LUKE DONALD unfortunately missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open, but the previous week, thanks to his sublime short game, he came second by one stroke to Wesley Bryan at Harbour Town. Local boy Bryan rallied from four-shots down to win the RBC Heritage with a 4-under 67.
Actually, seeing Wesley afterwards in the Plaid Jacket, Luke was probably quite relieved he didn’t win.
THE EUROPEAN TOUR’S new 6-hole event ‘GolfSixes’ takes place from 6th-7th May at St. Albans Centurion Club, with 2-man teams from 16 different nations competing. Shown on Sky Sports, the first day will see the teams split into four groups of four similar to the UEFA Champions League stages, before the top two teams from each group progress to quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. The format is Greensomes Matchplay. “It will be a fun-packed event, with everyone involved,” enthuses CEO Keith Pelley, sounding like Maplins’ Gladys Pugh rounding up contestants for the knobbly knees contest; “There’s sure to be a great atmosphere as they battle for national pride, players will wear microphones and interact with the fans.” (Oh joy)
BELGIUM’S THOMAS PIETERS won three European Tour titles before turning 25. Coming 4th in the Rio Olympics earned him one of the 2016 Ryder Cup wildcard picks and at Hazeltine he played a blinder, finishing 4-1-0.
Thomas, however, is a frustrated Belgian. He feels he should have won at least three majors by now. His patient coach Pete Cowen says: “Thomas is hungry.” One day Thomas will look back and appreciate coming 4th in his first Masters. Just not right now.
JON RAHM RODRIGUEZ (22) from the Basque country, another hungry player, has a touch of Seve about him. Ballesteros learned the game with a second hand 3 iron on the beaches of Pedrena, Rahm honed his skills on a run-down local range. He shares Seve’s typically Spanish swashbuckling character, (and a tendency to self-detonate.) He learned English by rapping along to Eminem, which must make it interesting for anyone interviewing him.
In the WGC Matchplay, 6’ 4” Rahm pushed Dustin Johnson to the brink, matching him yard for yard off the tee to miss out by one shot. He won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January. Now he only needs to win a championship via the clubhouse roof and the car park.
PING’S PLD2 Ketch putter has a unique design – camouflage. Thanks to permodizing - incorporating photo-realistic 3D images onto metallic surfaces - Ping can now put different designs on their putters. Not sure camouflage is such a good idea. If you throw a camouflaged putter in the bushes in frustration you’ll have a hell of a job finding it again.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Dye Designs are planning a new 18 hole course near Edgeware, N. London. Perry Dye, the eldest son in the dynasty which designed the Stadium course at Sawgrass, Whistling Straights, and Harbour Town golf links among others, says plans include an island green on the 7th hole similar to the 17th at Sawgrass. The 7,000 yd course will offer multiple tees and reasonable prices. If you can’t make Florida for the TPC don’t despair, ‘Dye London’ will be ready in about three years.
TITLEIST HAVE GONE “One step beyond.” With their Footjoy Boditrak test you are wired up to a contraption with pressure sensors and a mat which highlights where you put pressure on the ground during the swing and determines whether you need a more stable or more mobile shoe.
Nike have gone one step further. They have come up
with a shirt that improves your swing. Apparently the tight elastic material in certain key areas helps guide correct repetitive movements like a golf swing, and activates muscle stimulation to boost performance.
Even better, the shirt doesn’t charge for coaching. I think I need to go and lie down.