “Wee Course,” and ‘the most beautiful inland greens in Scotland,’ according to old Tom Morris.
TOM WATSON told reporters at Hoylake that his Ryder Cup team is taking shape. “The guys currently in the top places in the standings will probably be on the team. I'm getting to know them all so that I can make informed decisions come September. To that end I personally invited whoever could make it of our top 20 players to join me at Gleneagles the week before the Open Championship so we could all get a look at the Centenary Course.” Must have cost him a bit. Hope they didn’t drink any Romanee Conti!
THE UNKNOWN FEMALE sunbathing au naturelle on her balcony at Las Ramblas last week probably heard the crunch as three buggies shunted into each other when their mesmerized drivers approaching the 11th green caught sight of her. After untangling themselves they all took at least four putts.