IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
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!