IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
The Church Pews Bunker
JORDAN SPIETH recently played a round at Oakmont Country Club, Pennsylvania, in preparation for the defence of his US Open title on June 16th. “I thought I’d better get an idea of what I’m in for,” he said.
Oakmont has 210 deep bunkers, including the infamous 100 yd. long Church Pews. With hardly any water, the course features deep ditches full of long grass, and the pitched greens are lightning-fast. The course has hosted eight US Opens, the last in 2007, when Angel Cabrera beat Tiger Woods by one stroke with 5 over. Johnny Miller won in 1973 with an outstanding 8-under, and in 1962 Jack Nicklaus, age 22, defeated Arnold Palmer in a playoff. Sam Parks Jr. won in 1935 in atrocious conditions with 11-over, the only player to break 300. Wet or fine, the 2016 US Open looks like being interesting.
Edward Stimpson, the Massachusetts amateur champion was a spectator at Oakmont in 1935. After watching a putt by Gene Sarazen roll off a green he went away and invented a simple device and method to accurately measure the speed of greens.. Hence the “Stimpmeter.”
AFTER HIS PLAYERS Championship victory at TPC Sawgrass, World No. 1. Jason Day will be brimming with confidence, but Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, and defending champion Ricky Fowler all missed the cut, which only goes to prove that you can go from Hero to Zero in this game in no time at all.
The BMW PGA Championship celebrity Pro-Am will be held at Wentworth on 26th May.
Sport and show business celebrities will join European Tour players, including Justin Rose, Danny Willett and Lee Westwood for a combination of golf and live music. Danny Willett will be paired with former England cricketers Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann. Shane Lowry is paired, to his delight, with his rugby heroes Keith Wood and Paul O’Connell. Tim Henman – a scratch golfer since hanging up his tennis racquet, will provide the commentary.
Super-group Mike and the Mechanics will be on stage in the Championship village for the Saturday evening concert, and top band Keane will be closing the show on the Sunday. (I’ve never heard of them either)
The members of Wentworth have been battling the club’s new Chinese owner over plans to charge a £100,000 debenture fee and double annual fees to £16,000, in order to make Wentworth “The best private members golf club in the world.” At a heated meeting, the Wentworth Estate residents had asked: “Will the ordinary man be priced out?” Considering the average house prices on the Wentworth Estate I’d say the ordinary man had pretty well been priced out already. However, the company has backed down, although the members are still uneasy about the way the club is heading. Some of them are threatening to disrupt the BMW Championship. Watch out for retired colonels waving placards.
Ernie Els has been hired to upgrade the course, which should help to take the poor chap’s mind off his putting.
THE 1958 US OPEN winner Tommy Bolt (nicknamed Thunder) was known for fiery outbursts and chucking his clubs about. During one round he came to the last hole with a chance to win and paced out the 160 yds of his shot to the green. “What do you think?” he asked his caddie.
“Well boss, it’s either a two iron or a nine iron.”
“Why?” said Tommy, “I was thinking of maybe a six iron.”
“No sir,” said his caddie, “It’s gotta be either the two iron or the nine iron ‘cos they’re the only ones we got left.”
WAYNE ROONEY’S SON Kai was recently presented with a miniature golf course for his 6th birthday, which included a 30 sq. metre artificial putting green and cost £7,000. What’s wrong with a train set?
Until next time – Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.