Saturday, 19 September 2015
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Monday, 14 September 2015
Friday, 4 September 2015
IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
THE OLYMPIC COURSE. “It will be a Masterpiece,” says an excited IOC spokesman. Steady on. At least it’s green. (A bit greener than Nov 2013, see below)
The men’s Olympic golf (11-14th August) is playing havoc with the 2016 PGA summer schedules, with 8 tournaments in 8 weeks, including 3 Majors. The PGA Championship will be in July, the WGC Bridgestone, moved to June, will now clash with the French Open, a tough decision for the European Tour players needing Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points. The Travellers Championship and John Deere Classic, moved to August may be without their defending champions Bubba and Jordan, who, like Fred and Ginger, could be Flying Down to Rio.
ROYAL LYTHAM & ST ANNES hosts the 45th Walker Cup on 12/13th September. 26 matches will be played, with two forms of match play, singles and foursomes. The GB& I amateurs were victorious at Royal Aberdeen in 2011, beating a brilliant USA team including Jordan Spieth (wonder what happened to him?) but they were trounced 17 to 9 at Long Island in 2013, in what was called the ‘Nightmare in New York.’ Captain Nigel Edwards says: “We lost in 2013 despite having an experienced team. This year they are untried for the most part but dead keen to get that trophy back.” The Walker trophy is named after the great grandfather of George W. Bush. Never mind, they still want it.
CALLAWAY’S NEW Great Big Bertha driver, unlike it’s 1990’s ancestor, incorporates 21st century design features. They include a sliding weight that can be positioned for varying degrees of draw, fade or neutral, and OptiFit hosel technology which gives eight loft and face angles. So why is it a greater Big Bertha? Well, if you accept the explanation, it is because it echoes the ground breaking nature of the original GBB. In that case I can't wait for the re-release of the Greatest Big Bertha.
WHISTLING STRAIGHTS must be one of Pete Dye’s most scenic courses, not that players in the PGA Championship could take time off to admire the view, with the hole a bus ride away and a couple of yards off the fairway meant either deep rough or Lake Michigan. It’s the host course for the 2020 Ryder Cup, which should be fun, and is one of the few American Major courses people can actually play, providing they have steady nerves and $385.
ONE OF THE FIRST players to recognize Jordan Spieth’s mental strength was Phil Mickelson. Spieth and Steve Stricker beat him in one of his beloved practice round money games in 2013 although Mickelson, who knows every trick in the book to rattle his opponents, tried them all on Spieth, who just smiled innocently at him. Mickelson ground his teeth, but afterwards suggested Spieth be included in the 2013 Presidents Cup.
KINGS DON’T ALWAYS relinquish their crowns gracefully. In 1922 Walter Hagen, the ‘King of Gamesmanship’ won the Open, but was beaten in the U.S. Open and USPGA by 20 yr. old Gene Sarazen. There was no love lost between the two; Hagen thought Sarazen a young upstart, and Sarazen thought Hagen should treat him with more respect. When they played each other in a challenge match later that year Hagen tried to get under his opponent’s skin. Sarazen complained: “He kept calling me ‘Kid’ and I didn’t like it.” Sarazen had the last laugh, winning 3 and 2.
WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY is the latest buzzword. In one example, a small GPS tracker is fixed to the belt, with flat sensors placed on each club. The location of every shot is marked, and the golfers monitor their performance with a glance at their smartphones.
As used in practice by Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, and even President Obama, all of whom could use a little help at the moment, but maybe not from Wearable Technology. Still, it’s reassuring the most powerful man in the world has some idea where his shots are going.
Until next time, Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. Tel: 638 859 475.