30 September 2010

    Fix Your Ball Marks

    More and more I'm seeing these pock marks on greens from ball-marks that weren't fixed. And I'm hearing people bitching and complaining that the greens weren't very good. That's because you, you and you, who didn't bother to repair your ball marks, caused it! Fix the damage YOUR BALL caused to that green!! And while you're there, fix one more. If everyone got in that habit, we'd have better greens.

    29 September 2010


    When you have a steep downhill lag putt that looks like it will roll off the back of the green, think about leaving the putt about three feet short of the hole, as the natural tendency is to hit it long. Not five to ten feet short, but three feet short, as you want it to be tap in distance in case it DOES stop short. But if it's a STEEP lag, it should trickle at least those last three feet and die right about the hole.

    28 September 2010

    Reasons why I'm leaning towards U.S.A

    With the start of the Ryder Cup fast approaching, my confidence is not as high as it once was.

    Forget the argument over picking Harrington over Casey. As Monty says, Harrington is a 3 time major champion and this can be judged at the end of the weekend.

    My main concerns are as follows:

    firstly, i do not see any leaders within the European team.

    People say this is the strongest ever team but i do not agree. There are no leaders on the course such as Faldo, Garcia, Seve, Langer and Monty himself.

    The two most experienced players are Harrington and Westwood, one of which is focussed on getting his own game in some sort of order, the other is just returning fromn injury.

    Then there are the Molinari brothers. I am a huge fan of theres, however when was the last time two rookies were paired together and won? There is a massive difference in pressure to the ryder cup to the world pairs which they won and it will be interesting to see how they cope.

    Should they lose there opening pairs match convincingly then i believe this will give Monty a massive headache. Does he split them up or give the brothers a second chance?

    Then there is Tiger Woods. Tiger has had more than enough time to get his game back in order and he will be determined to prove that Pavin was right to give him a wildcard.

    This will be closer than what some people think.


    The cardinal sin of all golf is to leave an easy 5 to 6 putt short of the hole. That 2 inch tap in now counts the same as your 250 yard drive. Do yourself a favor and practice, practice, practice a short putting stroke that will consistently be firm enough to ALWAYS reach the cup.

    27 September 2010


    Sometime before a round, on the practice green try putting against a friend for money, say a quarter a hole. Nothing during a round will be as difficult as the crucible of having already faced pressure putts against your playing patner. Making a tough five-footer? Having to lay a long putt from distance? If you've already practiced it - you can have the feeling of "been there, done that."

    20 September 2010

    Laura Davies Does It Again

    Laura Davies wins Open de España Femenino
    One of Britain’s all-time greatest golfers Laura Davies shot a final round of level par 71 to win the Open de España Femenino and claim her 76th career title at Flamingos Golf in Benahavís on the Costa del Sol.

    This is Laura's fourth title this season on the LET (Ladies European Tour) winning in Austria, Germany and New Zealand. With todays win it also means that Laura Davies moves from 3rd to 1st in the LET’s 2010 Henderson Money List. Davies has finished 1st on the Henderson Money List on seven occasions (1985, 1986, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2006) and going for an eighth.

    Davies is also positioned 1st in the standing for the European Solheim Cup team. Davies is the only player to have played in every Solheim Cup match from 1990 to 2009.

    In 2004 Davies was the first woman to compete in the men's European Tour, entering the ANZ Championship in Sydney, Australia. She failed to make the cut, finishing second to last.

    Laura Davies is arguably the greatest English female golfer of all time and one of the best in the world. Now age 46 Davies is playing some of the best golf of her career and shows no sign of stopping.

    The Ryder Cup Should Have Category A Status

    The Ryder Cup trophy
    I cannot understand why the Ryder Cup is not afforded 'Category A' status in the ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events.

    The Ryder Cup currently has only 'Category B' status, which means it can be shown by a pay TV channel, provided that highlights are available on free-to-air channels.

    Surely, it should rank alongside the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games, the FA Cup Final, the Grand National, etc and live coverage on terrestrial TV be mandatory.

    17 September 2010

    Project X 6.0 Flighted Shaft

    The rifle 6.0 shafts are comparable in flex to somewhere between s300 and x100 on the Dynamic gold scale. When compared to a 5.5 (which is generally rated as around s300ish) it's obviously a firmer shaft.

    The difference in flighted and non-flighted is purely the launch angle that they generate through the set. The shorter irons give a lower launch for accuracy/flight control and the longer irons a much higher launch for distance in the air.

    They suit a powerful/aggressive swing rather than a smooth one at the rating that they have and are a fairly heavy shaft.

    In terms of hitting down/sweeping... I would say that a hitter would get more from these than a sweeper.

    Personally I don't like the Project X. I think it feels very harsh at impact compared to the standard rifle I use.

    On top of that a lot of people think they 'feel' stiffer than a regular rifle. But that's very personal.

    A Trip Down Memory Lane

    Things that I remember in my golfing lifetime.....

    1.62" balls

    The first metal drivers

    Seve's fist pumping on the 18th at St Andrews

    Torrance with his arms aloft after holing the winning putt in the Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 1985

    Diamond pattern Pringle jumpers

    Leather gloves that lasted about 3 weeks.

    Par 4's over 400 yards were considered long!

    Waterproofs that weren't!!

    Wound golf balls that made a lovely 'click' when you hit them

    Wound leather grips that needed washing often

    2 woods (brassies)

    Tiny headed wooden drivers with plastic face inserts

    Brown Rubber Spiked Dunlop Golf shoes with kilties on them

    Sets of clubs with pro's names on them (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player)

    Dunlop Warwick Golf Balls in red wrappers for 4/6 (22 and half pence)

    Annual Subs of £3

    Have you got any more to add?

    Donald ‘saviour of classics’ Trump

    Donald Trump posing with golf club
    As much as I dislike all aspects of Donald Trump's project in Aberdeenshire his desire to hold an open championship does pose an interesting question.

    For me it is centred around how much I value pro golf and how important pandering to pro golf is over maintaining the game for the everyday player. My first reaction to his desire to hold the open at his new Aberdeenshire course was ‘the man's a fruit loop, the open should never leave the classic venues’.

    My second thought was why should a second rate course get the honour of holding the open above classics like St Georges and TOC. However if you think about it, the current pro game is so far removed from the roots of golf, is this really an issue?

    I am not sure if this idea holds but I am starting to think that the future of the open should be at venues like Trump's, Castle Stuart or Dundonald. Changing the 17th at TOC certainly strengthens the argument for me. I have a fear that in the coming years as the ball gets more an more out of control the classic courses on the open rota may be altered to the detriment of 99% of the people who play them, i.e. the average golfer, for the benefit of the pro’s coming to town every 10 years.

    I see using these new courses as a preservation technique to make sure the work’s of Harry Colt, Old Tom, JH Taylor, Hawtree, Fowler and Mackenzie remain intact for generations to come. This of course ignores the fact that future generations may not benefit from some of the rarest dunesland in the world. But hey, what’s more important golf or the environment?

    If pro golf needs a goofy course like winged foot to have a tight finish topped with more than a smidgen of farce I propose Trump's dunes as the perfect golfing super bowl venue.

    16 September 2010

    PGA Tour: Taking A Week Off

    Tiger Woods: driven to drink

    The Tour, not me.

    The PGA Tour concedes this weekend's television viewing to Football, NFL and College varieties, and we have to wait until next weekend for the Tour Championship at Atlanta's East Lake GC.
    And then, when the Atlanta dust has settled and $10M has been won, not to mention the $295K minimum bounty that goes to each of the 30 combatants, we'll be back for the final five events of the season, the Fall Series and lots to play for.

    Although next week's field are secure with their "playing privileges" for 2011, there are a number of well known golfers striving to reach the magic top 125 on the money list. Assuming this year's threshold to be about $800K, the following are among those who still have money to make:
    Duval, Imada, Curtis, Baddeley, Sutherland, Baird, Austin, Stenson and Stroud are currently inside the top 125.
    And these are on the outside looking in:
    McCarron, Byrd, Weir, RS Johnson, Quinney, Quigley, Goggin, MacKenzie, DiMarco, Pampling, Jeev Milkha Singh, Owen and Chopra. Oh, and Daly of course.

    The first Fall Series event, the same weekend as the Ryder Cup, is the Viking Classic in Mississippi, to be followed intermittently by stops in Georgia, Las Vegas (Martin Laird's title defence), California and Orlando.
    But some of these players have been sharpening their games on the Nationwide Tour, Daly and Chopra, MacKenzie and Mallinger, Stroud, Goggin and Quinney, while others are using the Nationwide as a rehab stop prior to returning to Tour business. Rich Beem for one. And Carl Paulson for another.

    You don't remember Paulson? Only six years ago he was a Tour regular, the 54-hole leader of The Players. But back injuries have kept him off Tour for more than five years now. He has a Major Medical Exemption for 2010 which will doubtless be carried over to 2011, but it's become a different game in his absence and we'll watch his progress with interest and best wishes.

    Some other thoughts on recent events:

    *Those disparaging the validity of a World Ranking system based on 2 years' results that still has Tiger Woods at #1 will have been interested to see Vera Zvonareva climb from 8 to 4 on the one-year WTA Rankings following her defeat in the US Open Tennis final. Meanwhile, winner Kim Clijsters slipped from 3 to 5.

    *Paul Casey's case for inclusion in Montgomerie's Ryder Cup Team has earned a lot of ink. Given that support of the European Tour was clearly a factor in the Team "picks", it is worth noting the number of 2010 "European Tour" qualifying events played by some golfers:
    Casey and McIlroy: 12
    Donald and Poulter: 11
    Harrington: 9
    Rose: 6

    *There will be continuing arguments about qualifying for the European Team, but there is surely a case for remembering that some European Tour golfers who have seldom played in the States have played pivotal roles in earlier European wins.
    Mike Cowan was caddying for Fred Couples when Christy O'Connor Jnr laced his 2-iron 200 yards to the Belfry's 18th in 1989: "One of the most phenomenal shots in the history of the game," said Fluff, whose man Fred flared a 9-iron wide of the green.
    Rafferty, James and Canizares were among others to win that day, and the recent list of successful Euro-only players is well known.

    Is it possible that the esprit de corps, so famously a part of European victories of the past, is less a force when the contestants are playing against those they play with week in, week out on Tour? The Presidents Cup effect??
    Regardless, it will be interesting to measure the relative successes of the Molinaris, Fisher and Hanson in Wales.

    Past year's Nationwide Tour events have featured European golfers enjoying success, Richard Johnson leading money-winner just three years ago, the same year Martin Laird "graduated". Gronberg and Bjornstadt earned Tour cards on the back of Nationwide success last year, but few Europeans have competed this year, Jonas Blixt and Gary Christian the only full-timers and neither close to their card at present.

    But you know that the stars of tomorrow's PGA Tour will mostly come from the Nationwide, and Chris Kirk, Kevin Chappell and Jamie Lovemark are certain to be Tour regulars next year, likely all making quite a splash.
    As is Tommy Two Gloves Gainey, third in money won and who would bet against him following in the footsteps of Boo Weekley a few years ago? Both earned their cards perhaps before they were ready, went back to the Nationwide to consolidate their earlier success and, in Boo's case the rest is history. Gainey's coming to a tournament near you. Or at least me.

    Dream partners? Nightmare opponent?

    Of this year's Ryder Cup teams (including all the potential candidates for US wildcards);

    a) Who would you most like to partner in foursomes and fourballs?

    b) Who would you least like to be playing against?

    I think Luke Donald is an ideal foursomes partner and Rory McIlroy for fourballs.

    I'd hate to be up against Steve Stricker - he's super consistent, but yet even if you beat him it somehow doesn't quite have the kudos of beating Woods, Mickelson or Furyk.

    14 September 2010

    Camilo Villegas - A future major champion?

    Watched the USPGA with interest last week and the man I followed most closely was Camilo Villegas as he is my favourite golfer and I had a few euros on him... This guy played really good golf all week and only for a few silly mistakes would have won this tournament! He really rallied on day 4 and had he to par 9 and 10 of his final round he would have found himself in a playoff... Ifs and buts I know but still it was a really good performance from him!

    Anyway what I am wanting to know is do you think Camilo will win a major? I think next year he will definately challenge in at least one of the majors and I will be very surprised if he does not win a major in the next couple of years...

    Chipping With Your 3-Wood

    A 3-wood is an option for chipping.

    It's played the same as the bladed wedge but has the advantage of being a club with a wide sole so it skids better through the rough.

    Lastly, a shot that Michael Campbell showed me is to get the ball way outside your right foot.

    Keeping the left shoulder low, make a short chop-swing at the ball with your most lofted club.

    The ball will skid out and then actually check on its way to the hole.

    A great shot from a tall collar, but it needs practice.