IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
A ROUND OF GOLF at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pacifico course at the Punta Mita Resort, Mexico, would be a pleasant way of spending $245. With the Sierra Madre mountains as a backdrop, the choice is either to play the standard third hole or attempt the 170 yd. 3B; the world’s only natural island green, known as “Tail of the Whale.” You can have a paddle at the same time.
AFTER THE Japan Open, the HSBC Champions, the Taiheiyo Masters, and now the Bahamas Hero World Challenge, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (24) is on a winning streak, although until recently his putting tended to let him down. Fellow golfer Hiroshi Iwata introduced him to the "Pelz Putting Tutor," a small metal plate with two tiny steel balls at the end just over the width of a golf ball apart, designed to help players line up putts. Iwata's drill is to make 10 short putts in a row using first the left hand and then the right hand. It obviously worked for Hideki. I’ll ask Santa to bring me one.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM 2016: Danny Willett winning the Masters, Henrik Stenson’s thrilling tussle with Phil Mickelson at Troon in the Open, Dustin Johnson’s first Major at Oakmont in the U.S. Open, and the Ryder Cup. Perhaps best forgotten, that one. Best of all our own Justin Woods’s Olympic Gold Medal at Rio. Bet that will be hanging on his Christmas tree.
PLAYERS’ SUPERSTITIONS: Before teeing off Jack Nicklaus would check to see that he had exactly three coins in his pocket. The denomination did not matter as long as he had three. Rumour says that’s the only time he ever did put his hand in his pocket.
Every time Ernie Els birdies a hole he starts the next hole with a new ball. Apparently he believes that making a birdie uses all the mojo in the ball. All right when you have unlimited Pro V1’s.
Keegan Bradley is seriously weird. He does the cha-cha before every tee shot, the samba before every putt, and performs what looks like the Viennese waltz before bunker shots. He’s got to be next for American Strictly.
THE HISTORIC RED LION, Prestwick, on the South Ayrshire coast has been going for almost 200 years and was the meeting place of a group of golfers who in 1851 decided to form a club, building a course with the help of greenkeeper Old Tom Morris. They then hosted the first Open Championship in 1860. Extensively restored recently in a way that keeps much of it’s original character, if you fancy a pop at pub keeping, it’s on the market for £1.1m.
TODAY’S GOLFER suggests trying this drill to practice a smooth takeaway: Take your stance, put both arms out in front, then put the back of your right hand on the back of your left hand, and push with your right arm as though taking the club away. (Then do the Hokey Cokey?)
FOUR GOLFING FRIENDS have been going on the same trip to St Andrews for many years. This time, however, Jack’s wife puts her foot down and tells him he isn’t going. Jack’s mates are very sorry for him, but two days later the three get to St Andrews to find Jack sitting at the bar.
“Wow, Jack, how did you talk ‘Er Indoors into letting you go?”
“Well, yesterday evening I was sitting in my armchair and my wife appeared in the bedroom doorway wearing a glamorous nightie,” says Jack. “She pulled me into the bedroom, and on the bed she had handcuffs, and ropes! She told me to tie her up and cuff her to the bed, so I did. And then she said, ‘Do whatever you want.’
So… here I am!”
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and Happy Golfing in the New Year.
Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs. Tel. 638 859 475.