IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRI
ROGER CHAPMAN’S PRIZE for winning the TCB Seniors Tournament in the Seychelles must be high on the list of “What am I supposed to do with this” trophies. Classic examples are the diamond-encrusted dagger which Spain’s Jorge Campillo collected at the Trophee Hassan II, or the 3ft long Viking Sword presented to the winner of the Viking Challenge. Possibly the gigantic cow bell the Swiss Challenge victor staggered down the mountain with. For his hole-in-one at the KLM back in 2000 Andy Sullivan was presented with a voucher for a space trip (did he ever go?) Martin Kaymer received a plaster model of Barclays Head Office when he won the 2009 Scottish Open, but at least there was a bottle of 30 year old Scotch to go with it.
LOCAL BOY TOMMY FLEETWOOD will be playing host at the Betfred British Masters from 9-12thMay at Hillside Golf Club, Southport, Merseyside. Defending Champion Eddie Pepperell said: “Tommy will be a great host, the local fans love him, and he will be supported massively.”
It will be a hectic week for Tommy. On 7thMay he will be joining Stephen Gallagher, winner of last month’s Indian Open, LPGA champion Charley Hull and three others at Princes Dock on Liverpool’s World Heritage Site waterfront for the opening event in this year’s Hero Challenge. The six players stand on a platform in the middle of Liverpool Dock and aim balls at a target on the floodlit dockside. ‘It’s golf Jim, but not as we know it.’
OFFICIAL EUROPEAN TOUR PARTNER Callaway is launching ‘Tour Tips,’ a series of bi-weekly golf instructional videos. No.1. features European Tour player Alex Noren, who reveals why alignment, club face position and angle of attack are crucial in his video ”How to hit a Fade.” camera technology, tournament archive footage and advice from stars like Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Francesco Molinari. Callaway say their Tour Tips will ‘provide invaluable help for amateur golfers from beginners up.
I could do an instructional video: “How to hit a Lake, by Mick the Grip.”
THE GENZON GOLF CLUB will be the venue for the 25 anniversary of the Volvo China Open when the event comes to Longgang, near Hong Kong, on May 2-5. The tournament returns to the course for the first time since Frenchman Alex Levy won in 2014, the only player to win twice in the history of the event.One of the players expected to shine is 14 yr. old Kuang Yang, who clinched his place in the tournament by winning the Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship, beating Guangdong's 13 yr. old star Wu Dian-chao. If they get any younger they won’t need golf buggies, they’ll need Maclaren buggies.
ONE OF THE STARS of the British Golf Show from 17-18thMay: the PowaKaddy C2i GPS. Testers pronounced it sturdy and quiet with a very powerful motor. The full-colour GPS screen, set into the handle, is remarkably accurate, providingdistances to the front, back and middle of the green as well as providing yardages to hazards. The 2-stage folding mechanism means it fits easily into most car boots, and the Plug ‘n’ Play TM technology in the battery makes connecting to the trolley an easy process. Compete with the latest slim lithium batteries, USB charging point, scorecard holder and a compartment for balls, tees and pencils. All for £700.
IMPRESSING SPECTATORS on the PGA Tour: the new TaylorMade 22 ton, $1.6 million double-decker Tour Van. On board are 1,500 shafts, 1,200 golf balls, 1,000 grips and 500 hats and shirts. Complete with upstairs office, rest room with fridge, LED TV screens and comfy chairs. “The players can hang out here and feel part of the TaylorMade family,” says a spokesman.
(Probably only if they’ve won at least 2 majors.) At least if the ‘family’ fall out there are plenty of things to throw at each other, or if rain stops play they can try on 500 hats.