Presidents Putter win for Tony...
Tony Lee, literally the last player off the course Saturday won the men's section of the Presidents Putter. A great round with 42 points amassed was one of his best scores for a little while. Spare a thought for runner up Jimmy Carr who ran out of fuel with three holes to go. 37 points on the 16th tee he finished with 40 in total. Third place was the very steady Paul Worrall with 39 points.
The Ladies section of the same event went to Lisa McGregor who has been playing brilliantly all season and with her 40 points got another handicap reduction. Well played Mrs McGregor, putting the boys to shame! Runner up by just one point was Tina Priebatsch, 39 points, normally enough to win but forgot to include "the Lisa" factor!!! 3rd on count back was Ladies vice-Captain, Sue Mason another very steady performance with 37 points.
Congratulations to you all and enjoy those new handicaps!
Finally got to play it….
I was invited to play at little known Swinley Forrest, the revered course, near Ascot last week It is set up for Gentlemen to play (ok, ok and the likes of me), with perfect greens but not too quick but so true, a nice amount of grass beneath the ball on the fairways and tons of beautiful purple heather to catch any stray shots.
A big thank you to Rob Coston for the invite, mind you he could have got the heating turned off in the afternoon, it was boiling! It is the sort of place many of us would never get to play mainly because it's so difficult to find! But we did and I played there. It is a beautiful course, not long but suitably regal for the type of members who have been there.
Many a Royal name adorns the membership lists throughout time as well as a who's who of gentry's giants of industry. Only recently, Prime Minister, David Cameron walked the hallowed ground (easier getting out the heather than sorting the Greek crisis out). If you get the chance to play there don`t give it up, it is worth every step and swing out of the heather It`s better for knowing from the tee as a driver definitely is not recommended off many tees.
It is still a fine test for any standard of golfer, especially by the ninth hut that offers glasses of Pimms or something stronger before playing down the 10th!
"We`ve had a lovely day out Jim"...
That was how Colin Hodges and I felt as we summed up our performance in the recent PGA qualifying round for The Lombard Pro Am, the world's biggest Pro Am. Colin qualified to play by winning the Scrutton Cup earlier in the season. Our event as you can see was played at Walton Heath, the scene of the 1981 Ryder Cup, the first time it was a European team at home and actually my first Ryder Cup I attended. We got off to a flyer being two under after three holes only to make 3 costly errors straight after where one is bad, two is horrific and three you can't get back from there! We finished with a score of three under par. The longest putt we holed was four foot on the last for our final birdie.
Here are some of Colin's thoughts.
"What a great event to play and I can only thank David for choosing Walton Heath as our venue. I'd never played there until a practice round 2 weeks prior to the event, the course was fabulous and to play where so many greats had played was superb. The event was run really well, getting called onto the 1st tee got the butterflies fluttering, we both played pretty well except for 3 holes on the front nine. Even so had we had any luck on the greens we would have been pretty close to a podium finish? The winning score was 9 under, no way could you score that low with 3 bogies on the card. It was blustery, we even had some downpours but none of this spoiled the enjoyment of the day. Many thanks again to David he helped me round the course and never let me get down on my game when it wasn`t ideal. I can`t wait for next year as I`ll be trying to qualify again and hopefully do better than this year."
Pros day on the horizon…
With a full calendar ahead of us, my Pros day is just around the corner on August 15th. I look forward to seeing as many of you playing as possible. More details to follow in the next couple of weeks.
Aussies take 1st beating...
MCC won the first of the 5 tests for this summer's Ashes series in Wales last week (cricket in Wales? Most thought it always rained there didn't you?) For a win in 4 days the likelihood would have been the reverse, Aus. to beat MCC, but surprise surprise, it was the other way round! Nice going Essex man Captain Cooke. The Aussies will be fuming at that result, how sad! The Australians will make changes no doubt. This week's test at Lords will be a brilliant, shame it clashes with the Open Championship.
Who got the better deal?
With Sterling going to Man City, who got the best of the deal, City with a young English talent who is no way a finished article or Liverpool with 45 million in the bank? I think this time Liverpool have come out on top. Having seen Sterling play after Christmas he was at best average. Could this now allow Balotelli to shine at Anfield? That might be more difficult than Lee Westwood winning a Major!
With Wimbledon coming to an end public courts are now filled to capacity for 3 weeks with "Andy's, Rogers, Novak's, Serena's and Martina's" out playing. The event was a brilliant spectacle with new names and plenty of what ifs over the fortnight. Can anyone ever beat Serena or Novak, they both have that something the rest are just short of. Neither panic when behind and seem to trust their ability to get them through.
Perhaps it`s something we should consider a little more when we play. Accept the bad shots, let them go and enjoy all the good ones and trust our abilities. The game is difficult enough .Give it a try this weekend and compare your results to other weeks. To keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome isn`t going to happen.
On the subject of The Open, The rivers of gold for Jordan keep flowing into a very large bank account in deepest Dallas. Spieth supported the US Tours John Deere Classic last week rather than get some early links practice in , the site of his first Tour victory last week and won again in a playoff. Thats 4 wins for Spieth this season already but can he land his third Major in a row? Without Rory to defend its made a little easier but imagine the pressure the press will put on him if he is leading come Sunday morning?
I mentioned outsiders for this week's event. How about Ernie Els and Retief Goosen? Els is a course winner and Goosen is injury free. Both still have the length and patience to win, there would be no better place than St Andrews to cap Stella careers. At 235/1 and 337/1 got to be worth a little flutter haven`t they?
Open sweepstake draw
40 Bubba Watson Lee Maskell
51 Jordan Spieth Steve Harvey
55 loius Oosthuizen Darren Wickens
57 Tiger Woods Trevor Warman
121 Martin Kaymer Danny Johnson
131 Justin Rose Tony Brown
90 Richie Ramsay Joe Knight