FOUR TIME MAJOR WINNER Ernie Els’s course on the Malaysian island of Langkawi lies amidst a million year old tropical rainforest stretching to the shores of the Andaman Sea. Originally designed in 1992, the 18 hole championship course has been completely renovated and reopened to rave reviews. The Els Club Teluk Datai, managed by Troon Golf, was built to strict environmentally friendly standards, and “aims to preserve and enhance the natural environment amidst unique luxury and eco golf educational experience” whatever that means.
THE HONDA CLASSIC (23rd February) at PGA National is one of the premier events on the PGA TOUR, and players compete for a purse of over $5.6 million. Russell Henley prevailed last year in a four man playoff against Russell Knox, Ryan Palmer and Rory McIlroy. McIlroy began the day with a two shot lead, but stumbled with a final round 74. However he did improve as the year went on.
JIM FURIK COMMENTED on how the initial Ryder Cup task force meeting at Palm Beach went.
“It was productive,” he said. “We didn’t come up with any answers, but we wanted to air everyone’s thoughts. It was a very open discussion; nobody felt like they had to hold anything back if they weren’t happy.”
As the players airing their opinions included Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Raymond Floyd we can be pretty sure their feelings were well and truly aired.
SCHOOL OF GOLF’s MARTIN HALL says fairway wood problems are often related to a lack of understanding about how to execute the shot. Trying to sweep the ball off the ground, as many players have been taught, is apparently a mistake. Hitting slightly down on the ball and taking a small divot is the actual goal. “If you can make that adjustment you'll see immediate improvement when it comes to accuracy and distance,” says Martin. I’ll try anything once.
THE EUROPEAN OPEN, founded in 1978, was played at various courses in England, including Sunningdale and Walton Heath. At it’s height the total prize money reached £2.4 million. It folded in 2009 due to lack of sponsorship. The current deal with BMW expired after the PGA last year at Wentworth. The European Tour has been struggling to find sponsors. The tax man doesn’t help either, dipping into the prize money overseas competitors make in the UK.
Graham McDowell says he would like to see the revival of the iconic events on the European Tour. It’s been a tough 7 or 8 years; losing events in Spain, Germany and the UK. However, things are looking up. There will be 6 new European Tour events this year. I know they include the Thailand Classic, Indian Open and Mauritius Open, but the European Open is to return in September, albeit in Germany. Then there’s the ever popular Irish Open in May, and Paul Lawrie is to host a new tournament, the Saltire Matchplay in July on the Murcar Links, his home course near Aberdeen, as part of the Race to Dubai. The British Masters could also be returning for the first time since 2008. So cheer up Graham, all is not lost.
JAZZ GREATS such as Count Basie will put harmony into your putting stroke, according to new research. Male players are 17% and ladies 10% more accurate while listening to jazz on the practice green. Country music improves baseball performance and rap raised basketball skills but jazz does it for golfers. It is suggested it helps them calm down, concentrate and improvise on the green. So on with the headphones: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!”
Until next time, happy golfing.
Contact Mick for all your regripping and repair requirements.
Tel: 638 859 475.