We have a new PGA Member
Andrew, my head assistant, has now officially joined the ranks of qualified PGA members. He 'passed out' at Birmingham University with a foundation science degree in golf. As you can see from the photo he is very pleased with himself.
"It has been 3 years of constant studying and I`m relieved to have passed. Even so, the work has been worthwhile and I will now put much of this to good use at the Club with the members. I'd like to develop more of my coaching skills and take them as far as I can. I am now looking forward to my continual development programmes, so really as PGA Professionals we never stop learning"
Congratulations Munch, a tough job completed.
Walton Heath bound, Gleneagles on the horizon
Unigate sweep organiser Colin Hodges will represent Orsett in the area final alongside myself in July at Walton Heath. The course was used in the 1981 Ryder Cup where USA had probably the strongest team ever assembled for the event. This is just one of 16 area finals where each winner will have a chance to go to Gleneagles for three days courtesy of Lombard. It makes it the biggest Pro Am in the country, so to get through to the final would be a huge achievement.
Colin managed to beat Stuart McKenzie on countback, both playing off 7 handicap with nett 69's on a blustery, chilly day. They have both been cut to 5 for their troubles. I spoke to Colin once it was confirmed he had qualified, told him where we would be playing. He hadn`t realised the history and the standard of Walton Heath as a course. To say the Ford designer is "revved up with full throttle" for the occasion is understating it. Being such a fabulous event, Stuart is now trying to find a way to "nobble" Colin so he can come off the subs bench, so Colin, get people to check your bacon and eggs the week leading up to the event!
Double disappointment for Orsett powerhouse
Orsett member Dan Vaughan suffered Keating Trophy heartache for the second year in a row. Dan lost in last year's final to Bobby Keeble an extremely talented young player and this season he vowed on the Friday to do his utmost to go one step beyond. 72 holes and 4 separate 18 hole matches wasn`t the whole story. Comfortable with making it to the semi-final, a stiffer test was waiting for him on the Sunday morning with past member Steve McAnally Jnr. A game to be watched, with both players making the best of the outstanding course conditions. With both players under par but not "holing" too often outside of 5 feet (except for Dan's 40 footer on No 5) Steve was 3up on the 13th tee. After one bunkered tee shot, what can only be explained as a mystery lost ball on the 15th Dan was still one behind with 2 to play. A timely birdie on the 17th meant sudden death from then on. Steve making a crucial 6 footer forced extra holes only for Dan to hole an 8 footer to win after Steve`s attempt agonisingly slid by from a similar distance on the 19th.
So for the final against Callum Pipe of Braintree and Essex under 18's, and victor over Rochford's Jack Dyer. A complete switch about ensured in the score with Dan being 3up on the 13th tee. Both players hit into the trees down the right but Callum managed to win the hole. Perhaps nerves started to play a part and again amazingly, 1up on the 17th, Dan had a very holeable put to win. He missed but still one up he could have finished it on the last after a nervy tee shot he was left with a 30 inch putt to wrap it up which missed. Extra holes again, only for the Braintree man to pitch on weakly and hole a long range putt for a birdie 4. So runner up again for the Orsett powerhouse, so near yet so far. Let's hope for a third final in a row next season but with a positive result.
Next round delivers no fears
Karen Batch and Tina Gregory strolled through their latest round of Daily Mail foursomes with a win over Dartford Golf Club, the 4&3 win secured them a third round tie. The girls got to the fourth round last season and are of course hoping to go much further after those experiences. Good luck girls, I`m sure it won`t be needed.
For many of you now back playing and finding more sand in the bunkers due to course maintenance, here's some thoughts on making it easier to get out.
Get square - avoid the old fashioned aim/swing left. Reduce the angles to make a consistent contact (below, left).
Swing around - "steep - not good in deep". Too steep an angle of attack will only stick the clubs leading edge into the sand and we don`t want that! (Below, right)
Low hands - flatten out the swing. Lowering the hands will help to get the heel to the sand first. Again avoid that leading edge at all costs! (Below, left)
Hands back - use the bounce. Moving the hands slightly behind the ball will cut down on your digging action and employ the bounce again.
Follow-through - Treat the sand shot like a driver and follow-through! (Below, right)
Any problems with bunkers, get in touch and let's get off the beach first time.