IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
JACK NICKLAUS could be as ruthless a destroyer as any in his day, but he does believe in sporting tradition. At Royal Birkdale in 1969, the Ryder Cup came down to the last hole of the last match between Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. On the 17th, Nicklaus led by one shot, until Jacklin sank a 50-ft eagle putt to square it. On the 18th Nicklaus sank a 4ft putt, leaving his opponent a 3ft putt for a draw. If he missed it the USA would win the cup outright. Nicklaus then bent and picked up Jacklin’s ball marker rather than forcing him to putt out.
He said: "I don't think you would have missed that, Tony, but I didn't want to give you the chance." The Ryder Cup ended with 16 points to each team, the USA retaining the cup.
Most of Nicklaus’s teammates were furious, Sam Snead growled: ”We came over here to win, not to be good old boys.” British skipper Eric Brown had earlier instructed his players not to look for American balls if they landed in the rough, and during a fourball on the second day the captains had to come out and calm the warring players down.
Nicklaus and Jacklin became friends, and went on to design the Concession Golf Club in Florida together. Nicklaus says now: “Of course everyone wants to win but the important thing is the game. There’s a lot of nice things about the Ryder Cup, but I wish we wouldn’t make such a war out of it.” So we definitely won’t be seeing Jack streaking across the 18th green draped only in a USA flag.
Despite the £200 million facelift lavished on it by it’s owner, Trump Turnberry will probably be blackballed from hosting future Open Championships after Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Muslims etc. In America the USPGA relocated next year’s WGC from Trump Doral Florida to Mexico City for the same reason. If The Donald gets the keys to the White House the R & A and USPGA had better ignore his future controversial comments. Any more blackballs and their Head Offices could be flattened by a drone strike.
WATCHING RORY MCILROY beat him to the Tour Championship and Fedex Cup after Rory had trailed behind him for three days Dustin Johnson must have muttered a few controversial comments of his own.
“I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.” Arnold Palmer. 1929-2016. The King is dead. Long live the King?
The CALLAWAY X-14 IRONS, launched back in 2000, were apparently Callaway’s most successful ever, and their new XR Steelhead irons, just launched, contain the X-14’s best features combined with the latest innovations: Face Cup technology for increased ball speed, a bar of steel-infused polyurethane positioned behind the face to absorb vibration and add weight for even faster ball speed, and the Hollow Bore-Thru hosel, for more forgiveness and easier launch.
Aimed at the game improver, the irons received a 5* rating in reviews. Start dropping hints for Christmas.
THIS YEAR’S BRITISH MASTERS at the Grove, Hertfordshire, will get off to a lively start on October 11th with the ‘Hero Challenge,’ a fast-paced one-hole knockout contest on the Tuesday evening under floodlights.
Eight players, including Justin Rose and Lee Westwood (assuming they survive the Ryder Cup) will go head to head in seven straight knockout matches, the last man standing will be crowned champion. The hour-long contest will be shown on Sky Sports. The more sedate British Masters will commence on the Wednesday, with Matt Fitzpatrick defending the title he won last year at Woburn.
GOLFERS HAVE the happiest marriages - fact.
500 golfers and non-golfers’ wives were asked to rate their marriages on a scale of one up to five.
Nearly 80% of the golfers’ wives rated their satisfaction as five, compared to 59% of non-golfers' wives. So you can head off to the tee with the blessing of ‘er indoors.’ (But maybe not on your wedding anniversary.)
Until next time, Happy Golfing.
Contact Mick for your regripping and repairs: 638 859 475.