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IN THE BUNKER WITH MICK THE GRIP

As we can’t watch the Masters this month, just a reminder of what we’re missing.  Amen corner at Augusta.  Sigh!

THE PAR 3 12th AT AUGUST NATIONAL proved critical again last year, opening the door for Tiger Woods to claim his fifth green jacket.  Tiger’s par meant he tied  with Francesco Molinari who double-bogeyed the hole.  It was a turning point in the game. Many players in the last group found water off the tee, Molinari among them.

About the moment, Woods said: “You couldn’t have had more drama than we all had out there. Now I know why I’m balding.  This stuff is hard.”

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THIS BEFORE:  In June, 1974, Bob Taylor, a Leicestershire County player made a hole-in-one at Hunstanton Golf Club 3 days in a row on the same hole.

Bob was playing in the Eastern Counties Foursomes with the Leicestershire and Rutland County golf team.  This was an annual meeting of nine counties to be played over the weekend in four sessions of sixsomes golf.  Each county pair played two foursome matches at the same time so were actually playing two counties at once in three balls.  Simples.

Anyway, on the Friday afternoon, on the 189 yd. 16th in a practice round, Bob Taylor got out his 2-iron that he had bent to a 1-iron and punched the ball into the stiff breeze.  The ball hit the apron and scampered up the green, unerringly hopping into the hole.  His delighted teammates held a celebration that evening.

In the match on the following afternoon Bob again teed it up on the 16th with his rusty 6 iron and the ball duly pitched onto the green and rolled into the hole.  His incredulous teammates held another celebration, and one bet Bob 25p at odds of a million to one that he wouldn’t do it again the following day.  He did.
On the same hole.  Probably the greatest hole-in-one feat of all time, and no mobile phones to record it!   His only memento was a dozen Titleist balls from the president of the Cambridge Golf Union, and the monument that has been erected on one of the tees.  He never received his  winnings, hope the club waived his  bar tab that weekend.

PETE COWEN:  “Improving at golf is not that big a deal. I can guarantee dramatic improvement from 15 minutes a day, without even using a club. But most people won’t make the commitment.   At a seminar attended recently by 500 Australian club pros. I said, “We  know that exercising 15 minutes every day adds several years to our lives.

Those of you who have spent 15 minutes a day exercising over the last 10 years, raise your hands.” Not a hand went up. I said, “If you won’t commit 15 minutes to lengthening your life, what’s going to make you devote 15 minutes to golf?” The problem comes down to actually doing it.”  There you are folks, nothing else to do at the moment, get those dumbbells out!

AFTER SURGERY ON HIS WRIST Tyrrell Hatton spent an enforced three month layoff drinking red wine and playing Xbox.  He then went straight out and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  Perhaps we don’t need to exercise after all.  Tell Tommy Fleetwood to ditch his coach, the secret of winning on the PGA Tour has been resolved.

INTERVIEWED ON US TELEVISION  Paul Azinger said Tommy Fleetwood had yet to prove himself, effectively claiming his European Tour victories counted for little.“You can win all you want on the European Tour but you have to win on the PGA Tour.”

Cue twitter meltdown from Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter among others.  Victorious 2018 Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjorn said:  “Bring on September.”   Let’s hope it’s back to normal by then but it could well be “High Noon”  at Whistling Straights.

No point putting any new gear or tips in this month,  you won’t be using them anyway.

The only really useful golf tip is one given to the starter to get you out ahead of the mixed foursome.

Until next time –  enjoy those re-runs on the box.

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Las Ramblas Golf Society Results for w/c 9.3.20

With a very respectable 43 points, Pat Cassidy and Petina Murray took the honours in Monday’s 2 ball better ball. Close on their heels, with 42, were John Shervell together with Hendrick Oldenziel.

No fewer than 28 of us lined up for Wednesday’s Stableford. Alan Douglas took the glory with a modest 34 points and behind him, on countback with 33, was his wife Olga and Lindsay Forbes (beware the injured golfer)!

Three ‘2’s today which went to Ken Robertson (again), Alan Douglas and Peter Shervell.

For those of you who may be wondering how I’m getting on with ‘Camera Club’ I managed to delete 35 landscape snaps before I got them onto the computer!

With 88 points it was Nick Campbell alongside Reg Akehurst and John and Ellen Drakesmith who laid claim to the ‘Glitter Ball’ in Friday’s 1-2-3 Waltzer. With 85, in the ‘Dance Off’, were Graham and Petina Murray together with Pete Dunn and Paul Brown.

It could well have been Richard Connock who once said, ‘I may well be the only golfer never to have broken a single putter; if you don’t count the one I twisted into a loop and threw into a bush.’

Pues hasta la semana que viene

Peter Reffell

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GEOFF WINS ST PATRICKS DAY TROPHY AT MONTGO

Today Montgo G S played for the St Patricks Day Trophy this is sponsored by John & Mary Feek, as is usual for John he put together a great array of prizes and mementos for the winners. Members got into the Irish Spirit by wearing more green than normal.

Our winner today was our Captain Geoff Willcock with 38 points beating Stella Fox into 2nd place on countback with 38 points, 3rd place went Nigel Siddall with 35 points.

We had nearest the pins on the 3rd and 16th for both Men & Ladies, Ros Fletcher and Terry Griffiths won the 3rd and Ilona Mathieu and Brain Baybutt won the 16th. We also had longest drives on the 8th hole for Men & Ladies and these were won Sally Burrowes and Peter Gardiner.

There were 2 twos today Sally Burrowes and Brian Baybutt.

Next week we have the Valencian Greensomes sponsored by Stella & Simon Fox

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El Plantio 2 Nine Hole Golf Competition

On a beautiful Spanish morning, due to illnesses and visits to the U.K., only five members turned out for a Stableford competition.

A close run game ended with Club Captain, David Swann pipping previous Captain, Mike Davies by one point.

Nearest the pins – Hole 2, Mike Davies. Hole 6, Ray Housley

Second place, Handicap 12 – Mike Davies – 34 points (C/B).

First place, Handicap 11, David Swann – 35 points.

If anyone would like to join our Society, we play at El Plantio Golf Club on Tuesday, which is the 9 Hole Society club day, Friday and Sunday.

We use both courses – the Par 3 – 9 hole course and the main 18 hole course, so we cater for all abilities. The membership rates are very competitive, so call for more details. Anyone who wishes to play in the Society as a guest or join as a new member, contact David Swann on 865 779 983 or 648 476 752.

Photograph from L to R, Mike Davies, David Swann, Ray Housley.

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Rubys Golf Society at Vistabella

Our first Trophy game of 2020 took us to our local course Vistabella, the weather was not conducive for good golf as there was very high winds that day, however the course was in excellent condition and all the players were looking forward to our first competitive game, and despite the weather there was some very good scores submitted. The results were as follows;

Nearest the pins on the par 3’s were Mark Foden, Sue Foden, David Gray and Theresa Wright, nearest the pin in two was David Gray.

Best front nine Dave Johnston (18) and best back Michelle Evans (17), the silver division winner was Theresa Wright with 35 points and the gold division and overall winner with 36 points was Alex Bolton.

Back at O’Briens where we had the presentation the football card was won by Mary Campbell again !!

Our next trophy game is on the 20th of March at Bonalba. If anyone requires any further information regarding the society or our outings please email us at rubysgolf@yahoo.co.uk

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ALFIES GOLF SOCIETY – PRESENTATION TO ELCHE CHILDREN’S CARE HOME

Every year Alfies Golf Society raise money for a charity nominated by the captain and in 2019 Wayne Stevenson chose the Elche Children’s Care Home.

With the hard work from the committee running various events like Captain’s bunker, fantasy golf, fines, football cards, Captain’s challenge etc, support and generosity from our members, and Cat and Liz (proprietors of Alfies Bar who ran various fund raisers on our behalf) we managed to raise €2,200.

The presentation was held at Alfies Bar on the 27th February 2020 to Michelle, the representative from Elche Children’s Care Home.  Michelle informed us that our donation would go towards the purchase of a much needed minibus to allow the children to go on non vocational courses and excursions.

Many thanks to everyone involved with Alfies Golf Society and we look forward to supporting our new captain and his charity during the 2020 season.

Wayne Stevenson, Captain 2019

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Engström magic seals Women’s NSW Open crown

Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia – Sunday March 1, 2020:

Julia Engström saved her best for last as she made a fantastic birdie two to win her first Ladies European Tour title at the Women’s New South Wales Open at Dubbo Golf Club.

The 18-year-old from Halmstad in southern Sweden began the final round five strokes behind the overnight leader, Manon De Roey, but put up a strong challenge from the outset, eventually drawing level with the leader after the Belgian bogeyed the 17th hole.

Engstrom conjured a piece of magic when she rifled a 5-iron from 176 metres, or 193 yards, to about two feet on the par-3 18th and holed her birdie putt in front of an enormous gallery on a sun-drenched day in Dubbo, rural New South Wales, after De Roey missed the green and took a bogey, handing Engström a two stroke victory on 14-under-par.

The win is the first for the third year professional, who is still studying for two high school exams in Sweden and a sign of things to come from the exceptional talent, who last year was only second in driving distance to Anne Van Dam.

It was also redemption for her loss at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open in December, where she held a seven stroke lead going into the final round, but finished third after a final round of 74.

Engstrom conjured a piece of magic on the 18th
Engstrom conjured a piece of magic on the 18th

“It’s been a great week and I’m just thrilled,” said Engström, the LET Rookie of the Year in 2017. “I bogeyed 18 in all three previous rounds and I decided that this time, I was not going to bogey it and I hit a great shot and I didn’t realise how close it was until I heard the reaction from the crowd. It was amazing and a great finish to a great week.”

De Roey had a shaky start when she pushed her opening drive right into the trees, but she quickly steadied the nerves.

However, a birdie-bogey turnaround on the second hole followed by a second Engström birdie on the third, where she made an up and down from a bunker, cut De Roey’s lead to two strokes.

De Roey jumped back into a four shot lead with a 12 foot birdie putt on the fifth hole, just as Engström made her first mistake, after fluffing a shot from a cart path after a monster drive which almost reached the green.

De Roey bogeyed the sixth but then both she and Engström birdied the long ninth and De Roey was back at 15-under with a three-stroke lead through the turn.

Both players birdied the long 12th, but then De Roey dropped four shots in the last six holes for a 75, as Engström conjured a piece of magic on the last for a 68.

De Roey finished in second, with Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth in third on 11-under-par.

“I tried not to focus on what she was doing and I didn’t know what the others were at, so I was just out there trying to play as well as I could and I played very solid at the end and finished up with a birdie,” said Engström.

“I’ve been close a few times and I’ve been waiting for a win, but you never know if it is going to happen. It’s great to finally get that win and be on top of the leader board.”

With her victory in the Women’s New South Wales Open, following on from a tie for seventh in the Australian Ladies Classic Bonville, Engström moved to the top of the Race to Costa Del Sol leader board and will take extra confidence into the next LET event, the Investec South African Women’s Open, which will take place in Cape Town in a fortnight’s time.

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De Roey Flies into the Lead with Two Eagles

Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia – Friday February 28, 2020: Manon De Roey soared into the halfway lead with an eight-under 64 in the second round at the Women’s New South Wales Open.

At nine-under-par, the long-hitting Belgian golfer moved two strokes clear of her nearest rivals, Diksha Dagar, Camilla Lennarth and Agathe Sauzon, at Dubbo Golf Club in Australia.

“I made two eagles, which definitely helped,” said the 28-year-old from Schilde, in the province of Antwerp.

“Every putt I looked at, I felt like it went in, and it was pretty easy.”

The three-time winner on the LET Access Series started her round with an eagle three on the third hole and went out in 32 with birdies on the par-4 eighth and par-5 ninth holes.

It was a similar story on the back nine, as she then eagled the long 10th, birdied the 12th and bogeyed the 13th, but immediately recovered with a birdie on the short 14th and then made an incredible par save on the narrow and tree-lined 15th before adding another birdie at the 16th for an inward nine of 32.

“I hit my drive on 15 a bit right and had to punch it out and it went into the bunker, but I love bunkers and I don’t stress about bunkers and I made an up and down.

“The key is to hit fairways because the rough is pretty thick and if you miss it by one metre, it’s pretty hard to get it out. I’m not sure how many fairways I hit today, but I managed to get around and took advantage of the par fives.”

Long-hitting Indian golfer, Dagar, who will defend at the Investec South African Women’s Open in a fortnight, also eagled the 10th in a round of 68.

She said: “My approach shots were very good, and my putting. I had a birdie chance on every hole. My driving was slightly off and I missed left and right on a few holes, but my irons were great.”

Lennarth, who earned her sole LET title in the 2014 Slovak Open, was pleased with her 69 on a more difficult scoring day.

The popular Swede said: “It was quite windy when I teed off today and it was pretty tricky to determine if it was south-west or south-east and it was swirling up in the trees and it’s narrow. Sometimes the trees come out a bit and you want to start it into the middle of a tree and bring it in. If you have a good iron game and overall ball striking, I think you can keep expecting some low scores because the greens are quite receptive.

“It’s been a while for me since I’ve played well. I did have some good rounds in Spain at the end of last year, but it wasn’t a very good year for me. I haven’t been in this position for a while, so I’m expecting a few nerves, but I’m excited to be in this group and position and I’m going to do my absolute best tomorrow and then see where I am.”

Sauzon set the target earlier in the day, with a five-under-par 67.

The 28-year-old from Bourg-lès-Valence in south-eastern France, who studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said that her first bogey on 11 spurred her on to make three birdies in a row from the 13th.

“I’m really pleased with how I played. I hit some really good shots close to the pin and made the putts. Yesterday I didn’t make the putts. Today they went in, so it was a good round.”

Although this is her fourth time in Australia, it is her first visit to Dubbo and she said that the course is the narrowest she has ever played on.

“We had one tight course in Spain last year, but I think this one is a lot narrower.”

Julia Engstrom was also at seven-under but bogeyed the last hole to drop into a tie for fifth alongside Michele Thomson.

Thomson said: “My putting was great again today. I probably didn’t hit my irons as well as yesterday but when the putter is working it helps you to get up and down when you need to and the driving was good as well today. I probably missed a few fairways that I didn’t yesterday, but not by much. Overall, I’m playing solid.”

The 2018 and 2019 champion, Meghan MacLaren, finished just inside the projected cut line, on five-under-par after rounds of 75 and 74.

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El Plantio Monthly Medal

A strong warm breeze coupled with fast greens made for difficult conditions for the six El Plantio 2 members competing for the February Monthly Medal on the par three course. Such was the speed of the greens that several three, four and five putts were recorded and the windy conditions played havoc with the scoring and a couple of double figure scores were returned.

Overcoming all the obstacles was Ray Housley, freshly returned from three weeks in the U.K., who, whilst also being affected by the conditions, still finished a clear nine shots ahead of the opposition.

Nearest the pins – Holes 2, Mike Davies. Hole 8, Ray Housley

Second place, Handicap 12 – Janice O’Brien – 66 shots..

First place, Handicap 10, Ray Housley – 57 shots.

Photograph from L to R. Janice O’Brien, Ray Housley, Mike Davies,.

If anyone would like to join our Society, we play at El Plantio Golf Club every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. We use both courses – the Par 3 9 hole course and the main 18 hole course, so we cater for all abilities.

The membership rates are very competitive, so call for more details. Anyone who wishes to play in the Society as a guest or join as a new member, contact David Swann on 865 779 983 or 648 476 752.

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In The Bunker with Mick the Grip

THE (HERO) INDIAN OPEN will be held on March 18th at the DLF Golf Club near Delhi.  The first Indian Open was won in 1964 by Peter Thomson, who had inaugurated it after realising India’s potential as a golfing destination.  Thompson won  again in 1966 and 1976, and in 1970 the Indian Open joined the  Asia Golf Circuit.

The  field increased in strength with notable winners such as three time major champion Payne Stewart.  Defending Champion this year is  Stephen Gallacher.

The DLF Golf Club was originally designed by Arnold Palmer, but in 2015 a new course, designed by Gary Player was opened, incorporating some of the original holes.  The result has been called ‘The most bizarre course in golf,’ with waterfalls, an island green, sheer bunkers and a rock quarry.

It is also known as one of the most challenging, especially the 14th, which  was originally a 550-yard dogleg par four with a 250-yard carry to a narrow fairway.  The players could not play it (poor lambs) so the European Tour was forced to move the tee up to 461-yards.

THE FIRST GOLF CLUB IN INDIA was founded in 1829 and named the Dum Dum Golf Club, later the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.    The Amateur Golf Championship of India, the 2nd oldest in the world after the Open, was first held there in 1892, players came from Ceylon, Burma, Penang & Singapore.

At the RCGC Colonel Bufton-Tufton could have a round of golf in the morning before a spot of pig-sticking in the afternoon.  Life must have seemed flat back in Budleigh-Salterton after that.

LOCAL EUROPEAN TOUR PLAYER Bradley Dredge, who is based at La Finca, retained his tour card at Q school at Lumine in Southern Spain, being one of 125 players hoping to finish in the top 25.  He eagled the 18th in style to qualify by one point.  Whoever said golf was relaxing?

GRAEME MCDOWELL, who recently claimed his first European Tour title since 2014 by winning the Saudi International, will host the Irish Open on May 18th at Mount Juliet, County Kilkenny.  Rory McIlroy and several other PGA Tour players say they will definitely be playing,  but as the organisers have threatened to make everyone wear masks if the Coronavirus continues it will be a hell of a job to know who’s winning.

WHEN RORY MCILROY asked Brad Faxon for a putting lesson, Brad told him to try putting from 8 ft with his putter, a sand wedge and a 5-wood.  Out of nine putts Rory holed one with the putter, two with the sand wedge and three with the 5 wood.  Brad told him: “These days they will tell you that you must have the right length putter with the correct lie and correct loft.

Your  5-wood has 19 degrees of loft and is 10 inches too long and you’ve just holed three in a row, so you need to get back to playing instinctively.”   McIlroy said afterwards:  “Unbelievable, after that one session I went to Bay Hill and had the best putting week of my career.”   This month his  patchy back nine at Riviera included a  triple -bogey.  Back to the drawing board.

TAYLOR MADE SAY their new Truss putters are revolutionary, although Callaway have tried something similar before.    The mallet and blade putters connect both front and rear of the  putter head to the shaft,  supporting  the putter in the same way roof trusses support and strengthen a roof.  This improves stability, especially on short putts.  Perhaps Rory needs a Truss

ELVIS PRESLEY’S GOLF BUGGY, estimated price $60,000.  is to be auctioned online by the Graceland Foundation.   Elvis was not a golfer, he bought the 3-wheeled white Harley-Davidson buggy, number plate 1.ELVIS, in 1967,  and used it to travel around his 14 acre home in Graceland, Memphis.   Described as having: ‘slightly worn tyres and scratches to the exterior, and needs some servicing to become operational.’ (In other words it won’t go.)

Until next time, Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for re-gripping and repairs. Tel.  638 859 475.

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