January 2012

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Rickie Fowler 22/1

Played well in his first event of the year last week even if he was not in the shakeup. Finished five shots off the pace last year in tying 13th but in 2010 narrowly lost out to Hunter Mahan, who incidentally tees it up on the European Tour this week. The desert conditions will suit Fowler this week, one of the few that will thrive in these conditions.

Bill Haas 28/1

Let me down last time I tipped him but after tying fourth at The Farmers  I think Bill is ready for his first win of 2012. The reigning Fed Ex champ shot a 63 at Torrey Pines last week and if memory serves could have won this tournament last year but for a poor final round of 76 which dropped him out of contention.

Webb Simpson 16/1

Top six in three of his last four events, I think Webb Simpson is top quality.  Tied for third at the season opener in Hawaii. Followed a Thursday 70 with three rounds in the mid 60’s to top 10 here last year and if he can get the putter warm early in Phoenix, James Frederick “Webb” Simpson could be in line for his third US Victory.

Best Of The Rest

I still think that Martin Laird (22/1) is a great pick. Honest quiet reliable, the Scot goes about his business like a real pro. Laird already has a second (tied) at the Hyundai and shot 64 and 65 at the weekend here at TPC Scottsdale last year to tie third.  Kevin Na missed the cut at the Sony Open but recovered his confidence somewhat last week at the Humana with a top 30. A perennial performer at the Phoenix Open and from 40/1, worth a look.

qatar2012 Commercialbank Qatar Masters  Free Golf Betting Preview and Tips
Odds on the exchanges

Lee Westwood 11/1

17th last week in Abu Dhabi but Lee was playing through a neck injury.  Excellent greens in regulation stats stood out though and if Lee can get on the practice green early in Doha and find his range, he could be the one to beat.

Sergio Garcia 16/1

The Spaniard has two wins in his last five events and a worst finish of 12th.  He's also just one good putting week away from a win. Garcia has done well on this track over the years with three top 10's in his last four appearences here. He has the consistency for me to give him the edge over others I considered in this category including Thomas Bjorn and Alvaro Quiros.

CIMG6965Graeme McDowell 17/1

Graeme is loving life right now and though this tied third last week might be due in part to some outrageous luck, I think he will have a big week in Qatar. A combined 44 under for his last four events and the talk of the locker room with his new fashion deal with Kartel.

George Coetzee 38/1

Bettered his finish in each of the three events he has played in 2012. 29th in the Affrica Open, 14th in the Joburg Open and sixth in exalted company last week in Abu Dhabi. If I had to pick a surprise player to win a Major in the next three years, George would be my man. He may not have the experience of some of the others in the field, but boy can George golf.

Best Of The Rest

As predicted last week Paul Lawrie (50/1) was good value for money throughout the week and though he slipped to ninth at the finish in Abu Dhabi, could well have a say in this tournament also.
Another tip in the long odds glory section is Rafa Cabrera Bello (150/1). His formline would never lead you to pick him but he shot a 77 in the first round here last year, then followed it with 68,66,68 to finish third. If he can start better this year Rafa could add to his Austria win in 2009.
Thorbjorn Olesen (80/1) came off a desperate run towards the end of last season to finish strongly in Dubai. Top tenned last week and putted better than the entire field. At odds of he could be a decent each way bet.
For those of you who like to back and lay on the exchanges, I always pick my favourite players Johan Edfors (150/1) and Richard Green (200/1) in Doha. Maybe its for sentimental reasons but someday it might just come good!

Well done to everyone who had Robert Rock backed at 100/1 in Abu Dhabi as per my recommendation. Rory McIlroy also paid out for second at 13/2.

Winners This season so far

Africa Open: we tipped Louis Oosthuizen at 5/1 (Winner) and Jaco Van Zyl at 16/1 (fourth)

Joburg Open: we tipped winner Branden Grace at 46/1 and Jaco Van Zyl who tied third at 18/1.

Hyundai Tournament of Champs: We tipped 1st Steve Stricker, 2nd Martin Laird, T3rd Webb Simpson.


robert rock

Update: 2012 Open Championship

GMac By Kartel Apparel


Gold has to be Graeme McDowell’s for four days of dapper apparel.  The Portrush man launched his new clothing line website “GMac By Kartel” on day two of The Open and did a nice little trick of marketing by getting himself up near the top of the leaderboard! 
You can get yourself kitted out in the GMac by Kartel apparel by following this link.http://www.kartel.ie/g-mac/  

Graeme McDowell knows his clothing.  Everything from button positions and dimensions, yarns, sleeve length and the need for 2% spandex in the weave, GMac is an apparel expert.  And now with the help of  Kartel supremo Karl Swan, McDowell is set to grow his new clothing line into a major industry player.  The former US Open Champion unveiled his “GMac for Kartel” range to rave reviews at the 2012 PGA Show in Orlando.
Talking at the show Karl Swan reported unprecedented orders from US accounts thanks to interest generated from the GMac for Kartel line.  And while McDowell himself may have been away playing in Abu Dhabi, he kept constant tabs on how his line was doing.  “He texted me almost every 15 minutes!” said Karl Swan adding “Graeme is a dream to work with, a top man and a bona fide expert when it comes to clothing”.
Despite being regarded as being among the snappiest dressers on Tour,  GMac has heretofore never had an official clothing supplier. He had been wearing Kartel knitwear in recent times and was so impressed he decided to get together with the Dublin company to produce his own line.
  McDowell joins fellow major winner Padraig Harrington and LPGA player Anna Rawson as Kartel gamers.
For more Kartel 2012 range pics, click below.

The build towards the final round in Abu Dhabi where a grandstand finish is expected.
Tiger Woods was ideally placed to put down a huge marker for the season after charging into a share of the lead with Robert Rock ahead of the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Having ended 2011 with his first victory for over two years, Woods has a great chance to start 2012 with another.

Yes it’s 100% true. I just came across legendary swing coach Hank Haney flogging new Crocs golf shoes at the 2012 PGA Show. Haney was busy measuring smelly feet and asking potential customers to slide their foot all the way to the front but time out to pose for us. 
Crocs attempted to break into the golf market in 2007 having limited success with the Bite brand but this time with Hank Haney on board adding his signature to the Crocs golf brand it looks like these are set to be a smash hit.
As yet they are not available in the shops, but are due to debut in the US in the coming months and hit Europe shortly after.
Click below to expand the post and view more 2012 Crocs Golf pics

rory pumpedCheck out the new 2012 Rory McIlroy unveiled in Abu Dhabi.  Bigger butcher and dare I say even curlier, Rors looks like could play rugby for Ireland if the whole golf thing doesn’t work out. Man mountain McIlroy  tweeted lately that he had been working out in the gym with his good mate Harry Diamond and it seems to be paying off with his 5 under first round in the company of a puny by comparison Luke Donald and weakling Tiger Woods.

Pic: Is that a David Hasselhoff Baywatch jog I detect from Rory?

“I’ve been working hard in the gym. I really started working hard last year. I feel like I’ve got a lot stronger and it’s definitely helped my golf”, McIlroy said in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent.

I’m at the 2012 PGA Show in Orlando Florida where the good, the great and the oftentimes plain crazy of the golf world gather under one roof to peddle their wares.  Over the next couple of days I hope to bring you some of the highlights from the show. I’ll be awarding the symbolic, yet highly significant GolfCentralDaily  Best New Product Award, to some lucky people, who as yet have absolutely no idea  I even exist. Stay tuned!

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 26 Jan 2012 - 29 Jan 2012
odds from paddypower

Martin Kaymer 13/2

The King of Abu Dhabi, Martin Kaymer loves this places and has a record to back it up. Three wins in the last four stagings, and the year he didnt win, he finished tied second.  Joint favourite with McIlroy, Kaymer won by 8 shots last year, was first in greens in regulation and thrid in putts per green hit.

Rory McIlroy 13/2

This year is potentially huge for Rory McIlroy.  Has bettered his performance every year since 2009 when he tied fifth. Third behind Poults and Kaymer in 2010 and second last year.  29.5 and 28.3 putts per round over the past two seasons respectively, if Rors has a good putting week, he could continue the trend of bettering.

Charl Schwartzel 28/1

Three top fives in his last four events, and his fifth last week at the Volvo Golf Champions could have been so much better but for a mess up when forcing it on the 72nd hole. Three of Charl's last four wins have been in January and having played his way into form over the last couple of weeks I expect that to be an advantage here.

Alvaro Quiros 30/1

Won the Dubai World Championship at the end of the 2011 season in dramatic fashion with a monster putt on the last. Second in Qatar and winner in the Dubai Desert Classic this time last year, the big hitting Spaniard will be up for this one.

Long Odds Shots

If you're looking for some long odds glory this week I see Englishman Danny Willett as a decent each way bet at 100/1.  Danny had posted some good results here in the past.  I think Paul Lawrie's odds of 125/1 are very generous indeed. You'll remember Lawrie pushed Quiros all the way in the Dubai World Championship and after showing decent form last week I'd have an each way punt at those crazy odds.  Finally can an eye on the progress of Robert Rock at 100/1. He clicked into gear in the final round last week and performed well on his last visit to Dubai.


Crowds of fans were left angry and disappointed yesterday after President Clinton’s planned re-enactment of the Tiger Woods duffed Ryder Cup chip fell flat after Cigar Guy failed to show up.

Cigar Guy had been a close ally of Clinton throughout his administration and also had close links with the Bush camp.  However the two fell out over the Monica Lewinski affair after Cigar Guy was named by the intern in several interviews.

It’s thought Clinton and Cigar Guy had settled their differences in recent times, but his failure to show up for the re-enactment may have one small attempt at a humiliating payback for the President.

Here’s the original Cigar Guy in action at the 2010 Ryder Cup.  But can you spot another famous player in a Rory wig planted in the crowd by the European Team to help Cigar Guy derail Tiger?

Wondering what clubs Mark Wilson was using to win the 2012 Humana Challenge.

mark-wilson-golf_t640DRIVER: Ping i20 (8.5°) with a Grafalloy Tour X shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: Cleveland HiBore XLS (13°) with an Aldila NV 95 X shaft
HYBRID: Ping i15 (17°, 20°) with Graphite Design YS 85X shafts
IRONS: Ping i20 (4-PW) with True Temper CS Lite shafts
WEDGES: Ping Tour (52°, 60°) with True Temper CS Lite shafts
PUTTER: Ping Karsten Anser

HAT: Block Of Chedder Cheese
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x


Branden Grace Joburg Open Day Four xxVfQTyYOfTl Well done to Callaway staffer Branden Grace at the Volvo Golf Champions in Fancourt.  Here’s what’s in his bag.

Here’s what Branden had in his bag:

  • Tour i(s) Golf Ball
  • Callaway, FT Tour Driver 8.5 degrees
  • Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 13-degree fairway wood
  • Callaway, Diablo Edge Tour 18-degree hybrid
  • Callaway X Forged Irons (3-PW)
  • Callaway X-Series Jaws 52-degree and 60degree wedges
  • Odyssey Black Series Tour Designs #1 Wide Putter

Jose Maria Olazabal Volvo Golf Champions Day hHr9lCXulRHlRyder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal, primarily playing in the Volvo Golf Champions to keep an eye on potential European Team members ahead of their trip to Medinah, finds himself just one shot off the lead with one round to go in South Africa.
This report from the European Tour site.
Nicolas Colsaerts and Branden Grace - who individually held four shot leads on the first and second days - are tied at the top with a round to play in the Volvo Golf Champions.
But just behind them European Captain José María Olazábal still has a chance to kick off Ryder Cup year with his first win since 2005 - from 596th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Thomas Aiken got a horn of a different kind at the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions event at the Links at Fancourt, by wearing a rhino horn on his hat.  The South African is trying to raise awareness of rhino hunting in his country which is threatening to drive the adorable animals into extinction.

Rhino’s apparently have very big horns which are supposedly worth a million dollars and have loads of handy uses.  The horns have been prized for centuries for their beautiful translucent colour when carved, and their fake medicinal properties.  There’s also a pretty good market for rhino horn used in dagger handles in Yemen.

Thomas Aiken however would prefer to see rhinos with their horns still attached. “I’m appealing to interior designers, witchdoctors and Yemen warriors to lay off the Rhino horns.  I want Yemeni warriors to use other stuff like plastic and wood” Aiken said yesterday. “Have you ever tried dagger handles made out of plastic, they are awesome!”

Meanwhile fellow countryman Charl Schwartzel, a keen collector of extremely heavy grey animals was unavailable for comment yesterday as he out hunting.

Tour players and golf executives from the Callaway golf company held a series of meetings late last night in an effort to unlock the secret of Rory McIlroy’s golf grip.  A key new piece of evidence emerged in the past few days when McIlroy (contracted to rival company Titleist) posted a picture of his blistered fingers following practice.  It is thought Callaway golf scientists are aiming to recreate the exact McIlroy grip and finger tension on the club by extracting the blister pattern and inputting it into a complex software algorithm developed by homing pigeons.

Titleist executives in Fairhaven were last night sad to be “closely monitoring developments by Callaway scientists”.

Early simulations of the McIlroy grip were tested yesterday by Callaway staff testing pros in California and led to a number of injuries. One player lost a thumb after attempting to emulate “Rors” driver grip whilst another’s eyebrow inexplicably went up in flames.

“It’s pretty dangerous work but we are quietly hopeful of having the McIlroy grip ready to roll out in Abu Dhabi next week.  Alvaro Quiros has expressed an interest in using it” said a Callaway designer today before adding “we’ve also gleaned some other vital information from the McIlroy photo regarding nobbily knees which we hope to put in action on Tour very very soon”.

thumb-Tim-Tebow-On-the-seventh-game-570x373 Since Tiger Woods announced he is to play, ticket sales have been through the roof for the  Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

It is thought that Woods, as a condition of his entry, had his choice of playing partner even though the official pairings are not decided until the 7th of February.  Woods deliberated between three NFL quarterbacks before settling on Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo as his man.

Tournament officials are waiting outside the Church for golf and Jesus nut Tim Tebow to confirm his participation. Tebow has been in a heated debate with Jesus ever since the Nazarene carpenter's son apparently abandoned the Broncos in the NFL playoffs. “I had a major flood to attend to in Asia. It like, totally slipped my mind” Jesus told Vatican officials after that game.

Organizers are also hopeful that New England will get beaten soon so that quarterback Tom Brady can rubberstamp his attendance at Pebble.  Should New England make it all the way to the final, Brady would be involved in SuperBowl action just four days before the tournament begins. And should they win, alcohol poisoning would most definitely rule Brady out.

“Anyone but Bill Murray” officials said yesterday “anyone but Bill.”

MichaelThompson_337_0 A true story for once about Michael Thompson, who managed to move up 52 spots in the world rankings in a week where there was no tournament. When Thompson first played a Tour event in 2008 nobody knew his middle initial so he was entered as Michael “X” Thompson on the world ranking list.  That initial was used only once, before the proper name Michael “H” Thompson was set up in the system.

Thompson  finished 98th on the PGA Tour list last year and then jetted off to Asia where he finished third in the Thailand Golf Championship.  When he got back Thompson checked the world rankings on the internet only to find he actually drop two spots to 183rd for his good finish in Thailand.

After scratching his head for a while Thomspon’s manager called the ranking board who checked it out. As it turned out the 12.8 world ranking points had been given to Michael X Thompson by mistake.

And so it was that the world rankings were amended in a week where there no tournament to show Michael H Thompson jump from 183 to 131 in the world.

Golfers from all over the place have been trialling the two new Taylormade Drivers, the R11S and the RBZ in an effort to find which is best.

RookieBlue7 from Georgia carried out what I consider a pretty comprehensive distance test as follows:

15 balls with each driver, each with 60 seconds between balls (timed everything to be as subjective as possible), and then a 5 minute break between clubs each time. Then again in reverse order after. Control Ball: Srixon AD333 



9 deg set to std, with Talamonti PD70 x at 44 7/8" shaft

SS 115.1
Launch Angle 13.9
Back spin 3720
Carry 278.6
Ball speed 169.7
Smash factor: 1.475


RBZ Tour

9.5 deg  set to neutral, with Talamonti PD70 x at 44 7/8"

Swingspeed 115.3
Launch angle 11.8
Back spin 3455
Carry 289.4
Ball speed 171.6
Smash Factor 1.489

Winner: RBZ Tour

2012 Humana Challenge Free Golf Betting Preview and Tips

in partnership with the Clinton Foundation
PGA West (Palmer Course) (host course) · La Quinta, California

Brian Gay 40/1

gay Only three top tens all last season for Brian Gay but one of them came here at what used to be The Bob Hope Classic. Brian may be one of the shortest hitters on Tour but on his day he’s the straightest gay you will meet. Tied sixth last week in windy shirt lifting Hawaiin conditions. Couldn’t put a foot wrong in the final round here last year when he found the hole from all angles and a few in the back door on his way to a 62 and tie for fifth.
Pic: Gay: It’s always the ones you least expect.

Martin Laird 25/1

maar01-laird-300 If you asked 100 Europeans to pick their Ryder Cup team now I bet you hardly any would have Martin Laird’s name on there. The canny Scot keeps a low profile but his performances are speaking volumes. A win at Arnie’s place and five other top 10’s last year and came straight out the blocks with a second at the Sony Open. His PGA Tour leading putting and birdie stats will be just what the doctor ordered this week on three of the easiest courses they play. The newly revised event is only four rounds this year which may suit Martin also, he faded in the fifth round last year from a potential winning position. Pic: Laird’s only weakness is that he sometimes forgets the headcover on his driver.

Bill Haas 20/1

haas Didn’t get off to the hottest of starts in Kapalua two weeks back but is the horse for these three courses. The 2011 Tour Champion won here in 2010 and nearly defended last year, losing a playoff (along with Gary Woodland) to Jhonattan Vegas. The highlight then was a Saturday 62 on the Palmer Private which is host course again this year. The low point was a bogey on the last hole of the tournament when par would have won.

Matt Kuchar 16/1

kuchar Matt Kuchar at 16/1 is joint favourite after tying second in 2010 and seventh last year but he skipped the two Hawaii event s this year. Hasn’t played since the McGladrey Classic in October and the question is can he hit the ground running in this Ryder Cup year? I think he can.

Best Of The Rest

pat_perez1_299[4] If you’re after some long odds glory this week why not have a punt on John Rollins 50/1. He shot a 64 in the final round of the Sony Open last week to climb into a tie for tenth. PGA West has mixed emotions for the Virginian after an over par final round from a commanding position resulted in a playoff loss to Charley Hoffman back in 2007. Decent showing in the first two rounds of the Sony Open last week from Pat Perez 66/1 but faded into the pack at the weekend. Double P has the perfect ‘birdie everything’ game for PGA West and if he gets into the mood as he did in 2009 he’s unstoppable. Finally a quick word for Kevin Na 40/1, who also struggled last week and is the ashamed owner of the most watched golf clip on youtube last year. This event has been good to Na over the past two seasons and he’ll be busy on the practice putting green in the build up. Maybe he should try Matt Every’s black box putter?
New Format
· Reduced from a 90-hole tournament to a traditional 72-hole competition beginning on Thursday.
· The pro-am element retained. Pros will be paired with just one amateur for each of the first three rounds and will not partner with the same amateur more than once.
· Final round professionals only.
· Played over 3 courses Palmer Private at PGA West will host, Nicklaus Private and La Quinta Country Club. All par 72, ranked easiest on PGA Tour.
· SilverRock's Resort Course dropped.
Useful Top 10’s

rory Just came across this brilliant article by Andrew Rice.  In it he analyses all the PGA Tour Shotlink stats from 2011 and gives a report in each category. Here is just the one for Driving. which will open in a new window.


    • Rory McIlroy hit 51 out of 56 tee shots over 300 yards in the WGC-Bridgestone event.
    • Darren Clarke only hit 41% of the fairways in winning the Open Championship.
    • The PGA Tour average driving distance for all measured shots was 290.9 yards.
    • The longest driver was JB Holmes at 318.4 yards while the shortest hitter was Brian Gay at 269.8 yards – that’s almost 50 yards per tee shot!
    • There were 21 golfers that averaged over 300 yards per tee shot. In 2000 John Daly was the first and only player to average over 300 yards.
    • The longest drive of the year went to Dustin Johnson at 463 yards – it did involve a cart path!
    • Joe Durant was the straightest driver hitting 75.65% of his fairways while Anthony Kim was the least accurate hitting only 46.99% of the fairways.
    • No player led the field in driving accuracy en route to victory, while Bubba Watson led the field in driving distance for both of his victories.
    • Seventy golfers had rounds where they hit every fairway  – a feat Joe Durant achieved four times!
    • John Merrick had a streak of 36 fairways in a row!

The third round of the Sony Open threw an interesting curve ball into the mix; a side battle to see who is the most evil.  In the corner was Rory Sabbatini, aggressive and fiery by his own admission, in the other Vijay Singh, sweet as pie in front of the cameras but widely regarded amongst his fellow pros as one of the the most repulsive human beings on God’s green Earth.  

According to Karen Crouse of the New York times an incident between the two was witnessed by a large group of marshals and security men who were assigned to Vijay Singh (don’t ask me why).

After missing a 6-foot par put on the first hole of his third round, according to witness reports in several forums, Singh turned to Sabbatini’s caddie Mick Doran and berated him for moving while he was lining up his putt, calling him a f*****g p****.  When Sabbatini came to the aid of his caddie Singh swore loudly at Sabbo telling him where to go. Like a red rag to a bull, Sabbatini stood up to Singh and the two continued to have it out in front of the dumbstruck audience.

Afterwards Sabbatini formally complained to a PGA rules official  about Singh’s outburst towards his caddie. The official refused to listen telling Sabbo to send an email to the complaints department!

Johnson Wagner brought the TaylorMade R11S driver to victory at the 2012 Sony Open yesterday. In all Wagner had three different manufacturers in the bag, taylormade R11S DRiver TaylorMade, Adams and Titleist.  He games the 712CB irons from Titleist with the increasingly popular on Tour Nippon NS Pro shafts. Also check out the multicoloured stamp on Johnson’s vokeys.

Here’s what’s in Johnson Wagner’s Winning Bag

DRIVER: TaylorMade R11S (8°) with an Aldila RIP NV 65 shaft
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (13.5°) with an Aldila NV 75 shaft
HYBIRD: Adams Idea Pro a12 Proto G (18°) with a Graphite Design Tour AD UT 85 shaft
wagners wedge IRONS: Titleist 712CB (3-9) with Nippon NS Pro shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (48°, 54°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issueshafts
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron for Titleist Mid Slant prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x


johnson wagner what's in the bag 2012, Taylormade R11s driver, Johnson wagner adams hybrid, Johnson wagner vokey wedge pic

Here’s the first look at the adidas golf shoe range for 2012. The shoes are designed to be worn on and off the golf course, to look as good with a pair of jeans as they perform on the tee. Both are to be unveiled at the 2012 PGA Show in Orlando and are due to hit the shops in the Summer. Priced in the region of €80, £75 or $100 dollars upwards.

puremotion leftProvisional name: Puremotion


  • Anatomical shape, no spikes.
  • Wide web shaped forefoot with extra toe room
  • Climaproof mesh with 2 year waterproof guarantee

Provisional Name: Crossflex


  • crossflex rightBased on successful adidas running shoe
  • Contours based on human foot
  • Pods and "zonal traction elements" instead of spikes
  • Climaproof mesh with 2 year waterproof guarantee


sponsor  2012 Volvo Golf Champions Free Golf Betting Preview and Tips
The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa 19 Jan 2012 - 22 Jan 2012

Winner Alright

In last week’s Joburg Open best of the rest section we tipped winner Branden Grace at 46/1 and Jaco Van Zyl who tied third at 18/1.

Louis Oosthuizen 5/1

What can you say about this man that might deter you from having a punt on him this week? Not very much really except perhaps if he has one eye on the upcoming birth of his second child. On the course Louis is on fire and came into the Africa Open on the tail end of five straight top-10’s across the world. Won there with an incredible 27 under. Great in the wind and on links, he’s the nap of the week and a handy man to have in your group if you drop your club in the water.


Darren Clarke 50/1

darren clarke hangover funny[5] If Gary Player and his team spent months on the links of Ireland to gain inspiration for this course at Fancourt then Darren Clarke may well be the man to tame it. Twice a winner last season most memorably on the St Georges links in the Summer. Clarke loves coming down to South Africa, he shot a 63 in the Joburg Open in 2010, and if the wind blows he could very well come into a place.

Paul Lawrie 35/1

41440787-lawrie300 Last season, it’s fair to say, was probably Lawrie’s best and most satisfying on Tour since the turn of the century when he regularly passed the million euro earnings mark. Won the Open de Andalucia and give Alvaro Quiros a run for his money at the season finale in Dubai. Accomplished on links and in the wind and bound to be full of confidence, I’m hopeful of a top 10 if not much better for the Scot.

Best Of The Rest

jimenez wedge I’m a big fan of Miguel Angel Jimenez 28/1 and am reminded of his broken putter incident at this event in Bahrain last season. After a good laugh with Darren Clarke and Monty he birdied the next three holes with his wedge on his way to tying second. Whether this course will suit the Mechanic, I really cant tell but if he’s up there Friday evening he’s worth a euro. Two others worth keeping an eye on over the coming weeks are Swede Alex Noren 25/1 who I know has been busy practicing in Florida in anticipation of his season opener and Gonzalo Castano 25/1 who had great finish to last season with a second at the Castello Masters and a win at the weather hit Barclays Singapore Open.

A big shout out to Matt Hall in Australia on the launch of his new website for professional caddies called www.tourcaddies4u.com

Tour Caddies 4 U was established last year, and is designed to assist Professional Golfers locate High Quality Professional Caddies Worldwide for any professional event whether it is a Pro-Am or a PGA Tour Tournament.  The website is also designed to assist anyone thinking of becoming a full time caddie to get a placement and a foot in the door of the Caddie world.

Matt Hall currently works with Chris Gaunt and has over 10 years experience on Tour.  The site was designed with the input of many leading Golf Professionals who regularly play on PGA Tours worldwide.


“Ronnie”, the moustache worn by Tom Selleck in the TV show Magnum P.I. was last night celebrating the most unlikely of victories after helping Johnson Wagner to win the Sony Open in Hawaii.  The 62 year old nut duster now lives in Malibu Beach living off royalties from the 80’s hit TV show and had been on the island by chance to film a 25th anniversary reunion celebration of the original Magnum cast.

“I was just here hanging with Magnum’s upper lip along with Higgins and TC” said Ronnie the tache. “Some of the guys were breakin’ my balls calling me a “nut broom” and “prison pussy” so I needed to get away.  I came across Johnson Wagner on the putting green at the golf course and he needed some help with his putting alignment so I jumped up on his lip and it seemed to help. When he looks down through my middle, it shows the line perfectly.  I’ve been dabbling in golf with Geoff Ogilvy lately also, it’s is an avenue I would really like to explore.  I’d like to see how far I could go in this business; how cool would it be to get under the nose Rory McIlroy.”

The success of Ronnie the moustache has prompted speculation that other celebrity appendages may now try their hand in the golf business.  Pamela Anderson’s breasts have already been closely linked with Colin Montgomerie for the 2102 season.


Peter-Dawson-RA-Golf---Op-001 Here’s the way things work at the top of the Ancient and Royal.  They sit around in the smoking room, hold china cups with two fingers and think of reasons why they should continue to give Portrush’s chances of hosting the British Open the two fingers.

This week Peter Dawson spoke to journalist  John Huggan and bloody well set him straight as to why Royal Portrush is not Royal enough for for the British Open.

Reason 1

Dawson: “One or two of the holes need changes.”

Ah okay so being consistently ranked by just about every reputable publication as being amongst the top 15 courses on the planet is not good enough for the R&A.  By that logic last year’s Open was not held at Royal St. Georges because 17 or 18 of the holes need changes.

Reason 2&3portrush

Dawson: It is not obvious where the practice ground would go. It is not obvious where the tented village would go.

What is the man on about here? “None of these big fields would actually be suitable because they are not the correct shape of green?”

Tell you what Peter.  Watch this year’s Irish Open and see where they put the practice ground and the tented village.  That may just give you a clue.

Pic: These big fields around the course are not immediately obvious so we have used big red arrows to point them out.

Smoking jackets on, two fingers ready…..


branden grace Just weeks after securing his card at Q School Branden Grace was holding aloft the Joburg Open trophy after winning his first European Tour title.  Grace’s final round of 72 was just about good enough to hold off another Q School graduate Jamie Elson who has an I for the dramatic.  The Englishman who held a monster putt on the 18th in Catalunya to earn his card, this time shot a blistering 63 to surge through the field and almost catch Grace.

In the end however the 23 year old playing on home soil held his nerve to card a Faldo-esque 72 with 16 pars to finish on 17 under, one ahead of Elson. The win was worth €206,050 and sees him exempt on Tour until the end of 2013. His nearest challengers at the start of the day, Richard Finch and George Coetzee had a tough day at the office and slipped quietly down the leaderboard.

Six players tied for third including four South Africans and two Scots.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Grace after. “It’s nice to win in front of a home crowd and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else.” Grace then paid tribute to his caddie saying “I think there was one big key today, Zack [Rasego] on the bag kept me calm throughout the whole day so big thanks to him.”

With just one more event on South African soil, The Volvo Golf Champions, to play this week the question is will another South African player win?  The rainbow nation have now won four of the last six European Tour events. These include Garth Mulroy (2011 Alfred Dunhill Championship), Hennie Otto (2011 South African Open Championship), Louis Oosthuizen (2012 Africa Open) and Branden Grace (2012 Joburg Open).

matt every putterGreat fun trying to figure out Matt Every’s putter at the Sony Open.  It’s a BlackHawk model from Orion golf. The theory behind it is to get the highest MOI possible based on the current restrictions of the USGA on putter size. The size also allows the golfer to easily sole the club and set their hands in the same position without effort. It is made of a forged Aluminium alloy and has a black sapphire coating. The feel of the putter is very solid and the roll of the ball is consistent from toe to heel. In theory it is not possible to mishit a putt with the club as it rolls true no matter where it is struck.  It retails from about 250 US dollars.

orion golf black hawk

Sony Open leader Matt Every broke the golden rule of golf channel interviews last night when he spoke about something other than golf.  And once Every had swam down the deep end by answering The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman’s question about his arrest and Tour suspension for marijuana possession,  they just stood by and watched him paddle.
I’m in Every’s corner, everyone has smoked a bit of Woof Woof in their time but it made for pretty uncomfortable TV. Especially as the man had just walked in happy leading the golf tournament.
dealer “It was alright,” he said to Tilghman. “I just got three months off. It’s just golf. I don’t think I was doing anything wrong. It happened. I’m the same person, I have the same friends and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. “There’s a lot worse stuff that goes on out here than what I got in trouble for and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
“I felt like my penalty for getting in trouble was not only the three months but being on the Nationwide Tour last year. I'm not mad at the Tour. They did what they had to do. I totally understand it. But it's over with."
“I feel like I’m the same person. I’m maybe a little more responsible, but I’m not a huge party animal — I’m married, I got a kid on the way,” he said. “I just like to live, and whatever happened, happened.”
In the media room after Every stood by his friends and defended his actions.
“ I still hang out with the same people. I have great friends. If one of my friends likes to smoke marijuana every now and then, I’m not going to say, well, you can’t be my friend anymore,” he said.  “Honestly, man, I know more people who smoke marijuana than who don’t smoke marijuana. I know that’s probably not the politically correct thing to say, but it’s the truth.  It’s not a big deal to me. Like I don't frown upon people doing that stuff.  I don't do it, but I don't frown upon it. ”

caveman The short answer is yes but not in the way you might think.  Today I watched a video with Luke Williams from Callaway introducing the new RAZR X driver for 2012 and in the video Luke talks about the 46 inch shaft, (yep 46 inches) installed there to get you increased clubhead speed and thus more distance.

Granted that caveman mentally of “Me hit you hard Unga Bunga” is inside all of us.  But it’s not all about raw distance.  Look at the caveman’s club for instance, shorter for power plus accuracy.  Even they had their physics correct.

Most of the top name drivers in the shops this year have shafts measuring between 45 and 46 inches and there are even a few longer than that.  However the average shaft length on the European and PGA Tours is 44 inches with some of the very best players having even shorter shafts.  The question is which driver of these two do you want?


Pic: Bubba long. 143 rd in driving accuracy. Of 14 drives, 7 will finish in rough

A: With this 46 inch driver you will splay the ball left and right but 1 in 5 you will catch sweet and it will go 2 yards further.*

B: With this 44 inch driver you are 28% more likely to hit the fairway and 4 out of 5 times you will hit it further than your bomber mate who will be stuck in the rough.*

If you’re answer is A, thanks for your time. If your answer is B you’re with the pro’s who use drivers 1.5 inches shorter than shop models.  Are all the pros dummies? Surely there losing 10 yards?

dr paul hurrion quintec dr donal hughesPic: Hurrion and Hughes, yep I too am a scientist!

Sorry to argue with the big companies on this one but I do loads of Tour player what’s in the bags and  the scientist in me has to tell you that the formula

longer shaft = faster swing = longer distance = fairway is INCORRECT


longer shaft = faster swing = longer distance = some fairway + a lot of rough is CORRECT


shorter shaft = fast accurate swing = more sweet spot = long distance = fairway is CORRECT!

And what’s more I will make a prediction now.  “Driver shaft length will be reduced by the Biggest Golf Companies in the near future and they will market heavily “The far increased accuracy” of the shorter shaft!

*Read the excellent article on testing long and short shafts carried out by mygolfspy .


46 inch driver, 44 inch driver, Callaway razr x driver 2012, luke williams, whats in the bag, tour players driver length, custom fitting drivers, what shaft length do pros use

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