Monday, 26 March 2018

MARCH ALREADY. NEARLY THE MASTERS. THIS TIME CASEY PERHAPS?

IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club sports an 18 hole Championship course and a ‘fun’ par 3 course. The par 4 354-yard 17th and the 421-yard 18th skirt the boat-filled Dubai Creek. The Emirates Club boasts both the Majlis course and Faldo’s floodlit  course. Majlis was the first grass Championship course in the Middle East when it was built in 1988, it hosts the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.  Together with Jumeirah’s Earth and Fire Dubai is not short of world class courses.

However, the tiny island state of Abu Dhabi is determined to outdo it’s glamorous neighbour. Although it holds 10% of the world’s oil reserves (92 billion barrels as opposed to Dubai’s 4 billion) it is trying to attract investment, offering exclusive golf packages including the 7 hr flight from Heathrow, and two new courses designed by Kyle Phillips and Gary Player.

It’s a far cry from golf’s beginnings in the Middle East, when the greens were ‘browns’ consisting of oiled sand and players carried their own bit of Astroturf to tee off from.

PAUL CASEY WON the Valspar Championship on March 10th, nearly 9 yrs after his first PGA tour win.  Now ranking No. 13 in the world, he has rejoined the European Tour after relinquishing his card in 2015 citing family reasons for being unable to play both tours.  Paul wants to play in the Ryder Cup. Although he was on the winning team in 2 of his 3 previous Ryder Cups Darren Clarke could not pick him for Hazeltine.  However, this year Captain Thomas Bjorn is said to be anxious to get him on board, so now with Paul eligible, McIlroy on form, Justin, Sergio and Jon Rahm our chances of regaining the Ryder Cup are improving.  We just have to dish up some dodgy escargots for the USA team at the Paris pre-match dinner.

AT THE VALSPAR Championship Patrick Reed’s hopes of an outright win were dashed as his 45ft putt toiled all the way up the hill to the green then rolled all the way back down to his feet.   Shame, couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.

RORY McILROY’S five birdies at Bay Hill were made with a Taylor Made TP Black Copper Soto, and Paul Casey’s Scotty Cameron 009 gave him six birdies at Valspar.  (In case you wanted to treat yourselves.)

IN 1900, THE BIBLE manufacturing district in Lower New York City was where preachers would stand on the sidewalk, shouting passages from the Bible, followed by a great many “Amen’s.”  It inspired a jazz record: “Shouting at Amen Corner.”    When Arnold Palmer won the 1958 Masters after extricating himself from difficulties on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes, it inspired sports writer Herbert Warren Wind to christen the holes by that name.

BRANDT SNEDEKER’S WIFE, Mandy, busy organising a weekend birthday party for her daughter Lily, asked him to order a birthday cake and take it to the little girl’s school to be shared with her classmates.  Brandt duly turned up at school with cake, but on opening the box he found the words engraved in icing:  “Happy Birthday Billy”.  As his wife said: “I gave him one job ………”

THE VICTORIA GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, Sri Lanka, is rated among the world’s 100 Most Beautiful Golf Courses.  Sri Lanka, according to the travel agents, is the latest unspoilt paradise scheduled to be decimated (sorry, discovered) by tourists, after 20 years of civil war.  Situated  90 miles from Colombo, and surrounded by  tea plantations and jungle, the Victoria Resort has recently been taken over by industry leaders Troon International, and since they are also responsible for Las Colinas we can expect to see the Victoria Resort listed as Sri Lanka’s Best Golf Resort next year.   

SERGIO GARCIA and his wife Angela are the proud parents of a baby girl, and the reigning owner of the green jacket has chosen an Augusta-themed name for his first- born, calling her Azalea.  Poor kid, good job he didn’t win at Bay Hill, they had a lovely show of Geraniums.

Until next time, Happy Golfing.

Contact Me for your re-gripping and repairs.  638 859 475.

Friday, 2 March 2018

NEWS FROM MICK THE GRIP ENTERPRISES. FEBRUARY GONE ALREADY SPRING IS ON THE WAY. BRRRRRRRRRR.

IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP
THE KABUL GOLF CLUB, first opened in 1967, was frequently used by Afghanistan's royal family until the last monarch got the boot in a 1978 coup.

Years of war turned the course into a battlefield, with landmines, rocket launchers and burnt-out Russian tanks. In 2004 pro golfer  Mohammad Afzal re-opened the  grim, grassless course and kept it going in the face of death threats from the Taliban who shot and killed his brother.  Now wealthy golfers are flown in by armed helicopter just to say they have played the world’s most dangerous course.  Next time you are about to complain about the state of the greens, think of poor Abdul.

DICTATORS HAVE BEEN KNOWN to stretch the truth about their golfing abilities.   During the official grand opening of a Jack Nicklaus- designed course, Turkmenistan’s president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, (no kidding) hit the ceremonial first tee shot.   A voiceover claimed:  “Our nation’s leader scored a hole in one from 246 yards despite windy conditions.”  Jack Nicklaus diplomatically made no comment.

LANNY WADKINS  won the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach after fending off Gene Littler in a playoff to claim his only major.  His most memorable feat,  however, was at the L.A. ‘Genesis’ Open, (then the Northern Trust Open)  played in February 1985 at the Riviera Country Club.  No one has since  touched his 20-under par 264, the longest-standing record on the PGA Tour.
Wadkins shot 63, 70 and 67, and then set himself a target for the final round to keep a 5 off his card.  He shot 64.   The L.A. Times’ Jim Murray commented:   “Lanny played a  concerto for woods and 2-irons”.  If you missed the Chicago Bears beating the Washington Redskins 73 – 0 never mind, just watch Lanny Wadkins beating up  Riviera.”   Wadkins says: " I couldn’t lose, I just saw shots that day.”  I know just what he means, I often have that feeling. It lasts right up until I hit my first shot.

BEFORE THE HAWAII STATE GOVERNOR apologized for the recent nuclear missile panic, saying an employee had pressed the wrong button, golfers on the island prepared for the worst.   John Peterson tweeted: “Under mattresses in the bath with wife, baby and in-laws.”  Justin Thomas, playing in the Hawaii Open, kept his cool, saying aferwards:  “I just sat on the sofa with a can of beer thinking ‘There’s not a thing I can do, if it’s my time, it’s my time.” He must have British Blood in there somewhere.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LUXURY Turnberry Golf Resort has  received a tax rebate of £109,580, as part of a programme designed to help ‘small businesses.’  As the resort is expecting a turnover of £18m this year it hardly qualifies, but apparently the tax relief is   ‘mandatory’ due to a 12.5% cap on rising business rates for bars, hotels and restaurants. Donald can treat himself to a new pair of gold bath taps, courtesy of Revenue Scotland.

AT LAST SOMEONE HAS LISTENED to all the moans concerning the calculation of handicaps.  Welcome to the new World Handicap System, courtesy of the R & A and the USGA. From 2020 a consistent handicap that is portable from course to course and country to country will come into existence, with key features designed to provide all golfers with a consistent measure of playing ability.
These include:
1:  Flexibility in formats, allowing both competitive and recreational rounds to count for handicap purposes and ensuring that a golfer's handicap is more reflective of potential ability.
2: An average-based calculation of a handicap, taken from the best eight out of the last 20 scores.
3: A limit of Net Double Bogey on the maximum hole score (for handicapping purposes only)
4:  A maximum handicap limit of 54.0, regardless of gender. (For more info check out the R & A website.)
The object is to encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a handicap, and  to enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to compete on a fair basis. From 2020 all golf federations all over the world will be implementing the new handicap rules.

 Good luck with that!

Until next time: Happy Golfing.

Contact Me for all your regripping and repairs. 638859475